Item 38 - Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Sir George and Caroline Trevelyan

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TRER/46/38

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Letter from R. C. Trevelyan to Sir George and Caroline Trevelyan

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  • 11 Dec 1895 (Creation)

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29 Beaufort St, Chelsea:- Has just returned from Harrow, where he goes to 'get a game [of football] once a week' to keep himself 'very fit in body and mind'. Bowen had got up a 'team of masters and old boys' against the boys of his house, 'which is very good this year'. Robert's team were 'Somehow' beaten 6-0, but Bowen 'covered himself with glory, playing better than he has done for years'; he also told Robert he 'played like a hero'.

Met Charlie in the morning at the B[ritish] M[useum] Library, 'getting up the question of State Railways'; he is 'much interested in a scheme for a progressive periodical [the Progressive Review] which [William] Clarke, late of the Chronicle, and a young Socialist, [Ramsay?] MacDonald, are going to start next year. It is to be to these dregs of times what the Edinburgh Review was to be to those other dark days'. It 'promises to do well', and Robert wishes it 'God-speed', though they say it 'has as yet no Brougham, much less its Sidney Smith'. Bernard Shaw, whom Robert saw recently in a restaurant, told him 'with his usual superb egotism', that if they had wanted the paper to succeed, they ought to have asked him to 'write a series of articles, as he knew the secret of making a splash and drawing the gaze of the public'. However, 'Clarke cant stand G.B.S., calling him an anarchist and a Jacobin', and Shaw is a 'little piqued at being out of it'.

[Roger] Fry has a cold today and has taken to his bed 'as he always does at the slightest alarm'; this is sensible as 'his colds are both more sudden and more formidable than other people's'. He is doing well otherwise, and has 'just finished some theatrical scenery for a friend [a pencil note suggests this is 'Badley - [at] Bedales']' - the wood in Midsummer Night's Dream] - which is as good as anything Robert has seen by him, 'though you can't get very rich colour effects in tempera'. Their next door neighbours, Ricket[t]s and Shannon, have 'just brought out a magazine... a single Christmas number [The Pageant]' for which they have obtained contributions from 'all the great names in the literary and artistic word' such as Swinburne, Bridges, Maeterlinck, Verlaine, Burne Jones and Watts. There is 'some fine work in it, and some very queer'; Robert's friend [Thomas Sturge] Moore has two short poems included, though Robert does not think them his best. Will show his parents the magazine when they return. Shannon and Ricketts are 'taking to publishing poetry'; he believes they 'make a great success', and hopes that knowing them 'might be useful in the future'.

Is putting this letter into an envelope he finds 'on C[harles]'s table' with his parents' name on it but not yet their address. Expects they will soon be in Rome. Is going to see Aunt Annie [Philips] next week' does not plan to go abroad as he is 'very well, and do not feel the cold'. He will go to Welcombe for a few days, but otherwise stay in London unless 'the frost gives [him] colds'. Is glad their travelling is going so well, and that they like Gregorovius: it is 'always pleasant work welcoming a new historical star', though he doubts this one is 'of the first magnitude'.

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