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Trevelyan, Elizabeth (1875-1957) musician, known as Bessie
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Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Julian Trevelyan

Glad to get Julian's telegraph [from Egypt] yesterday. One word could not be made out: in the description of his pastimes as 'painting, goffinping, and dancing', should the second word be golfing, 'driving your ball over the back of the Sphinx, or getting it bunkered between its paws?'. Expects the weather is hotter than here: today is the first day of spring weather, but 'everything is backward', with no sign of bluebells and cuckoos and 'the very primroses smaller than usual'. Has just had his new book published, and sent it to Ursula; Julian knows almost all of the contents; has become 'un vrai prosateur', as 'Flaubert used to call himself', writing 'nothing but Essays': has just finished one 'on (or rather against) books'. His Simple Pleasures was recently broadcast on the [BBC] Forces Programme; it was 'really rather awful, as they tried to poetize [sic] it, though [he] had meant it to be flatter-than-pancake prose', but he got his five guineas. Tom and Marie [Sturge Moore] are here - Marie unwell in bed but recovering - Tet Htoot is also here for a few days, as 'he too was unwell and wanted cheering up'. Bessie seems quite well, though will go to London on Tuesday to see [Dr Karl] Bluth. Supposes he should write Julian a 'Horatian verse Epistle', but cannot compose it in time for this post; if he does write one will have to send it to Julian on his return; it will 'of course be largely about Egypt, Cleopatra, Amenophis [Amenhotep] and Ramesis, but not Tutenkamen [Tutankhamun]' whom he does not approve of, though 'his predecessor Aknaton [Akhenaten] was an interesting failure'. Hopes Julian will ensure that the 'Memnon statue is camouflaged very carefully'. Seems a pity that now the Nile has only two mouths, lists the names of the seven which 'every school-boy once knew'. Is reading [Lytton] Strachey's Queen Victoria aloud, which is 'really very amusing'; amazing how much easier it is to read a well-written book aloud than a badly-written one. Tet Htoot is reading the first volume of Gibbon, while he himself reads the second; is just coming to the chapter on the Christians, where he knows 'one will have some fun, especially in the notes'. Went with John Luce, with 'a party of Waleys, Joan and Polly [Allen] etc' to quite a good production of the Magic Flute at Sadler's Wells, for which they 'tried, not very successfully, to make the scenery Egyptian'. John is being sent abroad next week, but does not know where; they hope his father [Gordon] is coming home. Mossot [sic: Julian's cat Maszat] has had just one kitten, 'a sad falling off'; is told all cats in Egypt are mummified as divine.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Very glad that Meg Booth is likely to spend some of the winter abroad with Elizabeth. Hopes Elizabeth will go to Gr[osvenor] Cr[escent]; Maria [Springett] will be able to arrange matters quite well. Sir George was much interested in Bob's letter; she herself likes 'the poem about the "official hat" best'. Going, if not snowed in, to Birmingham 'to open a [Joseph] Priestley Centenary Bazaar'; wanted to go to Welcombe for a short visit but it is too cold. The kitchen boiler at Wallington has 'cracked' so there is no kitchen fire.

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

3 Via Camerata, Florence. - Asks if someone could book him a room at the Twee Steden, or the Angleterre if that is not possible; she need not come to meet him at the station since he will arrive so late. Berenson has given him a list of Russian books in translation to read. His mother says they should decide themselves whether he should accompany to England, and do as her uncle and aunt think right. Does hope she will be able to come on the 14th and spend some time at Welcombe. The Frys have got them a ring. Hopes her aunt is still better, as he could not bear not to see Bessie, will shave away the bristles from the journey so that they can pay each other some of their 'debt of K[isses]'.

Letter from Hasan Shahid Suhrawardy to R. C. Trevelyan

3 Suhrawardy Avenue, Calcutta. - Is sorry that [J.C.] Squire will not take his poems; does not know of any other journals which might print them, perhaps "Time and Tide" would. Trevelyan misunderstood about Leonard Woolf: Suhrawardy wants to send a selection of his poems, plus the "Old Man's Songs", to find out if the Hogarth Press will publish them and at what cost. Is glad that Trevelyan and Bessie approve of Julian's choice of wife [Ursula Darwin], and congratulates them all; remembers Julian when he first met Trevelyan, before the war, in a house they had taken in London for Julian's operation. Has been unwell since his return with liver trouble. Longs to return to Europe, and for an appointment at the League [of Nations]. During the six weeks of autumn holidays, he hopes to go to see the ruins of Persepolis, Ctesiphon and Shiraz. [Marie] Germanova has been appearing in "Crime and Punishment" at Vichy; has as good news as possible of her and her husband [Alexandr Kalitinsky]; they are both 'ailing', but Andriusha [their son] is there and Rexusha [the dog] is taking care of them.

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 Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

3 Hobart Place, London S.W.1. - Is sorry to have to write instead of speaking; first of all says she was talking [in 8/110] of Robert Trevelyan's poem ["The Bride of Dionysus"] as a libretto: has often 'enjoyed many beautiful scenes and jewelled lines in it' as Bessie knows. Offers examples which she say prove the Trevelyans have been 'a menace and a danger' [to Donald Tovey], such as Robert Trevelyan's announcement, in a train carriage of guests returning from Ridgehurst, that Donald could not get on with his work as he had 'such a wretched home', which caused a fellow guest [Percy Such] to warn straight to Northlands and 'warn' Sophie Weisse; says she ignored the warning, saying 'they know nothing about the past, and they are stupid', and forgetting 'how dangerous stupidity is'. Trusted them to look after Donald while she 'toiled for him at home', but questions whether he was 'safe' with them: says that no one doubts it was their 'meddling and that of another so called friend [Hugh Godley]' which led to the quarrel with Casals; asks whether [Bessie's brother-in-law Jules Engelbert] Röntgen is really Donald's friend. Accuses them of 'constant undermining' of her relationship with Donald, and asks whether he has profited by treating her as he has; they should not have let him criticise her to them, nor 'dare' criticise her to him. As proof of this, claims that a friend of hers when putting Donald's library and papers in order for her last year, brought her 'two scraps of letters', she thinks unsigned but from Bessie, criticising Miss Weisse and expressing sympathy for Donald on his 'position at Northlands'; claims that even now Bessie knows nothing of Donald; says that Mrs [Blanche Warre] Cornish thought the letters were 'low'. The Trevelyans both 'stupid and selfish'; claims that a friend who lives nearby recently said 'they always sow disunion in families and between friends'. There is much more to said when they speak face to face, including some excuses for the Trevelyans 'though they do not understand them'. Expects and wishes the Trevelyans to show this letter to anyone they like, and has kept a copy; the sooner she sees them the better.

Has 'real hopes' for the production of Donald's opera; is lunching at Covent Garden on Thursday to discuss detains with [Sir Thomas] Beecham. Donald is in some ways much healthier; Bessie must feed him 'well and suitably' when he visits, as she expects he will soon.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Julian Trevelyan

He and Bessie have read Julian's diary and 'thought it extraordinarily good'; very sorry it 'can hardly be published, at least not now'. Bessie and Miss Simpkins have just gone off to Aunt Annie [Philips]'s. Bessie thinks he should ask Julian to send back "Tono-Bungay" [by H.G. Wells], the "East Wind" and [?] "Soha", but he does not actually want them at the moment so Julian should only send them when he is quite finished with them; however, asks him to send the bicycle clips if he can. Very good to see him and Ursula; afraid it will be a long time before they see them again. Just off to London to spend an evening with Desmond [MacCarthy] at Hampton.

Letter from Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson to Elizabeth Trevelyan

11 Edwardes Square W.8. - 'Amalgamation' [the forming of the League of Nations Union] has been a great worry, but it is clearly necessary for the LNS [the League of Nations Society, of which Dickinson was a member. The 'other association' [the League of Free Nations Association] knows how to run propaganda campaigns, and he thinks in general their aims are the same; certainly Murray and Wells want the same, even McCurdy. Their literature is bad, and their policy of the 'League now' has been turned down by Wilson and Grey, who is to be the Union's president and said the right thing on almost every point. Hopes Bessie will not be too suspicious about the amalgamation, though he understands her fears. Is still playing the [chess] game with Bob, who seems very happy. Asks if she is staying on at the Shiffolds. Is glad Julian is happy, but fears she will be lonely. Almost dares hope for the end [of the war].

Letter from George Macaulay Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

2, Cheyne Gardens, S. W. - Thanks Bessie for her letter; they were 'much amused and pleased at Goldie [Lowes Dickinson]'s horror of the man of war', but Bessie never 'saw Goldie dressed up in his war paint' as George did when they were 'volunteers together'. Afraid he and Janet cannot lunch on Wednesday 20th, and he is lecturing at Cambridge on Thursday 21st. Invites her to come to tea with them on Wednesday, or to dinner just with Jan on Thursday. Asks to be remembered to Jan [Hubrecht], and sends good wishes to his wife.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

8, Grosvenor Crescent, S.W. - Glad that Elizabeth is comfortably settled in her lodgings [at Eastbourne]. She and Sir George went to the Burlington Hotel there a while ago; she was not impressed by the food but expects the Grand is worse, 'it certainly looks seedy'. Is not sure when they can come, since she has been ill and it is still very cold. Was glad to see Robert, though he 'seemed tired and out of spirits', hopes he is better; very sorry for Elizabeth's 'domestic worries'. Longs to see Julian; hopes Mrs Catt [the nurse] will soon be better. Wants to take Booa [Mary Prestwich] to stay with Miss [name illegible] while they are at Eastbourne, which would 'do her good'. Annie [Philips] is coming on her way to Pen Moel; the news of Meggy [Price] is bad and Phil [Morgan Philips Price] has 'not been heard of for some time'. Newspapers very interesting at the moment. Asks if there would be room for her and Sir George at Elizabeth's lodgings.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

8, Grosvenor Crescent, S.W. - Glad that Elizabeth has got home safely and that Julian is happy. Encloses a cheque from Sir George to settle their account [for the stay at Eastbourne]. Annie [Philips] and Robin [Price] have been here this afternoon; they came to the crematorium at Golders Green [for the cremation of her sister Margaret Price] and have just left for Pen Moel. Annie says it is 'dreadful to have 2 days!' and has promised not to go to Tibberton for the funeral tomorrow. Good of Charles and George to go this morning, as well as Morton [Philips], two of the Gregs, Annie Thompson and Betty Bostock [?]. Sir George is well, and she feels better; they had a 'quiet walk in Kensington Gardens' yesterday and today, and she has started taking a tonic. Looks forward to seeing Elizabeth on Friday.

Letter from Lascelles Abercrombie to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Ryton, Saturday. - Sends what he thinks must be the key to Bessie's trunk. The Abercrombies children are well; a "probationer nurse maid" has been hired for the baby [Ralph]. Has just read [Wordsworth's] "Peter Bell" and joins in Bob's praise of it; cannot think how [William] James failed to mention it in "Varieties of Religious Experience". Now reading [Giovanni Battisti Guarini's] "Il Pastor Fido": 'unreality has a peculiar value these days'.

Letter from Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Broome House, Didsbury, Manchester. - Their first communication since the peace: Dickinson shares his relief, and 'venture[s]' to wish Bessie a happy new year. The peace seems certain to be 'bad & unjust' since a victory was won, but he hopes Wilson will be able to ensure a foundation for a better international order. Is scathing about LL. G. [Lloyd George]. Hopes 'hard facts' will prevent a 'permanent enslavement of Germany'. Asks if Bob will now come home; it must be interesting to be in Paris at the moment. Hopes Julian likes school.

Letter from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

17 Lauriston Place, Edinburgh. - Has been expecting to hear from The Trevelyans that they are 'greatly ashamed and very sorry for the mischief' made and 'influence exerted' on a 'defenceless' man [Donald Tovey]; must 'express contrition' and 'promise amendment'. Will not 'let the matter rest as it is' though she is prepared to 'resume friendly relations' once they say this, even if she cannot trust them. The 'tragedy here deepens daily [the situation with Tovey's wife Grettie]' and she holds them 'largely responsible for it'; only 'by God's mercy that Donald is not utterly consumed'. Will come south with him when he plays at Northlands this week with Guilhermina Suggia.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Julian Trevelyan

Saw Simon Nicholson [ie Reginald Popham Nicholson] yesterday; cannot remember whether Julian knows him; he and his wife live near [E.M.] Forster and are 'great friends of his and B.B. [Bernard Berenson] and now of Bob and Bessie. Has given Bob the address of a friend whom Julian might like to meet, a 'camouflage during the last war' and also a painter, 'about 60 years old, and very intelligent etc'; however, he is based 'up beyond Fort William, nearer the [Loch Ness] Monster than to [Julian]'. Bessie is home from the Park [home of Annie Philips], and seems well; they hope to see Ursula soon. Simon Nicholson was in the colonial service with Lugard in west Africa 'for years'; said he was shown some of Julian's 'Africa sketches by K[enneth?] Clark and liked them very much'.

Newspaper and journal clippings and extracts relating to R. C. Trevelyan, many obituaries; also obituaries of Theodore Llewelyn Davies and some manuscript notes.

  1. Envelope, labelled in Elizabeth Trevelyan's hand ' Some Autobiographical dates rlg [?: relating to] R. C. T.', containing: one sheet and four fragments of paper with autobiographical dates in pencil in Robert Trevelyan's hand, and an ink copy of the complete sheet in Elizabeth Berenson's hand; an obituary ["Times", Jul 31, 1905] of Theodore Llewelyn Davies, including comments from Henry Montagu Butler, as well as another cutting about Llewelyn Davies's death; several pages of the September 1905 issue of "Land Values" containing an obituary of Theodore Llewelyn Davies.

  2. Six copies of a tribute by 'M.N.' to R. C. Trevelyan, under the title "Love of Nature and of Literature", "Times", 4 April 1951.

  3. Three copies of an article by Desmond MacCarthy about the poetry of R. C. Trevelyan, under the title "Overlooked", "Sunday Times, 31 Dec 1950

  4. Three copies of poem, "In Memory of R. C. Trevelyan", by Kenneth Hopkins, "Everybody's Weekly", 14 Apr 1951 [date and magazine title written in by hand, on two copies probably by Elizabeth Trevelyan].

  5. Three copies of "An Appreciation" in the "Manchester Guardian", 24 Mar 1951, by 'S.S' [Sylvia Sprigge?]; the last copy perhaps sent by Johannes Röntgen, as per the annotation.

  6. Six copies of an obituary of R. C. Trevelyan by Desmond MacCarthy, "Sunday Times", 1 April 1951, including the text of Trevelyan's last poem, sent to MacCarthy 'a few weeks before his death' [see 16/76]

  7. Review in "Time and Tide" by C[icely] V[eronica] Wedgwood of F.L. Lucas's "Greek Poetry for Everyman" and Trevelyan's "Translations from Greek Poetry", published under the title "A Foreigner in Arcady".

  8. Appreciation by Desmond MacCarthy of "The Poetry of Robert Trevelyan", "Empire Review" [undated: 1924?] pp 412-423.

Letter from Janet Ross to R. C. Trevelyan

Poggio Gherardo, Via Settignanese, Firenze. - Discusses Trevelyan's corrections for her book ["Florentine Villas"] which will not be published till April as 'Miss [Nelly] Erichsen is behindhand with her drawings'. Will be 'very pleasant' to see Trevelyan and make his wife's acquaintance. Afraid he will find Mr Ross 'very much altered and aged'. [Bernard] Berenson is staying with them as the Frullino is let; today Mrs Costelloe [Mary, later Berenson's wife], her mother, brother and two children went to the new villa [I Tatti], which is 'delightful'. Berenson will stay with the Rosses until the marriage on about 16 December. Lina is then probably going to Rome, or to visit the Curries; she was going to go to Egypt, but now does not want to leave her uncle in his illness for so long. Sends love to 'my Poet ([George]Meredith)' when Trevelyan next sees him; he is 'delightful company, when there is not a large audience', though 'apt to pose' when he has one. Feels guilty for taking up so much of Trevelyan's time [with corrections]; is very grateful and wishes she could do something in return.

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

3 Hare Court, Inner Temple. - Apologises for not saying goodbye properly on the boat; hopes the stewardess looked after her, that she had a good crossing, and found everyone well at home. Asks her to thank Louisa [Hubrecht, who was staying with her uncle and aunt]. His hotel was very comfortable; had a good journey to London, reading more of "Arne" [by Bjørnstjerne Bjørnson?]. Is glad to return to his 'studious habits', but even more so to think that soon she will share them with him. Has enjoyed his day at the British Museum. Had supper with the Sickerts and a 'long talk with Oswald', one of the 'nicest' of his friends whom he thinks she will like very much. Will probably go to Highgate to see [Thomas Sturge] Moore tomorrow, then to Dorking next day. Has not yet seen [Charles] Sanger, who must be out for the evening. Has been to Curry & Paxton, who will have them [spectacles for Ambro Hubrecht?] ready in about a week. Is paying Luzac [?]. Saw his parents this morning; his father has almost recovered. Read the Gospel of Nicodemus and some [Matteo?] Bandello stories at the British Museum. Expects she will soon be discussing their marriage date with her uncle and explaining his parents' plans to travel over. Will write to Sir Henry Howard [the British ambassador to the Netherlands] when the date is settled. Sanger has just been telling the story of his friend Robertson's love affair with an American girl who has just died; Sanger is going to Greece, and has not had 'his bad headaches' recently. Was sent a guinea by the "Manchester Guardian" [for his letter on the Amalfi landslip]. Frank Holland has sent a letter [17/145] promising him a set of Anatole France [as a wedding present]; Bob thinks what he has read of France 'very good'.

Letter from Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Hopes Elizabeth is settled at Ravello and having a good Christmas day; expects it will be quiet, as theirs is. Had their 'very mild festivity' last night; George is staying, and C[harles], M[ary], and Mr Fitch came to dinner. They had music after dinner - Mary has greatly improved Charlie's singing - then 'played a letter game'. Most of their packing is done, and they leave [for Welcombe] on Tuesday; George will travel some of the way with them as he is joining Janet at Stocks for a week. The fogs in London, Manchester, Leeds and so on 'quite terrible last week'; hopes they will have gone. Asks if she may use one of Elizabeth's 'supernumeray [sic] silver inkstands' at Welcombe, as she is having a small room set up to use in the morning. George is well; he and Sir George discuss 'their respective works & the treatment of History &c &c &c at length & very amusingly'. Does not think George's book ["England Under the Stuarts"] has 'had a brilliant success', but it has been well reviewed. Asks to be remembered to Madame Palumbo; supposes Mrs Reid is still alive. Has received a postcard of Vesuvius from Heathcote Long so supposes he is somewhere near Naples. Asks if 'the diplomat' is any relation of Elizabeth's.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Julian Trevelyan

[Archibald] Wavell 'must have been thinking of Procopius's history of the Gothic wars in Italy'; Belisarius 'his hero, was a great general' who 'like Wavell [drove] the Vandals out of Africa and Carthage'. Has never read Procopius, who was a friend of Belisarius, but believes he was 'a very good historian'; the phrase Julian quotes may be there. There is 'an account of it all in Gibbon ["Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire"] and in [Thomas] Hodgkin's history ["Italy and her Invaders"]. Also hears that [Robert] Graves, the poet, has written 'a very good historical novel about Belisarius', which he expects Wavell has read. Might get the 1886 translation of Procopius by A[ubrey] Stewart, listed in the London Library catalogue, and try to find the phrase, or send the book to Julian if he 'would take care of it'; meanwhile, he will look in Gibbon and Hodgkin. Bessie has gone to London today and will see Ursula.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Glad that Robert is reading his book [Volume III of "The American Revolution"]; asks him to tell him about mistakes or misprints; the book seems 'well subscribed for'. Sorry to hear about Paul and glad he is better. Sends love to Elizabeth; he and Caroline are interested in the marriage between [Arthur] Richmond and [Theodora] van Riemsdijk. Caroline is in London for a few days; he has his 'very old, and tall, friend Sir Steuart Bailey' to keep him company. Sir Walter and Lady Trevelyan 'turned up on a motor journey yesterday' so he gave them tea; Sir Walter is 'immensely improved in manner and bearing' and she is a 'bright little lady'. Is interested by the 'Wattses [paintings by G. F. Watts?] at Compton'; does not know 'who has Compton [Watts's house there?]'

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