Showing 18 results

Archival description
Dickens, Charles John Huffam (1812-1870) novelist and journalist
Print preview View:

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Grateful for the detailed information about Bessy and Paul. Has been reading about 'little Paul in Dombey' [Dickens's "Dombey and Son"]; thinks it the 'best account of a child' in literature which he knows, even better than "David Copperfield"; contrasts it with 'a clever, self-conscious woman or man writing about a child' like George Elliot on the Tullivers [in "Mill on the Floss"]. Thanks God that Paul Trevelyan will have a 'better constitution' than Paul Dombey. Sends an 'amusing letter' from [William?] Everett, which Robert need not return; Everett lacks 'front' and is 'at once the youngest and the oldest of human beings'. Is reading [Plautus's] "Trinummus" slowly, as he is getting tired over the end of his book ["The American Revolution"].

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - The Leith Hill hotel is a 'very ideal caravansary' and must bring Robert and Elizabeth good company; glad Sidney Colvin admired Paul; is very keen to see him again. Met Jan [Hubrecht] in the street in London and 'mistook him for Hilton Young... no ill compliment'. Jan said it happened to him 'constantly' at Cambridge. Is halfway through his proofs [of the last volume of "The American Revolution"]; glad they will be alone until it is finished. Staying with them have been: Welby; Tom Brassey and his wife; 'the beautiful Lady Carew'; Lady Reay; Bernard and Mrs Mallet; Alfred Lyall. Is halfway through "Dombey" [Charles Dickens's "Dombey and Son"] and is reading other things such as Beugnot's "Memoirs", placed first in interest by Ferdinand de Rothschild 'the great authority on French memoirs'; Beugnot knew '"at home" the Diamond Necklace gang'.

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 Caroline Trevelyan to Elizabeth Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon - Annie [Philips] is staying with them and is well; she takes a 'good walk' with Sir George in the afternoon. Has news of Bob in London; hopes he will not catch Mary's cold; was glad to hear from Mary that she was deferring her daughters' returns as they would catch colds if they came to London in this weather. There is influenza in Stratford, and the town is full: over a thousand soldiers, plus refugees and wounded. They went to see the hospital, which is 'a curious sight'; 'really wonderful how everyone is working'. Sir George is fairly well, and 'enjoys talking to the officers'; they miss the children. Sure the Abercrombies will be sorry to leave the Shiffolds when the time comes; asks if David could stay a while longer, or if he would be 'an anxiety'. Hopes Miss Evans has come back better; asks if Nurse Godwin has gone. Sends love to Robert. Sir George has recently read her "The Old Curiosity Shop"; it is a 'child's book, but the characters are vivid, and dreadfully exaggerated'. They have just started "Middlemarch", which is very good to read aloud. Has little time for reading as she is doing the accounts and 'making all sorts of resolutions of economy'. Booa [Mary Prestwich] sends her love.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - They are 'deep in snow', and people are toboganning. He is working quietly; finding it hard to read much of any book for any length of time. Is reading Ruskin aloud to Caroline, and some Pascal for himself. Also reading "Bleak House", which is 'a wonderful book in parts, and well sustained all through'. Caroline has a 'great consignment of toys'; would like to see Paul among them.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his mother

Regrets to hear that she has had a bad attack of rheumatism. Explains that he would have written before, but that he has also been very busy due to the 'absence of a history lecturer', and his work linked to the women's lectures; notes that Rugby is very 'energetic... in this matter'. Is glad to hear of the election of Temple by London [Union] and of H. Smith. Asks whom do the Masters elect. Remarks that the news he receives of William is very cheering. Reports that he sees Edward now on Sundays, who tells him about Mary, who 'does an immense amount of work...and has no time for writing.' Reports that his arrangement with Frank Horton 'is turning out - if not a brilliant success, as far as the social side goes - at any rate by no means a failure.' Gives his views on Horton's personality, and states (quoting Mr Pumplechook in Dickens' Great Expectations) that 'it was Right to do it', and he would do the same again. Refers to the outcome of 'these elections to the board of trustees' as something that his mother would welcome.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Sir George Trevelyan

The Shiffolds. - He and Bessie have just heard from Aunt Annie that his parents are both well. They are having 'very wet weather again, and the last of the snow has gone'. The Abercrombies leave on Friday; it has been a 'very pleasant visit', and it has been 'very good for Julian to be with the other children, in spite of occasional squabbles'. Robert now reads to him in bed for a while every evening; they 'get through a good deal, mostly poetry'. Julian 'listens to all with equal interest, but says he likes difficult poems best'; he certainly 'cannot understand all he hears', such as the Ancient Mariner. He likes Lucy Gray [by Wordsworth] and [Browning's] Pied Piper 'better still', as well as 'any poem about storms at sea, and people being drowned. His 'special poem', though, is Allingham's Up the airy mountain...[The Faeries], which 'is indeed a perfect bit of literature'. Julian almost knows it by heart now.

Bessie and Robert are now reading Great Expectations; it is a 'far better book than Our Mutual Friend, though the comic parts are hardly as good'. Bessie is very well. Robert saw Molly in London last week, who was 'cheerful, despite a cold'. George [her son, rather than her brother-in-law] 'seemed well, and had just had his first game of football at school'.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Sends wishes for 'a very much quieter, and not unhappy, year', though they can hardly hope for it; whatever comes they will 'all bear together'. Glad to hear the children [Julian and the Abercrombies' boys?] are doing well; if Julian is reading a few words now he will soon get on; remembers reading everything he could find in Walter Scott and elsewhere 'about eating and fighting'; 'has had [his] fill of both since'. Must try to read [Dickens's] "Our Mutual Friend". Has reached Livy's account of Scipio in Africa, so is very near the end; comments on the 'grand general picture' given, as well as the 'glimmerings of "research"' in the history.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Sir George Trevelyan

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking. - He and his family are all going to London tomorrow for two nights; they will go to the circus at Olympia on Tuesday. Julian is very well, 'seems to have been happy at school, and to have got on well with his lessons'; he has 'of course... had his difficulties', but they seem to have been less than they feared. [Henry] Festing Jones is staying with them for three days, and is 'very pleasant company'.

Bessie is just now finishing reading [The Casting Away of] Mrs Lecks and Mrs Aleshine [by Frank Stockton] to Julian, who 'laughs at it a great deal; they have already read Rudder Grange [also by Stockton], as well as 'The Pickwick Papers. Next they are going to read David Copperfield. There is a thaw here presently, and all the snow has gone.

Robert is currently 'deep in Aeschylus, filling in the gaps in [his] translation', but he always has, and 'always shall delight in Euripides' [whom his father has been re-reading, see 12/326], especially Medea, Bacchae and Hippolytus and some others. Also has a 'weakness for the Alcestis', which was the first Greek play he ever read, and 'always seemed... perfect of its kind', with 'especially beautiful' choruses'.

He and Bessie are much looking forward to their visit to his parents; sends his love to his mother, and to Aunt Annie, from whom they had a 'delightful visit' last week.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Sir George Trevelyan

Casa Boccaccio, Settignano, Firenze. - Thanks his father for his letter, which reached him more quickly than his own got to his father. Is spending his 'last few days at Florence', unless he hears from Charles that 'the Lake Hunt is put off because of the strike' which might lead him to stay a while longer. The weather is 'now delightful... the wild flowers are wonderful, and the nightingales sing by day and night'. The country around Florence in April and May is 'as lovely as anything [he knows]'. The 'only disadvantage' is that he knows 'almost too many people in or near Florence', so that 'social engagements interrupt one's working time a little too much'; still, he has got some work done.

Is glad Bessie was able to go with Julian to Broadstairs; they 'seem to be enjoying themselves'. Bessie has recently read David Copperfield to Julian, who is therefore 'much interested in Betsey Trotwood's house'.

Hopes that by now there might be 'some valid hope of a settlement [to end the coal-miners' strike]. One can gather little news from the Italian papers'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Sir George Trevelyan

The Shiffolds, Holmbury St. Mary, Dorking. - Thanks his father for his 'kind letter [12/344]'; though it is his fiftieth birthday, he does 'not yet feel as if [he] were getting old, less indeed perhaps than two or three years ago'. Cannot help his father about the missing books: neither he nor Bessie has ever read Barnaby Rudge, and he is sure he 'never took it away, with or without leave'; has also not taken the 'ancient Atlas', as he still has [Heinrich?] Kiepert's 'ancient Atlas', which they used at Harrow in his own school-days. Wonders whether they 'might have found their way into the museum to be used to make hills for the soldiers'.

Julian 'writes cheerfully [from school]', and begins his letter 'Many happy returns of your birthday' with a series of dots above the 'many': Robert explains that the dots mean 'recurring for ever... From which I infer that he is now doing decimals'. Has not read Conrad's Rescue; does 'not much care for his later novels' and agrees that Conrad 'has been rather over-rated', though 'in spite of his peculiar way of telling them', he much enjoys Lord Jim, Chance, and several of the short stories such as Youth. The Shadow Line is 'the only one of his later books' which Robert has 'cared for, and that perhaps not very greatly'. Think he is 'a case of a man with a great talent who has made for himself an over-elaborate method, developing it during the time that his inspiration was beginning to fail him - rather like Henry James perhaps, though Henry James's later books are more successful in their queer way than Conrad's in his'.

Sends thanks to his mother for her letter: will write to her tomorrow. The weather is 'unpleasant': wishes it would 'rain properly instead of only pretending to'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Sir George Trevelyan

Was 'very much interested' in the correspondence his father sent him [about Sir Charles Dilke's refusal to go to Ireland as Cief Secretary, see 12/396] , which Bessie returned with her letter. Wonders what the 'real motives of Dilke's "gran rifiuto"' were; seems 'hardly credible that it was mere lack of physical courage'; supposes that 'in some way it did not fit with his personal ambitions. But it was not a moment for calculations of that kind'.

Is reading George's History [of England], 'slowly, but with the greatest interest. It is very quietly and soberly told, but with great art'; thinks George 'was right to resist the temptation of putting in brilliant passages, as he could easily have done'. Bessie finished reading Pride and Prejudice aloud to Robert and Julian this evening, and began Great Expectations: a 'greater contrast between two first-rate books would be hard to find. The scene with the convict, and the Christmas dinner that follows, make as fine a beginning of a novel as any' he knows. Fortunately for Julian, he 'seems to be able to enjoy both kinds'. Sends thanks to his mother for her letter; will write to her soon. Hopes his father's hand has got better by now, or 'at least is no more troublesome'.

Letter from Henry Sidgwick to his sister Mary "Minnie" Benson

Explains that he would have answered her letter before, but that he has been very busy. Claims that he finds it difficult to realise how long she has been at Wiesbaden. States that he remembers the place distinctly, 'especially the Russian Church'. Wishes that she could give a better account of herself. States that he once thought of writing ' "Advice to Invalids" ', drawn from his own experience, but was prevented mainly by the consideration that 'there are so many varieties of invalids', and that his advice would be useless to all except a very few. Discusses his selfishness, and his efforts to combat it, which included reading the Times. Came to the conclusion that the best method was to attempt to try and think how others were feeling, 'and sometimes to prophesy what they would say'; thinks 'most of [his] little knowledge of [his] fellow-creatures' comes from that period.§

States that 'Female Education is in a state of movement' at present, as is all other education. Announces that he is considering a scheme for educating the whole country [the beginning of what became the University Extension Lectures]. Claims that he does not go in for modern literature at present, and when he has any spare time he reads Middlemarch over again. Observes that 'things seem to be moving towards Biography now', and states that his own taste is changing in the same direction. Claims that novels weary him 'because they are not true' to human nature. Complains that while biographies are true, 'they are stuffed with facts that one wants to forget.' Remarks that he hears 'the [Augustus] Hare book (Memorials of a Quiet Life) is very good, and refers also to the second volume of John Forster's Life of Charles Dickens*. Sends his love to all.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Welcombe, Stratford on Avon. - Thanks Robert for the 'article about Queen Mary and Queen Anne', which is better than he expected 'in manner', but 'in substance it more than justifies George's letter"; he would have made a fine journalist. Much looking forward to Robert's [translation of] Theocritus, who was to Robert in his 'earliest stages' what Juvenal and Aristophanes were to Sir George. Julian is lucky to learn to love "Richard II" and "Martin Chuzzlewit" 'by parental introduction'.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Thanks Robert for his letter [46/333]and discussion of [Sir Charles Wentworth Dilke]: Sir George has never alluded to Dilke's action [refusing the post of Chief Secretary for Ireland], and the journalists have noticed his silence; quotes Robert's letter on Dilke's possible motives, and notes Dilke himself said he would not take the post unless in the Cabinet. Spencer [Cavendish?] was in the Cabinet, but 'Freddy Cavendish' not. Dilke was always friendly, though Sir George does not remember him 'taking any part whatever about Ireland'; Dilke's close ally [Joseph] Chamberlain was 'conspicuously helpful and loyal' to Sir George throughout his time in Ireland, showing 'much delicacy, and self-suppression'. Agrees completely with Robert's praise of George's book [History of England].

Julian, and the family, are lucky to have 'such books, read by such a reader' [Elizabeth]; Great Expectations is a 'striking' result of a return 'to legitimate methods of authorship'. Grouse-shooting today for 'practically' the first time this year, since Charles has been very busy; will make sure that Robert and Elizabeth get some birds. Last Thursday marked the sixth full week of his medical treatment; the 'local injury' [to his hand] is almost better, but he is in general much weaker. Is reading through [Xenophon's] Hellenica for the first time, after finishing Thucydides.

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Morpeth. - Writes to greet Robert and Elizabeth on their return home. Interested to hear about their host at Saxifield [?]. Agrees with Robert's appreciation of Baldwin's 'choice of men for such functions'. Approves Julian being 'introduced' to "Emma", "Bleak House", and "Barchester Towers". He himself is reading Gissing's 'two great books': "New Grub Street" and the "Nether World", which are tragic but very readable. Tells Robert to read the article marked with pencil in the ["Times] Literary Supplement", "The War on Science" [Harpur, Caldwell. "The War on Science," Times Literary Supplement" 1 Sept. 1927 p 590] which will make him 'sit up with surprise'.

Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Julian Trevelyan

Was sorry to miss seeing Julian at the concert; hopes he will be out of quarantine next Saturday when he comes with Bessie. They are going to hear [Pablo] Casals conduct in London if Bessie is well enough (she has a cold). Inviting Michael MacCarthy to visit some time in January; also, [Kenneth? or his father Alfred?] Cross says he will visit on the weekend of 7-9 January. Has bought a first edition of Dickens' "Bleak House" 'with the old pictures', which Elizabeth wants to read in the summer holidays. Went to visit the Headmaster of Eton [Cyril Alington] for a night recently, which was 'quite amusing'; corrected the sixth form boys' Latin verses, 'which were pretty bad', and Elizabeth 'played music with the Head's daughters, which was fairly good'. The Cloisters at Eton is 'quite a fine old mediaeval place', but Windsor Castle 'looks brand new'.

Julian 'must not be too much distressed at the dilapidations of the Exhibition', which are not getting worse; the Theatre and most of the buildings are all right; it is mainly the 'staircases, where the paper has curled up' due to time (he quotes Shakespeare) except 'one little building... next Low-Brow Hall, which once by night in the dark was destroyed by a certain giant's foot'. May be at the station to meet Julian next Saturday; if not, tells him to come quickly to get a seat near them as 'the Hall will be chock full'. Hears Julian will have another part, in the "Winter's Tale".

Letter from Sir George Trevelyan to R. C. Trevelyan

Wallington, Cambo, Northumberland. - Glad that Bob is settled with a coach, and that Crompton [Llewelyn] Davies is getting on well with Elliott. George shot some rabbits while out ferretting, and enjoyed a battle [of toy soldiers] 'between William the IIIrd and the French very much', though he had no time to help him as he will be very busy until the 'great event' [the general election]. Had a good meeting at Rothbury, and Rossendale will send them on their 'London crusade in high spirits'; hopes they will 'do some good'. He and Caroline are finishing reading Keats's letters aloud; likes to have the poetry interspersed. Lady Frederic Cavendish is staying, and is 'very pleasant'. Signs off by calling Bob 'dear boy', as 'the convict used to call Pip' [in Dickens's "Great Expectations"].