23 West Road, Cambridge. - Sorry to hear that Bessie has been ill again; Janet 'keeps much the same from day to day'. Interested and pleased by the letter Bessie quoted from her German friend; has instructed Longmans to send a copy of his "Autobiography and other essays" to Bessie for her. Glad Humphry and Molly are going to see her.
I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - Shocked to hear Bessie has been so ill. Warm tribute to 'Trevy', of whom he thinks frequently, and who held Bessie as 'the ultimate authority on all things'. Will pass on her message to Morra. Thanks to Miss Jones for her kind note.
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.
Prades. - Thanks her for the letter and the photographs of herself and her husband. Has not been able to attend to correspondence for a few weeks because of his 75th birthday. Her nephews gave him the most special of his presents; a photocopy of the autograph version of their father's [Julius Rontgen's] cello concerto. They are a fine family, and their parents' spirit lives on in them. Hopes she'll have chance to be with them: they are very fond of their aunt. Has started work for the 1953 [Prades] festival; as ever, he worries whether he will have the strength to carry out this great task, but trusts in God.
41 Queen's Road, Richmond, Surrey. - Thanks Elizabeth for writing; is sorry that it is so long since they last met. Thinks he will be less busy when the spring comes, and will come to the Shiffolds then if he may. The worst part of being so busy is the difficulty of keeping up with friends, but hears 'time's winged chariot' [Marvell] louder and louder with age. Is very glad Elizabeth has been able to stay at the Shiffolds.
The White Gates, Dorking, Surrey. - Would like to see Bessie one day when she comes into Dorking; very sorry to hear she has been ill. Went to see "Billy Budd" twice and also listened to it; is 'still quite unmoved by it', though recognises its 'great skill'.
86 Chesterton Road, Cambridge. - Is glad she liked the Gainsborough card, which he thinks is charming and worth keeping; Dorothy disposes of most of their cards, perhaps to hospitals, but he always keeps a few; reminisces about the scrap-books he and his siblings used to make while his father read aloud to them; he still has his books. His health was good enough for him to go to Buckingham Palace three weeks ago to get his 'badge and ribbon from the King' [the Order of Merit]; he also took Tim to the Christmas Feast at Trinity and saw George [Trevelyan] for the first time since he had retired as Master. Is hoping he will be able to come to Leith Hill Place next summer: was very disappointed not to be able to come. Also thinks well of Britten: very much enjoyed his "Let's Make an Opera", and Tim thought well of "Peter Grimes" and other things by him; not sure about "Billy Budd" when he heard it on the radio, however, thinking it 'scrappy' and full of what Vaughan Williams calls 'wrong notes'. Thought [Roy] Harrod's life of [Maynard] Keynes was not well judged, but he had not noticed exaggeration of the influence of Bloomsbury. Had forgotten that Norton stayed with the Trevelyans when he was ill; was very fond of him. Bessie seems to imply Bloomsbury harmed him; asks if this is what she thinks. Agrees that it is a good thing that [his niece] Riette has gone to live at Well Walk; Tim went to see them there and had a nice time; thinks Riette very charming. Is sorry Bessie has been laid up by neuralgia, but is glad Dr Bluth's treatment seems to have improved it.
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.
23, West Road, Cambridge. - Thanks Bessie for her letter; they will indeed 'all miss our beloved Will [Arnold-Forster], who was 'so much to us in our younger days'. His portrait of her hangs in the dining room here with an artificial light over it; they 'could not make much of it' in the [Trinity Master's] Lodge as the lighting was difficult, but now it is back in its proper place. She and George are 'happily back in this house'; hopes they will stay here 'forever' now; the Lodge was 'impossible' once she became 'so feeble in walking'. The Adrians have not yet moved in, since there are 'such huge repairs to be done' on the electric wiring and structural deficiencies; is 'thankful to be out of it'.
86 Chesterton Road, Cambridge. - Thanks for sending the two letters by [his brother Bertie] to Bob; had forgotten that the Trevelyans went to visit Bertie in his studio at Rome and found his father there nursing Bertie over typhoid. His father was not a great talker, though he used to have disputes with Tom at meal-times. His remembrance of conversations is the same as Bessie's: he remembers the tone well, but not usually what was actually said. Will send on the letters to Bertie: he, Hettie and Moore are now the only survivors of their family of eight. Some childhood reminiscences; has no idea why Bertie became the name his brother was known by. Mary Fletcher had mentioned that Bessie would remain at the Shiffolds at least for this winter; will be on the look out for anyone who might come as paying guest. Good to hear that Bob had inscribed his last poem, "This is love", to Bessie; asks if it has been published anywhere, as he has only seen it quoted by Desmond [MacCarthy] in his obituary of Bob. Also glad to hear Desmond has been much better recently. His own health is still improving. Apologises if he did not thank her for sending him his letters to Bob: found it very interesting to look through them.
Hallington Hall, Newcastle- on-Tyne; 23 West Road, Cambridge from 15 October. - Is very glad about "the Macaulay Classics"; sure nowhere better could be found as a 'permanent home' as 'in a library of the size and peculiarity of Trinity they will be less lost and more known of than in a very large library'. Glad that Bessie is staying on at the Shiffolds for now.
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.
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 [?].
Hallington Hall, Newcastle- on-Tyne. - The photograph [of Bob, see 13/141] is 'lovely - most characteristic in every way'; is very glad to have it; also interested in what she says about the woods. Very sorry to hear that her arthritis is 'making progress' and that she may leave the Shiffolds. Notes in a postscript that Janet sends her love.
Hallington Hall, Newcastle- on-Tyne. - Thanks Bessie for her letter; has written to [Herbert Mayow] Adams, the Trinity Librarian, asking him to communicate with her, though he may be on holiday and thus not able to write at once. Very glad Humphry is going to act as [Bob's] unofficial literary executor; is sure he will do it well. Sorry that Bessie's arthritis has been causing her pain; Janet has no pain but is 'dreadfully incapacitated'. Would much like 'the "homely" photo of Bob'. They do not come south until 16 October.
86 Chesterton Road, Cambridge. - Is certainly better, and his doctor still thinks that in time he will be as well as he was three months ago, but recovery is taking longer than he had hoped at first and so he has not been able to go to Leith Hill Place. Does not think he ever went inside when 'old Mrs Vaughan-Williams' was alive and perhaps never saw her, though he often saw Ralph's sister when she was visiting the Shiffolds. Agrees that the house is in perfect condition now. Thinks he would be interested to see his old letters to Bob, though he doubts he ever wrote anything important enough to make them worth keeping. Did get up the Easter parties every year, except once when Keynes did it, and supposes it was a bother, though less than he would find it now. Interested to hear that Ralph was reworking his "Pilgrim's Progress" after hearing it again.
41 Queen's Road, Richmond, Surrey. - Hoped to be able to suggest a date for a last visit to the Shiffolds: 'very distressing' that Elizabeth is to give it up; always thought of the Trevelyans and the Shiffolds 'as symbols of permanence, unlike me', but Heraclitus was right. Has had no time, as he spends six days a week dictating to secretaries and on Sundays giving talks. Wishes Stalin would disarm so he could have some leisure. Asks where she is going to live; hopes he will be able to visit her in August if it is near London; will be in America in the autumn.
86 Chesterton Road, Cambridge. - The doctor came yesterday and was pleased with George: it is not a coronary thrombosis, as feared, but just a 'tired heart-muscle' and he will soon recover. George has been up since breakfast and won't go to bed until after dinner; he is not to go to Trinity on Thursday for the presentation of a silver inkstand and Sheffield tray with silver tea service to the Master and Mrs Trevelyan [on G. M. Trevelyan's retirement as Master of Trinity], but will sign the address which the Vice-Master will bring round tomorrow. Has been very busy herself: her father was here for a month and needed much attention, so it is probable she did not keep an eye on George. There has also been the excitement of the O.M. [Order of Merit] which thrilled her father, although the boys have taken it casually; there have been lots of letters of congratulation, and people coming round for tea. George is looking forward to seeing Bessie when he goes to Leith Hill Place next month.
Prades. - Was moved to receive her letter containing the news of the death of her husband: speaks of his sympathy for her and the affection he felt for her husband. Would love to see her again, and regrets the circumstances which still delay a visit to England. He is organising the next Festival [in Prades]; is delighted that Joachim [Röntgen] will take part.
The Athenaeum, Pall Mall, S.W.1. - Good of Bessie to tell him 'so fully about Bob'; glad he now has the nurses to look after him. Thought when he saw Bob at Cambridge that 'at his best it was remarkable how clear and good his mind was on literature, even when vague on other things'. Is glad to have had that time with him.
The Master's Lodge, Trinity College, Cambridge. - Janet has shown him Bessie's letter; was sorry not to see her. Bob was 'much worse' after her visit, but is now better; George reads to him a little every afternoon, and he has 'every needful attention'. Hopes that Bessie is getting better.
The Stella Maris Nursing Home, Trumpington Road, Cambridge. - Bessie will have heard from Catherine [Abercrombie] that Dr Noble thinks he should go for a few weeks into a nursing home to 'rest and be overhauled'. Is no worse, and in fact thinks he is 'definitely better', and he 'quite enjoyed the [Apostles'] dinner', but the doctor examined him 'very carefully' and thinks he needs the rest. Dr Noble is a 'nice quiet sensible man'; Bob thinks Dr Holloway and Dr Bluth would approve of him. Is very sorry to miss the St Matthew Passion and all the Busch [Quartet] concerts. It will not be long before they are 'both at home again together'. Janet seems 'remarkably well and cheerful'. Has to stop as he has several letters to write; hopes Bessie's cure is going well.
Addressed to Bessie at 36 Brunswick Gardens, London W.8. - They are expecting Bessie on Tuesday. Does not think he will break the journey [back from Cambridge?] on Monday, as it would be 'too tiring'. Miss Goddard has got Bessie's letter, and is getting everything ready. Leaving for Cambridge in an hour.
Addressed to Bessie at Nursing Home, 36 Brunswick Gardens, London W.8. - Very glad that Bessie is better, and that he will see her next week. Is 'pretty well' himself, and able to go to Cambridge. Bessie will have got his letter agreeing about Orchard's plan.