Monks House, Rodmell
Saturday 21st Jan [1928]

Dearest Clive,

Here we are at Rodmell. It is decidedly damp.

The clergyman [Hawkesford, Rector of Rodmell] as you know is dead, and his widow has commanded a 
seven foot grave in order that she may lie beside him when her time comes.

The only substantial advantage of a week end, or the tail end of a week end, in the country is that by no 
human means can the voice of Ka call me across to the telephone; to hear her uneasily playing with the eternal 
theme of Lady Colefax and Veda (as she calls her) "I suppose you're entirely taken up with great people now" 
etc etc.

No, thank God, 50 miles of Sussex and Surrey, under water too to make them more impermeable, lie 
between us.

But the voice of my brother in law penetrates the Moravian forests (my Geography is rusty, but 
romantic) amazingly clear.

"Now tell us the news, Virginia". The news is I've seen Snow: seen Lytton; seen Hope; Oliver; 
Ottoline:—of which would you like an account?

To me the most fascinating is of course the pale and withered but still tremulous harebell Snow: so 
caustic still; so facetious. D'you remember the way she rolls ones' sayings into little pats of butter, so that 
nothing, nothing can be stated and left? But now an unalterable pathos pervades even the pats of butter. She 
tells me of tea parties at Cheltenham when the Miss Hattersley Smiths, who were almost, but not quite, up to 
Wimbledon standard, condescend, since they are past 50; and their game is over; but their huge muscular arms 
remain and their prodigious but fallen pride. Well, all this Snow tells sadly, for her pride is over too; she comes 
into the Thackeray hotel, and people think "There's an elderly woman!" And what has she made of her life? she 
asks me. But I beg and implore her to tell me more, infinitely more, about the Hattersley Smiths: and their fallen 

Lytton now—dear old Lytton—well, he was in very melodious humour returned to his [Roger] 
Senhouse, his Partridge, his book, at peace with the world. Moreover, he is buoyed up by the gigantic vanity of 
authors. And there they sit, the Stracheys, at their peep show: a peep show I may tell you is a frog or insect or 
a piece of grass pressed between glass: I had one once: and you put it in a cardboard box; and there it is, quite 
complete. I mean by this, he detests Hardy: and also, doesn't talk quite as much about my books as about his 
own. Noll [Oliver Strachey] is chubby, flirtatious; Hope [Mirrlees], too well up in the Romantics for my taste; 
but a woman of wit none the less, and passable, even now, in a darkish room; whereas Ottoline, in her taffeta 
dress, with a pink plush rosette at the breast always slipping down, was a trifle garish. Pipsy [Philip Morrell]
plays Bridge every night at the club, or he goes to sleep. Middle life!—my God! So she's out hawking the streets 
of Bloomsbury by night, and has, as you can guess, already befouled a good many twigs here.

I suppose you've heard that Harold has had to come back as Lord Sackville is worse. Vita sounds very
miserable, but Dottie, last night (Sunday) said he was better.

We are back again. And here's your letter about Wagenseil. I will send a copy of Monday or Tuesday, 
but Wagenseil has been pestering us for some time—asking for my books and offering his own and never 
paying—so I haven't much hopes. Mrs Dalloway is coming out in Germany soon—so is the Lighthouse I think.

Now begins my life of labour again: Dottie, Ethel, Ka, Roger, Jane Harrison, M. Jean Aubry, Mr and 
Mrs Southorn—but no Clive—And so in my world the lights are dim.

Tom [Eliot] has become an Anglo-Catholic.

Yrs V.W.