Part of Papers of Julian Trevelyan
Part of Papers of Julian Trevelyan
I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Bessie should not be so distressed by the disappearance of his letters to Bob. Good to hear of Julian's successes. The trials of old age.
I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Agrees that it is difficult to destroy personal letters, though one knows they will interest others either too much or not at all; understands how she clings to those Bob wrote to her. If she comes across letters he himself wrote to Bob, please do send them on. Hopes she is getting on well with her son and his wife.
Plas Penrhyn, Penrhyn Deudraeth, Merioneth. - Bertie's throat is much improved, he has indeed had several operations under anaesthetic before. The Russells are very glad Elizabeth likes Bertie's BBC literary talks, and that she is well enough to go up to London for the day, even if it is to see the doctor. Wishes they could meet at Julian's Boat Race Party, but the Russells cannot go to town so soon, even if invited, and if Elizabeth is not they will have to make their own party. Had a very nice letter from Mary and Julian. Very good Elizabeth has an 'old companion' to help her to sort letters, which is a 'sad occupation' though she agrees it is 'bearable after a length of time'. Everything in Wales is very beautiful at the moment. Bertie is writing an article against the hydrogen bomb, having just finished a philosophical essay.
Plas Penrhyn, Penrhyn Deudraeth, Merioneth [headed notepaper, but letter seems to be written from London]. - Bertie has had a thorough examination of his throat after weeks of trouble with it, and there is no cause for alarm; everyone is much relieved. Sorry they will not be able to visit the Shiffilds, but Bertie has much work to get done. Distressed that Elizabeth has had a lengthy infection, hopes it is now cleared up, and that they will be able to visit in the spring. The 'poor Woods' have been ill as well, Mary with a mysterious infection and Alan with nasal trouble which requires an operation. They have not seen John; fears he is no better. The grandchildren are very well, 'growing up to be nicer and nicer', and enjoy their new school. The Russells love living in Wales, though they would prefer more sun; the only thing Edith misses about Richmond is the Park. Glad to hear happy news of Mary, Julian, and Elizabeth's grandson; hopes to see them as well when they return to London.
Plas Penrhyn, Penrhyn Deudraeth, Merioneth. - Has been waiting for the BBC to send a list of dates when Bertie will be wanted for broadcasting to reply to Elizabeth, as they plan to call on her at the Shiffolds on the way back from London; they have heard nothing from the BBC but no plan to come towards the end of the month or the beginning of October, after the children have gone to their new school. Difficulties with selling their Richmond house. The children have being 'angels' this summer, unlike 'last summer's devilments'. Bertie is working on a new book, which she is glad of: philosophy serves as a 'counter-irritant to the perfect horrors in the political world': finds the 'war whoops' of the British government, supported by Gaitskell [over Suez] astounding; supposes the matter will go to the U.N.; she 'can hardly bear regarding Dulles as a dove of peace'. The Russells were very interested to hear about the Waleys. Likes to think of Mary and Julian enjoying the sunshine in Italy: there is so much rain in Wales they 'are rapidly developing fins and scales'.
41 Queen's Road, Richmond, Surrey. - Wishes they could come to the Shiffolds, but 'as usual' they are too busy for the next few weeks; they are selling the house and preparing to move to North Wales, and also to put the children into a new school nearer there. They do hope to come and visit before they leave, hiring a car and also calling on Flora Russell at Albury. Have received a card for Mary [Fedden's] show at the Redfern Gallery and hope to get to it: have not seen her or Julian since the boatrace, and have never seen many of their paintings. Have not seen the Woods [Alan and Mary] since returning from Wales; is afraid they have had a difficult time but hope things are going better for them now. Encloses a blurb of a book of Bertie's ["Portraits from Memory and Other Essays"?] which she thinks may interest Elizabeth.
41 Queen's Road, Richmond, Surrey. - The Russells were sorry not to see Elizabeth at Julian and Mary's Boat Race Party; however, they enjoyed themselves and saw many old friends. Trying to sell the Richmond house; looking forward to going to the Welsh house for the children's holiday, as they hear the spring flowers are coming out and hope the Chinese geese are beginning to lay eggs. Bertie can get on with his work much better there than in Richmond. They will keep on the London flat and so hope a visit to the Shiffolds will be managed. The Woods have brought good news of Elizabeth; glad she coped with the cold spell. Bertie has been busy recently with the case of Morton Sobell; wonders if Elizabeth saw his letter in the "Manchester Guardian" last Monday [26 March]. The hope is to 'stir up opinion in this country' to force the U.S. authorities to act. The case, and others similar, provide 'a splendid quarry for Communist propaganda' which does 'much harm the world over'. Bertie has been getting letters asking him to take on their own case: a pity 'he is not a hydra and an octopus rolled into one, and with the energy of a hydrogen bomb to boot!'
41 Queen's Road, Richmond, Surrey. - Lovely to have news straight from Bessie, rather than through [Alan and Mary] Wood, 'dears though they are'; it is kind of her to invite them for the Christmas holiday, but they are going to Wales with the three grandchildren as soon as they return from school; they have just heard that their 'daily' there has to go into hospital, so their domestic troubles will continue. Looks forward 'to cooking a turkey for 10 or 12 people in an oven into which it will not fit. Is glad Miss Jones is still living with Bessie and hopes she will be able to find someone to read to her 'who loves the country. The people who interrupted at the Central Hall meeting were an organised band called the "Royal Imperialists" whose stated concern is "to uphold the Empire"; very silly, but no more so than the article in this week's "Time and Tide" on India; 'amazing how many people...feel they can achieve great things by not looking at facts and merely calling everybody they don't like nasty names'; this includes the Russians, who are 'lying in India now'. Is very glad Julian and Mary are so happy, and about Julian's successful show.
I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Has received and praises the speech given by Bessie at the opening of Robert's library [at Bickbeck College, London; also glad to see Forster's speech. It must have been a pleasing and happy occasion. He and Nicky are glad she has good friends in England, and he wishes he could travel and see her again. The 'Julian couple' were charming.
41 Queen's Road, Richmond, Surrey. - Glad to hear that Bessie is settled with such a nice couple. Would like to visit, but they are away on the Continent in September; asks if they might visit for a day when they return. The children [Russell's grandchildren?] are here now; they are going to Cornwall to stay with Dora until school starts in September. Mary [Fedden] and Julian must have had a 'glorious holiday' in the sun; the Russells were in luck to have the sun shine on them in 'that lovely azalea wood' where they walked with Bessie in May or June.
The Mill House, Stanford Dingley, nr Reading, Berks. - Has written to tell Sir Edward Bridges that he can see the copy of his father's "Testament of Beauty" [a proof copy, with notes by R. C. Trevelyan] when he himself returns from Italy. Can 'almost compete with Julian over his story about the lion': relates a conversation he overhead in a Chelsea pub about an alligator in someone's room. Has not had an invitation to the opening of the library [the R. C. Trevelyan Memorial Library at Birkbeck College, London] but would love to attend.
I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Glad Bessie is in better health and spirits; he himself suffers but this is to be expected at nearly 89. Bessie's friend Mr Rees may visit I Tatti, and Berenson himself will be happy to see him if there and well enough. Molly Nicolson visited recently, before that Cyril Connolly; they are expecting Rosamond Lehmann and Ernest Hemingway. His book on Piero della Francesca will not appear before July.
Witte Huis. - The mild weather has turned to an 'old fashioned winter' so Arend [her son] has gone skating at Vinkeveen. Jan [her husband] has not yet been skating, but will do so when it turns less cold. He has been for a short stay in Mürren and Lauterbrunnen [Switzerland] as chef d'équipe of the Dutch students skiing group. Julie Graffman [her daughter] is staying here at the moment with her youngest child Sture; Holger [Julie's husband] is coming in about four days and they will all then travel to America. Six architects have also been staying, one of them Lucia [another daughter]'s husband [Van Ginkel]. Two of the architects are English - John Voelcker, and Peter Smithson, who knows Julian and 'thinks highly of him' - they are leaving tomorrow. All the architects love the Paddestoel [Lucia Hubrecht's house] and also think the Witte Huis 'very charming': how her aunt Bramine and Alphonse Grandmont 'knew how to live!', though she herself would like to be in Sicily [where Bramine Hubrecht and Alphonse Hubrecht also had a house] now for the winter. Sends her own love and that of Jan, who is sitting by the fire downstairs reading to Julie, Lucia, and the wife of a friend of Arend who works at the United Nations in America. Tante Liesje [?] is 'the same & well looked after'.
I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Thanks for the letter and the anthology of Bob's poetry. A pity that Desmond [MacCarthy] did not live to write about Bob. Has Forster's and Virginia Woolf's last books but has not yet read them: the number of periodicals he must read leaves little time for books. Nicky reads them to him but it is slow going; the current book is Iris Origo's biography of Leopardi. Julian must come and visit next time he is in Italy.
I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Apologises for not replying sooner to Bessie's last letter, having been too weak to write after flu. The market value of books is poor, so he is afraid she will not be able to meet her 'great expectations' for Bob's books: large edition of Botticelli drawings now an 'encumbrance'. Glad to hear Julian does well; remembers he had a good sense of colour. Also glad his second marriage is a success. Fears he will never see England again.
Still lifes, including fruit, books, flowers; sketch of landscape [perhaps from the garden of the Shiffolds]; portraits.
Some sketches are on the back of three loose pages headed 'Fascism in Practice - Proposed Exhibition', outlining plans for the transfer of an exhibition due to open in Paris in February to London and perhaps Bristol, Manchester and other cities. The exhibition is to be divided between a historical section on the rise of fascism and one on "Fascism the Enemy of Culture". Gives names of the 'executive committee' (Chairman: Professor P.M. S. Blackett: Treasurer: Lord Ivor Churchill; Secretary: Ralph Wright; other members such Wickham Steed, Princess Antoine Bibesco; Robert Boothby MP, Amabel Williams-Ellis) and 'general committee' (including Harold Laski, Kingsley Martin, George Lansbury, Storm Jameson and Virginia Woolf.
Has just got Bessie's letter: as Mr Orchard says this is 'the best solution', and Julian agrees, it had 'better be done as soon as possible'. Has been 'rather poorly' but is now much better, and is hoping to go to Cambridge on 15 or 16 February. Mr McEvoy seems pretty well, but is going back to hospital next week. Bob's book ["Translations from Greek Poetry"] is out; he has sent copies to Dora Sanger, Mary Fletcher, and the Bluths. Hopes Bessie is getting better.
Gorringes, Downe, Kent. - He and his wife thank Bob and Bessie for the 'charming' poems [this year's "From the Shiffolds"]: 'so regular & pleasant a part of Christmas'. Afraid he knew nothing beforehand of Leopardi, but now thinks him a 'very fine fellow', unless 'all the goodness' in truth comes from Bob. Philip [Bob's grandson] is here for Christmas 'very big & jolly with... [an] accent of the most bucolic character'. Thinks he is going to see his father [Julian] after Christmas. Philip is 'longing' for it to snow, a desire Bernard does not share.
5 Keats Grove, Hampstead, N.W.3. - Thanks Bob for his Leopardi poems [in this year's "From the Shiffolds"]: this is '[j]ust the weather to think of the coldness of having to die'. Hopes to see another spring, and that Bob also feels that way. Regrets that 'dear Olive [Heseltine]' has died; glad that she bought her last book and kept her last letters. Is 'pretending, if not actually hoping' to go and stay with Florence and Max [Beerbohm, in Rapallo] in May, and may be 'game for anything' if she gets through the winter. Is hoping to meet Walter de la Mare at the Rostrevor Hamilton's house tomorrow at tea. Adds a post-script saying that since Bob sent her two copies of his book, she will give one to de la Mare tomorrow: 'poets are the best audience, poets can find'. The Rostrevor Hamiltons are now at Swan House, Chiswick, which was once the Squires'. Very 'silly' of Julian and Ursula to 'sever [divorce] instead of accumulating memories'; these may 'make one sadder but they stretch ones range of feeling'.
Very glad that Bessie is 'comfortable and doing well'. Mr MacEvoy went yesterday; 'he seemed cheerful, and so did she'; admires 'their way of taking it very much'. They [Catherine Abercrombie and Bob] came back from Leith Hill Place this morning; he is quite well, and sleeps through the night. Will be good to see Bessie again; could come up to town and visit next week, on 14 or 15 December; asks what time would be best to call. Julian and Mary came on Sunday, and seemed 'quite cheerful and happy'.
50 Gordon Square, W.C. - Apologises for not thanking Bob for his 'delightful' "From the Shiffolds"; there is a great deal he likes "very much", such as that 'things like "Krishna to Radha" have a strict form'. Offers the suggestion that 'nothing' rather than 'naught' on page 10 would 'make better music'. They [he and Beryl de Zoete] have just been staying a week at Ramsbury in Wiltshire, to be near Gerald Brenan; describes the countryside and calls it 'delightful'. Hopes the Trevelyans are well; has seen Julian, who had recently been with them and said they had 'chuckled over [Arthur's] letter to the Times".
Wallington. - The [Cambo] Exhibition went quite well, with only a couple of short rain-storms; watched the sheep-dog trials, and went through the tent which was full of exhibits. Today is wet, but not cold; he is well 'with less tickles [from eczema]'. Catherine [Abercrombie] also seems all right, and is sleeping well. Has not yet seen Edith Bulmer, but has arranged to visit her tomorrow. Geoffrey Young and Len had to go south to see a very ill friend, but they will probably return tomorrow. Geoffrey Trevelyan is here with his child and Gillian; likes 'him a lot, her rather less so'. Liked Clough W. Ellis very much; he 'drew out Charles to talk, and did something to cheer up George'. Sorry to miss Julian and Mary; hopes they will come again soon;; sad about Hogarth. Does not think his spectacles are ready, but Catherine has heard from Odell's about hers; they will pick them up on their way home through London.
Garricks Villa. - Very sorry to hear from Bessie that he is ill, and has been worse; however, George got over his far worse pulmonary attack, and the Trevelyans are tough, like 'not a few of the old families in England'. Wants more news, but is writing to Bessie and Catherine Abercromby [sic: Abercrombie?] so Trevelyan should not trouble to write himself. Discusses the pleasure he gets from Trevelyan's writing, which if 'civilisation founders' due to expanding population, 'sentimental humanitarianism... coupled with practical callousness' and 'scientific technology' (television, for instance, is an 'asinine invention') has been loyal to the 'sinking ship'. Met a friend of Julian's recently, who told him that Julian is happy and has found a partner [Mary Fedden], and that Ursula has also found 'consolation' [Norman Mommens]; Trevelyan and Bessie must be relieved. Had a letter from Dorothy Moore yesterday, with two pots of marmalade, saying that Moore was well. Molly wants to 'hoof him out of England' for a while for his health, so he plans to stay with Somerset Maugham at Cap Ferrat in March, and would like to see Trevelyan before he goes; thinks he will ask to Iris and Ralph [Wedgwood] to put him up so that he can visit without being a strain at the Shiffolds.
13-A, Kutchery Road, Karachi (Pakistan). - Is coming to England on Government business; hopes to be in London on 27 July and to see old friends like Trevelyan. Was very pleased by Trevelyan's comments on his translation from the Chinese [of the poems of Li Yu / Lee Hou-Chu, done with Liu Yih-Ling]; there is no-one after old [Robert] Bridges whose opinion on diction and rhythm he values as much, and Trevelyan's praise has emboldened him to undertake another literary work which he wants to discuss. Is sorry to hear about Julia and Ursula [their separation].
Penralltgoch, Festiniog, Merioneth. - Has returned from Taormina; much enjoyed making friends with Julian, who reminded him strongly of Bob. He and Peter are 'parting amicably'; she is in London for the moment and he is in Wales. He has to come to London for B.B.C. presenting and would like to spend a night at the Shiffolds: would prefer May 19 but could do May 18.
Casa Cuseni, Taormina, Sicily. - Julian seems very contented, works all day, talks and laughs a lot in the evening, and they find him 'very charming'. This is an ideal place for him; the house is full of people, all 'very friendly and companionable'. Knows it is hard to guess how people are really feeling, but it seems he is being 'soothed and rested'. She came out here without the doctors' permission and is feeling better than she has for months.
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.
East Lodge, Vigo, South Holmwood. - Very kind of the Trevelyans to think of him and his wife at Christmas; they 'fully appreciate' Trevelyan's 'little book of poems' [this year's "From the Shiffolds"]. Particularly appreciates the 'loving tribute to Lowes Dickinson', who was a 'great man in the real sense of the word'. They were pleased to hear Julian on the Third [Programme: BBC radio], and have 'watched his advance with particular interest'. Sends best wishes for the New Year.
Will be all right about the [Italian] lire: has heard from [Umberto] Morra, who says that he will have necessary money for the Deuchars; this letter crossed with one from Bob explaining that the Deuchars are not coming to Italy but that Julian is. Has asked Morra where he will be around 22-24 February; expects he will be at Rome. Bessie is not very well; it is not serious but will keep her from Roland [Vaughan Williams]'s funeral at Wooton tomorrow, but Bob must go.