Item 95 - Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan

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Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Caroline Trevelyan


  • 25 Jul 1904 (Creation)

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Seatoller, Borrowdale, Keswick. - Thanks his mother for her letter. The weather has not been so good recently, but any rain has been brief. Bessie seems 'very well at Rottingdean [where she is visiting her friend Jeanne Salomonson]' and is coming here on the 5th; wonders if it would suit for them to come to Wallington around the 13th or 14th, but expects Bessie will be writing about this. Does not think he will finish his play here, but will read it to her if she likes; will at least have done more than half of the final act.

The new Slade Professor is 'a certain Walstein [Charles Waldstein, later Walston]; he has held the position before and 'proved his incompetence'. He is 'the most notorious snob in Cambridge, far out-doing the O. B. [Oscar Browning], and a quite odious man as well''. Thinks his father met him recently there, and 'did not get a good impression'. Seems that it was settled that Fry should have the professorship, but 'at the last moment Poynter and Walstein, who is a great intimate with royalty, got it settled their way instead. Everyone is very angry': Sidney Colvin 'is said to be quite furious'.

That is a 'personal matter', and Robert only knows one side, but 'the bigger issue is really important'. Almost 'all the merit and intelligence among both artists and students has for a long time 'been outside and opposed to the [Royal] Academy', and yet the Academy has 'enormous power in many directions'. The 'Chantrey Bequest affair' is of 'secondary importance' in itself, but may 'serve as an occasion to break their power'. Certainly not the case of only a narrow clique '(the New Eng[lish Art Club, for instance) that is hostile to the Academy, but all who care strongly about art'; nor is the hostility 'a personal attack on Poynter, who is more intelligent than most of them', and Robert believes him to be 'a perfectly straight man according to his lights'.

Has a gun at Wallington, though may have 'Bowen's gun [which came to Robert after E E Bowen's death] sent there' from Westcott. Should have said that it is 'now really settled' about their house: the clearing of the site was to start last week, it is due to be finished by February 20 [1905], with the roof being on by 20th November [this year]. They are 'very glad all the bother is over'.

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