Item 6 - Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

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TRER/13/6

Title

Letter from Roger Fry to R. C. Trevelyan

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  • 2 Apr [1897?] (Creation)

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Naples. - They go to Rome in two days, and can be reached there by Post[e] Rest[ante]. Bob must be generous to this letter as it was written 'after a day of rain & scirocco and sight seeing'. The news about 'Mrs Bertie' [Alys Russell?] has made them 'pretty indignant, and supports Helen's opinion of the character of 'P. Smith' [housekeeper at Beaufort Street?]. Bob, with his 'horror of moving & doing household things' will suffer; perhaps he should stay at Welcombe.. Jokingly suggests then 'retract[s]' the idea that Bob should 'spend three years choosing or educating a wife'. Thanks Bob for al he 'did about the picture'; he and Mrs W[iddrington?] have been marvellous about it. A confusion over Taormina involving [Alfred?] Thornton and [Francis?] Bate. Never got chance to continue with the Galatea picture, but hopes he might yet finish it; has done 'lots of studies of seaweed etc', and Goldie [Dickinson] has seen the painting and likes it. He and Helen had 'rather a serious time' when his parents came; they arrived a day early with 'all the other people whom we'd offended, including Ezekiel'. The talk was 'geological' rather than 'the wild orgies of the [Terence?] Bourke regine & the fierce gladiatorial shows... of [Bob's] reign'; assures Bob that their arguments do not matter; means to find out 'what it is that annoys some people so much in my way of arguing). His father was 'very nice' and got on well with Helen; his parents took her off on a driving tour of Etna while he himself stayed to work. Tells of visiting 'Mrs C' [Florence Cacciola Trevelyan] with his parents, and being menaced by her dogs. They went several times to see the Gramonts [Grandmonts] and had some 'splendid music', with ' more kindly scandal from Mrs G.'; they are nice people. Not enough time to tell of their 'quaint adventures at Pestum and Agropoli', and Pompeii, 'the apotheosis of shoddy' and so quite loveable, as 'immoral as the Brighton pavillion [sic] and as charming as a Japanese toy'. They stopped there a week at a 'filthy inn' where Goldie, [Nathaniel] Wedd and [Augustus Moore] Daniel came to stay: Daniel great fun, Wedd 'cussing & swearing because its not England'; got on 'splendidly with them'. He and Helen are now staying in Santa Lucia; he goes out in the morning to buy bread and ricotta at street stalls, and milk straight from the 'street cows'; they have been up Vesuvius. Reassures Bob about his poetry: he and many others have 'betted heavily' on him so he must 'make a success of it'; is sure he himself will, having been just where Bob is; 'one comes though by mere pigheadedness'.

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Publication note

Extract appears in Fry, R., & Sutton, D. (1972), Letters of Roger Fry / edited with an introduction by Denys Sutton. London: Chatto and Windus, Vol 1 p 169

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Note

Pencil annotations dating the letter to 'April 1897?', and numbering it '9'.

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