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Ricketts, Charles de Sousy (1866-1931) artist, illustrator, author and printer
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Notebook with draft poems by R. C. Trevelyan, including some from "Mallow and Asphodel"; letters from Elsbeth Philipps and to Thomas Sturge Moore

Draft [?] letter from Trevelyan, Roundhurst, Hazelmere, to 'My dear Censor' [Thomas Sturge Moore], with 'a few timid verses'; Trevelyan does not think highly of them. Has written 'a great deal of the longer poem', though is now 'a little stuck'. Is coming to London on Tuesday, and staying with [Edward] Marsh until Saturday; asks if he could stay with Moore in Highgate, as his other evenings are taken up with concerts. Has just received a notice for the "Dial" [Shannon and Ricketts' 'occasional magazine'], which looks good; is 'especially glad to see "Centaur" in it. Asks why there is only one woodcut [by Moore] in it. A version of "Archilochus, serving as a hireling..." [published in "Mallow and Asphodel"] follows, with many corrections in both pen and pencil; a note from Trevelyan at the end says that he does not like the 'end part, apart from its not being particular [sic] original'.

Two bifolia with draft version of "The Sadness of Neobule, when the Spring returning does not bring Archilochus with it" [published in "Mallow and Asphodel"]. Two sheets of paper with draft verses, beginning "Her bright authentic image", and "But a sudden wind..." [three lines only]. Three sheets of paper with drafts of the first part of "For a Fan" ["Mallow and Asphodel"]. Two sheets of paper with draft poems, first beginning "Ah! will Joy come back again..." and "Therefore to bright Aphrodite..."

Book contains various drafts of verse, and a small section of prose [f 12]. Trevelyan uses the book from each end. Six loose sheets from this book folded together, with poem, "Come little fishes, gather round my hook" [between ff 40-41]. Draft (incomplete) of "Epimetheus" [published in "Mallow and Asphodel"], 35r-28r.

Notebook with draft of a talk on Leopardi, biographical notes on Sir Donald Tovey, essays from "Windfalls"etc

List of names ('T[homas] S[turge] M[oore], C[harles] T[revelyan?], Joan [Allen]') marked with circles and crosses, on inside cover [perhaps a distribution list?]. Draft verse, 'Tender is the night and clear...'. Notes for a talk on Leopardi, including translations. Second list of names ("Rose Macaulat, Mortimer, Moormans…) [distribution list?]. Biographical sketch on Donald Tovey, covering topics such as his habits, methods of composing for "The Bride of Dionysus", other operatic projects of Tovey, his thoughts on literature and sense of humour. Last section. of Trevelyan's essay on "Courage". List of names ('Voltaire? Goethe? Gladstone? Dizzy?'); perhaps a list of possibilities to be included in a piece, especially as it is followed by a conversation between Horace and Thersites. Dialogue between 'Hic' and 'Ille' [unfinished]. List of topics under the heading 'What I believe'. "On Kindness". "On Translating Montaigne". "Disinterestedness". Piece on Chinese poetry. Extract from "Simple Pleasures".

Book also used from other end in: rough notes and calculations on inside cover and first page, including a reference to Virginia Woolf's posthumous collection "Death of a Moth"; translation of Horace's "Ars Poetica" from line 445; nature notes; notes on Roger Fry, including comments on Augustus Daniel, Charles Ricketts etc; essay on a conversation with [Bernard] Berenson ["A Lost Talk"]; notes on Clifford Allen; "Lost Things"; "On Books" and other pieces.

Letter from Donald Tovey to Elizabeth Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh. - Has written to [Charles] Ricketts explaining that the chorus is 'a body of singers of no individual presentability' who begin to sound chorus when there are 'at least 6 to a part'; agrees with him on 'the uselessness of them as a spectacle', but knows how things sound. Enjoyed Bob's visit very much; relieved that 'he was not unfavourably impressed by the singers'. Hedmont, the producer, is very competent, and Tovey approves of him, though he is 'conceited, obstinate, rude, unfriendly, disloyal, and vulgar in his musical tastes'. The singers are working 'with the utmost keenness & care'.

Letter from Desmond MacCarthy to R. C. Trevelyan

Green Farm, Timworth. - Birth of the MacCarthys' son Michael; Molly is doing well and reading about Albert Durer; mention of the Trevelyans' son Paul. Has been to judge spaniels at the Kennel Club dog show but otherwise has done little work. Is delighted to hear that Trevelyan is 'astride of that Hippogriff again'. Visited [Charles] Ricketts' and S[hannon's] show; thinks Ricketts has 'real imagination... of peculiar intensity, but it flags very soon'.

Postcard from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Postmarked Guildford. - Thanks Bob for the cheque; had sent off the pipe. Has sent the drawing to be mounted. Will write to D.T. [Donald Tovey?] tomorrow, is also 'not sanguine, but its worth the shot'. Ricketts has resigned from the Burlington Consulting Committee because Fry has become editor of the "Magazine"; will try to persuade him to change his mind: 'not that he's important but I have a foolish liking for him'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Edward Marsh

29 Beaufort Str[eet], Chelsea. - Hears that Marsh has done well [in his civil service exams] but not 'what particular function' - colonial, military, or financial, he will choose; hopes he is 'satisfied and happy'. Sorry that Marsh could not come to Wallington, and hopes he has good hunting and fishing in Scotland. Asks what he thinks of the Czar; would like to meet 'a live deer-stalking tyrant'. Has taken Copse Cottage, near Friday's Hill [home of the Pearsall Smiths]; Bertie and Alys [Russell] left for America today, and Logan is soon leaving for Italy, so Bob will be glad of occasional company. Intends to hire a piano for Marsh and [G.E.] Moore; has four bedrooms, three sitting rooms and four sculleries. Tells Marsh to return from Scotland 'not too religious, and... without loosing [sic] your artistic instinct' as he is 'required as a patron and lover of young art to guarantee a guinea of the... fund for Roger [Fry's] exhibition at Cambridge, which will include works by Conder, Ricket[t]s, Shannon, Steer, W[alter] Sickert, Rothenstein, Maccoll, Savage, Houseman and Tonks [emphasised]. Also wants Marsh to get [Desmond] MacCarthy and [? Francis] Balfour, for whom he himself does not have addeses, to contribute; promises to do so should be sent to A[rthur] E[verett] Shipley at Christs [College Cambridge]. Has been writing letters all morning, imagining what he will look like in the new frock-coat which he is having made for the wedding of Roger [Fry] and Helen [Coombe], at which he is to be best man.

Letter from Arthur Waley to R. C. Trevelyan

British Museum, London: W.C.1. - Has not written before as he did not know where Bob was; but 'Mrs Riviere says Mrs Sickert says' Bob is near them, so he thinks this may well reach him [in Spain?]. The newspapers lead him to believe that Bob must be 'starving', but if he has flour 'there are all manner of amusing things' he could make. Binyon's adaptation of "Shakuntala" was acted at two matinées, but 'received rather gloomily'; he himself found it 'hopelessly boring', though Bateson and Ricketts were 'separately & independently enraptured'. [Alfred] Cortot has been performing a great deal; Waley now likes him less, and thinks it is only really the 'moderns' he plays well, while his performances of Beethoven, Chopin and so on are 'quite silly'; he will not play early music though he 'does it very well', but 'rams vulgarities like the worst sort of Liszt fireworks into his programs'. Forgot it 'infuriates' Bob when he talks about music. Expects Bessie and Julian are at the Shiffolds. Seems 'no prospect of Francis [Birrell] appearing in London' soon, which is 'very depressing'; hears that G Franklin has arrived, but 'not in this district, happily'.

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Durbins, Guildford. - Thanks Bob for the sympathy [on his failure to gain the Slade Professorship at Cambridge]; thinks he is 'not made for titles & posts & honours' and does not care if he can get by without them; only wants the money. Would love to do the designs for Bob's opera ["The Bride of Dionysus"] and thinks he could; would manage the scenery more easily than the costumes, where [Charles] Rickett's 'knowledge & experience' would ;give him a great pull'; does not want Bob to think he must choose him over Ricketts, though does believe in some ways he 'can interpret you & [Donald] Tovey better than he could'; would be 'more abstract and less assertive', as he feels 'the great danger of opera is the number of sensations which compete for attention'. Feels the design should be Mycenean rather than Greek.

Postcard from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

Guildford. - Apologises for being in Paris. Thursday afternoon or evening the best time; has to dine in town on Wednesday, Sorry he 'seems so snarkish' [ie, elusive, like Lewis Carroll's Snark?] at the moment. Has been 'seeing the French Post-Imp[ressionist] poets'; Bob does not like them but they are 'nice people, only they will like Kipling'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Sir George and Caroline Trevelyan

29 Beaufort St, Chelsea:- Has just returned from Harrow, where he goes to 'get a game [of football] once a week' to keep himself 'very fit in body and mind'. Bowen had got up a 'team of masters and old boys' against the boys of his house, 'which is very good this year'. Robert's team were 'Somehow' beaten 6-0, but Bowen 'covered himself with glory, playing better than he has done for years'; he also told Robert he 'played like a hero'.

Met Charlie in the morning at the B[ritish] M[useum] Library, 'getting up the question of State Railways'; he is 'much interested in a scheme for a progressive periodical [the Progressive Review] which [William] Clarke, late of the Chronicle, and a young Socialist, [Ramsay?] MacDonald, are going to start next year. It is to be to these dregs of times what the Edinburgh Review was to be to those other dark days'. It 'promises to do well', and Robert wishes it 'God-speed', though they say it 'has as yet no Brougham, much less its Sidney Smith'. Bernard Shaw, whom Robert saw recently in a restaurant, told him 'with his usual superb egotism', that if they had wanted the paper to succeed, they ought to have asked him to 'write a series of articles, as he knew the secret of making a splash and drawing the gaze of the public'. However, 'Clarke cant stand G.B.S., calling him an anarchist and a Jacobin', and Shaw is a 'little piqued at being out of it'.

[Roger] Fry has a cold today and has taken to his bed 'as he always does at the slightest alarm'; this is sensible as 'his colds are both more sudden and more formidable than other people's'. He is doing well otherwise, and has 'just finished some theatrical scenery for a friend [a pencil note suggests this is 'Badley - [at] Bedales']' - the wood in Midsummer Night's Dream] - which is as good as anything Robert has seen by him, 'though you can't get very rich colour effects in tempera'. Their next door neighbours, Ricket[t]s and Shannon, have 'just brought out a magazine... a single Christmas number [The Pageant]' for which they have obtained contributions from 'all the great names in the literary and artistic word' such as Swinburne, Bridges, Maeterlinck, Verlaine, Burne Jones and Watts. There is 'some fine work in it, and some very queer'; Robert's friend [Thomas Sturge] Moore has two short poems included, though Robert does not think them his best. Will show his parents the magazine when they return. Shannon and Ricketts are 'taking to publishing poetry'; he believes they 'make a great success', and hopes that knowing them 'might be useful in the future'.

Is putting this letter into an envelope he finds 'on C[harles]'s table' with his parents' name on it but not yet their address. Expects they will soon be in Rome. Is going to see Aunt Annie [Philips] next week' does not plan to go abroad as he is 'very well, and do not feel the cold'. He will go to Welcombe for a few days, but otherwise stay in London unless 'the frost gives [him] colds'. Is glad their travelling is going so well, and that they like Gregorovius: it is 'always pleasant work welcoming a new historical star', though he doubts this one is 'of the first magnitude'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

1, Wellington Place, Tunbridge Wells:- Thanks his mother for her letter, which arrived yesterday. Is staying the night at Tunbridge Wells; his hosts [his aunt Anna Maria Philips and Sophie Wicksteed] are 'both in good spirits, and Sophie certainly not ill'. Is going for a few days next week to Failand near Bristol, the 'country house of Roger [Fry]'s family'. Will then go on to Welcombe, he thinks taking the places of the Webbs [Sidney and Beatrice, friends of his brother Charles?], 'for we have to wait our turn like aspirants for office'. Will be glad to get away from London, where he has been leading 'a miserable bus-riding rattle-of-bus-fretted existence since September'.

Thinks it will become a 'downright cruel winter' soon, as it is quickly getting colder 'after a long merciful delay'; if it does, London will be 'uninhabitable for a season, at least to work in', and he does not expect he will return. Will not come to his parents in Rome, as it 'would be absurd' not to see the sights which she 'describe[s] so temptingly' on his first visit, and this would 'not fall in with' his intention to work. Believes [Edward] Marsh is in Rome, or 'will be soon', since Robert 'just missed him in London'.

Will send the Pageant [magazine recently published by Ricketts and Shannon, see 46/38] if she likes, 'though there is much bad in it'. For him, its 'chief value' is that it has 'several old [D. G.] Rossettis and Mi[l]ais', as well as Rickett's Oedipus. Shannon's drawings have 'both been badly reproduced, and are by no means his best work'; in fact several contributors, such as Swinburne, Bridges, and Robert's friend [T.S.] Moore 'have not done themselves justice'. Does not know if his mother has 'ever tasted of Maeterlinck's strange vintage before'; he himself 'neither scoff[s] nor adore[s]' but the play in the Pageant is 'fairly typical' of him; thinks his poem, as well as Verlaine's, good. The Pageant should 'amuse [her] as decadent in an extreme though not particularly offensive form'.

The 'American affair is deplorable': fears it 'may lead to real trouble', though the general view in England, both among individuals and newspapers is that 'Jonathan will begin to see in a few days that he is making an exhibition of himself ['Uncle' is written before 'Jonathan' then crossed out: perhaps Robert Trevelyan confused 'Brother Jonathan', a representative figure of New England sometimes used to stand for the entire United States, with Uncle Sam - or was about to use the latter term then changed his mind]'. Glad she finds Italian politics interesting; he 'used to read the political articles in the Sera and Tribuna' to 'pick up a little of what was going on'.

Letter from Thomas Sturge Moore to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Should have thanked Bessie before for the Thibauds [?]: has been ill with the flu, unable to visit Ricketts, and largely confined to his room. Has therefore heard nothing of how the opera went at Edinburgh [Donald Tovey's "The Bride of Dionysus", with libretto by R.C. Trevelyan], so would be glad to hear where it had been well reviewed, and whether it used reproductions of Ricketts' designs. Asks if she has seen his letter in the "Nation" defending his book ["Armour for Aphrodite"?; this seems to be selling better than his previous books. Sends love to the Trevelyans, including Julian, in which Marie would join were she not in Paris again.

Letter from Thomas Sturge Moore to Elizabeth Trevelyan

40 Well Walk, N.W.3. - It is very kind of Bessie to have brought Valéry's "Literature" for him back from Paris: he only knows a few extracts from it, in Julien Monod's "Morceaux Choisis", and "Sur la diction des vers" proves that Valéry agrees with him on a subject on which 'all other poets, actors and elocutionists' are opposed to them. Now has his complete poems, and likes him better than ever. Hopes that Bob gets well speedily.

Letter from Donald Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh. - A 'famous victory' has been won: 'Hedmont, (after being extremely offensive) has spoken his first rational words' and asked for a score marked with stage positions which he will try to carry out. Has written to [Charles] Ricketts and asked him to consult with Trevelyan as soon as Tovey can get a score 'interleaved & annoted'. He will send this on tomorrow and the day after. His notes will give his suggestions, the 'exact time of each tableau, passage & interlude', and what the music is emphasising. Will arrange the notes and interleavings so that the score is free for 'succinct & complete directions'.

Letter from Donald Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh. - Following Hedmont's suggestion, Tovey has had a telephone message from [George?] Campbell asking who is to be named as producer, since Hedmont says he is leaving everything to Tovey. Replied firmly that he was not the producer, and that he is having a score marked with the wishes of himself, Trevelyan, and Ricketts; if Hedmont carries these instructions out he will be the producer, at least technically - which he had already stated in a letter to Campbell. In case there is an attempt to make Tovey responsible for production, he would like to find a 'competent artist in sympathy with Ricketts and [Trevelyan]' whom he would be able to work with; perhaps 'the man who did the Court Theatre operas' or Frederic Austin who did Rutland Boughton's Glastonbury productions and may be 'rather conceited & wooly pated but anything's better than Hedmont'. Does not want 'too haw-haw' a person like [Thomas] Beecham: hopes he does not take criticism badly, but there is no time for 'inattention and flightiness'. Hopes to post his interleaved score tomorrow. The local oboes are not available - the first oboe 'has always been rather a skunk in his behaviour to [Tovey] - so he has wired to [Hugh] Allen to see how much a good R.C.M. [Royal College of Music] student oboist would be.

Letter from Donald Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh. - Sends the score of the first act [of "The Bride of Dionysus"]: it takes more than one sitting to 'thrash out the thing without utter fatigue. Four hours of Hedmont nearly killed [Tovey]!'. This act is much the hardest: thinks the rest will be comparatively easy for Trevelyan and Ricketts to get plotted out. Will definitely not be the producer as he would need such precise instructions; the suggestion that he should be 'means that Hedmont, having discovered his own incompetence, wants to shift the blame for it'. Tovey and Trevelyan together might be producers, but he thinks it much better to get a professional person with 'intelligence and knowledge' but also the 'good nature' to see that 'he can't have a free hand and must make the best of a work of which the words, music, times, & scenes, are now rigidly fixed'. They must also remember they have not officially got rid of Hedmont, but Tovey thinks that if Hedmont will not work with a producer chosen by Trevelyan, he 'as paymaster' can persuade Campbell that Hedmont must go unless he can execute orders.

Letter from Donald Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh. - Wonders if Trevelyan could see [Charles] Ricketts 'before things get too rigid'. Finds him 'very reasonable, but apt to illustrate quite a different plot' [in his scenery and costumes for "The Bride of Dionysus" and fears that two points, the Labyrinth and the 'concealment of Dionysus & Ariadne before the apotheosis' may cause serious practical difficulty. Originally enclosing Ricketts' sketch of the Labyrinth, which currently shows no stairway and avenue outside. The 'deplorable pencil wiggles & unoriginal notes' are by Hedmont, who wants a lower, broken skyline and a rostrum; this is not significant artistically but Hedmont is 'technically very practical'. Tovey does not mind the stairway and can give up his visualising ideas to Ricketts, but cannot 'give up the music & the action'. In Act III, Rickett's use of a panorama cloth apparently makes it difficult to lower clouds or other scenes, but Dionysus and Ariadne must be able to disappear and then be unveiled. There are smaller difficulties with the Nereids, 'whom Ricketts persists in calling Sirens'. Also originally enclosing an argument [synopsis] for the opera which he has written to be issued, including 'many colloquialisms' which may jar upon Trevelyan; will also issue a musical analysis.

Letter from Donald Tovey to R. C. Trevelyan

39 Royal Terrace, Edinburgh. - Thinks all going well so far [with the production of "The Bride of Dionysus"] except for the disappointment that one of the best local performers is now unavailable. Tovey's friend and solicitor [Charles] Guthrie will deal with cash transactions. Asks if Trevelyan is prepared for a 'much larger expense' than Tovey's initial estimate of two thousand pounds; reminds him that something will come in from the box-office. Cannot take the orchestra through the score in fewer than six rehearsals, two for each act. Trevelyan must be firm in his support of Tovey when Hedmont [producer] and probably Ricketts [designer] want to make cuts. Tovey states that he will not conduct or attend a performance with cuts; if necessary, the local man [David Stephen] who is scheduled to conduct one performance can take them all, and Tovey 'can go abroad for a very necessary cure'. However, Hedmont is very successful in getting people to work with him: has the reputation of 'getting things done in 3 minutes over the heads of all the trade-union jibbings & jobbings' and the singers are all devoted to him. Is sure he will be able to get the singers to want to do the whole opera. As the financier as well as author, Trevelyan must be very firm. If it is a 'physical impossibility' to perform the whole piece, Tovey would rather omit the first part of Act II than 'put up with local mutilations', but they should not mention that possibility unless they must.