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Churchill, Sir Winston Leonard Spencer (1874-1965), knight, Prime Minister
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Copy letter from J. G. Frazer to John Roscoe

1 Brick Court, Temple, London, E.C.4. Dated 31 January 1921 - The Royal Society will ask him to give a report on his expedition; Abbé Breuil will give an illustrated lecture on prehistoric caves; is pleased to hear the King has asked the Colonial Secretary Winston Churchill to consult him; asks for a list of those he wishes invited to hear the lecture, suggests Churchill and Sir Herbert Read.

Sir James George Frazer notebooks, 'Notes on Books'

Two bound volumes, the first undated, but likely from c 1900-1910, is mostly made up of lists of books to look up, with many carrying shelf marks, and a few with a quoted passage, accompanied by a number of lists, including five pages of notes on a revision to the second edition of 'The Golden Bough', as well as a list of washing done at Trinity College in December 1903.

The second volume contains a number of shorter lists, undated but evidently later, c 1910-1920, of books to read, books sold, additions to the Golden Bough index and bibliography, books relating to Flood legends, and Folk-Lore in the Old Testament, with notes on flats, some of them detailed measurements, and a plan of his study at St Keynes; accompanied by a list of people, possibly an invitation list to an event, and a short list under the heading 'Roscoe Memorial' which includes the names Winston Churchill and Lord Crewe.

Frazer, Sir James George (1854-1941), knight, social anthropologist and classical scholar

Letter from H. Yule Oldham to Lady Frazer

King's College, Cambridge - Congratulates Frazer on his honour: 'A government that includes my old schoolfriend Chamberlain, & my old pupil Churchill, should do well, but I am sure will do nothing better, or at any rate more appropriate'.

Letter from Lord Baldwin to Lady Frazer

Astley Hall, Stourport on Severn - Explains that if she sent the book [the Downie biography] to the House of Lords, it would have been addressed to his house in Eaton Square, where his daughter is driving an ambulance and a friend who is working in a canteen are living; he has forwarded her letter to the Prime Minister with an accompanying note from himself.

Typed letter from William Ridgeway to [Sir James] Frazer

Flendyshe, Fen Ditton, Cambridge - Congratulates Frazer on the award of the Commandeur de la Légion d'honneur; was offered the honour in 1909 but at that time it was necessary to get the consent of the King, and Churchill refused to allow it, citing a regulation that only members of the Diplomatic Service and Military attachés were allowed to accept such honours.

Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu

Admiralty, Whitehall.—(11th.) Reproaches him for being ‘bloody’ to her, but (12th) urges him to come and see her before dinner.

(Dated Sunday. The postscript was written the following morning.)

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Transcript

Admiralty, Whitehall
Sunday.

How can you be so bloody, & why? Is it merely horror at the old generation when compared with the young. Even Raymond wondered what was the matter.

This is I suppose almost worthy of Margot.

Anyhow one mustnt quarrel, but you were bloody to me.

Venetia

This was the vituperative Margot line I wrote you last night! I still repeat you were bloody, but do dine at Winstons & anyhow come & see me before dinner, anytime after 6.

Venetia

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Written in red pencil. The postscript is on a separate sheet.

Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu

In the train (from London to Alderley).—Is travelling with the Prime Minister, who is more cheerful now, but she does not think the party will be a success. Discusses Montagu’s behaviour and feelings towards her, and reflects on the prospects of their future together. Discusses arrangements for meeting.

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Transcript

April 30th 1915. In train {1}.

Darling I wish I felt the faintest inspiration, but this infernal train shakes so that I find it impossible to concentrate either my mind or my pen. Opposite me sits the P.M in a more cheerful frame of mind I think, but I’ve a feeling in my bones that this party isnt going to be a success, I feel I shall quarrel with Bongie, be odious to the P.M, & have to avoid Violets questions, if she bothers to ask them. Why were you so transparent? Diana & I settled last night that “if & when” we were ever engaged we would never, once it was announced, go out together, because one can so easily see how supremely ridiculous it makes people. I dont know what is the right attitude to adopt. What do you think? I saw Katharine this morning & she asked me if we’d had a good drive as she thought you were preparing to be rather crusty to me. So you were werent you, but we had great fun in spite of it. I think she was quite right to tell you that I was “queer”. I’m sure I am! & if we keep our minds fixed on that we shall be quite all right. But please darling dont be too ready at once to think that because I dont see you every day, & can contemplate going to Boulogne, that I dont any longer like you. I’ve told you over & over again that I’m no fun to be in love with, that my supply of emotion is a thin & meagre one, but such as it is, had in quantity & quality its yours.

And you mustnt always be examining it under a microscope or subjecting it to severe tests because it wont stand it!

We can have such fun together and are & I’m sure could be so really happy, & if that cant be made a good basis for marriage I dont know that I shall ever find a better. We’ve both I’m bound to say always put ourselves before the other in the most unprepossessing terms. You take every opportunity of telling me that nothing that I want will ever make you alter your mode of life, & I am always impressing on you the fact that I’m completely & cold bloodedly detached from all interest in my own life. It doesnt sound good on paper. And yet I’m simply longing for you to be here, & miss you horribly. Its again such a lovely day & we should have been so happy. I was an idiot not to make you come, & to risk you being cross with me because I talked too much to the P.M, & his thinking I was spending more time than I need with you.

Winston was much touched at yr letter, I’m glad you wrote. God how bored I feel, how glorious one’s life ought to be & how bloody it is. But I was happy yesterday thank you so much.

Lets have a Diana Raymond party on Friday {2}, arrange this with Diana, & I’ll dine with you Tuesday either alone or go to the Tree play {3}. But Friday we’ll have a buffy. I hope this isnt a horrible letter. I’m never sure.

Love
Venetia

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Letter-head of 8 Little College Street, Westminster, the home of Francis and Barbara McLaren, where Venetia had been staying.

{1} Venetia and the Prime Minister were travelling from London to Alderley for the weekend. Cf. H. H. Asquith: Letters to Venetia Stanley, p. 562.

{2} 7 May.

{3} The Right to Kill, a melodrama adapted from the French by Gilbert Cannan and Frances Keyzer, produced by Sir Herbert Tree at His Majesty’s Theatre on 4 May. Tree also took one of the leading parts. There appears to have only been one performance.

Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu

Alderley Park, Chelford, Cheshire.—His communications have been arriving at odd intervals. She will see him in London tomorrow, and has fixed to go to Boulogne on Monday week (10th). Suggests they come up together from Winston’s next Sunday and have a last talk. Has said nothing to her mother yet. Is miserable today, in spite of Birrell.

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Transcripts

Alderley Park, Chelford, Cheshire
Sunday May 2nd 1915

My darling you must have thought it very strange of me never to send you any word, but the letters came very oddly.

I got nothing from you in the morning, then by the second post a very short letter with two enclosures, then at about 7.30 suddenly from nowhere your real long divine letter, which I hadnt time to read properly till after dinner, and of course in the meanwhile I’d got your telegram.

Tomorrow I see you, I might lunch with you if you were back, perhaps you’d telephone to me to Mansfield St. Boulogne, darling, is clinched, I go on Monday week {1}. Dont be {2} angry with me for settling this, I know it must seem to you to show lamentable lukewarmness, but it isnt that I want to post from things but that I do want to have a slight first hand experience of what the conditions are like not 60 miles away from a vast war.

It seems so unadventurous to go on just as one has done & will do without making an attempt to get any new sensation.

But after this I’ll promise (& it will be very easy to keep because I shall want to keep it) always to consult you in everything.

My dearest you have been an angel to me all this time, your patience & generosity to me have been wonderful.

I think we’ll come up from Winstons Sunday after dinner & have a last long glorious talk

I’ve not said anything to mother yet, I find it impossible to talk of my affairs.
I’ve loathed this Sunday, in spite of Birrell, & felt quite miserable. No one seems to be leaving till 1 so I cant lunch I suppose but I shall see you anytime after 6. I wish I could dine with you but I must get this infernal inoculation over.

I hope for a letter tomorrow.

I’ve such masses I want to talk to you about.

Goodbye darling.
Venetia

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Partly written in pencil (see below).

{1} 10th.

{2} The writing changes from pencil to ink here.

Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu

The British Hospital, Hôtel Bellevue, Wimereux.—(24th.) Describes her journey to Wimereux, her impressions of the hospital, and her timetable of work. There is much discussion of the crisis, and she nearly quarrelled with a doctor who questioned Winston’s sense of decency.—(25th.) The railway and the ambulances are noisy. She has been to Boulogne to see Frances, and has tried to read ‘Joseph’. Is bored by the prospect in front of her, but will soon settle in. Urges him to pass on political gossip and war news.

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Transcript

The British Hospital, Hotel Bellevue, Wimereux
(Not my address | I gave you that didnt I?) {1}
Monday evening May 24th 1915

My darlingest not a vestige of a submarine disturbed our crossing and we arrived safely to find Sir Henry awaiting us on the platform. I couldnt telegraph as it takes hours. We came straight out here. The hospital is a rather squalid hotel in a street facing onto a small river, but one sees the sea not 300 yards away. I’ve not looked into the wards yet, but start tomorrow. Its much less arduous than the London breakfast at 7.30 instead of 6.30 and supper 8.15 instead of 9.30, so you see we are in clover. I’ve a reasonably nice room in which I’ve stowed myself and belongings with difficulty. After today I shant see much of the Normans, which I dont regret. They talk about the crisis a good deal, & I’m sorry to say I’ve nearly had a quarrel with a foul little doctor about whether Winston had any sense of decency or not. {2} I feel resigned and detached about the prospect of these next few weeks, but I miss you horribly. I’ll finish tomorrow. Goodnight, I hope you are dining somewhere and having fun. {3}

The noise is awful in this place, I hadnt realised that apparently the most vital railway from the whole world to the front passes within 20 yards of us, also ambulances drive up from time to time. I’m just going to have breakfast. Sir Heinrich has to pass all my letters so I shall feel a certain reluctance to write every day to you, but I daresay I shall become quite brazen about this. {4}

I’ve been into Boulogne and seen Frances, who has again been very anxious about Edward who has had a temp of 104, he’s better to-day.

My darling: Joseph is one of the most tedious writers I’ve ever come across. I tried him last night and found it anything but stimulating, or is it that all forms of religion, and the observances which accompany them & to which the religious attach so much importance, are bound to appear very foolish to someone like me. Still it doesnt matter as its not going to affect you or me afterwards.

I’ve just got your telegram {5} (11·30) thank you so much, I wonder when I shall get a letter from you. I’ll confess to you at once that I feel very much bored at the prospect in front of me, but then one always feels like that for the first few days, I shall soon become thoroughly happy in my new surroundings.

Write me every scrap of political gossip you can find, also any war news, as you know I never read the papers so I rely on you.

The doctors are mostly half casts† and very squalid looking.

This is worthy of your collection of letters at Cambridge its every bit as boring. What fun we had then. I wish I was back in England.

My love to you always

Venetia

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Partly written in pencil (see below).

{1} ‘Not … didnt I?’ is written below the printed address in pencil. The brackets have been supplied.

{2} The allusion is to Churchill’s handling of the Dardanelles campaign.

{3} The writing changes from ink to pencil here.

{4} A new sheet begins here. What follows was written slightly later.

{5} This does not survive.

† Sic.

Letter from Venetia Montagu to Edwin Montagu

Pixton Park, Dulverton.—Has arrived to find Mary alone with her children. Praises the estate, and discusses arrangements for a dinner next week. Asks for news of the strike and Montagu’s fight with the M.P.B. [Man-Power Board]. Is planning to go to Knole, via London, on Saturday, and encourages Montagu to combine a visit there with his visit to Maythorn. Is working on her counterpane. Suggests shopping for some cocks.

Letter from Venetia Montagu to Edwin Montagu

24 Queen Anne’s Gate, S.W.—Has just recovered from a cold. Duff came to dinner on Friday, and he and Katharine last night. After lunch at Lower Berkeley Street she went with Olga to a concert organised by Bruce Ottley at the A.S.C. camp at Blackheath. Describes the concert and the entertainment in the mess afterwards.—(24 Dec.) Is going to Alderley on Friday. Has bought some presents for her dinner guests tonight. They are going to a party at Nancy’s afterwards.—(25 Dec.) Her party was a success; Hugo’s stunts were marvellous and Birrell was divine. After a little chemin-de-fer some of them went on to Nancy’s for more cards. Is dining with Diana and Duff, then going to the Baroness’s.—(26 Dec.) She had Christmas dinner with Duff and Diana in Diana’s bedroom, and discussed whether a dirty intellectual like McEvoy would be preferable as a lover to a clean ‘turnip-top’ like Lord Derby. Then she and Duffy went to 139 [Piccadilly, the Baroness’s home]. Freyburg says that Winston is becoming unpopular again on account of his rather dogmatic Cabinet memorandum; Haig is said to be furious. [27 Dec?] She gave a dinner-party today, and some other guests joined them later. Constance danced ‘in a state of almost complete nudity’, Hugo almost died doing a Spanish dance, Miss Lillie sang, and the men gambled. Diana has given her a cushion for Breccles, and the Aga a pendant worth about £150.—[28 Dec.?] Is dining with Adèle.

[Alderley.]—Lady Essex’s party was fun. Duff, who was in uniform for the first time, is looking out for a rich mistress but is not inclined to spare much time for one. Has arrived at Alderley. This afternoon the children performed ‘She Stoops to Conquer’ very well. Oliver is expected home on leave soon, Anthony in about three weeks. Lutyens says work has begun on the plumbing at Breccles, and she hopes to have the house furnished in time for an Easter party.—(31 Dec.) Describes her usual daily activities at Alderley. Is working on the curtain for Montagu’s bed. Oliver is expected on Wednesday. The past year has been fun, and she hopes that the next will bring ‘a great Indian success’. Asks when he is due back.—(3 Jan.) Oliver, who has arrived, has been awarded the DSO. ‘He’s been at Passchendael since Oct. which I believe is hell for the Artillery, so I expect he deserves it.’ Has bought a looking-glass.

[24 Queen Anne’s Gate, S.W.]—(4 Jan.) Has heard that Patrick has been killed. Wonders how many other young men will be killed, and reflects on the effect on Diana, who is away. Cardie, Rawle, Freyberg, and Goonie dined with her. Rawle is in love with Miss Bagnold. Goonie told her of the invention of ‘a form of explosive bullet’. Has received Montagu’s telegram from Bombay.—(5 Jan.) Has started working at the hospital again. She lunched with Dombie[?] and Heseltine. Sylvia’s baby, Juliet, is ill; fortunately, Anthony is expected home soon. Heseltine has offered to do jobs for her while Freeth is away, and she may get him to write to the ‘Coal Controller’, as she is short of coal. Food is also difficult to obtain. Is dining with Katharine.—(6 Jan.) Juliet is out of danger. She lunched today with Frances, then visited Phyllis, who is miserable about Patrick. Cardie, Goonie, and Lionel Cohen came to dinner. She has not had a letter from him for three weeks. Lloyd George seemed significant, and she wonders if there is hope of peace.—(8 Jan.) She lunched at Anne’s yesterday with Juliet, Adèle, and Goonie, and they went to the cinema. She dined with the Burns, and sat next to Reggie, who is more hopeful about peace after Lloyd George’s speech, though he thinks it was intended to cause problems for the Labour Party. Beatrice G. is over from Ireland, where she has put Alice [Lady Wimborne] into the shade by her entertainments. Afterwards she played bridge. Today she lunched with Anne, went to the South Kensington Museum, and dined with Duff, who left early for his duties as a picket officer.—(10 Jan.) Lutyens has sent the altered plans for Breccles. She encloses letters from Surtees on financing them. Diana, Claude Russell, Lord and Lady Islington, Gilbert Russell and his wife [Maud], and Goonie dined with her last night. Diana looked ill, and has taken to bed ill today. Hugo came afterwards, and they discussed his idea for decorating the gallery at Breccles. Today she lunched with Freyling, who leaves tomorrow. Has received Montagu’s letter, and is sad he that he does not expect to be back till April. Stuart has gone to France; ‘I never see Gladys thank God’.

Letter from Venetia Montagu to Edwin Montagu

In the train to Brighton.—(20th.) Her good habit of writing daily has broken down. Has received his telegram, and discusses the carpet offered to him. She dined on the day after she last wrote [11th] with Frances and Haldane, who is surprisingly ‘anti-Rufus [Lord Reading]’, cares little for Addison, and thinks Bongie ‘worse than useless’. On the Saturday [12th] she dined at Clemmie and Winston’s. Winston is eager for Montagu to return home, as he thinks he would be an ally in the Government. At the time he was worried about the threatened strike by the ASE [Amalgamated Society of Engineers]. On Sunday [13th] she played bridge at Adèle’s and dined with Duff, who had been staying with Diana Wyndham and Rosemary, with whom he is a little in love. Duff is angry with Bettine for making Eddie Grant [her husband] wait in vain for her in Paris for over two weeks. On Monday [14th] she dined at home with guests, then they went to a party at Adèle’s. Duff is no longer in love with Goonie. On Tuesday [15th] she dined with Arkers, then went to a party at Frankie de Tuyll’s. Diana has tonsillitis and has gone to Brighton. On Wednesday [16th] she dined at Cardie’s and lunched with Viola. On Thursday [17th] she dined at Lionel Earle’s, and Earle talked about his work at Windsor and in the Parks. On Friday [19th] she went to a party for Puffin at 20 Cavendish Square, and sat next to the ‘old boy’ [Asquith], who inquired kindly after Montagu. Yesterday [19th] she dined with K[atharine], and today [20th] she is going to Brighton to join Diana, Michael, Duff, Rosemary, and Diana Wyndham. She is worried the Duchess will spoil things. Olga is also on the train.

24 Queen Anne’s Gate, S.W.—(23rd.) At Brighton they all lunched at Sweetings and then went, without the Duchess, to the Aquarium. On Monday [21st] she lunched with Montagu’s mother, and ‘that foul woman’ Miss Lewis (Lily’s friend) was there. She dined at Cardie's, where it was suggested that William should go to Ireland as Ivor’s military secretary. Afterwards they went to a party at Olga’s, where Miss Barnes and Miss James sang, Hugo did stunts, and Duff ‘got off with an American pol & left the house very obviously bound for a crack’. Last night [2nd] she had a dinner-party at home, followed by stunts. Winston, who was there, seemed to enjoy himself. ‘I’m sure he yearns for fun, and Clemmie gives him none.’ Today [23rd] she went again to the VAD. Has received his telegram and replied with the measurements. Has ordered some plain carpets for the bedrooms. Is planning to furnish the hall before anything else. Oc’s leg has been amputated, and the PM has gone over to see him. This is probably the last leter she will write to India.—(24th.) Last night she dined at the de Forests', and she spent today at Taplow. Ettie is very unhappy about Patrick. Bluey has come back from America but is very ill with blood-poisoning. K has gone to visit him at Liverpool. Has bought a chest of drawers and given the housemaid notice.—(27th.) Has received his letter; he seems to have got off well with Lady Ronaldshay. Bluey has recovered slightly. Yesterday she bought some furniture, and Duffy and Diana came to dinner.

Letter from Venetia Montagu to Edwin Montagu

[24 Queen Anne’s Gate, S.W.]——Has lost the long letter she was writing to him. Last Saturday she went to Breccles. Discusses the progress of the work there, which is proving expensive. Last night she dined with Winston. Reggie says that Geddes is not coming back from Italy and that Dalziel is to take his place at the Admiralty. Reggie and Winston are on very good terms now. On Friday [8th] she went to a party at Cardie’s given by Bouch, who is home on leave, and on Thursday she gave a dinner-party and they had stunts. Afterwards Ralph [Peto] took some of them on to a party at Ruby’s. Discusses the air-raids, in response to his telegram about the bombs in Queen Anne’s Gate. Has just come back from a day with Dolly and Jimmy. K is dining with her tonight; Bluey is much better. Is eager for Montagu’s return. Is planning to go to Breccles for a holiday. She has been busier than usual this month at Charing Cross and Arlington Street as the sister has been ill. Discusses plans for furnishing the rooms [at Breccles]. Next week Bouch will probably give a farewell party, and the Jimmys may dine on Wednesday.

Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu

Alderley Park, Chelford, Cheshire.—Invites him to go with her party to the Grand National. Is sorry he won’t be in the same house as Winston for Easter.

(Dated Sunday.)

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Transcript

Alderley Park, Chelford, Cheshire
Sunday

My dear Mr Montagu

It will be very nice if you will come to the Grand National with us {1}. We are not going to the smartest places but to the Grand Stand. I shall go from London on Friday. I dont know in the least how we get home.

I am sorry you wont be in the same house as Winston for Easter, but I daresay he wont come either.

Yrs very sincerely
Venetia Stanley

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{1} In 1911 the Grand National took place on Friday, 24 March; in 1912 on Friday, 29 March.

Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu

Grand Hôtel Couttet et du Parc, Chamonix.—She arrived at Chamonix with Oliver yesterday. When Oliver goes home, she will join her mother in Italy. Has learnt that Montagu will be returning on Easter Sunday. She dined at Downing Street while in London, and the Prime seemed pleased by his speech on the third reading (of the Home Rule Bill).

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Transcript

Grand Hôtel Couttet & du Parc, Chamonix
21st Jan 1913

I cant think how you can write from India (I am very glad you can as I love getting your letters) I simply cant write a line as soon as I’ve crossed the Channel, its rather a pity as its the one moment I long most passionately for letters. Oliver and I arrived here yesterday in a tearing blizzard which has gone on without stopping. In spite of this we have been out all day falling heavily in the snow and getting our eyes ears and mouth filled with it. Its great fun being away alone with Oliver, I wish it were for longer and that I was going home when he does on the 3rd, instead of that I am going to join Mother in Italy and stay away till the 1st of March. I dont suppose I shall miss anything much in the way of impersonal things (thrilling debates or such like because after the Franchise it will be dullish) but I like London in February and I like the people it contains always.

I was much amazed, and so was everyone at Alderley, by getting a telephone message late one Sunday evening {1} announcing your return on the 23rd of March. I dont know why it came like that, unless the post Officer at Manchester thought it affected my plans vitally and that to wait to hear till Monday would disorganize everything. The 23rd is Easter Sunday isnt it? Mother and I are thinking of going to Holland for Easter, I’ve always wanted to go.

I had a delicious dinner at Downing St when I was in London, Katharine the only other woman, and Bluey, Oc, Cys, Bongie Winston and 2 Headlams. I sat next to the P.M. who was most divine and in marvellously good spirits. I gather he had made even for him an exceptionally wonderful speech on the 3rd Reading {2} and I think was rather pleased by it. After he and I and Winston and Mr Masterton Smith played Auction, Winston is a gold man to play against, he always doubles and always loses.

This hôtel is full of French people its the fashion here for every one including the women to go about in knickerbockers which makes them look like principal boys in the Pantomimes.

I expect this is almost the last letter I shall write you, before you come home.

I am glad you liked the parodies, and Dostoïeffski

Yrs
Venetia

What did Mikky say to you when he wrote from Alderley?

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{1} 12 January?

{2} Asquith spoke during the debate on the third reading of the Home Rule Bill on 15 January. His notes for the speech were made on the back of a letter from Venetia, which he returned to her when he wrote to her on the 20th (Lantern Slides, Nos. 9 and 9a).

Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu

18 Mansfield Street, Portland Place, W.—She, Sylvia, and Anthony would love to dine with him on Friday, as the rest of their party have refused to come.

(Dated Wednesday.)

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Transcript

18 Mansfield Street, Portland Place, W.
Wednesday

Would you really like to have Sylvia and Anthony and me all to dine on Friday? Because if you think you can have so many, we would love to come as the rest of our party have refused to come. Or, if your people are not coming, will you come to us?

I’m afraid I cant dine Tuesday. If Friday is impossible would you like to lunch Saturday?

I heard very fine dewdrops about you to day from Winston.

Yrs
Venetia

Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu

18 Mansfield Street, Portland Place, W.—Refers to Montagu's apparent annoyance at something said by Violet. Invites him to come again.

(Dated Tuesday. Montagu's reply is B1/9.)

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Transcript

18 Mansfield Street, Portland Place, W.
Tuesday.

My dear Mr Montagu

I dont know whether your annoyance with Violets repetition was entirely simulated so as to see what I should say. Was it? This is what I do say that what she said to me couldnt possibly have mattered in the least and was only passed on to you by me so as to give you a momentary sensation of discomfort if you had a guilty conscience, which I suspect you must have had, also that in practise† she really never repeats unpleasant things that have been said about one. It wont matter much if you do tax her only it wont make a very amusing conversation. I wish I could have got Winston as well as his wife to lunch. Come again one day, {1} any one except Saturday or Monday.

Yrs very sincerely
Venetia Stanley

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{1} ‘day’ interlined above a caret. The caret is placed after the comma, but the word belongs before it.

† Sic.

Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu

Admiralty Yacht, off Colonsay.—She enjoyed Ardgowan, but the guests at Penrhôs have been dull. While the yacht was at Holyhead she went for walks with Winston, whose opinion of Montagu has improved. She has sailed with them as far as Colonsay, and will go home on Tuesday. Asks about his stay at Hopeman, and discusses Dorothy’s engagement. Some friends will be at Penrhôs when she returns, but afterwards her family will be alone till they leave for Alderley in early October.

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Transcript

Admiralty Yacht
Off Colonsay Sept 10th 1913

Thank you so much for your letter which I loved getting and meant to answer ages ago, but I’ve been leading such a dull life since I left Ardgowan (where it was quite fun owing to Geoffrey and Mrs Ridley whom I found) that I hadnt the heart to inflict an account of it on you. The only people at Penrhos were Gertrude Bell (as usual most full of dewdrops about you also old Chirol in the same state of mind, it sounds a dreary kind of compliment to have repeated, but really it means a good deal as those two very rarely admit any good in a political head of a department) then when she left Barbara MacLaren (very nice and restful to live with) and Bear Warne {1}. He got terribly on my nerves after a week’s tête a tête, for it was practically that, by his blatant, pretentious stupidity I could hardly bring myself to speak to him with decent civility, he never begins to understand what one means. You can imagine what a relief the advent of the yacht was on Saturday {2}, she stayed two days at Holyhead, both marvellous golden sunny blazing days, and I had two long walks with Winston and very good talks to him. He is in very good form just now very happy and full of schemes. He likes you very much now. Then Sunday night we left and after a dull day at Barrow in Furness arrived here yesterday morning. A most wonderful, lonely enchanted place, with delicious sandy and rocky little bays looking quite glo-rious yesterday in brilliant clear weather and even to day full of charm and mystery in spite of thick obliterating Scotch mist. We stay here I hope till Sat then move South to Greenock. On Tuesday I go home. I am always very happy here, I love the life with long intervals of {3} of drifting about and then one goes to divine inaccessible places. Did you have fun at Hopeman {4} and what did you think of the place and of Margot and of them all generally.

Dorothy. Arent you thrilled by her engagement {5}. Did you know about it before? Do you know him at all. I am astounded by it, I always think he is rather a boring man, not because he’s very stupid but I think he has a dull mind and always rather a boring point of view. If I were married to him I should never want to hear what he thought about anything, and should always be irritated by his opinions. However she seems delighted by him and very happy and as he’s as nice as can be I expect it will be a huge success. I think its larks his being a brewer and a Conservative and an Anti-Suffragist, I wonder if he will be converted. Dont tell Geoffrey what I say, this is hardly a necessary warning as you arent at all likely to.

When are you leaving Scotland.

I shall find such a strange collection of people when I get home, Mikky, Bluey, Mr Wedgewood Benn, Mr Smyth. I wish you were going to be amongst them, then after they go we shall be alone till I leave on about the 6th of October and go to dank Alderley for ever and ever.

There were thousands of things I wanted to say to you when I started writing, but I’ve now forgotten them and the babblement that’s going on makes writing hard.

Your
Venetia

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Written in pencil and ink (see below).

{1} ‘Bear Warne’: reading uncertain.

{2} 6th.

{3} The first sheet, which is in pencil, ends here. The rest of the letter is in ink.

{4} Montagu did not, in the event, go there.

{5} Dorothy Howard had become engaged to Francis Henley. They were married on 14 October.

Copy of a letter from Edwin Montagu to Austen Chamberlain, also sent, mutatis mutandis, to Lord Curzon, H. A. L. Fisher, Winston Churchill, and Sir Laming Worthington-Evans

Summarises the contents of A3/22/2. He does not know why A3/21/2 did not reach Reading before he made his speech, as it was despatched with every arrangement for priority.

(Typed. Headed in error ‘Telegram from Secretary of State to Viceroy’.)

Copy of a telegram from Lord Reading to Edwin Montagu

(Official.) In the Legislative Assembly today Jamnadas Dwarkadas sought to move an adjournment in order to bring before the house the subject of tomorrow’s debate in the Commons on Joynson-Hicks’s motion, which he described as a vote of censure on the Secretary of State. He said that any attempt to pass such a vote on Montagu would be strongly opposed in India, where it is considered that Montagu has proved the greatest Secretary of State and has drawn England and India closer. He then drew attention to Churchill’s speech on Kenya and Montagu’s statement that he would support the view of the Government of India. Dwarkadas’s comments were supported by Sir D. P. Sarvadhicary and Dr Gour. The Home Member said that a communiqué should be sent to Montagu expressing the Assembly’s full confidence in him.

(Carbon copy.)

Telegram from Edwin Montagu to Lord Reading

Is going on holiday. Kenya continues to be troublesome. Is eager to discuss the proposed statement of policy at the opening of the Legislative Assembly. The decision whether to prosecute those who spoke at the Karachi conference should be made promptly. The Government’s decision to substitute a treaty with King Feisul of Mesopotamia for a mandate may improve relations with Mohammedans. It is rumoured that Gandhi intends to proclaim an Indian republic. Some, including Churchill, are optimistic about Irish peace; others, including the Prime Minister, are not.

(Typed. Used for transmission.)

Letter from Edwin Montagu to Venetia Stanley

Maid’s Head Hotel, Norwich.—Beb and Bongie have arrived. Refers to the the news from Belfast [of Churchill’s speech there], and reflects on his own oratorical skills. Praises Churchill’s demeanour. The Home Rule Bill will, he thinks, be ‘all right’, but it may cause trouble in Ulster. He enjoyed their lunch together yesterday.

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