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Bridges, Robert Seymour (1844-1930), Poet Laureate
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Letter from Robert Gathorne-Hardy to Elizabeth Trevelyan

The Mill House, Stanford Dingley, nr Reading, Berks. - There are more letters of her husband's letters to Robert Bridges [on metrical questions, particularly in 'Testament of Youth'] than he thought; he lists them by date and mentions also fourteen letters from Bridges. Hopes he may have her permission to print them all, then he's sure the executor will also agree. Intends to add a note to each letter explaining to which poem they allude; would make the book unwieldy and difficult in terms of copyright to include quotations here. Is not planning to advertise the book publicly, but would send round notices to friends he knows are admirers of Bridges. Cannot take on a larger edition.

Copy letter from Elizabeth Trevelyan to Robert Gathorne-Hardy

Shiffolds. - Apologises for dictating her letter as she is unwell. The final decision about whether Gathorne-Hardy can use the correspondence between her husband and Robert Bridges rests with his literary executor, Humphry Trevelyan. Would like to know the details of the planned publication so that she can correspond with Humphrey: which letters; whether Gathorne-Hardy intends to insert any of the text of the poem [Testament of Beauty], as she found it difficult not having it to hand when Mrs Jones was reading the letter; whether he plans to advertise the publication widely or just amongst his friends.

Letter from Robert Gathorne-Hardy to Elizabeth Trevelyan

The Mill House, Stanford Dingley, nr Reading, Berks. - Would like to publish the letters by [Robert] Bridges to her husband about his "New Verse" and "Testament of Beauty" which he copied out when staying with her, as well as about three letters from her husband to Bridges. Sir Edmund Bridges is planning to publish a selection from his father's letters and he would not like to affect the sales for this, so a small edition of about 60 copies is planned 'as a sort of personal homage to two poets that I admire'. Robert Bridges himself was in the habit of printing very small edition of his works before wider publication. As her royalty he would send her six copies, of which one would be on 'special paper'. Will start at once if she agrees. Feels a larger edition would be a mistake. Ralph Abercrombie had the proof issue of "Testament of Beauty" containing her husband's suggested alterations; he has lent it to Sir Edward.

Letter from Edward Bridges to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Goodman's Furze, Headley, Epsom. - Writes about publication of the correspondence between his father and her husband: he plans eventually to bring out a selected volume of letters, but this is for the future; Gathorne-Hardy would like to bring out a small private edition of a few letters between R. C. Trevelyan and R. Bridges on metrical problems. He does not think this would interfere with his own later edition of the letters, and hopes she will allow Gathorne-Hardy's project to go ahead.

Letter from Joseph Scott to Elizabeth Trevelyan

University College London, Gower Street WC1. - Glad to hear the Master has now issued his report of the speeches at the opening of the Trevelyan Memorial Library; looks forward to reading them when next in Birkbeck. Still feels it is a pity to publish only a few copies of the correspondence between her husband and Robert Bridges, but can do nothing about it; does not know Sir Edward Bridges at all. Suggests a compromise which might interest Gathorne-Hardy: if he offered the text of the letters to a literary magazine such as "Essays in Criticism" or "The London Magazine" the letters would reach a wide readership, and Gathorne-Hardy would have 50 copies as offprints. His family are well. Hopes that she and Mrs Jones are well.

Letter from Robert Gathorne-Hardy to Elizabeth Trevelyan

The Mill House, Stanford Dingley, nr Reading, Berks. - Is sorry not to have written sooner: he is chair of his district council, which takes up 'all of [his] intellectual energy'. The district council also caused him to miss the opening of the library [the Trevelyan Memorial Library at Birkbeck College, London]; he was very sorry not to hear Morgan Forster's speech and would love to get hold of a copy. He is loth to bring out more than a small edition of the letters [between her husband and Robert Bridges] firstly as it would take time and he only has the weekends for the work, and secondly because Sir Edward Bridges is thinking of his own edition of his father's letters.

Letter from Robert Gathorne-Hardy to Elizabeth Trevelyan

The Mill House, Stanford Dingley, nr Reading, Berks. - Has received an invitation to the opening of the library [the Trevelyan Memorial Library at Birkbeck College, London] for which he thanks Elizabeth, but unfortunately he has a district council meeting then which he cannot miss. Would love to have seen her and heard Morgan Forster's address. Has proposed to Sir Edward Bridges the publication of a small private edition of the correspondence between Robert Bridges and Robert Calverley Trevelyan on prosody. He seems to agree and has sent him some typed copies. Asks if he may be allowed to print some of them.

Letter from Robert Gathorne-Hardy to Elizabeth Trevelyan

The Mill House, Stanford Dingley, nr Reading, Berks. - Has written to tell Sir Edward Bridges that he can see the copy of his father's "Testament of Beauty" [a proof copy, with notes by R. C. Trevelyan] when he himself returns from Italy. Can 'almost compete with Julian over his story about the lion': relates a conversation he overhead in a Chelsea pub about an alligator in someone's room. Has not had an invitation to the opening of the library [the R. C. Trevelyan Memorial Library at Birkbeck College, London] but would love to attend.

Letter from Edward Bridges to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Goodman's Furze, Headley, Epsom. - Has got copies made of the correspondence between his father and her husband, which he sends, along with the twenty-two original letters she lent him from his father to her husband, and some from his mother and sister which he has not had copied. He also sends seven letters from her husband to his father and a copy of an eighth, the original of which was stuck into a book. Most of the letters were written in 1927 and 1928, and formed part of a series of letters preserved by his father from those to whom he had sent proof copies of the "Testament of Beauty". Has pencilled years on undated letters. He has no record of the comments and criticism which her husband made on this poem, and asks she would be willing to lend him the proof copies in which these were made. He also asks if he could be given the chance to acquire the letters if she ever thinks of parting with them.

Typed copy of letter, 4 Dec 1908, from R. C. Trevelyan to Robert Bridges

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking. 4 Dec. 1908. - Has requested his publisher send Bridges a copy of his play "Sisyphus". Several passages are written according to a quantitative system, which he fears may displease Bridges; they were written before he had seen Bridges' Virgil ["Ibant obscuri..."]. He feels greater licence should be allowed to dramatic verse, and develops his principles, which he thinks differ from Bridges'. Hopes the Virgil will soon be published.

Letter from Edward Bridges to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Goodman's Furze, Headley, Epsom. - Acknowledges with thanks the safe receipt of his father's letters to her husband. Will return them as soon as he has had them copied, also her husband's letters to his father (keeping copies for himself). Hopes one day a selection of his father's letters will be published; thinks that Gathorne-Hardy would like to publish a couple of the letters to her husband, but will write again before anything is decided.

Letter from Edward Bridges to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Goodmans Furze, Headley, Epsom. - Asks if he might have a typed copy made of the letters his father wrote to her husband, as he is trying to collect his father's letters. Recently heard from R. Gathorne-Hardy that she had shown him letters from Robert Bridges. Offers to have a typed copy made of her husband's letters to his father, or to return the originals and keep a copy himself.

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].

Letter from Edward Marsh to R. C. Trevelyan

86 Walton St, S.W.3. - Thanks Bob for his "Translations [from Latin Poetry]"; thinks Bob's "Michael Angelo" is 'very fine', as is "The Setting of the Moon'; thinks he likes the Propertius best of the translations, and 'Ovid comes off very well'. Remembers Bob's 'retraction' in Eddie's favour of his 'dictum that the Odes were untranslatable', and wishes he could say Bob had changed his own mind about Catullus; afraid he still thinks him 'quite uncapturable', though Bob's "Sirmio" [Catullus 31] is 'charming'. Is 'rather baffled' by Bob's Lucretian hexameters: he seems to 'have coquetted rather half-heartedly with [Robert] Bridges' "Quantities"'. Tiberianus must be an 'enchanting poet'; had never heard of him before. Is sending Bob a 'little book' he 'brought out under duress' the year before last ["Minima", see 15/316], which is 'beautifully produced, but far too expensive'; has just 'salvaged a few copies of the huge "remainder" to give away'. Is proud of his Milton imitations, but the 'rest are nugatory'.

Notebook with translations of Virgil's "Aeneid" book 4 and Montaigne I.28, with other works by R. C. Trevelyan

List of fragments from Greek tragedy and comedy on inside front cover and following page. Verse, 'Mad as the wind are the thoughts of lovers...'. Translation of Virgil's "Aeneid" Book 4 line 465ff; lists under headings 'Greek translations' and 'Latin translations' interpolated. Heading, 'Autobiographical notes', followed by poem, 'All best things fade, dear Gordon [Bottomley]'; translation of Catullus 11 upside-down at the bottom of this. Part translation of Catullus 65; essay or notes for speech citing Tennyson and Catullus. Essay, 'Greek and Roman Poets'. Translation of Montaigne I.28.

Notebook used from other end in: poem, 'What do you then believe?...'. Another version of 'All best things fade...'. Draft of "Dandelions" [published in the "From the Shiffolds" of Christmas 1947. Essay on Trevelyan's translations of Montaigne. List of contents for "Windfalls" [the second, extended, edition of 1948]. Essay on nature and happiness [two versions]. Verse, 'Mountains and rocks seem motionless and lifeless...'. Heading, 'Confession Haeretici', followed by notes and verse, 'Though now your body is growing old...'. Heading, 'Religio Poetae', followed by notes listing autobiographical topics and verse, which may carry on from the page before; list of topics relating to poetry on the next page. Verse, 'In the days of Omar, Commander of the Faithful...'. Translation of Catullus 7. Autobiographical piece about his father showing him Macaulay's annotations to the text of Catullus. Translation from Horace, "Satires" II.7. Notes on Robert Bridge's "Testament of Beauty". Page count [for the new edition of "Windfalls"].

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 Marie Busch to R. C. Trevelyan

147 Willifield Way, Golders Green, N.W.11. - [Irene] Cooper Willis has sent her the cuttings [about the death of Helena 'Nellie' Swanwick]; she has read them to their 'old friend' Henry Swadling [former manservant to the Sickert family] and now returns them. He could not find the last letter which Nellie [Swanwick] wrote to him, but will send it to her when he does. Has read [Robert Bridges'] "Testament of Beauty", which she only partly understands but likes what she can grasp of it; for the first time in her life she is 'getting closer to Shakespeare', and she is re-reading ["The Tale of"] Genji with pleasure.

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 Monica Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Chilswell, Boar's Hill. - Thanks Trevelyan for the copy of Suhrawardy's poems, which she has shared with Elizabeth. Expected them to be mystical, so was a little disappointed with the love poems. Likes "In the Earth unbroken", "The Cotswolds" and "In Russia". Does not have Suhrawardy's address, and asks Trevelyan, when he next writes, to thank him for remembering her with a copy; hopes she will see him when he comes to England. Has taken an interest in a blind man, Harry Booth, son of an unemployed Yorkshire miner, who won a scholarship to Oxford and wrote a B.Litt. thesis on "Robert Bridges and the poetry of today". Hopes he can get better work than reading Braille proofs, 'very tedious and ill-paid': thinks he could teach well.

Letter from Cyril Bailey to R. C. Trevelyan

The King's Mound, Mansfield Road, Oxford. - Thanks Trevelyan for his 'kind and generous letter'; glad that his criticism [in a review of Trevelyan's translation of Lucretius for the TLS, see 21/43] did not seem 'unjust'. Was sure Trevelyan must have felt the 'disadvantage... of blank verse' far more than he himself did as a reader; agrees that it has compensations, and does not think there is really an alternative; discusses possibilities, particularly verse forms used by [Robert] Bridges; Bridge's hexameters 'irritated' Bailey. Asks Trevelyan to let him know if he ever comes to Oxford, to make sure of meeting; could almost always give him somewhere to sleep if needed. Both Trevelyan's brother's are 'such old friends' of Bailey's wife, and indeed of Bailey himself.

Letter from Monica Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Chilswell. - Thanks Trevelyan for the long letter about the scansion of the '"busilie" line [from Bridges' version of "Priam and Achilles", see 1/190]; unfortunately it is now too late to reverse her changes. Defends her position a little. Robert used to discuss English quantitative verse with her a great deal. Wishes she had consulted Trevelyan.

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 Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Rodwell House, Baylham, Nr. Ipswich. - Thanks Bob for sending a copy of his book ["Rimeless Numbers?"]; will pass on the copy he has already bought. Praises Bob's use of hexameter; thinks he has 'perfected [Robert] Bridges's notion and made it a possible vehicle for a discursive kind of eloquence', though he warns against 'run[ning] on rather aimlessly', using 'very banal phrases' and 'the conventional poetic'. Thinks that 'all distinctively poetical language ought to be banned'. Finds some of the other unrhymed metres difficult, probably as he is 'not so familiar with the classic types they come from'. Asks if Bob has read Peter Quennell's book on Japan; thinks it is very good.

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 Monica Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Chilswell, Boar's Hill. - Kind of Trevelyan to ask for consent before printing an extract from a letter from her husband; glad for him to use it, though he should be sure to give the date, as her husband's 'rules & theories about quantitive verse' altered a little with time. Enjoyed reading Trevelyan's paper this morning; would like to keep the book for a little longer as there are some other papers which interest her.

Letter from Edward Bridges to R. C. Trevelyan

Chilswell, Nr Oxford. - Writes on behalf of his mother after the death of his father to thank Trevelyan and his wife for their letters of sympathy. Until quite recently, they expected his father to have some years' enjoyment of life still, but he seems to have wanted the end to come 'quickly and peacefull, as it did'. His father was very grateful to Trevelyan for the close attention he paid to his later poetic 'experiments'.

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