Item 300 - Letter from Edward Marsh to R. C. Trevelyan

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TRER/15/300

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Letter from Edward Marsh to R. C. Trevelyan

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  • 11 Sept [18]92 (Creation)

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Woolsthorpe Rectory, Grantham. - Has left his copy of [Meredith's] "The Egoist" in the bedroom he had at Wallington; asks Trevy to bring it to Cambridge. It is a wet Sunday, and he does not want to 'read any more Thicker for the present'. Has 'never enjoyed sightseeing so much' as on his trip to Edinburgh. Asks if Trevy has read [Robert] Louis Stevenson's book about the town ["Edinburgh: Picturesque Notes"]: 'quite astonishing how many things' Stevenson can do: he is 'Charles Lamb, as well as the writer of the "Wrecker"]. Asks if Trevy likes [Sir Walter Scott's] "Heart of Midlothian"; he himself has read it twice before but 'never liked it half so much' as he did in Edinburgh; also read an 'idolatrous life of Queen Mary' [Mary, Queen of Scots?]; notes that it is 'harder to fall in love with women the more real they are', moving from fictional characters 'such as Beatrice Esmond or Balzac's duchesses', through women from history, 'an actress in a part', and finally to 'actual women in real life'. Tells an anecdote as 'the strongest possible argument for the Return to Nature': a boy of three and a half staying with them in Yorkshire happened to come into Marsh's room when he had no clothes on and 'professed great pleasure at the sight'; next day at lunch the boy asked loudly 'why don't you come down naked? (he pronounced it nackéd) you really must not wear clothes'.

Seems he 'compromised [Arthur] Longhurst rather by relating this anecdote', as his mother asked him what was so funny in the letter. Longhurst 'passed in his [Sandhurst] exam, 3rd of the Varsity Candidate'; Marsh is proud of his coaching, as Longhurst got 90 percent in Latin and Greek. Is going to [Bertrand] Russell on 'Monday week'.

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