Item 123 - Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu

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MONT II/A/1/123


Letter from Venetia Stanley to Edwin Montagu


  • 30 May 1915 (Creation)

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[By the sea, near Wimereux.]—Discusses her varying feelings about her work. Has received his letter [B1/115] and the fruit. Arranges to meet him in Boulogne. Is pleased by his success with his ‘financial swells’. Hopes Bluey won't lose his job. Is seeing Edward tomorrow. Asks him to bring some things from England, and reflects on their day in Cambridge last week.

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Sunday May 30th 1915

My beloved I’m going to write you a real groan. I do feel so miserable. Not for any definite reason, as a matter of fact there is nothing really to complain of. I’ve spent an hour (& am still spending it) very happily lying on a sunny cliff looking at very blue sea and surrounded by larks and sea pinks. What could be better? And its not that in half an hour I shall have to go back to that wretched hospital and hang about & “work” for 8 more hours that is at the root of it all. I am thoroughly bored tho’, I dont believe the war will ever be over and I shall have to stay here for months & months & months amongst all these dreary people who I loathe and who look upon me as a useless amateurish incumbrance. I dont even know if I want to come back to England (tho’ I long for you) in fact I dont know what I want, but certainly not what I’ve got. All this is very tragic isnt it? Or it would be if I wasnt almost sure that by tomorrow I should be quite happy again, completely reconciled to my life and surroundings, and tho’ blissfully happy here longing to get back to you & England. So think of me in that mood will you and not in this one. Sunday evening. Its over already. I’m feeling quite quite happy again. Darling your fruit has arrived and is too delicious. I cant tell you how popular you make me. Also what I loved even more than the fruit was your letter of the 27th. Of course I must see you Thursday, let me know what boat you come by and how long you stay in Boulogne & I’ll arrange to be off and come and see you and Reggie, oh darling it is delicious to have that to look forward to, and Sunday I’ll see you again, I’ve never wanted you so much. Send me a telegram & say what time you arrive, I shouldnt get a letter. I can think of nothing else. I am glad you were a success with your financial swells, because tho’ I dont mind, or believe, in your failures, I do rejoice in your successes. When did you tell Geoffrey? Why didnt you say you had?

Dear little Bluey I hope he’ll be kept.

I’ve had a slack day. I gave one of the oranges you sent to an American Canadian soldier, who remarked “My that’s an elegant orange”. He’s a marvellous looking red Indian with two vast holes in his side, very ill. I send you some sea pink to remind you of me and Penrhos & everything which we both love. I should like you to see this place, perhaps on Sunday you might stay over a boat and we’d come here. Perhaps tho’ you’d think it too squalid for words I am quite used to it now.

I am going to see Edward tomorrow evening, I believe he goes back Tuesday.

I feel as tho’ I wrote you the same letters every day, and said the same things.

Could you bring me a red dwarf pen when you come. I dont think there is anything else I want, unless you could ask Sylvia to get me half a dozen pairs of cheap grey stockings (lisle thread they are known as) for you to bring. Isnt that a pathetic request. Tell her, if you see her, I’ll write in a day or two, and enjoin everyone you see to write to me. I live for the post.
I count the hours till Thursday, you must make Reggie bring you.

A week ago we were at Cambridge, what a divine garden that was, how happy I was there, even when you had an outburst against me, I cant remember what caused it, after lunch when we were looking at my old letters. We’ll go again sometime wont we? I must stop. I’ll write tomor-row.

Always your devoted

Could you also bring me a book called Mademoiselle de Maupin by Théophile Gautier I cant get it here. What a lot I seem to want.


Written by the sea at Wimereux.

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