Item 163 - Letter from Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence

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Letter from Emmeline Pethick-Lawrence to F. W. Pethick-Lawrence


  • 26 Nov. 1904 (Creation)

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Dahabeeyah ‘Bolbol’.—Continues her account of her visit to Egypt.



Dahabeah Bolbol. Nov. 26. 04.

Schatz—here are your dear letters just come. Mursi ran to the Post-office & fetched them. There are two, the ones {1} with the dear violets from The Mascotte, & the one with a letter in 2 parts & enclosures, from Stead, from W. I. C. {2} & from Edith Ellis. How glad I am to have word from you again & to know you are happy. Last night I could scarcely sleep again, for thinking of everything—for thinking of the day coming so soon now, when I shall come to meet you & you will be one of our merry party. This is, I suppose, the last letter that you will receive from me in England, though I shall probably have a try for another. It depends on the wind! on my getting on to postal stations!

Business first. I certainly did not wish the pillars of The Mascotte painted green—I said “all white—everything”. I should like to resign from the Women’s Industrial Council Committee—I never attend & have no faith in the organization. I should be glad if you can let Shepherd write to the effect that I am away from England for this winter—& that as I am away from London in the summer & not able to attend, I wish to resign. Now I want to tell you about a little plan.

I have had a very cordial note from Lady Cromer—it has been waiting for me for a week here. She asks us to go to tea with her. I am writing to tell her we have left Cairo—but that we shall be camping close to the Sphinx in January—& to invite herself & Lord Cromer to dinner with us in the desert. I have talked to Enani about it, & he enters with spirit into the plan. He says he has a beautiful ‘salon’ tent—& we will have everything very very nice indeed & make a great feast. Lady Cromer has never been in the desert, he says—and I believe she would love to come & see us in that way. It ought to be at the time of the January full moon—& we ought to have a great “Fantasie”—the best music & dancing that Enani’s village can do—a great great time. I am sure it will be like everything else a great success, great than one imagines. We have everything—every single thing that heart or mind can wish for—not one single contretemps—everything quite quite perfect. I hope you are going to say that we will see two moons after you come—i.e. the one that you come with, & one more. Then I will be content. But oh it is all so very new & so very big. I still feel sometimes that is {3} is all one dream—the life here belongs to the life of wonderland & fairy tale—it is too radiant to be of this earth. I feel as [if] I can never never be ready to go back. My mind refuses to remember anything. I feel a passionate clinging to each day as it passes—the days are beautiful angels & one clings to their radiant robes entreating them not to go yet. I have never yet felt so greedy of the moments. Don’t take me back too soon!

We are nearing Beni Suef—& in half an hour I shall post this letter. I have told all about our life in the other letter. I want you to bring half a dozen graduated copy books—we are teaching Enani to write in return for his teaching us Arabic. Put that down on the postcard I sent you. I am getting sweets for the children at Beni Suef—also tobacco for the crew. I have written to Lady Cromer & given her the invitation I spoke of.

I hope to get letters at Minieh & to be in time to send you a greeting to Marseilles, (if I know your boat). If you don’t get another letter, you will know that I have been prevented by circumstances. I am afraid to think how much I shall love you when you come—though I have taken the precaution to give half of my heart to the desert! Even the other half may prove to be too much.


I shall send letter & probably telegram to Shepheard’s Hotel. Telegram should be addressed to the Dahabeah Bolbol & sent to the Post Office of the place where we may happen to be.

Whether we are at Luxor or not when you come, I shall be at some station & post office en route. {4}


A few alterations have been made to the punctuation of the original.

{1} This should read ‘one’. The letter referred to is PETH 6/99.

{2} The Women’s Industrial Council. See the next paragraph.

{3} A slip for ‘it’.

{4} The two postscripts were added on the first sheet.

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