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Trevelyan, Elizabeth (1875-1957) musician, known as Bessie
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Airgraph letter from John Luce to R.C. Trevelyan

Lt. J.M. Luce c/o Grindlay's Bank, Bombay. - Has been ill and in hospital, followed by three weeks 'glorious' leave at Darjeeling. The view of Kanchenjunga is superb, Everest by comparison disappointing; had he been fit he would have gone trekking to Tibet. Is now back at his depot but expects to go to a unit in the west of India soon. Has sent some tea from Darjeeling to Trevelyan and Bessie and hopes it arrives safely. Hopes Ursula and Julian's baby has arrived. Has been reading Hazlitt's "Table-Talk": the kind of essays Trevelyan would write 'equally well if not better'.

Announcement of the forthcoming marriage of Ralph Vaughan Williams and Ursula Wood

Ursula Wood, 57 Gordon Mansions, Torrington Place, WC1; Ralph Vaughan Williams, The White Gates, Dorking, Surrey. - Thinks recipients 'will not be surprised to hear' that they have decided to marry soon [on 7 Feb, 1953]; their addresses will stay as above until they find a 'suitable house'. Asks for their 'blessing'.

Autobiographical sketch by R. C. Trevelyan

Describes: his studies at Cambridge; brief time as a pupil in the chambers of T. E. Scrutton, which would have been a 'great privilege and opportunity' if he had only had 'any talent for the law'; a long holiday at Corpo di Cava in southern Italy to recover from influenza, where he began to write a 'long, rambling... romantic modern novel' on the theme of incest, inspired by Ibsen's "Little Eyolf; outdoor composition; his turn to writing poetry, in which he was encouraged by Roger Fry.

Pencil notes at the back of the book sketching out further topics for the autobiographical account, such as [Thomas] Sturge Moore; 'Taormina - Bessie - Mrs [Florence] Cacciola - Holland'; writing the libretto [for the "Bride of Dionysus"] for Donald Tovey; his translation of Aeschylus; Welcombe [his inheritance of the house from his mother?]; at the bottom of this page, the other way up, there is the beginning of an account of a gentleman living 'not long since, in one of the northern counties of England'.

Card from Donald Tovey to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Northlands, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Has just found the note he told Bessie he wrote last week to 'the Poet' [Bob Trevelyan], in a coat pocket, so is sending it to Ridgehurst with apologies. Will come on Monday and must go back next day; asks her to wire to him at the Freshfields at Wych Cross if this is not convenient. The Symphony is going well and will be done by September.

Card from Donald Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan and Elizabeth Trevelyan

18 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh. At the Sign of the Edinburgh Review. - Clara Wallace has agreed to marry him: 'there will be a great renascence of old connexions, and no more breaks'. Has received Bessie's letter, and is indeed 'writing to Gaudeamus - so there!'. Asks if Bob has 'become a fruity & porty Tory since the Dear Old Spectator went into raptures over "Thamyris [or : Is There a Future for Poetry?"'], or if he will be shocked that Tovey agrees with it.

Card from E. M. Forster to R. C. Trevelyan

Postmarked Dorking. - His mother sends her love and much enjoyed the broadcast [of Bob's essay "Simple Pleasures", broadcast on the BBC Home Service on the evening of 10 July] but wished Bob had been reading himself. Arthur [Waley] enjoyed it too, and found it 'a strange and a pleasant change to hear the loudspeaker speaking common-sense'; did not think the readers were bad, apart from 'the woman with the tea-kettle sigh'. Hopes Bob will be able to visit later in the month. as 'so nice' to see Bessy. Is not going to the dinner.

Card from George Macaulay Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

2, Cheyne Gardens, S. W. - Thanks Bessie for her letter; glad she likes Theodore [as a name for his son]; Jan is 'doing extremely well now'. Is sure that Miss [Ivy] Pretious 'could not get away', but Miss [Mary] Sheepshanks might; gives her address. Miss Sheepshanks 'certainly answers to [Bessie's] description' and is a 'very interesting person with many fine qualities both of mind & character'.

Card from George Macaulay Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Board of Education embossed card [possibly from Charles Trevelyan, appointed as parliamentary under-secretary]; dated 'Monday. - Molly has been telling them how much better Paul was yesterday; he is very glad to hear it. Read the last half of [Robert's] "Sisyphus" again, aloud to Jan and it read 'capitally'; they both like it all very much. Is giving it to many of his 'literary friends' and hears nothing but praise; he finds some of the metres are too difficult, which is his only complaint.

Card from George Macaulay Trevelyan to R.C. Trevelyan

Stocks Cottage, Tring. - Thanks Bob for his postcard; will 'much want' to hear his criticisms [of his own book about George Meredith?]. Is to write a 'causerie' for the "Speaker" on [Alfred William] Benn, though not until June as he recently did one about [Thomas] Hardy's "Dynasts". Is working on a book about Garibaldi in 1949: 'far and away the best fun' he has ever had in writing; had a 'splendid time walking over the ground at Easter'. Asks if Bob has read [Gabriele] D'Annunzio's "Canzone di Garibaldi" ,'fine historical poems'. Hears 'rumours that the Shiffolds are likely to become more populous' [Elizabeth is pregnant], which would give him more pleasure than anything 'in these recent very fortunate times' and 'seems a proper sequel to the General Election'.

Card from Mien Röntgen to R. C. Trevelyan

Thanks Robert for the second volume of his [collected] works; was at once taken by "Fand" which, like "Sulla", she had never read before'. Was also very good to see again the 'last Thracian song' which Robert read aloud to them; she 'suddenly distinctly' hears his voice, as if she is again 'sitting on the sofa next to Bessie'. That time seems so long ago, since 'all those sad things have happened after that time in June'. Hopes Robert's 'going to London for the case of Bl.'s' [?] was successful. Wonders if she will eve rbe able to visit the Shiffolds again. Sends best wishes to the family.

Card from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Look forward very much to Elizabeth's arrival, and the appearance of Robert's book ["The Bride of Dionysus"]. Describes an emendation made to a typographical error in Austen ["Mansfield Park"] by Verrall ["On the Printing of Jane Austen's Novels", "Cambridge Observer", November 1892], which Miss [Lilias?] Noble also discovered.

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.

Card from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Northlands, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Donald [Tovey] has telegraphed to say there was a 'glaenzende Uraufführung [glittering premiere]' of his symphony last night, and [Adolf] Busch to say the work is 'most wonderful'. It seems that the Finale did not get rehearsed until yesterday morning, but Donald did it and she is very relieved; expects he 'sat days and nights copying parts' and that the performers were playing with the ink still wet. Is sorry to have criticised Borwick [see 8/92] to whom she is 'personally much attached'; it would be better for Donald if there were more good players, as he would be better understood.

Card from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Northlands, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Asks if Bessie and Bobbie could not come for a night: has 'so much' to tell them and is 'aching to add even a feather's weight to the influences for peace'; she saw Bessie's sister [Abrahamina Röntgen] a few days ago; is also 'stricken with dismay to find Donald [Tovey]' so ill and to 'hear him raving all these utterances of the English press'.

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'.

Card from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Northlands, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Donald [Tovey] hopes to come to the Trevelyans tomorrow afternoon from London; he is 'enviable' as he gets into all sorts of confusion, is 'handsomely penitent, and immediately forgiven', and will see Paul [Trevelyan] and his parents. Donald has been trying to see [Arthur] Nikisch, who asked him to play his Concerto to him with a view to performing it. After his stay with the Trevelyans, he goes on to the Gerald Balfours then to Brighton to play a Beethoven concerto: asks when she will have him at Northlands. A postscript notes that Donald is going to Broadwood's tomorrow.

Card from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Northlands, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Wishes Bessie could come tomorrow; would like very much to see her and she would have been a real help in entertaining 'these kind people'; has had her worst heart attack for some time so 'everything seems more difficult'. Believes that the 'Edinburgh Professorship is a bogus affair'; she understood that 'it just stood for the money' or she 'would not have secured Donald [Tovey]'s getting it'; hopes he resigns soon. Also cannot finance 'a large artistic undertaking' [Donald's concerts in Germany?] unless she is sure 'the artist has honestly done his work' which she believes is 'a physical impossibility' in Edinburgh. Would have been glad if he had spent the autumn in Germany practising; will write him his decision at the end of August.

Card from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

11 Greenhill Terrace, Edinburgh. - Explains that when she came to be with her sister for a few days she learned with dismay that Donald [Tovey] was still at Hedenham; hoped that she might be able to persuade her to fetch him to the Shiffolds. When she saw him on 21 September, he was 'very well and playing excellently' so she thought he had left. Returns to Englefield Green tomorrow.

Card from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Mile End House, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Very kind of Bessie to make 'all that careful provision for Donald [Tovey: for his stay at the Shiffolds]'. Hopes he may soon 'dispense with invalid ways' as he longs to; the major danger is from his 'unnecessarily great weight'; he should keep to a strict diet, rise from meals hungry, and walk as much as he can outdoors. The Trevelyans' 'beautiful high place' will do him good; hopes they have good weather.

Card from Sophie Weisse to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Northlands, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Thanks Bessie for her note; is glad she feels [Donald Tovey's] symphony is 'a great work and solid as the classical works all are'; this is the only thing that matters, though Donald is 'more in a rage with the press than he need be'. Hopes he will now finish the opera ["The Bride of Dionysus"]. Remembers Fritz Busch saying there were four symphonies buried in Donald's piece (quotes the German). Was not the orchestra's fault last Monday: Donald was 'copying and patching parts' very late. Fears he is 'greatly exhausted'; he returned to Edinburgh on Thursday.

Card from Sophie Weisse to R. C. Trevelyan

Northlands, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Thanks Trevelyan for his note: there is 'no loss of friendship' though she thinks him 'very often injudicious in quite forgetting how very little [he knows] of Donald and of his surroundings and requirements'; has much affection for both Trevelyans and is grateful for the 'rest' their society gives Donald. Regrets that Trevelyan interfered with Donald's publishers [the Streckers: see 8/25] at 'so important a moment' and Percy Such was 'justly alarmed and indignant'. Thinks it a shame Donald wastes time on teaching and social functions, and also that the opera ["The Bride of Dionysus"] is a 'serious deflection of his proper work'; is sure though that all will be well, and is appreciates the 'loving care' the Trevelyans take of Donald. Is sure their dates will suit Donald. He will be 'quite independent' of her [in Germany], though she hopes they will meet at Munich; wishes he could travel back with her. It is 'delightful abt Schott' [apparently wanting to take three of Donald's pieces].

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