At home in New Zealand in 1907, Kathleen was out of harmony with her family and without the soulmate who, as ‘Juliet’ indicates, was so essential to her well-being. ‘It is a nightmare’, she wrote to Sylvia Payne. ‘Life here is impossible — I can’t see how it can drag on — I have nobody — and nobody cares to know me....’ For comfort in her unhappiness Kathleen turned (as she did again and again in later life) to memories and dreams, to recollections of a happier period. One letter to Sylvia reveals her trying, as if by, an act of will, to summon up the affection that she found absent in her immediate environment.

I must tell you… that I love you far more than I loved you in England.... I dreamed that I came back to visit College… I asked for you… and then I saw you standing by the window in the waiting room — My dear — I felt I must run and put my arms round you and just say ‘Sylvia’ but you nodded and then walked away — and I did not move. It was a terrible dream.... But I was always afraid then, and I am now, that you do not know me, and when you do, you will hate me…




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Copyright information

© C. A. Hankin 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. A. Hankin
    • 1
  1. 1.University of CanterburyNew Zealand

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