52 Tavistock Sqre [W.C.1]
March 1st, 1926

Yes, dearest Towzer, it is all very well about Bloomsbury being a rotten biscuit, and me a weevil, and Persia 
being a rose and you an Emperor moth—I quite agree: but you are missing the loveliest spring there has ever 
been in England. We were motored all through Oxfordshire two days ago. Sometimes we got out and looked 
at a little manor house under a hill. Then we got right up up up on top of the world; and there was an old farm 
house, and a walled garden; flagged path; turf; a woman walking reading a book. Meanwhile, as I assure you, 
it was so incredibly lovely—the woods, the hill sides, the river, that, though I was thinking of you all the time 
motoring too, through the desert, I could not think it was lovelier, or stranger. This spring, I may tell you, is not 
ordinary; for there is nothing out, no leaves; yet it is as hot as June, but much more delicate and distinguished; 
and so empty that everything seems august. Russell Sqre:; the plane trees;—I dont know how to describe it: and 
no doubt my dear Towzer is bored.

The people who took us were Leonards brother and his wife. I promptly fell in love, not with him or her, 
but with being stock brokers, with never having read a book (except Robert Hitchens) with not having heard of 
Roger, or Clive, or Duncan, or Lytton. Oh this is life, I kept saying to myself; and what is Bloomsbury, or Long 
Barn either, but a contortion, a temporary knot; and why do I pity and deride the human race, when its lot is 
profoundly peaceful and happy? They have nothing to wish for. They are entirely simple and sane. She has her 
big dog. They turn on the Loud Speaker. When they take a holiday they go to the Spring of the Thames where 
it is as big as a man's arm, not big enough for a boat; and they carry their boat till they can put it in, and then 
they skull all the way down to Marlow. Sometimes, she said the river is level with the banks; and it is perfectly 
deserted. Then she said to me suddenly, as we were looking down at the wood from her window "Thats where 
the poet Shelley wrote Islam. He tied his boat to the tree there. My grandfather had a walking stick cut from that 
tree." You always run up against poetry in England; and I like this dumb poetry; and I wish I could be like that. 
She will live to be a hundred; she knows exactly what she enjoys; her life seems to me incredibly happy. She 
is very plain; but entirely unvexed, unambitious; and I believe, entirely right. Yes; that what I've fallen in love 
with—being a stockbroker.

Tuesday [2 March]

There have been masses of parties. But I cried off, after one at Clives with Lord Berners and Raymond; 
and one, a very quiet one, at Nessas. I shall never dine out again, I thought, in the middle of drinking Clive's 
champagne—because one always says the same things; well, that was the champagne, perhaps. One talks about 
Sybil [Colefax] and the Sitwells; Chrissie, and Eddie Marsh. Clive would parade a new affair of his "I've been 
dealt a new hand" he kept saying: "It takes me, I'm glad to say, into the lower walks of society." Absurd little 
cockatoo! However there was lots of champagne—slabs of salmon—I don't know what; and your poor Weevil—
if thats to be her new name—was as excited as usual.

But to write a novel in the heart of London is next to an impossibility. I feel as if I were nailing a flag to 
the top of a mast in a raging gale. What is so perplexing is the change of perspective: here I'm sitting thinking 
how to manage the passage of ten years, up in the Hebrides: then the telephone rings; then a charming bony 
pink cheeked Don called Lucas comes to tea: well, am I here, asking him about the Life of Webster, which he's 
editing, or in a bedroom up in the Hebrides? I know which I like best—the Hebrides. I should like to be with you 
in the Hebrides at this moment.

I've arranged our French motoring so that we shall be back by May 10th. So please see to it that you 
land that day. A lovely dumb letter from you came on Saturday, written on board ship. I extract by degrees a 
great deal from your letters. They might be longer; They might be more loving. But I see your point—life is too 
exciting. And don't go tempting and tantalising poor Weevils. Of course, of course, I want to see deserts and 
Arabias—I worried Leonard for an hour about taking a year off and seeing the world. We will go to Burma, I 
said: to the South Seas: We have only one life; we are growing old. And he has a passion for the East: so perhaps 
we shall. I read a bit of your poem the other night—it must be good, I think: one can break off crumbs and suck 
them. I wonder what you'll come to, as a writer (go on falling in love and being tipsy, as a woman: I like that 
in you.) But as a writer? I wish you'd not say 'profile' on the first page; its not right there: outline—something
English would be better there. Like a rich cake, I can break crumbs off your poem. I imagine it wants a little 
central transparency: Some sudden intensity: I'm not sure. Send me something thing you've written. What I 
mean by a sudden intensity may be nonsense, on reflection—But what is the use of reflecting? I've sat with my 
pen in the air these ten minutes, thinking about your poem; but I cannot send it to Persia: Ones thoughts are too 
transitory—If you were in the arm chair opposite, you could just catch them before they fall.
Another break. Now its the next day. I'm so orderly am I? I wish you could live in my brain for a week. 
It is washed with the most violent waves of emotion. What about? I dont know. It begins on waking; and I never 
know which—shall I be happy? Shall I be miserable. I grant, I keep up some mechanical activity with my hands, 
setting type; ordering dinner. Without this, I should brood ceaselessly. And you think it all fixed and settled. Do 
we then know nobody?—only our own versions of them, which, as likely as not, are emanations from ourselves.

Again, interrupted. This letter is all breaks and starts. What was I saying? I was sitting over the fire and 

We're in the midst of our worst week. It always happens—here are all the books coming out, and our 
Staff collapses. Last year it was love: we abolished love [Mrs Joad], took an elderly widow instead; and now 
its measles. One little girl has measles; the other probably mumps—May she go off? So we're left to deal with 
the bills, the parcels, the callers—a gentleman who has been in Armenia, wants to write a book, and discourses 
for an hour about Bishop Gore, Leonard thinking him to mean Ormsby Gore—Hence misunderstandings. Then 
theres our Viola—thrown from a taxi and bruised her ribs, and must go to Brighton to recoup. Will we correct 
her proofs? And Lady Oxford has been at them, and scribbled over every margin, "Darling Viola, don't use the 
word "naturally" please—I hate it. Don't call Ribblesdale 'Rib'. All this is trash—ask Mrs Woolf—" What is the 
printer to make of it? There must be a revise—So thats held over. And our fortunes tremble. If the books don't 
sell, I warn you I shall apply for the place of black Baby at Long Barn. Tomorrow I'm to meet Ottoline and 
Percy Lubbock: they say he has deserted Lady Sybil, and retires to his own mat weaving at Sevenoaks. Whats 
the truth?

Thank God we get off to Rodmell on Saturday; and with luck I shall stay an extra day.

Please, dearest, a nice long letter: anything you like. I dont laugh at you. It's you who laugh at weevils.

Did I tell you how Grizzle is in hospital? No; I concealed it lest you should be anxious: the mange:
rainbow stripes have appeared across her back. But they are sanguine on the whole. And Raymond left today [for 
Persia]. And I envied him: And I want a little spoiling. No: I don't forget you—

Yr V.W.