Item 99 - Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Elizabeth des Amorie van der Hoeven

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


  • 2 Jan - 3 Jan 1900 (Creation)

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Pension Palumbo, Ravello, Golfo di Salerno. - Strange and 'rather a bore' writing 1900. Has received Bessie's 'almond-bearing letter' [see 9/23]; remembers walking under other almond trees with her. Is going to put a bad dream into his play; is getting on slowly but quite well with it. Much relieved by a letter from [Lina] Duff Gordon; wrote to her saying he probably should have told her of his feelings for Bessie but explaining why that had been difficult, and that he was pained to think their friendship could not be the same again; she replied after a while with no mention of the misunderstanding, just writing 'the letter of one intimate friend to another'. He had promised to write a poem about the pet bat who visits her every winter, and she wrote down the bat's name as a reminder [cf. "The Lady's Bat"]. May have been unfair to Mrs C. [Mary Costelloe], but she certainly talked about him and Lina Duff Gordon 'in a way she had no right'; will try to avoid her, but it is difficult to see [Bernard] Berenson, whom he likes very much, separately. Berenson has written, and 'rather reproached' him for not visiting him at Florence on the way down; he is alone now as Mrs Costelloe has gone to London because her husband is dying. Bob may stop a couple of days on the way back, since Berenson is not coming to England this year; 'he rather feels neglect, and has been extraordinary kind' to Bob, though he 'is difficult at times'. Will not decide until he knows when he is coming to Holland. Continues the letter next day, Has not yet heard from his mother about whether he and Bessie should cross the Channel together. Thinks it would probably be best for her to stop at Grosvenor Crescent for a night on the way to Welcombe, but that can be determined later. Hopes she and Paul and Marie [Hubrecht] will persuade Willy van Riemsdijk not to go to Africa. Sorry that her aunt has such a bad cold; teases Bessie about learning cooking and 'fortifying [herself] against evil times in the barbaric isle, where neither foreign languages not [sic] the dressing of vegetables are understood'. Other people have also found his father's book difficult, and of course she knows little of British 'history or... parliamentary jargon'. Mr Straughn Davidson [James Leigh Strachan-Davidson?] , an Oxford don whom he rather likes, is coming at the end of the week

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