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Dickinson, Goldsworthy Lowes (1862-1932) humanist, historian and philosopher
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Letter from Gerald Finzi to R. C. Trevelyan

Ashmansworth, nr Newbury, Berks. - Trevelyan sent him a copy of his new volume ["Translations from Latin Poetry"] 'Weeks ago'; did not reply with thanks at one as he wanted to wait until he had time to read it properly. His 'poor' Latin has now 'faded away to a shadow', so the 'good Latinist' may miss the pleasure he gets from translations which 'also happen to be English poetry'. Found some 'old acquaintances', such as Catullus 101, and is 'delighted' that Trevelyan's predecessors in translating Catullus 5 ["Vivamus, mea Lesbia..." did not 'over-awe' him. Has Trevelyan's translations of the "Eclogues" and "Georgics", Theocritus, and 'so much else'. Adds a postscript saying it has not been such a pleasure to read [John] Masefield's new book, "On the Hill': 'Its [sic] almost embarrassing'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Julian Trevelyan

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.

Letter from C. R. Stiles to R. C. Trevelyan

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.

Letter from Frances Cornford to R. C. Trevelyan

Conduit Head, Madingley Road, Cambridge. - Bob's letter about her poems gave her 'much pleasure'. Very grateful to have the 1948 "From the Shiffolds"; had always wanted to read that 'lovely poem about Goldy [Dickinson]' again, which is 'all soaked through with him'; she 'cannot read the end... without tears'. Mentions other poems she likes; the translations let her 'feel the Greek language' though she does not know it. Adds a postscript saying her cousin Ruth [Rees-Thomas] is now living at Abinger; hopes to visit in the spring and asks whether she could come and see the Trevelyans then.

Letter from Arthur Ransome to R. C. Trevelyan

Lowick Hall, Ulverston, Lancashire. - Bob does not know 'how much pleasure' "[From] The Shiffolds" gives every year, with reminders of 'old favourites' such as Bob's poem to [Goldsworthy] Lowes Dickinson and even more as it shows 'the old poet is still able to make new [favourites]'. "To know and not to feel", dated 1948, has entered Ransome's 'private group of the very best'.

Letter from Rosalind Simpkins to R. C. Trevelyan

24 Cobbett Rd, Southampton. - Was 'delighted' to get Trevelyan's 'little collection of poems' [this year's "From the Shiffolds"] again, with his New Year's greetings. Had been reading some of the previous collections recently, and wondering whether there would be another this year. Was pleased this one began with her 'favourite poem, "To Lowes Dickinson"', which 'always transports [her] into the Azalea Wood', and gives her 'some understanding' of Trevelyan's friend, who she regrets she never knew. Was glad to see a new poem from this year, though it is 'a little sad'. Fears he will 'miss Dr [Gordon] Bottomley very much'; last year must have 'tried' him in 'many ways', and she hopes 1949 will bring 'much happiness, and less wear and tear and worry' to him and Mrs Trevelyan. Asks him to thank Mrs Trevelyan for her 'kind postcard' and tell her she was 'much amused' to be remembered by Mr [Tom?] Harrison. The Eggletons are living in Norfolk now.

Letter from Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence to R. C. Trevelyan

Fourways, Gomshall, Surrey. - Trevelyan's 'very lovely poems at Christmas' ["From the Shiffolds"] will be a 'lasting joy'; has never read a more beautiful 'In Memoriam' than his to Lowes Dickinson, who, to her 'lasting regret', she never met in person but has 'known him through his books' like many others. Dickinson is one of those who restores her 'faith in the nature of man', and it seems natural that he is the 'guardian angel' of Trevelyan's words. Knew C[lifford] A[llen], and Robert's poem 'strikes the note' which she responds to; realises how much she and Trevelyan have in common; also praises his translation of a Pindar fragment.

Letter from Edward Marsh to R. C. Trevelyan

Has been meaning to thank Bob for his 'Christmas Garland, which is always a joy' [this year's "From the Shiffolds"]; the two poems about Goldie [Lowes Dickinson] are 'beautiful', and Bob makes great 'discoveries... among the Fragments'. Returns a 'naughty epigram' he recently had published in the "Spectator", "Recent Verse". Sends best wishes for 1949.

Letter from Eileen Barratt Brown to R. C. Trevelyan

Hey Farm, Winsham, nr Chard, Somerset. - Thanks Bob very much for his Christmas greetings and poems; the poems addressed to [Goldsworthy] Lowes Dickinson and to Joan [Allen] are 'very comforting in their wisdom and philosophy'; thinks he is right that lost friends remain, not in 'any psychic sense' but 'share experiences are among the most real & lasting" of memories, and that this 'makes us believe there is something in man that is eternal'. People who 'see the wrong & do battle, like Joan, & see the good vividly & immediately are noble pioneers - & make the world sing for us'. Sends good wishes for 1949.

Letter from Gerald Finzi to R. C. Trevelyan

Ashmansworth, nr Newbury, Berks. - Is 'indebted' to Trevelyan again for 'one of the few Christmas "missiles" that will be kept & treasured' [this year's "From the Shiffolds"], both for the new work and for 'such an old friend as the Lowes Dickinson poem', which he has admired since it came out in, he thinks, the "New Statesman". Approves it being 'kept in circulation' while the collected poems are out of print; hopes that they will come out again soon; there is almost enough new work from the last ten years for another volume. Sends good wishes for 'much work in 1949'.

Letter from J. L. Hammond to R. C. Trevelyan

Catfield, Piccotts End, Hemel Hempstead, Herts. - Addresses Trevelyan as Bob since 'tough life has not brought [them] often together' they are 'very old friends in spirit'; remembers well calling on him 'early in the century' while doing a walking tour in Surrey, and Bob 'escorting' him for some miles on his way to [Arthur] Clutton Brock at Farncombe; hopes the first name is therefore not 'too familiar', and invites Bob to call him Lawrence. The Hammonds are 'delighted' with their Christmas present [this year's "From the Shiffolds"]; it is a 'great pleasure to read beautiful poetry these days'; the poem to [Goldsworthy] Lowes Dickinson is 'very moving' and fills him with nostalgia. They send best New Year wishes to both Trevelyans.

Letter from John Burston [?] to R. C. Trevelyan

Dargwen, Kings Road, Lancing, Sussex. - Very kind of Trevelyan to send him a copy of "From the Shiffolds" for 1948; is 'delighted by the fluency of diction & hopefulness of thought' in the poem to [Goldsworthy] Lowes Dickinson, in which Trevelyan seems to have 'broken through the iron bands that sometimes restrain' him 'under stress of strong emotion'. Knows exactly what Trevelyan means in his "To Know And Not To Feel", but can also trace the opposite tendency in himself: the 'magic [emphasised] of things has declined', but he gains increased enjoyment from his eyes, and he now 'especially rejoice[s] in stereoscopic [emphasised] vision': he may perhaps say that his 'attitude has advanced from the savage to the infantile'. Sends best wishes for the New Year.

Letter from Arthur Rinder to R. C. Trevelyan

Farney Close, Peaslake, Guildford. - Apologises for not writing before to thank Bob for the poems [this year's "From the Shiffolds"] due to visits from friends and other urgent business. Finds the tribute to [Goldsworthy] Lowes Dickinson very moving 'in an austere way' and 'full of exquisite sensibility'. Is reading "[Travels in] Arabia Deserta" aloud in the evenings, and wonders if Bob knows it; thinks it 'one of the most successful travel books' he has read. [Charles Montagu] Doughty 'contrives to lure the reader into the desert' to share the journey with him 'without apparent [underlined] art'. Has read Freya Stark's and St John Phiby's books, but Doughty's 'seems far above them'.

Letter from Peter Grant Watson to R. C. Trevelyan

West Melville, Northam, Devon. - Thanks Bob for his poens [this year's "From the Shiffolds"], particularly the poem to Goldie [Lowes Dickinson]. Likes the 'questioning in them all, and what seems to be the answer in the translation of Menander 550', which is of course 'vague'. Feels himself that it is a mistake to look for 'a goal to be fulfilled in this time-space we live in', and that 'Good and evil are always about balanced', so that it is not possible to 'build the kingdom of Justice and happiness'; is tempted to write an essay on injustice being 'the inevitable fate of man'. Thinks he must come and stay at Peaslake in the spring, and visit Bob and Bessie, so they can discuss all this. He and Katharine are living quietly, and like their home. Is finding things difficult financially since his books are 'held up so long in the publishing process': was meant to have two books out this year, now one will appear in January, and he only has a date of 'the autumn' for the other. Is now trying to write a 'very long and ambitious novel' about the first century, doing lots of 'interesting reading'. Thinks he will take the first six lines of Bob's Menander translation as his epigraph, with the theme being 'Lux, post has tenebras: tunc omnibus omne patebit" [After these shadows, light: then everything will be revealed to all (Latin)]. Finds life very interesting, and hopes that as in the story of Lot there 'may be enough for us to escape the fate of Sodom'; even if not, believes 'Life is always victorious' eventually.

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 Theodora Roscoe to R. C. Trevelyan, with poem, "The Giant Buddha"

Horn Hill Court, Chalfont St. Peter, Bucks. - Thanks Trevelyan for "From the Shiffolds": has reread his 'beautiful poem' to [Goldsworthy] Lowes Dickinson. Is sure the 'wisdom' and 'light of the spirit' does not 'go out' at death, and this 'world of beautiful spirits' 'may be very near' the living, part of the 'mystery of life' which man may 'fathom one day. Nobody knew about 'ether waves a hundred years ago' though they were 'always there'. Or, as Trevelyan says, it might be that 'words & deeds' will not die, but continue to work in secret in 'the hearts of men unborn' (to quote his poem to Marjory Allen). However, she thinks she has felt goodness and evil 'emanating' from people, signifying 'some unmaterial power' in the world. Discusses memory and capturing of moments in poetry. Trevelyan's poetry always brings her 'tranquillity'. Adds a postscript to say she is enclosing a poem she wrote 'many years ago', which she fears is 'very imperfect'.

Separate sheet with Roscoe's poem "The Giant Buddha (At the Chinese Exhibition)"

Letter from Olive Heseltine to R. C. Trevelyan

Lemon Corner, Abinger Common. - Has received Bob's 'most welcome Christmas card' [this year's "From the Shiffolds"], and already read most of the poems in 'this dim December light'. Remembers the 'fine' poem to Lowes Dickinson, which Bob read to her one afternoon at the Shiffolds; "To know and not to feel" has 'haunted' her ever since Bob read it to her here. The lines to Marjory Allen and some of the translations, however, are new to her; hopes he will visit and read them to her.

Letter from Oswald B. Powell to R. C. Trevelyan

Little Hawsted, Kiln Lane, Headington Quarry, Oxford. - Very pleased to have Trevelyan's 'little volume'; apologises for not replying sooner, since they have been 'a bit snowed under with no domestic help' and his Land Army girl only coming in the afternoon; the cold makes more work outside, with 'frozen goat buckets & such like', and the goats 'prefer their greenfood [sic] to be melted in the kitchen'. Despite all the time spent on Greek and Latin at school, he 'never got really familiar with them'; he is 'turning to the "Aeneid" again', after reading [Maurice] Bowra's 'book on the epic ["From Virgil to Milton"]'; with which Trevelyan's 'reference to V[irgil]'s dying wishes clicked'. Is reading Goldie [Lowes Dickinson]'s "Modern Symposium" aloud to Margaret; it 'does mean well'; hopes it is 'being read by the present generation & by the many visitors [they] have been having'. They are going next week to Dartington to 'make music with Imogen Holst & her party'; would like to visit Peter [Grant] Watson while there but fears it might be difficult as they do not have a car yet.

Letter from Walter Laffan to R. C. Trevelyan

Bearwood, Peaslake, Guildford. - Thanks Trevelyan for his 'Christmas card' ["From the Shiffolds"]; has read several of the poems to his wife 'in front of the fire'. Sends back Goldie Dickinson's "Life" [by E. M. Forster] and the Quaker pamphlets and thanks Trevelyan for lending them. They have had a 'very lovely Christmas with a huge tree & many other candles & decorations in the best German fashion'. His children gave him a Christmas card with a 'Christmas song' by his five year old son, dictated to his seven year old daughter. '"A Christmas Song" by Rolf to Daddy' is typed out at the end of the letter.

Letter from Peter Grant Watson to R. C. Trevelyan

Laity Water, Torrington. - Thanks Bob for his 'Christmas card' ["From the Shiffolds"]; does not know which poem he likes best as they are all 'so good, so true, and so amusing'; thinks it is a 'noble achievement to be able to write towards the end of life; "Yet the sorrow vanishes, the joy endures"'. Likes "Maya" very much, and is sure Goldie [Lowes Dickinson] would have too. Wonders if he and Bob will meet again, though feels 'this is [emphasised] a meeting' and is 'grateful for such a warm gift of friendship'. Knows Bob will be as 'heart-sick' as he is by the war; finds this phase, which he hopes is the last, 'particularly trying' as he can 'feel all the bad feelings that are stirring', so it is all the more joyful to have Bob's poems 'so clear and limpid and simple in their wisdom. Sends love to him and Bessie, and best wishes 'for what remains' of their lives; they are 'all getting old', and he himself 'almost died about three months ago'. Was glad that he was 'quite impersonal about the ordeal'; was saved by the 'miracles of modern surgery' and he is waiting to see whether he needs another operation. Had just finished writing his autobiography ["But to What Purpose?"] when he was taken ill, and hopes Bob will see it one day; his agent's reader seems 'very pleased with it' and thinks it innovative. Is still writing, but regrets that his 'days of tree-felling and digging are over'. He 'fret[s]' a little at being so 'helpless', and the house is too big for them now their daughters are away. Will not tell him about Bridget, as Katharine says she has written about this to Bessie; Bob will hear 'what a good friend Justin Brooks has been to her and us'. Thanks Bob again for the poems; is not slighting the earlier work when he says these are among Bob's 'very best'.

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

Ajanta. - Is not actually at Ajanta, but has recently been there, thinking about Trevelyan and Goldie [Dickinson]. Was successful, on his third attempt, in seeing the caves and spent a whole day there with the curator. Discusses the paintings. Wonders whether [Ghulam] Yazdani's books about Caves 1 and 2 are in the London Library; the illustrations much better there than in Lady [Christiana] Herringham's. Is grateful for Bessie's 'affectionate enquiries', about which he has heard from Aunt Rosalie. Is enjoying his visit to India very much. Only managed to talk to Suhrawardy briefly, at a buffet dinner: liked him very much. Liked Chanda less, as he found him 'inclined to score off other Indians', but found him 'very pleasant and amusing'. Chanda's brother [Apurba] is Principal at [Visva-Bharati] at Santiniketan, which Forster visited and found 'less shriney' than he expected, with 'some sensible remarks about Passed Master' [Tagore], though he was not impressed with educational standards there. Found Calcutta dreadful, and was very glad to arrive at Hyderabad and find five old friends to meet him. Bombay is improved; he writes from there; is staying with Madame [Sophia] Wadia, who runs the Indian P.E.N. [Hermon] Ould has had two spells in a Delhi hospital and is still ill; he is currently with a "Bombay Chronicle" journalist who will also want to talk to Forster. Hopes to be home around Christmas and to avoid Christmas at home, to help Agnes [Dowland, the maid at West Hackhurst].

Letter from F. W. Hirst to R. C. Trevelyan

Dunford House, Heyshott, Midhurst, Sussex. - Thanks Trevelyan for "From the Shiffolds", which has given him and his wife 'much pleasure'. The "Epistle to Philip Erasmus" is a 'masterpiece', and has introduced him to a word he did not know though he has 'read most of Hume and Berkeley'. Wonders to whom Trevelyan refers in "Ten Years Ago", 'possibly G.L.D. [Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson]'. The "Birds of the Air" is 'good and edifying'; hopes Trevelyan will also try Pompey's Dream [in Lucan?] and Persius 'on his old tutor Cornutus [corrected from Cornelius by hand]. Was a 'great as well as an unexpected pleasure' to see Trevelyan again; they look forward to a visit from him and 'Miss C. W.' [Irene Cooper-Willis ?] when conditions improve'. Postscript that an enclosure [no longer present] may 'amuse' Trevelyan.

Letter from Edward Marsh to R. C. Trevelyan

St Fagan's Castle, Cardiff. - Cannot put off thanks Bob for the "Georgics": was 'wandering about a good deal' over Christmas, but came here last week 'equipped with a Latin text ' hoping to read Bob's translation 'at leisure'; however, he has had to proof-read Peter Quennell's "Four Portraits: Studies of the Eighteenth Century" and Winston [Churchill]'s volume of speeches made in 1944, so will not be able to settle down to Bob's book for some days. The parts he has read are 'very attractive', though he admits that the blank verse is 'here & there a little to free' for him and he 'must try to supple [his] ear'. Will be here until mid-January, then plans to settle for a while at the Goring Hotel in Grosvenor Square.

Letter from Edward Marsh to R. C. Trevelyan

Newell Grange, Redditch. - Was very glad to get Bob's Christmas present ["From the Shiffolds"] and re-acquaint himself with some of the poems he had heard in Bob's 'melodious & most off-setting voice in Bloomsbury Square', particularly the Helen poem and "Spectacles"; has always bee 'thankful rather than otherwise' for his short sight, as it gives him 'two outlooks on the world, one beautifully fused as [Bob describes] it, with a great gain in depth & richness of colour'. Supposes the 'lost friend' in "Ten Years After" is Goldie [Lowes Dickinson], since one of the other poems Bob read 'celebrated' him as his 'companion for walking in the woods'. Will be moving about over the next few weeks, so if Bob plans to send him his translation of the "Georgics", to which he is much looking forward, he should 'direct it to Brookes's"

Letter from Kenneth Cross to R.C. Trevelyan

Greville House, Little Baddow, Chelmsford. - Very kind of Bob to send his poems "From the Shiffolds". Heard from Kim that Philip Erasmus [Bob's grandson] has 'joined us all in this sorry place'; sends best wishes to Bessie and the whole family. Enjoyed "Windfalls" so much that he bought two copies, one to give away; thinks Bob may have found it hard to show himself 'so frankly to the world', but it is 'beautifully done' and Cross is glad he wrote it. Apologises for not writing before, but 'what is there to say? When will this horror end?' Hopes Bob has not got 'too depressed'; thinks work is 'the best sedative'. Has been quite busy himself with 'nebulous schemes which are unlikely to mature', and 'repair of damaged buildings', which are 'depressing'. Hopes the Trevelyans have had nothing to disturb the Shiffolds; he had a 'near miss' once, and the house is 'frequently shaken', with tiles lost and doors and windows broken, but nothing serious has happened so far. Has just finished '"Social England" by the Master of Trinity' [George Macaulay Trevelyan's "English Social History"]: it 'just suited [his] mood' and he 'had difficulty putting it down'; has also read the 'small book on Trinity' ["Trinity College: An Historical Sketch"]: 'Tradition still has humble admirers'. Comments on 'How miserable Goldie [Dickinson] would have been and Francis [Birrell] too'. Can still see Bob 'charging the barrier at a French railway station - successfully of course'.

Letter from T. Edmund Harvey to R. C. Trevelyan

Rydal House, Grosvenor Road, Leeds 6. - Has been slow to thank Trevelyan for sending his book ["Aftermath"] but wanted to wait until he had read all the poems. Thinks it is 'a fine harvest: noble and austere Lucretian verses' as well as ones 'of fiery scorn' with which Trevelyan 'lash[es] the worshippers of Mammon and Moloch'; thinks he would 'single out' the last two poems to Lowes Dickinson and Desmond MacCarthy, and is thankful for Trevelyan's 'faith in the enduring spiritual values' which ends the final poem.

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