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Willis, Irene Cooper (1882-1970) barrister, writer, feminist, peace activist
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Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Julian Trevelyan

Intended to send a small book of his "Translations from Leopardi", but then decided to wait until Julian and Ursula next come here, as they 'might easily lose it moving about'. Pity they cannot come now, when the flowers in the woods are at their best. All quite well here; the [Sturge] Moores will return in a month. Originally enclosing, on Bessie's request, a photograph of 'the street in Forest Green that [Julian] used to admire'. The Bluths and Tet Htoot were here at Easter, but otherwise they 'seem to see nobody'. Hopes that Tet Htoot will bring two Chinese friends to visit. A 'bad London raid last night'; hopes he and the Bluths are all right; Irene [Cooper Willis?] has fortunately been away. Has very few friends in London now besides these, Logan [Pearsall Smith] and Alys [Russell]. Virginia [Woolf]'s death 'a great blow'; she 'felt she was going out of her mind again and could not face it'. Is re-reading "To the Lighthouse", his favourite of her books; is writing something on her for the "Abinger Chronicle", but it is 'impossible to say anything adequate in the way of criticism'. Forgets whether Julian knew her. Is continuing to translate Montaigne and getting 'a little bored with it'; 'much more fun writing poetry, even if it is not worth much'. Hopes Julian has managed to see Ursula at Taunton, and that she is well again. Has heard from G.M.T. [his brother George] that Charles is giving Wallington to the National Trust now instead of leaving it in his will; he will continue to live there, and one of the family (probably his son George Lowthian) will stay there after his death; this will save on death-duties so there will be much more money for the children. Supposes this should not be discussed until it is announced. Hopes Bessie will go with Miss Simpkins for a few days to George and Janet next month; otherwise she never 'goes away from here, which is not good for her'.

Letter from F. W. Hirst to R. C. Trevelyan

Dunford House, Heyshott, Midhurst, Sussex. - Thanks Trevelyan for "From the Shiffolds", which has given him and his wife 'much pleasure'. The "Epistle to Philip Erasmus" is a 'masterpiece', and has introduced him to a word he did not know though he has 'read most of Hume and Berkeley'. Wonders to whom Trevelyan refers in "Ten Years Ago", 'possibly G.L.D. [Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson]'. The "Birds of the Air" is 'good and edifying'; hopes Trevelyan will also try Pompey's Dream [in Lucan?] and Persius 'on his old tutor Cornutus [corrected from Cornelius by hand]. Was a 'great as well as an unexpected pleasure' to see Trevelyan again; they look forward to a visit from him and 'Miss C. W.' [Irene Cooper-Willis ?] when conditions improve'. Postscript that an enclosure [no longer present] may 'amuse' Trevelyan.

Exercise book with diary by R. C. Trevelyan

Trevelyan has filled in the sections printed on the front: 'Written by' with 'R.C.T'; 'Commenced' with 27 August 1923 [looks like 8]; 'School' with 'Ἡ ΓΗ' ['The Earth' in Ancient Greek]. Notes in his first entry that he has been reading Ponsonby's book ["English Diaries" by Arthur Ponsonby] which has inspired him to start this diary. Mentions of Mabel [Godwin?], Marian [?], Alice, Bert and Bobbie Elms; Bessie and Julian; his parents; Miles Malleson and his wife [Joan] and uncle [Philip Malleson]; O[liver] Simon at the "Fleuron" (who asks him to translate the "Acts of the Apostles", to be illustrated by Paul Nash); Miss Ewing [later wife of Walter Rea], Nicky Mariano; Bernard and Mary Berenson; Frances and Arthur Dakyns (visiting the Ponsonbys at Fernhurst); his brother George (who has written to the "Times" saying the matter between Greece and Italy should be referred to the Powers not the League of Nations); Margaret and Ralph Vaughan Williams and their mother; Mrs [Jane] Russell Rea; Irene [Cooper Willis or Noel-Baker]; 'Miss [blank left], with whom Rennier had an affair. She is now private secretary to [Henry?] Hamilton Fyfe'; Francis Birrell; Clifford and Joan Allen; 'an Italian-French lady' whom Trevelyan had met at I Tatti; Barbara Strachey; [Simon] Bussy [paintings by]; John Rodker 'and his child [Joan] by Sonia [Cohen]'; a 'nice rather muddle-headed young man.. Labour candidate for Petersfield' [Dudley Aman]; Bertrand Russell.

Works on: translations of Theocritus; his 'Flood poem' ["The Deluge"]; possible continuation of "Pterodamozels"; review of books on metre by Lascelles Abercrombie and E[gerton Smith] (Smith is the first person he has 'attacked' in a review; wonders if Desmond MacCarthy will think his comments 'too strong); review of Sturge Morre's "Judas" for Leonard Woolf at the "Nation"; his 'Pandora play'.

Reads (as well as Ponsonby, and sometimes with Julian): the "Manchester Guardian", Spenser's "Mother Hubbard ['s Tale]", Epicharmus, "Henry IV pt 1", Phaedrus, Macaulay, Aristophanes, the 'Summer number' of Julian's "Hurtenham Magazine", Lucian, the "Mikado"; Ssuma Ch'ien [Sima Qian]; Hastings' "Dictionary of the Bible" [at the London Library]; a "Classical Review" with Duff and Bailey on Lucretius; Molly MacCarthy's autobiography ["A Nineteenth-Century Childhood", 'Very charming']

Letter from Desmond MacCarthy to R. C. Trevelyan

Life & Letters, 21 Hill Street, Mayfair, London, W.1. - Is sorry that he has not sent back Irene's book [Irene Cooper-Willis?] and will do so at once; did broadcast it, and meant to make the Hawk [the 'Affable Hawk', his pen-name] write about it: it is not too late for this, and was glad that the Times Literary Supplement complimented her recently. Liked Trevelyan's "Willow-herb" very much, asks for more time to make his mind up about. Is sending this letter to Welcombe to be forwarded to Rome. Enjoyed his trip to Paris and Chartres. They must take another trip together soon. Micky has returned to Africa; Molly is going to Westgate 'to Wright [sic]'; he has to look after Rachel. Apologises for the dull letter: he has not yet got used to dictating.

Letter from Desmond MacCarthy to R. C. Trevelyan

25 Wellington Square, Chelsea, S.W.3. - Is sorry that Trevelyan and Bessie 'turned out of bed at midnight' and missed him. Not as good a selection as Trevelyan made for him: thinks he ought to get his essays published, if there are enough to make a volume without translations. Will speak to Macmillan. It may be best for him to stay after Trevelyan comes back from Wales. Reviewed Irene's [Cooper Willis?] book, asks if Trevelyan was pleased.

Postcard from R. C. Trevelyan to Julian Trevelyan

Addressed to Julian at 82 Fitzroy Street: struck through; 88 Charlotte St, London W.C. - In cases he does not see Julian today, he has promised his tickets for Wednesday to C.A. [Clifford Allen] and Joan, so asks Julian to leave the one he gave him, and the one Irene [Cooper Willis?] returns, at the box office for the Allens to collect. Bessie seems better and may even make it to the concert; no doubt she will let Julian know if she does.

Letter from Desmond MacCarthy to Elizabeth Trevelyan

25, Wellington Square, S.W.3. - Looking forward to his visit: will be 'very good and set an example to Bob'. Molly is at Rose Cottage; will soon begin her new book. Thinks he will only be able to come for nine weeks, not ten; will not muddle 'Dorking Town & Dorking Harbour' this time. Their 'little black Tom cat' had seven kittens on Friday night. Lunched today with Alys and Logan [Pearsall Smith]; thinks Logan is better. Will bring down Sarawad's [sic, corrected to Suhrawardy in pencil] poems which Bob gave him, and Irene C.W.'s [Cooper Willis] book on Emily Bronte, if he can find them; says he knows Irene's book 'by heart' and can repeat it if necessary.

Letter from Marie Busch to R. C. Trevelyan

147 Willifield Way, Golders Green, N.W.11. - [Irene] Cooper Willis has not sent the notice [of the death of Helena 'Nellie' Swanwick] but Trevelyan must not worry; of course the Manchester Guardian was the most likely paper to have it, but wonders if any of the other papers mentioned her death. Knows that he was fond of and admired Nellie; she recently came across an appreciative reference to him in a letter to old Henry [Swadling]; when she next goes to visit Henry in hospital she will ask to see the letter again. Thanks Trevelyan for planning to send some of his books: she has some, mainly later ones and of course "The Bride [of Dionysus]" which she still thinks one of his best; she never grew tired of either the poem nor [Donald] Tovey's music when she was occupied with it [preparing a German translation]. She will also miss Ursula Hoff, though she has seen less of her for the last couple of years; hopes she will be happy in Melbourne 'and develop new sides of her nature which is so gifted in many ways'; afraid she will be having a bad voyage, with 'God & Hitler giving ships an angry time'. Bessie must also have found the gales 'fast and furious' at Brighton, hope she has still benefited from the change.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Desmond MacCarthy

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking. - Thanks MacCarthy, and thinks he has some good ideas [on Shelley's "Epipsychidion", sent for him to review? See 4/120] but it may take him a while to get them down as he must go to Cambridge this week and London on Thursday. Is generally happy to accept MacCarthy's criticism: is just sensitive when a friend's work is concerned [a reference to his review of Gordon Bottomley's "Gruach", see 4/119?] Did leave a brown scarf behind, 'an old and intimate friend', will drop in to collect it. If MacCarthy can find books that 'would not unduly provoke her moral fanaticism', Irene [Cooper Willis] would appreciate some to review, as she is short of money.

Letter from Marie Busch to R. C. Trevelyan

147 Willifield Way, Golders Green, N.W.11. - [Irene] Cooper Willis has sent her the cuttings [about the death of Helena 'Nellie' Swanwick]; she has read them to their 'old friend' Henry Swadling [former manservant to the Sickert family] and now returns them. He could not find the last letter which Nellie [Swanwick] wrote to him, but will send it to her when he does. Has read [Robert Bridges'] "Testament of Beauty", which she only partly understands but likes what she can grasp of it; for the first time in her life she is 'getting closer to Shakespeare', and she is re-reading ["The Tale of"] Genji with pleasure.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Marked 'Private'. Bessie's letter with enclosures came this morning; thought what Rex Warner said about Lucretius was quite good, though agrees with Bessie it was 'quite dull and wordy'; he should not have quoted 'so many Latin lines on end'. Does not know whether they [the BBC?] will let him read his script and the quotations, and will 'make a stand' if necessary. [Edgar] Bainton was 'very nice in his gentle friendly way' and did not seem much older. He is seeing BBC people tomorrow, and would like to see Bob again at the Shiffolds; perhaps that could be arranged at the end of August or beginning of September, as Bainton will quite soon return to Australia. Saw van Stuve briefly, who was very sorry he could not visit Bessie. Julian seemed 'quite cheerful'; he had enjoyed Frants [Röntgen?]'s visit and they got on well together. Agrees Miss Cook is 'a surprizing person'; expects she will enjoy herself at Wallington and get on with people. Miss Clark is here for several days, 'which is rather a bore'. Kitty is looking forward to seeing Bessie; her children are amusing; Elizabeth is 'quite a comic actor', and he expects 'rather a problem'. Has had 'rather a sad letter' from Irene [Cooper Willis?], whose little niece Patience is leaving England for good soon because her parents are going to live in Trinidad. Irene will be back on the 22nd so Bob will see her some time. Tells Bessie not to worry about the poems in his bureau drawer; had thought of showing a few to John [Dower] or Kitty. George Mac[aulay Trevelyan?] is coming tomorrow, so Bob will see him. Wonders if Bessie has heard anything definite from Miss Dyson. Has 'hardly seen Charles or Molly to talk to yet'; there was a Women's Institute meeting here yesterday.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Bessie's letter of Wednesday arrived this morning. Suggests she catches an earlier train to avoid crowding. Glad Bessie 'got a better impression of Litty [?] and had some interesting talk with her'; afraid he 'did not succeed in getting on easy terms with her'. Bessie can now have a rest before Wallington, though the house is not noisy despite the 'swarms of children'. Marjorie has just come with her family; Kitty is away for a few days from Monday, but will be back soon and see Bessie. The radio is working again, but he does not think it is much good for the [BBC] third programme. [Christopher] Hassall has sent him his script [for a programme on Catullus], typed by the BBC, and wants Bob to read both script and translations. Went to see John Dower a couple of days ago, and is going again today by bus; will walk back. John wants to show him some new poems; he is in bed, but likes company though it makes him tired. Pauline is 'very admirable'. Thinks Philip would get on well with Oliver and Diana [Lodge]; luckily he is too young 'for Oliver to indoctrinate him with his aesthetics'. Is trying to arrange to dine with Irene [Cooper Willis] on Tuesday night; has booked a room at the National Liberal Club.

Letter from Dorothea Eastwood to R. C. Trevelyan

5 Sloane Court, London, S.W.3. - Thanks Trevelyan for his translations, which both enjoyed; she particularly liked the Sophocles ["Oedipus at Colonus"]. Wonders if Trevelyan knew her grandfather, A. J. Butler, writer of "Sport in Classic Times" and his Greek translations, "Amaranth and Asphodel". They rang Irene [Cooper Willis?] up recently, who said she would bring Trevelyan for supper after Christmas; will ring again to arrange a day. Hopes Trevelyan's son's exhibition at the Lefevre has gone well.

Letter from Arthur Cole to R. C. Trevelyan

15 Old Square, Lincoln's Inn, W.C.2. - Thanks Trevelyan for his generosity in sending him the "Bride of Dionysus" vocal score; does not wish for it for 'utterly selfish' reasons, as he thinks it should be in the Music Library at King's [College Cambridge]. Will have it bound and sent there with a record that Trevelyan is the donor. Irene Cooper-Willis says Trevelyan might like to see the 'enclosed bookplates' [no longer present], which were engraved for him by G. T. Friend; the 'simplest (& perhaps the most successful) was derived at some distance from one of the Trinity plates'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Julian Trevelyan

Originally including an enclosure [a letter from his bank?] saying there is little hope of Julian getting off the tax [see 15/85], and that it would be an expensive waste of money to consult French lawyers at the Consulate. Is willing to enable Julian to pay, and has therefore transferred eighty-five pounds to his account at Drummonds. Julian would be able to avoid paying the tax if Bob were paying him an allowance of four hundred pounds from his income, which already had been taxed, but cannot since the covenant avoids English tax. Has consulted Irene [Cooper Willis], who agrees with the bank's advice. Thinks that Julian should pay when the demand comes and not try to fight it; is happy to help, especially as Julian is 'so busy painting' at the moment and 'ought not to be bothered by money worries'. Julian must think over what he should do; Bob may have been premature in suggesting in his last letter that it 'might be impossible' for him to be domiciled in France, and does not want to put any pressure on him. Even if France does need to 'go off gold', it will probably happen as slowly as possible so the exchange will not be affected for a while. Hopes to see Julian either in Paris or here in January; will probably go to Italy either in December or January so must be careful not to miss him. Meanwhile, Julian should keep hold of the flat for the present, and not worry; there will be plenty of time to decide what to do.