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Fry, Sir Edward (1827-1918) Knight, judge and zoologist
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Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

22 Willow Road, Hampstead. - Finds it hard to write what he feels about the suggestion put to him by [John?] Withers: Bob's 'constant and affectionate interest' is 'one of the most precious things' in his life; if it were necessary he would accept [the offer of help], which he cannot imagine doing from someone like Bob; expresses his gratitude and 'the sense of perfect reliance and affection'. His father has given him some help, and B.B. [Bernard Berenson] has managed to sell the Venetians; Fry has also nearly finished three restorations. When he has done so, and written some reviews, he intends to get to work on Bob's 'rabbits' picture [see 13/17]. Helen is not quite recovered, but nearly; the nurse has gone and she is taking an interest in household things; Edith [her sister] is making sure everything runs smoothly.

The Old Masters [exhibition at the Royal Academy] are 'the chief interest in now' London; disagrees with the attribution of a picture in it to Dürer, but [Charles] Holmes 'committed the Athenaeum' to it while Fry was away. Bob might like to join the new Arundel Club, fpr the reproduction of works of art in private collections. The "Burlington [Magazine]" is doing well and Holmes is showing 'infinite energy & business capacity' [as editor]. Relates a scandal created when [William Bell] Paterson asked Fry for his opinion on a painting, which Fry judged to be largely modern paint over the possible outline of a Giovanni Bellini; the painting turned out to have been sold by K[err] Lawson to Coates [unidentified] for a large sum; 'always feared that K.L. was not over scrupulous about his ascription of pictures' and thinks this may damage him 'considerably'; Kerr Lawson has 'sent his "Titian" as a Bonifazio [Veronese] to the Old Masters [exhibition] and ought to sell that.

Would be 'jolly' if Bob could write [Fry's sister] Margery's masque [for the opening of the new library at Somerville College, Oxford, see 4/55 and 4/104]; hope he has forgiven the suggestion he could 'polish it off quickly', as Fry likes to 'think of a poet as a perennial fount, bubbling up and overflowing with limpid words', and praises his skill with mythology. Has written 'an extravanganza on Blake for the Burlington' ["Three pictures in tempera by William Blake', Burl. Mag, Mar 1904 4 p 204]. Julian is very amusing, and has begun to sing a little; Edith has a cello here and Fry is accompanying her 'in very simple things' - tells Bob not to let his wife know - which Helen enjoys.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Chelsea. - Dated 'Sunday'. Apologises for not sending the books earlier; was very busy with the lectures and with arranging for his parents visiting to see Helen [Coombe]; Goldie [Lowes Dickinson] and 'a sister' have also been staying. Has filled the box up with clothes which Mrs Smith [their landlady] thought Bob 'ought to want'. Says 'I told you so' about Bob being in Italy: it is better than 'going Jonkopping in Sweden [visiting Jönköping?]' and he might get some work done; suggests going to Fiesole or Prato, though that might be too hot. Asks if Bob intends to stay till winter; if so they will arrange to meet. Everything now settled: he and Helen hope to marry early in November and come out to Italy. Has had 'rather an awful time with his parents': very sorry for his father and his disappointment in him and so 'made a huge effort to get through the misunderstanding' but only gave him and his mother pain. This has made him 'awfully depressed'; found it hard to 'pull himself together for the lectures' but thinks they were the best he has done; pleased that both Goldie and [Thomas Sturge?] Moore liked them. Has been bicycling with Goldie, who is 'getting more reconciled about Helen'; thinks he 'begins to see that it can't make any real difference between [them]'. They went to Woodbridge and tried but failed to find [Edward] Fitzgerald's grave, then to Dedham 'which is the only [piece of French country in England and explains Constable'. Helen's harpsichord [which she is decorating for Arnold Dolmetsch] is 'going to be a great success'; she is 'quite decided' that Bob must either come back for the wedding or meet them in Italy.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

Hotel Biscione & Bellevue, Piazza Fontana No. 8 e 10, Milan. - Arrived on Friday, and is staying with the Frys [Robert and Helen] for a few days before going on to Ravello, to where she had better write as he plans to leave on Monday or Tuesday. Left all well at the Hague; will stop there on his way back and hopes a visit for Bessie to England in March or April may be arranged. They could not find a good photograph, but Bessie will have another taken and Caroline will be sent one. They celebrated 'old Hubrecht's' seventieth birthday last Wednesday with his son the professor [Ambrosius Hubrecht], his wife and two sons. Is having a good time with the Frys, though Mrs Fry is not well; there is much to see; the Castello is 'about the finest building in Italy... and full of treasures'. Liked the small painting by Francia he saw here; Fry says the Trevelyans' one is by far the best he knows, and that he was disappointed by the famous one ["The Adoration of the Child"?] he saw in Munich.

The Frys' prospects seem 'as dark as ever': Fry says there is 'no prospect' of selling his pictures, which the dealers will not interest themselves in, yet Robert believes he is painting very well now; Sidney Colvin was 'immensely struck' with the large one Robert has at Dorking ["The Valley of the Seine"?], thinking it 'one of the most interesting landscapes of modern years. Fry thinks he will have to turn to other work, perhaps lecturing again 'which of course he hates'. Fry's father's altered his three hundred pounds allowance to an investment, on which tax is payable, on Fry's marriage; Helen Fry has only the money she earns and is too ill to paint. Thinks Fry's art is 'too good to be sacrificed', and knows that they live in 'constant discomfort and worry', which he is sure contributes to Helen's bad health. Fry is 'very courageous, and may pull through'. but things would be much easier if his father 'had not such a hatred of art, and such absurd suspicions of his son and his wife'. This helps Robert appreciate how good his own father has been 'under somewhat similar circumstances'; Sir Edward Fry is 'narrow and prejudiced', but does not mean to be 'unjust or brutal', yet Robert believes he is so. Wonders whether his father has received the books by Pushkin and Hazlitt, and the life of Crabbe. Is just going to the Brera with Roger Fry.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Naples. - They go to Rome in two days, and can be reached there by Post[e] Rest[ante]. Bob must be generous to this letter as it was written 'after a day of rain & scirocco and sight seeing'. The news about 'Mrs Bertie' [Alys Russell?] has made them 'pretty indignant, and supports Helen's opinion of the character of 'P. Smith' [housekeeper at Beaufort Street?]. Bob, with his 'horror of moving & doing household things' will suffer; perhaps he should stay at Welcombe.. Jokingly suggests then 'retract[s]' the idea that Bob should 'spend three years choosing or educating a wife'. Thanks Bob for al he 'did about the picture'; he and Mrs W[iddrington?] have been marvellous about it. A confusion over Taormina involving [Alfred?] Thornton and [Francis?] Bate. Never got chance to continue with the Galatea picture, but hopes he might yet finish it; has done 'lots of studies of seaweed etc', and Goldie [Dickinson] has seen the painting and likes it. He and Helen had 'rather a serious time' when his parents came; they arrived a day early with 'all the other people whom we'd offended, including Ezekiel'. The talk was 'geological' rather than 'the wild orgies of the [Terence?] Bourke regine & the fierce gladiatorial shows... of [Bob's] reign'; assures Bob that their arguments do not matter; means to find out 'what it is that annoys some people so much in my way of arguing). His father was 'very nice' and got on well with Helen; his parents took her off on a driving tour of Etna while he himself stayed to work. Tells of visiting 'Mrs C' [Florence Cacciola Trevelyan] with his parents, and being menaced by her dogs. They went several times to see the Gramonts [Grandmonts] and had some 'splendid music', with ' more kindly scandal from Mrs G.'; they are nice people. Not enough time to tell of their 'quaint adventures at Pestum and Agropoli', and Pompeii, 'the apotheosis of shoddy' and so quite loveable, as 'immoral as the Brighton pavillion [sic] and as charming as a Japanese toy'. They stopped there a week at a 'filthy inn' where Goldie, [Nathaniel] Wedd and [Augustus Moore] Daniel came to stay: Daniel great fun, Wedd 'cussing & swearing because its not England'; got on 'splendidly with them'. He and Helen are now staying in Santa Lucia; he goes out in the morning to buy bread and ricotta at street stalls, and milk straight from the 'street cows'; they have been up Vesuvius. Reassures Bob about his poetry: he and many others have 'betted heavily' on him so he must 'make a success of it'; is sure he himself will, having been just where Bob is; 'one comes though by mere pigheadedness'.

Letter from Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson to R. C. Trevelyan

K[ing's] C[ollege] C[ambridge]. - Wishes the war could be resolved as easily as their latest postal chess game: still seems to 'hang on a razor's edge'. Has not seen Roger [Fry] lately; Trevelyan will have heard of his father's death. Hugh Meredith is visiting for the weekend. The 'league of nations row' appears to be adjusting itself satisfactorily. Wilson seems 'to be emerging as a really great man'. Trevelyan, having had the luck to be appointed librarian, must be enjoying the purchase of books. Not worth while beginning another [chess] game.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - They 'rejoice with' Robert at Roger Fry's success [his appointment as Curator of Paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York]; glad that Robert will not lose his friend but see so much of him when he comes to England. Thinks Fry's father [Sir Edward] did a 'very fine thing' in returning money [part of his remuneration, to the Metropolitan Water Board] the other day; the 'disinterestedness' it demonstrated has much declined recently. Glad that Campbell-Bannerman's government has taken the step of 'revindicating honesty and public spirit'; was 'disgraceful' of Balfour to reverse the last Liberal government's veto on [ministers] keeping directorships. Agrees with Robert in looking forward to the parliamentary session, especially to the Budget. Sir George and Caroline want to give Robert and Elizabeth a 'minute interest in the Budget' by paying them fifty pounds twice a year instead of making good the income tax on their allowance. Went to the British Museum on Saturday and found a 'Liberal atmosphere' everywhere in London; Welby and Sir Courtenay Ilbert 'seemed to breathe very freely in it'. Has finished Catullus and will read the "[Appendix] Virgiliana" today.

Incomplete draft letter from R.C. Trevelyan to Virginia Woolf

His friendship with Roger Fry [presumably written to aid Virginia with her 'Life' of Fry; see also 17/85 and 17/97] in the days when they lived together at 29 Beaufort St between April or May 1895 and the autumn of 1896, when Roger married and Bob moved to Haslemere. Saw little of him before then, and 'knew next to nothing of art and artists', but 'no one could have been kinder in the way he introduced [Bob] to his world', or 'more patient of [Bob's] ignorance'. He was often busy with Extension Lectures on Italian art, and as illustration had 'already collected a great number of photographs' which was much harder then; thinks he had already succeeded D. S. MacColl as the "Athenaeum" magazine's art critic ; he did not therefore have as much time as he wished for painting, but 'worked very rapidly' when he could. He was painting 'several of his best early landscapes' and a few 'perhaps not very successful portraits'. One was of Mrs Widdrington, the 'sister [sic: actually mother] of Sir Edward Grey's wife [Frances]', who was a 'great friend' of Roger's and the mother of Ida Widdrington; Roger had been 'very much in love' with Ida not long before, but 'perhaps wisely, she would not marry him. She was a very vital and amusing girl, who loved hunting, farming and acting' and she and her mother remained friends with Roger for years. After that Roger 'had fallen very much in love, and none too happily, with Kate Kinsella (now Kate Presbitero)'; Bob thinks she 'treated him rather cruelly, not wanting to give him up altogether, and luring him back to her from time to time'. 'Fortunately (or perhaps in the end unfortunately) [because of her mental health' he got to know Helen Coombe while he was living with Bob, and they fell in love with each other. Roger's parents 'strongly disapproved of his becoming an artist' - he told Bob that they had offered him a hundred pounds extra a year 'if he would promise never to paint from the nude', which he 'naturally refused' - and this made him fear they would not be pleased by his choice of wife, so he told them nothing about Helen 'for a long time...' [the rest of the draft is missing].