Item 56 - Letter from George Macaulay Trevelyan to Desmond MacCarthy

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TRER/20/56

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Letter from George Macaulay Trevelyan to Desmond MacCarthy

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  • 1 Apr 1951 (Creation)

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The Master's Lodge, Trinity College, Cambridge. - Desmond's article about Bob in today's "Sunday Times" is beautiful. Had a 'very good week of seeing him in the nursing room here' after Desmond left, when he still talked 'so clearly and well about books' even though he could not be clear about anything else. Bob's death is a 'merciful release': George does not 'pity old people who die - particularly nowadays'; George had 'many hours good reading' in his life. Thinks the poetry of his middle and later life was better than that of his youth, when he was 'obsessed by theories of what poetry ought to be and so missed expressing himself [emphasised]'; was both a strength and weakness that he was a 'learned poet'; needed to be to produce his translations, which 'all scholars praise'. Wonders if Desmond knows the work of two other poets of their generation who have been overlooked: Geoffrey [Winthrop] Young (who has found fame as a mountaineer) and Margaret Cropper (whose Westmorland poems he thinks 'much greater than the Dorset and other dialect poems the world has acclaimed').

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