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Fry, Roger Eliot (1866-1934) painter and art critic
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Letter from Arthur Waley to R. C. Trevelyan

13 Hanover Terrace. - Glad that Trevelyan and [Gordon] Bottomley have 'managed to get some fun out of the No play'; it is not a good one, and he translated it only as an appendix to his book on Po Chu-I; this may get written now, as he has just been rejected again byy the army and hopes he will have a 'quiet six months'; will also translate some more No plays. Went to hear [Thomas] Sturge Moore read his Viking play [Tyrfing] yesterday; thought it 'very well done' and intellectually judged it 'a fine thing', but 'somehow' was not interested by it; this may have been because Sturge Moore's reading was 'downright bad', as he thinks it 'would act rather well'. Read the 'magnificent exordium' to the seventh book of Pliny's "Natural History" recently and quotes in Latin at length from the passage about man. Does not want Hakurakuten at present. Looks forward to seeing Trevelyan, perhaps in June. Hears Mr Ch'eng [see 17/3, 17/5?] 'made a great oration' recently at the Japan Society 'rather mocking at the self-satisfaction of the Japanese', which people say was a 'great success'. Asks whether Trevelyan has seen [Roger] Fry's exhibition of "Copies and Translations" from the old masters; some of those he saw in his studio were 'great fun'.

Returns to the letter on 11 June: has 'just discovered the later parts of Piers Ploughman [sic: Plowman]"; it is 'brilliant' from canto 16 onwards, but 'the beginning is so boring that no one ever gets as far'. The best canto is 18; expects Trevelyan 'found that out long ago'. Has translated a short, slight No play called "Hatsu-yuki, or Early Snow", about 'a court lady who loses a pet bird'; has not had time to do a longer one as he has been 'so immersed in exploring (in books) the Gobi Desert on behalf of Sir Aurel Stein'. Adds a handwritten postscript to say he would like to come for a weekend visit, if the Trevelyans could have him.

Letter from Helen Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

S[ant]a Caterina, Siena. - Never knows 'what to say on these occasions, this seems only less difficult than [her] own engagement'. Has so many good wishes it is hard to say them, and even 'wonderful' Siena does not 'inspire [her] as much as the thought of writing felicitations to a POET overawes [her]'. She and 'Ro' [Roger Fry] hope that if Miss van der Hoeven comes to England before the marriage that she will visit them. Hopes to see Trevy at Milan, where they will arrive on the 30th [of November]; Roger sends love.

Letter from Thomas Sturge Moore to R. C. Trevelyan

Congratulates Trevy [on his engagement] and wishes him 'all happiness'; on hearing about it beforehand from [Charles] Holmes and [Laurence] Binyon, who had heard through [Sydney] Cockerell and Trevy's cousins the Fletchers, he had 'refused to believe it' due to what Trevy had told him about 'Mrs Costello[e] having tried to put about such stories'. However, when his sister heard the same from Miss [Bonté?] Amos, who said she had got the news from Trevy's mother, he 'had to allow it might be true'. Thinks Trevy will 'make a good husband', but that he will 'spoil all [his] children with indulgence' and thinks he should start being 'very stern' with himself so that he is able to look 'cross' enough at them; knows he is talking 'as if the little Homers and Aeschylluses [sic] and a Sappho or two were bound to turn up' and hopes they will. Keen to meet Trevy's fiancé; hopes she is not 'too like George' and suggests that the only indication which Trevy has given as to what she is like ''is very misleading and puts one deeper into darkness than total ignorance'. Asks how long Trevy has know her, and if she is 'connected with the admirers of the Dutch Milton [Vondel?]' whom he met at Taormina. Is to get a hundred pounds for editing Shakespeare [for the Vale Press] and fears it will take up a lot of time, so cannot promise to write an epithalamium. [Roger] Fry is 'of course quite wrong about Bellini', whom Moore admires as much as Fry does, but denies that he is 'characterised by passion by pathos or by Virgillian [sic] melancholy'; Bellini is a 'far greater master than Altdorfer' though Fry seemed to think he was comparing them. Sorry that Trevy is troubling to copy out Moore's "Danaë"; he could easily have got two copies made; hopes he will 'suggest how the hard sentences can be made easy, & the crooked straight, at the same time as pointing out their deficiency'. Hopes Trevy's fiancée 'will prove a Muse... though she is not going to enter the lists as a rival'.

Letter from Frank Previté to R. C. Trevelyan

3 Temple Gardens, E.C. - Is 'delighted to hear of [Trevelyan's] engagement'; sure it will be the 'best possible thing' for him, and his friends will 'all look forward to some great work as the result of the change'. [Herbert James] Craig also sends congratulations, and says he hopes Trevelyan has 'jettisoned the dum-dum bullet bearing the inscription 'avenge Majuba' [a reference to the Boer Wars]. They were 'amused' to learn his real reason for travelling to Florence by way of the Netherlands. Sure his fiancée must like him 'very much to abandon such a name as hers [des Amorie van der Hoeven] even for one so comparatively charming' as Trevelyan. Thanks Trevelyan for his 'very kind appreciation' of his own book ["My Great Discovery", published under the pseudonym Henry Francis]; knows it will not be a 'great success', but hopes it will find the approval of his friends; understands that Trevelyan regards it as 'an experiment and a promising one', and does not himself 'regard it too seriously'; has been 'cheered' however by a few good reviews. Is keeping his authorship secret 'locally' and amongst his relations, but would be pleased for any 'pushing' of the book Trevelyan can do; most 'flattering' that he will give it to Miss van der Hoeven. Will be 'delighted' to see him settled at Dorking in the summer; asks to be remembered to the Frys if he sees them again.

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

3, Hare Court, Inner Temple. - Thinks Bob cannot be 'in love a bit' - he is 'so disgustingly reasonable'; why is he thinking about 'acting wisely' when he should be feeling that he does not 'care a damn whether [he is] or not'. George has only seen [Elizabeth] once, and still gave him a 'much more favourable description' than Bob had managed with his '"tolerably accomplished for a young lady" and all that sort of thing'. Cannot ever remember being really pleased before that one of his friends was going to be married; hopes it will make Bob 'work properly which will be a splendid thing'. Asks him to send 'accurate details as to intellect & views of life of Miss van [der] Hoeven'. Expects it's 'still a secret'; announced it at the [Apostles] Society, and also told Goldie [Lowes Dickinson] on Sunday, who 'said "Good God!"' but Sanger supposes he will have 'sufficiently recovered from his astonishment' by now to write. All 'fog & rain & general damnation' here, with the 'climax of [Sanger's] miseries' being the party his mother is going to give, to which she will invite his friends and they will accept; asks if Bob agrees with his own loathing of parties, and hopes that 'there won't be many in hell'. Has not yet seen McT[aggart]'s wife, but reports of her are so 'rediculously [sic] favourable' that he is bound to be disappointed when he does. Has reclaimed something [illegible] for Bob, having 'meekly paid the money' as he 'felt too lazy to make a fuss'. Sends love to Roger and regards to Mrs Fry.

Letter from Arthur Waley to R. C. Trevelyan

British Museum, London, W.C.1. - Has just heard that Oswald Sickert has lost his job with the Encyclopaedia Britannica and will be in England in about a fortnight looking for work. Corrects an impression given by his last letter: only met Adrian [Stephen: see 17/25] once and liked him, does not know him well. Asks if Bob could translate Aeschylus's "Prometheus" for the Art Theatre" as requested by [Vera ] Donnet; thinks his way of doing the chorus would 'work very well' for recitation. Was greatly bored by the first performance by the Art Theatre [George Farquhar's "The Beaux' Stratagem"]: everybody 'connected with it is completely Philistine', and he does not think that any good will come of it, though it will be no worse than 'the Stage Society, Pioneers, Plough, Bel Espoir, Paddington Players, Malleson's Mimes or anything of the rest'.

Has arranged to publish his next book ["More Translations from the Chinese"] with Allen and Unwin; Constable's [who published his first book] is 'a nuisance to get to'. [Eugene] Morice has died of illness at Salonika and his bookshop [in Museum Street] is for sale; would be 'great fun' to run it, but he is afraid there is not 'enough sustenance in it for Oswald'. Has translated about thirty more poems of Po Chu-I for the new book, but may 'weed them out a bit', as well as a new version of Ou-yang Hsiu's "Autumn Dirge'. [Gordon] Luce's poems have been 'an appalling blow'; liked some of them at first, but now 'hate[s] them all'. Asks if anyone has seen [Charles] Vildrac and whether he is translating any more of Po Chu-I into French. Does not think he has seen Roger Fry since Bob went away. The Dickinsons [Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson and his two sisters] are soon to move into the upper storey at 13 Hanover Terrace.

Letter from Arthur Waley to R. C. Trevelyan

Department of Prints and Drawings, British Museum, London: W.C. - Trevelyan can certainly let them publish the Su Tung Po poem in the UDC [Union of Democratic Control?]; asks only that his name not be used; does not think he has anything else similar; is sorry 'Wieger spoils the story of Wu-ti. He would'. Thinks the plan with Roger Fry [to publish a book] will come off; Fry does not want illustrations, and Waley hopes he will allow the cover to be plain; does not 'mind as long as it doesn't savour too definitely of Bloomsbury, 1917'; Fry was 'awfully nice'.

Letter from Leonard Woolf to R.C. Trevelyan

Jaffra, Ceylon. - Thanks Trevy for sending [Roger] Fry's book; has only had time to look at it briefly but it seems 'extremely interesting'; does not know if he will have time to read anything over the next couple of months, as, having returned on 1 February 'quite recovered' [from typhoid, see 17/66] he is going on Wednesday to the Pearl Fishery. There are about forty thousand people at Marichchikaddi, in a 'desert of sand surrounded by jungle', with only four Europeans to supervise 'everything including the fishing counting and selling of the Government oysters'; he will be one of them and thinks he will only have time for work. People say he is 'a fool' to go after being ill, as it is supposed to be 'very unhealthy', but he thinks this is exaggerated.

Letter from Leonard Woolf to R.C. Trevelyan

38, Brunswick Square, W.C. - Found many books on his table when he returned which he thinks are a present from Trevy: they are 'extraordinarily nice'. Supposes Trevy is now in the East. his sister [Bella?] leaves Ceylon on 20 November, so that introduction will be no use if he arrives after that. They had a 'splendid time abroad in France, Spain & Italy' [on their honeymoon]. Spain seemed 'the finest & most incompetent country in the world'. Has a temporary job as secretary to the Grafton Galleries for the Post Impressionists [exhibition organised by Roger Fry], where he 'daily explain[s] Picasso to the unending stream of the population of London' and is 'astonished by the honesty of mind of the English public', but wants to get something permanent or writing work. Trevy said he would give Leonard an introduction to Bruce Richmond on their last meeting; asks for this as he thinks it would be a 'great thing' to get work for the times. The are leaving Brunswick Square, and will probably take rooms in Clifford's Inn.

Letter from Virginia Woolf to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Monk's House, Rodmell, near Lewes, Sussex. - Thanks Bessie for her letter about Helen Fry [see 17/97], which is helpful as it supports the 'vague feeling' Virginia is getting from Helen's letters; she thinks 'the dread of insanity must always have been in the background, and probably made her morbid and afraid of people'. It is 'terrible', as sometimes there is a sense of her 'brilliance and a curious individuality'. If Virginia does get anything written [of a biography of Roger Fry], and 'the difficulty increases as one goes on', she will not be able to say much about Helen, but wants to give an 'outline'; what Bob and Bessie have told her is very helpful. Hopes to see them when she returns in the autumn.

Letter from Virginia Woolf to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Monk's House, Rodmell, near Lewes, Sussex. - Was 'delightful' of Bessie to write about Virginia's life of Roger [Fry]; in her comparison of it to a 'piece of music', she appreciated 'exactly what [Virginia] was trying to do'. Virginia is 'not regularly musical', but 'always think[s] of [her] books as music before [she] writes them'; this was particularly true in the autobiography, where there was 'such a mass of detail' that the only way she could manage was by 'abstracting it into themes' which she attempted to 'unite' in the first chapter, then introduce 'developments & variations' before bringing everything together at the end, just as Bessie saw. Thinks she is the only person to have felt what she was trying to do. Was often 'crushed under the myriad details'; found the necessity to mute or only hint at some things difficult; there was also 'always a certain constraint, which one doesn't feel in fiction, a sense of other people looking over one's shoulder'. Very glad that Bessie and Bob, who both knew Roger well, think it is a 'true portrait of him'; Bob 'went all through his life', even though as often happens they did not see each other as often towards the end. Understands Bessie being shy of Roger, she was not 'exactly shy' herself, but 'sometimes felt overpowered, & so, uneasy'. However none of her friends 'made such a difference to [her] life as he did', which she needed to 'keep under' when writing about him.

Hopes they will meet up; they [she and Leonard] will be often in London this winter, but 'everything's difficult now'. Very sorry about Bessie's eyes; asks if it affects her music.

Incomplete draft letter from R.C. Trevelyan to Virginia Woolf

His friendship with Roger Fry [presumably written to aid Virginia with her 'Life' of Fry; see also 17/85 and 17/97] in the days when they lived together at 29 Beaufort St between April or May 1895 and the autumn of 1896, when Roger married and Bob moved to Haslemere. Saw little of him before then, and 'knew next to nothing of art and artists', but 'no one could have been kinder in the way he introduced [Bob] to his world', or 'more patient of [Bob's] ignorance'. He was often busy with Extension Lectures on Italian art, and as illustration had 'already collected a great number of photographs' which was much harder then; thinks he had already succeeded D. S. MacColl as the "Athenaeum" magazine's art critic ; he did not therefore have as much time as he wished for painting, but 'worked very rapidly' when he could. He was painting 'several of his best early landscapes' and a few 'perhaps not very successful portraits'. One was of Mrs Widdrington, the 'sister [sic: actually mother] of Sir Edward Grey's wife [Frances]', who was a 'great friend' of Roger's and the mother of Ida Widdrington; Roger had been 'very much in love' with Ida not long before, but 'perhaps wisely, she would not marry him. She was a very vital and amusing girl, who loved hunting, farming and acting' and she and her mother remained friends with Roger for years. After that Roger 'had fallen very much in love, and none too happily, with Kate Kinsella (now Kate Presbitero)'; Bob thinks she 'treated him rather cruelly, not wanting to give him up altogether, and luring him back to her from time to time'. 'Fortunately (or perhaps in the end unfortunately) [because of her mental health' he got to know Helen Coombe while he was living with Bob, and they fell in love with each other. Roger's parents 'strongly disapproved of his becoming an artist' - he told Bob that they had offered him a hundred pounds extra a year 'if he would promise never to paint from the nude', which he 'naturally refused' - and this made him fear they would not be pleased by his choice of wife, so he told them nothing about Helen 'for a long time...' [the rest of the draft is missing].

Draft or copy letter from Elizabeth Trevelyan to Virginia Woolf

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Bob thought Virginia might like to have 'some additional memories of Helen Fry' [to help with the writing of the biography of Roger Fry], since she perhaps saw her 'from a slightly different angle'. Saw a 'great deal' of Helen when the Frys' children were born and they lived in Dorking, while the Trevelyans were 'two miles away at Westcott'. She was friendly, but they 'never became intimate then', and Bessie 'always felt slightly in awe of her mysterious aloofness'. Their relationship 'suddenly seemed to change when the return of her illness approached', when Helen 'began to talk more intimately about the children', one day visiting Bessie 'to talk about her fear that the doctor and other people would think she was not a good enough mother to the children or wife to Roger'; believes 'this anxiety was a constant trouble'. Saw her 'more rarely' when they moved to London and Guildford. The Frys stayed at the Shiffolds when 'Roger had been disappointed about the post in America [atthe Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York]'; was clear Helen 'took this morbidly to heart', and seemed to Bessie to think 'she herself had been at fault'. Even when their relationship was 'more easy and confidential', Bessie 'still felt her charm as aloof and mysterious'. Goldie Dickinson used to talk about Helen to Bessie 'years afterward', and though he was 'perhaps, their closest friend' and Helen had been 'very fond of him', he always felt Helen 'so mysterious' and wondered 'what she really thought and felt'.

Letter from Arnold Dolmetsch to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Boveney, nr Windsor. - Should have answered her 'kind letter' before, but has been very busy. Had the 'public examination' yesterday in the Bankruptcy Court, which went as well as possible; the trustee advised him to apply for his discharge at once saying he would not oppose it. He therefore hopes to be 'out of all this trouble' soon. Thinks her idea of having lessons on the clavichord 'excellent'; sure she would do well and 'become very fond of the instrument'; it would also be 'very convenient' for the Dolmetschs as the Frys also want to continue their lessons. His wife likes the idea and will write tomorrow suggesting a day. Has not yet made the clavichord key, but will do soon.

Letter from Elodie Dolmetsch to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Boveney, near Windsor. - Will be very pleased to come and give her a clavichord lesson next Thursday if that day is convenient; is also writing to Helen Fry. Would go to Kingston on Thursday morning, give her two lessons there, then come to the Trevelyans' house for an evening lesson and accept the 'very kind invitation' to stay the night before giving Mrs Fry her lesson the next morning. Her lessons are usually six guineas when students come to her house; there will be a difference given railway expenses, but she expects not too great if the Frys pay half; expects that if she charges 7 guineas for twelve lessons Mrs Trevelyan will 'make very rapid progress' since she is so 'clever'. Asks her to excuse the poor English; it would be better if she were 'not in a great hurry'. Very glad she liked the walnuts; asks if she may bring a pot of her plum jam on Thursday, which she has made fifty-eight pounds of.

Letter from Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson to Elizabeth Trevelyan

K[ing's] C[ollege] C[ambridge]. - Ironically praises his own typing. Wasn't well when he saw Julian; wonders why he stays in England when the weather is so dreadful. Supposes Bessie will feel Munro's play is 'not a play', though he thinks it is good; certainly it is 'good propaganda'. Is going to Bob's opera ["The Bride of Dionysus"] in April, but otherwise has no firm plans. Roger [Fry] has gone to France. Danille [?] came to Cambridge yesterday and is 'very friendly and nice.'

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking. - Greatly admires Dickinson's dialogue ["A Modern Symposium"], which he praises at length. Thinks his sympathies were most with Martin, Ellis, Woodman and Vivian, and of course Coryat, in whom he seems to recognise something of himself. Bessie has not yet read it, but is just about to. They hope Dickinson is still coming to visit on the 25th or the weekend after that, then they are going abroad. Roger and Helen [Fry] are coming this Sunday.

Letter from Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson to R. C. Trevelyan

1 All Souls Place, Portland Place, W. - Thanks Trevelyan for the copy of the "Birth of Parsifal"; has not had time during term to re-read it, but Trevelyan read it to him in MS. Apologises for asking, in return, whether Trevelyan could help any further with funds for the "Independent Review" [an enclosure mentioned is now missing]. Roger [Fry] has just returned from the US, where he has been meeting Pierpoint Morgan and almost accepted a post [Fry did eventually take up this post, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York]. Fry, Helen [his wife], and Dickinson think of going to Spain at Easter.

Letter from Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson to R. C. Trevelyan

1 All Souls Place, Portland Place, W. - Rather surprised by news of Trevelyan's engagement; general thoughts on marriage; is sure Trevelyan has chosen well and looks forward to meeting his fiancé. It is good that she is a musician. Roger [Fry] has returned, and he thinks of going to see him. Still not certain whether Ferdinand [Schiller] will return to India or not, 'so my life is hanging in the balance too'. Fears he cannot share Roger's interest in pictures; the only picture he cares for in the U.C.A.C. is Fry's 'Pool'. Asks if he Trevelyan has read Stephen Phillips' 'Paolo and Francesca'. Hopes he has a good time in Ravello.

Letter from Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson to R. C. Trevelyan

King's College, Cambridge. - Has asked his sisters to get him a ticket for "Tristan" as he wanted to take someone who will be staying with them; however, if there are none left he would like to use Trevelyan's. Is not sure whether he will be able to go to "Orfeo". Roger [Fry] has just started back. Mention of a 'wretched business' [the illness of Fry's wife?]

Letter from Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson to R. C. Trevelyan

K[ing's] C[ollege] C[ambridge]. - Wishes the war could be resolved as easily as their latest postal chess game: still seems to 'hang on a razor's edge'. Has not seen Roger [Fry] lately; Trevelyan will have heard of his father's death. Hugh Meredith is visiting for the weekend. The 'league of nations row' appears to be adjusting itself satisfactorily. Wilson seems 'to be emerging as a really great man'. Trevelyan, having had the luck to be appointed librarian, must be enjoying the purchase of books. Not worth while beginning another [chess] game.

Letter from Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson to R. C. Trevelyan

Roundhurst. - Roger [Fry] is leaving for London towards the end of the month; asks if he himself can stay on for a while and ask a friend [name illegible] to join him, as he is fond of the place and of Augustus (though 'the poor child has got hooping-cough'). Roger 'keeps up', but collapses when he goes to town. No change in Helen's condition. Is getting on with his dialogues, and reading "Sidonia" [Meinhold's "Sidonia von Borke: die Klosterhexe" or "Sidonia the Sorceress"] and wonders why Trevelyan thinks so much of it. Visited the Tennysons recently; remarks on what a 'fat lethargic domestic chief' [Hallam Tennyson] is. 'Kittie' Bathurst is there: asks if Trevelyan knows her. Dickinson and Lord Tennyson played cricket against the boys and were well beaten. Asks to be remembered to Berenson. Has been seeing something of the 'Friday's Hill' people [the Pearsall Smiths].

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