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Trevelyan, Elizabeth (1875-1957) musician, known as Bessie
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Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven

Pension Palumbo, Ravello, Golfo di Salerno. - Apologises if his letter writing has fallen off; has been more absorbed in his work recently. Has received her New Year's letter; a delight to know she loves him so much; discusses separation and distance. The Straughn Davidsons came today, 'two brothers and the wife of one' [James Leigh Strachan-Davidson and either of George or William, his brothers?]; they are nice people, though they do break up his 'pleasant solitude'. Has not got on well with his writing recently; thinks he is stale and should take the day off tomorrow to read novels. Is going to bed now to read Stephenson's letters, which Davidson has lent him.

Returns to the letter next morning with a description of last night's dreams, one about eating a breakfast of 'the staple diet of trout in a pond', and another about kissing an unknown young lady. Some of Stevenson's letters are well worth reading; thinks he was 'a pleasant fellow with a real streak of genius', though does not join in the 'prevalent R.L.S. worship'. Asks if she knows "Treasure Island", "[The Master of] Ballantrae" and his short stories. If the forecast is correct and they are due 'some dirty weather', the Strachan-Davidsons will be an 'acquisition'. Has skipped on to the second act of his play, and is 'plugging away at the faithful wife'; the difficulty is the villain, who is 'a plausible gentlemanly kind'. Encloses a dried beetle which he found 'in that state' on his cliff; sends it in response to her almond, and has placed 'not a few kisses on his back'. Very sorry her aunt is so unwell. Glad Willy v[an] R[iemsdijk] is not going [to the Second Boer War]; does not know what is going to happen. Sorry that she is to have so little time with [Bram] Eldering; hopes she will be able to go on her return from England. Returns to the letter after 'midday tea'; has not yet heard from [Bernard] Berenson but thinks he will pay him a visit of a couple of days if he wishes. Has finished [Shorthouse's] "John Inglesant", which he now does not think is a real success; looks forward to being able to discuss such things with her in their own house. Quotes a music hall song of Eugene Stratton about love. Is not a natural letter-writer; she is much better than he is.

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.

Christmas card from Veronica Wedgwood to R. C. Trevelyan

32 and 34 Bloomsbury Street, W.C.1. - Printed message inside: 'With Best Wishes for Christmas and the New Year from TIME and TIDE". Hand written message on the back page of the card, saying Bob's was a 'lovely [emphasised] Christmas Card' [this year's "From the Shiffolds"?]; this card is a 'most unworthy' reply. Quite understands about the review: expects everything he writes is 'booked well in advance by editors', but asks to be remembered for a translation or poem if possible. Sends Christmas greetings to both Trevelyans. Hopes Bob's operation [on the prostate, see 4/246?] will 'not be too uncomfortable; and is very sorry about it.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Roger Fry

Pensione Palumbo, Ravello, prov. di Salerno. - Explains how the rumour of Fry's death [see also 4/46 and 4/47] spread: it originated from [William] Sharp who told the Grandmonts at Taormina that he had seen an obituary; they then wrote to Helen [Fry], and to Bessie who wired to the Enticknaps who replied this morning that the Frys were both well, and only then told Trevelyan. Hopes the obituary was not that of Fry's brother, cousin [Lewis George Fry] the painter or any other near relation. Has finished the first act of his new play, on a mediaeval theme. His "Cecilia Gonzaga" is coming out in a month or two. Johnson has been bothering him over the £10 Trevelyan would not pay [for printing “Polyphemus and Other Poems”], claiming it is Fry's fee, which Trevelyan does not think has been paid. Does not want to quarrel with Johnson as he has the remainder of the edition but thinks he is trying to swindle them. Asks whether the Frys have changed houses; also whether he has done anything on their Claude, whether the Bellinis [works by Jacopo Bellini discovered by Fry in Venice which he hoped would be bought by the National Gallery] will come, and about 'the Cosimo and your petition to the Balfours'. News from Ravello about ‘the Kershaw’, Madam Palumbo, Tufti, Francesca and Mrs Reid. Fry’s portrait of ‘Old Pal. [Pasquale Palumbo]’ is much treasured by Madam Palumbo. They are reading [Richardson's] "Clarissa". Going to Palermo in about a month, and hope to see Lina. Berenson is in good humour with Fry; Trevelyan has been correcting some of his proofs.

Card from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Northlands, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Does not know where Mrs Fry can be. Donald [Tovey] has 'counted on her', taken on an small furnished flat in Edinburgh, and is here to fetch her; he now proposes to go back and make do with a charwoman. Would be very grateful if Bessie could 'catch her and send her here'. Donald's 'latest proposition' is to go without any lunch.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Zermatt. - Thanks Elizabeth for her note and telegram; Caroline had written to 'the poor lady'. Glad the concert went well, and hopes next week will be good; Dolmetsch must appreciate Elizabeth playing. Zermatt suits Sir George very well and he is taking 'quite long walks'; they are staying an extra day, going to Martigny on Wednesday, then driving over the Tête Noire to Chamonix. They will spend three days there before travelling home, arriving in London on 25 June. Sir George is going up to Wallington; Caroline asks if she could visit Elizabeth and Robert on the way to Welcombe, bringing Pantlin, who could stay in the village. Glad Elizabeth is comfortable at Gr[osvenor] C[rescent]; hears Mrs Cooper [the cook] is back so hopes Elizabeth will take all her meals at home; she should also use the carriage, as Mary and Janet do. There are quite a few people here, but it must be 'horrible' in season.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Agrees with Robert's view of Euripides, although he reads so much of him; discusses Macaulay's view of the "Iphigenia in Tauris". Has just finished [Aristophanes's] "Batrachoi" ["The Frogs"] with 'intense delight'. Has finished the 'American part' of his book [a volume of "The American Revolution"] and has one concluding chapter left to write. Will send Bessy a hare if he can get one. Would like to make [Goldsworthy Lowes] Dickinson a 'Special Commissioner of Road Traffic'].

Letter from Hasan Shahid Suhrawardy to R. C. Trevelyan

14, Rue Nungesser et Coli, Paris 16e. - Saw Julian yesterday, and was glad to hear that Bob had recovered; Julian did not come last week in case Suhrawardy had not recovered from his pneumonia, during which his temperature went up to over 107 which his doctor says 'only happens to savages'. He is now much better. Has seen a lot of his friends the Singhs, who have now gone to London. His father has written to say he will be in Europe in September, and he has also be offered a Readership at the Calcutta University, to give six lectures on 'Mussulman Art' over the winter, so he has decided to go to India with his father in November. The Singhs are taking on the flat in Pembridge Crescent at which Trevelyan came to see Suhrawardy at the end of this month. Might be in London at the beginning of June and would love to come and see the Trevelyans if so. Julian mentioned that Mrs Trevelyan had had to give up her trip to Holland because of illness; hopes it was nothing serious. Madame G[ermanova] sends her love; excuses herself for not writing, but they have no maid so she is doing a lot of housework. Her husband [Aleksandre Kalitinsky] is much better. Rex [the dog] loves the warm weather. Asks him to tell Mrs Trevelyan that most of his vegetable were eaten by hares.

Letter from William Rothenstein to Elizabeth Trevelyan

The Four Winds, Ewhurst, Surrey [home of Stopford Brooke]. - The weather was so bad this morning that it 'seemed useless to come over for a sitting', since the Trevelyans' rooms 'under the best circumstances only allow a limited amount of light'; asks if he can come another time. Would like best for Mrs Trevelyan to stay a weekend at his house so that he may draw her in his own studio, and asks the Trevelyans to consider it. Meant to stay at Ewhurst over the weekend, but is due at Oxford on Saturday so will leave early that morning. Was 'pleasant to get a glimpse' of Mrs Trevelyan.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven

Hotel & Pension Palumbo, Ravello, Golfo di Salerno. - Apologises for not writing more often. Is very sorry that her aunt has been so unwell; hopes the anxious time has now passed; can quite understand how her uncle might 'develop infinite degrees of fussiness' under the strain and thus be 'the direct opposite of [Alphonse] Grandmont' as he is in many other ways. Hopes Tuttie [Maria Hubrecht] also recovers quickly. His aunt Annie [Anna Maria Philips] is a 'dear creature', but always complains he does not write to or visit her enough; he also likes her 'invalid friend [Sophie Wicksteed]... to whom she has devoted herself'. His letter [about the landslide which damaged the Hotel Cappuccini at Amalfi] appeared in the "[Manchester] Guardian" on 2 January; it has pleased the locals as it says the coast is quite safe; thinks he will 'take to journalism', which is much easier than writing verse plays'. However, he has got on well this afternoon; is 'making no end of the wife, who is no end of a heroine'; teases Bessie by saying she will not get the chance to be such a faithful wife, as he will keep a closer eye on her. Copies out 'an old fellow who wrote about you in the 17th century' [Richard Crashaw, "Wishes to his (Supposed) Mistress"].

Continues the letter next morning; has breakfasted and 'pumped [his] ideas on Latin poetry into bucket Straughn Davidson [James Leigh Strachan-Davidson?] for half an hour'. Finishes copying out the Crashaw poem; thinks it influenced Browning. Glad Bessie has heard some music. Is 'very fond of Rameau', and has 'often heard Dolmetsch play him'. They must find out where Gluck is being played and go there; he 'can't wait much longer without hearing the Iphigenia and the other great ones'; though she might think him a Wagnerian. Hopes she will hear Lamond again. Finishes the letter in early afternoon. It is cold and stormy, and he will go to 'a nook under the cliff' to work. Discusses the rumours that there are letters incriminating [Joseph] Chamberlain [in the Jameson Raid?]; the 'Parnell letters and the Henry forgeries [in the Dreyfus case]' are warnings to be careful about such things, though if genuine they should be published; if this leads to a 'basis for peace so much the better'. Hopes Bessie's housekeeping is not tiring her; he will not be 'exacting' when they are married, 'especially with Mrs Enticknap to do everything' for her

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Glad they can hope to see Elizabeth; thinks it is the best thing, especially as she is keeping Nurse Catt, which is very good news; the other nurse cannot have been very clever or she would have made friends with [Julian]. Charlie calls him 'a superb little chap'; he and Mary will be glad it is settled. Asks Elizabeth to tell Nurse Catt how glad she is she is staying, and that the north country air will do her good. Asks her to let Maria know when to expect them [at Grosvenor Crescent]; discusses travel arrangements. Sir Charles Dalrymple and his daughter [Alice?] are visiting on the 24th, and some neighbours are coming to dinner, but otherwise they will be quiet. Geordie [George Lowthian Trevelyan] has recovered from chickenpox and the girls show no sign of it yet; they have not been to Wallington so Julian will be safe. Politics is very exciting; was 'very glad the Conference failed'. Elizabeth's Dutch paper has begun to arrive. Sure she has done the best thing about the nurse, even if Mrs Catt only stays a few months. Good for the Liberal party to have the R[ussell] Reas at Tannhurst [sic: Tanhurst]; fears Elizabeth cannot fight the seat this time. Asks Elizabeth in a postscript to send a telegraph with their arrival day, as she may want to go to Newcastle.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Flora Russell

Thanks Flora for the kind offer of a 'goat cream cheese'; he will 'delight in it', and it will bring back memories of Greece and Italy; is not sure about Bessie, who feels 'a little unworthy of it', but will give it a try. Hopes to go to Italy at the end of March to see [Bernard] Berenson, and a friend at Corton [Umberto Morra]; also hopes to see Lina [Waterfield], who is 'bad about writing' but is no doubt busy with 'her fondo and other things'. Cannot discover where Pan was born; Tmolus is 'as likely as anywhere' and is often associated with him, as in Shelley's "Hymn to Pan". Glad his translations pleased her; has not been able to write any of his own poetry for a 'long time now'. Hopes to visit her before going to Italy.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Geneva. - Came on here from Chamonix yesterday because of bad weather. Discusses arrangements for visiting Elizabeth; would be glad to see B[ertrand] Russell and his wife if they are there. The end of the holiday is approaching and she is in some ways happy to be leaving the mountains, which are 'very, very wonderful' but 'one gets a little oppressed with them'. Booa [Mary Prestwich] was quite unwell at Chamonix, but is better today. Hopes the second concert went well.

Letter from Hasan Shahid Suhrawardy to R. C. Trevelyan

Is very touched by Trevelyan's dedication of his plays ["Three Plays: Sulla, Fand, The Pearl-Tree"] to him. It is his fault that Madame G[ermanova] did not send the receipt earlier, since he kept putting off his departure for England; now he will leave on Friday, taking the car on the wish of the Singhs with whom he is staying. Will be at 6, Carlton Mansions, Pall Mall S.W.(1), where he stayed with his father. Originally enclosing photographs for Mrs Trevelyan. Asks if Julian was there.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - News of Julian, who 'evidently thought that it was an innovation [sic] not to find [Elizabeth] in the library', and Sir George, who is slightly unwell; thinks 'the excitement of the election' has over-tired him. Tomorrow it is the Rothley treat, and the Cambo treat is on Thursday. Hopes Elizabeth is having a good time at Rounton [Grange, home of the Bells]; misses her and loved having her for such a long stay.

Card from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Northlands, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Thanks Bessie heartily; got Mrs Fry here yesterday [see 8/101], and feels she can like and trust her; sorted out plate and linen with her and she goes to 'take possession' [of Donald Tovey] on Thursday. Bessie is almost the only person she can 'bear to hear mention the war'; comments about the 'Slav war'.

Letter from Evelyn Spence Weiss to R. C. Trevelyan

73 Longton Avenue, Sydenham, SE26. - She and her husband thank Trevelyan 'most warmly' for another volume "From the Shiffolds", which they greatly value; has 'read & reread' the others. Was just about to write to Mrs Trevelyan when the book came; much appreciates how 'beautifully printed' it is, given her bad eyesight. Will include a letter for Mrs Trevelyan with their 'little news'. She is aging and her memory is certainly getting worse, though she recalls things from the 'far past' such as going for a walk with Trevelyan and her sister while their mothers talked. She tore her 'poor summer frock.. nearly from waist to hem' when they climbed a fence with barbed wire, and she remembers Lady Trevelyan mending it 'in the lovely Wallington hall'. Seems a 'far cry' from then to her golden wedding anniversary, which she and her husband celebrated in March; 'what a new world, not alas "brave new world"' it is now. Adds a postscript saying that her husband's arm 'made a perfect recovery': the surgeons said it was '"like a young man's"'.

Letter from William Rothenstein to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Iles Farm, Far Oakridge, Nr. Chalford, Glos. - Is very glad to hear that Mrs Trevelyan's husband is home [from the Far East] 'safe and well'. Very sorry to have missed the Bottomleys. Will visit when he can, and when Mrs Trevelyan 'care[s] to sit' to him; looks forward to hearing about Robert Trevelyan's travels. Adds a postscript that [Rabindranath] Tagore is reading his play "Chitra" at 21 Cromwell Road at 5 tomorrow afternoon; he himself cannot leave work, but there might be a chance of the Trevelyans being in London.

Letter from Umberto Morra di Lavriano to R. C. Trevelyan

I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - First page begins with a list of passages or words from G.M. Trevelyan's "English Social History" which are unclear to Morra; the letter follows with an opening apology for sending them. Had a good journey back from England, arriving on Christmas Eve and finding B.B. [Berenson] and the household well; is going to Cortona tomorrow then on to Rome, where Trevelyan should send his reply. Was delighted to spend two days with the Trevelyans. They are expecting a visit at I Tatti, but Trevelyan must let them know when he plans to come, as they may be moving in the spring. Has been reading the "Journal" of Charles Du Bos for 1921-1923, which is fascinating, sometimes deep and sometimes exasperating; Trevelyan appears more than once.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Julian Trevelyan

Asks if Julian and Ursula would mind if he [dedicated] his play "Fand" to them both [in his forthcoming "Collected Works"]; Julian will remember that it was acted at Boars Hill, Oxford, and Bob wanted him to paint a yew-tree for it but John Masefield preferred there to be no scenery. The previous play, the "Pearl Tree", is dedicated to [Hasan Shahid] Suhrawardy, and "Sulla" to Gordon Luce. Is dedicating his first book of poems ["Mallow and Asphodel"] to Bessie since he is not reprinting his first play ["Cecilia Gonzaga"], 'which was hers'. Hoping to see Julian on Saturday; Desmond [MacCarthy] should be there.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven

Hotel & Pension Palumbo, Ravello, Golfo di Salerno. - Has been 'out composing verses in a tempest'. Glad she is having happy dreams; suggests analyses for her one about the cicalas [9/26]. Quotes from Moore on sleep [Thomas Sturge Moore, "To An Early Spring Day"]. Sorry that her aunt's recovery is not speedier. Will send a letter to her tomorrow. Does not like Mrs Costelloe 'in many ways', but does not condemn her for 'refusing to live with Costelloe' who seems to have been 'almost impossible to live with', though she should not have been 'taken in' by him; thinks her and [Bernard] Berenson's relationship is 'as nice as those sort of relations can be'; discusses her influence on him. Supposes he will see Miss D. G. [Lina Duff Gordon] at Florence; explains the nature of their friendship further. He and Lina are on 'very good terms' again, and she likes his poem about her pet bat ["The Lady's Bat"], though it is not yet finished.

Continues the letter next day; has read most of the editor's letter in the paper sent by Bessie's uncle [in a Dutch paper, to the Duke of Devonshire, see 9/26]; thinks he is 'in the main right' but knows 'little of the facts, except what he has gathered from English writers who disapprove of the [Second Boer] war' such as Bryce, Hobson, Lecky and Courtney; since he has 'ornamented his columns with many not very apt quotations' Bob as a poet ought not to be too hard on him. Thinks he will spend two days with Berenson at Florence, since it is unlikely Mrs Costelloe will be back; has not yet heard from his mother about crossing with Bessie and the letter may not have reached her. Asks him his plans suit Bessie. Is torn between Venus and Apollo, and 'Apollo has all the nine young ladies [the Muses] on his side'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven

Hotel & Pension Palumbo, Ravello, Golfo di Salerno. - Gives [Bernard] Berenson's address at Florence. Has been 'a bit stuck' with his play; but may write a little more before he leaves; may have to read more books on 'mediaeval manners, especially at meals, on minstrels and hunting'. Hopes that her aunt is better. Draws a sketch of his 'little Bessie tree'. Is reading a book on the evil eye, seems 'we live in a damned superstition planet'.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Northlands, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Is still 'very vague and confused about Dutch money'; asks Bessie if she has calculated Augustin's bill correctly; it is 'a rather disappointingly large amount' but the success of the concerts 'helps to keep the artist in Donald [Tovey] alive. Wishes she could hear of Fritz Busch's safety: would be best if he could be '"safely wounded" as the mothers say'. Donald is at Dyffryn Rectory [to see his aunt, Anna Walter Thomas?] and returns to Edinburgh on Saturday. Asks Bessie to ask Donald to let her have any notices of his concerts which might have been contained in the letters she forwarded to him today; was very grateful for the one Bessie sent her which seems 'quite remarkably good and comprehending'. Donald is playing very well, but was 'extremely nervous' for the Chopin recital, partly as the piano was so bad. She was away for Christmas with her 'very depressed brother [Henry] and his wife' and is now trying to deal with work.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Sorry that the journey to Rounton was 'so agitating'. Mary has written to say the wedding went well; Elizabeth's account is amusing. Expects she misses Julian, but they are glad to have him for a little longer at Wallington; he has been playing with his toys then was happy for Hearne [the butler] to carry him upstairs. Hopes Elizabeth and Robert have a good Christmas Day; asks to be remembered to the Enticknaps; hopes Gussie got home safely. Will be nice if Elizabeth comes to fetch Julian on Thursday. Sir George says there is a good review of Mrs [Janet] Ross in the "Nation"; she hopes Robert will lend her the book ["Lives of the early Medici as told in their correspondence"]

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

Fourways, Gomshall, Surrey. - Thanks Bob for writing with his and Bessie's congratulations and good wishes [on being appointed Secretary of State for India and Burma. A 'Cabinet Minister's job may be defined as follows:- to reconcile the irreconcilable, to solve the insoluble & generally to achieve the impossible' but the 'attempt is exhilarating'.

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