Item 7 - Letter from John Masefield to R. C. Trevelyan

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TRER/5/7

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Letter from John Masefield to R. C. Trevelyan

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  • 20 Aug 1902 (Creation)

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Gresham Chambers, Wolverhampton. - When Trevelyan returns to Westcott, will be pleased to send him some Sagas. "Wuthering Heights" does give some sense of 'Norse life', but while the sagas give 'flesh and bone and good red meaty passion', Victorian tales are all 'upholstered'. Knows Borrow's books well and stayed recently at Oulton Broad in a house built on the site of Borrow's cottage; read "Gipsies in Spain" in the summer house which still stands. Discusses the "Newgate Calendar" and advises Trevelyan to read at least some of the lives in it, including that of Fielding's hero Jonathan Wild, who came from Wolverhampton; other 'good criminal reading' in Pierce Egan and de Quincey ["On Murder Considered as one of the Fine Arts"]. When he thinks about his own wanderings, he finds that 'the really strange events and people seem too real and too modern to be at all out of the way'. Yeats is keen on him writing an autobiography, but he is too flamboyant to write a plain narrative. Is anxious about the story he has sent to the "Speaker" and wants it to appear so that Trevelyan can give his opinion of it; describes his approach to writing it. Trevelyan must read [Borrow's] "Romany Rye' when he finishes "Lavengro".

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