Item 50 - Letter from Frances Cornford to R. C. Trevelyan

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Letter from Frances Cornford to R. C. Trevelyan


  • 18 Jan 1945 (Creation)

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'as from' Conduit Head, Madingley Road, Cambridge. - Receiving "From the Shiffolds" was one of the best things about Christmas this year; thanks Trevelyan, and apologises for not doing so earlier due to her son Christopher's leave, 'influenza in the house & no domestic help all happening at one'. Thinks the end of the poem to Ursula Wood about Virgil touches her most, as well as "Dream Truth", whose 'finality & clear, sure shape' she praises. Trevelyan will probably guess that she is 'deeply interested to read translations - being [herself] a translation addict'; she is a 'good subject to try the Petronius on', as she knows no Latin - which she believes to be 'an almost hopeless handicap for any writer of English'. Thinks she gets a 'fresh & firsthand sense of the originals', which must be 'enchanting'. Makes the 'tentative criticism' that sometimes Trevelyan uses word order 'which is just too foreign'; has noticed the same 'almost stilted inversions' in Trevelyans own verse, mixed with others that have a more modern tone, and is not sure whether the content of the lines justifies the difference. Asks whether Trevelyan is 'developing a new & more intimate manner of writing' and this is 'a transition period'.

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