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Letter from F. W. Pethick-Lawrence to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

Brixton Prison.—Was glad to hear how she is. Refers to his own situation and activities. Supports her idea of conducting her own defence, and agrees that she should consult Lutyens about the rose garden.

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Transcript

Brixton Prison
8th March 1912

Dearest

I was glad to have your letter telling me how you were getting on. I was sorry to hear that you were all alone but at least you have the dear Sun for company. Our cell numbers as you see are not very different & our direction must be the same for the moon also came in at my window on Thursday morning {1}, but whether it came in this morning or not I do not know—for I was asleep. As you prophesied the second night was a very good one—& the old complaint has disappeared.

I went to chapel for the first time this morning & found it very stimulating; what a wonderful feeling of comradeship one has “with all the other sinners”. I do not think that if the carrot of the story were held out to us we should want to shake them loose like the old woman did in the fable.

I do not see any reason why you should not conduct your own defence, there are certain things which you can say far better than anyone else. This applies to the trial, assuming we are committed, and probably not to the police court proceedings; however we can discuss this when we meet.
I should certainly ask Lutyens to come and see you to discuss the rose garden—he ought to get on to it at once if the place is not to be cut up a second time.

I have hosts of books but I do not seem to have so very much time for reading; I have a visitor coming to see me every day—it was first rate to see Mort yesterday.

It is raining now so I do not know whether I shall be able to get any exercise this afternoon, but I have already had the better part of an hour this morning as I am allowed two a day.

When Aeneas was at Carthage & he & his comrades were having a distinctly odd time one of the party gave vent to the following remark “Haec olim meminisse juvabit” we shall have pleasure in looking back on this some day! Does not that rather describe our position?

All good luck to you

Your loving
Husband

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At the head is printed, ‘In replying to this letter, please write on the envelope:— Number 3408 Name Lawrence F. P.’, the name and number being filled in by hand. The word ‘Prison’ of the address and the first two digits of the year are also printed, and the letter is marked with the reference ‘C1/12’ and some initials. Strokes of letters omitted either deliberately or in haste have been supplied silently.

{1} 7th.

Letter from Diwan Mohanlall to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

Lakhan Kotri, Ajmer.—Sends copies of his correspondence with Malcolm MacDonald recording his unsuccessful attempts to arrange a meeting with Pethick-Lawrence. Also encloses a brochure of speeches made when Dr Radakrishnan presented him with a commemoration volume, and asks Pethick-Lawrence to contribute a message for a revised edition.

Letter from Lord Casey to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

Commonwealth Offices, Treasury Place, Melbourne, C.2.—Asks permission to use a letter he wrote to Pethick-Lawrence in his book (Personal Experience, 1939–46). Hopes to have a draft ready when he goes to London in March, via the United States.

Letter from F. W. Pethick-Lawrence to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

Brixton Prison.—Is glad to hear she is getting on well. Duval and Evelyn Sharp have visited, and he has started learning Italian. Looks forward to seeing her on Thursday.

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Transcript

Brixton Prison
9th March 1912

Dearest

Thank you for sending me news that you are getting on all right, I hope by this time you have had your letters, this is the third I have written to you {1}. I am very well indeed & feel sure when you see me on Thursday you will think so too. I had a very pleasant visit from Duval yesterday aft[er]noon and from Evelyn Sharp this morning.

I have just started learning Italian, I have not got far enough yet to be able to say how I like it. I thought when I came here I should get through an immense mass of reading, but somehow there are so many things which take up time, that I do very little & of that a good deal goes in reading the newspapers.

We had a hymn practice this morning in chapel which I thought was good; some of the hymns & tunes were inspiring & refreshing.

I had my second exercise indoors yesterday afternoon as it was wet but today is lovely and I expect we shall get both outside.

It will be jolly to see you on Thursday {2} but mind! you have got to look as well as I do!

your loving
Husband.

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At the head is printed, ‘In replying to this letter, please write on the enve-lope:— Number 3408 Name Lawrence F. P.’, the name and number being filled in by hand. The word ‘Prison’ of the address and the first two digits of the year are also printed, and the letter is marked with the reference ‘C1/12’ and some initials. Strokes of letters omitted either deliber-ately or in haste have been supplied silently.

{1} Only one of the previous letters (PETH 6/110) has survived.

{2} 14th.

Letter from Lord Casey to Lord Pethick-Lawrence

Commonwealth Offices, Treasury Place, Melbourne, C.2.—Has already agreed to submit a draft of his book to Norman Brook for governmental approval (see 1/115). Intends to submit copies of the text to publishers in London in April.

Letter from F. W. Pethick-Lawrence to Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence

Brixton Prison.—Is glad to hear she is well. His Italian is progressing, and he has been attending chapel. Evelyn Sharp, Mary Neal, and Sayers have visited, and his sister Annie has written.

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Transcript

Brixton Prison
11th March 1912

Dearest

I was delighted to get your letter and to learn from it that things are going well with you and that you have come across some of the others—you will not now feel at all alone. Also you need not have the smallest anxiety about me as I am very well[,] have plenty to do and get regular exercise & have not a trace left of indigestion. I started learning Italian on Saturday {1} and have already made a good deal of progress; I find it very easy, in view of French and Latin, and also very fascinating; when I know a little more I shall start on Dante.

I had two visitors on Saturday as in addition to Miss Evelyn Sharp, the Govenor† kindly allowed me to see Mary Neal who was on her way to Holmwood & wanted instructions. It was a great pleasure to see them both. Sayers came to day & I quite cheered him up—he has promised to send me a book I have not yet read—I forget its name. I have also had a letter from my sister Annie & I shall send her a reply soon. It will not be long after you get this that we shall meet—that will be good will it not though the place will be not one that we would naturally choose! Also we shall see those two other dear people—I hope they will be better than they were last Wednesday {2}.

I went to Chapel twice yesterday—there was some very hearty singing, I have not missed any day except the first.

Your loving
Husband

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At the head is printed, ‘In replying to this letter, please write on the envelope:— Number 3408 Name Lawrence F. P.’, the name and number being filled in by hand. The word ‘Prison’ of the address and the first two digits of the year are also printed, and the letter is marked with the reference ‘C1/12’ and some initials. Strokes of letters omitted either deliberately or in haste have been supplied silently.

{1} 9th.

{2} 6th.

† Sic.

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