Item 112 - Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu

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MONT II/A/1/112


Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu


  • 20 Apr. 1915 (Creation)

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1 folded sheet

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Alderley Park, Chelford, Cheshire.—Geoffrey is very happy (about his engagement). Reflects on how she and Montagu felt towards each other three years ago, and on the difficulties of detaching herself from the Prime Minister. Is depressed that most of their friends and relations would by annoyed if they were to marry. Arranges to meet, and asks after his mother.



Alderley Park, Chelford, Cheshire
April 20th 1915

My darling Isnt Geoffrey wonderful. {1} I’ve never seen anyone so happy. I am glad for him. Isnt it cruel that 3 years ago that summer at Penrhos I didnt like you enough (tho’ you tell me also that you didnt really love me much either) because then, tho’ the P.M had already begun to think he was fond of me, it wouldnt really have mattered to him, & now? Will it? What a fool I’ve been havent I? You, being prejudiced in my favour, may say that I’ve made him very happy for 3 years, but I know quite well that if it hadnt been me there would have been someone else or a series of others who wd have made him just as happy. I feel so ungrateful to him & yet at times I resent very bitterly that he should stand in the way. And yet I know you are right & that it wd be almost impossible for me to go to him & say. “In spite of the fact that you’ve again & again told me that if I were to marry life would have nothing left to offer you, I am going to marry Edwin” How could he be so cruel as to say that to me But I must see you, he has not [a] claim on me has he?

You suggest that I should gradually detach & free myself. But do you know what that wd mean to someone like me. I should perhaps for a week see nothing of him, make excuses for not doing so, then there’d be a scene & in order to mollify & propitiate and make him happy again I should say anything he wanted. And in all this can you understand how completely unmoved I am.

My darling dont be angry with me and think me worse than I am, there must be some way out, you’ll come Friday, there’ll be no Bluey & I’ll wait for you even if you are 10 minutes late.

I do hope you’ve found yr mother all right. Isnt it a depressing thought that amongst all our friends & relations (except perhaps my mother) there isnt one who wd be otherwise than annoyed if we were to marry? Particularly our families.

Write to me every day. Wednesday, Thursday Friday.



{1} Geoffrey Howard had just become engaged to Christian Methuen. They were married on 15 May.

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Printed, with slight omissions, in H. H. Asquith: Letters to Venetia Stanley, pp. 557–8.

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