Showing 571 results

Archival description
Tovey, Sir Donald Francis (1875-1940) knight, music scholar and composer
Print preview View:

Letter from Pau Casals to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Prades. - He understands the joy she takes in her nephew's company: Joachim is 'un garcon et un artiste de premiere ordre', and strongly resembles his father. His feeling for the [Prades] Festival, and his collaboration, are very important to Casals. Is happy about the arrangement for Robert Trevelyan's library [at Birkbeck College, London], it is just the right tribute to his memory. His compatriot Corredor is preparing a book of conversations with him: Röntgen, Tovey and Moór will figure as both great musicians and friends. Thinks Corredor will strike the right note. He is in the middle of preparations for the festival; many of the musicians have already arrives. Knows she would enjoy the music and the atmosphere.

Letter from Pau Casals to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Prades. - The arrangement she has made for her husband's library seems a good one; he, like she, is sure that Robert Trevelyan would approve. He thinks often of Robert and of their friend Donald Tovey. Is sorry to hear of Joachim's rheumatic pains and hope they have ceased; soon he will receive an invitation for the [Prades] Festival and it would give Casales joy to work with him as in other years.

Letter from M. N. O. Baily to R. C. Trevelyan, with postcard

25 Gillespie Road, Colinton, Edinburgh. - Thanks Trevelyan for the Homeric Hymn [in this year's "From the Shiffolds"]. Has no knowledge of Greek, but has always been 'attracted' Greek art and myth; there is a tendency in her family to believe they lived in Greece in a former incarnation. Repeats how much she admires Trevelyan's "Bride of Dionysus" [written with Donald Tovey]; was 'one of the greatest experiences' of her life to study it then see the performances; values above all the 'spiritual significance of Ariadne's translation'. Is currently studying the score of Strauss's "Ariadne auf Naxos", which will be performed at the Edinburgh Festival next year; it seems 'clever and amusing', and there are some 'charming melodies', but it is a great contrast to Trevelyan's version.

Her Christmas greetings are late as her housekeeper's son has been ill; they had an 'anxious time' but he is well now. Encloses a postcard of herself from the time when she '"created" the part of Solveig' in her sister Isabelle Pagan's translation of Ibsen's "Peer Gynt" in 1908. This, in Edinburgh, was the first production of "Peer Gynt" in Britain; it was later produced at the Little Theatre in London with the 'help of professionals'. Thinks the play can be compared with Goethe's "Faust", as it has 'the same "eternal womanly" theme', though Ibsen 'makes the ethical teaching clearer'. There was a performance of "Faust" here in Edinburgh in September, by a German company [Gründgens]; the diction and acting were very good, but the scenery 'disappointing' and the lighting 'far below' what she has seen in Britain; they 'avoided magical moments' with blackouts, which was 'very tantalising'.

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

4 Crabbe Street, Aldeburgh. - Thanks Trevelyan for his translation of the [Homeric] "Hymn to Demeter". Has not answered Bessie's letter about the "Picture Post" article: the libretto [for "Billy Budd"] has reached its final form. Reads to Forster more like a play, but Britten and [Eric] Crozier are satisfied. Asks if Trevelyan can suggest anyone to do the scenery: that for the "Bride of Dionysus" was lovely. Has to have another prostate operation next month; wanted to finish the libretto and have his picture painted for King's. Likes the surgeon, [Alexander] Roche, who is confident; May Buckingham has offered to nurse him after the operation. Is having a pleasant party with Ben [Britten], Peter Pears etc.

Letter from Norman Peterkin to R. C. Trevelyan

Oxford University Press Music Dept., 36 Soho Square, London, W.1. - Very kind of Trevelyan to write about Peterkin's retirement, and send him his "From the Shiffolds". Will continue to help the Press in various ways, as they have asked, and is 'very glad to do so', but this will be in the 'background' so he will not have the 'heavy responsibility of the lsat few years and... be tied down' as he is now. Is not giving up for reasons of health, though has been told he should take things easier: always thought of himself as 'simply the utility man who had to step in... when Foss dropped out', and keep the department going through the war; now feels the 'post war conditions' should be the concern of the younger men whom he has been training. Wants to take up many interests again, though doubts whether he will want to return to composing: has 'had enough of music' at the Press. '[Donald] Tovey matters are well in hand', and his "Essays" should be published in spring. All the Tovey material Foss had collected was sent up to Dr [Molly] Grierson a while ago; thinks she has found things she wanted. Saw the first chapters of her book [a biography of Tovey] some time ago and liked them, but has no recent news of it. Sends best wishes to Trevelyan and his wife for Christmas and the New Year.

Letter from Pau Casals to Elizabeth Trevelyan

1, Route de Canigou, Prades. - Thanks her for her letter; he had already been happy to receive the postcard from Johannes [Röntgen?] and his wife during their stay with Elizabeth, imagining their pleasure at being together and also that music would not be neglected. Was happy to learn that Miss Sampson was there too: she is charming and an exquisite musician. At Prades they have also had lots of music, with his students, friends, and colleagues, during the spring and for a good part of the summer. This has been a marvellous cure for him, as opportunities to play chamber music are rare. Had the pleasure of meeting Joachim and his wife in Zurich, with his friends the Seilers, and they played together. Joachim is a worthy representative of the Röntgen name. Had not known that Mary Grierson was working on a biography of Donald [Tovey]; cannot think of anyone more suitable for the task. Asks when the work will be ready, and requests that she congratulates Dr Grierson from him. Sends best wishes to Elizabeth's husband.

Letter from Alan Frank at Oxford University Press to R. C. Trevelyan

Oxford University Press, Music Department (Editorial), 38A Soho Square, London, W.1. - Believes Trevelyan saw the proofs of the volume of essays and lectures by [Donald] Tovey, which is to be published by O.U.P. this year; is keen to find a 'more interesting title' than the present 'Essays and Lectures on Music', which is not only dull but risks confusion with Tovey's "Essays in Musical Analysis" series. Has been suggested that the essay "The Main Stream of Music" should give its name to the book, but this 'probably will not do' [in fact this was the title eventually used]. Encloses an uncorrected set of proofs [no longer present]; Trevelyan will see that the work will be published in one volume, not two as first planned; both he and [Geoffrey] Cumberlege would be very grateful if he can suggest anything. Is also consulting [Hubert] Foss on the subject.

Letter from M. N. O. Baily to R. C. Trevelyan

25 Gillespie Road, Colinton, Edinburgh. - Much appreciates Trevelyan's 'Christmas greetings' [this year's poetry booklet "From the Shiffolds". In his "To Marjory Allen" he expresses what many think at present; is sure that as he says the 'remedy sorely needed is the union of intellect with charity'; so few people attain the 'perfect balance' of reason and love. Is also familiar with the experience, as in "To Know and Not to Feel", of an 'inner deadness' when one is 'fatigued or not in tune' with the occasion; has felt it at a concert; luckily these are 'only lapses'. Has recently learnt from Schauffler's biography of Beethoven ["The man who freed music"] that sketches of a tenth symphony were found among the composer's papers after his death; it was intended to be a 'piece of programme music where Bacchus was to appear in person'. Wonders if Trevelyan and Sir Donald [Tovey] knew this [given their opera, "The Bride of Dionysus"]. Was 'positivity excited' to read that Bettina Brentano wrote to Goethe that Beethoven had told her that 'music... is the wine which inspires to new acts of creation: and I am Dionysus..'; Schauffler thinks that this is 'Bettina's own thunder' rather than Beethoven's, but she notes the closeness of the metaphor to Trevelyan's words in the last act of the "Bride".

Wishes she could reciprocate with poetry of her own, but she has only written one in her life and will 'spare' him; has not had any of her 'attempts at music' printed, so encloses some lines from a friend who died last year [no longer present].

Letter from H. J. C. Grierson to R. C. Trevelyan

12 Regent Terrace, Edinburgh. - Very kind of Trevelyan to send his work [this year's "From the Shiffolds"]; glad to get the poems for 'their own sake' and also that Trevelyan is well, as he had heard he had not been 'in good health'. Hopes soon to send some verse translations of his own; the publisher is looking for a printer as they are currently all very busy. Glad to have the poem recalling [Goldsworthy] Lowes Dickinson; the time has 'run away' since he saw him in Cambridge. Misses [Donald] Tovey 'sadly'; he with another Trevelyan did not know, are the colleagues he recalls 'with greatest pleasure & regret'. Quotes a line of poetry with approval. Many troubles 'beset old age: arthritis, eczema, bad sleeping etc. etc.' Hopes Trevelyan is better. Is printing a volume of essays. His family are 'all scattered - England, Holland, France, America'; his Dutch grand-daughter [Alice Voormolen], of whom he is very fond, has just left. Of his two best friends in Edinburgh, one is dead and the other in London; hopes to visit him in spring. Asks if Trevelyan 'get[s] much from the modern poets'; listens to them occasionally when they read [on the radio]. Is glad T. S. Eliot has won the Nobel Prize as well as the Order of Merit; wishes 'there had been a Nobel Prize for Keats!'.

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 Molly MacCarthy to R. C. Trevelyan

Garrick's. - Thanks Trevelyan for sending the manuscript: she liked the piece on the Wallington Ponds, as well as that on the making of the opera ["The Bride of Dionysus"] which captured Donald's [Tovey] personality vividly. Recommends him to dwell more on the story and the characters of the opera. Desmond has been 'beset' with things he has to read, so she is sending the manuscript back for now. Currently has no servant, who is ill in hospital but will return in July, and is tired. Is enclosing subscription money for the "Abinger Chronicles".

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Molly MacCarthy

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking. - Encloses his "Recollections" of Donald [Tovey?]. When Molly has read them - perhaps Desmond would like to do so too - asks her to send them back with the other "Reminiscences" he left with her, but there is 'no hurry'. Had difficulty hearing Hisa[o] Ch'ien yesterday, but liked what he could hear; Desmond was 'very good'. Now has sufficient material for the next "Abinger Chronicle"; hopes that Molly will consider writing something for it about "Donald's childhood, or about something quite different'. He and Bessie think that she has a 'very real gift for writing'; it is a pity she lets it '"fust in [her] unused"' [a quotation from "Hamlet"]. Enjoyed seeing her and Desmond very much.

Letter from Arthur Cole to R. C. Trevelyan

44, Palace Gardens Terrace, Kensington, W. - Thanks Trevelyan for procuring and sending 'the Tovey alterations'. [Philip FitzHugh] Radcliffe, a Fellow of King's [College Cambridge] who acts as the Music Librarian and is a 'skilled musician' was 'delighted' with the vocal score and will appreciate these alterations; will send them with some other music in a week or two and hopes to visit himself in August to 'see them rightly placed', meet some people, including Broad if he is still there, and 'walk in your Great Court [at Trinity College] by moon or starlight'. Is 'increasingly impressed by Montaigne'; is now nearing the end of Book II, and looks forward to reading Book III with some of Trevelyan's translations. Agrees with him as to 'l'Art de conferer' at first sight, but 'will try to consider it deliberately later'. Postscript reads 'Views on lying much appreciated.'

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 Arthur Cole to R. C. Trevelyan

15 Old Square, Lincoln's Inn, W.C.2. - Thanks Trevelyan for his generosity in sending him the "Bride of Dionysus" vocal score; does not wish for it for 'utterly selfish' reasons, as he thinks it should be in the Music Library at King's [College Cambridge]. Will have it bound and sent there with a record that Trevelyan is the donor. Irene Cooper-Willis says Trevelyan might like to see the 'enclosed bookplates' [no longer present], which were engraved for him by G. T. Friend; the 'simplest (& perhaps the most successful) was derived at some distance from one of the Trinity plates'.

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 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 George Macaulay Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Garden Corner, West Road, Cambridge. - Knows that the death of [Donald] Tovey will be a particular 'grief and loss' to Bob; he and Janet send sympathy. Regarding Tovey himself, George fears that 'we live in days when anyone of our generation who dies is lucky': never had 'any real hope for the world' after the war broke out, but it is going even worse than he feared; there is however no choice but to fight on. Was a 'hideous and fatal folly' to defy 'great enemy powers' without arming likewise, but they must 'now make the best of it'.

Letter from Clara Tovey to Elizabeth Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh, 7. - Donald 'so ill last night everyone thought he was dying', but he rallied again this morning. He looks 'dreadfully worn and thin' and 'it can only be a question of time'. There has only been one air raid, not a bad one, and Donald slept through it. John [Tovey] is at Dunfermline; leave seems hard to get and he has only got over once. Hopes Julian will not have to join up. Is not well herself: does not think the thundery weather is good for rheumatism.

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 Clara Tovey to Elizabeth Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh, 7. - Thanks for Bessie's letter: is afraid it is not use writing to Donald as 'he no longer cares for such things', though he recognises visitors. Does not think it can be more than a few days [till his death]. He does not suffer, is only weak, and is 'wonderfully patient and good', sleeping a great deal. Is sorry for Bessie's troubles and hopes she will be 'comfortably settled soon'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Julian Trevelyan

Very glad that Ursula is better. [Edward] Renton has not answered his letter; expects he will not; Bob should not have written, and it was a greater mistake not to remember to ask for the piano-score and [German] translation [for Bob and Donald Tovey's opera, the "Bride of Dionysus"] Does not like to ask, but perhaps Julian could go to see Renton and ask for it; suspects when he went Renton 'did not want [him] to see what little of the score he had recopied'. Would like the translation, as it would 'be at any rate something for the hundreds of pounds Donald and I have thrown away on him'. Donald Tovey is 'evidently dying', and 'poor Alice Elms died yesterday, rather suddenly'. Quite likely that Renton would say there is 'no piano-score and translation there', but he is a 'complete lyar [sic]'. Not vitally important now, as there is no question of a German translation 'for years to come', but Donald had 'set his heart on getting it ready for the future' and approved Renton's version. A 'great thing' to have got back the score.

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 Clara Tovey to Elizabeth Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh, 7. - Thanks for Bessie's letter. Thinks Dr Thin will write to de Souza. Is 'very puzzled' at what Bessie writes about Dr Bluth: does not understand what sort of treatment he means. Asks if it is 'drugs or... some form of phycoanative [sic]'. Dr Thin is not encouraging, and does not think Donald's condition will change much.

Letter from Clara Tovey to Elizabeth Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh, 7. - Their current nurse is Australian, and wants to go home; a boat under convoy leaves at the end of the month, which is much sooner than Clara expected; she has been writing to Miss Monks, who cannot come until the end of April or May, so asks if Bessie knows of someone to 'bridge the gap'. Asks if Bessie thinks Miss Monks will like them, and whether she is 'active and fairly strong' as Donald cannot walk without help. He 'overdid things' when they first returned, is a little 'clearer in his mind' but not much improved otherwise.

Letter from Clara Tovey to Elizabeth Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh, 7. - The Toveys returned about ten days ago, helped by Clara's brother and their nurse; they are living on the ground floor as Donald cannot manage the stairs. He can only give chamber music lessons and enjoys this: 'it still seems to give him a feeling of mastery'. He is giving them at home, and they are arranging for as many chamber music combinations to come and play for him. Thinks he has improved slightly since the return, but he varies a great deal. She herself has not been laid up in bed but has not been well at all; thinks she is now rather better. They still have their Australian nurse, but are not sure how long she will stay; is writing to Miss Monks again as she 'sounded rather unsettled'; asks if Bessie knows of anyone else. Kind remembrances to Dr Bluth.

Results 1 to 30 of 571