Item 55 - Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

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Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan


  • Thu [Feb] 1897 (Creation)

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Hotel des Palmes, Palermo [on headed notepaper for the Grand Hôtel Central, Palermo:- Has come to Palermo for a few days to meet the Frys, who have ‘just come over here from Tunis’; thinks they are coming to Taormina later. Has just found them, after ‘a search of some time’, and is writing this in their hotel on ‘their royal sized paper’; his own hotel is the Hotel des Palmes, but she need not write there as he will soon be back in Taormina. The ‘pens of the Grand Hotel are as execrable as their paper is glorious’.

Was very pleased with the Daily News article [on his father?], which he has given to the Cacciolas. The Doctor [Salvatore Cacciola] has ‘always had an admiration of Papa… now strengthened by the sketch of his life’; he is a ‘great admirer of the English character, and rises at 3 or 4 in the morning to study Smiles’ Self Help and so improve his English’; he is currently ‘Syndic and autocrat of Taormina though he has bitter enemies, and even dangerous ones’ . Cacciola's father, ‘the avocat’, was ‘murdered by some offended client’, but Robert reassures his mother that ‘Taormina is not a place where murders are frequent'. Has been satisfied with his work, and ‘even rather grudge[s] this expedition to Palermo’, though ‘it is a wonderful town, and Fry is just the person to show it one’.

Thinks he will return around the end of the month, when ‘England ought to have become habitable’. There have been ‘no interesting guests ‘this year at the Timeo, and the only friends he has besides the Cacciolas are the Gramonts [Grandmonts], an ‘old Belgian savant and his Dutch wife who paints’, the ‘old man is very musical, and he and an Italian play violin and piano duets twice a week… They read Mozarts and Beethovens sonatas without having always played them before, and certainly perform excellently’.

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Dated only Thursday 1897 - 4 or 11 Feb 1897.

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