Backsettown Farmstead, Henfield, Sussex.—Thanks him for accepting her invitation (to attend the unveiling of a plaque to Elizabeth Robins), and discusses possible dates. She hopes Mollie Trevelyan and Sybil Thorndike will come.
Wallington. - Is staying in the 'Blackett' room next to Molly and Charles; Catherine [Abercrombie] is in his old bedroom over the library. Went to the Gibbet yesterday. On Friday they are going to tea with Geoffrey [Young]; unfortunately Len will not be there. Had tea with Edith Bulmer yesterday. Glad Ada is 'well and cheerful'. Has written to [Wilfrid] Gibson about 'Gibson [sic: a slip of the pen for 'Geraldine'] - rather a difficult letter to write'.
Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - They have written to Dr McKenna to see if he can see Bob on Thursday afternoon; would start home from there around 5 pm if so. Will let Bessie know as soon as possible; meanwhile the eczema seems 'a good deal better'. Kitty has gone hiking with a friend, leaving the children here. Molly's laryngitis is 'very much better'. Went to tea [with the Winthrop Youngs] at the Two Queens, which was 'very pleasant'. Charles is 'cheerful and active', and is reading "Middlemarch" to them in the evenings, which he does very well. They have seen Edith Bulmer sever times; she is worried about her boy, Martin, who 'is always getting bad colds and coughs'; she sends Bessie her love. Hopes the Bluths are well; sends his love. Hopes that Mrs MacEvoy is well, and sends 'kind remembrances' to her, Miss Goddard, and Mrs Young.
Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Cold weather here, with some rain and hail, but the house is 'kept fairly warm'. Kitty left this morning; her children stay here. Marjorie's children are 'nice but noisy, talk the whole time, but are charming and amusing'. Going to tea tomorrow to say goodbye to the Youngs. Catherine [Abercrombie] was driven by a friend to Edinburgh, and stayed a night with [her son] David. [Claude] Colleer Abbott is coming on 18 April for the night. Molly's laryngitis is better, but she needs to be careful not to talk too much. Very glad the Bluths are better; asks Bessie to give them his love. Is better himself in general, 'but it is a slow business'; the 'lotion bottle' and parcel arrived all right.
The Shiffolds [this is an error for Wallington]. - Very glad to hear from Bessie's letter that her 'oily difficulties are solved'. His legs are much better, but there is still some eczema on the thighs and arms. Very glad that Morgan Forster is recovering, if slowly. Does not know if he can find a quotation for him [for the libretto of "Billy Budd", see 3/83], but when he returns home to his books he will try; agrees it should not matter whether it is a real quotation. The paper Bessie sent was not an income tax receipt, but a tithe receipt. Went to tea at the Two Queens' yesterday; Geoffrey and Len [Winthrop Young] were both very pleasant, and they hope to see them again. Catherine [Abercrombie] is going by bus to Edinburgh to stay the night with [her son] David one day next week. Kitty's Elizabeth and Catharine arrived this morning, and he thinks Kitty and Erika come on Monday. Things 'seem to go smoothly here'; Charles is 'cheerful'; Molly's laryngitis is much better; Catherine sends love to Bessie. Hopes the Bluths will be able to come; later on if he [Karl] is not better.
Wallington. - The journey here was 'most luxurious', as Bob will have said, with a 'reserved carriage' to themselves so Bob could 'lie up all the time'. Everything needed was packed, and their welcome was 'most heartening'. Bob's leg is quickly improving, and he seems 'very well in other ways'; he is playing chess with Charles at the moment. The house is warm and everything very comfortable; 'Lady T' [Molly] is 'a dear, but has no voice [due to laryngitis]'. The only other guests are a 'weekending doctor' and his wife [Dr Boon, see 16/51] who 'come often to shoot'. Has not seen the 'treasures' yet, as Bob wants to show them her himself when he is better; the weather is still 'marvellous' so they can sit out in the sun. She was 'rather alarmed by Sir Charles at first, but that has worn off' and he is 'very kind'. Bob sends his love and will write tomorrow.
Wallington. - Has no news, though Geoffrey and Len [Winthrop Young] are coming to lunch. Will write to Tet Htoot to thank him for the letter [see 17/171]. Thinks his eczema is much better, though there are 'some bad tickles left', Charles is reading "Middlemarch" in the evening, which he does very well, 'simply, not rhetorically'. Molly's laryngitis seems to be improving, though she is still writing out words to save her voice. He is doing some translation of Homer, not much. Catherine [Abercrombie] seems well, and 'enjoys being here'. Has been to see Edith Bulmer, who is well herself but 'as usual worried by the boy [Martin]'s having a bad cold'. Hopes Elizabeth is well, and that she enjoyed Van Stuwe's visit.
Wallington. - All is well here; the house is kept 'quite warm nowadays' and they 'shut the windows more'. Is breakfasting in his room, but getting up soon after that; has been for some short walks though not yet as far as the garden; is leading a 'lazy life, lying on the sofa a great deal', but has also done some Homer translation. The house is quiet as there are no children here yet; the Weavers are coming in a few days, as are Kitty and her family. The only other guests have been 'Dr Boon and his nice wife and children' who have now left. Charles and Molly 'seem quite harmonious, and in good health except for Molly's laryngitis'. The Geoffrey Youngs have been away, but are now returned and are coming to tea tomorrow; he has been 'very unwell lately'. Bob is staying in the 'tapestry room', which is comfortable though there are 'no clothes pegs, and of course no water'; however, the house seems 'tidier and cleaner than it has been for a long time'. His eczema seems better. Hope Bessie has had a pleasant visit from van Stuwe and feels well and happy. Catherine [Abercrombie] is well, and getting on with Charles and Molly. Very kind of Tet Htoot to send the letter by Bob's grandfather [Sir Charles Edward Trevelyan: see 17/171]; will keep it to show Joan [Allen], and write to thank Tet Htoot. Asks to be remembered to Miss Goddard and the rest of the household.
Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Arrived late after a 'rather uncomfortable journey', and found the car waiting for him with 'Norah Richmond and a Miss Grant in it', who remembers meeting Bessie at Wallington; Norah is a 'handsome very independent young lady, who paints'. Is staying in the West room, he thinks for the first time. Molly 'seems cheerful' and is pleased with 'Mary's successor and with the man about the house'. The District Nurse will look after his leg. Many children here: he thinks Elizabeth, Janet and Katriona, and Marjorie's whole family will come soon as well as Patricia's two. George wants him to come [to Hallington] for a couple of nights so will probably stay on 24 and 25 August before travelling back to London on the 26th. [Claude] Colleer Abbott has written asking Bob to visit him, but he must refuse; expects he can see him soon in London. Is not too tired by the journey. Hopes Bessie had a good day in London, and had 'nice talks with Ethel and Sam [Clausen]'.
The Master's Lodge, Trinity College, Cambridge. - Thanks Bessie for Olive Heseltine's 'touching little book' ["Lost Content"], which has brought back many memories. Comments on the 'spate of these "Victorian Childhood" books' at the moment; read Molly MacCarthy's ["A Nineteenth Century Childhood"] recently, which is 'very charming.. more humorous than this and therefore lighter'. Olive always had 'rather a genius for unhappiness'. She once helped Janet to run a School Care Committee in Fulham, and she 'became quite good at it' though it was not really the right job for her; wonders what would have been. Janet has 'yielded to the doctors' and will go into the Evelyn Nursing Home in Cambridge on Friday for three weeks rest; did feel 'rather down' last week, as she has been 'winding up her job at the British Institute of Florence' and her arthritis is getting 'slowly worse'. She and Georgewere hoping to go to Florence in March, and to stay at Poggio [with Lina Waterfield], but she fears now that they will not manage. Originally encloses a Christmas card, and hopes Bessie can see it; 'Molly the Great' [Charles's wife?] took it this summer.
The Shiffolds. - Was glad to get Bessie's letter; has also had some Wallington news from Bob. Is having a pleasant visit to the Shiffolds: likes the 'helpers and servers' very much. They came to the library one evening with their little girl, and Bob read poetry to them. He and Bob have had one long game of chess, which ended in a draw; Bob seems well and very active-minded, and is translating 'Ibant obscure...' [Virgil, "Aeneid VI"]; is unhappy because he has lost the minute hand of his watch. They are discussing literary subjects and about the past. Has seen little of the 'pleasant-faced dog'. Went to tea with the Wedgwoods [Ralph and Iris] on Saturday; they sent down the car as his 'breathing-machinery' cannot cope with the hill. She should tell Charles [Trevelyan] that he has been enjoying Keith's "Memories of Wallington"; sends his greetings to him and Molly. Remembers Molly as having the sweetest reading voice he ever heard.
Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Had planned to write her next letter to Bessie, but will write instead to Bob as she wants to thank him for [the new edition of] "Windfalls"; has much enjoyed reading her 'old favourite, "Simple Pleasures"', with much else that is new. Geoffrey and Gillian are here, and they will read some of the book aloud after supper. Hopes Bob will be able to come to Wallington in either August or September, whichever suits him best. Phil [Morgan Philips Price] and Lisa will be here on 12 [August], though she believes there are no grouse; Kitty and her children go south on 9 August and will return early in September; Pauline and her children will be at Cambo all holidays; Marjorie will come for a week on 14 August then again on 28 August. Does hope Bessie will be able to come at some point.
Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - They were glad to get Bob's 'new & attractive little book [this year's "From the Shiffolds"] at Christmas', though it was not until some days of 'enforced leisure with a sore throat' that she had chance to read it: particularly likes the "Trojan Captives" and the "Veil", in which Bob makes such a 'subtle difference' between the two speakers, the Theologian and the Poet.
Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - They are still having 'wonderful weather, and not too hot', though he fears there may be drought in the South. Kitty has gone with Eka [Erika?] to Edinburgh, but they will be back on Saturday. The house has become 'rather more noisy, but not unbearably so, except at meals'; since Charles and Molly are 'both very deaf', people 'have to shout at them, and they at each other'. Gets little chance to talk to anyone, though has managed to with Kitty on the last couple of days. It will be better when Bessie is here, since Geoffrey and Len [Winthrop Young] will also be staying, and later E. M. Forster for a few days. Jarvis [?] Young is staying this weekend, whom Bob finds 'quite conversable'. Hopes that Bessie will get Julian to take her from Waterloo to Kings Cross; passes on recommendations from Jarvis Young on the journey; will talk about things when he sees her on Wednesday evening. Is going to see John Dower tomorrow for 'the third and last time'. There was a 'lovely' picnic at the Rothley Lake yesterday. Will be good to see Bessie again, even though it will only be for a short time. Has some more proofs to correct and many letters to write.
Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Kitty and Molly suggest that Bessie and Miss Cook should get a first class ticket, otherwise they may have trouble getting seats, and '[p]orters are few'. Wonders whether Julian could meet them at Waterloo and see them to Kings Cross and onto the train; otherwise they could go to London on Wednesday and stay with the Bluths or elsewhere to give them time to get to Kings Cross. Bob would come to see her after his broadcast, then go to the National Liberal Club; perhaps Julian could get Bessie and Miss Cook rooms at a hotel, since he would not.be able to put them up at [Durham] Wharf. Finding it a 'little dull' since it is hard to get conversation with all the children around and everyone so busy, though he sees John [Dower] most morning and will go for a short walk with Kitty today.
British Broadcasting Corporation, Broadcasting House, London, W.1; sent to Trevelyan c/o Lady Trevelyan, Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth, Northumberland. - Thanks Trevelyan for his letter; he is right to assume he will be reading his translations as well as the script for his talk on Catullus.
Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Marked 'Private'. Bessie's letter with enclosures came this morning; thought what Rex Warner said about Lucretius was quite good, though agrees with Bessie it was 'quite dull and wordy'; he should not have quoted 'so many Latin lines on end'. Does not know whether they [the BBC?] will let him read his script and the quotations, and will 'make a stand' if necessary. [Edgar] Bainton was 'very nice in his gentle friendly way' and did not seem much older. He is seeing BBC people tomorrow, and would like to see Bob again at the Shiffolds; perhaps that could be arranged at the end of August or beginning of September, as Bainton will quite soon return to Australia. Saw van Stuve briefly, who was very sorry he could not visit Bessie. Julian seemed 'quite cheerful'; he had enjoyed Frants [Röntgen?]'s visit and they got on well together. Agrees Miss Cook is 'a surprizing person'; expects she will enjoy herself at Wallington and get on with people. Miss Clark is here for several days, 'which is rather a bore'. Kitty is looking forward to seeing Bessie; her children are amusing; Elizabeth is 'quite a comic actor', and he expects 'rather a problem'. Has had 'rather a sad letter' from Irene [Cooper Willis?], whose little niece Patience is leaving England for good soon because her parents are going to live in Trinidad. Irene will be back on the 22nd so Bob will see her some time. Tells Bessie not to worry about the poems in his bureau drawer; had thought of showing a few to John [Dower] or Kitty. George Mac[aulay Trevelyan?] is coming tomorrow, so Bob will see him. Wonders if Bessie has heard anything definite from Miss Dyson. Has 'hardly seen Charles or Molly to talk to yet'; there was a Women's Institute meeting here yesterday.
Robin Ghyll, Langdale, Ambleside. - Returns to Cambridge on 7 September. Saw Molly at Wallington last week, who proposed appointing the Public Trustee instead of George and Bob; George thought this was 'an excellent idea' and she is going ahead with it. Neither of them are business men, and Maurice [Bell]'s death is 'difficult to make good'. Will communicate with Bob again when Molly sends the preliminary documents to Cambridge. The Public Trustee manages his own marriage settlement by their father 'quite satisfactorily'.
The Master's Lodge, Trinity College, Cambridge. - Originally enclosing 'a satisfactory letter from Molly'; asks Bob to sign the document above his own signature and return it. They also have Molly's consent to 'invest the proceeds in a Government security', which will entail one of them visiting Drummonds [Bank]; he is going to the cottage at Hallington (and elsewhere) between 24 July and about 5 September; would be happy to do it on his return if Bob has not or does not want to do it. Best to send letters to the Lodge to be forwarded.
The Master's Lodge, Trinity College, Cambridge. - Apologises for asking in his letter yesterday whether Bob had received his book ["English Social History: A Survey of Six Centuries: Chaucer to Queen Victoria"], when Bob's letter of 7 August mentions its arrival. Janet is reading [Bob's] "Windfalls" 'with great delight"; George has said how much he himself enjoyed it. They will look out for Robert Lloyd when term begins.
Hallington Hall, Newcastle-on-Tyne. - Sends Bob an enclosure to 'deal with'. He and Janet are here in the gardener's cottage for August. The hospital in the Hall is 'full of convalescent wounded from Normandy - nice fellows who like the quiet of the place'. Charles and Molly 'seem well and happy'. The news of Tom [Sturge] Moore's death made him think very much 'about old days'; there was a 'nice article' about him by Desmond [MacCarthy] in the "Sunday Times". Hopes that Bob will soon get a copy of his new book, in fact written 'some years ago' ["English Social History: A Survey of Six Centuries: Chaucer to Queen Victoria "], which he has asked Longmans to send.
The Master's Lodge, Trinity College, Cambridge. - Is also sending this letter to Aunt Annie [Philips], Humphry and Mary. Charles, largely on his wife and George's advice, has decided to hand over the Wallington house and estate to the National Trust at once, reserving a life interest for himself in its management; he requests the National Trust to allow Molly, or one of his children, to stay in the rent for a nominal amount after his death, and for the NT to vest the management of the estate in one of his children; the NT have agreed to declare their intention to do so, though they cannot put themselves under legal obligation without also incurring death duties; George states that the Trust will 'certainly fulfil its promise'. He himself approves of the arrangement, having as Executor of Charles's Will urged it on him since it avoids death duties. Did 'not take a decided view' on whether Wallington ought to be left to the Trust, but when he saw that Charles was determined to do so he became his Executor to 'make it easy as possible for all concerned'; the war and 'probable state of things' afterwards make him 'more favourably disposed towards the plan', as he is convinced that neither [Charles's son] George nor anyone else would be able to 'run the estate burdened with death duties without selling the treasures of Wallington or large parts of the estate or both', and so on 'from generation to generation'. A lengthy handwritten final paragraph acknowledges that the younger George has been 'hardly treated in not being more consulted and given a more definite place in the arrangement'; yet he previously 'showed no interest in Wallington' and his father is determined 'not to treat him as "an eldest son"; given that, the new arrangement is much the best for George.
Garden Corner, West Road, Cambridge. - Thanks Bob for his "Letter to Joan" [Allen, in Bob's privately printed "From the Shiffolds"]: it is a great thing to be able to express what one feels 'in this utter dissolution of all things that are good', and one needs to be, as Bob is, 'both poet and philosopher'. He himself is 'neither, creatively', but finds comfort in great poetry. Has been reading "[King] Lear", as well as [A.C] Bradley and Granville-Barker on the play. Feels "Lear" has a 'happy ending' even without [Nahum] Tate's alterations, since '[a]ll the bad people are killed and most of the good left to rule the land. In the real world this does not happen'. Notes in a postscript that the people at Wallington 'seem friendly & happy: Molly [is] much happier'.
The Park, Prestwich, Manchester. - Very kind of Robert to send her the 'splendid new edition' of his "Collected Works": it is a 'joy to touch such excellent paper' as well as to read Robert's 'charming' earlier poems again; thanks him for inscribing it to her. Had read about the forthcoming publication of this new edition in the "Times". Asks him to hand an enclosure to Elizabeth: hopes her 'general health' is still good, and wonders when her next eye operation is due. Glad Elizabeth can soon go to Wallington; is sure the 'change & air there do her much good'. It is very kind of Molly to take in the Trevelyans' guests as well; wonders whether they will go north by car or train. If Bob later visits the Bottomleys [Gordon and Emily], hopes they will drive him to The Park to visit her as they did some years ago. Very glad that Alice [Elms?] is 'safe back at the Shiffolds" and can 'move about a little'.
Hallington Hall, Newcastle-on-Tyne (22 miles). - Agrees that 'things seem to be going better in the Wallington family' [see 14/138]; Molly is 'very grateful' to Bob. Discussed Bob's 'kind suggestion' about the classics books which used to belong to Macaulay with Charles last night: both think the idea that they should go to Trinity or Wallington 'excellent', and that Trinity would be best 'as more classical scholars will always be assembled there': Macaulay's journals, which George has given to Trinity, have 'already been much studied there'. Otherwise Wallington in the hands of the N.T. [National Trust] would be a 'permanent resting place'. Asks if he may discuss Bob's suggestion of leaving the Greek classics to Humphry for his life with Humphry when he visits in a few days.
Garden Corner, West Road, Cambridge. - Thinks things are going well about [Charles's son] George, thanks to Bob's 'most kind intervention'. Both Georges wrote to Moll, and she has 'played up' and almost certainly persuaded Charles to postpone the announcement [about his intention to leave Wallington to the National Trust] until the Tenants' Party on 1 August, and to write a 'nice letter' to his son inviting him for next weekend. This change of plan is good as regards the tenants, who 'ought not to read of [Charles's intentions] first in the papers'. Best not to mention it to anyone else; only a few NT officials will know there has been any postponement. Thanks Bob again for what he did.
Greatwood, Falmouth, Cornwall. - Has had a pleasant week with Lord Stonehaven, head of the Conservative Central Office; conversation on Beaverbrook and Mosley has been congenial though international relations and war have been more difficult topics. Much likes Hilton [Young]. Has enjoyed seeing Lady Falmouth [Kathleen, wife of 7th Viscount Falmouth?] and taking tea at the Orangery at Trevissick. Is going tomorrow to see the Arnold Forsters. Has been reading Augustine's Confessions with interest; wonders why religion makes people 'so denunciatory'; possible role of religion 'for the masses' of making the world 'more odd and interesting' as 'cultivation' does for him. Two children here: Wayland H. Young is 'competent, cocky and insolent', and his friend Tony White, whose mother might know the 'C. Trevys', and who suffers like Forster from night-terrors exacerbated by Hilton's reading aloud of [Conan Doyle's] 'The Speckled Band'.
Furzen Wood, Abinger, Dorking. - Sends a bill for Julian to pay, and asks him to return the small one she sent him so that she can deal with it as she proposed. Glad to get Julian's letter, as she wondered how he was getting on since her departure. Hopes the furniture he is bought from the 'marché de Puce [flea market]' really is 'puceless'. Uncle Charles has resigned office [as Labour minister for education]; though his reasons 'must have seemed imperative to him'; she and Bob think it 'very unwise', and his political career is now at an end. His criticism of the Government was also 'rather unfortunate' when they were 'doing so well over Indian settlement & Naval agreements'. Charles may well lose his seat; it would be 'disastrous if he did not have Wallington estate as his absorbing interest'; she thinks he and Molly are 'doing splendid work there'. Has been reading Will Rothenstein's memoirs ["Men and Memories"]; Julian should look at it if he can, as it is about artistic life in Paris in the 1880s and 1890s, which would amuse him. Still struggling with her 'cold and lumbago' and will not go to London until she has got rid of it. She and Bob had to meet [Kenneth?] Cross at the Shiffolds, and Bob 'made great strides in settling abt his shelves and cupboards'. The attic, with 'its big dormer to the front' is now a 'splendid' room with a fine view; it will be 'the nicest room in the house'. She then had tea with Mrs [Margaret] Vaughan Williams, who 'kept saying jokingly' that she was not allowed to do or have certain things, 'as if Constance [her daughter in law] was hectoring her'. Constance and Hervey came in later; they are 'kind, but C is bossy of course, but then Mrs V W is very independent'. She wanted to know all about Paris and Julian's flat. Bessie is very glad Julian is eating more, so 'will avoid the transparency of the Eiffel tower'. Asks who cooks 'that beautiful breakfast'; longs for 'those epinards [spinach] aux croutons', as 'England is entirely devoid of decent vegetables' at the moment. Asks to be remembered to [George] Reavey.
The Park, Prestwich, Manchester. - Thanks Caroline for her 'kind letter of sympathy' on Elizabeth's 'troublesome lumbago'; this is 'nothing at all serious, only it makes one quite helpless at the time'. Is getting better 'rapidly' now, as she has Aunt Annie's 'excellent doctor' and now knows what to do. Is 'dreadfully sorry to have upset everybody's arrangements; Aunt Annie has been wonderfully kind' in arranging for her to stay on. Wilmshurst gives her 'a good rubbing night and morning', and the housemaid is also 'most kind' and 'seemed a perfect nurse'. Has been 'up and about again' since yesterday, and finds she can do more each day.
Julian seems to have enjoyed being with Caroline [at Wallington] 'so much'; he wrote to her 'very happily' and is 'no doubt having a very gay time up at the top'. Hopes she will be able to travel on Tuesday, and then she and Julian will meet at Scarborough. Hears Molly took a 'photograph of you and Grandpapa and all [the grandchildren? Letter breaks off here].