Item 94 - Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven

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TRER/9/94

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Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven

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  • 16 Dec - 17 Dec 1899 (Creation)

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Pension Palumbo, Ravello. - Has been out most of the day since there was some sunshine, and has written a few lines. Seems that old [Pasquale] Palumbo is 'in great danger'; has offered to move to another hotel for a week or two, but Pasquale's wife will not hear of it; she 'takes a sort of mother's care of him' and says the rooms of the Albergo Toro will be damp. Will stay for a while, but does not think he should stay if Palumbo gets worse; only Italians go to the Toro but sure he would be all right there. Has just received Stephen Philips' play about Paolo and Francesca; cannot see as much in it as 'many very clever people do'; it has 'effective theatrical scenes' and 'some rather fine poetry', and if it succeeds when acted next year it will make things easier for [Thomas Sturge] Moore and [Laurence] Binyon, and for himself, if he manages to finish a verse play, but it is still a bad play. Recommends that she read "Romeo and Juliet" and the "Merchant of Venice" if she has not already; thinks he should charge her a fee in kisses for giving her literary advice. Finishes writing for the day with a doggerel verse recommending that she wear socks in bed to keep warm.

Returns to the letter the following evening; glad she got on so well with the dentist, and 'recognises her portrait' in [Chaucer's] Merchant's Wyve. Hopes she will send her photograph soon. Found her account of 'the Russian ladies [Madame de Rhemen and Countess van Bylandt] and Tuttie [Maria Hubrecht; see 9/17]' very entertaining. Does not remember the Comtesse de Bylandt, but will ask his parents about her. Teases her for dreaming that she was married to [Bram] Eldering. Palumbo seems better today. Weather fine today, and he has got on well with his play; 'cannot get along in the rain'. Also thought of a new poem on Elijah in the desert, but might not write it now. Hopes to get over a month of work done, and not to return before the end of January; his mother has just written that she would like Bessie to stay with them at Welcombe early in February; thinks that would be the best plan, so he would probably not spend more than a few days in Holland on the way back; does not know whether it would be considered right to travel back together so she should ask her uncle and aunt.

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