Reading – Walden and others
All our reading was strictly censored. ….Someone lent me “The Story of an African Farm” by Olive Schreiner and a friend of my Mother’s happened to see me with it and came to see my Mother and warned her of the pernicious reading in which I was indulging.
Later Olive Schreiner became quite a friend of mine and I was in a party with her in Florence in the May of 1914.
To-day I think of the books which have meant most to me. Thoreau’s “Walden” made a deep impression. It was like a fresh breeze to read of a man who threw away a piece of crystal, his only ornament, because it needed dusting, and think of the ornaments and trappings of a/
Edward Carpenter was an inspiration and became a personal friend, as well as an author whom one admired. ….The social life of the suburb was pretty lively. We had a good deal of dancing, many whist parties and boating and walking parties in the summer. …
A country walk alone with a young man, if it became known, would almost ruin a reputation.
….The way in which the ignorance and innocence of women was guarded is unthinkable to-day. I remember a very interesting woman who shocked my Mother and her contemporaries by telling them that she had discussed sexual relations with her young sons and had warned them of perils and tried to give them an ideal of the relations between men and women.