Item 75 - Letter from Emmeline Pethick to F. W. Lawrence

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Letter from Emmeline Pethick to F. W. Lawrence


  • 18 Apr. 1901 (Creation)

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20 Somerset Terrace, Duke’s Road, W.C.—Arranges to meet, and comments on his article. Asks him to attend a girls’ drill display, and reflects on the ‘old pagan worship of the human form’.



20 Somerset Terrace, Dukes Rd, W.C.
18. 4. 01

Dear Mr Lawrence,

We shall be free tomorrow from quarter past four till six o’clock, and can talk about Echos and as many other things as there is time for!

I read your article. Yes, competition as a law of life is to be accepted as absolutely as all life and every one of its natural laws, but there is a competition that is a law of death, and many people are too thick to distinguish the difference. Your meaning may not have been as clear to others as it was to me, for I had the thread of course. And your literary expression wants a little seeing to!

Will you take a ticket and come to the Annual Drill Display of eight Girls’ Clubs on Sat. evening the 27? It is worth seeing. I am never tired of it, though I have seen it year after year. There is something about the rhythmic movement of a number of people that gives me an odd thrill. I can so well understand the old pagan worship of the human form. I wonder if you will know what I mean if I tell you that sometimes when I am with the children, I say to myself, Dear me! the church (and its representatives) wants these childrens’ souls. They may have them, if they will let me have their pretty looks and happy eyes, and arms and legs and bodies. That’s all I want. Don’t say that I’m materialistic. For just as it is only at the point of contact between earth and atmosphere that you get the dew, so it is only at the point of contact between the spiritual and material that you can get beauty. Manifestation—Incarnation—is always the root and centre and origin of religion.

“Whatever you do, don’t lure me into a conversation,” besought Mary at 7.30 this morning. I’ve been letting you lure me into one. Wallflowers today are a penny a bunch on the barrows.


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