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Fry, Helen (1864-1937) artist
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Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Julian Trevelyan

Hopes Julian has reached Taormina by now and is enjoying Sicily, though fears the almond blossom may be over. Has just heard from Nicky [Mariano] that she and B.B. [Bernard Berenson] may go to Zürich at the end of March to see the Lombard exhibition, but will definitely be back by 15 April. Sure they would like to see Julian, and would probably ask him to stay at I Tatti if he wrote to Nicky. All well here: Bessie likes Mrs Alexieff and gets on quite well with her secretary. He himself is 'fairly all right, though sometimes a little out of sorts'. Hopes Julian will like Sicily as much as Goethe did; he was afraid to go to Greece because of brigands, so went to Sicily and 'made up his mind' it must be just like Greece. Tells Julian to ask his friend [Daphne Phelps] whether she is related to his own old friend T[homas] T[ettrell] Phelps, whom he has not seen for years. Expects Julian has been to the Isola Bella, which used to belong to Mrs Cacciola [Florence Trevelyan]; he used to go and bathe there with Roger and Helen Fry. Roger painted a picture of Mount Etna seen through the Greek theatre, which Goldie [Lowes Dickinson] had in his rooms. Hopes Julian's car is 'behaving itself'. Bessie will write soon.

Letter from Virginia Woolf to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Monk's House, Rodmell, near Lewes, Sussex. - Thanks Bessie for her letter about Helen Fry [see 17/97], which is helpful as it supports the 'vague feeling' Virginia is getting from Helen's letters; she thinks 'the dread of insanity must always have been in the background, and probably made her morbid and afraid of people'. It is 'terrible', as sometimes there is a sense of her 'brilliance and a curious individuality'. If Virginia does get anything written [of a biography of Roger Fry], and 'the difficulty increases as one goes on', she will not be able to say much about Helen, but wants to give an 'outline'; what Bob and Bessie have told her is very helpful. Hopes to see them when she returns in the autumn.

Draft or copy letter from Elizabeth Trevelyan to Virginia Woolf

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Bob thought Virginia might like to have 'some additional memories of Helen Fry' [to help with the writing of the biography of Roger Fry], since she perhaps saw her 'from a slightly different angle'. Saw a 'great deal' of Helen when the Frys' children were born and they lived in Dorking, while the Trevelyans were 'two miles away at Westcott'. She was friendly, but they 'never became intimate then', and Bessie 'always felt slightly in awe of her mysterious aloofness'. Their relationship 'suddenly seemed to change when the return of her illness approached', when Helen 'began to talk more intimately about the children', one day visiting Bessie 'to talk about her fear that the doctor and other people would think she was not a good enough mother to the children or wife to Roger'; believes 'this anxiety was a constant trouble'. Saw her 'more rarely' when they moved to London and Guildford. The Frys stayed at the Shiffolds when 'Roger had been disappointed about the post in America [atthe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York]'; was clear Helen 'took this morbidly to heart', and seemed to Bessie to think 'she herself had been at fault'. Even when their relationship was 'more easy and confidential', Bessie 'still felt her charm as aloof and mysterious'. Goldie Dickinson used to talk about Helen to Bessie 'years afterward', and though he was 'perhaps, their closest friend' and Helen had been 'very fond of him', he always felt Helen 'so mysterious' and wondered 'what she really thought and felt'.

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

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].


Prose narrative about Coryat's visit to the 'guest-killing mosque at Rai', which shifts to dramatic form for Coryat's encounter with a Stranger who may be Death; story of Coryat continued in pencil, describing his encounter with an old Chinese man and their discussion of will and the spirit.

Two lines of a poetic epistle to Roger [Fry] written after Fry's death; draft account of Helen Fry and her relationship with Roger, probably written to aid Virginia Woolf with her biography of Fry [published in 1940; see also 17/95, 17/96, and 17/97], this includes some unpublished details of Helen Fry's illness such as her fear of her doctor, and the effect of Hubert Crackanthorpe's suicide.

Notebook also used from the other end in: draft verse; another version of Coryat's discussion with the old Chinese man; draft of introduction to the second volume of Trevelyan's "Collected Works", his verse plays; continuation of the 'Coryat' piece, in which the young man is introduced by the Old Man to 'B.R', a 'philosopher and a sceptic' [a hardly disguised Bertrand Russell?, and then reminisces about his childhood friendship with his cousin Miranda; translation of Horace "Satires" 2.3.39-62 and 23 to the end; essay on "Solitude"; essay on Robert Browning; essay on "Juvenilia", which begins by quoting Trevelyan's childhood poem "Oh Hector, I do love thee" [see 23/121/14]; notes for "Simple Pleasures"; notes on bees; short sections of verse, some perhaps translations.

List entitled 'My Friends' on flyleaf, including 'Roger[Fry], Goldie [Lowes Dickinson] and Desmond [MacCarthy]'; list of autobiographical topics written around it and on the inside cover.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Durbins, Guildford. Will come to visit while Tovey is staying, though he has to go to Failand this week. Next Monday he begins at Hampton Court on the Mantegnas ["The Triumph of Caesar" cycle]. Encloses first ideas for three scenes and Goldie [Dickinson's] poems, which Mason left with him. Goldie has gone abroad, and Helen to stay with her family near Lymington: she is better than she has been for a while. The children are with Fry.

Letter from E. M. Forster to R. C. Trevelyan

Harnham, Monument Green, Weybridge. - Distressed to hear things did not go well [regarding the birth of the Trevelyans' son, Julian?] and glad they seem to be better again. Is glad that Moore thinks his book good: says that he 'never understand[s] Moore but like[s] him very much', then corrects himself when he realises not G.E. Moore but [Thomas] Sturge Moore is meant. Was at Lady Ottoline's yesterday and saw Fry; his wife is at home and he seems in good spirits. Went to 'the Sicilians' [the production of Sinopoli's "La Zolfara" at the Lyric Theatre?]

Letter from Roger Fry to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Durbins, Guildford. - D. F. T. [Donald Francis Tovey] visited yesterday; they had a 'delightful time'. He approved of Fry's piano and played all sorts of things on it. He seemed 'quite to realize how serious the situation was & how necessary it was that he should manage some of his own affairs'. Does not know if Tovey has 'the strength to hold out against her wiles' [a reference to Sophie Weisse], but he does realise 'she is capable of spoiling all his relations'. Hopes it will do good: Tovey 'is so nice'. Does not know when he will be able to get over; has to spend some time with [his wife] Helen this week, and is behindhand with things at Durbins.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Chantry Dene, Guildford. - Possible arrangements for meeting after a trip to Paris [for the Metropolitan Museum of Art]. Goldie [Dickinson] wants to visit: asks if Trevelyan can send him a wire; suggests bringing Logan [Pearsall Smith] over on Tuesday so Fry can show them the new house. Thinks Trevelyan will like it: the neighbourhood regard it as 'the most hideous thing ever produced'. Will try to go to some of the concerts. Has been with Helen at Bourton-on-the-Water and has left her there; Mr Bowhay still has hope, but she 'still despises the whole world... if once that could be overcome she would be almost completely well.'

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Chantry Dene, Guildford. - Wishes he could get to the concert: he is an admirer of 'orange jelly' [Jelly Arányi], whom he heard at Haslemere a while ago, but he has promised to take over MacColl's lectures at the Slade this term and travelling to see Helen at Crowborough takes up much time. Asks Trevelyan to apologise to Miss Weisse. Goes Paris after his lecture on Friday to meet Burroughs and see things for the [Metropolitan] Museum. Helen seems to be doing well, but is anxious to return home. His show [at the Carfax Gallery] a qualified success, with rather poor notices of his new style but a good review from Claude Phillips. Hopes Bessie is better for their time in Holland [after the death of the Trevelyans' son Paul].

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Chantry Dene, Guildford. - They [he and his wife] were 'quite overcome' by Bob's news [the death of the Trevelyans' son Paul]; having children themselves, they know how 'terrible' it will be for them both, though also 'how bravely Bessie will bear it' and help Bob to do some. Tells Bob he can come almost any day next week; hopes Helen will get over to see Bessie.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Chantry Dene, Guildford. - Is sorry not to have seen Trevelyan: Helen came to his lecture which meant 'anxious preparations', but all went well which is a sign of real progress. Is very sorry to learn from George of the Trevelyans' worry about Paul: has heard of a good German medicine for indigestion called Sauerin. Is going to see Margery at Birmingham this week, but asks if Trevelyan could visit next Sunday. Best wishes to Bessie.

Postcard from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Grand Hotel La Croix, La Croix du Cavalaire, Var, France; addressed to Lady Trevelyan at Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Arrived here last Friday; the weather is fine. Left Bessie and P[aul] well. Bessie may have the two Fry children to stay at the Shiffolds while Robert is away, as their mother is ill; this was not settled when he left, but they had offered if necessary. Does not think it would be 'much trouble, as they are nice children, and have a good nurse'; will probably know today.

Saw George in London, who 'gave a good account' of their parents; was sorry to miss his mother there. Will stay here for several weeks, perhaps a month, depending on how he gets on with his work. No-one is here 'but French people, and those not interesting'; bathes in the sea every day as it is 'quite warm enough' for him.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

The Shiffolds. - Has been away, or would have answered her note with his father's questions earlier. Cannot find a reference to 'levying an indemnity' in Murray or elsewhere; '"requisitio"' is used as a substantive in that sense, but may be general a word', as is probably the case also for 'fine' and 'tribute'; both 'ne'er do weel' and 'ne'er do well' seem to be 'used as nouns by quite good writers, such as Dickens'.

Paul 'seems quite well again now', though last week he was not so well; Bessie also seems well: she went with Robert to the Speyers' last Sunday, where Hausmann, Frau Soldat, and and Leonard Borwick were staying 'so there was a lot of music' and several pieces were rehearsed for next Wednesday's London concert.

Is glad Phil [Morgan Philips Price] is now recovering; Bessie has had 'a nice letter from Aunt Meg'. Has not had much news about the Frys recently, as Roger has been in Italy for the last three weeks; expects he will soon return. Imagines Helen 'is much the same, perhaps rather better in some ways', though 'doubt[s] whether there is any real improvement'. Robert's play [Sisyphus: An Operatic Fable] should be out this week, though he has not yet heard anything about it.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking. - Greatly admires Dickinson's dialogue ["A Modern Symposium"], which he praises at length. Thinks his sympathies were most with Martin, Ellis, Woodman and Vivian, and of course Coryat, in whom he seems to recognise something of himself. Bessie has not yet read it, but is just about to. They hope Dickinson is still coming to visit on the 25th or the weekend after that, then they are going abroad. Roger and Helen [Fry] are coming this Sunday.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Chantry Dene, Guildford. - Comments on the layout of the introductory pages [for Trevelyan's "Sisyphus: an operatic fable"]. Has heard from Miss [Sophie?] Weisse who seems pleased. Asks Trevelyan not to come on Friday, as he expects Miss Stawell and wants her and Helen to have a quiet talk; and to let him see the cloths for the binding of the book when ready. Is very glad Trevelyan likes 'the silk one'.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Chantry Dene, Guildford. - Thanks for the cheque, which is very welcome due to doctors' bills. Sends an idea for the title page [for "Sisyphus: an operatic fable"]. Hopes Goldie [Dickinson] will come down, but he will pay his promised visit to Mrs Widdrington first. Is glad that Bessie 'goes on well'. Saw H.G.D. [Henry Graham Dakyns], who is 'a dear' and gave Fry T.E. Brown's poems, which he now likes very much.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

L.B.S.C.R [London, Brighton and South Coast Railway?]. - Apologises for not writing: has been very tired and Helen 'in the difficult exalted mood'. Is going to Paris for two days, 'museuming' with a Trustee [of the Metropolitan Museum of Art]. Is sorry not to have seen Trevelyan; hopes Helen's phase will pass soon as it is 'far more trying than the depression'. Asks to see Trevelyan's "Sisyphus". The Frys have taken a house at Guildford for nine months, then hopes their own will be built. Hopes Paul is well again.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Glad to hear they are all well; Caroline sends love; a 'cuckoo for ever calling here' makes him think of 'the dear little boy' [Paul] and of 'Will Shakespeare'. They have just finished Hogg [his life of Shelley], and thinks more of Hogg 'in his queer way' than ever; has been reading a Macmillan edition of Shelley: 'What a poet!'. Has read [Roger] Fry's article in the Burlington Magazine, and paid a second visit to the illuminated manuscripts [exhibition at the Burlington Fine Arts Club] yesterday before leaving London; has also looked through the British Museum facsimiles here and at Grosvenor Crescent. Hopes Fry's wife will 'go on satisfactorily'. The 'Doctorate business' [his forthcoming honorary degree at Cambridge] is 'very plain sailing': Lord Halsbury, Lord Rayleigh, and Sir James Ramsey will also be staying at [Trinity College] Lodge; they lunch at [Gonville &] Caius, whose Master [Ernest Roberts] is Vice Chancellor. Others receiving honorary degrees are: the Duke of Northumberland; Admiral Sir John Fisher; Charles Parsons; Sir James Ramsay; Sir W[illiam] Crookes; Professor Lamb; Professor Marshall; Asquith; Lord Halsbury; Sir Hubert Herkomer; Sir Andrew Noble; Rudyard Kipling; Professor Living; they will 'advance on the Senate the English at Trafalgar'. in two columns. Is looking forward to dinner in the hall at Trinity. Went to Harrow on Tuesday and will tell Robert about it and about the 'Cacciola affair'.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

The Reform Club. - Looks forward to seeing Trevelyan in town, though he cannot make the Joachim [Joachim Memorial Concert]. Jokes about his title [at the Metropolitan Museum of Art]: 'I'm European adviser... (to the whole United States of course)'. The children are very well; he goes to see Helen often and can't feel hopeless yet though Savage is pessimistic. Is glad Paul is well and hopes Bessie is too. Met "the dear [Julius?] Röntgen" who 'plays divinely'.

Letter from Roger Fry to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Hampstead. - The rain on Sunday made it too uninviting to bicycle on Sunday: they stayed in the shelter of Shulbrede Priory and rode back some of the way this morning. He had written to Helen about Paul [Trevelyan]; the letter from her, originally enclosed, is a response. Would be good if Bessie could write a little note about Paul and other 'domesticities', but the doctor does not want her to have much strain from correspondence; the doctor seems to think she is getting on slowly. They enjoyed their stay with Bessie and saw some good sights on the way to Petersfield, including Bedales where he hopes Paul will go one day with Julian and Pamela. Is going to Failand to see his children soon.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

22 Willow Road, Hampstead, N.W. - Trevelyan need not bring his watercolour: he has too many (fifty) as it is and would rather show new work which might sell. May not be able to visit for a while: at a consultation today with Dr Savage it was decided that Helen should go into the country with her sister Mildred and the children. This will probably be near Holmwood, but she needs absolute rest so should not be tempted to visit the Shiffolds. Instead, asks Trevelyan to lunch at the Reform Club on 1st August and to see the hanging of the pictures at the Alpine Club.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Does not know why Trevelyan has not received the enclosed [now missing: an invitation for Fry's exhibition at the Alpine Club?]: Trevelyan's father says he cannot come but has the dates wrong. Is fascinated by [Forster's] "The Longest Journey": reminds him more of Gorky than anything else. Logan [Pearsall Smith], however, 'kicks at it'. Is going to Perugia tomorrow for the Exhibition ["Mostra di antica arte umbra"]. Helen is much better. Does not think they will manage the Tovey concerts this time. A postscript notes that [William John?] Evelyn will not agree to the necessary improvements, so the Frys are still househunting.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking. - Is glad to hear Booa is better; hopes she will soon be out of bed. All well here, 'except for Paul's Vaccination arm'; this should be 'at its worst' in a couple of days, though Robert does not think it will be particularly bad. Cycled over to the Rendels' house near Guildford [Hatchlands] 'as the only way of finding out about Tovey', and met him going for a walk with [Hal?] Rendel. Arranged that Tovey would come this Saturday for a few days; thinks that is what Tovey 'had really been hoping to do all along, though it is not in his way to write'.

Fry is coming down tomorrow to look at the Manor Farm at Abinger, belonging to 'Mr Evelyn of Wotton'; it is currently to let and may suit the Frys. Mrs Fry is recovering, 'perhaps sooner than on other occasions'. Sorry to hear that Charles has 'a bad cold or influenza'; hopes he will recover before his 'debate on the corrupt Companies comes on again'. Hopes his father is well, and will finish his book [Volume III of The American Revolution] soon.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Lewes Ho[use], Lewes. - Has been to Paris about a Renoir ["Madame Charpentier et ses enfants"] which he has succeeded in purchasing for the [Metropolitan] Museum, which 'is quite secret'. This is the only time he has left Helen, who 'wants someone to walk with her all day', but hopes to get away for a few days and to 'look at the various houses'. Their own landlord is to turn them out at Christmas so they must find something, and it is 'evident that H[elen] ought to be in the country'. Encourages Bob to read Ferrero's "La Grandeur et Décadence du Rome", though he has the London Library's copy at the moment. Adds in a postscript that he is up for election at the Reform Club on 18 Apr; asks Bob to mention this to his father.

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