Item 6 - Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

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TRER/9/6

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Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

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  • 5 Oct 1899 (Creation)

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1 item: letter with envelope.

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Ma Retraite, Ede; envelope addressed to R. C. Trevelyan Esq-re, 3 Hare Court, Inner Temple, London EC - Is writing having got up very early to see the [Roger] Frys off. Curious to see which weaknesses of hers have inspired Bob to 'compile sharp satires'; does not think he has had the opportunity to get to know her faults, proved by him saying she seems to be wiser than he is and 'so sensible', though 'that is a common mistake' and her family tease her for looking like a 'wise professor'. She does not think she knows many of his weak spots, except for the very obvious ones, which are not heavy; has been very impressed by his 'excellencies & learnedness', and 'used to feel a great dunce' at Taormina though this has worn off a little. Describes the [Roger] Frys' visit: went to the Hague with Bramine to hear a concert of a cappella music conducted by [Johannes] Messchaert; returned next morning on the same train as the Frys and met at Ede station. Dreadful weather all through their visit, but they had some walks (on the second day only Mr Fry, her uncle [Paul François Hubrecht] and Elisabeth herself kept going); played them music on both nights (as Bob said, they 'liked the old music best on the whole), and yesterday morning Grandmont read them 'a great part of [Browning's] "Pippa Passes" in his translation', surprising that Mr Fry had never read it. All very sorry they had to leave so soon; the Frys promised to come again in the spring. Would very much like to get to know them better. Did not see much of what Bob says about Roger Fry's 'orthodoxy', except when he said that in music and painting, it was not possible to properly appreciate 'modern development of art' if you were not a real admirer of what has gone before; might be true of painting but she is sure it is not of music. He seemed generally to be 'a very charmingly sympathetic & very intelligent being', and she to be 'perhaps more original even, very clever certainly'; Elizabeth 'felt a dunce again'. Her uncle also liked them very much.

Last Sunday was very happy: her sister and her husband [the Röntgens] and the 'four Hubrechts from Utrecht' [Ambrosius Hubrecht and family] came for the day to say goodbye to 'Ma Retraite'; her cousin Professor Hubrecht is 'always full of fun' and it was very different from what one might imagine 'a Dutch stolid serious family party to be!' Finds it delightful to be part of such a family bond. Approves of Bob's 'plans about building public baths' but does not think the public would use them; certainly the Dutch do not wash 'their bodies as well & as often as their houses, streets, & furniture'. Tells Trevelyan how to write out a Dutch address, though there is no reason not to follow the common English custom of using English names and spelling for 'everything foreign'.

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