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Fry, Roger Eliot (1866–1934), art historian, critic, and painter
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Letter from E. M. Forster to R. C. Trevelyan

Weybridge. - Thanks Trevelyan for the cheque. Encourages him to read [Wilfred Scawen] Blunt after Goldie [Dickinson]. Has just received the proofs of his 'worthy' piece for the "Nation". Is glad Trevelyan 'has unlocked the key of blue' [?] and that Charlotte [Mew? See 3/116] interests him. Dined with Roger [Fry] and Clive Bell last night, and '[b]iffed all their art bosh'.

Letter from Jean Marchand to R. C. Trevelyan

2 Rue St Martin, Neauphle-leChateau, (S[eine] et O[ise]) [from envelope). - Apologises for not replying sooner to Trevelyan's letter: being in the country he has been working very hard, although has not therefore done anything which has satisfied him. Did not see [Francis] Birrell at all: he cannot come to Marchand's house without Marchand knowing. Marchand left at the end of May and came to a 'little place' in the Isle de France, Neauphle-le-Château. Sonia [Lewitska] is already doing better than she was in Paris but she still has a lot to do to recover completely. He 'regenerates himself as well as he can, without having found the ardour of the past': believes the last five years will 'weigh heavily' on their 'much-maltreated generation'. Vignier [?] is 'always equal to himself', and claims in fact to surpass himself as he is working hard to progress without a pause.

Saw Miss Deacon twice during her stay at Paris, but in a very unexpected way. Regrets that he has not received Roger Fry's article, and so has not thanked him, but hopes to send soon to send Fry an almanac he has illustrated in collaboration with several artists. Hopes to come to London some time around November; will be very pleased to meet Trevelyan's wife and 'young amateur of landscapes' [Julian], who seems typically English to him as he has often noticed that the English have a 'predilection' for this genre of painting. Sonia has finished her woodcuts for the Joinville [Jean de Joinville, "Le Livre des Saintes Paroles et des bons faits de Notre Saint Roi Louis"], and they both send best wishes to both Trevelyans. Adds a postscript that he does not have many details about his exhibition [at the Carfax Gallery?]: asks whether it was not 'too disparate' despite the range of periods it covered.

Letter from Virginia Woolf to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Monk's House, Rodmell, near Lewes, Sussex. - Was 'delightful' of Bessie to write about Virginia's life of Roger [Fry]; in her comparison of it to a 'piece of music', she appreciated 'exactly what [Virginia] was trying to do'. Virginia is 'not regularly musical', but 'always think[s] of [her] books as music before [she] writes them'; this was particularly true in the autobiography, where there was 'such a mass of detail' that the only way she could manage was by 'abstracting it into themes' which she attempted to 'unite' in the first chapter, then introduce 'developments & variations' before bringing everything together at the end, just as Bessie saw. Thinks she is the only person to have felt what she was trying to do. Was often 'crushed under the myriad details'; found the necessity to mute or only hint at some things difficult; there was also 'always a certain constraint, which one doesn't feel in fiction, a sense of other people looking over one's shoulder'. Very glad that Bessie and Bob, who both knew Roger well, think it is a 'true portrait of him'; Bob 'went all through his life', even though as often happens they did not see each other as often towards the end. Understands Bessie being shy of Roger, she was not 'exactly shy' herself, but 'sometimes felt overpowered, & so, uneasy'. However none of her friends 'made such a difference to [her] life as he did', which she needed to 'keep under' when writing about him.

Hopes they will meet up; they [she and Leonard] will be often in London this winter, but 'everything's difficult now'. Very sorry about Bessie's eyes; asks if it affects her music.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking. - Is sending a copy of his latest play [The Pterodamozels], a 'sort of continuation' of his New Parsifal; it is 'concerned with politics, as that was with aesthetics'. His mother will probably not 'sympathise altogether with all that is implied', but hopes that she will at least find it 'ends good-humouredly'.

Bessie thanks her for her 'kind letter' and will write soon. Miss Colley [the new governess] came on Monday and seems to be getting on well with Julian; she 'seems quite a nice girl', and he expects will suit them very well. Bessie is fairly well; she has 'just gone to the kitchen to knead the bread'.

Some chance of Robert's 'Krishna play [The Pearl Tree] being acted soon in London, probably 'in a small way'; expects they 'won't do it as [he] should like it, but there can be no harm in letting them try'. Will soon send his father a translation of part of Lucretius, which 'Fry is printing' for him [at the Omega Workshops].

The weather is currently 'very pleasant'; the potatoes and raspberries in their garden are doing well, but the 'apples and plums are a failure this year'. Has had a letter [19/96] from a relative 'who calls herself cousin Minna (Duckworth)'; he 'really cannot remember about her, though no doubt... ought to'. Unsure how she can be 'Minna' if her initials are 'S. O.'. Is 'ashamed to say' that he is 'very bad at remembering about my relatives'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

The Shiffolds. - Since writing this morning, the child has been 'going on quite well': the doctor seemed satisfied with him and Bessie when he called. Bessie is not able to feed him yet, and may never be able to; he hopes she will, but it is not too important. Bessie is doing well, 'though rather tired in the head'; is sure that will improve since there is 'practically no anxiety now'.

Wonders what his mother will think of their idea of naming the baby Julian Otto; this is not decided, and they would like her opinion. Robert suggested William, a family name; Molly likes Antony. Robert 'would not object' to John [also a family name], but prefers William and Julian; besides, he does not like either Jack or Johnny. Julian 'would suggest Julius Röntgen' [Bessie's brother-in-law]; the only other Julian he knows is Roger Fry's son who is much older 'so there would be no confusion'. Bessie would prefer it to the other suggestions, though does not object to any of them.

Is unsure now about sending a notice of the birth to the newspapers; it is not that he is really anxious any more, but everyone who should know will do so by now, and it would 'only mean more answering of letters', which he will have had enough of. Supposes they could send a notice later. Molly went this morning, but will return for lunch, probably with Charles. She could stay on after Monday, but this will probably not be necessary: they can 'always have Mrs Grandmont [Bessie's cousin] now'. His mother must do just what suits her about coming to see them: she knows they will 'always be glad to see [her]', but he is now sure that the 'child will... wait till it suits you to come'.

Hopes their 'first bad news' did not upset his parents too much: Dr Hutchison's opinion justified their anxiety, while allowing them to feel less anxious later; thinks the child's illness is now clearly 'ordinary jaundice'. Nurse Godwin has had more sleep and is now more cheerful; she 'became rather too nervous at one time, though she has done splendidly all through'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

The Shiffolds. - Has been away, or would have answered her note with his father's questions earlier. Cannot find a reference to 'levying an indemnity' in Murray or elsewhere; '"requisitio"' is used as a substantive in that sense, but may be general a word', as is probably the case also for 'fine' and 'tribute'; both 'ne'er do weel' and 'ne'er do well' seem to be 'used as nouns by quite good writers, such as Dickens'.

Paul 'seems quite well again now', though last week he was not so well; Bessie also seems well: she went with Robert to the Speyers' last Sunday, where Hausmann, Frau Soldat, and and Leonard Borwick were staying 'so there was a lot of music' and several pieces were rehearsed for next Wednesday's London concert.

Is glad Phil [Morgan Philips Price] is now recovering; Bessie has had 'a nice letter from Aunt Meg'. Has not had much news about the Frys recently, as Roger has been in Italy for the last three weeks; expects he will soon return. Imagines Helen 'is much the same, perhaps rather better in some ways', though 'doubt[s] whether there is any real improvement'. Robert's play [Sisyphus: An Operatic Fable] should be out this week, though he has not yet heard anything about it.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking; sent to Lady Trevelyan at 8 Grosvenor Crescent, London S.W. - Thanks his mother for her letter. Is 'very sorry to hear about Geordie's measles'. While Robert was out, Bessie opened the letter and read it; he thinks it is better she should know, and his mother should not fear she will worry about it. Of course Bessie hopes Paul won't catch the measles, but if she feels if he does her mother-in-law and Booa [Mary Prestwich] will do everything necessary; he probably would not get it badly, as Geordie has a mild case and Paul seems 'quite strong' now. They are both sorry Caroline has 'so much trouble and worry from this, on top of other troubles'.

Bessie is well, and 'was up most of today'. He has 'stupidly' addressed a letter for his father to Wallington, so this will be delayed; also forgot to enclose Lord Rosebery's letter [see 12/146] so sent it by the next post, also to Wallington. Hopes 'the publishers' dinner will be a success'; has now got the specimen page [from the Chiswick Press, for his new book Sisyphus: An Operatic Fale] and has sent it to Fry for his opinion; he himself thinks it 'looks fairly right now'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St Mary, Dorking. - Thanks her for her letter, and for Aunt Annie's, which he returns; he and Bessie are glad Aunt Annie is 'enjoying herself so much' [in Italy]. Nurse Godwin left this morning, which they much regret, but the new nurse seems good and he expects will do well. Bessie is very well: she gets tired sometimes but that is to be expected. Paul is well, and has 'gained 9 oz every week so far'. The Frys are coming from Holmwood tomorrow morning and will see the baby: he and Bessie 'hope they will approve of him, aesthetically'. Thinks he thanked Caroline for the pheasants, which were very good.

Mrs Vaughan Williams came to see Bessie this afternoon as 'all fear of [influenza] infection is considered over'. Noel has not been yet, as 'the Judge has had the influenza very badly'; thinks he is recovering now. Is glad his father is well; will write to him soon. The weather today is 'very unpleasant', with fog, so neither Bessie nor Paul have been out; was much sunnier yesterday. Bessie was 'a little distressed' about the nurse leaving, but he thinks she has 'got over it now', as the new one is 'quite efficient and thoughtful'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Sir George Trevelyan

Grand Hotel, La Croix de Cavalaire, Var, France. - Has so far been 'very lucky' with the weather; this is a 'beautiful place', he thinks more so than 'most better known places on the Riviera'. The hotel is 'fairly comfortable', and though large, does not hold too many guests. About the only English people here are Noel Farrer and his wife: he is Lord Farrer's brother, and Robert and Bessie know him them slightly. They are 'both very keen liberals, and very pleasant people to see something of'.

The only other people he knows are 'two old French Protestants, Mr & Mrs Ott', whose villa is about a mile away; he and Bessie made 'great friends with them here three years ago. Mrs Ott was 'once quite a fine singer and a beauty, and was a great friend of Nietszche', as well as knowing 'Wagner and all that set'. The Otts are 'very cultivated and intellectual people'; he occasionally sees them at their villa, or here.

Bessie writes that all is well with her and Paul. Robert expects her cousin Louisa Hubrecht will by now be with her. She is also looking forward very much to his mother's visit. Hopes his father has now recovered completely from his 'fall on the ice'. Asks him to thank his mother for her letter, which came yesterday. Happily, has had better news of Helen Fry since coming here: it is very likely she will recover soon from this attack; it is 'the future that causes great anxiety'.

Saw Charles briefly in London, who seemed 'very cheerful and ready for the fun'; Robert 'hope[s] it will be fun; it certainly ought to be. [He] can't say much for the Lord's case, if Earl Percy's is the best defence that can be made for them'. Will please Charles that 'Land Valuation is included in the program': Robert only wishes his brother 'were at the Local Gov[ernment] Board to help in working it out'.

Has just finished [H. G. Wells'] Kipps, and much enjoyed it: there might not be 'quite enough story' for it to be at its best throughout, and some things may have been 'more in place in Wells' [Modern] Utopia or Mankind in the Making, but it 'ain't a bad book - reelly, as Kipps would say'. Sends love to his mother, will write to her soon.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking. - Is glad to hear Booa is better; hopes she will soon be out of bed. All well here, 'except for Paul's Vaccination arm'; this should be 'at its worst' in a couple of days, though Robert does not think it will be particularly bad. Cycled over to the Rendels' house near Guildford [Hatchlands] 'as the only way of finding out about Tovey', and met him going for a walk with [Hal?] Rendel. Arranged that Tovey would come this Saturday for a few days; thinks that is what Tovey 'had really been hoping to do all along, though it is not in his way to write'.

Fry is coming down tomorrow to look at the Manor Farm at Abinger, belonging to 'Mr Evelyn of Wotton'; it is currently to let and may suit the Frys. Mrs Fry is recovering, 'perhaps sooner than on other occasions'. Sorry to hear that Charles has 'a bad cold or influenza'; hopes he will recover before his 'debate on the corrupt Companies comes on again'. Hopes his father is well, and will finish his book [Volume III of The American Revolution] soon.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Grand Hotel, La Croix de Cavalaire, Var, France. - Arrived safely on the afternoon of the 13th after a 'comfortable journey (except for the absence of a Channel Tunnel)'. Left Bessie and Paul 'very well': Bessie had a light cold but it is now nearly gone. Spent an afternoon in London and saw Charles briefly; he 'seemed very cheerful and active'. Also went to see [Roger] Fry, whose wife is unfortunately 'ill again'; Fry is 'trying to be as hopeful as possible, but it is very disappointing'. So far it has been possible for her to 'stay at home this time, which is a great gain'.

His hotel is comfortable, and the Crescentinos, who keep, it 'pleasant'; 'there don't seem to be any interesting guests, judging by their looks'. Bessie will have told his mother about the 'promising nurse she has heard of at Cambridge', who seems just the kind of person they want. Will write to his father soon; hopes his has recovered from his fall. Asks her to try to get Bessie to go to one of the 'Chelsea concerts': she 'seemed doubtful', but Robert is sure she could manage, as the programs are not usually long. Hopes to get his play [Sisyphus] finished before he returns, or at least 'get over the chief difficulties' remaining.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St Mary, Dorking. - All well with Bessie and baby Paul. The thaw is 'very complete now': they had had enough of the snow so are glad; last night 'was quite a hurricane'. Tomorrow is going up [to London] to lunch with Roger Fry, who has returned from London. Bessie has started reading to herself: [H. G. Wells'] Kipps; Robert still reads to her after dinner, usually Keats' letters.

Hopes his parents are well and 'will have nice weather now'; will write soon about paying a brief visit to Welcombe. Hopes Wallington is free of snow now. The V[aughan] Williamses at High Ashes, and Mrs Vaughan Williams at Leith Hill Place, have influenza, so Bessie cannot have visitors at the moment, Does not expect they will get it themselves, but they have to be careful. Sends love.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St Mary, Dorking. - Thanks his parents for their letters; will reply to his father's soon. Bessie and Paul are well: Bessie is starting to 'get up a little in her room'; the baby has been 'out a little over the past few days', since the weather is so much better.

Lunched with the Frys in London last Thursday; while Robert was there, Roger Fry restored Caroline's 'pastell'. Thinks it is 'all right again now': most of the 'mould' had dried off, though Fry had to 'touch it up in some places', he also 'altered the background, making it a little darker, and taking out the green chair'. Robert thinks this is an improvement, and the 'face is unaltered', but that it 'all looks a little more solid than it used'. Has sent it somewhere for the glass to be cleaned, from where it will be sent on to 8 Grosvenor Crescent. Fry seems 'very well, and to be getting on well in America', though he has little time to himself, even when here.

It is 10.40 pm and he hears the baby crying: Paul has cried 'a great deal today' though he does not usually do so. Sends 'love to all'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Seatoller, Borrowdale, Keswick. - Thanks his mother for her letter. The weather has not been so good recently, but any rain has been brief. Bessie seems 'very well at Rottingdean [where she is visiting her friend Jeanne Salomonson]' and is coming here on the 5th; wonders if it would suit for them to come to Wallington around the 13th or 14th, but expects Bessie will be writing about this. Does not think he will finish his play here, but will read it to her if she likes; will at least have done more than half of the final act.

The new Slade Professor is 'a certain Walstein [Charles Waldstein, later Walston]; he has held the position before and 'proved his incompetence'. He is 'the most notorious snob in Cambridge, far out-doing the O. B. [Oscar Browning], and a quite odious man as well''. Thinks his father met him recently there, and 'did not get a good impression'. Seems that it was settled that Fry should have the professorship, but 'at the last moment Poynter and Walstein, who is a great intimate with royalty, got it settled their way instead. Everyone is very angry': Sidney Colvin 'is said to be quite furious'.

That is a 'personal matter', and Robert only knows one side, but 'the bigger issue is really important'. Almost 'all the merit and intelligence among both artists and students has for a long time 'been outside and opposed to the [Royal] Academy', and yet the Academy has 'enormous power in many directions'. The 'Chantrey Bequest affair' is of 'secondary importance' in itself, but may 'serve as an occasion to break their power'. Certainly not the case of only a narrow clique '(the New Eng[lish Art Club, for instance) that is hostile to the Academy, but all who care strongly about art'; nor is the hostility 'a personal attack on Poynter, who is more intelligent than most of them', and Robert believes him to be 'a perfectly straight man according to his lights'.

Has a gun at Wallington, though may have 'Bowen's gun [which came to Robert after E E Bowen's death] sent there' from Westcott. Should have said that it is 'now really settled' about their house: the clearing of the site was to start last week, it is due to be finished by February 20 [1905], with the roof being on by 20th November [this year]. They are 'very glad all the bother is over'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Seatoller. - Thanks his mother for her letters, and for the Times [Literary] Supplement. The article on Petrarch was interesting; he is a 'gentleman' Robert knows little about, and though the article was good it does not make him 'particularly anxious to be further acquainted with him, at least with his poetry'. The weather has generally been good, and he has got on 'fairly' with his work. Was 'very sorry about Searle [his death] though... expected it'.

Sent on his mother's letter to [Roger] Fry: 'unfortunate that it is a pastille', as they are 'rather difficult to deal with' and he doubts 'travelling improves them; if Fry thought he could do anything Robert could possibly take it with him when he goes South [see also 13/21]. Supposes George does not want him to read more proofs [of England under the Stuarts]; of course if he does, Robert would have time and willingness to go through more at Wallington. Hears Aunt Annie will be there, which will be nice.

Has little to say, as 'nothing happens here'; Bessie will arrive on Friday, and seems well. Hopes both his mother and father are well.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Sir George Trevelyan

I Tatti, Settignano, Florence. - He and Bessie are just starting for Ravello, and will arrive tomorrow evening. The last few days' weather has been 'perfect', and they have had a 'very pleasant time with the Berensons'. They do not see much of Florence, since the house is some miles outside, but 'go in sometimes in the morning', and they see 'a good deal of amusing people, English, American, or Italian', who live in or near Florence. One day a 'future Henry James would find an excellent subject in a life of Berenson, after the memoirs of Story's life [a reference to James' William Wetmore Story and His Friends].

Has recently been reading Butler's Way of All Flesh, which might interest his father; perhaps it is 'rather depressing reading', but the 'satire on clergymen etc... is at times masterly. Butler was apt to be perverse and cranky', which comes out in the book, but it is 'very sincere' and has for Robert 'the fascination of a pyschologist's autobiography' as he imagines the book is 'autobiographical to a great extent', though expects 'the incidents... are mostly invented'.

Their [new] house seems to be getting on well; plans are now being made for the stables, which will be 'quite small'. Wonders whether his father's farmers 'will get a visit from the Tyneside wolf'; does not 'quite understand where his haunts are', but he supposes nearer Hexham than his father's lands. He and Bessie are both well, and looking forward to Ravello; mentions the sighting of a wolf by a friend walking in the mountains near there, which 'made off as fast as it could'. The few wolves left 'never seem to do any harm, at least they don't attack people'.

Asks his father to tell his mother that he took Fry's drawing of him to Hampstead, and that Fry 'will see what can be done for it. Mrs Fry seems very well again now'. The other day they went to see Mrs Ross, who 'sang some Tuscan songs on her guitar, with great vivacity and still with a good deal of voice left'. She always asks after his father. He and Bessie 'find her amusing, and rather like her, in spite of her being rather coarse and often very absurd'. They both send love, also to C[harles] and M[olly] if they are still at Wallington.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Mill House, Westcott, Dorking. - He and Bessie went over to the house yesterday with Mr [F. A.?] Richards, the architect, and Miss [Helen Margaret?] Waterfield, a 'garden specialist', to get ideas about the garden; they will probably have to do some planting and digging next month 'to make a beginning'. Work on the house had 'got on very fast', and the roof will be begun in two or three weeks; they hope this will be 'before the rains come'. Bessie is telling Sir George about the payments, which will be due earlier than Richards had thought. Before they go abroad, they will have to 'make arrangements for selling what stock is necessary for the rest'.

The weather has been 'very fine for some time', but is more unsettled now. Neville Lytton, the painter, is coming over today from Horsham. Wishes his mother could have seen Lytton's exhibition in London this summer; he 'is certainly among the most promising young artists nowadays', and Robert thinks some of his watercolours especially good. Does not care as much for some of his oils, but there is 'always something interesting in them too'; perhaps some of Lytton's admirers 'praise his work too highly', but Robert is sure he will 'do very well in the end'. He is a 'great friend of Fry' who is older and has 'helped him a great deal' with advice. [Goldsworthy Lowes] Dickinson is also coming to lunch today. Fry says he will come on the day of the Dolmetsch concert if he can; Mrs Fry, who 'has had scarlet fever very badly, is getting better, despite a severe attack of rheumatic fever'.

Bessie may well go abroad for about a week on the 29th, after the concert. They have not yet heard from her young friend Hylkia [Halbertsma] whether she can come abroad with them, but they hope she can: she 'would be a very good companion for Bessie, and she is a nice and clever girl'. They are looking forward to seeing Caroline next month in Dorking or London. Sends love to his father, and to G[eorge] and J[anet], whom he hears are at Wallington.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Seatoller, Borrowdale, Keswick. - Thanks his mother for her last letter. Is glad she met [Herbert James] Craig, who is an 'excellent person', who was in Scrutton's chambers when Robert was there. [Henry Francis] Previté is a 'great friend of his' and says he is 'really a first-rate candidate'. Robert would 'like to see him again very much'.

The weather has been 'excellent', with just one stormy day. Bessie seems to be getting on very well at Rottingdean with Mrs Salomonson, and is 'probably going to bathe'. Expects Dowden's [biography of Robert] Browning 'would be dull. Chesterton's is certainly lively' though it 'annoyed [Robert] very much': thought Chesterton 'said all the wrong things it was possible to say about Browning as a man of letters, and in fact entirely showed himself up as a critic'; he was 'more interesting about Browning as a man, but even there was exaggerated and paradoxical'. Admits this may not be fair, as he 'never can stand Chesterton'.

Has a 'few scanty notices of the Chantrey bequest committee' in his newspaper; the [Royal] Academy's defence 'has certainly been a fiasco, as it was bound to be'. Hopes 'the whole gang of them will get thoroughly discredited at last', as until that happens there is 'no hope of any adequate recognition of what is really good in modern art', or reform of the mismanagement of the National Gallery. Poynter 'has just succeeded in swindling Fry out of the Slade Professorship', as he thinks he has already told her; this is 'only one instance of the fatal power for evil that his gang possesses'.

Is getting on with his own work, 'rather slowly "eppur si muove"'; his father is also getting on with his, doubtless a little faster.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

10 Prinsegracht, The Hague, Holland [third sheet of letter headed notepaper for 'Nieuwe of Littéraire Sociëteit, 's-Gravenhage']:- Is afraid his last letter [46/72] was 'written in such a hurry for the post' that he did not have enough time to put the correct stamp on, let alone to say all he wanted 'or in the way it ought to have been said, seeing its importance'. Expects it has reached her now, 'after the payment of a few pence' and that she knows some of the 'main facts'. Is most anxious that his parents not 'misunderstand' his silence until now: wanted to tell them everything, but did not think he ought to while he was still unsure what Elizabeth thought. Could only 'guess and hope' that she would consent to marry him, and 'if it had turned out otherwise' it seems that it would have been 'a great pity' for his parents to have known. Elizabeth was 'very anxious' that neither of them should talk of it until she had decided, and had asked Robert to 'tell no one'. The present situation regarding the engagement is that they both are 'quite decided that it is right', her family also think it would be a 'good thing', so he must now 'convince' his parents, as is 'most necessary'.

Has 'more than once' heard from them that they thought 'there would be no objection' to his marriage, and indeed that it 'would be a good thing, provided of course' he chose wisely; he has chosen, but 'the circumstances make it very difficult to prove' that his choice is a wise one, since they can 'scarcely come to Holland to judge, or she to Wallington to be judged'. Much therefore must depend on their 'faith' in Robert's own judgement. They might talk to George, especially since he has met her cousins the Grandmonts, through whom Robert got to know her at Taormina. As Robert has said, her uncle and aunt the Hubrechts are 'very nice people, not rich, but of some standing in Holland' as M. Hubrecht is a member of the Privy Council; 'Lord Reay (?), who knows him quite well could tell you more about him'. Elizabeth's father died when she was young, and her mother, Hubrecht's sister, when she was seven; Hubrecht then took Elizabeth and her elder sister (now Mrs Röntgen) into his house and has 'brought them up very well, taking a lot of trouble about their education'. The Frys stayed with the Hubrechts a month ago and 'took to them both very much'. Robert's family need not 'be afraid of unpleasant relations', as in his experience they are 'all quite nice people': Professor Hubrecht, 'old H's son [is] a remarkable man of science, and now... quite celebrated', Robert believes; the Röntgens are also 'delightful', and the Grandmonts have been 'great friends... for four or five years'.

Acknowledges that 'the essential matter is Miss v. d. Hoeven herself', and does not think he has made a mistake; his judgement has not been led astray 'for she is not beautiful or fascinating in any obvious way'; doubts her excellent violin playing has influenced him, though he is glad of it. They 'belong to different countries', but Robert does not consider this a 'fatal objection', since it is not the case that she has 'never lived in England, or spoke English badly, or had no English friends already. Far more serious' he thinks, is his 'being still dependent, and not having made any money'. Considers that his marriage would be a 'great help' in his work, and would like his parents to look at it that way.

There is no need for them to give a 'definite answer' immediately, since he is going to Italy to work this winter, but he would much like to know as soon as possible if they have 'any grave objections', for Elizabeth's sake and that of her relatives, who having decided that the marriage is a good thing, would 'naturally' like it to be settled as soon as possible. Even if his parents were pleased and had no objections, the marriage itself would not be before next summer, mainly since it is 'so serious an event' for Elizabeth to 'leave her country altogether, and her old uncle and aunt who are very fond of her'. Knows he has said little about her, but it it is 'almost impossible to give a true impression of anyone by letter'; is sure his parents would like her very much if they got to know her. Feels he is 'sending these letters into the dark', meaning he has little idea of what effect they will have on his parents' minds. Sees nothing wrong in them writing to her uncle if they want to know more than he has told them. Will stay on in the Hague at the Hôtel d'Angleterre till he hears from them and then go on to Italy.

Is 'quite serious', and not allowing his judgement to be 'carried away' by his feelings, and neither is Elizabeth. 'Still, we do feel, and deeply, only we have thought too'. Neither of them are 'expensive' and Elizabeth has 'a little money of her own', enough to live on for herself it that was what she wanted; Robert has 'succeeded in living within [his] £400' so 'whatever increased allowance were necessary would not amount very much'.

Elizabeth says she used to know well 'the old people at St Andrews who are such friends' of his parents and whom they wanted him to visit when he was there; can't remember their names, perhaps Nicholson [see 13/56, in fact the Donaldsons, perhaps the family of James Donaldson]. Elizabeth also knows 'the Croppers of El[l]ergreen' and has stayed with them once, though 'she is not at all like any of the Croppers, in fact she is very different'. Sends love to every one, and hopes 'this will turn out well for us all'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Pension Palumbo, Ravello:- Has little to say, as life is ‘quite uneventful’. They [he and the Frys] usually have the place entirely to themselves. Visited Mrs Reid’s garden the other day: it is ‘not so fine and big as the Cacciolas’, but has some nice trees’, and he will go to sit there occasionally. Mrs Reid has said he can go whenever he likes, though she herself is too ill to be called on at the moment. Believes the ‘present Lacaita [Charles Carmichael Lacaita]’ is her nephew. There are ‘many other places’ he can go, ‘especially a garden at the top of the cliff’.

The Frys ‘usually spend their day in their studio’; Roger has just had ‘rather a bad cold’, but Robert thinks Helen ‘is all right’. They ‘read Don Quixote aloud in the evenings, having first read ‘the beginning half of [The Casting Away of] Mrs Lecks & Mrs Aleshine [F. R. Stockton]’ which they found here. Robert has done a lot of work since coming here; there has been good weather, except for ‘three wet days last week’.

Has received her letter, and the bills: it was quite right of her to open those. His letters have now begun to ‘come direct’. Is glad his father is ‘keeping well’, but wishes ‘he would not go back [to London?] too soon’. Does not yet know when he will go to Florence, but does not think it will be for some time; expects he will not stay there long. He and the Frys may visit Naples soon; does not know how long George will be there, but expects he will have left by the time they go.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Il Frullino, San Domenico di Fiesole, Florence:- Is 'established here till the end of the month', when he expects to return to England; is 'looking forward to spending some time at Welcombe' and beginning his 'new plans', as he has done all he means to for his book except revisions. It is 'very pleasant' here; the only other people there are Mrs [Mary] Costelloe, Logan [Pearsall Smith], and 'Mr [Bernard] Berenson the critic, who is a delightful person'.

Is 'writing the libretto of an opera on Theseus and Ariadne [the germ of The Bride of Dionysus?] for Mrs C., who is going to get it set to music by a Hungarian friend of hers, a wealthy musician of some considerable reputation'. Thinks the musician is called 'Moore' [ie Emánuel Moór], and he will 'put it on the stage in London at his own expense and make a great success of it'. Mary Costelloe is 'providing the plot', with Robert only writing the words, as 'a grand opportunity for trying [his] hand at all possible lyric meters'; so far they seem pleased with what he has done, but he has 'only just begun'. Thinks they 'might have made a better plot, but that is none of [his] business'; he has however 'persuaded them to alter it in some particulars'.

Left the Frys [Helen and Roger] 'quite happy in Rome'; they will return to England in about April. This is for him 'a great opportunity of seeing Florence, as Berenson is probably the best critic of Italian pictures since Morelli' and has already 'made a great reputation by his books'. The house is between Florence and Fiesole, 'about a quarter of an hour's bicycle ride from the Duomo'.

Is glad his father is 'well again and able to work'; is sorry Miss Martin has been unwell. Will see Charles before he starts [for America] if he does not leave before the 23rd.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

3 Hare Court, Inner Temple:- Is setting off tomorrow morning 'by the train de luxe', and will reach Florence on Friday evening; his address will be c/o B[ernard] Berenson, Via Camerata. Expects he will stay there over Christmas. Went to tea with Mrs [Helen] Fry last Sunday: she was 'still better than last time', and will 'leave Roehampton quite soon, possibly has already'. Will see Roger Fry this afternoon at Fry's lecture. Mrs Russell Barrington and her 'majority on the committee have behave[d] abominably to him in the matter of payment'; his solicitors say he has an 'absolutely safe case' if he choose to fight it but he 'does not want to have a row'.

Is glad his mother 'liked the wood-cuts'; thinks the 'round Shannons were the best on the whole' and bought two of them, the Pegasus and the Diver. Some of Robert's friend [T.S.] Moore's Bacchantes and Centaurs and his Wordworths [illustrations] were 'very charming in quite another way, and of course he is not so accomplished an engraver as the others'.

[Robert] Binyon, who 'should know as well as anyone' recommends Dyer of Mount Street, who 'looks after the National Gallery pictures' to 'varnish the Holl'. Supposes his parents are 'sure it wants varnishing': pictures are 'so often over-varnished now', but Binyon says Dyer 'would be quite certain not to over varnish it'. Will however ask '[G. L.] Dickinson's father' whom he will see later today and 'ought to know best, as he is a good portrait painter of long experience'; Robert also thinks he 'knew Holl himself'. Will let her know in a few days.

Encloses a review [of his book Mallow and Asphodel] from the Speaker, which is 'quite favorable'; is 'still waiting for a real criticism, favorable or the opposite', but supposes he is 'asking too much of Reviewers'. Hopes his parents are well.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Pensione Palumbo, Ravello [on headed notepaper for Il Frullino, Via Camerata, Florence]:- Is going on this afternoon to Ravello, where his mother should send further letters; it is 'rather cold' here and he thinks he will do better with his work further south, 'though it has been very pleasant here'. Will arrive before lunch tomorrow. Glad Charles has returned safely (from his trip to North America and the Pacific with Sidney and Beatrice Webb): wants 'to see his photos very much'. Booa says he and Sir George had 'a good day shooting' recently. There is 'too much Xmas shooting out here': it is impossible to go out without seeing 'half a dozen lazy looking scoundrels... murdering the small birds'.

Asks his mother to send his father's book [the first volume of The American Revolution] to Ravello, and wonders if his father would mind also sending a copy to Mr [Bernard] Berenson]; knows Berenson would be 'very much gratified... and would certainly read it with great appreciation', but Berenson would 'of course' get a copy himself so Sir George should do as he sees fit. It is time to start so cannot write much more; will write again from Ravello. Sends love to all. Mrs [Helen] Fry is 'still getting better'; she and Roger are 'at Dorking now'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Pensione Locarini, 5 Via Gregoriana, Roma:- Is settled here for a while with the Frys, ‘expecting to go to Florence in about a fortnight’; it is generally ‘very comfortable and cheap’. The Frys are ‘right up on the Pincian [Hill], not far from the [Hotel] Bristol’. Did not do as much work in the last few days at Ravello, since some friends of theirs were staying and ‘were rather distracting’, but hopes to get some done here; overall, has had a ‘very good month’s work’.

Rome is ‘quite nice’ now, with the weather ‘quite warm after a very cold winter’; it has been a little too dry, but he thinks some rain is now due. Today they are going to the Vatican; yesterday they went to the Medici gardens, which he agrees with her and his father are ‘quite charming’; will visit them again on the afternoons that they are open. Has started reading Zola’s Roma, which ‘adds a great deal to the interest of the place’ and ‘seems a sort of glorified and intelligent guide book’. They went to ‘see Verdi’s Otello the other night, which was not half bad’; there is not much else by way of music at the moment, except the 'band on the Pincian'. Asks her to to say goodbye from him to Charles when he 'goes off'; hopes he has 'prevailed on his companions to go round the world by America, instead of leaving it to the end'.

Is writing in ‘Wilson’s reading rooms, which are a great boon here, and better than Piali’s’. Sends love to his father. Is glad she finds ‘Welcombe so pleasant’; had already heard about the ‘royal visit to Snitterfield’ from an Englishman at Ravello. Called on Mrs Reid before he left [Ravello], and ‘found her quite interesting’.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Hôtel & Pensione Palumbo, Ravello, presso Amalfi:- Is 'here, and all right', but has little else to say; the last week has been 'very stormy' but the weather is now better, and since there is no-one else at the hotel he has 'nothing to complain of'. Thinks this is generally 'the best place for working' he knows, though he has not done much yet. Mrs Reid, 'an old lady related to the Lacaitas' lives here in a villa; Robert visits her every few days and uses 'her garden and books'. She is 'the Mrs. Cacciola of Ravello, only with more to say for herself, indeed quite a charming humourous [sic] old lady'; though of course 'she is not such an original, quaint thing as Florence [Cacciola Trevelyan]'.

Is 'looking forward to having [his father's book] the American Revol[ution]'; reminds her to ask his father if he would mind sending a copy to Mr [Bernard] Berenson at 5 Via Camerata, Florence. Is reading [Carlyle's?] French Rev[olution] now 'which is a very different kind of book. However there is room for all sorts'. Hopes all are well. Has not heard from [Roger] Fry for a while but everything was going 'very well' when he last did. Has now nothing left to write, and needs to go out.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Hotel Timeo, Taormina:- The Frys have been here a week now, and Robert will stay ‘a little longer’ than he had intended, though he hopes to start back ‘some time next week’. Most of the time the weather has been ‘very fine’; in fact, ‘rather too dry’. Today they are going, in the boat of ‘the Cacciolas’ fisherman’, to see ‘the grottoes under the cliffs, which are very wonderful, something like the Capri grottoes’. They will then spend the rest of the day on ‘the Cacciolas’ island [Isola Bella] which contains everything, from rabbits and a ruined chapel to corals and Leonardo “Madonna of the rocks” sort of places’. Roger Fry is painting ‘a picture of the theatre and Aetna’, but Robert does not think ‘the place inspires him much for painting, though they both enjoy staying here very much’. They ‘looked in at an Italian carnival dance yesterday evening’; the Frys ‘danced a polka’ and Robert watched.

There is ‘great indignation here about the bombardment of the Greeks [in the conflict with the Ottomans over Crete]’; expects there also is in London, as ‘Public feeling seems to be entirely with the Greeks in England, France, and here [Italy]’. Sees Colonel Hay is the new ambassador [of the US in London?]. Will try and get Il Capello del Prete [by Emilio De Marchi] for her on the way back. Is not yet certain about coming down [to Welcombe] for the ‘Shakespearean week’, so she should not get him tickets; would most like to see As You Like It. Does not think [Frank] Benson ‘would do the Tempest very well’: his Midsummer Night’s Dream was ‘not altogether good’. Is glad Fairweather is ‘strong again’. Supposes his mother will be in London when he returns. Will go to Haslemere and ‘get settled there as soon as [he] can’; thinks the Russells are there now. Hopes his father is ‘still well’.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Hôtel Timeo, Taormina:- Has ‘found fine weather and comfort at last here’, and will stay for the rest of his time abroad. Has got to work already on his first day here; the weather is ‘perfect, and rather cold’. Came straight here from St. Raphael, stopping a day at Naples to see if going to ‘Corpo di’ Cava, but thought he would have been ‘washed out’: was not till he got past Messina that it stopped raining. Most of Italy has been ‘flooded this winter’, though it has not been very cold; Taormina ‘seems to have escaped’. The hotel is very quiet, and only half-full.

The Cacciolas are ‘very glad to see’ Robert; their house is quieter since the ‘lunatic German governess’ has left. Cacciola suspects she took opium, if not her behaviour was ‘almost inexplicable’. Floresta, the ‘padrone’, has had a letter from [Roger] Fry saying that he and his wife are coming soon. Robert hopes they will stay for a while; believes they are currently at Tunis but has not heard from them recently. Hopes his family are all well. Hears the Russells [Bertrand and Alys] have returned from America; hopes he will ‘find them settled at Fernhurst’ when he returns. Does not think he will stay longer than a month. It is an ‘almost perfect place’ for his work, with the Cacciola’s garden and books; expects he will get ‘much more done’, as last spring he ‘was more uncertain as to what [he] wanted to do’.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Hotel des Palmes, Palermo [on headed notepaper for the Grand Hôtel Central, Palermo:- Has come to Palermo for a few days to meet the Frys, who have ‘just come over here from Tunis’; thinks they are coming to Taormina later. Has just found them, after ‘a search of some time’, and is writing this in their hotel on ‘their royal sized paper’; his own hotel is the Hotel des Palmes, but she need not write there as he will soon be back in Taormina. The ‘pens of the Grand Hotel are as execrable as their paper is glorious’.

Was very pleased with the Daily News article [on his father?], which he has given to the Cacciolas. The Doctor [Salvatore Cacciola] has ‘always had an admiration of Papa… now strengthened by the sketch of his life’; he is a ‘great admirer of the English character, and rises at 3 or 4 in the morning to study Smiles’ Self Help and so improve his English’; he is currently ‘Syndic and autocrat of Taormina though he has bitter enemies, and even dangerous ones’ . Cacciola's father, ‘the avocat’, was ‘murdered by some offended client’, but Robert reassures his mother that ‘Taormina is not a place where murders are frequent'. Has been satisfied with his work, and ‘even rather grudge[s] this expedition to Palermo’, though ‘it is a wonderful town, and Fry is just the person to show it one’.

Thinks he will return around the end of the month, when ‘England ought to have become habitable’. There have been ‘no interesting guests ‘this year at the Timeo, and the only friends he has besides the Cacciolas are the Gramonts [Grandmonts], an ‘old Belgian savant and his Dutch wife who paints’, the ‘old man is very musical, and he and an Italian play violin and piano duets twice a week… They read Mozarts and Beethovens sonatas without having always played them before, and certainly perform excellently’.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Hotel Palumbo, Ravello, Presso d’Amalfi:- Hopes she received his postcard saying he had arrived safely. Did not get here till more than an hour after he had expected, as his ‘horse kept breaking down’. Ravello is ‘much higher up’ than he imagined, but when it is reached ‘nothing could be more delightful’; it is ‘really a more satisfactory place than either Taormina or La Cava, though it would be improved by a Mrs Cacciola and garden’. There is however a ‘Mrs Reid and garden’ whom Robert has ‘some vague notion is a friend or even connection of ours’; asks her mother to let him know if this is so, as he could call on her.

The Frys are well, and both ‘doing some interesting work’; it is ‘very pleasant’ that they are here. No-one else is here but Strachan Davidson, a Balliol don with whom Robert ‘can talk about the Classics as much as [he likes]’. The ‘inn is almost as good as any in Italy’, with everything ‘the best of its kind, food, service, tea, rooms, beds, etc. Signor Palumbo himself is a ‘famous vine grower’, and his ‘wines admittedly the best in Italy’. Until today the weather has been very fine, but ‘now there is a scirrocco [sic] and showers of rain’. Has been getting on well with his work, but expects he will not do as much today but ‘copying out’.

Has not received many letters, and thinks there might be ‘something wrong at the Post Restante at Rome’; asks if she could ‘ask Batsley (?) to go and enquire’. He could enquire if there are any letters ‘under Robert, for they often keep them under the letter beginning the first word spelt in full’. Hopes she is still having a good time, and is not returning [to London?] for some time. Supposes George will soon be at Naples: he should come here for a few days. Robert has little news, as their lives are ‘very uneventful’; there is no ‘sea bathing’, as at Taormina, but ‘on the whole there are more walks’.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Hôtel Timeo, Taormina:- Was ‘very glad’ to get his mother’s letter: what she says about his father [resigning his seat in Parliament for private life?] is what he has been ‘expecting and hoping to hear for some time’, for both his father’s sake and that of his book. Would however like to talk to her about this when he returns, ‘some time about the beginning of next month’. Has been fine weather since he arrived, though it was very cold for several days which amounted ‘almost to a disgrace to Taormina, which is nothing if not a warm place’; now however it is as hot as may be wished, ‘far hotter than Wallington in midsummer’. A ‘rather… rowdy lot’ have been staying at the hotel, ‘chiefly Germans and a banjo-twanging marine from Malta’, who have been ‘playing bad danse [sic] music on a vile piano, dancing and singing (the Homeric μολπη) till eleven at night, much to the annoyance of the quieter guests’. Floresta was ‘very angry, as such a thing is unheard of in his hotel’; Robert thinks the worst of them have gone now, and Floresta would stop further noise.

Has been listening to all of Florence [Cacciola Trevelyan]’s ‘woes’ this morning; last year he used to give about a morning a week to this, and ‘then administer such advice and consolation’ as he thought fit. Her garden is ‘much nicer this year, and the flowers earlier and more abundant’. Has not heard anything of the Frys yet, though believes they are coming here before long. Returns ‘the card of Σ with profit and thanks’; is very sorry that he has ‘nearly torn it in half’ - asks if she could put some ‘paper with paste or gum at the back to hold it together’ before she gives it back to his father, and tell him Robert is ‘very sorry for the accident’.

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