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My Other Self

The Letters of Olive Schreiner and Havelock Ellis, 1884-1920

Yaffa Claire Draznin

This letter edition is both an open window into the lives of two notable people and a methodological work of exacting scholarship. The correspondence tells of a unique relationship between two seminal figures - Olive Schreiner, the South African-born late-19th century feminist, and Havelock Ellis, forerunner in the research on human sexuality - begun while they were still in their 20s and lasting 35 years. It covers a tumultuous love affair, marriages to people other than each other, and vastly changing fortunes, both political and literary, in England and South Africa through the bridge years of the early 20th century. The author has put the hundreds of letters into chronological order for the first time, edited them into readable yet academically correct form, and annotated them with clarity and understanding. The introductory chapters put into perspective the letters' psychological and historical significance.
Contents: An edited, annotated letter edition of the 607 letters exchanged between Schreiner and Ellis, 1884-1920; an invaluable source document for biographers and scholars of Britain and South Africa through World War I.