Item 77 - Letter from Logan Pearsall Smith to R. C. Trevelyan

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Letter from Logan Pearsall Smith to R. C. Trevelyan


  • 13 Sept 1944 (Creation)

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11, St Leonard's Terrace, Chelsea, S.W.3. - Thanks for the book with 'its lovely title' ["Windfalls"]: did not know Trevelyan could write 'such charming prose'. Especially enjoyed the autobiographical passages; suggests that Trevelyan write 'a more complete account of [his] adventures among books & people'. Has been re-reading [Alain-René Lesage's] "Gil Blas", inspired by a comment of Santayana in his "Persons and Places". As a 'word-wrangler', has a few points of contention with Trevelyan: gives his own definition of 'rhetoric', complete with references to his own published work; discusses the definition of 'lyrical' at length, and with numerous references. Will support Trevelyan's use of 'kindness' for charity or love, if in return Trevelyan helps introduce 'the fine French word bougresse', as used by Flaubert, into English; would be useful to describe 'Mrs Keppel, Lady Cunard, & such-like ancient females'. Their 'male counterparts' can be called 'bougre', now Cyril [Connolly] has printed the word in "Horizon", or "pagod", as used by Pope. Lady Colefax (not yet a 'bougresse') has told him that Harold Nicolson's son Nigel, a soldier in Italy, has written to say that B.B. [Berenson] is at Pistoia but is expected to be released soon. Asks if it is true that the Beerbohms were bombed out of their house The 'worst massacre in London' [the destruction of the Guinness flats in Chelsea in the 'Little Blitz'?] was 'just round the corner', but only a few windows were broken at St. Leonard's Terrace. Is ordering some copies of "Windfalls" for his friends.

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