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Berenson, Bernard (1865-1959) art historian
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Letter from Bernard Berenson to Elizabeth Trevelyan

I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Thanks for her appreciation of his tribute to [Carlo] Placci, though he says "Horizon" cut much of it out ["A Latin Profile", "Horizon", June 1946, pp. 385-399]. As an undergraduate, people expected him to become a novelist, but he feels the marshalling of detail in narrative would have been difficult for him. Wishes the Trevelyans could visit again. He has much enjoyed Robert's translations of Virgil's "Bucolics" ["Eclogues"] and "Georgics", as well as his introductions and notes.

Letter from Bernard Berenson to Elizabeth Trevelyan

I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Discusses his lack of fear when in the hands of the Germans, and his alarm at the threat he feels Soviet communism poses to Europe. Doubts whether he will ever travel to England again, but thinks of the Trevelyans often. Message from Nicky Mariano to Bessie written to the side of the letter: she thanks Bessie for praising her diary; several friends have suggested the end needs revising if she is to publish it; describes her feelings of 'bewildered relief....' at the end of the war.

Letter from Bernard Berenson to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Casa al Dono, Vallombrosa (Prov. di Firenze). - Is greatly touched by Bessie's letter: 'I have cared little for admiration, but have been insatiable for affection'. His health is failing and his hearing becoming worse. Another book of his is coming out soon in Italy, but he fears the English version will not be published for years.

Letter from Bernard Berenson to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Casa al Dono, Vallombrosa (Prov. di Firenze). - Thanks for the letter and Bob's photo. Sympathises with Bessie on the disposal of Bob's library and letters. Thinks Wallington is the place for the letters, if Sir Charles will have them, otherwise some public library will take them; 'they must not be scattered'. Asks her to give his own letters to Bob to Silvia Sprigge, or send them to Umberto Morra. Feels that now Bob is dead and she cannot get about his walks, she would be best to leave the Shiffolds and move up to London. Recently had a visit from Bessie's relative Hubquelet [?].

Letter from Bernard Berenson to Elizabeth Trevelyan

I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Hearing from Elizabeth that she was going to sell Robert's books, he contacted his friend Philip Hofer of the Harvard University Library about the possibility of them going there as the "R. C. Trevelyan library". Sends a letter from Hofer [now not present] with a proposal. Expects she has seen Sylvia Sprigge and will soon see Morra, and looks forward to hearing from them how she is. Is suffering from hay-fever and soon going to Ischia.

Letter from Bernard Berenson to Elizabeth Trevelyan

I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Had no intention of distancing himself by his calling her 'Elizabeth' rather than 'Bessie' in his last letter [1/139]. It is distressing that she cannot move or plan 'without fear of government interference'. His hay-fever is better, but still annoying. Thanks for the letters, which Sylvia [Sprigge] brought back. His diary of the war years is coming out and he will send her a copy.

Letter from Bernard Berenson to Elizabeth Trevelyan

I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Apologises for not replying sooner to Bessie's last letter, having been too weak to write after flu. The market value of books is poor, so he is afraid she will not be able to meet her 'great expectations' for Bob's books: large edition of Botticelli drawings now an 'encumbrance'. Glad to hear Julian does well; remembers he had a good sense of colour. Also glad his second marriage is a success. Fears he will never see England again.

Letter from Bernard Berenson to Elizabeth Trevelyan

I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Glad to hear that Bessie's health is improved and she can now concentrate on finding a home for Bob's books. Fears he will only be able to spare £20, but hopes that sufficient contributions will be found. E. M. Forster visited recently, and he talked very fondly of Bob and the Shiffolds, as does Sylvia Sprigge. Morra is always on the move; Berenson does not think he has been in London lately and he would certainly visit Bessie if he could.

Letter from Bernard Berenson to Elizabeth Trevelyan

I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Thanks for the letter and the anthology of Bob's poetry. A pity that Desmond [MacCarthy] did not live to write about Bob. Has Forster's and Virginia Woolf's last books but has not yet read them: the number of periodicals he must read leaves little time for books. Nicky reads them to him but it is slow going; the current book is Iris Origo's biography of Leopardi. Julian must come and visit next time he is in Italy.

Letter from Bernard Berenson to Elizabeth Trevelyan

I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Glad Bessie is in better health and spirits; he himself suffers but this is to be expected at nearly 89. Bessie's friend Mr Rees may visit I Tatti, and Berenson himself will be happy to see him if there and well enough. Molly Nicolson visited recently, before that Cyril Connolly; they are expecting Rosamond Lehmann and Ernest Hemingway. His book on Piero della Francesca will not appear before July.

Letter from Bernard Berenson to Elizabeth Trevelyan

I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Has received and praises the speech given by Bessie at the opening of Robert's library [at Bickbeck College, London; also glad to see Forster's speech. It must have been a pleasing and happy occasion. He and Nicky are glad she has good friends in England, and he wishes he could travel and see her again. The 'Julian couple' were charming.

Letter from Bernard Berenson to Elizabeth Trevelyan

I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Thanks for the photograph of 'Bobbie'. Is glad to hear about her grandson [Julian's son Philip]. Will be going to Tripoli in two days, and will return slowly via Calabria, Naples and Rome: this will get them away from a 'crowd of callers' as he needs rest after his bad fall last December. Is looking for his photograph to send her.

Letter from Bernard Berenson to Elizabeth Trevelyan

I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Glad to hear Bessie enjoys being alive in a lovely landscape; he can say the same, though old age is tiresome. Will happily send the photograph, though Nicky is not sure which one Bessie wants: is it the one of him in a chaise longue? Il Frulino [sic: usually 'Il Frullino'] was Mary's house before they married; Bob used to stay there too. Will soon go to Vallombrosa to escape the summer heat.

Letter from Bernard Berenson to Elizabeth Trevelyan

I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Agrees that it is difficult to destroy personal letters, though one knows they will interest others either too much or not at all; understands how she clings to those Bob wrote to her. If she comes across letters he himself wrote to Bob, please do send them on. Hopes she is getting on well with her son and his wife.

Letter from Nicky Mariano to Elizabeth Trevelyan

I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - B.B. apologises for not replying himself, but he is not totally recovered from illness before Christmas. He was very glad to have news of Bessie and her family; Trevy would have enjoyed seeing their grandson Philip grow up. Days between the wars when Trevy used to visit seem quiet and idyllic compared to the demands on their time now. She and B.B still manage to read together a good deal: they have just finished Alan Moorehead's "Gallipolli" and now are engrossed in Harold Acton's "Bourbons of Naples".

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Robert Bridges

I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Is currently abroad, but will return around Easter, when he looks forward to reading Book III [of "Testament of Beauty"]. Has with him the proofs of the first two books, which he will re-read next week at Ravello. Berenson asks him to send greetings. He supposes he must in a few months 'enlarge [his] surname' [to receive a legacy?] but for the moment signs himself still 'R. C. Trevelyan'.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Glad to hear Elizabeth is comfortably settled at Florence; hopes she and Bob are enjoying their time with the Berensons; supposes they will reach Ravello around Christmas. Charles and Mary are back from 'ten days in their constituency with meetings every night'. There was a Women's Liberal Association meeting at Cambo on Wednesday; Charles chaired and Miss [Florence?] Balgarnie spoke, and it was an excellent meeting. Charles is now 'first rate' at public speaking, and Mary also can speak 'quite nicely'. Had a letter from Miss Somerville about the Westminster bazaar, which made forty pounds; she said the 'very nice things' which Elizabeth had sent sold quickly. Good to hear that Elizabeth and Robert's [new] house has got on so well; probably good for her to have a quiet time before she has to start thinking about moving, though it is possible to have so much. Caroline herself sometimes feels that at Wallington if she sees no one but Sir George for a week, though he - and Robert - are the 'best of company'. Hopes Elizabeth will come to Welcombe for Easter, when Robert is with his friends [on George Moore's reading holiday]. George is coming to them next week, and they go to Welcombe on 27 December. There is a 'great fuss' at the Grosvenor Cr[escen]t Club: the proprietress seems 'unsatisfactory', while the food and management have been 'very bad'; Caroline had decided to leave before she hear about the row. Julia seems to be the 'centre of it'; Caroline will send Elizabeth her letter. Julia is not 'very delightful or interesting, but she is perfectly respectable & not at all fast!'. Caroline paid Elizabeth's subscription on 17 January, so she had better write a resignation letter before then if she does not want to carry on; it is a great pity, as it 'was really a nice club at one time'. There will be a 'school treat' on Thursday, so she is hoping the mild weather will last. Is reading 'such a pleasant life of Burne Jones by his wife' ["Memorials of Edward Burne-Jones"]. Calls the Pre-Raphaelites 'an innocent high minded set, with all their absurdities'.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Grand Hôtel Continental, Siena. - Rather 'arctic' in Siena; Hilda Trevelyan has been staying here a while and will come to tea tonight; she is leaving tomorrow. He and Caroline enjoyed Florence very much; all the new building is in the suburbs so the 'essential part of the city' is not at all spoiled. They had a good visit to the Berensons, whose house must be good to stay in. Supposes Robert is at Cambridge today. Sends love to Elizabeth, with assurances of their interest in Paul and his 'troubles'; made friends with a 'lovely little Italian baby' in a street near the Duomo yesterday. Has read about the Sicilian property [left to Robert by Florence Trevelyan, but only after her husband's death]; does not feel great confidence and dislikes the way the will was arranged in Sicily rather than by the Trustees' lawyer, which benefits Dr Cacciola; however, Robert 'is in good hands,' and his financial prospects mean he need not 'undertake certain worry for an uncertain prospective gain'. Is very interested in the third volume of [Guglielmo] Ferrero's ["The Greatness and Decline of Rome": "The Fall of An Aristocracy"] and has Cicero's "Philippics" with him. Currently reading the "Heauton Timorumenos" [Terence's "The Self-Tormentor"], which is a 'rattling comedy'.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Happy to be expecting Elizabeth and Julian today. Interested to hear about the castle [at Aulla, owned by Aubrey and Lina Waterfield?], and envies Robert's chance of 'a fine fortnight near Florence' [with the Berensons]. Caroline has just finished reading Colonel Young's book on the Medicis, which pleased her greatly, and Sir George intends to try it. Young appears to be 'an old Indian officer', and his work to be 'free from that sort of canting way in which people think it is necessary to write about Italy... like Symonds, Hare, and in some sort Ruskin' and 'hundreds' of other lesser writers. There was a 'glorious eclipse of the moon' last night, and 'much distress of politicians for it to portend'. They are going to read Forster's novel ["Howards End"] aloud, having finished [Arnold Bennett's] "Clayhanger" which was 'admirable'. Adds in a postscript that Major Dobbin [in Thackeray's "Vanity Fair"] might have written Colonel Young's book, 'instead of his history of the Sikhs'; it has 'the honesty and thoroughness of [Sir George's] Colonel Gerald Boyle" [who composed a manuscript "Notes on the War of the American Revolution"?].

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Sends a few of his latest reviews [for "The American Revolution"], from 'the critical time' after ten days reading, as well as the "Freeman" ["Freeman's Journal"] from Dublin, the marked passages of which have pleased him more than anything else written about the book. His post this morning suggests that the book has been 'greatly reviewed in America', and he looks forward to reading them. Originally enclosing a 'very gratifying letter' from [Bernard] Berenson; noticeable that the English reviews 'all extract from other parts than the American passages, which are the best in the book'.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

8, Grosvenor Crescent, S.W. - Discusses the possible purchase of an Italian picture: it is a 'serious matter' as their expenses are very heavy this year, and the picture must be 'a good one for the Library' if it is to be bought. They have 'great confidence' in [Bernard] Berenson and are much obliged to him. Would like Robert to see the picture and decide whether it is in good condition and whether they would like it; they like the idea of a portrait. Would be prepared to pay up to four hundred guineas for it. They are enjoying their London season. George will be with Robert soon bringing this letter.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

8, Grosvenor Crescent, S.W. - Heard the news of the sale of the picture [see 12/26] with mixed feelings: it 'confirmed one's opinions of Mr Berenson's judgement' and revived feelings of regret', but on the other hand they feared the actual picture was too small for their purpose. Much obliged to Berenson and Robert for the trouble taken. Charles has made his maiden speech [in the House of Commons] which was well-received; even the "Times" was 'mollified and interested'. Charles 'has the instinct of the place', as could be noticed in 'Edward Grey's early performances'.

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