Item 157 - Letter from Donald Tovey to Elizabeth Trevelyan

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Letter from Donald Tovey to Elizabeth Trevelyan


  • [20 Nov 1912?] (Creation)

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Northlands, Englefield Green, Surrey. - Apologises for not thanking Bessie sooner for her invitation to come and work on Ariadne ["The Bride of Dionysus"] at 'the House of the Peeled Birches' [the Shiffolds?] but concerts and travels have prevented him. Bessie's sister [Bramine Röntgen?]'s letter is 'beautiful' and though it may not succeed in 'making silk purses out of sow's ears' it has, more importantly, made him feel at ease 'that the thing that had to be said, & could not be said by [him], has been most accurately and clearly said for [him]'. No longer very keen on his 'theories on G.C. [Guilhermina Casals]'s behalf': her letter to him is 'full of lies that can only have been inspired by him [Pablo Casals]', but he has just received from Casals a letter 'full of lies that can only have been inspired by her'. Is scathing about both of them. It 'sickens' Tovey to think of Casals' friendship: he is 'immensely susceptible to friendship', and responds to 'such frank and simple admiration as Casals showed' by becoming 'absolutely uncritical' and returning it 'with the most intimate confidence'. Not the first time he has wasted 'affection on a cad', but the first and he hopes last time he has done so on a 'scoundrel'; now knows 'what touching qualities of simplicity and self-deception they can have'.

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