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Bridges, Robert Seymour (1844-1930), Poet Laureate
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Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Roger Fry

Pensione Palumbo, Ravello, presso Amalfi. - Has not heard from Fry for a while: hopes Helen and Julian are well. Description of 'a Julian at the hotel': Julian Cotton of the Indian Civil Service, honeymooning with his Neapolitan wife [neé Gigia Riccardi Arlotta]. Other guests are Kershaw and his friend Perry, an ex-actor; 'the Lapchinski', who luckily only came for a week; and [William] Wyse of Trinity, an Apostle who has been forced by ill health to give up work for a year. Goes every day to the Cimbrone, passing Fry's old studio, and has overheard prayers there as if to 'rid the room of... some devil who has...haunted there since you painted him in your picture of St Antony'. Taking tea today with Mrs Read [sic: Mrs Reid, widow of Francis Nevile Reid of Villa Rufolo]. Bessie is learning Latin and Trevelyan is rewriting the old play 'which sent [Fry] and Helen to sleep once'. Has heard nothing from Johnson about "Polyphemus" and only seen two reviews. Bridges wrote him an appreciative letter, though he did not like the Faun's song or make much of the irregular metres. Will probably stay at Berenson's on the way north; asks if he and Fry might meet around Florence. Fry should read Defoe's "Moll Flanders", which is the best novel in English. Bessie is now reading "Robinson Crusoe" to him as a 'shaving book', which is also excellent.

Letter from C. P. Sanger to R. C. Trevelyan

58 Oakley Street, Chelsea, S.W. - Booksellers are 'disposed to deny all knowledge' of Bob's book ["Sisyphus"] and say it is 'not on Longman's list: Bob should 'stir up' his publishers. Has managed to get hold of it and thinks it 'much the best thing' Bob has done, though the 'queer metres & methods of scansion', which he supposes are influenced by [Robert] Bridges, are sometimes puzzling. Doubts however whether 'bigamy had been made a felony in the time of Sisyphus'. Hopes that Bessie and Paul are well.

Letter from Thomas Sturge Moore to R. C. Trevelyan

The four volumes [of Bob's "Collected Works"] will 'completely dwarf' his own when together on the shelf. Asks if Bob has seen Douglas Bush's "Mythology and the Romantic tradition in English Poetry" ("Harvard Studies in English" Vol. 18), which he recently read at the British Library; it discusses the mythological poetry [Robert] Bridges], Bob, [Lascelles] Abercrombie, [Laurence] Binyon and Sturge Moore himself, concentrating on Bridges and Sturge Moore but 'treating us all seriously'. Heard about it from Frederick Gwynn, a pupil of Bush, who intends to write a book about Sturge Moore's poetry as his thesis ["Sturge Moore and the Life of Art", Richards Press ; University of Kansas Press, 1952] and hopes to spend next year in England. Gwynn will be one of the 'most careful readers' of Bob's "Collected Works". 'Education and Universities' do good at least in providing 'readers even for the unpopular' and students who 'appreciate other than fashionable qualities'. He and Marie will be 'proud' to own Bob's book.

The Countess [Karen] Blixen's "Out of Africa" has 'charming chapters'; her 'little Kikuyu protegé' believed Blixen could write a book as 'big and as hard as the Odyssey', but not that she could 'make it blue', like her copy of Homer; Bob's book would fulfil all points. Blixen does not write perfect English, but 'her psychology and style are both poetical and most interesting in unexpected ways'. Heard about the book from Binyon; it is a 'real delight, though unequal in places'. Met Julian and Ursula at the London Theatre Studio on Friday night: Julian is 'very charming and seems to have an "Out of Africa" touch not like a Giraffe but like some human equivalent' which the Countess may have 'discovered and appreciated', since she had a 'flair for the really valuable & rare'.

Letter from George Macaulay Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Garden Corner, West Road, Cambridge. - Thanks Bob for the paper, though he does not know Gribble [?] either and will not sign. Hopes that Bob will come to stay when he is in Cambridge for the "Medea". Wishes good luck for the opera ["The Bride of Dionysus"]. Was glad that Clifford Allen was in better health when he visited. Has been much enjoying Bob's "Rimeless Numbers"; thinks he writes 'better and better" as he gets older, like [Robert] Bridges; 'loves' Bob's letters to his 'initialled friends' and some others 'very much indeed'.

Letter from Hasan Shahid Suhrawardy to R. C. Trevelyan

13-A, Kutchery Road, Karachi (Pakistan). - Is coming to England on Government business; hopes to be in London on 27 July and to see old friends like Trevelyan. Was very pleased by Trevelyan's comments on his translation from the Chinese [of the poems of Li Yu / Lee Hou-Chu, done with Liu Yih-Ling]; there is no-one after old [Robert] Bridges whose opinion on diction and rhythm he values as much, and Trevelyan's praise has emboldened him to undertake another literary work which he wants to discuss. Is sorry to hear about Julia and Ursula [their separation].

Draft letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Gilbert Murray

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking. - Writes in support of the candidature of his friend [Hasan] Shahid Suhrawardy for a vacant post on the League [of Nations] Secretariat: has known him well for about twenty years and thinks him 'the most intelligent Indian' he has known, though lacking in ambition. Mentions that his uncles are politicians - one [Abdullah al-Mamun al-Suhrawardy] has recently died - and his father a retired High Court Judge in Calcutta. [Robert] Bridges and Walter Raleigh thought highly of him. Has a very good knowledge of Indian and European politics; is by no means a fanatic, often finding Hindu liberal politicians more sympathetic than 'his own Mahommedans', and by temperament and having lived in Europe is 'very detached and international' in outlook, as well as 'generously democratic and pacifist'. Expects he has written to Lord Lytton and Harold Williams, who supported his application for a similar position a while ago; the objection was then that he was not in touch with Indian feelings, but he has lived in India for some time since then.

Letter from Robert Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Warkworth Vicarage, Acklington, Northumberland. - Thanks for the copy of "Mallow and Asphodel", which he has much enjoyed though it is 'altogether more classical' than expected. At the moment, he prefers the last "Quern Song" and the "Sadness of Neoboule". Is staying with Canon [Richard Watson] Dixon, who will be reading the poems. Trevelyan's choice of metre for "Epimetheus" is very bold.

Letter from Robert Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Yattendon nr. Newbury. - Thanks Trevelyan for sending his new book ["Polyphemus, and Other Poems"]. Finds the same 'peculiar and individual charm' in "The Lady's Bat" as he did in the "Song of the Barley", from "Mallow and Asphodel". Found "Polyphemus" interesting, and there and in "Daphne" he sees how high Trevelyan aims. There are some things in the irregular verse which he does not understand the principle of, but it would be more pleasant to talk about these.

Letter from Robert Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Yattendon. - Has no advice to offer on the publication of Trevelyan's play: explains how his own association with Smith Elder came about; does not think a drama is likely to sell, and is scathing about the lack of literary merit of what is usually seen on the London stage; does not think Smith Elder would sell it any better than other publishers, nor does he know on what grounds they might accept or reject it; is sure Trevelyan has many friends in London who could offer better advice. Wishes he had time to read the play himself; has not yet read Mrs Woods' drama ["The Princess of Hanover"], which his wife says is very good. That is published by Duckworth, of whom he hears well and recommends considering.

Letter from Robert Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Chilswell, nr Oxford. - Sends the first corrected draft of the hexameters [work which became "Ibant Obscuri, An experiment in the classical hexameter"?], done while Bridges was in Switzerland 'skating every day'. Pity that [John William?] Mackail called when Trevelyan was there: they might have discussed things further. Thinks the experiment is promising. Asks Trevelyan not to circulate the rough manuscript.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Has talked to Mr Craile [?] about Trevelyan's book: the corrections were just in time and no more can be accepted. Binyon asks whether Trevelyan will contribute to an anthology he's preparing which is to include by himself, Bridges, Stephen Philips and others. Hopes that before Trevelyan goes north they will see each other again. Berenson was charming and he likes him 'increasingly'. Thanks Trevelyan for all he has done [during Helen Fry's illness].

Notebook with translations of Lucretius, and other works by R. C. Trevelyan

Essay about modern verse. Translation of Lucretius, "De Rerum Natura" 1.503ff. Discussion of 'a new poem by Mr [Robert] Bridges' ["Testament of Beauty"], which also brings in 'Mr [Lascelles] Abercrombie, Mr [Gordon] Bottomley, and Mr [W. B.] Yeats'; translations of Lucretius 1.570-580, 1.581-640, and 1.641ff, as well as a few pages draft of Trevelyan's "Meleager" written from other end in.

Inside cover lists 'Elthea boots' by [R. E.] Tricker & Co, and 'Puce Silk at [S. M.] Francks, Camomile St', perhaps items for Trevelyan to buy, as well as Hubert Foss's address at the Oxford University Press.

Letter from Robert Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Chilswell, nr Oxford. - Is very glad Trevelyan liked the "Paraphrase" so much [work which became "Ibant Obscuri, An experiment in the classical hexameter"?]. Detailed response to several of Trevelyan's questions, largely on elision and quantities. Address and valediction in Bridges' hand, the rest is marked as 'Dictated.'

Letter from Robert Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Chilswell nr Oxford. - Corrects two misprints in Squire's edition of his poem. Has written six poems in this 'new verse', all in 1921 and nothing since. Believes that this is free verse. Thanks Trevelyan for sending the "New Statesman" and for appreciating the poem as poetry: it is not likely to get much attention. The shortest of the six poems was published last year in "The Queen" (Bridges adds a sardonic comment about the editor).

Letter from Robert Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Chilswell nr Oxford. - Publishers given the wrong address for Trevelyan, hence the delay in his receiving Bridges' book. Thanks for the 'patient examination of my neo-Miltonics' and the review of "Come si quando". Explanation of the scansion of a line Trevelyan had trouble with. Discussion of "Kate's mother", "The Tramps", and the version of Catullus, which was the only one Herbert Warren mentioned when he wrote to Bridges.

Letter from Robert Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Chilswell nr Oxford, Boars Hill - Had hesitated to send his poem [the first book of "Testament of Beauty?"], but Logan [Pearsall Smith] assured him Trevelyan was keen to read it. Trevelyan should keep it as long as he likes, and pencil any thoughts directly in the margins. Values his criticism very highly. Hopes to print the '2nd Bk' next month.

Letter from Robert Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Chilswell. - Is very grateful for Trevelyan's comments [on "Testament of Beauty"?] and responds to some of them by explaining his thoughts on elision for this poem. Has got on fairly well with 'Pt III' 'which is of course on Breed = sex'. The philosophy gets stronger as he goes along. Thanks Mrs Trevelyan for her approval.

Notebook with translations and other works by R. C. Trevelyan

Quotation from N[orman] Douglas's "Late Harvest", with verse, 'Brief and gross is the pleasure of love's deed'. Incomplete piece on nature, pleasure, and poetry. Section from Trevelyan's "Thamyris" [page reference added after publication?], with discussion of the work of Lascelles Abercrombie and Robert Bridges. Notebook used from other end in: poem, "To Gordon Bottomley" (first line, 'All best things fade, dear Gordon, into memory and regret...'). Translation of Catullus LXI; note on translations from Aeschylus and Sophocles; translation of Mimnermus 'to his own soul', Pindar fragment 106, Tiberianus, 'Furius and Aurelius...' [Catullus XI], Pindar Pythian 4 line 67ff.

Letter from Robert Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Chilswell. - Thanks Trevelyan for his corrections [of Book III of "Testament of Beauty"]: 'inexcusable' of Bridges to send such a careless draft, but he 'did not know there were so many metrical flaws'. Will not now send out the extra copies to friends, as he had intended. Has been working for almost a couple of months at 'Bk IV' but is not progressing well with the writing of it. Is pleased Trevelyan thinks well of 'the BREED book' [Book III].

Letter from Robert Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Chilswell, Boar's Hill, Oxford. - Sends 'Bk IV' [of "Testament of Beauty"]; he waited until he had given his BBC talk, as it used his poem. 'The scheme of an apochryphal Platonic dialogue pleased me'. The fourth book is still not complete, and Trevelyan may find it less finished than the others, but he hopes some parts are better. Has a head cold, which made giving his talk difficult.

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