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Weisse, Sophie (1851-1945) music teacher
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Letter from H. J. C. Grierson to R. C. Trevelyan

Old Church House, Park Street, Woodstock, Oxford. - Thanks Trevelyan for his Christmas gift of poems ["From the Shiffolds"]. Notes that Trevelyan has a 'grandson still a baby' [Philip Erasmus]; his two youngest were born in France and the United States in 1942. Has not seen either of them, though he has good news of Janet and her family; wishes he could get news of 'poor Alice' and her family in the Hague, and hopes Mrs Trevelyan does not have the 'same anxiety' about relatives; the 'want of food and fuel must be very great' and the Germans are 'merciless enemies, so wanton in cruelty & destruction'. A long time since he has heard from Trevelyan, but has some news of him through [Logan] Pearsall-Smith. [Thomas] Sturge Moore has died since Grierson saw Trevelyan and [Gordon] Luce; followed his advice and had his 'arthritic joint bolted by Messer [?] in Edinburgh', which required two operations; took a long time to feel 'any great benefit', but does have less pain. Walks with two sticks and needs help to dress and undress. Has just published a book with an 'old Oxford friend' ["A Critical History of English Poetry", published with J. C. Smith], of which the reviews are 'divided about it - & ask its purpose'; would say it had two: to 'keep our minds off the war' and perhaps provide 'a little money for our children after we have gone'. Also completed and printed lectures he had given on rhetoric in Aberdeen and Edinburgh as a small book, which seems to have sold well so far as well. Was feeling a little run down so came south with his eldest daughter [Molly]; stayed with her at Leeds for over three weeks then came here ten days ago; will probably go home after Christmas. Read Trevelyan's brother's "Social History of England" with 'great interest'. Heard only 'by accident of the death of Lady Tovey' as her brother 'had not thought fit' to send a notice to any Scottish paper, and 'we do not all read "The Times"'; liked her very much. [Donald] Tovey was a 'great loss'. Hears 'nothing' of Miss Weisse.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

18 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh. - Apologises for not replying sooner to Bessie's 'kind note': is in 'agonies of packing up all vestiges' of her life here, and 'cowed and horrified at the spectacle of Europe in flames of war'. Remembers what happened to her in 1914, spending six weeks in Berlin as a prisoner of war before being allowed to leave for Holland, in a troop train on the way to the siege of Paris carrying 'die dicke Bertha' [one of the 'Big Bertha' cannons'], with 'thirty trucks of concrete for the emplacement'; the troops suddenly had to turn round when Russia over-ran East Prussia. Cannot get thoughts of this, and the Russian war now, out of her mind. Would be comforted if Bessie could send her any pictures [of Donald Tovey?] and perhaps the copy of the "New Statesman" she mentioned. Has heard nothing from Mollie Grierson and is anxious: 'Professor Richmond seemed bent on putting her out of the university altogether!'. Cannot dislike Professor Newman, but thinks he seems likely to be 'a small round peg in a large square space'; list of his prizes printed by the "Scotsman" means little as she fears 'they manufacture mediocrities'. Wishes Casals could write to them. When Joachim and Hausmann volunteered to play three Trio concerts in Berlin with Donald, she thanked Joachim and said she was glad he could say she had made Donald a good musician; he replied that Donald was not just a good musician, but 'was music' (quote given in German).

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

18 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh. - Warns Bessie to expect a large parcel in the post containing a Dutch folksong book which she expects Donald had from her. Her "Donald Tovey Rooms", as 'the young people who loved him' wished to have them called, are ready and look just as she wished. But she was allowed to have nothing of his to put in them, despite begging for the telescope she gave him and [Joseph] Joachim's presentation chair. Nor could she have any letters or papers 'from all the years of that so tragically fatal marriage', one of the Shetland wool cloaks she gave him. The rooms please the his pupils, however, and give her some peace. John [Wellcome Tovey] was prosecuting officer this morning, 'aged 22', at a court martial for drunkenness; is longing to see John.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

18 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh. - Has spent many months in 'an amazement of sorrow' [after Donald Tovey's death]; has long wanted to write about him, even before he died, and 'it has been a horror of misery' to fear that she cannot; old age seems to have descended on her 'like an avalanche', and then there is the 'sadness and terror and knowledge of what was happening to Donald in these last fifteen years'. Has recently found a letter and enclosure to Dr Bluth in her writing table; Dr Bluth knows Lady Tovey 'did not like him', as she did not like Edinburgh, Donald having friends here, or Donald seeing anything of her. The doctor at Hedenham told her so many lies at Knaphill that she instructed him to leave: he and Lady Tovey 'killed' Donald. Has found Dr Bluth's address and will write. Not being able to write about Donald is the worst of her griefs since he died; will try, but hopes the Trevelyans will write a great deal too, as '[n]o one knew him better'. Is having a marble memorial slab put in Worplesdon Church, which Duncan [Donald's nephew] and the Rector Mr Chitty 'are glad of and like'. John [Wellcome Tovey] is now in the regular army, somewhere in the south west; he writes to her 'every Sunday in German' and sends her his laundry; grieves that Donald lost 'him too'; John is anxious about a German friend in Cologne, because of the bombing.

Letter from Clara Tovey to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Edinburgh. - Very sorry to hear of the death of Bessie's sister [Abrahamina Röntgen]: hopes she was not long ill. Is still in Edinburgh, and expects to be for some time since there are soldiers in Hedenham Lodge. Nurse Monks is nursing for the Air Force; she wrote from Reading but expected to be moved. Clara misses her very much: has 'quite a nice young woman' to help her, but she is not nearly as good as Nurse Monks. Her brother is still with her, which she is glad of as she would not like him to be at Kew. John [Tovey] is 'very busy carting munitions': was in camp in Worcestershire, but has moved into billets for the winter. Molly Grierson is carrying on the work of the Chair of Music: wishes they would appoint her Professor, as it will not be easy to find someone 'so suited all round for both the degree work and the Orchestra'. Believes there is an intention to make no appointment until the end of the war, but hears Professor [Oliffe Legh?] Richmond is looking for someone and fears he will 'fix on some quite impossible person'; the Court are responsible for the appointment but she does not think the members knowledgeable about Music. Is sorry about Mrs [Florence] Barger; hopes her house is not 'damaged past repair'. Miss Weisse still in Edinburgh: supposes she thinks it safer than Knap Hill or prefers it. Molly Grierson has started Reid Concerts with 'what can be collected of the orchestra', fortnightly on Saturday afternoons; she is also continuing the Historical Concerts. Clara gets around very little as the wet weather does not suit her, and cannot think of travelling. Is glad Bessie's house is 'still whole', as many of her friends in the South 'seem to have no glass in their windows' which cannot be easy in this weather.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

18 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh. - Thanks Bessie for a kind letter: she left Donald [Tovey] on the day of his death at quarter to one and he 'spoke those words' [see 8/133] to her 'quite clearly', but he may have become unconscious after that and when she returned around six he had died. Wonders whether Bessie went to Worplesdon for the burial of Donald's ashes; an old friend went and told her about it, but she herself had not heard it was to take place, yet Worplesdon is only about fifteen minutes drive from her house at Knaphill; wishes she had known. Has not been well recently, but has been working slowly on a project of turning most of this flat to a memorial: Molly Grierson says that there is nowhere for the students to do quiet work; would be happy to gift it to the university. Molly is 'overburdened in every way', especially family troubles. Some of Donald's old books are still here, such as his old "Missa Solemnis" over which she found him weeping [see 8/132] and from which he chose what was to be played and sung by Mona Benson. The memorial service in St Giles was very beautiful: old members of the Reid Orchestra came 'from far away places'; the 'whole University came in their magnificent robes'; Mollie conducted the orchestra in her red Doctor's robes, while she in hers 'crouched in a corner weeping'. Donald 'need not have died so soon... in such agony about his hands', if he had been left in London with Dr de Souza and not 'that damp place [Hedenham] where Lady Tovey and John [Wellcome Tovey] told him he was 'only lazy' [for not practising]. Dr de Souza had arranged somewhere safe for him to go in London if there was anxiety about the [Westminster] Hospital. Wonders whether Dr Blut [sic: Karl Bluth] is interned; very much 'admired and agreed with him as a doctor' and wishes she could help him. John has been sent suddenly somewhere in the South, for coastal defence: 'they have grown quite reckless with the lives of young men by the thousand'. Originally enclosing two poems by Professor [Oliffe Legh?] Richmond, which she thinks beautiful and like Donald. Her taxi driver today commented that she would be missing Donald and said 'We all thought there was nobody like him'; used to go on Sunday nights to hear him. Found herself 'sobbing on the man's arm'.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

18 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, At the Sign of the Edinburgh Review. - Finds it increasingly hard to write about Donald [Tovey]'s death, and her 'sense of wrong' grows increasingly bitter. Was 'hardly ever alone with him', except when people came to see Lady Tovey; she found him once, near the end, 'alone with [Beethoven's] Missa Solemnis on his lap - weeping', looking at his hands and hoping that they would sing it for him at Edinburgh. He could not hold a pencil, but kept saying that he had 'a Violin Concerto quite ready in his head'; the 'dear boys', Robert Bruce and another, tried to take it down for him but it was impossible. On his last day, she aw him for a short time on the morning of his last day, but could not return until the evening since as usual Lady Tovey slept from two till five in his bedroom; that morning when she asked him what she should bring him he replied 'quite clearly and distinctly: "Something wonderful and beautiful". When she returned in the evening, they told her he had died. Asks if Bessie knows where young Nurse Monks is, since she would very much like to know exactly what Donald's death was like. The copy of the "Missa Solemnis" [by Beethoven? see 8/132] was one she gave him when he was thirteen. Funeral service in St Giles 'very beautiful and moving', and the church was crowded. Is agonised to think of 'these desolate years' in which she 'saw the inevitable ruin coming and could do nothing... to try and save him'. One of Donald's colleagues, the Professor of Astrophysics [William Greaves?] said that he 'could have filled a chair of astronomy perfectly'. She got Frank Newall to procure a telescope for Donald [as a boy]; wishes she had it 'in some worthy place', but unfortunately it is at Hedenham.

Letter from Jean Monks to Elizabeth Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh 7. - Describes 'exactly what happened on the day Sir Donald [Tovey's] died' since Miss Weisse's story is not correct: fetched her in a taxi at 9 am; at 1 pm, advised her not to go home as it was not obvious how long Sir Donald would live and she didn't want her 'to have the opportunity of saying that [they] had sent her away'; she had lunch by his bed until 3.15pm when she left, Lady Tovey having been 'seated in another chair but not resting'. Sir Donald 'grew worse at 6.45 pm and died at 7.30 pm'; Jean Monks did not fetch Miss Weisse as she 'would have been troublesome, Lady Tovey did not want her & she had left of her own accord'; telephoned her after Sir Donald's death but she had already left and soon arrived; she saw him then the housekeeper took her home. Sir Donald 'hadn't spoken at all on Wednesday'. Asks whether she should write to Miss Weisse, or whether Bessie will. Lady Tovey is 'really very wonderful, but is very stiff [from arthritis]'; Jean Monks thinks she will go south after settling affairs here. Saw Miss Weisse yesterday and could go again but doesn't much want to.

Letter from Jean Monks to Elizabeth Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh 7. - Has burnt Bessie's letter: was very kind of her to write. Sir Donald [Tovey] is 'terribly ill', though he has improved slightly over the last couple of days; has become rather rapidly worse in the six weeks she has been here. He sleeps or is drowsy most of the time, but occasionally surprises them 'with a quotation or a witty remark', though he finds it difficult to speak; admires him very much. Miss Weisse is dreadful; 'very soon discovered her jealous and foolish ways'; is very sorry for Lady Tovey having to deal with her on top of all her other sufferings, but they laugh at her 'which is the only thing to do'; she has 'most wonderful and weird ideas about nursing'. Would love to visit when she comes south; always remember the Shiffolds 'and its cherry trees', which must have been lovely this year as they were in Pattendale.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

18 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, At the Sign of the Edinburgh Review. - The only thing in her mind, apart from the fear of John [Wellcome Tovey]'s being sent to France 'instead of attending to innumerate lorries in Dunfermline', is Donald [Tovey]'s illness: he is 'very ill' and two days ago his death seemed inevitable. However, though he now mostly sleeps, it is an 'easier sleep' and he is taking some food and very occasionally making a 'Tovey joke'. Thanks Bessie very much for the young nurse [Jean Monks] she sent, who is clever, 'as it were sure footed', and harm. She herself minds very much being old; '[s]o much harm' has come to Donald as he has grown older, like 'the awful tragedy with his hands'; and now there is the 'incredible war'. Last night there was a 'monstrous travesty' in Edinburgh, when 'brutes' set upon the many Italian ice cream sellers in Edinburgh, 'wrecked their little shops and neat barrows and ill used the people'.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Thanks Bessie for her 'kind and cheering note'. Cannot do justice to her feelings of trust in and gratitude towards Mollie Grierson, who has acted just as she would expect. The 'great cheap house in Royal Terrace in Edinburgh was the worst possible house for Donald', as she always knew; she wanted him to live opposite her in Professor Nieck's old house, but his first wife [Margaret Kerr Cameron] wanted to live 'more in the country'. Remembers how Grettie 'after a visit to London returned with the baby John [Wellcome Tovey] and two white rabbits', travelling through the night, without having taken 'a drop of milk for the baby'; she was a '[p]oor mad thing' but 'very honest and entirely honourable', and the news that after her suicide 'Minnie Wallace had written to Donald, then in California, and proposed to marry him' appalled Sophie Weisse. Bessie's note brought much more cheering news. Does wish the excellent Swedish nurse who is treating her own sciatica could treat Donald's hands. Thanks Bessie for returning the book, and now her mind is 'relieved of the fear of John's motoring plans [see 8/130]'; hopes ' a change of weather or John's having been called up will make them impossible'. Longs to see John but he has been at Hedenham all summer. Hopes in Donald's absence 'a nice little enemy bomb will fall on that evil little house'. Is sending Donald a few letters at a time to try and 'amuse and interest' Donald: some from Sir Hubert Parry to her, some from Sir George Grove, who 'describes himself as [her] "slave," when Donald was Sir Hubert's pupil'. Has 'some beautiful letters too from the Master of Balliol [Sir Edward Caird]' and his wife: there 'was never a student so much loved'; it may please Donald to read then. A postscript says she has heard Donald does not now have a secretary; the 'one who came here in pursuit of John was an evil little creature'.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Is newly anxious about Donald [Tovey]. As often before, is 'full of great gratitude and admiration for Dr Mary Grierson', with whom she has had no communication for a long time but who has seen as clearly as she has 'the evil and danger' of Donald's life in Hedenham, though she has 'not realised the evil effect of John [Wellcome Tovey]'s being there too for himself and for Donald. Has heard from John today that, in spite of her mother's bad health and other family trouble, Dr Grierson has gone to Hedenham and persuaded Donald to return to Edinburgh as soon as possible. Donald should never have let himself be persuaded to take a term's leave from work. John says that they wish to travel by motor, and he wants to drive them; they have 'a craze for motoring' and each time they have done it before Donald has been ill, 'once with a month of pneumonia'; they should take a warm first class carriage in the through train from Harwich.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

93 Knaphill High Street, Woking. - Sends the Trevelyans all good wishes, and is 'thankful' they are alive, for Donald [Tovey]'s sake. Originally enclosing a volume which reached her on Christmas Day; she 'nearly cried with joy' as she has been 'so alone and "ausgestossen" [pushed out]'; she should have been in Edinburgh with Donald, and now Lady Tovey has even 'roped in' John [Wellcome Tovey] by giving him lots of money and allowing 'a very violent flirtation with the then chauffeuse', which even Dr Blut [sic: Bluth] noticed. Feels that Dr Bluth only saw the surface of things at Hedenham; asks why he did not question there being 'two cases of rheumatoid arthritis in the same house''; Donald only started to show the signs of rheumatism 'if it is rheumatism' shortly after his marriage and went to Bath, where on a visit to see him she was visited by [Andrew] Gordon Watson and another doctor saying they were anxious about him and that all his ill health was 'caused by his association with Mrs Tovey'; she was too emotional to discuss the matter further. Hedenham is also 'one of the dampest places in Britain'; on a visit there in November she once saw rainwater from a storm come in under the front door, flow along the passage and out of the back door. Was very disappointed in Dr Bluth for not seeing the truth of things and has not written to him, but is now tempted to ask if he can do anything else to help; liked him very much. She and Mary Grierson believe Lady Tovey wants Donald to give up his Professorship., when 'even giving up playing would cause him to drift into insanity'. John talks of him as 'not sane'. Lady Tovey, Miss Morrah and even John have told her that Donald does not practise only because he is 'lazy'; she has told John he 'cannot come here if he dares to speak like that' of Donald. She and Mary Grierson believe Donald must have work to recover: '[p]ut a conducting stick into his hand and after three rehearsals he will be himself', but 'Lady Tovey does not like Edinburgh'.

Is alarmed by the inscription in the book she sends; asks if Bessie and Dr Bluth can help. There is a good Swedish masseuse here who has been helping her with sciatica; longs to have Donald 'in this warm little house and see his hands correctly massaged'; he will go mad if he loses his hands. Has been ill herself but is slowly recovering; Dr Bluth could perhaps read the letter and look at the inscription in the book, which she asks Bessie to send back soon.

The final sheet seems to be a copy of the inscription in the book sent by Sophie Weisse, perhaps in Robert Trevelyan's hand, calling Volume VI [of Tovey's "Essays in Musical Analysis"?] 'a Christmas Card partially completing a record but completely exhausting any reasonable persons patience... This is written with paralysed finger tips but by a perfectly sane and very courteous writer'.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

'Mile End House, Englefield Green, Surrey' printed on the first sheet, but '93 High Street, Knaphill' written on the second. - Bessie has several times apologised for not addressing her by her 'Mus. Doc' title; she 'shrank from it at the time', and does not mind what she is called, but has to be 'careful to be "Doctored" because Donald [Tovey] cannot endure me to omit the "Dr". Dr Bluth is 'most kind... and very helpful' and his letter greatly distresses her; does not care about the violin concerto but cares 'everything in the world' about the recovery of Donald's hands 'so that some record may be left of his playing'. There is none, and Lady Tovey has 'lost' Sophie Weisse's entire collection of press notices; Lady Tovey intends to stay at Hedenham till the middle of January, a very damp spot and 'as Dr Thin indignantly says "you step down into the house from the grass"', while Lady Tovey 'may or may not be infectious'. Dr [Hugh Andrew?] Gordon Watson and his colleague in Bath told her they were anxious about Donald and believed that 'all his ill health' sprang from his association with Clara Tovey. Knows this is true, but in addition Hedenham is 'a fatal place'; wants Donald to 'come away altogether' and has offered them this house with she herself going to Edinburgh where she has 'arranged a complete bombproof shelter'. Also cares about the 'burden on Mollie Grierson', who has commented that it is 'like a miracle' seeing Donald 'straighten up the moment he has a conducting stick in his hand' but is struggling with all his work while her mother is ill after two operations. He will have to give up the Royal Terrace house; ought to live where Professor Niecks lived, near his classroom on the warm south side of Edinburgh; Lady Tovey bought 'the Royal Terrace house for a song: the owner having committed suicide'. John [Wellcome Tovey] writes that Lady Tovey is weak and therefore irritated, and there are rows [this in German] ; John may himself be rude; he also says Donald cannot play at all on the large piano, and they did so much for his hands at the Westminster Hospital.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

93, High Street, Knaphill, Woking. - John [Wellcome Tovey] is 'idling away the time at Hedenham'; tells her 'rather confusedly' that Bessie has been there, and Dr Bluth or he is coming. She has 'kept quite aside' as she knows Lady Tovey too well and wonders only 'that Donald has not been destroyed long since'. Draws attention to the date of the enclosure [now not present] which she found last night; 'Dr Thin is the best and the doyen of... Edinburgh doctors', is 'devoted' to Donald and 'frankly thinks the worse of his wife' who he says does not tell the truth; he has been down to Hedenham at least three times and was about to go this year when Lady Tovey stopped him. Thanks Bessie for 'not consulting' her about kind efforts on Donald's behalf: she had 'better wait outside till [she is] called in' and is ready; writes with 'much affection and gratitude and trust' in both Trevelyans. Would not be surprised if the 'war just petred [sic] out. It is a politicians war and many of [the] best will have nothing to do with it'.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

93, High Street, Knaphill, Woking. - Is very sad and anxious: there has been a reversion to 'the state of things at Hedenham' before the Trevelyans made their 'most merciful and helpful interviention'. Had just written to Donald [Tovey] to invite him, Clara, and the chauffeur to stay with her in the case of 'anxiety about the Hospital buildings [due to the war]'; he would then be able to stay in touch with Dr de Souza at Harley Street; she got her housekeeper to ring the hospital and was told he and Lady Tovey had gone back to Hedenham on the 24th. Has just had a letter from her and Donald's solicitor in Edinburgh; gathers that Lady Tovey has been 'very impudent.. paid all the bills, and wound everything up at the Hospital'. Worries about the damp at Hedenham and Donald's medical care; the local doctore [Dr Corbett] came to see her and was 'obviously incompetent and untruthful'. It is cruel: Donald's hands were recovering to the point that she and Mary Grierson both hoped he might be able to make some recordings of his playing; he has been 'induced to ask the university for a term's leave of absence' which means he will spend months at Hedenham. Thinks he 'would not be sane now' had it not been for the Trevelyans' intervention; also blesses Dr Bluth. The prospect of another great European war is 'the blackest cloud'. Says 'we are not really a European power'; always made her shiver when 'that kind man Mr Chamberlain... talked of Europe as if it was a schoolroom and he its governess'; keeps reading Donald's essays and remembers that her mother used to say 'Beethoven did not beg for peace, he ordered it' (quotes the German), but they cannot do that

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

93, High Street, Knaphill, Woking. - Dr Bluth and Dr de Souza, have made her 'responsible for Donald's welfare'; she knows that 'poor Lady Tovey' has never done him or John [Wellcome Tovey] 'anything but harm'. Dr de Souza has been 'most kind' and told her 'every detail of his illness and treatment'; Dr Bluth is still in the North at Newport, 'taking charge of a hospital', she has written to ask him to return by the end of the month and to Dr de Souza beginning him to keep Donald in hospital 'for at least another month' and guaranteeing the cost since she has to go to Nauheim if she is 'not to become an invalid' herself. Saw Donald last week; he 'ardently desired' a 'garden syringe to squirt water on the little people' in the garden below and a piano to play. TheX-ray shows the joints in his hands had 'not yet ankylosed' so there is 'hope of him playing and even recording' again. He must not return to Hedenham again, and she hopes 'to get him out of Royal Terrace in Edinburgh', which faces 'straight onto the seafogs at the mouth of the Firth of Forth'. Dr de Souza insists on Donald walking; she has often urged him to do so but Lady Tovey just 'murmurs "The motor is at the door" and D. obediently creeps in'.

Changes since she started writing the letter: they have given Donald a piano in the hospital; thinks there is 'nothing they would not do for him' and Dr Bluth tells her Dr de Souza 'delights in his witty and brilliant conversation'. Supposes that he will therefore stay there 'for three months or longer' and will be able to go to Nauheim without anxiety. Now worries about John: fears he has been 'completely idle at Cambridge', and Donald's 'delightful and kind nephew' Duncan says Lady Tovey gives him 'far too much money'; he is now 'idling at Hedenham'. Thanks Bessie very much for sending Dr Bluth to her; he has been 'both very clever and very kind'.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

93, High Street, Knaphill, Woking. - Describes her visit from Donald's 'local doctor' [Dr Corbett], whom she describes as 'boorish and unprepossessing', to tell her that Donald was better as he had walked from his bed to his chair; could get no information from him about Donald's diet, and lying in bed is 'very harmful to him as it was to his father'. Told Corbett that Donald's doctor was 'a very distinguished Edinburgh physician [Robert Thin] whom she had asked to attend him, but Corbett replied that they had telegraphed to say he should not come as Donald was better; she herself pays Dr Thin's fees, and he says Lady Tovey hinders him in Edinburgh as she 'does not speak the truth'; told the Norwich doctor that she had no confidence in him. Regrets that John [Wellcome Tovey] is there when he should be with her, expects 'he is in love with the "Secretary"'. Has sent a 'Lebensgang [biography]' of Donald to Dr Bluth, especially the 'opinion of the two very able doctors at Bath about 9 years ago' who told her how anxious they were about him. Now must wait for Dr Bluth's conclusions; what he has written to her so far inclines her to think favourably of him. Will be 'a bore' for him to read all she has written, but it is better than having her 'talking excitedly at him'; hopes she may see him soon. Wonders what is wrong with Lady Tovey; her mother and aunt died of cancer; is 'sure she is very infectious'.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

93, High Street, Knaphill, Woking. - Bessie's letter arrived just in time: would have started for Norwich tomorrow if had not come. The description of the doctor [Karl Bluth] sounds much like that of Adolf Schott, her doctor at Nauheim for 'some years after his justly very famous father [Theodor Schott?] died' and has now come to practise in Wimpole Street.; he is 'quite a good doctor' and studied every winter in Vienna and she thinks London, but she feels 'more Arisch [Aryan] of late' and has had some good spells at a nursing home in Nauheim. Has sometimes wondered whether Donald [Tovey] has diabetes; thinks probably not and the two 'very distinguished doctors in Bath were right'. Repeats the story she heard from a lady musician, who used to live in Vienna, last Saturday about Brahms 'longing' to hear Donald before he died. Sorry to say that when she saw the Hedenham doctor [Corbett] she 'burst into peals of laughter'; Bessie's letter gives her hope they will 'get a move on now'; she 'must certainly see [Dr Bluth]'.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

93, High Street, Knaphill, Woking. - Thanks Bessie; a comfort to know [Dr Bluth's] name and address; will "wait to hear what he has to say" then will want a 'real Aussprache [discussion]' with him; behind all Donald [Tovey]'s illnesses 'lies a most tragical story', known by the two doctors at Bath who were so anxious about him. The climate at Hedenham is an 'added evil'; she therefore offered them 'this dry little house by Bisley common' for as long as they liked; she could have stayed on in Edinburgh and Donald's 'delightful nephew' Duncan Tovey lives nearby. Instead it was decided to go to Hedenham. The Hedenham doctor [Corbett] who came to see her here struck her ' so unfavourably' that she told him she had 'no confidence in him'. If Dr Bluth comes to see her, as she hopes, asks if she could offer him a fee.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to R. C. Trevelyan

93, High Street, Knaphill, Woking. - Is getting ever more anxious about Donald [Tovey]; claims the many illnesses he has had recently 'derive from Lady Tovey' and is sorry John [Wellcome Tovey] is there; Lady Tovey has also stopped Donald's Edinburgh doctor [Robert Thin?] from coming. Says the doctor knows, as she does that Lady Tovey 'does not speak the truth'; her 'jealousy amounts to insanity'; when she was young and was jealous of the other girls 'she hid under the table and bit their legs'. When Donald escorted Sophie Weisse to the door and gave her a kiss on her first visit to the Royal Terrace house, his wife 'howled like a wolf and slammed the doors until the house shook'. On Sunday, Donald's Norfolk doctor, Corbett, came to see Miss Weisse against her wishes; she 'went into peals of laughter' and repeatedly assured him she had 'not the slightest confidence in him'. John writes today that they are waiting for Trevelyan's 'Austrian doctor' [Karl Bluth, actually German?] to make plans for Donald. Thinks well of the Viennese medical school, but demands to know who the doctor is, and what his qualifications are. Remembers that a lady she met recently at a wedding told her what a reputation Donald had in Vienna as a player, alongside people such as Joachim and Mandyczewski, and 'that Brahms when he was dying hoped Donald would come so that he might hear him before he died'. Says she 'must' see the doctor first, and will be at Hedenham when he comes; 'unless he comes here and entirely satisfies [her] - which seems hardly probable' she will do all she can 'to put him out of court'. Is thinking of coming to see Trevelyan tomorrow if he does not bring the doctor to her.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to R. C. Trevelyan

93, High Street, Knaphill, Woking. - Hears from John [Wellcome Tovey] that they are bringing an Austrian doctor [Karl Bluth, who was in fact German] to see Donald [Tovey] at Hedenham and therefore his own doctor 'an old and very distinguished man who loves him' has been sent back, having already started from Edinburgh . Will say nothing about that, nor will Dr [Robert?] Thin; 'daresay he knows Lady Tovey'. She herself has 'the most enormous respect for the Viennese medical school' and would welcome this doctor's examination of Donald as long as he 'knew all the circumstances': that until his second marriage he had never once failed to keep a musical engagement, but since then he has been 'constantly ill - chiefly in that damp hole Hedenham'. He has now lost the use of his hands [through arthritis]; she heard nothing of this until she came to Edinburgh in December and 'was stricken to the heart when he showed them' to her; always used to say that 'if Donald's hands were injured his brain would be affected', and now, 'among the meagre news of him doled out' to her she hears his brain is 'failing'. As recently as 'this last January' Lady Tovey and Miss Morah were saying 'it was just laziness if he did not practice'. Would be very grateful if Trevelyan could bring the Austrian doctor to see her here: 'Jew or Gentile' she would be 'full of respect' if he is what she knows Viennese doctors to be. She is not far away; describes the location of her 'little house'.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

18 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh. - Describes how, after a disturbed night with her 'poor patient here', she was disturbed at breakfast by Donald [Tovey] charging 'up the stair like a majestic King Elephant' saying he and the [Reid] Orchestra were 'rushing down' to the BBC House to hear a London broadcast of Donald's symphony. Describes the occasion: the orchestra all with their instruments as they had just started rehearsing, and their pleasure at hearing themselves, Donald 'sitting wrapt with his head thrown back, and Molly Grierson with every note of the score in her head'. At the end Donald got up and made a speech, looking 'as affectionately as if they were, regardless of chronology, his own children'.

Letter from Clara Tovey to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Hedenham Lodge, Bungay, Suffolk. - Thanks Bessie for her letter; she would very much like to have her here, but must say no for the moment. She had to let Miss Weisse know [about Donald's illness] on Friday but has managed so far for her not to come; she will 'of course' soon and a room must be kept for her. They have a very good nurse from the London Hospital who takes night duty and stays into the morning to settle Donald. He has no pain, just excessive weakness, and is very patient; has made more progress in the last two days than she dared hope. It will be a long time before he can do anything, and she knows she will have to call on the Trevelyans to 'come and cheer' them. With the nurse, and Miss Morah [?], and Clara having to sleep in John's room, the house will be quite full when Miss Weisse comes.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Hotel Hirschen Gunten. Direkt am Thunersee, Berner Oberland. - Has enjoyed the unexpected pleasure of having Donald [Tovey] here with her; the weather has been beautiful and he has got on very well with his work, getting through 'a slow movement which had stuck for months'. He has brought over twice as many clothes as he needs; John [his adopted son?] has packed them all beautifully but she asks Bessie to have his soiled underwear taken away, and exchanged for the clean he has with him. Also asks if she could insist on his going to his tailor's in London to be refitted, as nothing he has fits and he 'looks as if he were trussed' which is also bad for him. He has his mother's figure and 'could look very fine and majestic' if his clothes only fit properly; is eating simply and drinking little. John [Wellcome Tovey] is going to Bern with him and Andrew Fell tomorrow to set them on their journey; Donald will stay the night at Karlsruhe, dining with Sophie Weisse's cousin, then depart for London. His skin is a 'nightmare' for her: its 'unsightliness... shocks many people', but she also fears erysipelas and resulting serious illness; a 'rheumatic climate like Hedenham is the worst possible for him', along with his lack of exercise.

Card from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Mile End House, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Very kind of Bessie to make 'all that careful provision for Donald [Tovey: for his stay at the Shiffolds]'. Hopes he may soon 'dispense with invalid ways' as he longs to; the major danger is from his 'unnecessarily great weight'; he should keep to a strict diet, rise from meals hungry, and walk as much as he can outdoors. The Trevelyans' 'beautiful high place' will do him good; hopes they have good weather.

Card from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

11 Greenhill Terrace, Edinburgh. - Explains that when she came to be with her sister for a few days she learned with dismay that Donald [Tovey] was still at Hedenham; hoped that she might be able to persuade her to fetch him to the Shiffolds. When she saw him on 21 September, he was 'very well and playing excellently' so she thought he had left. Returns to Englefield Green tomorrow.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

11 Greenhill Terrace, Edinburgh. - She, Mollie Grierson, and Donald [Tovey]'s doctor are seeking help in getting Donald 'out of a very precarious situation which she cannot describe now; hopes that Bessie is at the Shiffolds and might be able to see her next week when she will be at Englefield Green again; asks her to telegraph. Donald 'practically well, and could have been convalescent and on his feet before June was out'; they are not anxious about his health.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to R. C. Trevelyan

Headed notepaper for Mile End House, Englefield Green Surrey; address crossed out, with note that tomorrow Miss Weisse goes to 11 Greenhill Terrace, Edinburgh. - Makes a few suggestions about the production of the last Act [of Donald Tovey's opera "The Bride of Dionysus"]: Ariadne should look pale after Theseus's defection; the Satyrs' exposed skin should be darkened with 'gallons of greasepaint' as the 'sight of their flabby sickly white skin last night' gave a 'positively "indelicate" effect; Ariadne should change into a maenad behind the mist as 'her long trailing bluey green robe had a Madonna-like effect' which she is sure was not intended; the scene for the enthronement [of Ariadne and Dionysus] with the square steps are 'too French ecclesiastical'.

Card from Sophie Weisse to R. C. Trevelyan

The Pantiles, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Asks Trevelyan if he could do Eugenie Schumann, and thereby her, a favour by letting her know quickly what he thinks of Marie Busch as a translator from German into English. She is telling Miss Schumann that from what little she herself saw of her, Miss Busch knew both German languages well, but would appreciate a few lines from Trevelyan. Hopes the Trevelyans, including Julian are very well. Asks in a postscript that her question be kept a secret, as Miss Schumann requested.

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