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Trevelyan, Elizabeth (1875-1957) musician, known as Bessie
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Unsigned postcard sent from I Tatti to R. C. Trevelyan

Postmarked Firenze; addressed to Trevelyan at Villa I Tatti, Settignano (Firenze). - The household at I Tatti wish that Trevelyan were with them in the library, though there would probably be only one topic of conversation 'and that a very disagreeable one'. Feels Trevelyan is wise not to come; they may soon themselves be 'swept away by a great tidal wave of patriotism and bloodlust'. Sends congratulations on Bessie's restored health.

Letter from Bertrand Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Bagley Wood, Oxford. - Will reach Ockley 'at 12.11 Thursday morning'; will have no bicycle, but can carry his luggage if it is inconvenient to meet him. Is sorry to have changed his dates, but is going to a Women's Suffrage conference at the House of Commons on Wednesday afternoon; has just become a member of the executive of the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies. Hears it is proposed in Holland to make women eligible to be members [of parliament?].

Letter from Bertrand Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

57 Gordon Sq[uare], W.C.1. - Asks if Bessie could arrange for some of his books to be sent to the [Nederlandsche] Anti-Oorlog Raad via [Jan Bastiaan?] Hubrecht; thinks they would not arrive if sent by post and would be best going via diplomatic bag. Letter originally enclosed a letter with the request from the NAOR. The books are "The Policy of the Entente", "Justice in War-Time", and "Principles of Social Reconstruction".

Letter from Bertrand Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

57 Gordon Square, W.C. - Thinks it 'quite likely' that the order against him may be rescinded, though says he is not anxious it should be 'except for the honour of the country'. Finds the matter 'very amusing' and thinks the papers would be dull if there was nothing in them about himself. Wishes he could come to visit before the 18th: might manage it, but 'the Authorities now-a-days' compel him to keep his plans fluid; asks if he may telegraph at the last moment if he finds he can.

Letter from Bertrand Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

70 Overstrand Mansions, Prince of Wales Road, Battersea, S.W. - Neither [Clifford] Allen nor Russell have made plans for Whitsuntide and they would both love to come to the Shiffolds on the 30th. Allen may have to return on the 2nd, and Russell wishes the Trevelyans were going to be there, but thinks quiet is good for Allen. Did not see Bessie sitting on a table. Is trying to get a lawyer, which is not easy, but hopes for the best.

Letter from Bertrand Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Pinewood View, Frimley Green. - Has not yet received the invitation Bessie wrote about; wonders if it could be put off for a while, since he is going to America in the winter so could not manage it before the autumn of next year. The Russells are well, except for Dora's sciatica. Both their houses are let at the moment and they are staying at his father-in-law [Sir Frederick Black]'s cottage. There is a motor car, so asks if they could come for tea one day in the next fortnight; their son would come too, as they have no nurse at the moment.

Letter from Bertrand Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Beacon Hill School, Harting, Petersfield. - Thanks Bessie for her kind letter; the Russells are now over their anxiety about [their daughter] Kate who has now completely recovered. The operation was late in the evening of the 23rd so Kate had 'a pretty miserable Christmas', but enjoyed her birthday on the 29th. Dora got sciatica from getting out of bed on cold nights to look after her, and is now in London having it dealt with. According to the surgeons there has been an 'epidemic of mastoids as a consequence of influenza', and there has been another case at the school, but that is also no longer serious. They all remember the Christmas they spent at the Shiffolds; John will never forget Julian's electric train. They often hear of the Trevelyans through Charlie Sanger; invites them to visit, as it is a very easy car journey and he thinks they would enjoy seeing the children.

Letter from Bertrand Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Telegraph House, Harting, Petersfield. - Will come on Monday on the train which arrives at Dorking North at 9.51, if that is convenient. Asks if he could be driven one day to take tea with his cousin, Diana Russell, at Cranleigh; she is a daughter of the Arthur Russells, who appear in the "Amberley Papers", and Bessie 'might find her amusing'.

Letter from Bertrand Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Telegraph House, Harting, Petersfield. [? On Telegraph House headed notepaper, but probably written at Amberley House, Kidlington]. - Thanks her for the book: is delighted to see his 'old friends' "Gemistus Pletho" [by E. M. Forster] and the rest. Apologises for not writing to say how much he had enjoyed his visit, nor to thank her for sending his pyjamas. This house is very comfortable and Peter has been 'very clever about it'; she got very tired and has been ordered to take bed-rest. She is improving, and Conrad continues to flourish.

Letter from Bertrand Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Little Datchet Farm, Malvern, R.D.1, Pennsylvania. - Agrees that it is difficult to write to distant friends - much unknown and much that cannot be said - but values letters from friends in England more and more. Absurd that Bob's walks on Leith Hill are so restricted. Agrees that ["The Brothers] Karamazov" is a great book, but hates it, and thinks Dostoevsky 'evil': dislikes 'the doctrine that one should sin in order to experience humility'. Has written about John in his letter to Bob [see Russell's "Autobiography"]; Kate is doing very well at Radcliffe, an annex of Harvard; at the moment she is on holiday and they are 'employing her as a servant, because ordinary servants can't be got' (they are all engaged in war work). This is 'terrible slavery' for Peter and she has hardly any time for reading or writing. Conrad is very well, 'a chatter-box, with an enormous vocabulary'; he can read a little, but they have not started him on writing; he is a delight, but it is hard not to wonder 'what sort of world he will have to live in'. Have had a visit from Julian Huxley and several from Ted Lloyd: 'a joy to see friends from England'. Also saw Jos Wedgwood, who was 'quite untamed'. Finds his pupils 'dull', and his employer 'very difficult', but is making a book from his lectures and his research is interesting. Peter 'fairly well', but sad at being exiled from all mental life by house-work'.

Letter from Bertrand Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Grosvenor Lodge, Babraham Rd, Cambridge. - Very much enjoyed his visit, marvels at Bessie's housekeeping: 'a triumph' to deliver 'infinite hot water, enough warmth, & admirable food'. A letter from Bessie dated 23 December arrived today; feels this justifies his preference for telegraphing. Peter sends love and is very sorry she could not come.

Letter from Bertrand Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Ffestiniog, N Wales. - Wishes he had written in time for the Trevelyans' golden wedding anniversary. Remembers her coming to see them in Downing during the Boer War; she and Bob are about his only old friends 'who still survive and are still my friends'. Wishes he could have visited before going to Australia, but there is no time; will not have anyone with him there so it will be laborious. Feels like 'the man who beat his head repeatedly against the wall, because it was such a pleasure to stop'.

Letter from Bertrand Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

41 Queen's Road, Richmond, Surrey. - Thanks Elizabeth for her kind letter: is glad she thinks him 'neither foolish nor rash' [to be marrying again]. Would be a pleasure to bring Edith to the Shiffolds and will try to do so soon; would like to do it before the library goes [the donation of R. C. Trevelyan's books to Birkbeck College, London took place in 1954]. Is good of Elizabeth to make the gift, but she must mind.

Letter from Bertrand Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

41 Queen's Road, Richmond, Surrey. - Thanks Elizabeth for her letter about his broadcast on his Cambridge friends ["Portraits from Memory"]; is extremely glad she liked what he said about Bob and to have recalled his exclamation about his library [asked if he would destroy the world if he could, Bob exclaimed "What? Destroy my library?"] Is sorry she is having domestic troubles, and would be pleased to visit again for the day when she is over her 'bad patch'.

Letter from Bertrand Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Plas Penrhyn, Penrhyndeudraeth, Merioneth. - Is glad Elizabeth liked his talks; amused that, like him, she sought out certain books because she had been told not to read them. Did not ask for them not to be published in "The Listener"; they appeared in "London Calling", which meant for readers outside Great Britain, and he supposes the BBC thought that enough. Is sorry that she cannot find anyone to read to her properly: this is becoming a lost art.

Letter from Dora Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

31 Sydney Street, London, S.W.3. - Very sorry they cannot come on the 14th: Bertie misunderstood that Bessie was inviting them, and thought she was talking about the Russells' visit to the [Clifford] Allens. Bertie has to lecture four Sundays in a row in Leicester, so they are not now free till the last weekend in November, when they see the Allens. Would be very nice to see the Trevelyans again; the Russells keep so busy that there is no time for pleasure.

Letter from Dora Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Beacon Hill School, Harting, Petersfield. - Was very glad to show Bessie's friends over the school and hear some news of her. Sees very few people, since the school 'takes up so much thought and time' and she does not dare leave it for too long or go far away. Always remembers the day they first met, since it was also the first time she met Bertie; they all thought then that the world would be better after the war. Supposes no-one will now see a 'cheerful and up-and-coming world' like the one she grew up in; at least they can take care of some young people. Having four children and a school makes her 'feel quite aged'. Asks if they see anything of Bertie these days.

Letter from Peter Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Telegraph House, Harting, Petersfield. - Apologises for not thanking her sooner for the face-towels; 'sick-room routine' seemed to take up all her time when she was in bed, and she has been looking after Conrad for the last week which seems 'almost a whole-time job'; though now she is getting used to it and enjoying it. Is pleased because he seems to do better with her than the nurse. Sorry she was 'so distraught' when Bessie visited; the nurse was 'cross and rather negligent' because of something in her private life, but once she was soothed down they got on well. Found her 'stories of East End midwifery' fascinating, but her methods 'not quite adequate for Conrad'. Conrad's additional names are Sebastian, after Bach, and Robert.

Letter from Edith Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

41 Queen's Road, Richmond, Surrey. - The day she and Bertie spent at the Shiffolds was 'quite perfect'; apologises for not writing sooner to say so. Hopes to see Bessie in town, but much looks forward to 'the promised repeat expedition' when the days are warmer and longer again. Is most grateful to Bessie for welcoming her so warmly. Asks to be remembered to Miss Jones, who did much to make them happy, and 'the other ladies' as well if they are still there.

Letter from Edith Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

41 Queen's Road, Richmond, Surrey. - Bertie's operation yesterday was successful, according to the doctors, and he has made good progress. There were some complications, so the operation was 'frighteningly serious and took a long time'. He will probably be in hospital for about three weeks. Will give him Bessie's letter to read when the 'haze of drugs and pain' has gone.

Letter from Edith Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

41 Queen's Road, Richmond, Surrey. - Glad to hear that Bessie is settled with such a nice couple. Would like to visit, but they are away on the Continent in September; asks if they might visit for a day when they return. The children [Russell's grandchildren?] are here now; they are going to Cornwall to stay with Dora until school starts in September. Mary [Fedden] and Julian must have had a 'glorious holiday' in the sun; the Russells were in luck to have the sun shine on them in 'that lovely azalea wood' where they walked with Bessie in May or June.

Letter from Edith Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

41 Queen's Road, Richmond, Surrey. - Originally some more leaflets [about Bertrand Russell's anti-nuclear proposal]. Bertie thinks he must concentrate on the Indians; perhaps Bessie could write to Queen Juliana. Does not know whether the proposal has been published in the Netherlands; thinks it has in Sweden and Denmark. Must have written 'very misleadingly about John' to give the impression that his mother has helped him: she 'has behaved quite frightfully'. The doctors thought that John might get better if given proper care, which was arranged for him; she persuaded him against their 'very pressing advice' to leave the hospital and live with her; John seems to be afraid of her. He comes 'wandering out here twice or thrice a week' but there is nothing they can do but wait till he gets worse. Their London char has now fallen ill, and the children's governess is now their 'mainstay'.

Letter from Edith Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

41 Queen's Road, Richmond, Surrey. - Is ashamed not to have written sooner: the summer "surpassed the most lurid imaginings of upsets and busy-ness' she could have had. Bertie has been incredibly busy with 'meetings and speeches, plans, discussions, articles and conferences both here and in Paris', while the difficulties with John led to 'a series of climaxes and horrors'. They took a house in North Wales in June, for the grandchildren and future holidays, having seen it once and fallen in love with it for its views; has had to work hard to furnish it and arrange for utilities. The children went in mid-July, and they joined them in mid-August 'for a glorious six weeks'. The 'nice Woods' [Alan and Mary], who are 'dears', brought news of Bessie. Is afraid they will not be able to get to the Shiffolds to see Bessie, but there are too many things Bertie must do; he is currently meeting the Austrian Socialist leader who is visiting the Austrian Embassy.

Letter from Edith Russell to Elizabeth Trevelyan

41 Queen's Road, Richmond, Surrey. - Wishes they could come to the Shiffolds, but 'as usual' they are too busy for the next few weeks; they are selling the house and preparing to move to North Wales, and also to put the children into a new school nearer there. They do hope to come and visit before they leave, hiring a car and also calling on Flora Russell at Albury. Have received a card for Mary [Fedden's] show at the Redfern Gallery and hope to get to it: have not seen her or Julian since the boatrace, and have never seen many of their paintings. Have not seen the Woods [Alan and Mary] since returning from Wales; is afraid they have had a difficult time but hope things are going better for them now. Encloses a blurb of a book of Bertie's ["Portraits from Memory and Other Essays"?] which she thinks may interest Elizabeth.

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