Item 96 - Incomplete draft letter from R.C. Trevelyan to Virginia Woolf

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TRER/17/96

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Incomplete draft letter from R.C. Trevelyan to Virginia Woolf

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  • [1938?] (Creation)

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1 item: pencil draft

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His friendship with Roger Fry [presumably written to aid Virginia with her 'Life' of Fry; see also 17/85 and 17/97] in the days when they lived together at 29 Beaufort St between April or May 1895 and the autumn of 1896, when Roger married and Bob moved to Haslemere. Saw little of him before then, and 'knew next to nothing of art and artists', but 'no one could have been kinder in the way he introduced [Bob] to his world', or 'more patient of [Bob's] ignorance'. He was often busy with Extension Lectures on Italian art, and as illustration had 'already collected a great number of photographs' which was much harder then; thinks he had already succeeded D. S. MacColl as the "Athenaeum" magazine's art critic ; he did not therefore have as much time as he wished for painting, but 'worked very rapidly' when he could. He was painting 'several of his best early landscapes' and a few 'perhaps not very successful portraits'. One was of Mrs Widdrington, the 'sister [sic: actually mother] of Sir Edward Grey's wife [Frances]', who was a 'great friend' of Roger's and the mother of Ida Widdrington; Roger had been 'very much in love' with Ida not long before, but 'perhaps wisely, she would not marry him. She was a very vital and amusing girl, who loved hunting, farming and acting' and she and her mother remained friends with Roger for years. After that Roger 'had fallen very much in love, and none too happily, with Kate Kinsella (now Kate Presbitero)'; Bob thinks she 'treated him rather cruelly, not wanting to give him up altogether, and luring him back to her from time to time'. 'Fortunately (or perhaps in the end unfortunately) [because of her mental health' he got to know Helen Coombe while he was living with Bob, and they fell in love with each other. Roger's parents 'strongly disapproved of his becoming an artist' - he told Bob that they had offered him a hundred pounds extra a year 'if he would promise never to paint from the nude', which he 'naturally refused' - and this made him fear they would not be pleased by his choice of wife, so he told them nothing about Helen 'for a long time...' [the rest of the draft is missing].

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