Item 20 - Letter from Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven to R. C. Trevelyan

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


  • 19 Dec - 21 Dec 1899 (Creation)

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1 item: letter with envelope

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The Hague; addressed to Bob at Pension Palumbo, Ravello, presso Amalfi, Italia. - Teases Bob by suggesting his poetry is a fraud, and for his 'untidy, would-be genius look'. Hopes the weather has improved; asks if Ravello is a rainy place, as she remembers it being wet when he was there with George, and whether he cannot work well unless he is outside. Glad Mrs [Sophia] Reid is so kind to him. Hopes [Pasquale] Palumbo is better; asks if his wife and daughter would keep up the pension if he died, about Bob's room, and whether he is now the only guest. Has got a new hat; her family say it suits her, and her uncle [Paul François Hubrecht] teases her by saying 'Varello', his new name for Bob, would like to see it. Reads from Bob's letters to her uncle and aunt as they are 'so interested to hear anything'; was annoyed that her aunt seemed to have the idea that her feelings about the [Second Boer] war were 'gradually changing' but this is all resolved. Later, writes that she has just returned with her uncle from a rehearsal of Haydn's "Schöpfung (Creation)" which she much enjoyed.

Writes on Thursday morning that she has received Bob's letter with his plans for returning towards the end of January; has been discussing them with her uncle and aunt. There are no real objections to it on her part, though she does feel it 'rather a pity' for her visit to England to be so much sooner; worries about leaving her uncle and aunt alone in the winter since Tuttie [her cousin Marie] will not have returned; also thinks it is a shame for Bob to leave Ravello so much earlier than planned, though she is delighted that she might see him in a month; Bob's parents have first say in the matter. Since he will only be in Holland for a short time, she thinks he should return later in spring when she is back from England, to be introduced to some friends and relations. Feels it would probably be better if she travelled to England by herself, though he knows her opinion that sensitivities on the subject are 'absurd & silly'; asks him to tell her what his mother thinks. Very glad [Pasquale] Palumbo is better, for his wife and daughter's sake and because now Bob will not have to move to a 'damp hotel'; begs him never to do this, and asks if Mrs Reid could take him in; if Mrs Palumbo is 'so fond' of him he can have fewer scruples about staying. Jokes about the fee in kisses which Bob asks for his literary advice; has read "Romeo and Juliet", but not yet "The Merchant of Venice". Had a happy day yesterday in Amsterdam seeing the baby [Amanda Röntgen]; her sister [Abrahamina Röntgen] 'asked at once how many letters from Ravello' she had in her pocket, and she read some of the latest one to her with the Vaughan and Blake poems. Went in the evening to hear the whole of the oratorio ["The Creation"] which delighted her, as Haydn's music always does. Is sending Bob the three photographs of her; likes the one without spectacles best, which reminds her somewhat of her mother's face; will also send them to his mother. Describes a dream she had with him in last night. He must not be anxious about her feet; is managing keep them warmer with 'footbags, gaiters etc etc' and a hot brick, thought she does have chilblains at the moment. Calls Bob her 'dearest dearest diddle-diddle-darling (as Jos Sedley said in Vanity Fair when he was drunk!'

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