Item 65 - Letter from Leonard Woolf to R.C. Trevelyan

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Letter from Leonard Woolf to R.C. Trevelyan


  • 28 May 1905 (Creation)

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2 items: handwritten letter with typescript copy.

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Jaffna, Ceylon. - Meant to write sooner, but is 'terribly bad at letter writing' and 'even in this void' has little time for anything but work. What Trevy says about his book ["The Birth of Parzival"?] quite untrue: Leonard was 'delighted' to receive it; remembers Trevy telling him something of the story last year on a walk from Wooda Bay Station. Hard to imagine 'a more phenomenal existence [a reference to the language of the Cambridge Apostles] than that of Jaffra', where he works, learns law, and plays tennis. Was made Additional Police Magistrate two weeks ago. Sometimes on Sundays cycles across the 'flat parched plain'; describes the surrounding countryside. Finds the people themselves most interesting: 'not the English, good God'; was surprised to find [the Ceylonese] 'just what the oriental is supposed to be, but with many more queer little traits'. In the Police Court their nature 'really "come out"; every case is an intricate tangle of lies' with even true cases being complicated by the purchase of witnesses; yet participants are often very stoical and illustrate 'their favourite expression, "If it must be, it must be". Hopes Trevy will write again, and also mention how his brothers are.

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