Hurriedly. I’d never heard of lily-picking eczema, though I know a good deal of the hideous results, in market gardening, of the use of synthetic manures to force roses all the year round. Who wants roses every day? Ought anyone to pick lilies all day? It is a relief to know you are getting things done.
I wonder whether you ran, at St Mary’s, into Dr Macrae, the clever young Irishman who was down here for the winter &, incidentally, treated me, & is now back there doing research for his Fellowship.
I hope Sylvia will hang on – Gide, it appears, is amongst the littérateurs who are trying to get a grant for her from
the Laval “fonds secrets” &, presumably, if they fail, will help her himself.
Yes, I’m hoping for a book this year, if Dent’s (the murder is now out) will take one of my usual length. It was Kot (S.S. Koteliansky) who worked the miracle by dint of a year of unremitting labour. He first bullied Dennis Cohen (the Cresset Press) a young man with a fortune, who makes a hobby of publishing, until he gave in. Then he went the round of the publishers with sound organizations & struck oil at last with Richard Church, of Dents, who likes my work & whose enthusiasm & expectations fill me with apprehension lest he be disappointed.
They want a large book – because large books are the fashion. This vol., however, belongs with the last &
will be about the same size &, ultimately, will be bound with it. If they, Cresset & Dent’s, insist, I must include the next volume, which breaks away from London, & hold things up indefinitely. But I hope to persuade them.
And hope to increase my present snail’s pace at Trevone, where we go to-morrow, & be ready by the end of June. Duckworth & I, by post, are weeping on each other’s shoulders.
I am forgetting what makes me write at once. Tell your Mr Garland to stop! I am vastly grateful, to you, & to him for his excellent choice of books, which have helped to keep me sane. They are being lent round & will finally land in the local library, excepting Rebecca’s
book of long shorts, three of which are masterpieces – written in American – & Claude Houghton, which we keep.
I must get on with my packing & look after the doings of Mrs Bennett, who has come over to see us through.
I envy your camping.