52 Tavistock Sqre [W.C.1]

25th May 1927


I am horrified to find that my letter will probably have missed you at Cassis. Not that it was 
anything particular in the way of a letter; but I was so much touched, and excited and overcome by yours (I can 
never believe that you approve of me in any way, strange though it may seem) that I particularly wanted you to 
get it. I tried to express my thanks. But it was such a rush here, what with going to Oxford and so on, that I put 
off writing till I got to Rodmell, and then found we had no stamps, and so brought the letter back to London, and 
now I see that you are leaving Cassis today. I'm afraid I shall have missed you. However, no letter pleased me 
one tenth as much as yours did. I was, truthfully, unable to write at all that day. Finally, incredulity that you 
could like the Lighthouse led me to consult Leonard, and when he said he thought you meant what you said, I 
was in such a happy state, no tea kettle, no cat, not all the contented and happy creatures in the whole world, 
were a match for me. I'm in a terrible state of pleasure that you should think Mrs Ramsay so like mother. At the 
same time, it is a psychological mystery why she should be: how a child could know about her; except that she 
has always haunted me, partly, I suppose, her beauty; and then dying at that moment, I suppose she cut a great 
figure on one's mind when it was just awake, and had not any experience of life—Only then one would have 
suspected that one had made up a sham—an ideal. Probably there is a great deal of you in Mrs Ramsay; though, 
in fact, I think you and mother are very different in my mind.

Why do I attach so much importance to what you and Duncan think? illiterate, simpletons, as you are? I 
daresay you are qualified however, much more than many of my literary friends to judge of things as a whole, as
works of art—Anyhow, next to your letter, Duncan's gave me most pleasure; and I'm going to write to him. But 
then you say that you cant judge of it as a work of art yet. Please think it over and tell me if anything emerges. 
Duncan's hit upon the thing I thought best—the dinner party. But you will have had enough of this egotism, poor 
Dolphin. The talk about it here is practically over. One very soon gets through it, and if it would only sell well, 
and I could buy a motor car, I should now be content (you'll be glad to hear) to dismiss it from my mind. In fact; 
it is rather a distraction from the thing one wants to write now:

I saw Lytton yesterday and asked him about Clive. He was, of course, highly discreet, and would only 
say that he could see no reason why things should not now settle down again. He said that he thought Clive 
would find that the habit, after 13 years—of seeing Mary, was too strong to be broken. I lunched with Clive, 
and he seemed again in the highest spirits, and gave me obscurely to understand that it is at the moment all 
right between them. He was beset by ladies. Bea [Howe] was coming to tea; Bertha [Penrose] to dinner, but he 
called her "a little bitch" and said he must find some way of not going to bed with her. Then he gave us (Dadie 
and me—Lady Violet Bonham Carter had to go—rather a dull lunch, on the whole) a great discourse upon the 
pains of love, which, he said, were amply made up for by its delights which, he said, I had never known, and 
never could know. So I denied it, and then Dadie said that Clive was undoubtedly a great lover, and Clive was 
highly pleased, and seemed to think that he had been very gallant and adventurous and romantic during the last 
few months, and deserved a medal: so thats all as it should be—He dresses in sky blue flannel, with blue tie and 
pocket handkerchief and says he has lost a stone and a half.

Yesterday was such an awful day of incessant conversation that my head is still bemused. Clives lunch 
party; then Faith, Logan, Eddy and Vita to tea; then Lytton in the Square; then dinner at 37 [Gordon Square] 
with Douglas and Dadie and Cynthia Noble—a dull girl; then they went to [C.H.B.] Kitchins party, but I had the 
strength to refuse: I am going to entreat your help in leading a nice quiet life, with little excursions to Reading 
and Hampton Court. This gabble is senseless. Lytton however was affable and urbane and charming though 
apparently he has gone through tortures at the hands of [Roger] Senhouse. The whole affair is over. He has been 
in the depths of despair, and is now trying to get on with his book. Dadie and Clive take it very seriously; and 
say that a week ago he was desperate, and that nothing has hurt him so much for years. Roger refused to bed in 
the end—I think that was it. But there'll be another for certain—I don't see how one can take it as a death blow 
considering how he revives.

Nobody seems to know when you will be back. We hope for the best, as they say: and if anything could 
touch your hearts of glass and emerald—for I dont deny they are beautiful hearts in their way—it would be this 
chatter we all keep up about Nessa and Duncan, whether they're coming and when they're coming and what we 
can do to make them stay with us, and not go for ever to live among the frogs of Cassis.

No, I shirked Helen [Anrep]. She rather smears my mind—she has a trailing foot. We talk too much 
about people's characters and I'm afraid her milieu is rather underworld. But this is only a murmur—not a 
groan. I like people to have a little bone in their heads—something one can argue about. Not politics, but art or 
something. Faith [Henderson] afflicts me rather in the same way. One cant talk about Saxon and Barbara for 

Now with Dolphin I can always put up a hare or two, but this is drivelling, and I ought to be writing an 
article on Morgan's novels, which I cannot finish.

But dearest Dolphin, you were a good kind creature to write me such a nice letter

Yr B.