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Trevelyan, Elizabeth (1875-1957) musician, known as Bessie
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Letter from George Macaulay Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

The Master's Lodge, Trinity College, Cambridge. - Greatly values Bessie's approval of his autobiography; several of his friends and relations have told him it should be longer, but he notes Bessie's 'literary sense causes [her] to suspend judgement on that point'. Friends and relations are always more interested in 'one's very mild adventures in life' than the general public; has 'said all about [himself that he thinks] the public has a right to know or would wish to know'. Glad they had Dr Bluth to see Janet; not sure whether the tablets he has given will make a 'marked improvement', but it is good to know that 'so great a specialist as he' agrees with their Dr Simpson; they 'both thought highly of each other'. Adds a handwritten postscript to say that his 'admission to shout in the School Choir' was 'by favour (of Sandilands [his head of house]) not by merit!!'.

Letter from Bertrand Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Penralltgoch, Festiniog, Merioneth. - Has returned from Taormina; much enjoyed making friends with Julian, who reminded him strongly of Bob. He and Peter are 'parting amicably'; she is in London for the moment and he is in Wales. He has to come to London for B.B.C. presenting and would like to spend a night at the Shiffolds: would prefer May 19 but could do May 18.

Letter from Peter Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Casa Cuseni, Taormina, Sicily. - Julian seems very contented, works all day, talks and laughs a lot in the evening, and they find him 'very charming'. This is an ideal place for him; the house is full of people, all 'very friendly and companionable'. Knows it is hard to guess how people are really feeling, but it seems he is being 'soothed and rested'. She came out here without the doctors' permission and is feeling better than she has for months.

Letter from George Macaulay Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

The Master's Lodge, Trinity College, Cambridge. - Thanks Bob for his 'kind letter'; is now getting better, and he and Janet hope to go to Hallington for ten days on Friday, which will do him good. Was very disappointing to not to be able to visit Lina [Waterfield, in Italy]. Glad that Bessie is better, and that Hope Muntz is going to write about King Alfred, which he thinks likely to be 'a finer and more popular subject than any other in Anglo-Saxon history'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Julian Trevelyan

Hopes Julian has reached Taormina by now and is enjoying Sicily, though fears the almond blossom may be over. Has just heard from Nicky [Mariano] that she and B.B. [Bernard Berenson] may go to Zürich at the end of March to see the Lombard exhibition, but will definitely be back by 15 April. Sure they would like to see Julian, and would probably ask him to stay at I Tatti if he wrote to Nicky. All well here: Bessie likes Mrs Alexieff and gets on quite well with her secretary. He himself is 'fairly all right, though sometimes a little out of sorts'. Hopes Julian will like Sicily as much as Goethe did; he was afraid to go to Greece because of brigands, so went to Sicily and 'made up his mind' it must be just like Greece. Tells Julian to ask his friend [Daphne Phelps] whether she is related to his own old friend T[homas] T[ettrell] Phelps, whom he has not seen for years. Expects Julian has been to the Isola Bella, which used to belong to Mrs Cacciola [Florence Trevelyan]; he used to go and bathe there with Roger and Helen Fry. Roger painted a picture of Mount Etna seen through the Greek theatre, which Goldie [Lowes Dickinson] had in his rooms. Hopes Julian's car is 'behaving itself'. Bessie will write soon.

Letter from John Luce to R.C. Trevelyan

45 Temple Fortune Hill, N.W.11 - Has not replied sooner because of an attack of flu. Would like to meet: suggests lunching together to discuss a show. He would like to see the Oliviers [in Anouilh's "Antigone"?] but expects it would be difficult to get a ticket; there should be a good French or Italian film on. Has been told that Trevelyan should ask about his Austrian friend's government stock at the Chief Accountant's Office at the Bank of England, though he will probably also need to consult the Trading with the Enemy Department in Kingsway. José is well and visiting her parents, Sandra is staying with the Luces temporarily with her baby, and they look forward to Bessie's promised visit in spring.

Letter from Janet Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

The Master's Lodge, Trinity College, Cambridge. - Is out of the nursing home and 'feeling much more jolly in her own house', getting up every day and walking 'through these enormous rooms'; thinks it will not be long until she is 'completely emancipated'. Felt 'so cross' during her stay in the home as she did not think she needed it, and she got an infection there which meant staying ten days longer. She and George go to Italy in mid-March to stay with Lina Waterfield. Is hoping to take 'a stalwart young don of Girton College' with them to help George on the journey, who will go her own way in Florence. Hopes to stay almost three weeks with Lina, and 'if I don't get well then I don't deserve to'.

Letter from C. R. Stiles to R. C. Trevelyan

East Lodge, Vigo, South Holmwood. - Very kind of the Trevelyans to think of him and his wife at Christmas; they 'fully appreciate' Trevelyan's 'little book of poems' [this year's "From the Shiffolds"]. Particularly appreciates the 'loving tribute to Lowes Dickinson', who was a 'great man in the real sense of the word'. They were pleased to hear Julian on the Third [Programme: BBC radio], and have 'watched his advance with particular interest'. Sends best wishes for the New Year.

Letter from Janet Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

The Master's Lodge, Trinity College, Cambridge. - Thanks Bessie for Olive Heseltine's 'touching little book' ["Lost Content"], which has brought back many memories. Comments on the 'spate of these "Victorian Childhood" books' at the moment; read Molly MacCarthy's ["A Nineteenth Century Childhood"] recently, which is 'very charming.. more humorous than this and therefore lighter'. Olive always had 'rather a genius for unhappiness'. She once helped Janet to run a School Care Committee in Fulham, and she 'became quite good at it' though it was not really the right job for her; wonders what would have been. Janet has 'yielded to the doctors' and will go into the Evelyn Nursing Home in Cambridge on Friday for three weeks rest; did feel 'rather down' last week, as she has been 'winding up her job at the British Institute of Florence' and her arthritis is getting 'slowly worse'. She and Georgewere hoping to go to Florence in March, and to stay at Poggio [with Lina Waterfield], but she fears now that they will not manage. Originally encloses a Christmas card, and hopes Bessie can see it; 'Molly the Great' [Charles's wife?] took it this summer.

Letter from Pau Casals to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Villa Colette, Route de Ria, Prades. - Very good to hear from her; he often thinks of her, and regrets not seeing her any more; time passes so quickly. Glad to hear the Trevelyans are both still active; he too keeps going, 'mon barometre est mon violoncelle', though he is not free from cares. Thanks her for the good news about the Röntgen family (her sister Abrahamina was the second wife of Julius Röntgen]. She should not worry that he is in material need: he leads a very simple life, and that is enough. Has had a letter from Adrienne Fachiri, to which he has not replied; asks Elizabeth to pass on his gratitude and best wishes to her for Adrienne's mother and aunt, who are so dear to him.

Letter from Janet Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

The Master's Lodge, Trinity College, Cambridge. - Thanks Bessie for the 'nice Christmas note' and for promising Olive Heseltine's book ["Lost Content"]; thinks she would love to read it; hopes Olive is happier than when she knew her in the nineteen-twenties, as 'she seemed to have a sort of genius for unhappiness then', perhaps due to bad health. She herself finds her arthritis 'rather disabling; it increases 'slowly but steadily, and doctors are no good'; she is seeing a London doctor who is 'very nice', but will only refer her back to her local doctor and a masseuse and she is 'getting tired of trying to believe in them'. Wants to see her London osteopath, but even he seems to have 'come to the end of his tether' with her.

Letter from Rosalind Simpkins to R. C. Trevelyan

24 Cobbett Rd, Southampton. - Was 'delighted' to get Trevelyan's 'little collection of poems' [this year's "From the Shiffolds"] again, with his New Year's greetings. Had been reading some of the previous collections recently, and wondering whether there would be another this year. Was pleased this one began with her 'favourite poem, "To Lowes Dickinson"', which 'always transports [her] into the Azalea Wood', and gives her 'some understanding' of Trevelyan's friend, who she regrets she never knew. Was glad to see a new poem from this year, though it is 'a little sad'. Fears he will 'miss Dr [Gordon] Bottomley very much'; last year must have 'tried' him in 'many ways', and she hopes 1949 will bring 'much happiness, and less wear and tear and worry' to him and Mrs Trevelyan. Asks him to thank Mrs Trevelyan for her 'kind postcard' and tell her she was 'much amused' to be remembered by Mr [Tom?] Harrison. The Eggletons are living in Norfolk now.

Notebook with draft of R. C. Trevelyan's translation of Sophocles' "Philoctetes", with letter from G. M. Trevelyan

Letter, 23 Feb 1949, from G. M. Trevelyan, The Master's Lodge, Trinity College, Cambridge. - Is very sorry he will not be able to put Bob up on 1 March: the doctor has said that due to Janet's 'various complications with dentists, etc., on top of her other infirmities' she should not be troubled with house guests for a while. They will of course be able to see Bob, and he hopes they can give him lunch on Wednesday. Sends love to Bessie. Translation by R. C. Trevelyan of Sophocles "Philoctetes" 54-59.

Book contains: part of an essay by R. C. Trevelyan about the self (1-2); thoughts on memory and old age (3); part of dialogue between Thersites and a "Poet", discussing 'rebellious products and portions of your imagination' (4v).

From the other end of the book: translation of "Philoctetes" by Trevelyan up to line 53; loose sheets inserted with translation of the play to line 114.

Letter from J. L. Hammond to R. C. Trevelyan

Catfield, Piccotts End, Hemel Hempstead, Herts. - Addresses Trevelyan as Bob since 'tough life has not brought [them] often together' they are 'very old friends in spirit'; remembers well calling on him 'early in the century' while doing a walking tour in Surrey, and Bob 'escorting' him for some miles on his way to [Arthur] Clutton Brock at Farncombe; hopes the first name is therefore not 'too familiar', and invites Bob to call him Lawrence. The Hammonds are 'delighted' with their Christmas present [this year's "From the Shiffolds"]; it is a 'great pleasure to read beautiful poetry these days'; the poem to [Goldsworthy] Lowes Dickinson is 'very moving' and fills him with nostalgia. They send best New Year wishes to both Trevelyans.

Letter from Peter Grant Watson to R. C. Trevelyan

West Melville, Northam, Devon. - Thanks Bob for his poens [this year's "From the Shiffolds"], particularly the poem to Goldie [Lowes Dickinson]. Likes the 'questioning in them all, and what seems to be the answer in the translation of Menander 550', which is of course 'vague'. Feels himself that it is a mistake to look for 'a goal to be fulfilled in this time-space we live in', and that 'Good and evil are always about balanced', so that it is not possible to 'build the kingdom of Justice and happiness'; is tempted to write an essay on injustice being 'the inevitable fate of man'. Thinks he must come and stay at Peaslake in the spring, and visit Bob and Bessie, so they can discuss all this. He and Katharine are living quietly, and like their home. Is finding things difficult financially since his books are 'held up so long in the publishing process': was meant to have two books out this year, now one will appear in January, and he only has a date of 'the autumn' for the other. Is now trying to write a 'very long and ambitious novel' about the first century, doing lots of 'interesting reading'. Thinks he will take the first six lines of Bob's Menander translation as his epigraph, with the theme being 'Lux, post has tenebras: tunc omnibus omne patebit" [After these shadows, light: then everything will be revealed to all (Latin)]. Finds life very interesting, and hopes that as in the story of Lot there 'may be enough for us to escape the fate of Sodom'; even if not, believes 'Life is always victorious' eventually.

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 R. C. Trevelyan to Julian Trevelyan

Had meant to ask whether they could lunch together, or whether Julian could visit the Shiffolds for a few days, but Bessie says he is away lecturing or teaching; hopes after that it can be arranged. Hopes he is 'in good or at least better health'. Things are 'better here': they are still managing without a 'house-servant'. but one is coming in about a week so Bessie is not worried. Will be sending his "Christmas-card of poems" [this year's "From the Shiffolds"] soon; there is 'nothing very new in it'. Hope Muntz's 'saga' about Harold and William the Conqueror ["The Golden Warrior"] is very successful; thinks this is deserved; has an extra copy which he could lend Julian if wanted. Lovely weather here 'above the fog'; must go out and try to write "Voices" - an essay, not a poem, he is afraid.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Julian Trevelyan

After a second visit to the show, his feeling that Julian had 'made a great advance, and come nearer than ever before to the kind of painting [he is] aiming at' was confirmed: could enjoy some pictures, such as the "Fox" and the river scenes with no reservations. All well here except for the 'usual domestic difficulties', and Bessie seems so used to these that she minds them less now.

Letter from Bertrand Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan, with newspaper cutting

Letter, dated 16 Oct 1948, 18 Dorset House, Gloucester Place, N.W.1. - Thanks Elizabeth for her letter; he has suffered no ill effects from the accident and did not realise how serious it was at the time. Is going to Berlin on Friday, but 'Stalinio volente' will return on Wednesday; fears he will not be able to come to the Shiffolds until after Christmas as he has so much work to do; is going to Berlin on the request of the Foreign Office. Hopes she will be able to get Bob to continue reading his "History of Philosophy".

Newspaper cutting, "Manchester Guardian", 4 Oct 1948, containing an article dated Trondheim, October 2, 'Lord Russell's Escape in Air Crash. Scrambled from Window and Swam in Heavy Coat - With Attache Case'.

Letter from Desmond MacCarthy to Elizabeth Trevelyan

The Shiffolds. - Was glad to get Bessie's letter; has also had some Wallington news from Bob. Is having a pleasant visit to the Shiffolds: likes the 'helpers and servers' very much. They came to the library one evening with their little girl, and Bob read poetry to them. He and Bob have had one long game of chess, which ended in a draw; Bob seems well and very active-minded, and is translating 'Ibant obscure...' [Virgil, "Aeneid VI"]; is unhappy because he has lost the minute hand of his watch. They are discussing literary subjects and about the past. Has seen little of the 'pleasant-faced dog'. Went to tea with the Wedgwoods [Ralph and Iris] on Saturday; they sent down the car as his 'breathing-machinery' cannot cope with the hill. She should tell Charles [Trevelyan] that he has been enjoying Keith's "Memories of Wallington"; sends his greetings to him and Molly. Remembers Molly as having the sweetest reading voice he ever heard.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Julian Trevelyan

Did not thank Julian enough when he rang last week for helping him and 'all the trouble' he took: was a great disappointment not to go to Florence, but Dr Holloway strongly advised him against it; perhaps it was a mistake not to go, and to miss seeing B.B. [Bernard Berenson] again, but he did not 'really feel up to the journey'. Feels Gordon [Bottomley]'s death 'very much': he had been a 'perfect friend', and apart from Desmond [MacCarthy] and Berenson was the last of his 'old literary friends'. Though Julian had not seen him much lately, he always spoke of him 'with real affection'. His death came 'very suddenly and I think painlessly' while he was on a short visit to Mary Fletcher's at Oare. Thinks Bessie will be in London on Thursday and will ring Julian up.

Letter from Mary Fletcher to R. C. Trevelyan

Martinscote, Oare, Marlborough. - Thanks Bob for his 'delightful book' ["Windfalls"], which keeps her in bed in the morning longer than she should stay when she has 'breakfast to get for guests': when alone she 'indulge[s] freely in early-morning reading after an early coffee!'. Is not a 'connoisseur of "prose"': knows only that Bob's pieces read beautifully, and loves the 'details of observation of Nature'. Very grateful to Bob for letting her see George Moore's letter, which was so 'whole-hearted' with praise as well as criticism of a word used by Bob that she cannot currently remember. Is very 'familified' at present: is going to Alice [her sister]'s with Alice's grandson, who is staying here at the moment, and 'all four Anthony Potts come next week' [her niece Janet and family]. Hopes that Bob will get to Italy, and that 'Bessie's fresh researches will succeed'. Gordon Bottomley may be visiting from Stratford-on-Avon at the end of the month. Has 'at last found tenants' who will take this house 'from Michaelmas' for at least a year.

Letter from E. M. Luce to R. C. Trevelyan

Hotel Desmeules, Tadoussace, P.Q, Canada. - She, Sam, and Dr MacLean are taking a holiday, near where Rupert Brooke tried to swim the Saguenay river. Looks forward to receiving Trevelyan's "Windfalls", and stresses how much his poetry meant during the war. Was worried not to have heard from Bessie, since they are such good correspondents; conversely, only worries about Gordon when she sees his handwriting. Sure that someone from Dublin will 'prove adaptable' and solve the Trevelyan's domestic problems. Asks if John has mentioned that her nephew, John Victor, has been elected Fellow of Trinity College Dublin; it is a good thing for her brother, who lost his wife and daughter during the war, to have him near. Hopes Trevelyan will have a good time in Italy. Salvemini wrote that he found it 'exhilarating' to be back there and had faith the peasants would solve their political problems. Have been reading reports of the Olympic Games in London. Sorry to hear that Julian has been ill; medical profession in England rather in turmoil over the new laws [the establishment of the National Health Service]; shocked by Sandra's account of her confinement, and glad she and the baby are doing well now. She and Sam are coming to England next year and look forward to seeing the Trevelyans then.

Letter from Sylvia Lynd to R. C. Trevelyan

5 Keats Grove, Hampstead, N.W.3. - Thanks Bob for the 'fine new edition of "Windfalls"'; wishes she lived nearer so that she could visit easily and 'talk about it by the fire". They still have a fire in Cambridge, and they would love it if Bob visited for tea some time. Robert is 'no better', but fortunately no worse either; she has had a bout of high blood pressure and is 'feeling particularly blind & lame'. They both send their regards to Bessie. Adds in a postscript that she has been translated into Spanish in an anthology, "La Poesia Inglesa". Bob's poem in "Time and Tide" recently was very fine.

Letter from John Luce to R. C. Trevelyan

2 Turner Drive, N.W.11. - He and [his wife] José have just come back from a fortnight at Grindelwald; 'delighted' to find Bob's "Windfalls" on their return. Glad that Bob has included 'such lovely things' as his essays on solitariness and the Wallington Ponds. They will much enjoy reading aloud from the book, a 'pastime... learned from the Shiffolds'. The weather in Switzerland was 'wretched', but they still managed two twenty mile walks and climbed the Faulhorn on the 'few glorious days'; the food and change of scene helped José get over her appendicitis and complications, and she has 'now caught the travelling bug' as he knew she would; he 'must try to get her to Italy'. They are currently busy as José's sister is getting married on Saturday; he has had to 'make up for arrears of weeding in [his] vegetable allotment'. Sends love to Bessie; wishes Bob could have done the walks in Switzerland with them.

Letter from Molly Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Had planned to write her next letter to Bessie, but will write instead to Bob as she wants to thank him for [the new edition of] "Windfalls"; has much enjoyed reading her 'old favourite, "Simple Pleasures"', with much else that is new. Geoffrey and Gillian are here, and they will read some of the book aloud after supper. Hopes Bob will be able to come to Wallington in either August or September, whichever suits him best. Phil [Morgan Philips Price] and Lisa will be here on 12 [August], though she believes there are no grouse; Kitty and her children go south on 9 August and will return early in September; Pauline and her children will be at Cambo all holidays; Marjorie will come for a week on 14 August then again on 28 August. Does hope Bessie will be able to come at some point.

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