Last Letters to a Friend
is the fascinating and moving account of the intense
spiritual and intellectual kinship between one of
England's most distinguished women, novelists and
an Anglican priest in America, Father Hamilton
Johnson was Rose Macaulay's mentor in her return
to the religious faith from which she had been sep
arated for thirty years. The story of this reunion, so
brilliantly begun in the first volume of this corre
spondence, Letters to a Friend, is deepened and en
riched in this book, which concludes with her death
The universal curiosity of this amazing woman and
her profound learning and thralldom with all aspects
of literature, .turn her growing knowledge of her
faith into an intellectual adventure; while her spir
itual reaffirmation, with reflections on the long years
of her lapse, is a poignant personal story. Equally
absorbing is the secular drama of Miss Macaulay's
life in this period, in which disaster is mingled with
triumph: on the one hand, for example, the death
of a beloved sister, fire, burglary, assault, illness,
disillusionment; on the other, the company of good
friends, a touching relationship with two young
nieces, an exciting trip to the Near East, the appre
ciative reception of several books, and the honor
These remarkable letters, kindled by Dame Rose's
honesty, warmed by her humility, and lifted by her
lively wit, form an indispensable part of the legacy
of a very great lady.
Jacket design: Janet Halverson
Macauiay ?> u .^-nfl
last letters to a friend
LAST LETTERS TO A FRIEND (editor, Constance Babington-Smith) 1963
LETTERS TO A FRIEND (editor, Constance Babington-Smith) 1962
THE TOWERS OF TREBIZOND 1957
FABLED SHORE 1 95 1
THE WORLD MY WILDERNESS 1950
AND NO MAN'S WIT 1940
THE WRITINGS OF E. M. FORSTER 1938
I WOULD BE PRIVATE 1937
PERSONAL PLEASURES 1935
THE MINOR PLEASURES OF LIFE (editor) 1935
JOHN MILTON 1935
GOING ABROAD 1934
THEY WERE DEFEATED (American title, THE SHADOW FLIES) 1932
SOME RELIGIOUS ELEMENTS IN ENGLISH LITERATURE 1 93 1
STAYING WITH RELATIONS 1930
DAISY AND DAPHNE 1928
A CASUAL COMMENTARY (essays) 1926
CREWE TRAIN 1926
ORPHAN ISLAND 1925
TOLD BY AN IDIOT 1924
MYSTERY AT GENEVA 1923
DANGEROUS AGES 1 92 1
THREE DAYS (poetry) 1920
LEE SHORE 1913
VIEWS AND VAGABONDS 1912
LAST LETTERS TO A FRIEND (editor) 1963
LETTERS TO A FRIEND (editor) 1962
TESTING TIME 1961
The Story of British Test Pilots and Their Aircraft
AIR SPY 1957
The Story of Photo Intelligence in World War II
LAST LETTERS TO A FRIEND
Rose Mcicaulay in Venice; photographed by RobffBeny in 1957
LETTERS TO A FRIEND
Edited by Constance Babington-Smith
Atheneum : New York
Copyright iptf? by Constance Babington Smith
All rights reserved
Library of Congress catalog card number 63-7792
Printed in the United States of America by
The Murray Printing Company, Forge Village, Massachusetts
Bound by H. Wolff, New York
First American Edition
These letters were written by Dame Rose Macaulay to her
cousin, the Rev. John Hamilton Cowper Johnson, of the
Society of St John the Evangelist (commonly known as the
Cowley Fathers) between 1952 and her death in 1958. They
are a continuation of the series which has already been published
in Letters to a Friend. The entire correspondence began in 1950
when Father Johnson, who had not seen Rose Macaulay since
he left England for America in 1916, wrote to congratulate her
on her book They Were Defeated. The letters of the first two
years, 1950 to 1952, covered the time of her return to the
Anglican Church, helped by his guidance, after a lapse of thirty
years: those of the next six show the renewed spiritual vigour
and the many activities of the final period of her life.
After Dame Rose's death Father Johnson was anxious that
the letters he had received from her should be put into safe
keeping. He believed that if they could be published (after
careful editing) they would be of help to many. He had met
me once, through the introduction of Dame Rose, who was
my third cousin, when I was in America in 1956, and it was
this personal link which led him to arrange for the letters
to be dispatched to England early in 1959 and entrusted to
No literary executors had been appointed, and the copyright
of the letters had devolved upon Miss Jean Macaulay, Dame
Rose's sister the only surviving member of this branch of the
Macaulay family. Miss Macaulay was therefore consulted, as
well as others concerned, and it was decided that the letters
should be prepared for publication without delay. One of the
main reasons for this was that Dame Rose's religious position,
in the context of her whole life, had been widely misunder
stood; her letters to Father Johnson would clarify the situation
with unique authoritativeness. I was asked to undertake the
editing, and when I accepted this responsibility Miss Macaulay
decided to transfer the copyright to me. Since then I have
frequently discussed the project with her and she has given it
her whole-hearted approval. She has also recently completed
the sorting of the many letters from Dame Rose to herself.
These letters, forming an important record of the loving
friendship between the two sisters, and showing the variety of
their common interests, are to be published in a later volume.
For over a year I corresponded with Father Johnson, and he
gave me much helpful advice before his health failed, during
the year preceding his death in March 1961. (His superior, the
Rev. G. Mercer Williams, S.S.J.E., was kept informed of the
planning as it progressed.) Throughout this time his enthusiasm
was a continual encouragement to me, and his belief in my
abilities a continual surprise. Discussing the editing of the
letters he wrote: " I think you are the only person in whom
I should feel confidence for a safe choosing and pruning and
presenting of them. You knew her real mind, and about the
extreme seriousness and centrality of her religion, and you
perfectly understand the nature of the intimacy between her
and me, what it was, and what it wasn't."
No question arose of publishing the "other half" of the
correspondence, namely the replies from Father Johnson,
because they had been among the vast quantities of private
letters addressed to Dame Rose which were destroyed a few
weeks after her death, according to informal written instruc
tions she had left with her sister as to the disposal of the
belongings in her flat. Miss Macaulay had promised her sister
she would carry out these instructions, and with much regret
she personally burnt all the private letters concerned. Dame
Rose did not, however, leave instructions of any kind banning
the publication of letters written by herself.
The Introduction to this book is intended to give such back
ground as is needed for an understanding of the letters. A more
detailed account of Rose Macaulay's life and further bio
graphical facts concerning Father Johnson have been given in
the Introduction to Letters to a Friend. A genealogy of Rose
Macaulay and a diagram showing the family relationship
between her and Father Johnson are also included in the earlier
In editing the letters I have omitted passages which might
cause embarrassment to living persons; the only other omis
sions are passages which appear to be unintentionally repetitive.
In order to distinguish such omissions from ambiguous cases
where ". . . " appears in the original I have added [sic] in
these latter instances. As in Letters to a Friend I have identified
the letters which were air-mailed by the symbol j placed
alongside the date.
Some of the original letters are typed but many are hand
written, and in the deciphering of these I was ably assisted by
Miss M. F. McKnight. In the hand-written letters there are
frequent contractions; as in Letters to a Friend I have extended
most of these, and I have also corrected occasional typing
errors, apparently unintentional mis-spellings, and punctuation
which might be misleading. In general, however, I have not
amended quotations, book titles, etc., where they are written
incorrectly or in contracted form.
My deepest debt of gratitude is to Miss Jean Macaulay for
her warm co-operation, and for the lively interest she has taken
in every aspect of the work on the letters. I am also greatly
indebted to several of Dame Rose's friends, and of my own,
whose understanding and support have counted for more thant
I can say, and to those members of the Society of St John the
Evangelist who have repeatedly given me their help and
encouragement. I am again extremely grateful to Miss
Dorothea Conybeare, Dame Rose's first cousin, for her
invaluable advice on matters of family history, as well as to
Mr A. F. Scholfield, who has helped me in translating the
Latin quotations, besides advising on many other points, as he
did in the case of Letters to a Friend. I would also like to thank
Professor Bruce Dickins for his continued interest, and Dr F.
J. E. Raby, whom I again consulted about some of the foot
notes. I discussed quite a number of passages and footnotes
with Mr Christopher Hollis, and many others with Miss
Doreen Berry; this was most helpful and I am very grateful to
both of them. I would also like to express my thanks to all
those who kindly assisted me in various other editing matters
(mainly in supplying information for footnotes), especially to
the following: Mr James Babington Smith, the Rev. Michael
Dean, the Rt. Rev. S. A. Eley, Mr Eric Gillett, Miss M. E. A.
Hancock, the Rev. Gerard Irvine, Mr Julian Jebb, Miss Mary
Barham Johnson, Lord Kinross, Dr R. D. Ladborough,
Fr Lothian, S.S.F., Mrs Frank C. Paine, Miss Emily Smith,
and the Rev. Cyril Tomkinson. To Mr T. S. Eliot I am
indebted for permission to quote from Ash Wednesday and
I would like to thank Mr RolofF Beny for permission to
reproduce his photograph of Dame Rose at Venice.
The last years of Rose Macaulay's life were extremely active.
In March 1955, when she was nearly seventy-four, she
wrote to her sister Jean, " I have an intuition that I shall die in
three years, Le. in 1958, so I must bustle about and do a lot of
things in the time." A month later she was immersed in The
Towers of Trebizond. Her last novel, with its light-hearted
blend of satire and fantasy, was entirely characteristic of Rose,
as she was then and as she had always been. Its serious theme
the conflict between the torments and the joys of a guilty love
reflected the tragic secret in her own past (many guessed this
when they read die book). But its underlying message the
living hell of not really wanting to journey towards the City
of God, in spite of an unforgettable longing for it was not
(as some believed it to be) a representation of her own state of
mind at the time she wrote it. For by then, thanks in the first
place to her correspondence with Father Johnson, she had
already found the way out of her "wilderness" and had attained
to serenity of heart and spirit.
In those last six years before her death in 1958 Rose was at
her gayest. But it was a new kind of gaiety, with roots in
renewed Christian faith: spiritually she had come home.
Home to the grace of Divine forgiveness within the Anglican
Church she had always loved, to a closer intimacy than ever
before within her own family, to the revivified enjoyment of
her friendships, her writing, her travels, her reading, her
multitudinous doings and interests.
In her earlier letters to Father Johnson those in Letters to a
Friend Rose told him much about her family and a certain
amount about her own personal life. The following account
is therefore given to elucidate various references, some direct
and some implicit, in the letters which are now published.
On both sides of Rose's ancestry there were innumerable con
nections with the Church. Her Macaulay grandfather and
great-grandfather were both Anglican parsons, and before that
several of the line had been Presbyterian ministers. On her
mother's side a great many of the Conybeares, including her
grandfather, had been parsons, and one of them (in the
eighteenth century) a Bishop. She was also connected with
other ecclesiastical clans, notably the Roses, after whom
she herself was named. It was through the Roses that she and
Father Johnson were related; a chance mention of the reason
for her name led to the discovery of their cousinship. Both
sides of Rose's ancestry also included eminent scholars. Lord
Macaulay was her grandfather's first cousin, and the Macaulays
were related to the Trevelyans, while among the Conybeares
were distinguished scientists, linguists, and writers. The
tradition of scholarship first touched Rose's life through her
father George Macaulay. A classic at Eton and Cambridge, he
later specialised in English studies, and in the course of a steady
but unspectacular career gained a lasting reputation as a trans
lator and editor. His logical mind and scholarly thoroughness, as
well as his gentleness and reticence, were beloved ideals of
Rose's youth. Temperamentally her mother was a great con
trast to her father. Grace Conybeare, the lovely younger cousin
whom George Macaulay had married, was imaginative,
emotionally volatile, and guided by intuition rather than
For the first nine years of their marriage they lived at
Rugby, where George Macaulay was an assistant master. Rose
(or rather Emilie Rose) their second daughter, was born there
on ist August 1881. Their eldest child Margaret and four
younger children, Jean, Aulay, Will, and Eleanor, were also
born while they were at Rugby. Here too began the friend
ship between the Macaulays and the family of Rupert Brooke;
his father, like George Macaulay, was a Rugby master.
When Rose was six years old the family moved to Italy, in
the interests of her mother's health, and they took a house at
Varazze on the Ligurian coast. George Macaulay worked at
translations but could barely scrape a living, so the family had
to live very simply. The children were taught mostly by their
parents, but for a short time the three elder girls went to a local
convent school. Rose's memories of this school were lastingly
unfavourable. On walks when men were encountered the
little girls were ordered by the nuns to lower their eyes, the
"little heretics" were not allowed to pray with the other
children, and the religious instruction, compared with their
mother's " Sunday school " teaching, seemed inferior indeed.
Grace Macaulay was a gifted story-teller; her renderings
of the Bible stories made an indelible impression, and her
teaching based on the Collects was equally inspiring. To the
Macaulay children, however, especially to the eldest five who
were inseparable, the eight years at Varazze were chiefly
memorable for the joyful freedom of their outdoor playtime.
Rose's lifelong passion for bathing dated from the amphibious
adventures of the Varazze shore.
The family's next move was back to England in 1894. They
lived for a time in Oxford, where Margaret, Rose, and Jean
were sent to the High School. Desperately shy, the Macaulay
girls made a pact to stick together as much as possible so as to
avoid painful contacts with strangers. Rose was the prettiest
of the three as well as the gayest, and a tomboy in her tastes
and ways. She was not, as a girl, particularly inclined to
religion; at fourteen she submitted to confirmation merely to
avoid making a fuss. Then when she was nineteen a mag
nanimous godfather, her uncle Regi Macaulay, gave her the
unexpected chance of going to the university. The Macaulays
were a Cambridge family (Rose was enchanted when later in
life she was awarded a Cambridge doctorate) but they were
still living in Oxford, and it was decided she should go to
Somerville. There she read History and lost her heart to the
seventeenth century. She also found her feet socially and her
shyness fell away. The intellectual company at Somerville was
very congenial, and she missed it greatly when afterwards she
lived at home near Aberystwyth, where her father was then
teaching. But she soon found consolation in writing. Ever
since childhood she had delighted in writing poetry; now she
also tried her hand at novels; her first, Abbots Verney, was
published in 1906. Originally it ended unhappily, but Rose's
publisher demanded "a gleam of light" in the form of an
engagement, so with set teeth she manufactured one.
In 1906 Rose's father was appointed to a Lectureship in
English at Cambridge, and the family moved once more. They
sctdcd at Great Shelford, within easy reach (by bicycle) of the
Brookes at Grantchester and the Conybeare cousins in Cam
bridge. It was while the Macaulays were at Great Shelford, in
February 1909, that they all received a severe shock which for
Rose was to have far-reaching repercussions. Her brother
Aulay, who had joined the Royal Engineers and gone to India,
was murdered by native thieves on the North-West Frontier.
For the first time Rose found herself impelled towards religious
faith and towards the High Church practice in which her
mother had been brought up. Meanwhile she was being con
siderably influenced by the brilliant preaching of Father
Waggett, the Cowley Father, who was then in Cambridge.
Soon she began making her confessions regularly at the Cowley
Fathers' House in Westminster. Just before the first war she
was often in London; already she was being recognised as a
promising novelist, and to her great delight was meeting some
of the leading writers of the day.
It was shortly after this, at the beginning of the first war,
that Rose came into touch with Father Hamilton Johnson. Her
confessor, Father Lucius Gary, often had to be absent from
London, and when he was away Father Johnson deputised for
him. He was then thirty-seven, having taken holy orders
ten years previously (following the tradition of his family he
was one of the Norfolk Johnsons, for generations a well-known
family of clergy) and had already been a Cowley Father for
five years. He heard Rose's confessions about half a dozen
times, and she attended one Retreat conducted by him. Their
only meetings were these "professional" ones, and the only
letters they exchanged were notes to arrange appointments.
Then in November 1916 he was transferred to the Cowley
Fathers' community in Boston, Massachusetts, and he and Rose
never met again.
The year 1917, Rose's thirty-sixth year, was a crucial one for
her. Before this, though she prized her independence, her
family had been the axis of her life. But after her father's death
early in the war she took a job at the War Office and soon
came to regard London as her home. And in wartime London
she fell deeply in love with a man who, she later learnt, was
already married. For some years she struggled to combine their
friendship with her now habitual religious practice. In the
early twenties, however, their secret attachment deepened and
eventually she broke away from the sacramental life of the
Church. Her attachment became known to her sisters and to
her mother (who died in 1925) and among her intimate friends
in London it was tacitly accepted, but otherwise nothing was
known of it.
The novels with which Rose is most often identified
Potterism, Dangerous Ages, Told by an Idiot, Orphan Island, Crewe
Train, Keeping up Appearances were written during the
twenties. These gaily satirical novels, in which she skated
with such zest and finesse over the surface of contemporary life,
won for her an adoring public and a high place in the literary
world. Her lightly mocking commentary upon the hypocrisy
and lack of logic of her fellow-men was delightfully refreshing
during the years between the wars. Many of her novels were
also published in America and Father Johnson often read them.
He specially enjoyed the references to religion that Rose so
As Rose reached her fifties her work acquired a new
maturity and she wrote fewer novels. Some Religious Elements
in English Literature was followed by They Were Defeated, the
historical novel of seventeenth-century Cambridge and Devon
shire which she herself regarded as the best of her books. After
this came her short life of Milton, her book of essays Personal
Pleasures, and her study of the writings of E. M. Forster. During
the second world war and for several years after it, she wrote
no novels at all. Death and disaster came close to her and
numbed her. The man she loved fell fatally ill; her sister
Margaret died a painful death; when her flat was bombed she
lost most of her library. She herself was ill for a time, then for
some years suffered periods of acute depression. In sombre
mood she wrote The World my Wilderness, the book which in
Father Johnson's view (so he later told me) betrayed her "long
ing to be back." Still obsessed by the theme of disintegration
she then buried herself in research for her massive history of
ruins. At this point, in August 1950, she received the sudden
letter from Father Johnson, in praise of They Were Defeated,
which was to spark off their momentous correspondence.
The earlier part of their exchange of letters, of which Rose's
side has been published as Letters to a Friend, was the providential
means towards escape from her spiritual "ruins." It was also
the beginning of an intimate friendship between two people
with a remarkable coincidence of tastes. Obscure Latin collects,
the latest novels and biographies, fine points of semantics,
intricacies of ecclesiastical history Rose and Father Johnson
bodi enormously enjoyed discussing topics such as these, as well
as the doings of their numerous friends and relations (among
them his cousin John Cowper Powys). Their transatlantic
dialogue continued steadily, despite illnesses and other contre
temps, at a rate of about a letter a week in each direction for
more than two years. And for Rose, along with the light-
hearted exchange of learning and gossip, went the seeking and
the finding that was gradually to lead her through the door that
for thirty years she had not approached.
By mid-1952, however, she was reaching a new stage of
spiritual development. She no longer depended upon Father
Johnson's guidance as she had during the first stage of their
letter-writing, when he was giving her what he described as
"the little push back to where she belonged, inside the church
door, instead of standing in the porch." When they first
corresponded Father Johnson could hardly keep up with Rose's
letters and she eagerly awaited his replies; later on she often
found herself replying to several at once. Nevertheless she
still attached great importance to his opinions, her gratitude
for his help was profound and lasting, and their fourth
cousinship, which they had discovered with such joy early
in 1952, provided a continuing bond of affection. The
demands of work and play encroached more and more on
Rose's letter-writing, but she still loved to keep closely in
touch with "dear Hamilton," commenting in detail on his
news and views and regaling him with her own.
At the time when she was writing the first of the letters in
this book the Grosvenor Chapel in South Audley Street held
a central place in Rose's religious life. It was conveniently
accessible from her flat in Hinde Street, offManchester Square,
and every morning just before eight-fifteen she sped there in
her small car. Her attachment to "my chapel," as she called
it, was heartfelt. The restrained elegance of its architecture and
the "dignity without fuss" of its liturgy seemed to provide the
perfect setting for her worship. Rose's devotional life was
centred on the Eucharist, and she was a daily communicant.
For her the Feast of Corpus Christi was one of the highlights
of the Church's year. And in her private devotions the
recurrent theme was the Divine Light, "the Light that lighteth
every man." The prayers and texts some in Latin, some in
English which she inscribed in her Preces Privatae echoed this
again and again. O Sapientia, the Advent invocation to the
Holy Wisdom that illumines both mind and heart, was one of
her constant favourites.
Just as regular and as unobtrusive as her daily worship were her
weekly visits to her sister Jean at Romford. One afternoon and
evening every week Rose kept jealously free from engagements
so that she could be with her "darling twin" (they had been
born within a year). Jean was the only person in the world
with whom Rose, in her seventies, could share mutual
memories of the Macaulay family life. After their sister
Eleanor, who was a missionary, died in India in 1952, they were
the only ones left out of the family of seven. And there was
no younger generation at all not one of the brothers or sisters
had married. Both their parents had been dead for many years,
and their uncles and aunts were all dead too, except for one,
Mary Macaulay, who in her old age was sadly incapable.
Rose's return to the Church, which "Jeanie" had never left,
brought the sisters very closely together. During the time of
Rose's estrangement they were never entirely at one. They had
always corresponded, however, and met as often as possible,
though Jean's work as a nurse had tended to cut her off from
the family. She was one of the pioneers of District Nursing,
and was awarded the M.B.E. for her fine record when she
retired. Jean's last nursing appointment brought her to
Romford in 1939. After her retirement in 1956 she stayed on
there, sharing a small house with her lifelong friend Nancy
Willetts, also a District Nurse. The three of them spent several
holidays together on the Isle of Wight, and Rose made a great
point of being with them for Christmas.
Even after Jean settled at Romford, and Rose was seeing her
every week, they were continually exchanging letters. Like
many of the Conybeare family they both doted on lively
debates, particularly on questions of moral theology; they also
relished discussions about books, broadcasts, friends, and family
matters, as well as the general news of the day. Another
interest they shared was in the practices of the various Christian
churches and sects. Rose was an enthusiast for inter
communion, and although the austerity of Nonconformist
places of worship did not appeal to her, she made a point, on
principle, of attending their services occasionally as a com
municant. Until her death, however, she clung stubbornly to
her prejudices against Roman Catholicism.
In September 1952, when the earliest letters in this book
were written, Rose was suffering from persistent attacks of
undulant fever and at the same time striving to finish her book
Pleasure of Ruins. Her health was remarkably good for her age
but it was a worry to her sister, as well as to her friends, that she
lived alone and insisted on "looking after herself." During
serious illnesses such as the undulant fever, Jean and Nancy
Willetts used to come up every day in turn from Romford to
look after her. This is never mentioned or even hinted at in the
letters to Father Johnson, and Jean comments that Rose
cherished the illusion that she could look after herself when ill.
Another such illusion well known to many of her friends
was that she was a good driver, and that people were not
nervous when she gave them lifts in her "darling car."
By the spring of 1953 she had delivered her manuscript,
thrown off her illness, and was enjoying a blissful holiday in
Cyprus, Syria, and Israel. The following summer too she
went abroad, to Turkey the trip that foreshadowed The
Towers of Trebizond. That summer of 1954 was also the time
when there came a new development in her church-going.
She had always been attracted by good preaching, even during
the time of her thirty-year lapse, and it was pardy because she
had heard warmly favourable reports of the preaching at St
Paul's, Knightsbridge, where Jock Henderson was vicar, that
she started going there occasionally. Gradually she became
more and more fond of St Paul's "it is beautiful, rather dark,
very ungarish" and towards the end of her life she divided
her regular attendance almost equally between Knightsbridge
and Grosvenor Chapel. (My own "religious companionship"
with Rose, as Father Johnson called it, began when we dis
covered that we were both in the habit of attending St Paul's.
Thereafter we often went there together, and also to Grosvenor
Chapel. Although she and I were cousins we had never got
to know one another before this.)
For some time the cpanouissement of Rose's inner life had
been bringing her to share her faith with others. She began,
for example, to think seriously about her responsibilities as a
godmother, and this led her to start taking one of her god
daughters to children's services at St Mary Abbots; she also
corresponded regularly with another god-daughter in America.
She loved the company of Anglicans of her own "high but
broad" persuasion, and each autumn during her final years she
attended a Retreat at Pleshey in Essex. She also enjoyed the
personal friendship of quite a number of clergy. And one of
the companionships she valued most was with Susan Lister,
a fellow-worshipper at Grosvenor Chapel, to whom she
dedicated The Towers of Trebizond.
The publication of The Towers ofTrebizotiJ Dominated 1956.
Beforehand she wrote to Father Johnson to prepare him for
some of her jokes about the Church; but Father Johnson was
not at all shocked, at least not by the jokes. The thing that did
shock him, later on, was the way in which some people missed
the point of the book. " Oh yes, The Towers has been greatly
misunderstood," he wrote to me after Rose's death. " The
amusing beginning about Fr Chantry-Pigg and his church,
which is only a clever and good-natured caricature of a state
of affairs which we all deplore but are unable to cure, is thought
to be a repudiation of all that Rose actually held most dear.
And then the Reviewer in The Times Lit. Sup. (of all papers!)
writes of: 'on the one hand a cheerful and courageous accept
ance of life's possibilities as well as its problems, and on the
other a deep, often moving, and apparently ineradicable
spiritual anguish' ! Why the whole book is to show that it is
not ineradicable, but that it is eradicable only by those 'who
desire to enter that strange bright city on the hill more
strongly than they desire all other cities/ Do the people who
are amused by Fr Hugh Chantry-Pigg and think him merely
absurd, do they think he was absurd, or that Rose meant him
to be thought absurd, in Chapter 7, when he spoke the word
of God to Laurie on that Whit Sunday morning on the Black
But even if The Toivers was misunderstood it was an
extremely successful book, both in England and in America.
It brought Rose the best press she had ever had, as well as some
touching private appreciations which moved her profoundly.
When she showed these tributes to her sister she told her that
never in her life had she been so happy. It was Rose's greatest
desire to help others by means of her own most poignant
The last of the letters to Father Johnson was written on
I2th June 1958. Rose had not written to him for more than
six months and had much to tell him. In February she had gone
to Buckingham Palace to be "darned" (in the New Year's
Honours list she had been created a Dame Commander of the
British Empire) but she was far from well at the time so she
went afterwards to Dorset to convalesce. After her return she
had a fall and broke a hip and a wrist, and was in hospital for
six weeks. Now she was back at home desperately trying to
catch up and planning to go on a cruise to the Black Sea in
Venice, the Greek Islands, Istanbul, her dear Trebizond. . .
In October she was in London again with her usual busy round.
She was looking forward to the peace of a Retreat at Pleshey
in November. The opening chapter of her new novel was on
paper : Venice, the city she loved perhaps more than any other,
was to be the setting for part of her story. She was toying with
ideas for a tide: Venice Besieged, perhaps, or Venice Regained.
During the last week of October an attack of bronchitis began
to give her trouble and her doctor advised her to stay in bed
for a couple of days. She stayed in bed for one day, then was
up and about once more, shopping and party-going and writing
letters. On the morning of 3Oth October there was a sudden
relapse and she suffered a coronary thrombosis. Death came
with merciful swiftness.
A week later, at a Requiem Mass at Grosvenor Chapel,
George Herbert's soaring hymn of praise was sung.
King of Glory, King of Peace,
I will love thee;
And that love may never cease
I will move thee.
Thou hast granted my request
Thou hast heard me;
Thou didst note my working breast
Thou hast spared me.
Wherefore with my utmost art
I will sing thee
And the cream of all my heart,
I will bring thee.
Though my sins against me cried,
Thou didst clear me;
And alone, when they replied,
Thou didst hear me.
Seven whole days, not one in seven,
I will praise thee;
In my heart, though not in heaven
I can raise thee.
Small it is, in this poor sort,
To enrol thee;
E'en eternity's too short
To extol thee.
The poetry of Rose Macaulay's beloved seventeenth
century provided for her a fitting epitaph.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.I
i6th September, 1952!
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you for two air papers (posted 8th and nth), one
of which I got just before going off [to Oxford] ... on
Thursday, the other last night on my return. ... I drove home
yesterday by devious ways, through the lovely Oxfordshire
country Godstow, Witham, Hinksey, Abingdon, Dor
chester, Warborough where I called on my old cousin W.
J. Conybeare and his delightful wife. James had my fever some
years ago, and lay in bed for six months, and for some 2 years
afterwards had these come-backs that I get. 1 However, he is
now quite over it; and digs gaily in his garden, in corduroy
trousers, at the age of nearly 80. He was Provost of Southwell
but now only does some helping in the churches round
Warborough. He said he brought my sister Eleanor into a
sermon the other day I think he preached about lives of
devoted service. 2
I read in the C[hurch] Times about your great Convention. 8
It sounds most impressive. I'm glad too much burden and toil
doesn't fall on you from your guests.
1 am glad Letters to a Layman is to have a new edition. 4 I
expect The Words of the Missal will come my way in Duckett's
good time; I hope so. 5 It mmt be an illuminating companion
1 R. M. had been suffering from recurrent attacks of undulant fever.
2 Eleanor Macaulay, who died on yth August, 1952, had been a missionary
3 A General Convention of the Episcopal Church in America.
4 Dom Gregory Dix, The Question of Anglican Orders (1944); usually
known by the sub-title Letters to a Layman.
5 R.M. had ordered C. C. Martindale's The Words of the Missal (1932)
from the bookseller Duckett.
to the Missal. I looked up that Paschal Prophecy you quoted.
What a service that must be! I must go to it (All Saints',
I think) next Easter. With only one priest, such affairs are
beyond the scope of Grosvenor. 1 The Exultet, sung round the
candle, must be very splendid, 2 "Ut qui me, non meis mentis,
intra Levitarum numerum dignatus est aggregate; luminis sui
claritatem infundens. . . ." 3 I wonder why a candle is so much
better than an electric light, for religious purposes. Old
association, no doubt.
The Church in the Markets I am noting that to read. 4 And
the Holy Week Book. What a lot of good literature you point
out to me; books, and bits of Breviary and Missal. I am now,
I hope, about to get from the library Evelyn Waugh's Men at
Arms, and Harold Nicolsons George Vl expect both have
already been published over your side of the trough. How do
you get on with Noughts and Crosses by the way? 5 . . .
"Justification by Faith "I have never grasped it. What
can they mean? [Justification] by Works one can understand
(see St James). 6 But what a lot the other has meant to people
ever since Augustine! My sister's Requiem Mass is on Thurs
day. I shall of course go to it, well or not so well. But I shall
1 Although the Grosvenor Chapel in South Audley Street was R. M.'s
regular place of worship, she liked to go to All Saints', Margaret Street,
on certain feast days.
2 In the Western liturgy the Exultet or " Paschal Praise " is sung at the
blessing of the Paschal Candle on Holy Saturday.
3 ". . . infundens (cerei hujus laudem implere perfidat)" "That he, who
hath been pleased, for no merit of mine, to admit me into the number of
his Levites, may pour on me the brightness of his light, and make me meet
to proclaim the praises of this candle."
*B. Ifor Evans, The Church in the Markets (1948).
6 J. Hichens, Noughts and Crosses (1952).
8 James 2. 14-26.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
2$th September, 1952!
My dear Hamilton,
Your letter posted 22nd followed quickly your apr] pfaper]
of 20th; one came yesterday, the other to-day. What a lot of
interesting things in both (the 2nd particularly rich in them).
Too many to answer in an a.p., though it is less than moral of
me to write a longer letter, pressed about as I am with work
not done still, for once I will fall. When I wrote to you last,
I was in undulationibus', that was Tuesday. By Thursday
morning (thank you for remembering the day) I was able
to go to Tufton St. for the Requiem Mass. 1 I was very glad,
for it was a v.g. service, and after it we had breakfast, and
I talked to several people who knew Eleanor in India, includ
ing an extremely pleasant Father Davey 2 , who was a great
friend of hers. It was all very consoling and good. I wish the
Bp of Chota Nagpur 3 could have been there; but I shall
see him before long.
Translated prayers oh yes, they are not satisfactory, on the
whole. Of course English can't be so brief, being an uninflected
language and requiring therefore so many prepositions, besides
all the the's and as (though this does prevent the confusion one
sometimes finds in one's understanding of Latin, between the
and a) and other words. That prayer "Adjuva [nos Deus salutaris
noster]," in 17 words. In English I can't do it (can you ?) in less
than 24 [sic]: " Help us, God of our Salvation, and let us come
rejoicing to the recolenda (reflection ?? consideration?) of the
kindnesses by which thou hast deigned to redeem us." 4 But
1 The service for R. M/s sister Eleanor was held in the chapel of the
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Tufton Street, Westminster.
Eleanor Macaulay had worked as a missionary for the S.P.G.
2 Rev. L. W. Davey.
3 Rt Rev. G. N. L. Hall (1891-1962).
4 See the Roman Missal, Oratio super populum (" Prayer over the
people"), post-communion prayer for Monday in Holy Week.
that "praises of this column" is awful ! I like your interpretation
or could one translate novimus "renew " ? " Now we renew
the proclaiming (setting forth) of this column, which that
shining fire lights to the honour of God/' 1 I have now trans-
scribed the prayer "ut qui me . . . intra Viatorum numerum . . ." 2
Yes, that Jewish-Christian continuity is a wonderful thought.
So, though more obscurely, is the non-Jewish and Christian
continuity the Lux Vera quae illuminat omnem hominem
venientem in hunc mundum? The Covenant there is with the
spirit and conscience of man, that it shan't be left in darkness
ever, and that the light of reason shall lead it. The progressive
lighting of conscience; as you say, we shall be given the desire
and will and power to follow it, and how much better that
is than living by rules handed out. (By the way, you say " if
they can't afford children, I know what they ought to do, and
if they ask me I can tell them." What should they do ? Birth
control, or abstain from intercourse but this would be no real
marriage and could come to no good, I suppose or just have
the children and trust to God to see to them ? What would you
advise them, if they asked you?) This leads to Noughts and
Crosses. I'm so glad you like it. You ask about the author.
She is about 35 now, I think; a very nice, gay, bright young
woman; nether own heroine, she says ... I liked her outbreak
against the un-Christianity of refusing to join with other
Christians in worship; I always feel that myself. . . If I was
reviewing the book, I would say it was amusing, full of real
people, poses a problem clearly and solves it well. I think it
was rather well reviewed (tho' I am sure not in the Tablet]).
The dialogue is very true to life, I think. Yes, I'm sure the
social relationships of men and women have changed a lot. Not
1 " This column " means the Paschal Candle (see above p. son), and the
context is quoted from the Exultet: " Sed jam columnae hujus praeconia
novimus, quam in honorem Dei rutilans ignis accendit."
2 " Since thou (hast admitted) me into the number of Travellers."
3 " The true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the
world." John i. 9.
that I and my sisters didn't go about quite freely with young
men on walking tours, bicycling, bathing together, days out,
games (hockey and tennis), river, etc., etc. (I think Norfolk
must have been more sparsely peopled with young people than
the University towns I resided in.) Yes, we certainly did go
about together; and stayed with our young men friends in
their homes, and went expeditions alone with them, or with
other friends. (For that matter I believe my mother did this
too, though less). But there is probably more of it now. You
must find that your younger American friends do it all the
time. And "neck" too, and "pet", as they call it. Oh what
social joys ! I used to go bathing at Grantchester with Rupert
Brooke (a family friend from our childhoods). So, I mean,
friendships and outings with young men were common form.
What has increased out of all knowledge is the further inti
macies, which we (in my generation and class) never even
conceived of, so far as I know. We should have thought such
a notion excessively "low". There is a refreshing absence of
these in this novel. . . . The author was at Downe [House]
school (of which I knew many ex-pupils) and (I believe)
Oxford (L. M. H.) 1 . She occasionally turns up at the Grosvenor
[Chapel], though she lives outside London.
Sept. 26th. Good news from Duckett this morning they have
got me The Words of the Missal, which I narrowly missed before.
A second-hand copy, 5/-. I will collect it this afternoon. I
looked up the prayers you mentioned in The Mind* . . . [sic]
but haven't so far identified our Prayer for the whole Church,
which the American P. jB. (Shepherd) 3 says Cranmer " newly
composed," though " the sequence of the petitions follows the
traditional pattern of the intercessions in the Daily Offices, the
Bidding Prayer, and the Litany."
1 Somerville College, not Lady Margaret Hall.
2 C. C. Martindale, The Mind of the Missal (1929).
3 Massey H. Shepherd, Jr., The Oxfor d American Prayer Book Commentary
(2nd printing, 1951).
But everywhere one finds in the P.B. echoes of older
prayers, which is partly what makes the liturgical prayers so
fascinating to read. . . .
How very disingenuous the R.C. church is about many
things, including St Mary Magdalene. I see that it was Gregory
the Great who first confused her with (a) the woman who was
a sinner (b) Mary of Bethany: the Greek Fathers, and every
good modern commentary, including Gore's, 1 say there is no
evidence whatever for identification and all the internal
evidence seems against it but the Latin Fathers (guided by
Gregory the Great) came along and confused all three women,
and now they are hopelessly entangled in Church commemora
tions, and the Catholic Encyclopaedia upholds this (it has to)
and says how "probable" it is. But how improbable that the
people at supper at Bethany would have said "Can he know
what kind of woman it is that is anointing his feet? " if it was
the well-known Bethany Mary, a friend of Our Lord's, and
highly respected in the town what nonsense. As to Mary of
Magdala, all she had, so far as we know, was "seven devils,"
probably fits of some kind and infirmities, of which she was
healed. However, I suppose now that she has for over 1,000
years been the great type of penitence, she will never be
extricated; all the Homes for Fallen Women would have to
I have now been to Duckett and got my Words oj
Missal, which I am delighted to have. By the way, thank you
so much for those magazines (packet androU) most interesting.
Too interesting actually, as if I am tempted to read more than
a little of them yet, I shall be completely sunk. I wish you
knew how deplorable is my state, how minus my time, and
how I could do with a 48-hour day, and still not get done.
And soon those tiresome BBC "Critics," on which I am for 6
*A New Commentary on Holy Scripture, edited by C. Gore, H. L.
Goudge and A. Guillaume (1928).
weeks, will start; I promised to join them in the summer,
when I thought my book 1 would be finished before now. And
lo, it is far from finished, and how much time I do waste.
Or a pro me. I need it. And now (7.30 p.m.) must set to work,
leaving you my love and thanks. Have you read Simone
Weil? She is good.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.I
6th October, 1952 j
My dear Hamilton,
To hand, your splendid long letter of Sept. 27-9, and (to
day) air paper, also splendid but less long, of 30th. The
trouble is, they inspire so much to say, but there is no time for
more than an a,p., so I will do what I can in that. I am
interested in what you say about the place of Rfoman]
C[atholic]ism in your parts. I suppose it is because of the great
number of immigrants, Irish and European. Someone (I think
Archbp Mathew) was saying to me the other day that the
Church in [the] U.S. had suffered detriment, he thought, from
the great infusion of Irish, with their rather puritanical and
philistine version of the faith (we were both comparing the
present Irish Church with its glorious early past). All the same,
these American R.C. magazines do seem excellent; Common
weal in particular. I found a lot that interested me in those you
sent. I am also reading with much interest The Words of
the Missal ... I have looked up his transflation] of
veneranda commercia (pp. 82 and 133) but can't think why he
has to say "transaction" (or you "commercial transactions*')
for what I should have thought better translated as "inter
course," or "commerce" in its old sense (now not quite
1 R. M/s Pleasure of Ruins.
obsolete, surely?) of intercourse or converse. 1 In the i6th,
lyth, and even i8th centuries, it was very common, and
often used for converse with heaven. "The commerce
between God and us" (Hooker). "A commerce of letters",
"the commerce of wits", "in commerce with the muses",
and, in the Penseroso, " With looks commercing with the
skies, Thy rapt soul sitting in thine eyes", etc., etc. Looking
up commerdum in Cassell, I see it does give "intercourse" as one
meaning. "Commerce" in English also had a special meaning
of intercourse between the sexes. But very commonly with
God, or the saints. So why not translate the collect, "God, who
by the honourable" (see Te Deum for this use of it) 2 "commerce
of this sacrifice dost make us partakers", etc. Wouldn't this do ?
I like it better than bringing in the idea of barter, tho' of course
it could mean that, and it is a kind of barter "here we offer
and present", etc. Well, I don't know. If one calls it "com
merce" it can bear either sense, according to one's feeling at
the moment. Yes, I suppose Coleridge's phrase "partaker of"
would shock the Evangelicals of his day, and Lamb, who was a
Unitarian, too. 3 Also he [Lamb] disliked mysticism, and
thought C. quite too off the earth. He [Coleridge] was a rather
sublime preacher; he preached so well and so mystically that
people couldn't afterwards quote anything he had said, but just
had felt transported into heaven, commercing with the skies.
I have got the Revised Standard Bible (American), just pub
lished here. It seems very good, and wanted doing. I've only
looked up a few bits so far. I see it puts " Behold a young
woman " instead of " virgin " (Isaiah) which is accurate, isn't
1 See The Words of the Missal, p. 82: "O God . . . who through the most
worshipful transaction of this Sacrifice has caused 'us to be participators in
one supreme Divinity . . ." (Secreta for 4th Sunday after Easter).
2 " Thine honourable, true, and only Son/*
3 In 1796 Coleridge wrote to Lamb, in a letter of condolence: " You
are a temporary sharer in human misery, that you may be an eternal
partaker of the Divine nature." See E. K. Chambers' Samuel Taylor
it? The word is amala, I think. 1 I am also reading a small
book on the Fathers of the Western Church 2 . . . which
gives very lively pictures of them. How very disagreeable
Jerome was ! As Milman wrote, he had "an almost unrivalled
faculty of awakening hatred". 3 And how he hated marriage,
and the continuance (therefore) of the human race. What you
say about marriage interests me. I am sure you are right that
celibacy need be no hardship; abstinence within marriage is
different, of course. Take a couple who had had already (say)
three or four children, and felt they could not rightly afford
more; they might be still quite young, and to ask them not
to live together normally would be asking a frustration (any
how to the man; women do feel differently about it, I think)
which might starve and poison their relations together. That
act of love eases intercourse, heals quarrels, fulfils affection; I
don't think it should be given up except for some very weighty
reason. Of course there are the so-called "safe" periods; but
they are not really safe. If they are not to exercise some kind
of birth control, they will either be swamped with children (too
many) or starved of normal marriage. I can never quite see
why birth control is wrong, as the Catholic church holds it to
be. On C. S. Lewis's "other planet" married abstinence is all
right because the people are less sense-bound (I haven't read
that book, 4 but shall) but here, as human nature is ... [sic]
However, I do agree that many people have gone to the other
extreme in their theories about the huge part sex must play in
life. The psycho-analysts have encouraged this, unfortunately,
and it needed no encouragement. I feel sure that anything you
said to people consulting you would help them to a sane view
of it all, and to a higher view of what they could achieve,
whatever they decided to do. You see, you would be learned
1 Hebrew 'almah (a marriageable young woman). See Isa. 7. 14.
2 Robert Payne, The Fathers of the Western Church (1952).
3 See H. H. Milman's History of Christianity from the Birth of Christ to
the Abolition of Paganism in the Roman Empire (1840), Vol. in.
4 C. S. Lewis, Out of the Silent Planet (1938).
and witty; and without any assistance from any Doctor of
Letters. Of course that Prior found you so, and I'm glad he
appreciated it. To escape from the bedlam of prelates and find
you to talk to would indeed be refreshing. Talking of prelates,
the Bishop of Chota Nagpur came to tea the other day; he
was my sister's bishop in Ranchi, and very fond of her. I like
him very much; a spare, lean, perambulating bishop, covering
vast miles of diocese on foot, and very enthusiastic. We dis
cussed the expenditure of the legacy she left me, which I am
giving to the mission, as they are badly in need of funds.
Eleanor will be terribly missed there; they all valued her so
much, and loved her. After reading all the letters about her, I
feel she was far more than we knew, tho' we knew she was
doing admirable work.
That verb seems to be undo ; hodie non undo* nor yesterday,
nor, I hope, to-morrow. If I only do it for a day or two about
once a month, I shan't complain; and it should get less as the
months go by. The last time was 5 days ago, when I had to
cancel a lunch, but was able to receive Archbp Mathew for
tea. Sometimes it makes me very sick; sometimes only
feverish. And always quite stupid. A queer illness.
Vakdico, and much love,
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
12th October, 1952!
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you so much for a[ir] p[aper] posted Oct. 5th.
To pursue the subject of Mary Magdalene, what Gore's
Commentary says is " In no case is there the least ground for
accepting Gregory the Great's identification of the woman who
was a sinner, or Mary of Bethany, with Mary of Magdala.
1 " To-day I do not undulate," i.e. suffer from undulant fever.
Plainly Luke does not identify them. They appear to be three
distinct women. Gregory's view has been rejected by many
later R.C. scholars, especially in France". St John, of course,
relates how Mary of Bethany anointed Our Lord at supper,
and how the disciples said the money should have been given
to the poor instead of wasting precious ointment like that.
It was, apparently, a common Eastern greeting. When the
woman of the town who was a sinner did it they said "if this
man were a prophet he would know what kind of woman is
touching him" 1 surely an impossible remark if the woman had
been Mary of Bethany, already known to be, with her brother
and sister, a friend of His, and no doubt known to everyone
in Bethany. There really seems no identification of the sinning
woman with either Mary. Gregory the Great was, it seems,
the first to identify them, and the Church adopted the theory
and has held it since (the Roman Church, I mean). What Fr
Williams 2 said about Protestant criticism of it is in the Catholic
Encyclopaedia, which is obviously trying to make a case for
the tradition, and I think makes a very weak one, since the
rejection of the theory is purely on the evidence in the Gospels,
and I am sure has nothing to do with any Protestant angle on
sin. I think Protestants would prefer Gregory's idea, it is more
interesting than having just an anonymous woman as a type of
the forgiven sinner. After all, they dropped out many other
saints from the 1552 Pjrayer] B[ook] too. I have seen the
identification denied in all commentaries I have come across,
except the R.C. Encyclopaedia], and I dare say even that may
climb down presently, in fresh editions, for that Church does
seem to be becoming a little more scholarly and critical in its
approach. I see that St John doesn't relate the story about the
woman who was a sinner at all, only that of Mary of Bethany
and the spikenard. R. A. K[nox] in his notes makes no
identifying comment. 3
1 John 12. 3-8. 2 Rev. G. Mercer Williams, S.S.J.E.
3 R. A. Knox, The New Testament: A New Translation (1945).
. I am in bed this morning with what feels more like a
feverish cold than U[ndulant] F[ever], so will finish this in my
best copperplate. Apropos "partakers in the Divine Nature"
(which so shocked Lamb) it is the chief thesis in William Law's
spiritual writings. You know how much I get from him, and
it occurs to me to send you the Pocket edition 1 , which I possess
as well as a larger and fuller one. 2 Of course there is some skip,
and some views we no longer hold; but most of it is excellent
and inspiring stuff, and especially when he gets on to God's
nature in us, growing like a seed, our only cause of response to
God outside us. Lamb should have read it. Anyhow, if I can
get a copy I will send it you. And for myself I will order from
the library C. S. Lewis and Karl Stern. 3 ... I have . . . lent
[a friend of mine] ... a delightful book I have been reviewing,
Period Piece: A Cambridge Childhood, by Gwen Raverat, who
was a Darwin. It is really charming : so are her illustrations to
it. Do get it if you can, when it is out in your parts. The Dar-
wins are the salt of the earth. She is very funny about them,
and about those who have "inadvertently married Darwins."
The drawings are charming. I think her American mother was
rather behind the times as regards children's clothes and up
bringing. There were much more comfortable fashions than
those which Gwen and her sister had to endure. Mrs Darwin
didn't share the usual Cambridge dowdiness and indifference
about clothes. We were dressed comfortably both as children
and grown-up girls, as were most girls I knew. Also, they had
governesses, whereas most Cambridge children went to the
Perse School; my Conybeare cousins 4 did. We, of course, were
not living in Cambridge till later.
... [A Roman Catholic friend] ... to whom I gave
Noughts and Crosses writes "a very natural account of the
1 The Pocket William Law, edited by A, W. Hopkinson 1950.
2 Selected Mystical Writings of William Law, edited by S. Hobhouse (1938).
3 Probably Karl Stern s The Pillar of Fire (1951).
4 Alison and Dorothea Conybeare.
reactions of someone who approaches the Church prematurely,
and not for the primary reason/' I suppose the primary reason
is that one believes it to be God's wish that everyone should
join it, and that He deplores all the other churches. A strange
point of view, but no doubt it obtains . . .
Much love and no more room,
20, Hinde House, Hinde Street, W.i
24th October, I952f
Feast of Raphael & Tobias & his Dog
My dear Hamilton,
I am ashamed to say that I have three air papers from you
since I wrote last; the fact is that I have been, and am, almost
too busy to do anything. What with the BBC Critics (which
entails seeing a play, a film, an art exhibition, read a book, and
hear a radio programme each week, besides actual recording,
which takes a whole afternoon), and what with having to do
two longish reviews (one is of Dr Joad's new book, The
Recovery of Faith* the other Period Piece . . .) and what with
Ruins . . . [sic] I might add, what with a bad cold, which
I had when last I wrote, and still have a little, but nearly
well now. Yes, I much liked The Man on a Donkey, which
I read when I was ill in the summer; an excellent bed book
except physically; it is heavy to hold. I liked the early part
best; I, and others, found it dragged a little later on. I
think it is a great achievement, that huge canvas and
sweep, and the characters emerge very vividly, and the period. 2
She doesn't, of course, attempt the language; but manages
1 C. E. M. Joad, The Recovery of Belief: a Restatement of Christian
2 H. F. M. Prescott's The Man on a Donkey (1952) is a long historical
novel of i6th century England, in the form of a chronicle, which tells the
story of the Pilgrimage of Grace.
without being aggressively modern; one just doesn't notice
the speech, only its content. I wonder what you will think of
the Pilgrimage of Grace, later on. She is a very able Oxford
woman (Lady Margaret Hall) of, I suppose, about 50, and
has written other novels, but this is the best. What a work it
must have been! She is not R.C., by the way. I like what
you say about "the primary reason." Of course it is true. The
Ch[urch] Times printed today the first chapter of Why I am not
a Rom[an] Cath[olic], by Fr Ross of All Saints'. It is an interesting
piece; I expect you see the Ch[urch] T[imes], and will possibly
see the book except that America is sometimes frightened of
publishing anything their Romans might not like. He is very
courteous; but says " We have so long been a target for R.C.
abuse . . ." He seemed to me to put it very lucidly and firmly.
I shall read the book when it appears. Dr Joad's book is
interesting, though the philosophical parts are rather stiff going
they will use such jargon. But mostly it is lucid; he relates
the intellectual reasons which have led him to the Church,
from a life of almost militant anti-religion, as well as of a
good deal of moral error. Poor man, I am afraid he is
dying, within the year, of cancer. He chose the C. of E. rather
than the R.C. because he liked it; he likes the country churches,
the liturgy, the tolerance, the beauty. Yes ; how much nicer
we are than they are. I agree with Sir Leoline Jenkins about
that. 1 Anyhow, I imagine Dr Joad has too rational a mind to
swallow the R.C. myths; though he says he thinks that our
greater modernity of outlook probably loses us some popularity
compared with Rome; I wonder if he is right. I think he
meant among rather simple people, who like to be told firmly
what to think, and don't mind its being improbable. Oh how
good our Church is ! I love it more and more, as I get more
1 Sir Leoline Jenkins (1623-1685), High Church lawyer, wrote of the
Anglican liturgy, " Neither Rome nor Muscovy . . . have anything in the
public services that can enter into comparison with it." See Letters to a
Friend, p. 249.
deeply dug in well in, as you say. And being free to use any
prayers from any other Pfrayer] B[ook] when we like; the
R.C.s can't do that, poor things. We can honour the venerandum
commerdum in two languages. 1 I like these brief prayers you
insert into your letters. You seem to have been so clever about
binding that poetry of mine, that I don't in the least understand,
for all your detailed account, what you have done. It does
sound good a convex ball! I feel you forve missed your
vocation, and should have been a professional binder; I keep
wanting books re-bound, and can never get them done. It is
really medieval, isn't it, for Religious to practise handicrafts.
All the self-bound booklets you have sent me are admirable, and
very charming. At Mass this morning was Noel Chota
Nagpur, celebrating. . . . After Mass, when [I] left, he followed
me to the church door and wished me goodbye, for he sails for
India again next week. I am glad to have seen him. I have
handed over Eleanor's legacy to me to the Ranchi mission, for
their hospital, schools, and whatever other needs they like.
They need money badly. They have offered to name a bed
after her in the hospital, with an inscription in Hindi and
English. She would have liked that. I apologise to many
million Americans for calling them "immigrants**, but I
suppose they were. Many of them have families in Italy
(especially Sicily) to whom they return; and the Irish still talk
of "the ould country". As you say, we arc all immigrants ; but
those of Norman blood have been here 900 years, which is
enough to dig themselves well in. We Macaulays are im
migrants from Denmark (Olaf, who came over to the Scotch
islands about 900), the Oliviers (who married into Conybeares)
were French Huguenot refugees, like your Livii. So far as I
know, the Roses and the Conybeares were indigenous. Yes,
I know the " Micks " police the U.S. cities; and I fear also
have made politics the corrupt business they are. I like the
Irish, but they are certainly rather immoral. The Irish quarter
x See above p. 35.
of Liverpool is a criminal byword; so are the Glasgow
Irish. ... I shall certainly get hold of that Planet book in the
end. 1 Also of the Pocket Law for you, as I'd like to know what
you think of it. You won't like it as I do, I think, quite; Law
is my very particular cup of tea. J. C. Powys is right about
Cambs. But Oxon is better country, much; I think almost the
loveliest county that part round Hinksey and Godstow and
on to Abingdofi. I have to go to Oxford on Nov. I2th to
address the University Literary Society on Men's women and
Women's men, in literature. Not an un-fruitful subject.
Against the niminy-piminy Amelia, and Scott's heroines, set
Rochester in Jane Eyre, etc. Which are worse ? And so to bed.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
All Hallows, 1952 1
[Postmark: i Nov., 1952]
My dear Hamilton,
Your letter posted 2yth was very nice, as usual. I'm glad
you got mine of 25th (which seems miraculous) in time to
reply on Surface 5. 2 And now here we are in Hallow-tide. This
morning Mass was very glorious and moving (to me) one
somehow felt the dim, candled chapel was full of the hallows,
listening and joining. I do so love that introit "Rejoice we all
in the Lord, keeping holy-day in honour of all the hallows, in
whose solemnity the angels rejoice, and glorify the Son of
God." 3 I like it better, really, than in Latin perhaps because
1 Probably Out of the Silent Planet.
2 Father Johnson habitually numbered the five "writing surfaces" of his
3 Introit for the Feast of All Saints.
of that lovely old English word "hallows," which comes with
its associations of poetry and ancient prose: "the blessed
company of hallows", "Christ shall come, with all his hallows".
I even like the oath "by all the hallows". A pity it is gone out,
except in All Hallows, Hallow E'en, Hallow-tide, etc. I think
I shall swear "by the Hallows" occasionally. Did you know
that "halibut" means "holy flat-fish", because eaten on holy
days ("butt" = flat-fish)? Well, anyhow, I like our version of
that introit even better than the Latin "sanctorum omnium" 1 ,
though here you won't agree, I fancy. If we met, it would be
interesting to go through a great number of the ancient Latin
prayers and English translations, comparing the merits of each
one. I think honours are about even; but I know you don't,
being a more inveterate Latinist, and possibly less devoted to
the i6th and iyth [century] vagaries and beauties of English?
I don't mean you're not only that I believe I have a very
special doting on our language and its old modes, as you on
Latin. But I give you the Latin often. I like your " Tui nos . . .
transire consortium' 2 better than our English. And "Per signum
crucis de inimicis . . ." 3 which, at your suggestion, I often use.
We are fortunate to have all these lovely choices. And, thanks
to you, fresh Latin prayers continually come into my ken, and
get adopted by me among my sacrosancta commercial. Oh yes,
how they build up, as you say, into one whole "a whole
world of truth and light."
I'm glad poor Dr Joad has groped his way into it; from
nothing. Did I tell you I have just been reviewing his book
The Recovery of Belief Tor to-morrow's Sunday Times. It is an
interesting book, with perhaps too much (for the ordinary
person) about the various philosophies he weighed and
1 "Of all the saints [or 'hallows'}."
2 These few words do not show the meaning of the quotation.
3 " By the sign of the Cross, (deliver us) from our enemies ..." See
the Roman Missal, Mass for May 3rd (Feast of the Finding of the Holy
4 "Sacred exchanges" i.e. her private devotions.
examined (he is a lecturer in philosophy) 1 before opting for
a) Theism, b) Christianity, c) Anglicanism, I'm delighted to say.
The same Sunday Times is, it seems, referring to the BBC
"Critics", on which I have been (as Radio Critic) for the last
few weeks (it is a weekly programme, where jive people
discuss a play, a film, a book, an art exhibition, and a radio
programme). Last week I selected "Six Talks on the 7 Deadly
Sins" for us to criticize 2 the editor of the Sunday Times
thought this a good topic for the little Sunday sermon they
print ... [It discusses] the Critics' (and others') attitude towards
Sin, which I myself thought rather negative and odd, all except
mine and those of a Papist, Desmond FitzGerald. The Anglican
and the Papist believed in the validity, to-day, of those 7
sins: the others, being heathen creatures (as Piers Plowman
puts it) apparently didn't. Seems odd to me. What do they
make of Sloth, Anger, Envy, Lust, etc. ? Surely they must
own them wrong. Perhaps I'll send you . . . [the] sermon-
ette! . . .
How much I require you in this flatl It is littered with
defective fountain pens, effete Biros, broken-backed books,
paper that would make note-books in your hands. A week's
work from you, and I should be well set up with such com
modities and my room would be integrated, restored, made
coherent and seemly; then, when you had done all this, you
would run through my Roman Missal and Breviaries, marking
all the prayers I might profitably use, filling in the gaps in our
epistolary commercium gratum?
If you dont see the Ch[urch] Times, tell me, and I'll send
you the 2nd of Fr Ross's articles on why he is not R.C. This
one deals with the dogmatizing of the Assumption, and is very
learned, good and thorough. (What, I wonder, is the R.C.
1 A Reader in Philosophy at London University.
2 A BBC series of seven talks on The Seven Deadly Sins and the Con
3 "Pleasant intercourse."
answer to such evidence ?) I would like you to read it, and say
what you think of it, so let me know if you don't see it. The
Ch. T[imes] is not, on the whole, much worth while. Have
you got on with Man on Donkey, I wonder ? It does weigh too
much, doesn't it. Now I go out to visit the sick my friend
Raymond Mortimer in a Nursing Home after an operation,
my aunt 1 in Westbourne Grove (85). I must hurry, if I'm to
get in both.
My love to my best cousin and only pen-maker.
20, Hinde House, Hinde Street, W.i
8th November, 1952
My dear Hamilton,
Behold an ocean letter, to enclose (a) my S[unday] T[imes]
review of Dr Joad, (b) . . . little piece about the Critics on
the 7 Deadlies, (c) an infuriate R.C. letter to me abusing me
for upholding our Liturgy (of course the words he takes
exception to, "our incomparable liturgy", are not mine, but
such a familiar iyth c. quotation that you would think even
an infuriate R.C. would know it; 2 but their fury that an
eminent philosopher should have turned to Anglicanism upsets
their balance), and(d) Fr Ross's " Why I am not R.C.", (no. 2),
in case you didn't see it.
Well, very many thanks for a[ir] p[aper] of All Hallows,
posted (on 3rd) before you had got mine of the same Hallows.
I am very sorry indeed about the sad Paine news. 3 Yes, how
1 Mary Macaulay.
2 In R. M.'s Sunday Times review of The Recovery of Belief she quotes
from Sir Leoline Jenkins (see above p. 42^) and then comments "to have
arrived at the incomparable liturgy in the village church from atheism is
to have travelled far."
3 The death of Frank C. Paine, husband of Virginia Paine (friend and
former penitent of Fr Johnson).
wonderful of Frankie 1 to fly back and forth, baby in arms, like
that ! I hope it wasn't bad for her, and that she'll be able to stay
a while with her mother. Surely Mrs P. will "stay in the C. of
E." ? You told me it meant so much to her and in bereave
ment I suppose one would cling still more to it. Or did you
mean she might be moved to turn elsewhere ? I hope not. I
expect by now you'll have seen her.
Thank you for remembering my sister on All Souls. We
had a most lovely Requiem Mass at 8.15, also at 7.30. . . .
Here we (most of my friends and I) are vexed about the
U.S. election. Surely the good Ike is very unsuitable for any
thing but guiding armies, whereas Stevenson is a liberal,
cultured, apparently very educated man, far-seeing and
^intelligent. But our Tories are pleased, so is an American lady
I met at lunch (well, moderately pleased: she is on the whole
Republican, but no bigot, and likes Stevenson). What do the
people round you feel about it, I wonder? This sea letter
throws our commercia all skewy; I must write an a.p. soon.
Meanwhile, my love,
[Postmark: London, W.i]
loth November, 1952!
My dear Hamilton,
Yours of the 6th came to-day, thank you so much. I sent
you a sea letter the other day, to enclose my review of Dr Joad
and ... [a] little piece about the Critics and Sin, from the
Sunday Times, and a furious letter I had from an irate R.C.,
who objected to my having quoted in my review (from Sir
Leoline Jenkins, C.iy) praise of the Pfrayer] B[ook] Liturgy,
which, my correspondent bitterly complained, we had stolen
from the Roman missal and breviaries, as we had stolen their
1 The Paines* daughter.
cathedrals, churches and schools. I never answer these angry
letters, though I do answer the courteous ones. When you will
get my sea letter, I don't know. I have also bidden Mowbray
to send you the Pocket William Law, which I like so much. It
is very much concerned with the inward light, Christ dwelling
in us I suppose rather Quakerish in some ways, though he is
also an ardent and devoted sacramentalist. I like what he says
about salvation that, though we all think we want Christ for
our Saviour, we don't always remember that the only mode of
salvation is letting Him save us from our sins, and this we by
no means always want. There is some skip in the book, but I
like it nearly all, and find it full of "the riches of eternity" (his
phrase). I wish someone would write a detailed history of those
Non-Jurors; they are very interesting. Many of them must
be among the Hallows.
Oh yes, I am happy, and pretty well. I was not being sly
and crafty in my All Hallows letter ; I do often write, not type.
Sometimes, when one feels tired or lazy, sitting up at the table
to type a letter seems the last straw; one can write it in one's
lolling-chair; but I know this is hard on those who have to
read it. Yes indeed: two years ago I didn't feel jolly; I was
in a state of darkness and tension and struggle. But you
stepped in with the remedy for that; and now I am jolly, even
though much too busy, sometimes too tired, and sometimes
undulant. And how often immersed in "the vanity of time",
and forgetful of the state to which I am called. But there it is
all the time, and I am in it whether or no, and can't always
quite believe my good fortune.
Did you see Fr Martindale's translation] of that Advent 3
Secreta ? " May the Sacrifice of our devotion not only carry
through the Holy Mystery as ordained, but marvellously
produce in us Thy Salvation" (Words of Missal, p. 106). It
seems rather abbreviated, and omits "jugiter" 1 . But he obviously
takes it, as you do, as the Sacrifice, with capital S. That little
book is very good and elucidating, and I like to have it by me.
nth. (Beatus vir, sanctus Martinus, urbis Turonis Episcopus)*
A nice bright day, but cool: I dare say it was pretty cold that
day in Tours when St Martin cut his cloak in two. I always
thought it would have been a still nicer deed to have given the
whole cloak; but there was perhaps something in the sym
bolism of sharing.
You ask about my Oxford visit. It is tomorrow, and I am
only going for one day; in the evening I give an address to
the University Litferary] Society on the creation of men by
. women, women by men, in fiction, drama and poetry. I think
both sexes have tended to make their heroes and heroines rather
their ideals of what they would like a man or a woman to be,
whereas their own sex they often draw more from within, and
achieve more realism. Not, of course, always. Anyhow, I shall,
I suppose, be able to cough up something, when the time
arrives. Enough to set them talking, I hope. I am glad to say
my sessions with the BBC Critics are ending after this week,
so I shall get more time to finish Ruins] I have had to neglect
them shamefully this last month. They (BBC) have asked me
to give a New Year's Eve talk on "Changing Manners (or
Morals, or both)" from the earliest time on to now, which
would have been amusing, and rather my cup (if you know
that phrase), but I had to say no, as I simply shan't have the
time to prepare it; I must stick to my Ruins now till done. I
was surprised at the last Critics discussion, by the way, that my
4 colleagues all agreed that Browning is no more read to-day,
either by young or old. I was the only dissentient; "a forth
right minority" again, as on Sin. In fact, the others never seem
to have read him much at all. I was brought up on him, and
read him still. He seems due for rediscovery. How odd these
fashions are. Poets go down out of sight, and after some years
up again (sometimes, that is; some founder for good). I have
this morning a note of agreement with me from Fr Patrick
1 "That blessed man, Saint Martin, Bishop of the City of Tours."
McLaughlin, vicar of St Thomas's, Regent Street, where
Gerard Irvine also ministers; he says " How can ANY observant
critic of to-day suppose that Browning is at the bottom of the
trough of post-mortem obscurity ! My own circumscribed
observation has convinced me that Browning is now engaging
more and more interest, and is being recognized as a precursor
of the complex writers of to-day." He is an intelligent,
civilized priest, much addicted to Basilican rites; but, since the
St Thomasian services clash with the Grosvenor, I don't see
much of them, tho' I sometimes go to discussion meetings,
etc., at St Anne's House, 1 whereof Patrick Mclaughlin is a
warden; I like them all there. Dear me, what a number of
talkable-to clergy I know in these days ; two years ago, how
few! In fact, actually none, well (except a few relations). . . .
I think the Catholic Mind 2 is right about modern historians,
on the whole. In spite of Hugh Ross Williamson (Anglican
near-Roman priest) who said in a BBC discussion lately that
Jesuits all deplored the Gunpowder Plot at the time. He should
read some of their contemporary reactions and see Consul Hugh
Lee's letters from Lisbon on Fr Floyd's reactions to the Great
Powder Action there were others too ; but no more space, as
you see !
1 St Anne's House, Soho; "a kind of centre of discussions, lectures, etc.,
connected with St Thomas's church and run by the clergy there." (See
Letters to a Friend, p. 161.)
2 Roman Catholic journal published in New York.
[Postmark: London, W.i]
20th November, 1952!
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you so much for a[ir] pfaper] of isth-iyth, which
arrived this morning. I am not writing supine, as you
counselled, but seated erect on my sofa and tapping away with
energy, if not precision. Outside my windows it is a drizzling,
snow-like, dark day; November at its worst. I like your scraps
of liturgy that broke into it this morning and also our lit
reserved chapel, 1 to which I drove Canon Hood for the 8.15
(which sounds like a train, but isn't). . . .
1 like "ponder on reasonable things", (though "ever" may
be excessive for such an exercise). O Sapiential "Spiritual"
seems quite off it. But what a good prayer. We none of us
ponder enough on rationabilia. I have been pondering on
Philfippians] 2 (did I raise this before ?), whether we are to bow
at or in the name. 2 Greek en, Latin in nomine, Knox "before",
Gore's Commentary "in". I prefer "in" myself; it is wider
and less mechanical than the idea of bowing "at" the name.
What do you think ? Did you see or shall you see a sermon
by the Bishop of Monmouth in the Church Times, about the
Coronation Oath ? 3 Tell me what you think of it. He asserts,
I suppose truly, that the word " Protestant " is nowhere used
in any C. of E. formularies, Prayer-Book or other, and there
fore should not be in the Oath, which promises to maintain
the Protestant Reformed Church as established in the United
Kingdom, covering thus both England and Scotland, whose
churches are not in communion. He also gives a rather
partisan account of the Reformation, leaving out Henry VIII
altogether, saying that the Church merely decided to improve
1 R. M. means the Lady Chapel at Grosvenor Chapel (then lighted up),
where the Holy Sacrament is reserved.
2 " That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow," Phil. 2. 10.
3 A sermon preached in Westminster Abbey by Rt. Rev. A. E. Morris,
and reported in the Church Times of 2ist November, 1952.
itself, as Roman errors had grown up ; and have, he adds, now
increased a lot in the past century. What with " Roman
errors " and " Nonconformist defects", I should think the
sermon would give some offence ; but I have seen no reactions
so far. Well, I hope the C. of E. will go on keeping its variety,
and provide something for all minds, as it now does. Next
Tuesday Gerard Irvine from St Thomas's is taking our
Mass. ... I think he will be careful. I went to his birthday
lunch the other day; I am really very fond of this gay and
extreme young man, and it is quite fun to know him. . . .
You ask about Oxford. I went there by train, to give
myself a chance to make a few notes of what to say, as I hadn't
had really time to prepare a speech. They were a nice lively
audience, full of comments and questions after I had finished.
I left them at it and caught the last train home, as I had to
get back that night. I am glad that engagement is now cleared
out of the way. I am now settling again to Ruins, and work
at them as much as I can. I have refused an invitation from
the BBC to give a talk at the end of the year on "Changes in
Morals and Manners", so they now say will I give one on
Morals later, when I have time, and someone else is doing
Manners on New Year's Eve. The interesting changes in
morals have been among people who mean well, of course.
The disappearance of the practices of slavery, torture, various
kinds of barbarous punishments which were universally thought
right, etc. Then there is sex morality, the treatment of women,
of children all kinds of things. Whether I shall ever really
give this talk, I don't know, I am feeling at the moment that
I shall never have time, or be free from my load of work; I
wish I could be. Now I think I must go to bed, in order to
rise early (earlier than usual) and fetch Canon Hood to Mass.
22nd. Actually Stir-up Sunday 1 to-morrow I wasn't expecting
1 25th Sunday after Trinity.
it so soon. I read the collect at Mass to myself; then looked
it up in the Latin. Our translation is certainly rather poor; not
accurate, and .not nearly so good. 1 I don't like the substitution
of "reward" for "remedies"; nor the rendering of exsequentes
by "bringing forth". Should it not be "following after the
fruits of thy divine working" ? (Or perhaps "seeking" ?) And
could it be translated "the more willingly they pursue the
fruits of thy divine works/ the more they may, by thy mercy,
receive thy remedies (or healing)"? I mean, could it be a
dependent clause like that ? (I don't think dependent is the right
grammatical term here, but you know what I mean.) Anyhow,
the P.B. version seems weak. But I prefer "stir up" to excita.
I see it ends with our old friend perdpiant. 2 Well, anyhow,
Advent is, in all senses, coming. One could do with a longer
year so much to do, so little done, alas.
Tell me when you "perceive" the little Wm Law from
$th December, I952f
Train from Romford
My dear Hamilton,
Cold fog envelops me, as I sit in this evening train back to
Bond Street from Romford, my first visit there for nearly a
month 3 ; first I had a long cold (or flue) then my sister did and
all the time she was too terribly overworked to take any half-
days (she is entitled to two a week, but seldom now gets one,
as they are so understaffed in her district, and half the time she
is doing another nurse's work besides her own. So then I don't
1 " Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wilk of thy faithful people;
that they, plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee
be plenteously rewarded . . ."
2 Literally "that they may receive." See Letters to a Friend, p. 147.
8 R. M. usually visited her sister Jean at Romford once a week.
go there). This afternoon was foggy in London thick and
bad for travelling.
6th. (St Nicholas) I got home latish, and to-day drove
out at 8 into a fog that grew so dense round Grosvenor
Square that I left my car (lights on) in the square, and searched
on foot for the Chapel in S[outh] Audley Street, which
eventually I found, and was able to honour St Nicholas by
attendance at the post-Gospel part of his Mass. Fog has
continued all day, getting thicker. Fortunately this evening
I am at home and haven't got to brave the indecipherable roads
and the fog which totally comprehends all lights.
Thank you for two good letters, 22nd and 26th.
I think I must get The Man on Donkey from the library
again, and read it now I am stronger in body and mind than I
was in the summer. I was interested in it then, but not really
feeling much up to close and attentive reading of so large and
copious and many-threaded a book. I'm sure I should get more
from it now. I am glad the best American papers were
appreciative; anyhow the R.C. ones. I feel it may be among
the scriptures written for our learning that we pray to-morrow
to mark and inwardly digest. 1 I never confine this prayer
wholly to the Bible having been told as a child that it included
all profitable literature. Oh dear, how can Ronald Rnox
publish such cheap, sneering stuff as this new book I see
reviewed in yesterday's Church Times'? The bits quoted are
really vulgar and insolent as that it will be no use arriving for
Judgment without "R.C." on one's identity disc, even if one
may get a little good from a Buchmanite meeting or early
services at Pusey House; and other rude sneers at Protestants. 2
Those who know him now say he has ceased to think, which
1 See Collect for 2nd Sunday in Advent.
2 See R. A. Knox's The Hidden Stream (1952), p. 132. This collection of
addresses to Roman Catholic undergraduates at Oxford was reviewed in
the Church Times of 5th December, 1952, under the heading "Unworthy
of Monsignor Knox."
seems tragic for his influence in his own Church and will surely
put off possible converts who read and hear him, besides all
Anglicans and probably all Dominicans! I can imagine the
dislike the brothers Mathew must feel for his latest utterances.
(By the way, should not one new cardinal have been chosen
from England?) I was taken over Lambeth Palace the other
day. ... I hadn't been there since long before it was bombed
and the chapel so badly ... It is a haunted place; I felt the
spirits of all that line of archbishops whispering about, mutter
ing comments on the actions of the Church to-day a cloud
of probably rather critical, but interested and friendly, witnesses.
No doubt all pleased by the coronation service and its cere
monies; though its expense must seem to them wildly
excessive, as indeed it does to me, when money is so badly
needed for our old and only barely subsisting poor people, and
so many other things. It's all wrong, and humanity is not sane
or just on this matter of expenditure. Surely they must know
it more important that almost destitute people, here and in
other lands, should have some relief than that the Queen's
coronation robe should be w r oven from the best velvet, costing
about a hundred pounds an inch. Oh dear, what a crazy race
human beings are. What a chance for a strong-minded and
right-minded young queen to take a more thoughtful and
intelligent line, and how it would increase her popularity ! . . .
And how could there be an Advent (apart from incursions into
individual souls) into a world such as we make it? What a
shock it would be, to us so sunk in the vanity of time, so remote
from the riches of eternity. . . . Under 3 weeks to Christmas.
For me, the second Xmas in which I have joined. I shall stay
here for the midnight Mass, and go to Romford on Xmas
morning. . . . Tell me how you are. You say too little of this.
I am well.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
i$th December, 1952 j
My dear Hamilton,
I have just done up my Christmas card to send you by
surface mail, but I fear too late to reach you by 25th. This
a[ir] p[aper] is, on the other hand, too early, but it brings my
love for Christmas; I am beginning it now, while staying
indoors on this dark cold afternoon and trying to get some of
the chores of the season done lists, etc. and this letter is a
break in this dreary labour. Thank you so much for yours
posted 5th ? with account of your day at Way land, 1 mention
of Understanding Europe* (which I will get from the Lfondon]
L[ibrary]) acknowledgment of William Law, on which I shall
hope sometime to hear your views, and other interesting
matters. I am at present awaiting Dr R. W. Chapman, of the
Oxford [University] Press, who is looking [in] for a drink. I
shall like to see him; he is so very bibliophile and erudite, as
well as very pleasant.
I met another nice person the other day the Rev. Ulrich
Simon, a clever young Austrian refugee Jew, who lectures on
Hebrew and Theology in King's Coll[ege], London, and has
now taken Anglican orders and has the cure of some Bedford
shire village. 3 I had him to lunch to meet Victor Gollancz,
which pleased and stimulated him greatly. He wrote to me
afterwards of [how] much he had enjoyed it, adding, " I am in
no sense a Liberal, and don't often come across, theologically,
the liberal point of view, which I feel that both you and V. G.
so well represent; I like to hear what I don't altogether agree
with well expressed". I don't quite know what he was
1 The Paine family home: Greenways, Wayland, Mass.
2 Christopher Dawson, Understanding Europe (1952).
3 Dr Ulrich Simon came from Germany in 1933, was ordained priest
in 1939 and is the author of several books.
referring to ; I don't think we discussed theology, but V. G. of
course does represent a quite individual point of view; he was
brought up in strict orthodox Judaism, from which he broke
completely away (tho* even now his stomach can't take to
oysters or pig), thought at one time of being baptized, but
receded from that, and is now a very religious-minded, God-
believing crusader for all good causes, without adopting any
church belief. A very generous-minded courageous man, so
egotistical that he shocks some people, so unreticent in what
he prints about himself that he embarrasses others; and so
entertaining as company that he makes any gathering a roaring
success. A unique character; I am very fond of him. He
charmed Ulrich Simon completely.
I am glad you had that afternoon at Mrs Paine's, and saw
also B and son. And how good that she is happy (the girl,
I mean) after all the beginning part of it. How well it has
worked out. Poor Mrs Paine; I hope she will be happy after
the first shock and loneliness. If ever it comes in unobtrusively,
do give her my sympathy ; or perhaps I asked you to do that
More and more, I can't imagine any other church one
could belong to with content besides ours. Certainly not the
Roman; certainly no form of Protestantism but ours; in fact,
certainly nothing. I think all these very Romanizing churches
make a great mistake, throwing away the specific Anglican
beauty and distinction for something a little artificial and
tawdry. Still, it does seem to suit some minds. We kept Dec.
8th at Mass calling it the Feast of the Conception of the
B.V.M. (as I suppose our Missal 1 does) ; at St Thomas's Regent
Street they kept the Feast of the Immaculate Conception], as
no doubt whatever missal they use there does. To me this
seems so superfluous. What do we gain by such a theory ? No
warrant in Scripture, Gerard Irvine admits (I drove him this
1 The Altar Missal at Grosvenor Chapel,
morning up to Hampstead to communicate Dr Joad) 1 , but to
him it seems to have a certain logic. To me, none. Not that
it matters one way or another; except that to pile miracle on
miracle makes unreason and unreality and more stumbling-
blocks. Anyhow, are we to believe that any human being has
ever been perfect?
[We had] . . . such a good Advent sermon [at Grosvenor
Chapel] about our personal relation to the coming of Christ,
and what it might mean to us as a re-creating process (I mean
the second coming). How badly we shall need that! The hell
we make for ourselves, the heaven we so little make no
struggling can ever make enough heaven in our minds to make
us heaven-worthy. I get nightmares in which I seem to hear
Him say, " Depart, I don't know you", and then an end of all
prayer, all communion, all being guided and cared for by
Him, only darkness and aloneness, and a door shut for ever
because we wouldn't open it while we could. Timor mortis
conturbat me? However, there is, we hope, purgation-time;
only the " Depart " is, I suppose, uttered after all that, if we
haven't even then made the grade. Can you really believe it
could happen, that we could be shut, or allowed to shut our
selves, right out of God's love for ever? I don't really believe
it could. The Romans think it is a formal and technical thing
either you die in Grace or you don't. Those mechanical
views seem to me ridiculous as well as immoral; but they must
bring a certain relief and peace to those who hold them. I
suppose what they picture as being said is, " Depart, you died
not in grace", with no reference to character or conduct.
Beautifully easy. Or else terribly distressing, for those who die
outside the means of grace. Well, we will not brood on these
sad matters I don't know how I got on to them. Advent
1 This was during Dr. Joad's fatal illness; see foreword to his Folly
*7'4he 4 fear of death confoundeth me," the refrain in William Dunbar's
Lament for the Makers. See Letters to a Friend, p. 47-
Thoughts, I suppose, as the little books at Mowbrays call them.
Yes: what a happy come-back of Religious Orders in
Britain. Were there really none before Fr Benson made the
S.SJ.E. P 1 It seems odd that the High Churchmen of the iyth
and 1 8th centuries never thought of it or anyhow did it
(apart from Little Gidding, a faint shadow of it). Law would
have approved; so would Jeremy Taylor, I think. And Dr
Cosin; and, surely, Laud? (Only he was too near the Dis
solution and Reformation; the others had got right away.)
My Yule love: I may write again, nearer the Day.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
i6th December, 1952!
My dear Hamilton,
I want to send another word to catch Christmas, which this,
posted early to-morrow, should about do, with the tardy
Christmas posts. I hope you won't mind handwriting I have
had such a day of shopping and chores, and feel dead to the
Your letters of loth and nth came together yesterday;
thank you so much for them bright beams in the mist of
Christmas cards and letters that assault one and must be coped
with. I have been coping most of to-day, despatching my
private card, a few others to those who wouldn't understand
my card (I sent it to you by surface, and no doubt you'll get it
sometime), and slopping about in the slushy snow trying to
shop. Odd weather: alternate frost and snow and thaw and
rain. I fetched Canon Hood this morning and we glissaded
gently down melting snow streets. But oh yes, I am living well
x The Society of St John the Evangelist (the "Cowley Fathers"),
founded in 1865 by R. M. Benson, is the oldest Anglican society for men
within my strength and velocity. Jeanie isn't, alas, but 1 am.
A nice warm flat, nice sedentary work, a nice car and, what
do you think, now two sweet little stoves in chapel, one on
either side of the altar, giving a perceptible warmth, tho' no
I'm afraid Royal Extravagance is an impregnable mountain
to assault. I don't think it ever dawns on royal minds not to
practise it. William IV tried, but was brought into line. The
only hope would be in an archbishop who had revolutionary
views on money (perhaps Temple might, if he was here) and
an influence over the sovereign. . . . We have indeed got
beyond "to every man a damsel or two", but not beyond the
vulgarity of great riches. Well, one mustn't be censorious.
Did I tell you I hope to keep the Coronation in Cyprus;
mid-May to mid-June, as I had planned (or else Italy) this
summer, but undulated instead. 1 I hope to find Abroad almost
empty of my compatriots ! (But they may all think of Cyprus
too.) Speaking of the holy scriptures written for our learning,
... [I have been] given . . . for Christmas such a good scholarly
collection of i4th and I5th century religious writings, taken
largely from MSS, by a very scholarly woman called Kirch-
berger. 2 There is a lot of v.g. stuff in it. I like that Erasmus
letter you quote. And that is a v. interesting question you raise
as to what the Papacy lost usually people only consider what
we lost (and gained). One could pursue this further. But here
is the end; I send much love for Christmas. How good to know
that you are there. Much more to say but no space, and no
time. What about k//??
Yours always with love and Christmas wishes.
1 See Letters to a Friend, p. 318
2 The Coasts of the Country; An Anthology of Prayer drawn from the Early
English Spiritual Writers, edited by Clare Kirchbergcr (1952).
Festum Nat[ivitatis] Dom[ini],
My dear Hamilton,
Here I am in dom: sororis in the p.m. of Fest: Nat:
Dom: 9 very slothful and rather drowsy, surrounded by
Christmas accessories cards, holly, crib, sister, sister's friend, 1
presents, etc,, etc. I came down this morning, so have had no
Christmas services since midnight Mass in the Chapel, which
was very beautiful. I had a full Christmas Eve. Last minute
cards all the morning, then a friend to lunch, then the King's
Coll : Christmas Eve carol service on the radio in the afternoon,
then to the Chapel to be shriven, then out to dinner with
Arthur Koestler (do you know his books?) where my two
fellow-guests, great friends of mine, were going off to
Brompton Oratory for the Mpdnight] M[ass] there, they being
of that way of thinking, and trying to make me accompany
them. But I, remarking firmly " Hell roast the Pope", turned
my back on them and departed for my Anglican chapel. Then
had a lovely long sleep till I rose and came down here.
Epistolam tuam 17 Dec: accepi et nan antea rescripsi, tarn
libenter legi? Cicero seems to say antea for "already" but I
suppose jtfrn would be all right, wouldn't it ? Anyhow, I allude
to your epistolam aercam lately received: I love what you say
about your telling the just-returned Fr Palmer (who always
sounds so likeable) 3 about the Latin Collects and The M[an] on
a D[onkey] and Erasmus on Fisher and Colet, about which last
he uttered definite opinions. I'm glad you have him back to
converse and discuss with. One does need someone at hand
who takes an interest in the same things and likes to talk about
1 Nancy Willetts.
2 "I received your letter of the lyth Dec., and I did not reply before;
but I read it with such great pleasure/'
3 Rev. R. F. Palmer, S.S.J.E.
them, and if views differ, so much the better, it stimulates the
mind. My sister and I like to discuss die same things, and differ
quite a lot. We were discussing just now the Quaker habit of
never saying Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, etc., but always "the
first, second, third day of the week", to avoid using the names
of heathen gods. Certainly die Q.s are faddy people, but they
do know what they think is right and stick to it, tho* why they
think it wrong to use the ordinary names for days and months
(months, of course, are equally suspect) puzzles non-Quakers.
Well, they are an excellent people, and perhaps the most
logical of Christians. No sacraments, no liturgy, no church,
no creed. To do so much upon so little argues great will-power
Oh yes, how veiled they are, those figures of the past. And
how glorious it would be to see those first Christian decades
clearly. I think no historian can do that for us, ever. . . . My
view [is] that in many respects the Evangelists (writing long
afterwards from memory) must have got much of His actual
words wrong, and imparted into them some Jewish bias or
tradition. . . . [For instance] our Lord's reported words about
hell " Depart, I never knew you" etc. 1 which imply God's
final abandonment of the souls he has tried so hard, in life, to
guide and redeem, but who, perhaps, refuse salvation. Is that
ultimate darkness and rejection (even tho' self-inflicted)
possible ? Those words seem so unlike Him. ... If only we
had a shorthand transcript or a Boswell ! (Which reminds me
of your question about Dr Johnson. What he said was about
women preaching: it was like a dog walking on his hind legs,
not done well, but wonderful that it should be done at all.) 2
Tell me sometime how you react to Wm Law. I like the parts
about Christ in the soul, and the perpetual choice between
heaven and hell, and the power of the "working will" in us.
I hope you got my last epistola in time for Christmas. This you
1 See Matt 7. 23.
2 See BoswelTs Life of Johnson, Vol. i, p. 463. (Ed. G. B. Hill.)
will get before next year. All my love and good wishes for it.
S. V. B. 1 this wintry weather. One of our congregation
a girl was killed in that Austrian avalanche; very shocking
for her people.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
New Year <> Eve,
My dear Hamilton,
I've no business to be taking time off to write to you
(instead of about the ruins of the Knights Hospitaller at
Rhodes) 2 this morning; but I have two enchanting letters from
you since Christmas, and feel moved to write on this last day
of 1952 (for me a happy year, for which I am thankful). First,
I'm sorry about the way my printers bungled my card. As
you noticed, they dropped out nisi, and I dropped out (at the
last minute) the opening clause that put the sentence into the
accusative and subjunctive, forgetting that the rest of the
sentence needed it. This was to save space, trying to get it all
into two lines, and mere Christmas-rush carelessness and
oblivion. The dropping of nisi was the printer's fault (I fear no
Latinist) and mine too for not reading it carefully before it was
too late. I ought to have pointed out to you these defects,
which have vexed me rather. 3 I had a puzzled letter from
1 Si vales bene est. ("If you are flourishing, good.")
2 See R. M.'s Pleasure of Ruins, p. 448.
3 R. M.'s Christmas card included a quotation from Cornelius a Lapide
(Cornells Cornelissen van den Steen, S. J., 1567-1637): "Hemerobaptistae
censerent homtnem non posse vivere, nisi singulis diebus in aqua mergeretur, ac ita
ablueretur et sanctificaretur ab omni culpa. Verum haec est anatum potius et
piscium vita, quam hominum" ("The Hemerobaptists believe that man
cannot live unless on every day he plunge into the water and be washed
clean and be sanctified from every sin. Nay, but this is rather the life of
ducks and fishes than of human beings.") See Letters to a Friend, p. 352.
E. V. Knox about it; he ends, " However, it is a beautiful
thought". I particularly like myself the "life rather for ducks
and fishes than for men". Fr Cornelius s. j. would have con
sidered me much too much of a duck or fish.
No, I didn't draw the picture, tho' I composed the verse, 1
and drew a design for the picture, to be copied by someone
t who can draw, which I can't, alas. Even the Adeste in the
balloon would have come out in crooked and uneven lettering,
had I done it. But I suggested the fishes, the sea-horse,
etc. and of course the ruined church. I like to muse on
such submarine scenes, very much; they mean a lot in my
How good are both your letters! . . . About Timor
Mortis. ... I do [think] those words reported in the Gospels
uncharacteristic, 2 and that one has to allow for a margin of
erjror and misreporting by reporters writing at second hand
years afterwards, and inclined to colour their records with their
traditional Jewish feelings, often exclusive and intolerant. I
have always thought this I looked at that third Exhortation 3
(first in the American P[rayer] B[ook], which omits, I see, the
sentence about eating and drinking to our damnation) and it
reminded me once more of that "great and endless comfort"
which has come to me I mean, I have come to it during
the last two years, and that surely, while we cling to it, won't
ever repudiate us, however poor our efforts. Yes ; I wish the
P.B. had kept "concede, quaesumus . . ." 4 , also "da nobis . . .fulget
in mente" 5 and "Hujus nos, Domine"* But Cranmer did very
1 And they who swim on Christmas Day may Lear the thin sigh
Of faint bells, of sunk bells, and drowned quires cry.
"Adeste, natatores," and down the swimmers come,
Singing "Adoremus dominum."
2 "Depart from me . . ." See above p. 59-
3 The Third Exhortation to Holy Communion in the Book of Common
4 "Grant, we beseech thee . . ."
5 "Give us ... shines in our hearts."
6 These few words do not show the meaning of the quotation.
well; one could scarcely have better. I feel better about Mortis
now, thank you very much, dear Father.
I feel that you and Fr Palmer might have found a more
stimulating and comforting "little something" on a December
afternoon (and Christmas at that) than milk and cold coffee. At
Romford we were better comforted than that; also so was I
at my Boxing-Night dinner at Hampstead, with charming
friends, where also was ... the Rector of (I forget his
name) he was nice and genial, and believed in anointing, both
for body and soul. My sister says it has had little effect on those
of his parishioners who have now been settled on a new housing
estate in , and are so wicked that the nurses rather shudder
at visiting them after dark; their . . . rector says he isn't
surprised, from what he knows of them. He should anoint
them more earnestly and assiduously.
Why doesn't St Paul's have a midnight Mass on Xmas Eve ?
I can't think. Nor why, since they do have a watch-night
service, 1 they don't make it a Mass. But above all, why neglect
Xmas Eve as they do ? I shall ask the good Dean sometime. 2
So many churches, town and country, do have it now ; surely
our great cathedral should. The Abbey is lost to everything
but die Coronation; it has shut up most of itself, to fix seats,
etc. Really it is a disgrace, 6 months of this nonsense. 3 Such
zfuss. I shall be glad to be out of it, in a better country. I shall
write to you from Cyprus, tho' difficult for you to write to me,
as I shall be on the move. Unless you indite one letter, and
send it to Poste Restante, Famagusta, Cyprus, sometime but
I'll send you that address nearer the time. Did I tell you of the
hymn I found about that blessed island? Oh it will be most
beautiful. I shall aim at sending you a birthday greeting from it.
I think I will go to St Paul's to-night. There is something
very noble and impressive about those vast echoing halls
swelling with hymn and prayer, and the great bell booming
1 On New Year's Eve. 2 Very Rev. W. R. Matthews.
8 The Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II took place on 2nd June, 1953.
out the year's close, and the chimes of all the churches ringing
in the next. And it is a time for furbishing up resolutions and
aspirations and giving thanks: gr alias agere, indeed. I wonder
how you will be spending it. And why don't High Churches
have a watch-night? I suppose because it's not done at Rome:
but again, why not ? It is interesting to track out these mysteries
of different usages, how far they spring from differences inherent
in different communions and parties, how far they have
developed by chance, more or less.
Do you read Jeremy Taylor ? I see there is a new edition of
the Golden Grove just out, which I must get hold of. I am very
partial to him myself. A reviewer says he didn't believe in the
Real Presence. I must look and see. I don't feel sure that this
reviewer knows quite what the R.P. is; but he may be right
about Jeremy, tho' I should be surprised. He did believe in
Confession; John Evelyn was one of his penitents. And he
wrote the most exquisite prose. I do wish you such a good
new year, such a very good one indeed. And pray you may
have it, and so many more. You have my love for all of them;
how good to know I have yours !
20, Hinde House, Hinde Street, W.i
8th January, 1953 1
My dear Hamilton,
I daren't disturb the sheets now in my typewriter half
typed, so must try this by pen I hope you won't be defeated
by it. Your letter posted New Year's Eve came two days ago,
thank you so much. I must get View-review' 1 , in spite of its odd
and discouraging name. It sounds worth reading. Did it
perhaps review Man on Donkey in an earlier number ? The
reviews here have been good. I suppose the popular American
reviews wouldn't think it quite on the level of their readers
too long and difficult. I am glad you are so seized of it,
apprehended and comprehended by it. I have been thinking
that the author would surely be pleased if you should write to
her about it; [though] not quite as pleased as I was when you
wrote to me in August 1950 about They Were Defeated,
because she won't have the memory of you that I had, that
made it so delightful to hear from you. But she couldn't
but be pleased, and you might have an interesting and
pleasant correspondence about it. Do put this in hand, instanter,
and let me know how it goes. All you have said about
that book to me would be of immense interest to her, of
We had a lovely Epiphany Mass I do like this feast.
Stella ista sicut flamma coruscafi. . . .
Why is it that Christ as light means more to me than any
other aspect ? The light that lighteth every man. . . .
Someone showed me yesterday The Month, which has a
very waspish article on Charles Williams, whom it called
an Anglican idol. 3 There were some other articles I want
1 A quarterly "guide to Christian reading and teaching 1 *, published by
2 "That star sparkles like a flame."
3 H. D. HansheU, "A Heresy Hunt," The Month, January 1953.
to read, too. It's Dominican, isn't it? 1 I am reading Sean
O'Faolain's Newmans Way in bed at night. It interests me;
there is a lot about his family, his brothers and sisters and
parents. One brother very dotty; another (Francis) very
Calvinist, and went off to convert savages to Plymouth
The Oxford part is good. We see John Henry as a gauche,
silent, very devout young Fellow of Oriel, nervously conscious
of his dim social background, using the wrong implements at
the Fellows' Table, so that the Provost said, "Mr Newman, we
do not serve sweetbreads with a spoon", and he felt terribly
inferior. Gradually, I suppose, he expanded, socially and
intellectually. I must look again at Young Mr Newman. 2
O'Faolain is a sympathetic and entertaining writer, Irish R.C.
of course, but pretty critical of the Church, and certainly no
bigot. On the other hand, I doubt if he knows anything from
the inside about the Anglican Church indeed, how could
What naively simple beliefs Newman, and most of his
generation (pre-Darwin, of course) held. It is difficult now to
understand how good intelligences could accept all those
fundamentalist theories about the earth, for instance. Or about
the Church and the Papacy. As O'Faolain remarks: "Savona
rola, swinging on a rope above a fire, by order of Alexander VI,
would not have agreed with this". But how good John Henry
was : how unselfish, how compassionate, how generous ! A
refreshment to read, after the life of the vulgar worldling
Arnold Bennett. 3
Did I tell you Gerard Irvine is going to be ID charge of
Cranford Mission Church, Middlesex? There is also an old
church there, where Fuller was once vicar, and Bp Wilkins.
1 The Month is edited by Jesuits, not by Dominicans.
2 Maisie Ward, Young Mr Newman (1948).
3 R. Pound, Arnold Bennett; a Biography (1952).
It will be good for Gerard to have a church to run, and a parish
of 10,000 people to serve. 1
Much love, and do act on my epistolary suggestion.
20, Hinde House, Hlnde Street, W.i
i8th January, 1953
My dear Hamilton,
An ocean letter this time to enclose a rather good little
cutting from the Sunday Times. ... It is Christian Unity week
here, or about to be. I can't go to any meetings about it, as
I have to work all day and all night till end of month. But
I like this about bridging our differences. I ... rather like the
differences . . . they keep up a wholesome subversiveness against
unthinking uniformity. If only the Romans would come off
their high pole and stop being so stuck up and drop a little
of their "tribal patriotism" and stupid contempt, the rest of us
could soon get together I mean worship together, in spite of
differences. William Temple would have worked it, if he had
lived. And the R.C.'s really are getting rather better, the last
few years, though still stuck-up and contemptuous and untruth
ful. There was an offensive and stupid attack on the Marian
martyrs in a R.C. paper lately I'm glad we never attack the
Elizabethan ones. Well, we must pray for them, that they may
have a larger charity and understanding.
Thank you for your v.g. letter of Epiphany. I haven't,
literally, had a moment in which it would have been right to
give the time to answer it. I oughtn't to be doing so now
really, but felt I wanted to. You are probably right about a
midnight Mass at St Paul's. I put it to the Dean the other day,
1 The Church of the Holy Angels, Cranford, serves a London Diocesan
Home Mission district with an estimated population of over 10,000. The
mother church, St Dunstan's, Cranford, is where Thomas Fuller was Rector
1658-61. Bp John Wilkins followed him in 1661.
meeting him. He said they wouldn't grasp it or like it, or even
(some of them) behave seemly at it. So I suppose he is right.
I have been thinking of you at your Retreat, 5th loth; I hope
it was good. I like Benedictions as a rule, both Anglican and
I hope you acted on my suggestion and wrote to Miss
Prescott. I am sure she would like it. You have so wonderfully
and richly grasped and appreciated her book, 1 marked and
inwardly digested it. When I am out of this jungle, I shall
read it again. Do you think, but for the form our Reformation
took, the English influence would have helped to steady and
sanify the Church? Save it, I mean, from some emotional
excesses and faults of taste ? And possibly from some intoler
ance tho' God knows we were all intolerant enough once.
There is a book Miss Prescott could write: an imaginary story
of an English unreformed Church. Do suggest it to her. I
must stop. So much love.
20, Hinde House, Hinde Street, W.i
23 rJ January, I953f
My dear Hamilton,
I am knocking off my admirable discursion on the Bantu
ruins in Southern Rhodesia (not built well, but marvellous that
Bantu negroes should have built in stone at all) in order to send
you an air letter, as my last (what date ? I forget) was surface
mail, in order to enclose something (what ? I forget) and you
won't get it quite yet. Since I wrote it, your a[ir] Ifetter] of
I3th has arrived, and deserves a better answer than this can be.
Well, I'm sorry you think you won't write to the Woman
Behind the Man on the Donkey, but I do see your point of
view, which is entirely my own where letters are concerned,
1 The Man on a Donkey.
and I can think of few things more disastrous than starting a
new correspondence with any one. Letters are a burden
indeed . . . they seem often the last straw that breaks the back
. . . you should see the piles of those that I must answer that
litter and weight my writing table. Which disposes of your
notion that I should ever write to Miss Prescott. Perish the
thought! Uninterrupted equanimity, indeed! If I could only
get half an hour of this. All I do get is hour at Mass each
morning; what I should do without that . . . [sic] I expect my
mind would altogether go to pieces. Of course when I have
this book done, it will be quite different, and I hope that in
Cyprus my equanimity will be only interrupted by the
ravishing spectacles of medieval monasteries and castles on
mountain heights, medieval cities on the sea, ancient cities
dedicated to the cult of Aphrodite, etc., as well as by bathing
in that heavenly sea and driving a hired Ford up and down the
mountains. Not that these enjoyments will make me anything
but equanimous. So we'll neither of us write to Miss Prescott;
who is, I believe, an Anglican, by the way, but probably not a
cousin or an old penitent, but none the less would be highly
gratified and interested to hear from you. One likes interesting
and understanding letters about one's books. I had one yester
day from a daughter of old Hilaire Belloc, about my Wilderness
so entirely understanding all I meant to say in it, and so
appreciative, that I was really pleased. 1 She says we met in
1920, when I defended her from someone's snub, but I quite
Yes, I like that Coelesti lumine 2 collect very much. You'd
be surprised at the number of prayers, passages, and psalms
about light that are collected in my Preces Privatae. I use them
at Mass. Just now, sitting rather wearily among my rocky
ruins, I sometimes repeat to myself at Mass those lines from
Eliot's Ash Wednesday, do you know it? The lines are:
1 Elizabeth Belloc had written to R. M. about The World my Wilderness.
2 "Heavenly light."
" Teach us to sit still
Even among these rocks,
Our peace in His will;
And even among these rocks
Suffer me not to be separated,
And let my cry come unto Thee/'
No light there, but peace. Then I have O Oriens, splendor lucis
aeternae . . . veni illumina?- etc., and Emitte lucem tuam, 2 and Et
mentis nostrae tenebras . . . illustra* and "Grant that the splendour
of Thy brightness may shine forth upon us, and that the light
of Thy light . . ." z&dLucerna pedibus meis* and "by the guiding
radiance of Thy compassion" (Gothic Missal), and other lights,
that I must add to, come Candlemas. We always went on a
picnic on Candlemas Day, and it is still one of my favourite
feasts I wrote about it in Personal Pleasures, I think. But there
can be no such Candlemasses here and now, without sunshine
and almond blossom and tiny twisted candles to burn, and the
procession in the town, and brothers and sisters to feast on the
hillside with. Those festa days of which Sunday was the most
often recurrent, always a holiday, always fun, always in one's
oldest clothes so that one could get wet and climb about how
lovely they were. They make a kind of radiance in memory.
And now nearly all that happy fraternal tribe are gone into the
world of light, as Vaughan says. I do like the Requiem Mass
in our Altar Missal; we had it this morning for someone. I
have been trying to get hold of a second-hand copy of that
book, it has so many good Propers, Introits, etc. It is out of
print; but the S.P.C.K. has "sheets" of it, unbound, and may
1 "O Day-spring, brightness of light everlasting (and sun of righteous
ness); come thou and enlighten (those who sit in darkness and in the shadow
of death)/' Fifth of the Greater Antiphones.
2 "Send forth thy light,"
3 "And illumine the darkness of our minds."
4 "(Thy word is) a lantern unto my feet." Ps. 119. 105.
sell me a set, I hope. 1 The S.SJ.E. here says it is to be reprinted.
But a new copy would cost too much altogether. If I mayn't
buy the sheets, I shall ask ... if I may borrow the book in
August when the Chapel is closed for 2 or 3 weeks and copy
some of it. It is quite the best I know. Someone in the
C[hurch] T[imes] complains of the bad translations in 'the
English MissaP, very justly. Worse is the withholding of the
Chalice from the laity. I like your rendering of digno: "with
feelings as little unsuitable as we can manage to put forth/'
"Digno" is discouragingly too much to aim at. Yes, I too like
"mysterium" that margin of mystery that is our circum-
ambience, our doubt, and our faith; is, in fact God and our
selves. I keep going to memorial services; the last was my
dear old friend Eddie Marsh; a charming and kind Maecenas
to young writers and artists. I used to see a lot of him once,
when he took up Rupert Brooke. He died at 81 a good age.
Now I must back to my rocks. My love always; I do hope
you are not too cold, and keep well. Orapro me.
20, Hinde House, Hinde Street, W.i
29th January, 1953!
My dear Hamilton,
Your a[ir] p[aper] of 24th to hand this morning, and thank
you so much. I forget which day I posted my last to you, but
since then I have had two of yours, i8th and 24th, both most
welcome. Your Harvard undergraduate did he mean, when
"he wondered if such events as are described in The M[an] on
a D[onkey] could bring into being a satisfactory, separated part
1 The Altar Missal, edited by a Priest of the S.SJ.E. (Mowbray, 1936), is
sometimes known as the "Cowley Missal." It is normally supplied in sheet
form, to be bound according to individual needs.
2 The English Missal for the Laity (W. Knott & Son, London, 1933); a
translation of the Roman Missal which R. M. often used.
of the Catholic Church" did he mean, could the events have
been really as those described, or could our branch of the
Church be satisfactory ? Or perhaps merely that it was strange
and wonderful that it should be so. But I agree with you that
the Reformation had to be; and it was (wasn't it?) supported
by a very large part of public feeling, which had sickened of
Church corruptions, Papal interferences, clerical misbehaviour,
Church services they didn't follow; all that Lollardry had
been up against a century before. I think general feeling would
have surged up, in the course of C.i6, and made a reformation.
So and that is a very interesting thought it was a good thing
that Cranmer was there, a bulwark against the Puritans, or
-anyhow making a P[rayer] B[ook] that was this. What
interesting lines of speculation you suggest! As to Belloc, he
was, of course, an entirely unscrupulous lying historian, and
thought only of making a case against Protestantism how
dared he write a book about Cranmer? 1 "Destruction of the
hated Mass", indeed! I don't suppose B. had ever studied our
P.B., or Cranmer's high sacramental communion prayers, both
translated and composed by him. I was glad T. Maynard put
him in his place. 2 The R.C.'s have a foolish bigotry about our
not either having or wanting Sacraments so ignorant of them.
On Saturday last one of them defaced the Grosvenor Chapel
noticeboard outside the door, which said " The Priest-in-
Charge is in church on Fridays 5-6 to hear Confessions", and
also announced the services. The objector had crossed out
"priest" and put "parson", and crossed out " Holy Com
munion", writing " Heresy. See Article 31 " across it in block
capitals. (I haven't looked up Article 31, and forget which it
is, but probably the one about " the Romish doctrine of the
Mass" ; certainly not the one which speaks sacramentally about
the Sacrament (which I think is 28) . 3 ) How rude and impudent
1 H. Belloc, Cranmer (1931).
2 Theodore Maynard (1890-1956), American Roman Catholic writer.
3 Article 31, "Of the one Oblation of Christ/' states: "Wherefore the
it was ! . . . How incredible that people can be so rude and
silly. . . .
I ... lunched last Sunday after Mass with my friend Alan
Pryce-Jones, the editor of the Times Literary Supplement a
most attractive youngish man 45, I think, who occasionally
comes to the Chapel. He made perhaps I told you a very
brief plunge into Rome last year, but didn't like what he found
and swam out quickly. And one thing he didn't like was that
arrogant conviction of having the whole and only truth. 1 My
old Aunt 2 died this morning (a good thing) and her Vicar is
having a Vespers for her at All Saints', Netting Hill, to which
any nephews and nieces who can are going. . . . I'm glad you
were interested in my father's Bible article. Yes, he did know
a good deal about Bible translations and Pjrayer] B[ook] ones
too. And had a great interest in the changes in English down
the centuries, from Anglo-Saxon on. Would this were more
wide-spread ! As to the Bible, here is V. S. Pritchett, a very
able reviewer on the New Statesman saying that Erasmus first
translated the B. into English! What can he mean? I suppose
he got confused with E.'s trans : into Latin. But how ignorant.
Oh dear; here is Finis, before my mind has reached it. Much
love . . Such a good Requiem Mass this morning 3 for my
poor old aunt what a lovely mass it is. Did I tell you I have
now actually got the "Cowley Missal", unbound, in sheets,
from S.P.C.K. I need you here, to help me bind it.
sacrifices of Masses, in the which it was commonly said, that the Priest did
offer Christ for the quick and the dead, to have remission of pain or guilt,
were blasphemous fables and dangerous deceits." Article 28 concerns "the
1 Alan Pryce-Jones comments that R. M. must be referring here to a
conversation in which he agreed with her doubts about the dogmatic
position of the [Roman Catholic] Church in regard to the Assumption. He
adds "I no longer share these doubts to-day" and points out that "the very
brief plunge " is now " a steady swim."
2 Mary Macaulay. 8 30th January, the day this letter was posted.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
loth February, 1953 f
My dear Hamilton,
Your Candlemas letter came yesterday; thank you so
much, and for the one of 29 Jan. No, the floods did not come
nigh me; only the east coast and the Thames estuary. Those
poor people and the Dutch. The stories are horrifying;
families who sought safety in their attics, and the sea rose till
it reached them, and tore away the roof and the attic floor on
which they sat and washed them out to sea : a father, mother,
and three children. They were at sea, in that bitter cold, all one
day; when they were washed to shore the three little children
were dead of exposure, and the mother died soon afterwards
only the father left. The Dutch death-roll is much worse, over
1300; ours only 300-odd, I think. But so many left homeless
and without possessions. An appeal for clothes and money has
been made, and I think is being well answered. I drove to the
Eaton Square W.V.S. with some clothes, and found Church
Army lorries taking hundreds of sacks away. Some are being
sent to the Dutch. When I have time I will get Belloc's Great
Heresies. What does he mean by "reason was given divine
authority" ? Does he mean the Logos ? I am not sure I shall
read his Cranmer; I feel it would be annoying and silly and
untruthful (as you say it is). I have been reading (when I have
a moment to read anything non-ruinous, which is seldom) a
book called Elizabethan Recusant Prose, about the writings of
the English refugee Catholics; 1 the author Alfred Southern
(R.C.) makes a case for their having written much better prose
than the Protestant English Elizabethans and Jacobeans. It is a
strained case he makes; he seems to judge prose mainly by the
religion of its writer. Actually the Recusant writings (mostly
apologetics) can't compare with the non-Recusant contem-
1 A. C. Southern, Elizabethan Recusant Prose, 1559-82 (1950).
porary prose ; think of the Hakluy t voyagers' stories, 1 Purchas, 2
Hooker, 3 Ascham, 4 Raleigh, 5 Bacon, 6 etc., etc. His argument
is that no-one in England wrote "good prose" between More
and Dry den (another Catholic, of course). And he runs down
Wycliffe's Bible (often excellent) and ignores Latimer and
exalts the Douai Bible at the expense of all the English Prot-
[estant] versions. Tiresome people they are when they argue
a case. Belloc is one of the worst, of course. I wonder when he
talks about "reason" as a prerogative of the Catholic Church,
what he makes of Newman, who wrote " What is intellect
itself, but a fruit of the Fall, not found in heaven more than in
little children, and at the utmost but tolerated by the Church.
Reason is God's gift, but so are the passions." " Faith and
humility consist not in going about to prove, but in the
outset confiding in the testimony of others". Mysticism too
Newman runs down; he depends wholly on the authority of
the Church. He had no use, apparently, for meditating on
That is a nice story about Lady Knevet. 8 I suppose she was
a Lollard born too late, if she always "kept from the popish
fc church". One hopes it was the 1549 book she used in her latter
days. She and Master Tollin were lucky to survive Mary's
reign! Yes, when did she first feel so Protestant? I suppose
she approved the Dissolutions. How one would like to meet
and talk with her as she was in (say) 1500, as a young woman.
There is a good subject those belated Lollards. No doubt
they read Wycliffe's Bible, what there was of it and when they
1 Richard Hakluyt (1553-1616).
2 Samuel Purchas (1575 ?-i626) author of the Pilgrimes.
3 Richard Hooker (1554 ?-i6oo) author of The Laws ofEcclesiastical Polity.
4 Roger Ascham (1515-1568) author of The Schoolmaster.
5 Sir Walter Raleigh (i552?-i6i8). 6 Francis Bacon (1561-1626).
7 Some readers of Newman's works would disagree with K. M/s
8 See John Foxe's Acts and Monuments of Matters Happening in the Church
(1563), commonly known as Foxe's Book of Martyrs, Bk. xn, "The Lady
Knevet, of "Wymondham in Norfolk."
could get it. And delighted to see Cromwell's hacking down of
papistical trash in the churches. I have never read Foxe. We
didn't have it at home, and I think would never have been
allowed to read such horrors. Nor have I wished to since; I
always avoid tortures when possible. (History is frightful,
because one can't really avoid them, they are everywhere.)
I think you are right about the right timing of our Reformation.
But how unpalatable a thing it was anyhow; if the timing was
right, the manner was hideously wrong. I mean the Monasteries
and Churches and Abbeys. I wish it hadn't happened. We
could have reformed English Catholicism without it, and
might now have a beautiful branch of that tree. But, of course,
we have. Only some of its expressions are pretty poor, or seem
so to us. I have had my Altar Missal bound in strong brown
soft cardboard covers; it looks quite nice, and is firm. I do
enjoy that book. Do you know The People's Missal (Mowbray,
1916) now out of print? 1 A v.g. little book, I wish I had it,
but have only been lent it. By Rev. E. A. L. Clarke, A.K.C.
(whatever that means). 2 There's a lot in it. No more now ! !
20, Hinde House, Hinde Street, W.i.
i&th February, 1953 f
My dear Hamilton,
I do hope that by now, in fact, many days ago, you had
my letter answering your two of Jan. 30 and Feb. 4 (I forget
the date of mine). And now I have yours of the I2th, which
rather disquieted rne, as it sounds as if you felt not too vigorous.
1 A second and revised edition of The Peoples Missal (Mowbray, 1929)
went out of print in 1950.
2 Associate of King's College, London.
When you feel a shrinking from letter-writing (and how well
I know that!) I'm sure you ought not to write, it is a real
nervous strain and exhaustion, especially when you write
several together. I find it tires me when I could write my own
work for hours; it is a drain on one's time and energies
that I resent. Still, they have to be written in the end; or
some of them have. When you leave a long gap in your
letters to me, I shall know why it is, and be very approving.
Reading, collecting prayers, binding books, are much less
I have had to make a Lent resolution, not to be broken, to
answer necessary letters and not let them He by. I am trying
to take Lent seriously this year, though I don't go without food,
it wouldn't be healthy. The arrangement of time is more to
the point. And keeping accounts, and sticking to hours of
prayer all that. Except for early Mass I didn't do any church
to-day; had I more time, I would like to have gone to All
Saints' [Margaret Street] for the Ashes Mass at n ; I have never
been at this service. Being a one-priest chapel, we can't have
such elaborate affairs at the Grosvenor. Though we do have
blessing of the palms on Palm Sunday.
Yes, people do take sides about the Reformation people.
(Though I am rather surprised at Westcott 1 not disapproving
of, at least, Cromwell; a very base and cruel man.) Similarly,
R.C. writers, such as Alfred Southern, whose Recusant Prose I
was reading lately, can see no ill in More (and there really was
some he was very rude and unjust to Tyndale) . . . People
are interesting largely because so mixed in character, bad
and good together; though it isn't easy to see the good
in Cromwell. But Cranmer had so much that was admirable;
and one is for ever grateful to him for his liturgical style.
Yes, it is interesting to read of the religious feelings of those
ordinary Marian Protestants. They were very strong and con
vinced. They felt they had at last really got hold of the
X B. F. Westcott (1825-1901), Bp of Durham.
Christian religion, so presented that they could understand and
lay hold of it, and they didn't mean to let it go. The burnings
had a tremendous effect on the popular mind, of course, and
I suppose gave the English a Protestant bias for centuries to
come. To many those cruelties were their only experience of
Catholicism; the sailors who sailed the Spanish main brought
home shocking tales of torture, etc., "the inquisition dogs and
the devildoms of Spain", 1 and national and religious feeling
were all mixed up. I think Margery Kempe 2 would probably
have been a fervent Protestant in the i6th century, don't you,
and have joined in that Norfolk supplication, 3 with much
I suppose most people have to be one-sided and fanatic
about religion, if they are zealous at all. It shocks one when one
reads history. So many didn't even try to see the good in the
other point of view. Well, we have become more tolerant and
less persecuting, if less zealous.
I, like you, have been collecting fresh collects, etc., from the
Missal and Breviaries; I ought to learn more by heart, as one
hasn't always got the words at hand. But I am still so hard-
pressed, so jungle-drowned, in ruins that I haven't much time
for learning anything.
It is late, and one of my resolves is earlier bed, so I must stop
writing and go there.
There is a great new translation of the Bible on hand; a
professor of King's College London is working on it. A
friend of his showed him my father's Quarterly article, 4 which
interested him. It will be a really fresh translation, from the
original Hebrew and Greek, unburdened by echoes of the
1 See Tennyson, " The Revenge."
2 English mystic (c. 1373-after 1433), author of the Book of Margery
3 A Supplication signed by Protestants in Norfolk and Suffolk c. 1556;
see Foxe's Book of Martyrs, Bk. xn.
4 G. C. Macaulay, "The English Bible," in The Quarterly Review
(October, 1911). See Letters to a Friend, p. 116.
existing ones. So is R V. Rieu's Penguin N[ew] T[estament],
but this seems too colloquial, I think. 1
Much love. I hope you aren't really more tired than you
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.I
2%th February, 1953 1
My dear Hamilton,
Your letter of 22nd came to-day, just as I was about to
answer that of i6th. Thank you so much for both. You are
right in saying I meant to have done with Ruins a year ago;
indeed I did, but here I am, still struggling with them. But the
end is in sight, if I keep at them. There is always a page of
them half-typed in my typewriter, preventing me from using
same to type a letter to you ! I am interested in what you say
about Foxe's Martyrs, poor heroic people. How lamentable
the persecutors were, how glorious the persecuted on all sides.
How could people put themselves into that wickedly cruel
position, in the name of the Church ? It passes our modern
understanding. Thank heaven for our greater humanity, at
least. Yes, the Church had failed indeed. One can see that from
all the writings before the Reformation Chaucer, Langland,
every writer except the mystical enclosed such as Rolle, 2
Hilton, 3 a Kempis, 4 Juliana of Norwich. 5 Did you ever come
across the Ancren Riwle, that very interesting and rather
charming set of rules for the guidance of some young ladies of
1 E. V. Rieu, The Four Gospels (1952).
2 Richard Rolle of Hampole (c. 1295-1349), English hermit and mystic.
3 "Walter Hilton (d. 1396), English monk; author of the Scale of Perfection.
4 Thomas a Kempis (c. 1380-1471).
5 Julian of Norwich (c. 1342-after 1413), English anchoress; author of
The Sixteen Revelations of Divine Love.
good family in the I3th century about 150 years before
Chaucer, I think who wanted to form a little religious
community ? It is in English (one of the earliest post-Conquest
English writings) and one of the first and best examples of early
Middle English. It is very engaging. My father was editing it
when he died; his work has been of great use to other scholars,
but was unfinished. 1 There, I suppose, was the Church at its
best. It had to be in English, because, said its author, women
know little of Latin. I suppose the teaching of Latin (and
Greek) to English girls of the nobility only began much with
the Renaissance. And, after about a century, unfortunately died
out except in exceptional cases, until the mid-ipth century and
the Higher Education of women. As to Bible v. Church, I
suppose both those two exclusive views made their ultimate
synthesis (anyhow in the Anglican Church, for I think the
dissenting churches incline too much to the one, and the R.C/s
to the other) and luckily "God fulfils himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world", 2 and one
needs all the facets of truth. That book of David Mathew's is,
I suppose, the one he wrote some time ago; I have it. 3 He has
another Charles I book in hand, 4 and is dedicating it to me,
which is nice of him He is so intelligent and scholarly
and I think must feel as Fr said to someone about the
Assumption dogma, " This isn't going to help us". He makes
kindly fun of Belloc's theories. . . .
That Collect (Lent 3, Friday) ; I like your "constant saving
existence for us", but isn't it better than its original? 5 Well, I
don't see why it shouldn't be. It is much stronger than "always
prove wholesome to us", which I suppose would be more
1 G. C. Macaulay, "The Ancren Riwle," in The Modem Language Review
(January, April, July, October, 1914).
2 See Tennyson's Idylls of the King, "The Passing of Arthur."
3 The Age of Charles I (1951).
4 Scotland under Charles I (1955).
5 "... nolis salutaria semper existent"; see the Secrete for Friday of the
3rd week in Lent.
literal, but neither so euphonious nor so strong. I shall adopt
My sister asks, what does the Bp of Bristol (Cockin) 1 mean
when he says .he "repents" of the disunited Church. Does he
mean he feels personally that he is doing wrong about it ? If
so (she asks) why doesn't he amend, so far as he personally can ?
But I think what he feels is not quite repentance but a kind of
collective guilt. He is not, probably, prepared to lead the way
in abolishing barriers and proclaiming one united Christian
Church because he thinks some of the barriers are right. He
wants unity, but not to pay the price of surrender of Church
principles. But he feels guilty, as I do about (say) war, and the
preparation of terrible weapons; I can do nothing about it,
having no power, but I feel guilty. Also about poverty. There
is a very real sense in that one feels the guilt of one's human
community, its dreadful cruelty and selfishness, while all one
can mend is one's own individual share.
I am reading, when I have any reading time, Steven
Runciman's History of the Crusades, the first of 3 volumes of it.
It is fascinating reading. Those dreadful Crusaders incredible
barbarians. I have just been reading of their sack of Jerusalem,
1099; every inhabitant men, women and children was mas
sacred, and they thought it right, those people being infidels.
I suppose really they enjoyed it, as soldiers let loose in a con
quered city always have until lately, and rationalized it by
saying it was pleasing to God. On the other hand Saladin,
retaking the city 80 years later, was very civilized and con
siderate. Very shaming for us! After the massacre the
Crusaders held a thanksgiving service in the Holy Sepulchre
Church; rather like Pius V 2 striking a medal in thanks for the
Massacre of St Bartholomew. Can one translate sanctificationi-
bus by one word? (See Post-Communion collect for to-day,
1 Rt. Rev. E A. Cockin.
2 Pope Gregory XIII, not Pius V.
Saturday.) 1 Does "sanctities" do? "Holies" is obsolete
(except in "holy of holies"). I must look at that Pjrayer]
Bfook] chapter in that French book. Oh yes, I am well placed
in my unique chapel, indeed. In Cyprus, I hope to worship in
Greek churches they do accept us, don't they ? 2 I should like
to get acquainted with their Rite. Much love always. Lots
more to say, but seems impracticable ! Your loving
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you for two good letters, of March 2 and 7. I feel
it is rather a shame, you always write the day before you get a
letter from me, and then you feel you must write again to
answer it. Since I wrote, on Feb 28, 1 have been having flue
a mild attack, from which I am practically recovered, but
still in bed; up to-morrow, I hope. I shall write badly, there
fore, and you will be able to read even less than usual of my
weighty remarks no great loss, as you know. I am very
pleased to hear of the new R.C. fasting rules, and directly I
can get there will go to Duckett and at least turn the pages of
the number of Worship* in which it is set out. I must ask ...
[a Roman Catholic friend] about it, too. But she has a
notion that, as she is over 60, no fasting rules apply to her. 4
I like the idea of those evening communions, that admirable
Evangelical service that we little thought ever to see flourishing
in Rome. I mentioned it to [an Anglican friend] ... the other
day, and said I wondered how soon we should follow this
1 Ember Saturday in Lent. 2 See below, p. p6.
3 A periodical published by the Monks of St John's Abbey, Collegeville,
4 The Roman Catholic Church does dispense with the fasting rule for
those over 60.
example. He said, " Oh no doubt when father says turn, we
shall turn" ; and I now expect that we shall. Really we are
unnecessarily obsequious, don't you think, to that other branch
of the Church. I'd like to know what Worship says about Lent
and Easter, toou
Yes, those poor good fasting mass-priests it [must] have
been very straining for them. I wonder if your father did it,
or was he a little before the time when they became so
rigorous P 1
I have been reading Rosalind Murray's Further Journey*, her
second book about Roman Catholicism (the first was The
Good Pagan 3 ). It interests me, and she is very fair about her
religion and Protestantism and agnosticism (she insists still on
calling this "paganism", which is quite silly; but she means her
father's brand of high-minded humanist liberal agnosticism).
She thinks these "pagans" have at least as high a standard of
ethics and behaviour as R.C.s, if not higher; in fact, I gather
she thinks it usually is higher, but she seems to mean only
the best type of gentlemanly agnostic, and to be comparing
him with the common rim of often rather poor characters
which make up the mass of R.C.s, and she quotes "an eminent
prelate" as having said that cheating the customs was not sin
at all, only ungentlemanly. Considering that it involves hard
lying, you'd think that any Christian (as well as any decent
non-Christian) must know it is sin; but she seems to think that
many R.C.S think a shady deal like that is less sinful than not
going to Mass on Sundays. I must say she is very candid about
the defects of her Church. All the same, she believes that it is
the channel of grace and that this grace is more important than
ethical principles. "Wouldn't you say that one purpose of the
grace is to create right ethical principles ? Grace to "perceive
1 Presumably this refers to the strict fasting rules of the Tractarians,
applied to priests celebrating at a late hour.
2 The Further Journey: In the End is my Beginning (1953).
8 The Good Pagans Failure (1939).
and know what things we ought to do", and to perform the
same? If I didn't think that, I couldn't be a Christian at all;
it would seem a mockery of all Christ taught, and all that the
Holy Spirit teaches.
I must read Spanish Tudor. 1 I wonder what she makes of
Mary. Of course we can't judge them by modern standards;
our squeamishness about cruelty and pain is comparatively a
I haven't met Maurice Ashley, but have always heard a lot
about him; he does know his lyth century. I must get his
Penguin. 2 Though not yet, my hands being so full with
archaeological and other ruinous works. How lovely some
Mosques are ! But all over Persia they are crumbling to decay,
their porcelain tiles fallen, their melon domes broken. Moslems
seem apathetic; and the Persian mosques are nearly all built of
clay. One feels that a Mosque is better perfect, and takes ruin
less well than Greek or Christian temples.
I suppose I am lucky, this flue of mine having been so mild.
Jeanie had it very badly, with bronchitis and then jaundice.
I hope your old Aunt Katie 3 has evaded it. I'm sure she loves
drama and catastrophes I think all old ladies do ! I remember
how my grandmother revelled in them. After all, their lives
are pretty dull and quiet. I don't feel, do you, that Stalin's
death is going to affect the world. I feel my temperature may
be rising a little, so will stop this. On Tuesday next John
Betjeman has planned a "corporate Communion" in Dr Joad's
sickroom. Several of his friends, and me too. . . .
1 H. F. M. Prescott, Spanish Tudor (1940).
2 Maurice Ashley, England in the Seventeenth Century (Penguin Books,
3 Mrs Catharine B. Johnson.
[Postmark: London, W.i]
30th March, 1953 f
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you so much for your letters of i6th and 25th. I last
wrote to you on I4th, as you say, from bed. I ... got about
soon again, but rather weak in the head.
No, I won't write you "treatises'*, I didn't really mean my
letters to be that, but I suppose I was interested in what I'd been
reading, or perhaps in something you wrote, and meandered
on and on. And perhaps when in bed I felt I had more time
than usual. Now we are arrived in Holy Week. I got a blessed
palm yesterday, for the first time in my life. Last Palm Sunday
I was in bed; and in '51 I didn't, I remember, feel that I had
got quite as far as palms yet. I have now, and liked getting it
and keeping it. I believe they are burnt on Holy Saturday and
the ashes used for the fire and candles service or is it next year ?
Yes, I think we keep our palm crosses for a year, don't we? 1
I think of going on Easter Eve 'to the Blessing of the Candles at
All Saints', Margaret St. ... It is followed by midnight Mass
(rather a new plan, I gather) but I think I shan't stay for that,
but go on Easter morning to my own conventicle; I shouldn't
really like to make my Easter communion anywhere else.
That is interesting about the psychological origins of the
Reformation I must get hold of it. It does sound a reasonable
supposition that the Church services were felt to be un
intelligible and inaudible to the majority. By the way, why
were they read so inaudibly? And sometimes are still? I
suppose to emphasise the mystery of the Faith. But very bad
for the intelligence of the congregation, who can never have
learned to follow; I suppose they told their beads during the
service, as Italians do now. Of course there was a very strong
1 Traditionally the palm crosses are kept until Shrove Tuesday the
following year, when they are handed in and burnt, and the ashes used in
Ash Wednesday services.
subjective element in Catholicism, as one sees from the
medieval books of devotion. Too much stress, I think, laid on
devotional feelings and ecstasies. I was looking at a little French
R.C. manual that had been left in Grosvenor Chapel; the tone
of rather mawkish sweetness, its talk of "delicious visits to the
Holy Sacrament", is rather repugnant. It reminds me of the
way the nuns talked at our convent school, which we thought
very foolish !
The public is much enjoying the obsequies of Queen Mary;
they file all day past the coffin, and will do so all night. Women
even shed tears, which seems affected for someone they never
met and who was nearly 86. Royalty has a hypnotising effect
on our nation, and considering what real tragedies go on all the
time the deaths of the young on the roads and in battle, the
massacres in Kenya, the plight of the refugees, the cruel
injustices inflicted on Africans in S. Africa (one has just been
sentenced to 15 lashes and a year's gaol for some criticism of the
government) it is these things, and the preparations for war,
that we should cry for, not the quite normal death of an old
lady just because she has been a queen-consort. I can't under
stand it. Canon Collins of St Paul's has just sent me a letter to
The Times for my signature, protesting against the treatment
of Africans; he wants to get about 50 people, of different
professions and opinions, to sign. 1 He is a vigorous kind of
No, don't bother to send me magazines. I imagine they
don't always reach me. I haven't yet had time to go to
Duckett and see Worship on the new fasting rules. My
[Roman Catholic friend] . . . says they don't affect midnight
masses, and that one could always eat up to midnight if the
communion was just after midnight. 2
I too like adding to my Prayer Notebooks. The last thing
1 See The Times, 8th April, 1953, "Sentence on an African/*
2 Evidently a misunderstanding, as the 3-hour fasting rule applies to all
I copied was part of Isaiah, chap. 58, about the right kind of
fast, and the way to make the Light break on our dark minds. 1
I have got some good Latin collects lately, too. Much love
you can't think how much I value your prayers and good
wishes. But I do hope I haven't written another treatise!
I am still working much too hard. I fly to Cyprus May
Are you well? My love.
20, Hinde House, Hinde Street, W.i
2ist April, 1953 f
My dear Hamilton,
What ages since I wrote! I have had your two letters
Good Friday and Easter Monday lying on my writing-table,
and have tried for the last week and more to answer them, but
each day, and each hour, have been driven down and under by
the pressure of work, etc. I still am, having pledged myself to
deliver Ruins before I depart on May i6th. I really ought to get
rid of it by about the loth, to have a week for journey pre
parations, visas, and what not. But I shan't, unless I work even
more strenuously than I have lately been doing. I have been
doing late night shifts, which is exhausting ; but what can I do ?
However, a month hence I shall be clambering about Cyprus
mountains, viewing crusaders' castles, monasteries, churches,
and antiquities in general. I plan to trip over to the Lebanon
coast, and possibly thence into Israel, but the Lebanon-Israel
frontier is an iron curtain, it seems. I have a 2nd passport,
endorsed only for Israel, which the Lebanese must not see, so
fiercely do they feel against their neighour and really who
shall blame them ? It would be very thrilling to be in Palestine,
wouldn't it, [and] possibly to visit Galilee, and Nazareth? 1
shall write to you from Cyprus. You won't be able to write
to me, as I shall have no fixed address, though " Poste Restante,
Famagusta" would find me in the end. But I don't advise you
to write. I am telling my sister the same, i.e. not to write unless
there is anything urgent.
Thank you very much indeed for your two good letters.
Did I tell you I went to an Easter Vigil Candle-Blessing on
Easter Eve, at St Cyprian's [Clarence Gate] ? It was at 6, not
a late one, and I didn't go to Midnight Mass.
I liked the service, it was very charming, and the font-
blessing, though got wet from the sprinkling. Of course it's
all too objective for me; the idea that the water, when blessed,
actually assumes qualities in itself. It's not my view; I expect
too Protestant for it ! Perhaps I feel the same about the Host.
This is, I fear, quite un-Catholic of me. But it doesn't take
anything away from the gift or the mystery, really; it remains
the remedium sempiternum. 1
I have just been reading in the newspaper about a priest
who refused communion to a woman at the altar rail, closing
her outstretched hands as he passed her, because he mistook
her for a woman who had been divorced. Surely this is very
shocking. I mean, to refuse any one who comes up, unless they
are drunk and disorderly. If they want communion, even if
they are doing wrong, surely they ought to be given it. The
woman is making a fuss with the Bishop about it; he,
apparently directed the priest to excommunicate the divorced
persons in his parish. I wonder if he would take the same line
I am glad your brother 2 in S. Africa is in peace . . . But
the loss of brothers and sisters must give a pang; one has shared
so much with them, it goes down to the roots of life.
I saw Graham Greene's new play the other day; 3 it is most
interesting, and leaves everyone discussing what he meant by
1 "Everlasting cure." 2 Kenneth Cowper Johnson.
3 The Living Room.
it, and whether it is for the Church or against it, on the whole.
I shall like to see what The Tablet says of it. ...
My love always,
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
9th May, 1953!
My dear Hamilton,
I am shockingly late in answering your delightful letter
posted April 28th. I have been living pretty hectically, and this
next week will be worse, as I fly on Saturday i6th. If ever you
sent me an air letter (same as usual, same postage) to " Poste
Restante, Famagusta, Cyprus" (though, as I feel sure there are
cities of that name in the U.S., I don't know if you should make
it clear that you mean this Mediterranean isle the P.O. will
know; but I expect "Cyprus" is enough) well, as I was saying,
I should be overjoyed, and shall, anyhow, write to you, if only
p.c.s, to keep you posted in my doings and seeings. How good
the second lesson for Evensong yesterday is, about St Paul &
Co/s perilous voyaging round those parts Alexandria, 1 Sidon,
Cyprus, then that gale and storm that threw them broken on
Crete told in such a sailorly way (as my Macaulay grandfather, 2
who was a sailor before he took orders, used, I believe, to say).
But I, flying serenely and with a rapidity S. Paul and my grand
father equally never dreamed of, through the heavens, shall
leave England at 8 a.m. and alight in Cyprus, dry and safe, at
8 that evening. Mir a fides? how lovely it will all be. I have
visas (and plans) for Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Greece, Asia
Minor coast (opposite island of Rhodes); and kind friends have
loaded me with useful introductions, so that I shall have
1 St Paul did. not visit Alexandria, but part of this second voyage was
made in "a ship of Alexandria," see Acts 27. 6.
2 Rev. S. H. Macaulay (1807^. 1873). 3 "Strange but true."
facilities for getting about, I hope. I look forward greatly to
Palestine Jerusalem, Nazareth, Lake of Galilee, Sea of
Tiberias, etc. Will it make the Gospels more alive to me, I
wonder ? Not that they arent alive; but it may add the vivid
ness of visual imagination.
I shall miss the Chapel and Daily Mass very much. I shall
go to Greek services, and Latin. Anglican ? I'm not sure ! Not
if the Greeks admit us to communion but I must find out. 1
Though nothing is usually duller than the churches of C. of E.
colonies abroad. But there may be a good one on Cyprus that
I shall like. I must try and keep up a little religious life; rather
difficult, in the exciting circumstances which will take the
whole of one's mind absorbing them. But they can be made
part of the other.
I am interested in your i8th century readings. Have you
included Tom Jones'? And Richardson ? 2 They are all so much
wordier than we are now. I agree about Hardy: he is, on the
whole, quite unreal. Where he is good is in atmosphere and
landscape oh yes, and some of the village scenes too. But his
chief characters seem to me all sentimentalized.
Ascension Day on Thursday; and two days after it I fly.
Whitsunday either in Cyprus or Lebanon or Israel, it depends
how the Cyprus steamers go to those lands. I'm told it will be
very hot. No thick clothes needed. Odd, in the N[ew] T[esta-
ment] so little weather comment. A storm on the lake no sun,
no rain, no cold. I must stop. All my love and thanks.
I do hope you are, and will go on being, well.
1 No intercommunion with the Anglican Church is recognised by the
2 Samuel Richardson (1689-1761), author of Clarissa Harlowe, etc.
ijth May, 1953!
My dear Hamilton,
I got your letter of the loth in good time to take it with
me when I flew off at crack of dawn yesterday. I had a smooth
and beautiful journey, and got to Cyprus at 8 p.m. One night
in Nicosia, and now here for a week. After that, my move
ments are vague, but I am still having letters forwarded to
Famagusta [as] I don't yet know my dates for Lebanon and
Palestine and Rhodes. It is all very exciting and very beautiful.
Famagusta is an old walled crusaders' city, but nothing left of it
now but the walls, the citadel (Othello's supposed tower), and
the great Gothic cathedral made a mosque by the Turks when
they conquered Cyprus in the i6th century, and still a mosque
all whitewashed within, carpeted, all ornaments and altars
and stained glass gone, and Moslems in corners saying their
prayers aloud. Near the cathedral stand the ruins of a few
medieval churches, and some domed Moslem buildings; all
the multitude of churches and convents gone that were there 6
and 7 centuries ago, when Famagusta was a fine rich luxurious
city. Now all is desolation, a littered waste, thistles and grass
and palms and the sighing of the sea beyond the massive wall.
I have hired a self-drive car, as there seems no other way of
getting about Cyprus. No buses, no railways scarcely; one
must either bicycle, walk, or drive. This morning I saw
Nicosia, the little capital; it too has a great church turned
mosque. The municipal elections are on, and the hotel manager
warned me to be careful, I might get killed I asked why. He
said Cypriotes got excited and stampeded. How unlike
municipal elections in London ! However, the streets seemed
to me very quiet.
I like your "steering past the monsters" much better than
the other. Yes, it does seem likely that the composer had sea
monsters in mind. The metaphor of steering is excellent, and
rather beautiful. What nice things you find. I always like the
old use of monstrous in the sense of " full of monsters," like
"the bottom of the monstrous deep", where Lycidas lay. I shall
use "vitiorum monstra devitare" 1 myself. How prosaic most
collect-translators are ! (Not Cranmer, however.) About Wm
Law: I agree with you that his notion of absolute renunciation
goes too far, and is too ascetic. What I like so much about him
is his ideas about God and Christ as our saviour saving us
not in our sins (like the Evangelical view) but from them; and
the bringing of our wills into harmony with Christ, so that
we may desire that which is good, and not be double-minded.
He puts all that so very well. Quite a lot in him I ignore, of
Now I must take this down and get it posted. It brings
my love I wish I had time to finish the page, but haven't if it
is to go out at 8.
They called for my Book at 4.30 the day before yesterday.
I had just done it up. I then began to pack, and was up all night
nearly. I still have one more chapter to write on my return.
Yours with much love.
2nd June, 195 3 f
My dear Hamilton,
This is a heavenly island! I think I wrote to you before
from Famagusta; now I am at Kyrenia, but leaving this week
for Beirut, Lebanon, Palestine. Then back here, then Rhodes,
then home (by end of June). It is really gloriously beautiful
here, and tremendously interesting. Famagusta is a remarkable
1 "Eschew all forms of vice," from the Prayer for die Sovereign (used
in England only) in the Roman Missal.
old place, and near it are the ruins of ancient Salamis, where St
Barnabas is buried; he was a native of it. Then there is Paphos,
where Aphrodite arrived in her shell, and where St Paul con
verted the Governor. 1 Wonderful Greek and Roman ruins all
about. And now Kyrenia, by the sea (perfect bathing) and
under the mountain range of Troodos; St. Hilarion's medieval
castle is up in the mountains above us, and Bellapais Abbey
both of extreme beauty, both ruined crusader buildings. In the
harbour here there is another crusader castle. I like the
Cypriotes so much, they are so gay and friendly. The Anglican
churches seem deplorable, I can't go into them, they are built
of grey porridge. On Whit Sunday I went to a Greek Mass at
the Greek church at Paphos. The Bishop of Paphos preached,
with eloquence, but I didn't follow all of it! Sin came in
(against it, he was) and church-going (for it). But I liked the
service. The island is full of old Byzantine medieval churches,
some with charming wall-paintings of the medieval centuries.
And some Latin churches of the crusaders, some have been
turned into mosques, however.
I look forward to Syria and Palestine. Don't be surprised
if you get no letters, as the air mail (not being British like
Cyprus) will probably be no good. I will write if I can, though.
I am very well and sunburnt and gay. I have made several
acquaintances among the residents and visitors here some are
rather raffish young men, of the type who are apt to congregate
in Mediterranean islands, and are not much approved of by the
The Coronation service came to us on the BBC fairly well,
and was impressive. How glad I am to be away from the
madding crowds ! Cyprus is full of the gods of Olympus as
well as of the Byzantine, Roman, and Turkish forms of wor
ship : it gets to feel rather the same, a kind of merger the
Light that lighteth every man. But I belong to the best
company, though it makes little show here. I am going to-
1 See Acts 13. 12.
morrow up into the mountains (in a car) to see painted
Byzantine churches. How lucky I am ! Much love. Or a pro
My dear Hamilton,
I last wrote to you from Cyprus; since then I have had a
marvellous and interesting time. I spent a fortnight or so in
Cyprus (superb bathing, crusader castles, ancient Greek things
. . .) then crossed to Beirut, on the Lebanon coast, and all about
Lebanon and Syria, being very nobly entertained by people
to whom I had letters, and others. I was driven out into
desert places to see Baalbek and Palmyra, and down the coast
to Tyre and Sidon (of both [of] which there is much more left
above ground than Isaiah and Ezekiel would have wished), and
to Tortosa and its crusader castle and cathedral, both now made
squalid by Saracens. 1 Then I came south to Damascus, Amman
(Rabbath-Ammon of the Old Testament, at the siege of
which David did his dirty trick on Uriah). 2 It is in a rocky and
mountainous land, and a few miles off on all sides ancient cities
stand in ruin, and are being excavated; some of them I went
out to with archaeologists in cars or jeeps. Round Amman
and Jericho there are terrifying camps of the poor Palestinian
refugees, driven out of their country by the Jews, and living
in camps, supported by United Nations no work, no life,
nothing but existence. The children have evil, cunning,
ferocious little faces, and stone foreigners like me. If ever I
saw a criminal community in the making, it is that; there
seems no solution and no hope. The Arab-Israel hate is
1 See R.. M.'s Pleasure of Ruins, p. 446.
2 "Kabbah," see 2 Sam. 11. i.
frightening. We ought never to have sanctioned the Israel
I am now in Jerusalem (yesterday I came) staying practically
in the Anglican Cathedral, in a hostel frequented by rather
mousey, nice people rather of the church-worker type. The
Bishop 1 is in England, and his clergy carry on. They have
7 a.m. daily Mass, not quite what I am used to in Grosvenor
Chapel (plain P[rayer] Bfook]) but it is Mass, and, after long
Mass-less-ness, it is good to have it. I haven't seen much of
Jerusalem yet, and don't know that I like it v. much (except for
the Rock), it's so got up for the tourist. One of the clergy here
advises doing the things in chronological order, going through
Our Lord's last week; but space-order takes less time. The
Garden of Gethsemane has several huge churches, all showy:
R.C., Russian, and United Nations; and the tomb of the
B.V.M. is at hand (when it was built, in the 4th c., they hadn't
yet invented the Assumption) and the Mount of Olives
is behind. I would rather see all this alone, but one is pestered
by guides. Then there is thfe Via Dolorosa, along which
Franciscans process every Friday; and I must go to Bethlehem
and Nazareth and the Dead Sea. Then across the frontier into
Israel (for which I have a second passport), to see Galilee, Lake
of Tiberias, and some castles round Haifa. From Haifa I cross
back to Cyprus, and my plane leaves Cyprus for London on
July ist. I am very well, and it's not usually too hot. I do
hope you are well? It's much too long since I heard. Much
love from your affectionate
1 Rt Rev. W. H. Stewart
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.I
nth July, I953t
My dear Hamilton,
I got home last week, to find your letter of June 2yth
awaiting me. Next morning my wireless got spontaneous
combustion and set my sitting-room alight, and it burnt down
a lot of pictures, furniture, curtains, carpet, etc., before the
firemen could extinguish it, also a few books and papers, and
the heat was so great that my big glass-fronted bookcase broke
its glass front. The builders haven't yet got to work on re
decorating (that is my landlord's job, of course) and heaven
knows how long they will be. Meanwhile I live in my bed
room, encumbered with books and papers and furniture, and
the pictures have gone away to have their canvas repaired
where possible, their glass mended (and frames), and the sofa
is going away for re-covering and two tables for repairing and
polishing, and the hair carpet for restoring if possible, if not I
must have another. Luckily I am covered; I was afraid my
insurance had run out, but it just hadn't. Of course the
insurance won't pay for everything, as things cost so much
more now than when I bought them; but I hope not to be
utterly ruined. It is all very tiresome and uncomfortable, and
my proofs are pouring in and I ought to be writing my last
chapter, but it is very difficult in these circumstances. However,
to soothe myself I think with joy of Cyprus and the Levant.
Since I last wrote to you I have been over the frontier at
Jerusalem, from Arab land to Israel, and then on into the whole
State of Israel, the lake of Galilee, where I stayed in a Franciscan
convent at Tiberias, high above the lake; it was very beautiful.
Lovely bathing, and I drove round the lake to Capernaum,
which is just a little group of ruins with a little church near,
with a mosaic of loaves and fishes. Galilee was indescribably
beautiful. Then I saw Nazareth, and so to the coast, where 1
saw Acre, Tortosa, Caesarea (now a few ruins above the sea),
Askelon (also a heap of ruins) and the new capital Tel Aviv, a
horrid modern city. On that side of the frontier I heard, of
course, the Jewish point of view, after the furious diatribes I
had heard about' them from the evicted Arabs. I liked the
Children of Israel, and I liked the Arabs, and there seems no
solution of their quarrel. The Jews are making a good thing
of their new State, if they can get hold of enough money. I
returned from Tel Aviv to Cyprus on June 20, and had a few
more days there before flying home in a rather limping plane
that kept having to retrace its steps and held us up at Athens
for a while. I certainly did have an eyeful and a mindful of
beauty and interest, also of sunshine. Now I am back in the
cold damp of an English July, and am just getting used again
to never feeling quite warm enough. I am working uncom
fortably hard, which would perhaps be more difficult if it was
hot. . . .
I will read C. Dawson's Oxford Movement* And the
Newman Letters 2 again; I can't have read them for years. His
reactions to the places he saw were, as I remember them, all
part of religion to him; was he ever carried away by sheer
sensuous beauty, with no religious afterthought? I imagine
not. My reactions to the Palestine and Syrian country, apart
from its clear, fine-drawn beauty of line and colour, were to
deepen my sense of the essentially Syrian life they led there, and
of the Eastern origins of the Christian church. I see what you
mean about the Christ formed by Western Catholicism, the
form in which He comes to us. But I always feel, don't you,
that Western Catholicism made many mistakes and mis
interpretations, and should go back without prejudice to the
source, in as scholarly and honest a way as can be done. We
do seem to have made so many muddles, and worse than
1 Christopher Dawson, The Spirit of the Oxford Movement (193 3)-
2 Anne Mozley, Letters and Correspondence ofj. H. Newman during his
Life in the English Church (2 vok, 1891).
muddles. They say it was the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
but I think they got this wrong extremely often. No more
room to talk about this ! Only my love.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
30th July, i9ssf
My dear Hamilton,
This isn't going to be a real letter, as I can't write one till
I have a free moment, and that means when I have got my
proofs off. At present I am knee-deep in them, sitting on my
bedroom floor, while the painters and carpenters occupy the
sitting-room. I have to finish them by August 4, and after that
shall write to you properly. This is only to send my love and
to thank you for yours of July I4th and I5th and 2ist, and for
an old one you wrote to Famagusta; it followed me about the
east, and arrived here 3 days ago ! Thank you so much for it,
and for the others. I will answer them all properly soon. At
the moment my writing-table in my bedroom is piled with
unopened envelopes and unanswered letters and they will just
have to wait. I shall be glad when the long business is over;
and when, too, I can get back to my sitting-room. My furniture
(the burnt but not quite destroyed things) is being repaired;
the pictures are being treated, those not too far gone. Curtains
and covers and carpet are beiiig replaced. I am here till August
8th, when I go for a fortnight to the Isle of Wight with my
sister; then back here. The Chapel shuts for August, except
for the Sunday services, which will be taken by Father May-
cock, 1 Canon Hood's successor at Pusey House. 1 shall miss
the daily Masses quite a lot.
When I have time to read at all, I shall read the various
1 Rev. F. H. Maycock.
books you mention Tyrrell I always find good. Now I must
stop and labour. I am quite well, only rather exhausted with
all this work and comfortless domestic conditions.
I am just in from the wedding of a friend 1 at St Margaret's,
Westminster, A beautiful service and singing. But what an
odd service the marriage service in some ways is ! I can't help
feeling that the Christ and the Church analogy, kept on all
these centuries, is pretty blasphemous and silly. Who first
conceived it? It always shocks ine. But I like all the "for
richer, for poorer, for better, for worse", etc. it is very
Much love. I shall write again soon.
Ryde, Isle of Wight
nth August, 1953 1
My dear Hamilton,
At last I have got my book OFF, delivered to the publishers,
and no more worry with it till it comes back to me in page-
proofs, and horrid thought index. And at last I can relax,
he about in the sun on this blessed island (not so blessed as
Cyprus, but still blessed, when one is, as I am, away from the
madding crowds on the beaches and sitting in a garden above
the sea). And now I can write some kind of answer to your
letters. One result of them was that I took some of the books
you wrote of with me, and am reading them: Vol. 2 of M. D.
Petre's (yes, surely Peter, not Petrie I never heard it called that
but I may be wrong) Tyrrell, which I have read, of course,
long ago, but have forgotten. 2 It is the volume with the
1 Nigel Nicolson.
2 Maude D. Petre, Autobiography and Life of George Tyrrell (2 vols.,
account of his middle years, his conflicts with the S[ociety
of] J[esus], his friendship with von Hugel all that. And I
like her account of her R.C. mid- Victorian childhood. I also
have her My Way of Faith but haven't got down to that yet. I
couldn't get (at the L. L[ibrary]) TyrrelTs Faith for the
Millions?- but have some Wm Temples. I couldn't get Nova
et Vetera 2 either, which has some good essays in it. I possess
several TyrrelTs, and do re-read them from time to time.
It always makes me wonder how often it is possible for a
convert bred in a more or less sceptical atmosphere to settle
down intellectually permanently in Rome: I think nagging
doubts, rebellions against all those dogmatic certainties, so
authoritatively delivered as if from God not from fallible
human beings, would always from time to time raise their
heads and disturb. What an extraordinary position that Church
has come to hold, in the minds of vague non-Catholics ! In a
novel I am now reading a dissolute young woman says, " I
think I shall join the Church", and means the R.C. Church
no other crosses her mind. She adds that it seems the only
escape from self. None of her friends say " How about the
Anglican Church? " None of them has ever heard of it. But
they beg her not to 'join the Church", as they think she
wouldn't be happy in it, or able to believe enough. It seems to
me that rather ignorant people in novels always take this line
religion is the R.C. Church (which they call "the Catholic
Church") and they know of no other. I was interested that the
nice manager of this hotel, 3 who is an Anglo-Catholic, said to
me, "Are you an Anglo-Catholic ? " And when I said yes, said,
" I somehow felt you were." Why, I wonder ? He was telling
me of "a nice church" near here with daily Mass. But so far
I have been too sunk in dopey lassitude, after my exhausting
labours, to get up early enough. I bathe, and lie about, and
1 The Faith of the Millions: A Selection of Past Essays (2 vols., 1901).
2 G. Tyrrell, Nova et Vetera: Informal Meditations (1897).
3 Westeld Park Hotel, Kyde.
reld, and talk to my sister, and answer piles of unanswered
letters, and sleep. I must get that Latin and English Psalter you
mention. And Dawson's Oxford Movement, which would
interest me. What a good prayer, that "contra adversa munia-
wur", 1 I shall get it by heart, and transcribe among my
Preces Privatae. I need it, for I am terribly unfortified against
adversity, by nature. How wrong you are about me!
I attach far too much importance to possessions, and loathe
losing them. In '41, when my flat went, I was shattered (being
then also without coelestia alimenta) and even now hate to think
of it. Of course my conflagration the other day was a very
minor affair ; tho' it wrecked my sitting-room it didn't really
destroy very much, except some pictures (which I mourn) and
curtains and covers and a few books and lamp-shades, etc.
I don't feel quite happy about your Prodigal Son analogy.
After all, the C. of E. has tried, however faultily, to be Christian
(and not more faultily than the R.C. Church) and I don't feel
that it was eating husks all through the Protestant centuries, do
you? One thinks of George Herbert, of Bp An dr ewes, of
Hooker, Jeremy Taylor, the non-Jurors, the quiet Anglican
rectors who did their duty (your ancestors and mine), who
never felt they served a Church which was no good; and the
millions of faithful people who belonged to it. But no more !
1 See post-communion Collect for Quinquagesima: ". . . Ut qui
coelestia alimenta percepimus, per haec contra omnia adversa muniamur"
(". . . That we who have received this heavenly food may by it be safe
guarded from all adversities.")
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
20th August, 195 3 1
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you so much for yours of I4th, answering mine
from I[sle of] W[ight]. This is in an envelope, as I want to
enclose an interesting review from the Sunday Times of a book
on the Clapham Sect 1 (an absurd name, as Raymond Mortimer
rightly points out). It is, as he says, odd that it should have
been, in the Church, only the Evangelicals who bothered about
those social wrongs. I suppose the Tractarians were too much
taken up with church reform to care about social reform. Or
is there any other explanation? It is one of the shocking
anomalies of Christianity like the Inquisition. I do see what
you mean about the C. of E. and the Prodigal Son. I suppose
all branches of all churches have shown a terrible appetite for
husks at various times; luckily sometimes they achieve the
fatted calf in the end, but not always. The pity is that so many
people really do prefer the husky diet, apparently, and don't
see the beauty of the other don't even know about it and
when, weary of husks, they hanker after a calf, they only know
about the Roman calf, and make for it without a glance aside
at the potentialities of the Church of their country. Somehow
the larger Church has succeeded in imposing itself, and in
stealing the limelight. Of course there are, all over the country,
a great number of very dull and unsatisfying churches, which
no doubt make a bad impression on those who look for a
Church to attach themselves to. Two Irish girls in the I. of W.
asked me why C. of E. churches smelt so musty. I said it was
the smell of damp and ancient stones, also of hassocks. I added
that of course we had the old churches, and they had had to
build new ones. They retorted that they thought it was because
our churches weren't much used. I rather like the smell, it
1 E. M. House, Saints in Politics: The "Clapham Sect" and the Growth of
reminds one of all the country churches that ever were, and is
very, very Anglican.
I have now got hold of the first volume of the Faith of
Millions, and have read some of it with interest. Nova et
Vetera is vol. 2, isn't it, which I shall get next time I go to the
L[ondon] Library]. 1 It is interesting to think that in 1897 he
[Tyrrell] felt as he apparently did, in his admiration for the
[Roman Catholic] Church (though even then with reservations)
and by 1900 was writing "O Church of my baptism why did
I ever leave you ? ". Now I am back here, I can get the other
books too. I have now got to write a BBC programme on
"Changing Morals", illustrated by quotations read aloud. I
suppose I begin with the cave man gnawing his bone and
snarling at those who try to take it away; a long step from
him to the elaborate arrangements for people's welfare we
make now. Yes, we are better. History is horribly cruel, people
flogged to death, tortured, massacred, lunatics chained up and
beaten, children worked to death in factories and pits, prisons
what they were. I suppose even our partial advance in
humanity is something to be glad of. But we have kept war.
As to our moral teachers, I suppose "the Light that lighteth
every man" has inspired in them much the same codes, from
all ages, however shockingly misinterpreted. Buddha, Con
fucius, Socrates, the Jewish prophets all speak of love, human
kindness, forgiving trespasses. But all the time these horrors
went on; and, of course, go on still, tho' less. And what of
sex morality ? It seems to undulate, have its ups and downs.
I see the Kinsey Report about women is out; 2 one review
suggests that some of the women questioned were probably
pulling Dr Kinsey's leg. I am little by little getting my flat
into shape again. . . . Actually the room gets to look rather
smart . . . and hasn't been so clean for years ! 1 won't write
on the back of this, as it shows through. I had such a nice
1 Nova et Vetera is not Vol. 2 of The Faith of the Millions.
2 A. C. Kinsey, Sexual Behaviour in the Human Female (i953)
peaceful week on the Island, and feel very much rested by it
The weather was nice. I hope you too feel well and fit. Much
love to you. Your letters are so full of interest always.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
i&th September, 1953!
My dear Hamilton,
Your letter of I5th reproaches me (though not in words)
for my dilatoriness in writing lately, for I have had three letters
from you since I last wrote. But truly I have been impossibly
busy since I got back from [the] I[sle] of Wfight], wrestling with
proofs and other business, and have scarcely had time for
reading or writing anything [I have been hearing] a terrible
account of the state of tilings [in South Africa] . . . the tension
between Africans and Europeans, and the frightfulness of the
Malan government. The ill feeling grows all the time, and no
wonder. The worst part of it is the way these injustices and
cruelties are done in the name of religion, that horrible brand
of Calvinistic Old Testament religion that Boers affect. One
calls it O.T. because they keep referring to this, but it is
really a libel on the O.T., with its magnificence and com
muning with God . . , No, I don't remember that line in
Swinburne, and, as you say, it isn't like him; I will ask a
Swinburne expert. Mrs Belloc Lowndes was R.C. like her
brother. 1 So are her daughters, Elizabeth Iddesleigh and Susan
Marques, who is married to a delightful Portuguese and lives
in Lisbon. I will get hold, if I can, of One Poor Scruple, I've
never read it. 2 Didn't I send you Period Piece ? I know I
thought of it. I certainly shall, for an early Xmas present ! I
know you'd love it. It is full of wit and observation and
1 Hilaire Belloc.
2 Mrs Wilfrid Ward, One Poor Scruple (1899).
Cambridge and the Darwins, etc. Thank you for all the books
you put into my mind. I shall get from the Ljondon] Lfibrary]
The Wards and the Transition}- For the next little while I must
read books about "Changing Morals", for my BBC pro
gramme. They certainly have changed: and of course on the
whole much for the better ... I have been reading Lecky, 2
Aristotle, M. Aurelius, Plato, Leviticus, the Psalms ; and, as you
see, have not got yet very near our own times. But before I
really tackle it I have to compile the index to my book; this
I must do next week in Dorset, where I go on Tuesday for a
week to stay with Raymond Mortimer, who is far from well
and will be alone, so invited me to keep him company; I think
he will be helpful about the index.
Your description of your over-replete cell that needs tidying
is very like my flat! All my drawers and boxes are lull to
choking, and my tidyings are much too partial and inadequate.
Should you not throw away a lot of letters, beginning with
the 134 (now 135) that you mention ? I really think you should.
They must take a lot of space, and aren't worth preserving. My
sitting-room has acquired a new neatness after its wrecking by
fire . . . "homely and yet artistic", as the man who came to
mend my clock remarked.
Yes, your reading is rather Popish just now. I am reading
Christopher Sykes's Two Studies in Virtue, with his study of
Richard Sibthorp, the Anglican priest early in the 19th century
who was from time to time drawn over to Rome; it is
interesting and amusing and attractive. I think if I had been
born 50 years before I was, I might easily have made that
journey, just to escape from the bareness of the C. of E. But
now I feel we have as good as the Romans have, and with it
far more integrity and intelligence in our worship. What
should you say is the central point in the Christian faith? I
suppose the belief that Christ is God and became incarnate and
l Maisie Ward, The Wilfrid Wards and the Transition (2, vok, 1934-38).
2 William E. H. Lecky (1838-1903), Irish historian and essayist.
lives to help us now and is the indwelling light in every man.
I can never get much further than this and that He is Love.
But all the Churches have got much further, of course, and
the Rom: Church furthest of all. No more space to expound
on this ! Don't worry when I don't write. You are so steadily
there to me that I can talk to you sometimes in my thoughts,
And I send my love always, even when I don't write.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
Sth October, 1953!
My dear Hamilton,
I seem always to be answering two letters from you, the
2nd having arrived before I had had time to answer the 1st,
but it is quite unintentional, as I always think I shall have time
to write, and then each day submerges me again. Since my
return from Dorset and getting your letter of Sept. 22nd, I
have been feverishly rushing round to libraries etc. trying to
check up on the captions for my illustrations; where the
original pictures are, who by, etc. etc., my publishers having
lost some records. It has been a great hunt, interrupted by five
days of pleurisy on my part, but that is now cured by assiduous
doping with M. & B. and penicillin, and I am now entirely
recovered. And the book chores are over, I think, so I can now
get down to all the other arrears of chores, including " Morals'*,
and two reviews over-due. What a life ! To-day I got W. G.
Ward, by his son, from the library (I mean W. G. Ward and
the Oxford Movement)}- The Transition* is still out, but is being
sent for, as it is due back. I shall read that with interest; also
One Poor Scruple. The Ward I have is interesting. His pre-
1 W. Ward, W. G. Ward and the Oxford Movement (1889).
2 The Wilfrid Wards and the Transition, see above p. mru
conversion attitude towards Rome reminds me of you. " He
recited its liturgy constantly, he studied its devotional literature
unceasingly. The existing Catholic Church had to him all the
romance which days of chivalry have to the youthful readers
of Scott." But you don't hate Anglicanism, and he did. It
"caused him torture," he told people. He thought it was
oppressive and had no liberty. This view may seem a trifle
biassed, but he was too wholly enchanted by Rome to admit
any such defects in it. Just as Belloc was. And any defects
which he (Belloc) saw, he loudly denied, and hit out at the
heretic enemy. Not an admirable character; but an admirable
writer. He had the great faults of scorn and arrogance.
I believe myself that our Reformation had positive virtues;
don't you grant it any ? In spite of the destruction and the
crudeness and the bareness of church and worship, it had an
element of truth and moral integrity, and did end many
corruptions, surely, that had to be ended. Had it been led by
Erasmus and Colet . . . [sic] but, as you and Horace rightly point
out, one can't change the past. Or have we, to some extent?
Anyhow, we have now something in which I, at least, can
live and find nourishment well in the treacle. 1 1 certainly don't
want anything else; only the power to use better and more
profitably what is accessible. In short, I am a happy Anglican,
even though a pretty unprofitable one. And of course I
couldn't be a happy Papist, or an honest one. Though I dip
into their devotions and their liturgy at my pleasure and suck
no small advantage from it, especially from the bits you pass on
to me from time to time. But I read it myself too, quite a lot,
and it is all part of the treacle. From treacle to cantaloups.
Pronounce (says the Ofxford] Dictionary]) cantaloup. No,
not cantellopies. It is from the Italian place near Rome,
Cantalupo, where it first grew, brought there by Armenians.
1 In earlier letters to Father Johnson, R. M. had written metaphorically
of "treacle wells'* ; see Letters to a Friend, p. 39, and Lewis Carroll's Alice in
Wonderland, chapter vn.
" Highly esteemed by the curious" (1763), and thought a great
delicacy. Talking of delicacies, did you know that old St
James's Day, August 5th, used to be Oyster Day, because the
oyster season then began. 1 Hence the grottoes made by children
of oyster shells. Did they in Norfolk "go grottoing", begging
"a penny for the grotto " ? And is it still anywhere done? A
friend of mine says he remembers it in Battersea Park some
thirty years ago. And the Shropshire children always did it
when my father was a child there. I wonder if the custom ever
got to America. It is supposed to be derived from the days of
pilgrimages (with scallop shells) to St James of Compostella,
when they built grottoes to his honour. The origin of all
these customs interests me to track out. I dare say the New
Englanders thought it popish, like the maypole, and didn't
I am now recovered from my conflagration, and sit sur
rounded by its fruits: new curtains, with a pleasant design as
of large blue sunflowers in squares very nice, I think; and a
new deep blue weave sofa cover, and new haircord carpet, and
polished up writing-table and cabinet (inlaid), and a new
cabinet with drawers, for the new wireless to stand on; and
on the new wireless stands my new and beautiful Parthenon of
cork, under a glass dome like a bubble, which Raymond
Mortimer gave me in Dorset; and newly painted walls of deep
cream, and the pictures now nearly all back, except the totally
destroyed; some remain rather scorched, but I have hung what
I could. The room looks very clean and re-furbished, and is
an incentive to tidiness, for me an unattainable virtue except
by fits and starts. I really must try to keep my litter under; I
am glad that you too find this difficult.
You have given me no news for a long time of your friends
the Paines. Is Mrs P. well, and the girl and her baby? Do
1 By "old St James's Day, August 5th" R. M. presumably means St
James's Day according to the Julian Calendar, which was in use in England
you see them much? And how is Father oh dear, can I
have forgotten his name? 1 I forget everything just now,
and he so kind to me when over here. It will come back to me
when I am less sleepy; it is after 1 1, and I have had a busy day.
And my ostium coeli 2 awaits me at 8.15 to-morrow. Mark
Bonham Carter, a friend of mine and the son of Lady Violet
B.C., a most intelligent young man in his early 305, wants to
come to the Grosvenor with me one morning; 3 he ... thinks
he will try what it is like at the Chapel. I hope he'll like it. ...
[I] saw the new T. S. Eliot play . . . The Confidential Clerk; not
v.g., I thought. I always feel he could do better, somehow.
But some people see deep meanings in it. Well, who knows?
Good-night. Thank you for everything in your two letters,
and much love.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.I
2$th October, 1953 f
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you v. much indeed for your letter of Oct. I2th.
I am interested in what you say about the validity of Catholic
sacraments and orders outside the Rom: Church. I always feel
it is largely from vanity that the Papal claims to be the unique
Catholic Church of Christ rise; they can't bear to have any
non-Papal rivals. Apropos of this, I will send you Infallible
Fallacies* the pamphlet by some anonymous Anglican priest
which has lately been published It is called "An Anglican
reply to R.C. arguments", and opens with a protest against the
1 R. M. means Fr Pedersen, S.S.J.E.
2 "Doorway to heaven."
3 The idea originated with R. M.
4 Infallible Fallacies: An Anglican Reply to Roman Catholic Arguments, by
some Priests of the Anglican Communion (S.P.C.K., 1953)-
R.C. anti-Anglican propaganda, which is to be found in all
those booklets which lie about R.C. churches, and elsewhere.
I think a reply was wanted, but perhaps they go too far in
criticism down too near the ill-mannered R.C. level, which is a
pity. But I gather they meant to answer the questions of many
Anglicans who are upset and shaken by Roman propaganda.
I shall like to know what you think of it, when you receive it.
How nice it would be if each Church were to publish a
pamphlet full of compliments to the other ! Why should there
be all this ill-feeling?
Mark Bonham Carter came to Mass with me, and liked it
v. much. ... I hope he will go on coming sometimes. That
Bonham Carter you knew may have been Sir Maurice, Mark's
father and Lady Violet's husband a pleasant, able barrister of
about yo-odd. Are you a reader of George Santayana, and did
you ever come across him? I've just been reviewing his last
autobiographical volume 1 (he died last year 2 , I think). A
curiously egotistical philosopher-poet, who never fitted in
anywhere; Spanish birth, American and Harvard upbringing,
long stays in England (Oxford and Cambridge). But, tho* a
sceptic, PIC] could like no religion but the R.C. Church, which
he never practised, but felt a patriotic devotion to, and loathed
Protestantism (oh dear, my new pen is not a success, it conies
through the paper I shall type instead). Fr Waggett 3 asked
him to lunch at Cowley, and (except Fr W. himself) he
utterly despised the Fathers, and described them most rudely.
That was about 1896, I think: before your time, of course.
But dear Fr Gary must have been there, 4 and many other
delightful people. I think Santayana was angry with them for
being non-"Catholic" monks at all; he found it hypocritical
1 My Host the World (1953).
2 26th September, 1952.
3 Rev. P. N. Waggett, S.S.J.E. (1862-1939), ^tom R. M. knew at
Cambridge before World War I.
4 Rev. H. L. M. (Lucius) Gary, S.S.J.E. (d. 1950), formerly R. M/s
and absurd. He didn't like King's either, 1 except the architec
ture of the Chapel etc., which he describes very beautifully, but
implies that it was unvisited by God. As Bertrand Russell says
of him, he was full of "facile contempt", therefore difficult to
love. I am going to a lecture on the Gospels by E. V. Rieu,
who has lately translated them, hasn't he ? 2 And I want to read
C. H. Dodd on the Fourth Gospel, which was reviewed the
other day; it sounds interesting. 3 You will see that I am trying
to improve my Njew] T[estament] knowledge, which wants
doing. Meanwhile my sister is engaged in trying to introduce
an unbeliever to Christianity; she plies her with books, which
the unbeliever reads with interest, but so far can't envisage a
God. Jeanie has never unbelieved; I have, so am useful in
suggesting means of cure. Perhaps, in the end, it must be a
movement not of intellect but of will. Perhaps sin, perhaps
unhappiness, help sometimes to open the doors; perhaps some
times mere loneliness, often of course personal influence. But
reading ? I don't know if that often opens the ostium coeli.
Corresponding with a Cowley Father in Cambridge, Mass, is
not a bad plan, followed by attending a Chapel in Mayfair.
I have got the Transition Wards from the Library now, and read
a good deal of it with interest. 4 It must have been a stimulating
time and set of people. Quite different from the circle of
Arnolds, Stephens, Huxleys, etc. that my grandparents moved
among, and who seldom (except Tom Arnold) had R.C.
leanings. Tho' several of my mother's cousins were converts
actually. Yes, Sam: Daniel 5 yearned after old times, yet
remained Protestant; like Bishop Corbet 6 and many others.
All Hallows next Sunday: that at least the Church has always
celebrated. And All Souls has returned to us; I wish we put
1 King's College, Cambridge.
2 See above p. 88.
3 C. H. Dodd, The Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel (1953)-
4 See above p. inn.
5 Samuel Daniel (1562-1619).
6 Richard Corbet (1582-1635), Bp. of Oxford and Norwich,
fairy lamps on graves here, as we did in Italy. Much love for
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
$rd November, 1953 f
My dear Hamilton,
Your letter (Oct. 26th) came soon after I had posted mine
of 25th; and now you have answered that one on 28th, so I
have two of yours before me. I wonder when you'll get
Infallible Fallacies. You will probably dislike it v. much;
indeed, we mostly think it a mistake. It may hinder some
wavering would-be converts and set them thinking more
critically about Roman claims and Anglican ditto, and may
tell the ignorant tilings they hadn't known before about both :
but this doesn't compensate for the aggressive tone of much of
it, which can only do harm. Perhaps I shouldn't have sent it
you, because I know you'll hate much of it.
Did I ever tell you of my little god-daughter, Mary Anne,
now 12 ? x I sponsored her at a time when (I now see) I was in
no fit state to be sponsoring anyone but there it is, I am her
godmother, and I did promise to see that she was brought up
a Christian. She now goes to St Paul's school, and her sister
of 10 to a smaller day school in Kensington. There they get
some church and scripture teaching, I suppose .... Now
I feel it is time I took up my responsibilities more, and tried
to introduce them to some attractive church that has good
children's services masses or afternoon services, or both ... As
smaller children they sometimes went in and out of a Roman
church close to them, off Kensington High Street, and probably
that is about all they know of Catholicism. They know
nothing, certainly, of Anglican Cath: and I should like to
1 Mary Anne O'Donovan.
introduce them to this, in an attractive setting. . . . St John's,
Addison Rd 1 [has, they say] . . . services for children of a
Catholic type. So I shall go there to inspect it, and then take
the two young ladies there on Sunday, and try and tell them
something aboiit the Church I wish you would bear
these children in mind from time to time, and my efforts for
them. They are intelligent, charming, lively, and we are
mutually fond of each other; I am, of course, their "Aunty
Rose". Mary Anne reads some of my books. I fear she
won't get far with Ruins, which comes out at the end of this
All Saints and All Souls were v.g. ... A really first-class
sermon on Sunday, mostly about All Soub, and yesterday we
had 2 early Requiem Masses.
Unusually, I have been writing a letter to a paper (The
Listener) in reply to a broadcaster on Newman and Manning
who charged the C. of E. with having "slept a deep sleep" for
nearly two centuries when Newman came to Oxford in i8iy. 2
What a thing to say of the Church of the Caroline divines, the
tremendous religious conflicts between Churchmen and
Puritans, the rich stream of Cathol[ic] piety and tradition that
ran thro' both iyth and i8th centuries, tho' rather thinly in the
latter. But remember the Non-Jurors, Wm Law, the groups
of pious churchmen and women, in the Little Gidding tradi
tion, the theological pamphlet wars that excited London so
much, the innumerable books of devotion that ran into so many
editions and were so widely used, the sacramental teaching in
them, so much in advance of the B[ook of] C[ommon] P[rayer].
Then the speaker referred to the bibulous, toadying parsons of
the early ipth century. Searching the records of my clerical
forbears of that time Conybeares, Macaulays, Roses, Fer-
1 A slip for St Barnabas', Addison Road.
2 R. Furneaux Jordan, "Rome and Oxford: A Study in Environment,"
The Listener, 29th October, 1953. R. M/s letter was published in the issue
of 5th November.
gusons I find sobriety, scholarship, integrity of life, piety.
And in so many others as well. These stale second-hand
cliches are so silly. Oh dear, I have scarcely begun on the many
topics raised by your letters. Musophilus, 1 Carthusians, 2 etc.,
and several admirable prayers that you quote. I will write about
these next time. Your in some ways unwise hemisphere is
sending us an evangelist called Billy Graham to convert and
rouse us. I fear he may have some success, those hysterical
missions always do, specially in "the Protestant underworld".
I have lately met several people brought up dissenters, now
nothing at all (can one blame them?) who, I foresee, will end
in Rome. Our chapels are breeding grounds for that church,
and it should be grateful to them. They know how horrible is
the religion they grew up in how unlovely, dull, unshining,
stark, often vulgarly expressed and they know of no other,
but assume that Rome is the alternative, and fly to it with relief.
Now I go to the Ljondon] Library] and shall get out that
Mathew book, which I did read once, and that edition of
Musophilus, which I have read, but elsewhere; and [I] should
like to read it more carefully. 3 Thank you for those v.g.
prayers, and all the interesting comments in your letters. I have
finished the Wards (Wilfrid 4 was hard on Tyrrell, so is
Maisie [Ward]: I prefer M. D. Petre's picture of him 5 ).
Samuel Daniel, Musophilus, or a General Defence of Learning (1599).
2 This refers to David and Gervase Mathew's The Reformation and the
Contemplative Life (1934)-
3 R. M. nowhere makes it clear which edition of Musophilus Father
Johnson had recommended.
4 Wilfrid Ward, son and biographer of W. G. Ward.
6 In her Life of Tyrrell, see above p. 105.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
i6th November, 1953 f
My dear Hamilton,
Yours of Nov. 9th (posted then) came quickly, and was
most welcome. Thank you for reminding me of Musophilus,
which I got, in that edition, from the Library, and read with
great interest. How sane it is ! Every merit except poetry and
clarity, don't you think, for poetical or clear it isn't. But
eloquent and moving, and oh what good sense ! Exactly what
we feel now: " For with the worst we will not spare the best,
Because it growes with that which doth displease", I like
"th'opened and invulgar'd mysteries*'. But I don't quite get
"the Norman subtleties". 1 The whole poem is very interesting.
As to the Mathews' Carthusian book, I haven't yet got hold of
that. 2 I am meeting the brothers at lunch next week, and will
mention it. The Bishop will soon be leaving Mombasa for
good, 3 and will probably take work in England.
Did I never mention before my 12-years-old god-child,
Mary Anne? By the way, the Conybeare infant, to whose
Eton baptism I went, was not a god-child, only a cousin. 4 At
that time I shouldn't have had the cheek to take on a god-child,
things being as they were. Twelve years ago I was much less
aware of such matters, and had therefore more cheek. It really
was quite wrong, in my then circumstances. Still, I did it, and
now her faith is my concern. I took her and her n-y ear-old
sister Jane on Sunday afternoon to a very nice children's service
at St Mary Abbots, taken by an admirable curate 5 , who really
seemed to be interested in the children and eliciting answers
1 R. M. has added a marginal note here: " See overleaf for more about
it"; i.e. see below p. 122.
2 The Reformation and the Contemplative Life.
8 Mombasa had been Abp Mathew's headquarters while Apostolic
Delegate in Africa.
4 John Bruce Conybeare, see Letters to a Friend, p. 32.
5 Rev. Charles Wright.
from them; he talked about Christ at twelve in the temple, and
about St Hugh of Lincoln, and interested my two very much.
After the service they went up to get stamps to stick in books
each week, and are keen to go again. Then I took them out to
tea, and gave them little copies of the catechism, telling them
they might learn the answers to the first two or three, and I
would ask them next time. Perhaps I made a mistake in telling
them that the proper answer to " What did your godfathers
and godmothers then for you? " was " Silver mug, spoon and
fork"; this joke stuck, and I fear I shall get this answer only.
I remember we used to think it funny ! Afterwards I rang up
the curate, and told him their names, and asked him to take an
interest in them, as ... it would be good if they took root at
St Mary's. So I hope for the best. I would like them to strike
roots in some Anglican church. Mary Anne told me at tea
that they "didn't believe anything yet", but that later on she
thought of becoming a Roman Catholic. I said, " You'll have
to believe plenty if you do that, you know", to which she
replied, " No, I shan't believe it. But I like the churches, and
they have prayers in Latin " which you would have liked.
The point is that they, when smaller, used to run in and out of
the R.C. church close to them in Duke's Lane [off] Church
Street, Kensington, and the priest was nice to them and fed
them chocolates. I told Mary Anne that they were now think
ing of having the prayers in English; she has begun Latin at
school, and likes it. If ever she really does "vert", I fear she
may just take it as a nice thing to belong to, and believe none
of it really. Still, she may grow to. Meanwhile, I must do
what I can about giving them an idea of the thing; no, I won't
impart any doubts or negations, only what I do believe and
value. . . .
Really S[amuel] D[aniel] does write awkwardly sometimes.
[For instance in Musophilus,] line 698: "Norman subtleties". 1
1 See Complete Works in Verse and Prose of Samuel Daniel (ed. Alexander
B. Grosart, 1885), where "the Norman subtleties" occurs in line 668.
The O[xford] Dictionary] sheds no light on these. I think it
means "arguments", but why Norman? The next two lines
seem to personify them. 1 Then (1. 704) what is "if"?? 2 I can
only suppose that it refers back to "the estimate" in 1. 695 ;
but how awkward this is. So is 1. 722, in its relation to
72i. 3 One sees what this means, but it has no syntax. All page
90 is good and clear. Mostly I think his sentences are too long,
which leads him into grammatical confusion, forgetting what
was his predicate and subject. One feels that what he had to
say exceeded his powers of saying it, like a river brimming
over its banks and rushing unbridled and unchannelled. But
what good things he was trying to say, and how one sym
pathises ! I must look up in the Worthies all that Fuller says
about him. S.D.'s was a different view of the Reformation
from Fuller's; but obviously F. had great esteem for him. I
suppose S.D/s view is very much ours; certainly mine and
Now I have to sally out to a party given by Graham Greene
and Wyndham's Theatre on the 250th performance of The
Living Room. I seldom meet actors, they are to me bright
strange fishes swimming in an element alien to me; I feel that
to meet them is to See Life. Not that I want to see much of
them. But I shall like to meet this cast, particularly the girl
Rose Tutin, 4 and the man who acts the old priest who can do
nothing to help her in her sad plight. It is a moving, odd play;
I wonder how it will fare in New York, if it should go there.
A party beginning at 10.30 is rather late for me, and will bring
me rather too near the hour of getting up for Mass. I used to
1 Who (being mounted up into their state)
Doe best with wrangling rudeness sympathise.
2 Yet would this giddy innovation faine
Downe with it lower, to abase it quite:
3 To alter course may bring men more astray,
And leaving what was knowne to light on none.
4 R. M. means Dorothy Tutin, who took the part of "Rose" in The
go to more late parties once; but there were then more of
them, I was younger, and got up later !
My book comes out on Dec. 4th 1 ; I hope to see some copies
in a day or two. Shall I send it you? I think you must have
it, tho' you needn't read much of it. Much love. Thank you
for 2 good little pfost] c[ard] prayers.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.I
2nd December, 1953 1
My dear Hamilton,
I think the posts have already begun to go hay-wire for
the festal season, don't you. Your last letter, posted Nov. 24th,
took 6 days instead of the usual 3 or 4, and no doubt they will
get worse soon. But thank you so much for it; I shall probably
have to write this letter in instalments, as you sometimes do,
my time at the moment being rather cut up.
I am interested in all you say of Musophilus. As regards his
[Samuel Daniel's] poetic gifts I rather agree with Ben Jonson,
who said he was "an honest man, but no poet" and with
Michael Drayton, who thought that his manner better fitted
prose. Ben Jonson, of course, disliked his anti-Latinism, and
was probably prejudiced. But as to Xudor English, surely he
had many splendid models, both in poetry and prose. Writing
Musophilus in 1599, he had all the Elizabethans behind him in
their stately glory and what a glory they were! The great
and smaller poets, the great musical translators, such as North, 2
Philemon Holland, 3 Florio, 4 the travel writers collected by
Hakluyt, Sidney, Tyndale and Coverdale, Cranmer, Hooker,
1 Pleasure of Ruins was published on yth December, 1953.
2 Sir Thomas North (1535 ?-i6oi ?), translator of Plutarch, etc.
3 Philemon Holland (i 552-1637), translator of Livy, Pliny's Nat. Hist., etc.
4 John Florio (1553 ?-i625), lexicographer and translator of Montaigne's
the racy Larimer, 1 Nashe 2 and the romance-writers, Bacon
what models to choose among ! The awkwardness of the I5th
century English outgrown, and all the renaissance of imagina
tion and language and freedom of expression surging up like a
great river set free after long running soberly between narrow
banks. This at least the Reformation did help to bring about,
with all it cost in other ways. And, after all, it was an age of
great scholarship and learning. Of course I agree with you
about the "beastly business," but it had other sides, that made
for nobility and genius. If only the Puritans could have been
kept out of it, what a thing it might have been. I suppose it is
true to say that all movements have good and evil sides:
Protestantism, Catholicism, agnosticism, monasticism, roman
ticism, democracy, etc., etc. I think Daniel exaggerated the
sickness of learning in his time; there was plenty of learning,
and of a very fine kind, though scholastic theology had waned,
or sickened from its own excess. I think you must be right that
" Norman " as S[amuel] Dfaniel] uses it must mean medieval.
You have elucidated the meaning of several of the lines for me.
I haven't still got the book at hand, but remember it pretty
clearly. As to Simony, and such venal goings-on, from the pre-
Reformation accusations there must have been as much of these
in the medieval centuries as in the i6th, so here too the poet
was prejudiced, probably. I suppose people are apt to be; about
their own times. But he had an interesting and attractive mind
and angle. What interesting things you bring to my notice
always. . . .
My Ruins emerge on Monday, and the publishers are giving
a party for them and for a book of Cyril Connolly 3 to-morrow.
There is a BBC review of Ruins on Sunday afternoon, by John
Raymond, the literary editor of the New Statesman, which I
shall listen to with interest. And I gather Raymond Mortimer
1 Hugh Latimer (c. 1485-1555), Bp of Worcester.
2 Thomas Nashe (1567-1601), romance-writer and dramatist.
3 Ideas and Places (1953).
has done it for the Sunday Times. So it will get a good start.
Of course a book like that doesn't expect large sales. It will
cost 25/-, which, as it is large, illustrated, and nicely produced,
isn't expensive at current prices. Then I won't send it you; 1
but at Xmas I shall send you Period Piece, I hadn't forgotten that.
I think you'll like that. I hope your cold is gone now. I saw
the death of your cousin T. F. Powys, I suppose the most
famous of die family. Did you know him well, or not so well
as John ? 2 Mr Westons Good Wine was interesting and able,
tho* not wholly likeable. 3 His too was, I suppose, a godless
Did I tell you that I met Bp Mathew and brother Gervase
at lunch, and they were much indignant at Infallible Fallacies.
We agreed it was very ill-judged and discourteous. They
admitted that the anti-Anglican leaflets published by the
Cath : Truth Society were also discourteous, but . . . these
acrimonious criticisms . . . are a frightful mistake, and must
surely envenom relations.
Dec. $rd. This morning came your good letter posted Nov. 30
quite good going. It has come in rime for me to comment
on it in this. Yes, isn't that a vivid Vesuvius story of Pliny's. 4
No trace identifiable, I think, of Uncle P.'s house. All the old
town of Misenum is perished, but there are a few ruins of villas
on the Cape, and some moles of the harbour. I don't know
what was the site of that villa. Of nephew P.'s Laurentum villa
near Antium there is no trace either, but the approximate site
is known. Uncle P. must have been a very great man, so full
always of noble and courageous curiosity. Thank you for your
encouraging words about my little misses and the Church. I
1 Father Johnson had evidently replied in the negative to R, M.'s
question, "Shall I send it you ? " see above p. 124.
2 Theodore F. Powys, younger brother of John Cowper Powys, was
Father Johnson's first cousin.
3 T. F. Powys, Mr Westons Good Wine (1928).
4 Pliny the Younger, in a letter (vi. 16) to Tacitus described the death of
his uncle, Pliny the Elder, during the eruption of Mt Vesuvius in A.D. 79.
do hope they will get on. No. I shan't minify the mystery.
Odd; my complaint of R.C. teaching is that it tries to do this,
by its detailed, clear-cut, rigidly dogmatic instruction, that
leaves no place for the mysterious and unknown. I remember
this at the Convent school we attended for a time in Italy. 1
The nuns and priests knew just how everything happened, and
all about heaven, purgatory and hell, and what happens in the
Sacraments. I feel we leave much more on the margins of
p.s. I meant to tell you about the gorgeous Greek Orthodox
(Pan-slav) 2 [service] that I went to last Sunday. A radiant
golden affair, and such singing !
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.I
$th December, 1953
My dear Hamilton,
As I want you to have my Christmas card, I am putting it
into an ordinary letter, surface mail (too heavy for the air) and
posting it now, to reach you, I hope, in time for Xmas Day.
The card I took from the same engraving (1760) I have for the
jacket of my book: happy Turks enjoying themselves in Greek
ruins. I have composed a Christmas verse for it. 3 My other
1 R. M. and her sisters Margaret and Jean attended a convent school
when the Macaulay family was living at Varazze (1887-94).
2 R. M. probably means Pravoslavni, which is the word for "Orthodox"
in various Slavonic languages.
3 It's said that Turks, when we keep Christmas Day,
Smoke pipes in Asia Minor by the sea,
Lolling among Greek capitals, so gay
You'd never guess the Ottomans they be.
They know not why they smile, but on their ear
Beats from the west a carillon of bells,
Rocking and tumbling; in a dream they hear
And suck their hookahs, the grave infidels
enclosures are two reviews ; one by me, about a new anthology
of children's poems 1 do you agree with my views on children's
poetic tastes ? But I forgot, you said you never cared for poetry.
I can't imagine my early life without it I was steeped in it.
The other review I thought might interest you; it is about the
attitude of the English Recusants. 2 The passage I have marked
reminds one again what our Reformation might have been had
it been left to More and Erasmus and their kind. Even you
might then, perhaps, have approved it.
What you say sometimes about our Church saddens me a
little; it sounds almost as if you disliked and despised what to
, me is a beautiful treasury of riches and mystery, and a source of
spiritual life and strength. In your last letter, e.g., you speak of
"all mystery" being "eliminated" by the child being called "a
member of Christ, the child of God, and inheritor of the
kingdom of heaven". You say this makes it sound "quite
ordinary and dull", whereas to me it sounds mysterious,
beautiful and exciting; far more so than the dogmatic and
clear-cut teachings of Rome, against which so many intel
ligences have revolted. I suppose one difference between me
and you is that I have lately (and largely thanks to you) re-
found the Church, and to me it is still a wonderful and lovely
heritage, arul its Masses a glorious mystery, interpenetrating
our life with God. There is too much in Rfoman] Cathfolicisjm
to repel me so that I could never quite get that from it. I feel
the Anglican Church more Christian and more what I want
in religion. I know you don't, and sometimes I feel a little
sad for fear you are sad about being in the wrong Church. No,
"Mahound," they grunt, and puff and bubble away,
Not knowing that they smoke for Christmas Day.
I wish you all as merry a feast as they.
1 The Faber Book of Children's Verse, compiled by Janet Adam Smith
2 Probably a review of Geoffrey Anstruther's Vaux of Harrow den: a
Recusant Family (1953).
I should never try to "explain the Tightness of our Church" to
Mary Anne; only try and make her see it as a channel for
God's beauty to enter our lives, and make her, above all, want
this beauty. She is a child who will be able to reason, and I
know, if she got instead into the R.C. Church, would eventually
want to get out, seeing much of it as "mumbo-jumbo" and
untrue; she is that kind of child, clear-headed, and not very
romantic. The lo-year-old Jane is a more likely R.C., I think.
Anyhow, I must do my best with them. Meanwhile, we have
quite entertaining Sunday afternoons together. Perhaps one
day I'll take them to a R.C. service; but they couldn't follow
it much yet. I don't mind what they are, so long as they have
some form of Christianity to hold on to.
But please, dear Hamilton, to whom I owe so much, don't
run down my Church too much to me, because I love it, and
don't like it called "dull and ordinary". For that matter, lots of
R.Cs find their services this, too, when used to them. Perhaps
one day I shall find the C. of E. dull, but I don't so far. Of
course I do see the best of it, in my Chapel. Perhaps if I had
to attend a Sunday-matins church, I should be bored and
I sent you Period Piece to-day. I shall be writing later, by
air paper, for Christmas; this one is only for the enclosures.
"O Oriens " (that you quote) is one of my favourite prayers
and I often use it. 1 Much love. Forgive my C. of E. bias !
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
12th December, 1953!
My dear Hamilton,
I sent you on Dec. 5th my Christmas card with a sea letter,
hoping it would reach you by Christmas Day, but it may not.
See above p. 76.
Anyhow, it won't for some time, so I am filling the epistolary
gap with this very handsome Coronation air paper, so that you
may not think I haven't answered your last letters, which were
so full of interest. I expect transatlantic posts are akeady hay
wire. I sent you also Period Piece. Not Pleasure oj Ruins, which
saw the light on the yth, and has had, so far, a very nice kind
press; charming reviews in The Times, Sunday Times, Observer,
[Daily] Telegraph, New Statesman that, so far, is all. I am
surprised and relieved, having got myself rather tired of the
book, to find that people do, apparently, like it. No American
publisher has yet taken it: perhaps they won't. Though, con
sidering what tourists they are, a book about the great ruins
of the world might have a sale. It has a lot of nice illustrations,
and looks handsome.
I have had such a good Christmas present ... a History oj
Christian-Latin Poetry up to the close of the Middle Ages; a
very exciting work, which you would like. 1 . . .
I hope you are well, not tired, not overdoing, and not too
submerged by Christmas jobs. Do you ever attend Mass in
any neighbouring R.C. church? Perhaps the Society's rules
don't encourage this; I don't know. I have sometimes done
it, but I like ours better, it has less gush, more restraint. On the
8th we kept the Conception of the B.V.M. Our (the Cowley)
Missal doesn't call it ''immaculate", of course, but I believe they
probably do at the very extreme churches. . . . To-morrow 1
take my two little misses parvulae indoctae 2 to their weekly
service, which they rather enjoy. Mary Anne is v.g. at answer
ing questions. Yes, I know you will say I ought to be taking
them to St James's, Spanish Place. But there they would hear
all kinds of things about the B.V.M. and the Saints, and all
that can come later if they want it. The first thing I feel is
Christianity and God, if only they can get a hold on this. This
1 F. J. E. Raby, A History of Christian-Latin Poetry from the Beginnings to
the Close of the Middle A%es (2nd ed., 1953).
2 "Unlearned little girls."
letter brings so much love for Christmas, but I may write again
Your loving K. M.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
Christmas Eve, 195 3 f
My dear Hamilton,
A word written amid the rush and bustle of Christmas, to
thank you so very much for your letter posted 2ist, which came
this morning, marvellous at this season ! My sea letter didn't
do so badly either, it seems. That sea letter: I feel remorse that
it made you remorseful; but thank you for your wonderful
letter, which completely reassures me, and shows me that I was
stupid to be even a little disturbed or saddened by the things
you have from time to time let drop about these two branches
of the Church, both of which you love. You know, I do owe
you more than I can say for introducing me to so many lovely
things prayers, graduals, etc. etc. in the Roman liturgy and
breviary. These prayers have much enriched my Preces
Privatae; and I am always rather pleased when I find that I have
discovered and appropriated for myself the same prayers that
you have later pointed out to me, as well as getting hold of the
new ones. All this you put me in the way of. All this, and, of
course, the being inside Ecclesia Anglicana, which is the best
thing I have. So forgive me if I seemed to grumble and to be
apprehensive of your criticisms of it; of course I make many
myself, even now that I so much love it. Who can criticize it
rightly, except those who are in it and love it ? Of course I
sometimes feel that I love too exclusively one side of it, and
should feel pretty forlorn and chilled and unsatisfied if I ever
had to make do for long with the middle kind of church, the
kind that abounds all about the country and suits, apparently,
so many devout people, and which one does feel affection for
so long as one doesn't have to attend its services. But I suppose
even that one would make a modus vivendi of if one had to.
And, after all, one could still enrich one's public worship with
the little Mass prayers. So, you see, I am prepared for anything !
And why should I be entitled to a better kind of thing than
my pious forbears had and were nourished by in their good and
spiritual living ? Still, I am thankful that I have it.
I am in the middle of the Christmas rush; I am going to
my sister's to-morrow morning, after midnight Mass here. . . .
Myparvulae are coming on pretty well, I think. On Sunday
my godchild is to be one of those who join in reading the lesson
for the day; part of St Luke, I think. I was so pleased when
the nice curate asked her at the service if she would, and she
said yes. She is now apprehensive but eager, so is her 10-y ear-
old sister. I hope it will go well ! She is a child with brains and
a strong personality, for good or ill, bless her. They are both
good companions, and we always have fun together. But they
are too much concerned with the lusts of the flesh, in the shape
of chocolates, which I tell her I have promised that she shall
renounce. Illogically, I usually produce some for them.
Now I must get ready to go out and lunch with Archbishop
Mathew, now back from Mombasa for good, and still uncertain
what he will next do, besides literary-historical work, such as
going on with the life of Acton. Did I mention to you in my
last letter the life of Gasquet by Shane Leslie that I have been
reading, 1 which revealed such shockingly dishonest and un-
scholarly juggling with his texts on the part of the good
Cardinal when he was given Acton's letters to edit ? "Lacordaire
sees through the hollowness of the Roman system", wrote
Acton; which Gasquet renders " Lacordaire is rather unsettled
just now". The sanctity of quotation marks is a sanctity con
tinually violated by him in the interests of the impression he
wants to give; an unforgiveable sin in a historian, and one
about which the scholarly Dr Coulton always attacked him,
but he never replied or altered anything. It seems so much
1 Shane Leslie, Cardinal Gasquet: A Memoir (1953).
honester just to leave out what you don't want to publish than
to alter it. "O Sapientia" is a great antiphon which he should
have taken to heart: but perhaps he thought he was following
the higher wisdom in perverting truth for the greater glory of
I may go to mid[night] Mass at All Saints', [Margaret Street,]
not the Chapel to-night; I believe the music and singing are
extremely good there.
Sometime I'll send you a few reviews of Ruins. All have
been kind; except the Daily Express, who said it "may be
worthy scholarship, but it makes jolly dull reading!" They
rang up my publishers to ask for the book, as they hadn't
thought it worth while to send the Express a copy, so it seemed
ungrateful ! But every other reviewer has seemed to enjoy the
book, which relieves my mind, and I hear it is selling quite
reasonably well. This brings all my love for 1954, and so
much gratitude for everything. Forgive me if I say stupid
things sometimes, and ora pro me always.
Your loving R. Al
I hope you are wdll
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
New Year's Day, 1954 f
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you so much for your letter of Christmas Day, which
came to-day (posted 28th). You hadn't, of course, yet got my
a[ir] p[aper] of the other day, answering yours of the ipth, but
will have got it by now. I'm glad Period Piece also has reached
you. Let me know sometime what you think of it. It seems to
have had good reviews in America. . . .
I'm glad you found that article about the Recusants
interesting. I did too, and thought you would. Yes, I expect
it is for ever sunk and lost among that Father's Christmas
correspondence. What a time we have made of Christmas !
And what a litter its tide leaves deposited when it recedes. I
must clear up mine soon; my room is at present a shocking
mess. I had a nice peaceful day and night at Romford, after
midnight Mass here. We lit the candles and set out our
Provencal Crib and heard a carol service from King's College
Chapel in the evening very peaceful. I got back on Boxing
Day evening, in time to dine in Hampstead; and on Sunday
I heard my godchild reading (very well) part of a lesson in St
Mary Abbots; I was quite proud of her, so was her little sister.
The curate who presides at the Children's Service was pleased
with her, I think.
It is difficult to know exactly how to get things across to
children. Looking back, I remember that we got religion
through the prayer-book teaching of my mother; she used to
give us most stimulating lessons on the collects on Sundays,
and it was really exciting and inspiring. We did also go to
parts of the services in one or other of the churches near us
[in Varazze], but I don't remember getting there anything like
that stimulus or feeling of the excitement and fineness of the
Christian battle. There was too much of the B.V.M., too much
of what seemed to me to be rather "soppy" devotions; you
know what R.C. devotions can be. I think it came to us
through my mother rather like a Marathon or a Thermopylae,
and we thought of striving for the incorruptible crown, though
I fear our strivings were fitful. But we did glimpse the glory
and the courage and the beauty of it all, and it was never made
tedious for us, or drab. I think my mother was a very wonder
ful person, with an extraordinary magnetising gift, and she
kindled a kind of fire when she spoke of religion and being
good. I have never since met anyone with so much gift for it.
The Churches speak in more muffled tones; their approach is
"here it is, if you can take it", and one has to learn to find
God in it. At Mass one can; and I find our Anglican Mass
wholly satisfactory; much more so than the Roman, which
contains a great deal that I just don't want and which doesn't
answer to any ideas I could have about it all. This in spite of
the many first-class prayers set about in it, many so beautiful,
which I use often. But, after one of these admirable prayers,
follows some piece of what to me is gush and sentimentality,
though this is probably my fault, but it is a thing I have felt
from childhood about R.C. prayers (I mean, some of them) ;
they embarrassed me then, and do still. From such a tone our
B[ook of] Cjpmmon] P[rayer] is blessedly free. The mystery
is there just the same, and I don't feel it is explained away or
"eliminated". It is difficult about mystery. Too little, and it
is commonplace: too much, and one gives it up as improbable
and out of reach; one has to try for a balance. I'm sure one
doesn't want all that about "not three incomprehensibles" etc.
etc. ; I suppose one wants the shadow and the wavering mirror
and the poetry, and the being able to make what one needs
out of it somehow, out of all the imagery and the dark and
the light, and not to be too much bound with words and
statements, all man-made, all falling short. The Romans say
too much, try to net it all into words and doctrines, instead of
letting it interpret itself into each life and soul as the com-
munion is made. I could do without all that, without all those
Angels, O[ld] T[estament] analogies, prophecies, irrelevant holy
people. I seem to be talking rather nonsense perhaps. ... I
went to St PauTs on New Year's Eve to enter on 1954, with a
friend; but it was rather dead. . . . We sat and pined for Dr
Donne, who thundered about "this minute makes your
eternity, because it may be your last minute; God is speaking
to each soul here, and may bless or curse you according to your
acceptance or refusal of Him" ; and the people began to swoon,
and lay inert as if their Eternity had already arrived. . . . More
spirit and fire would be good, but one seldom gets it. Have
you heard of a book (new) about the C. of E. from 1800-1900,
by a C. K. Francis Brown ? x It sounds not brilliant but sound.
Oh I do see just what you meant and felt and mean and feel
about the two branches of the Church, and I partly feel the
same. Certainly four centuries ago I should have. No room
to expand on this. So much love for 1954. Don't get overdone
with answering letters and shriving penitents. I only do the
former, but find it a tough job!
Yours with my love,
(The 4th new year since I took up with the Church again,
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
i$th January, I954f
My dear Hamilton,
Your letter posted Jan. nth came yesterday, thank you so
much. The one posted 2nd I have too; I opened it wrong
way up, cut the wrong end, and the result is most peculiar, and
I read it with difficulty, but I have read it all. If you try this
way of cutting an a[ir] p[aper] open, you'll see what I mean !
1 A History of the English Clergy, 1800-1900 (1953).
I am much interested in what you say about Period Piece. Those
Darwins were, of course, quite un-religious. But Frances,
Gwen [Raveratj's first cousin, 1 succumbed to religion in the
end; as Gwen writes "it got Frances in the end", and she is now
High Anglican. Don't you like the pictures of those two little
cousins together ? And of the family out tricycling. And of
Gwen under the nursery table, praying that her dancing
mistress might die ! She is a clever and charming artist. I didn't
know her, as when we went to live in Cambridge she was
already in London with her uncle. But my Conybeare cousins
did. I have met Gwen and Frances since, of course.
Yes, we did owe a lot in religion to our mother. Though,
you know, I discarded it at 14 or 15, and during my later teens
was what the iyth century called ' 'nullifidian". I regret it now.
If I had been church-minded at Oxford, I should have gone to
Cowley, I dare say. I got it again later, as you know. Of
course we were never, as you were, brought up in a Church
and Vicarage atmosphere; but we did have those collect
lessons, and I remember them still, and the excitement and
inspiration they caused. I imagine Gwen Darwin's mother was
quite worldly; the Darwins were very unworldly and good,
but without religion. For the R.C. services of our childhood,
I had affection, but not exactly attraction. We were bored by
the convent school nuns, and not inspired by the very repetitive
prayers in church. Perhaps we knew it too well, for it never
held any glamour. Not the glamour and beauty that Anglican
Catholicism had for me later. . . . Of course in the 1890'$ there
was a lot of Anglo-Cathfolicism], but not, I suppose, very much
in the country parishes.
Such a silly outcry by Protestant Truth etc. against the
televising of the Roman Mass by the BBC last Sunday.
" The Mass is against the Law", they wrote. What can
their minds be like? They seem 400 years out of date. The
R.C.s were pleased by this protest, and by the assumption that
1 Frances Cornford (1886-1960).
Mass in the Anglican church had never been heard of. The
BBC has sometimes broadcast an Anglican Mass but not
televised it. The R.C.S said, " Now the public has seen the
Mass in which the Coronation used once to be enshrined". They
implied that our Coronation last year had omitted Mass
altogether; well, from their point of view, of course, it had.
I'm sorry I forgot to answer what you said about Joyce
Gary. I like him very much as a person, and his novels are
very able, though I have never found them absorbing. The last
one I haven't read. 1 ... I think next Sunday I shall, at n, go
to St Stephen's, Gloucester Place. 2 . . . That is where T. S.
Eliot is a sidesman; I wonder if he takes the bag round!
You know, Virginia Woolf wasrit really "an unhappy
person", though she had that side. But she had so much fun,
and humour, and a kind of genial friendliness, though also
much malicious comment (discreetly not published). 3 Did you
ever read To the Lighthouse ? It is a very amusing and brilliant
picture of her father, Leslie Stephen, and her mother. Yes, you
are right about Novels. And I must begin another soon. You
are a great encouragement to me to do so ! Ruins is still having
a kind press; quite beyond my expectations. A nice stranger
writes to me that he likes its "sustained note of ecstasy" ! Lots
more to say, but no room to say it, only my love always.
1 Joyce Gary, Except the Lord (1953).
2 R. M. means St Stephen's, Gloucester Road.
3 See A Writer's Diary: Being Extracts from the Diary of Virginia Woolf,
edited by Leonard Woolf (1953).
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
3ist January, I954J
My dear Hamilton,
I write from among snows; not deep in London, but quite
deep in some parts of the country, and to-day, Sunday, flaking
steadily down, so that the slopes of Hampstead, where I drove
after church, are slippery and white. However, it doesn't last
long in this temperate land; you, no doubt, are deep under for
many weeks to come. I hope you don't go out in it, and are
well Thank you for yours posted 20th: yes, the Punch review
was very nice. ... I think all my reviews have been kind,
except the Express . . . and the Manchester Guardian, whose
reviewer, a Mrs Sprigge, abused it on the grounds that I
obviously didn't like ruins, and why, therefore, had I written
of them? ... I should have thought my ruins-passion only
too evident on every page. She thought I was "ribald",
which seems most odd. However, every one else has taken
the book as I meant it, and has praised it much more than I
dared to hope. No American publisher has yet taken it, but
my publishers have hopes.
That is interesting, von Hugel's view of Darwin as an
unconscious deepener of Christianity. I'm not sure I agree with
him, do you ? To me, Christianity, or even belief in God, have
nothing to do with the natural sciences, or the order of the
universe; they are, to me, in a separate world, and I should
never draw any conclusions about them from Nature. But I
know many Christians do. Odd, how differently people's
minds work, in this matter of religion.
I think that, however Virginia W[oolf ] and E. M. F[orster]
had been brought up, they wouldn't have retained Christianity
when adult, or ever really believed in it. All E. M. F.'s principles,
and I suspect most of his actions, are what I should call deeply
Christian in the moral sense; but intellectually he would never
accept it. Virginia was naturally less loving and humanly
unselfish and kind than he is; but her intellect equally remote
from religion. As were the Darwins, and so many other
intellectuals. One is lucky to be able to come to it, not only
from upbringing, which taught one the lie of the ground, so
to speak, but from later developments and sense of need in
my case always there. Always one felt in one's soul what
someone has called "the God-shaped hole", where God has
once been, or will be, or (anyhow) ought to be. Even non-
believers have that hole; but they fill it with different sub
stitutes. I have done the same myself, for long years.
Joyce Gary, being Irish, was certainly brought up Church of
Ireland I don't know what he is now. I doubt his knowing
much about Dissent. But he should have remembered about
the Psalm versions Dissenters would know. 1 At least, I suppose
they would. Or do you think their prayer books (after all, they
have prayer books) would take the Psalms from the B[ook of]
Cfommon] Pfrayer] ? I suppose they might.
I'd forgotten that More 2 came into John Ingksant I must
read it again sometime. I was slightly repelled by hearing that
he [J. H. Shorthouse] had taken so much of it (without
acknowledgment) from John Evelyn. But it is a good book.
Yesterday we celebrated the Feast of Blessed Charles the
Martyr at Mass, and gave thanks for his life; but I don't
know that I do. He was a shifty and tiresome monarch, and
his tiresomeness opened the doors to that abominable civil war
and puritan revolution, whereas a wiser king would have
averted both and we should have ridden the puritan storm
and not, perhaps, have been affected by it ever since. . . .
Much love always.
1 See Except the Lord, chapter 28, where a Dissenter quotes from the
2 Henry More (1614-87), Cambridge Platonist.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
i$th February, i954t
My dear Hamilton,
As usual, your letter of Feb. 4 crossed mine of Jan.
my letters always seem to reach you just in time to be acknow
ledged at the end. I expect this will do the same. However,
never mind. I must get hold of Fr Gardiner's Norms for the
Novel. 1 It is an interesting theme, and one I have no definite
principles about, I think; I form an ad hoc judgment of each
novel as I read it. Have you come across The Go-Between, by
L. P. Hartley? I think it very good; I wonder if you would.
It has had a great success here, so no doubt is published in
America too. If not, I will send it you. Do you see the Church
Times, by the way? It had an excellent review of Ruins; one
of the best I have had. I don't know who wrote it. If you
don't see the C.T., I'll send you this review sometime, if you
like seeing reviews of books you haven't read. H. F. M.
Prescott has now written another book, about Pilgrimages to
Jerusalem in old days; 2 it sounds interesting, and she is scholar
enough to get it right and not fanciful.
I have been busy correcting Ruins for its 2nd edition. Kind
friends have sent me a lot of Errata, and some I found for
myself. My publishers now want to send me, at their expense,
somewhere, to write about it. But Collins (Mark Bonham
Carter, that is to say, who is a great friend of mine) says I have
promised to write a novel for Collins next, and that Weidenfeld
& Nicolson (who want me to write for them) are tempting me
like Satan, showing me all the kingdoms of the world in order
to seduce me. . . .
[The sermons at Grosvenor Chapel] on the Sundays till
Easter [are to be] on "the Christian mythology" which will
interest me. Perhaps it will make me change my heretical mind
1 H. C. Gardiner, Norms for the Novel (New York, 1953).
2 H. F. M. Fresco tt, Jerusalem Journey (1954).
about the order of the universe, who knows ? But I have long
since renounced any hope of understanding the universe. I have
never read or heard any account of it which gives any clue.
As to God's relation to it, I feel that He may regard it as
irrelevant to His purposes for humanity's salvation. Perhaps I
Feb. 20. I have Dr Joad's last little book, 1 just out (some months
after his death) to review for the Times Lit. Sup. It is a kind
of Peacockian set of imaginary discussions between a group of
people, the central character being obviously himself, called
" Mr Longpast". It has a preface by Canon Hood and John
Betjeman, about his religious development, during his last
illness (including how I used to drive up G. Irvine ... to bring
him Communion). I'm not sure that all that is not a little too
intimate, but perhaps he wouldn't have minded. The con
versations themselves give a last run to all his prejudices and
ideas; which may be, I think, a pity, in a way. He could be,
and often was, unfair to the point of unkindness, in his com
ments on contemporary writers, musicians and artists, and [he]
loathed Americans, and despised women (but got over this
before the end, when he became kinder).
Your brother seems unjust about your air papers. They are
always legible and clear, in spite of being closely packed. I never
misread a word. (Alas, I fear you couldn't say the same about
mine.) Did you answer me when I asked if you would like
me to send the Listener article about J. C. Powys ? I don't
remember. Perhaps you hadn't space to in the small piece of
what you so nicely call "surface" that remained in your letter
after mine had arrived. But I will, if I can find it. ...
My love always.
1 C. E. M. Joad, Folly Farm (1954)-
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
ist March, I954f (St David)
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you so much for your letters of Feb. 18 and 23, the
second one answering mine of 20th. I suppose I can't have
asked you about the Listener talk on J. C. Powys before. But
I will look for it when I get a moment, and send it you by
surface mail, which is slow but sure. It is a cutting, that will
go in an envelope. It is considerate of you to think of the
trouble of doing up parcels. All the same, I expect I shall one
day send you Ruins (perhaps for a birthday present ?). Then you
could turn the pages and look at the pictures, and read a bit
here and a bit there, when in the mood. It's not a book to
read through, I think, but in small doses.
It seems difficult to be certain what that collect really
means; 1 1 suppose it might be one of several meanings: profit
by, progress or advance in (or by), thrive upon. The trouble
with so many Latin words is that they have so many possible
meanings. This was a bother in one's youthful Latin-learning
days, I remember. CasselTs Dictionary I always thought very
needlessly difficult in its arrangements. . . .
I'm glad you reminded me of John Marquand. I've read
very little of him, but shall now read Point of No Return, and
B. F.*s Daughter. 1 think he is good. Of course you would know
the people he writes about better than I can, but I like to meet
a rather unfamiliar world. Did you read Lionel Trilling's
novel I forget its name about the Communist who left the
Party ? 2 Very interesting ; and sheds a sinister light on American
politics and Communist vengeance.
Yes, it is interesting exploring alien worlds. I always feel I
ought to understand more kinds of society than I do; it is
1 Collect for Friday of 4th week in Lent; see below p. 149.
2 Lionel Trilling, The Middle of the Journey (194.7).
stupid not to. G. K. Chesterton said somewhere that he was
fascinated by clergymen, finding them strange and unfamiliar
as cats ! I know too many to feel quite that.
On Shrove Tuesday I am bidden to a cocktail party given
by the Editor of The Month, Fr Caraman, and Longmans.
It may be a rather interesting set of guests, I dare say. I
don't often see The Month, but it always interests me when
You ask about "the Christian Mythology" . . . [the
Grosvenor Chapel] sermon topic at present. . . . [It] means the
Biblical story, as containing the truths it enshrines. . . . very
interesting . . . The world myths, Virgin and child, the risen
God; all culminating in the Christian story. I put it badly,
I am reviewing too many books; they take my time. I
must really refuse them, and get down to my own work the
novel, anyhow. My publishers offer to send me somewhere,
that I may write about it (Weidenfeld & Nicolson, I mean).
I thought of Russia, and wrote to their Consulate about visas.
But they hold out no present hope, what odd people they are !
In my letter I said I wanted to look at the landscapes and rivers
and architecture, which sounds very innocent and unspy-like.
But I don't suppose they believe me, though it's true, I want
to roam about steppes, see the Caucasus, the Volga, the Black
Sea, white horses cantering with Cossacks on back and long
tails floating. I could not care less about their political regime
or the way they live. But no, I see I shan't get to those steppes
and those great rivers. I came in two days ago to my flat and
interrupted two men, " What are you doing here ? " I asked.
" Who let you in ? " Upon which they knocked me down and
rushed away downstairs and I couldn't catch them. And every
drawer was emptied on to my floors higgledy piggledy.
Luckily I had interrupted them in time to stop them taking
much. They had put out my father's silver cups and other
silver, and some more things, ready to take, but only did take
a little clock and other small objects. I was furious. I wasn't
hurt, to speak of. They had no cosh, luckily. My love for
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you so much for yours of 5th. I didn't mean to
alarm you with my burglars; they got away with little, owing
to the short time they had, and scarcely hurt me at all, I only
bruised my arm a little when I fell, so it wasn't really"grievous" .
I was very lucky to lose so little and not to have been coshed
or tied up and gagged ! These men are very ruthless and wicked
just now. Are they especially bad also with you? But they
won't come back to me for a long time by any laws of chance.
(I have changed my lock, but they can pick "Yales".) I am
afraid the police will never get them, as there is no clue. But
they may very well get them for some other 'job" ; I hope so.
Russia has receded a little. The more I hear of the prospect,
the more I feel it might be something of a bore. I mean, I
should be with a party, and they might be bores. 1 And, as the
Soviet government would have paid our return fares to Prague,
one would feel bound in civility to look at the tiresome things
they might want to show us, such as schools, hospitals,
maternity homes, etc. Whereas all I want to see is landscape
and old buildings. I feel sure guides would take one round,
telling us how splendid it all is, and that, though funny for a
time, would get tiresome. Stephen Spender told me that even
a literary visit to Russia might make it difficult if ever I wanted
to visit America again so I went to the U.S. Consulate and
1 R. M, had been considering going to Russia in a party in honour of
asked. The Consul said it might make a visa slow and difficult
to get. I asked him " How long is this nonsense of yours going
to last ? " He smiled sardonically, and said merely, " It's getting
worse". Consuls don't like such goings-on, it hampers their
job. Meanwhile George Weidenfeld (one of my publishing-
firms) is bribing me with a publisher-paid trip to the East:
the old trade route Venetian merchants used to take. I suggested
going through Greece and the Islands to Turkey and die Black
Sea. Steven Runciman says they have built lidos on the shore
out of the old Byzantine walls and that the Turks don't bathe
much, so the Black Sea is nicely under-populated with
swimmers. Then, if I could somehow coax a permit out of
the Soviet government, I could cross the B.S. in a steamer to
the Russian side. Anyhow, there would be Turkey, which is
full of Roman ruins, and it would be very exciting and lovely.
This would be in late July and August, if it comes off
Yes, I think it is the Church that is going to avail us for the
eternal ordinances, and not profit by them itself. 1 It obviously
could mean either, and we could take it, I suppose, now in one
sense now in another. But the former seems the more practical
prayer for us to make. Possibly it is deliberately ambiguous,
so that it can mean both ! I confess that in this Ember week just
over I have been using it in both senses; [in] the ablative that
the ordinands and the Church may profit by the eternal
institutions, which they so sorely need.
I must read some Tyrrell this Lent; I think I have
Christianity at the Cross-roads* somewhere. . . . [Those] sermons
are being really admirable; this morning partly on the pre-
Incarnation Light of Christ in man's soul, the eternal
Sapientia. . . .
We have your Billy Graham here, converting thousands
1 See Collect for Friday of 4th week in Lent: ". . . praesta quaesumus,
ut Ecclesia tua . . . aeternis proficiat institutis" (". . . grant, we beseech thee,
that thy Church may avail us for the eternal ordinances").
2 George Tyrrell, Christianity at the Cross-Roads (1909).
by his meetings! I will send you the Spectator with a fair-
minded article on him by John Betjeman ! I wonder what are
really his permanent effects. John quotes Canon Hood as
predicting good from them. But how repugnantl
My love and thanks always.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
24th March, 1954!
My dear Hamilton,
Your letter of i8th pleased me much, with its glimpse of
you in the Confessional, telling young ladies not to say
"grievous", and that it wasn't a sin, but a thing they should
know. Why didn't you tell her also not to "propose" to
amend ? But perhaps she is not one of those who say that. I
rather like it, and may adopt it myself. ... I have got an
invitation to go to Canon Hood's installation at St Mary
Aldermanbury, Bow Lane, 1 on April 9th. He is very pleased
to have a City church; it was one of the City churches
very little bomb-damaged, I think, and is anyhow now
What you call my "oriental projects" are still very much
in the air. I am not going in a party to Russia in honour of
Tchekhov, that is certain. I may go to the Turkish side of the
Black Sea, but this isn't at all certain. But wherever I go will
be safer than London, and "moving rapidly over the face of the
earth" is safe and wholesome, and I think should be done while
it is possible, while one has good health, and can get someone
else (such as publishers) to pay one's expenses. It would be so
interesting to see the Black Sea, and Turkey, and the Crimea
from a ship, even if I couldn't land there. I find the surface of
the earth, its cities and landscapes, very exciting and beautiful.
M. means St Mary Aldermary.
But I quite likely shan't explore it this year, I thinJk. I shall send
you Folly Farm and my review of it, when I find it. And John
Betjeman on Billy Graham, too. How I agree with you about
E.G. ! Fundamentalism is such a barbarity. I doubt if he is
having any permanent effect here. My sister has got her
catechumen on some way now, but she can't believe in the
" Divinity of Christ", so won't be baptized. It seems you have
to say the creed when baptized. I am reading an interest
ing book on Lamennais. 1 No more space! But lots more
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
6th April, 1954!
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you so much for your letter of March 30th. . . .
Ruins isn't yet published in America, by the way, so couldn't
be noticed in reviews. If and when it is published there, it will
be interesting to see how it goes, and whether the Press and
public like it. My novels have always gone well there, except
They Were Defeated, which was not their cup of tea (except for
a few scholarly people, who included Herbert Agar), but I left
a long gap between The World my Wilderness and the novel
before that, and probably passed out of memory rather. My
next novel may restore me a little, but not Ruins, I fear. Did
you like what you saw of it? Six dollars is a lot; over 2,
isn't it. Here its price is only 25/-. One of my publishers,
George Weidenfeld, is over there just now, and is seeing about
getting a publisher to take it if he can. But all your bookseller
can have meant by not expecting it to be noticed was that it's
not yet published, so couldn't be. Of course it may never be
1 Probably A. R. Vidler's Study of Lamennais; The Church and the
published there. Thank you for telling the bookseller it had
done well here. I believe George Weidenfeld took the reviews
over, to encourage the publishers.
I have been reading a book on the "Cambridge Platonists", 1
translated from German by an American. The style is dreadful,
therefore ; but the matter is interesting. I love those Cambridge
1 7th century men, with their Alexandrian and Platonic
philosophy, and their stress on the light that hghteth every man
and the Deiform seed in the soul. I have been reviewing this
little book on them.
So here we are in the middle of Passion Week not my
favourite season. I don't mean because of its events and their
meaning for us, but because of the way the Church (Roman,
Anglican, and Nonconformist) has always taken it. It's
probably my fault that I am alienated by so much of the
language used in the prayers about it, both Latin and English.
I believe, when left to myself, I can get into it much more
easily. But the Church seems always to have clung to its
ancient sacrificial Hebrew notions, which haunt its interpreta
tion of Good Friday. You will think this impertinence on my
part, perhaps; but I don't think it really is, only an admission
of inaptitude for a standpoint and teaching alien to me. Those
great early Latin hymns about it are magnificent, but no use to
me as religion, only as poetry. 2 If the ocean did not roll between
us, we could discuss all this. Still, we make a pretty good shot
at it on air papers. Yes: Exeunt omnia in mysterium* indeed. As
to "the obsequies", I see the O[xford] Dictionary] gives "rites"
as one meaning, and quotes from 1550 "the ceremonial
obsequies in the house of God". "Obsequy" (in the singular)
meant obedience or homage, but in the collect it is plural, so
1 E. Cassircr, The Platonic Renaissance in England (trans. J. P. Pettegrove,
2 Hymns such as Vexilla Regis prodeunt and Pange, Lingua, gloriosi proelium
certaminis of Venantius Fortunatus (c. 540*:. 600).
8 "All things end in mystery/'
must mean "rites". Anyhow, as you say, the handles by which
we lay hold on heaven. . . .
Much love for Easter.
near Romsey, Hants
May Day, 1954!
My dear Hamilton,
It is too long since I wrote; I have been grossly busy. I
have had your letter of April n lying by me, waiting to be
answered, but have had no moment till now, on this week-end,
when we have breakfast in bed and a little leisure after it; a
nice plan. It is an interesting old house, built out of a dissolved
abbey, with fragments of abbey and church in corners about
it not much, as at Rothley Temple, 1 but hints, as it were
an arch here, a piscina there, a re-modelled door, great
monastic walls under the Georgian stucco. And spacious lawns,
where we play croquet. Nice fellow-guests: Raymond
Mortimer, Clive Bell, Peter Quennell, and others; and
animated conversation all day. Quite fun, really.
Thank you much for your good letter . . . [and] for those
prayers you quote; I have noted them for use.
I did an unwonted thing lately. John Betjeman gave me
a Press ticket to go and hear Billy Graham, the U.S. Evangelist,
at Harringay; so I went there with Joe Ackerley, a friend of
mine who is the literary editor of The Listener, and we sat under
him, in a packed stadium full of thousands of people, while he
addressed us on the yth Commandment, to which he gave the
exclusive name of "immorality" (the breaking of it, that is).
He was very fervent, preaching with great gesture and power,
1 The Leicestershire seat of Thomas Babington, R M/s great-great
grandfather (1758-1838), which had formerly been an abbey.
very crude and simple, even illiterate (in phrasing and thought,
not in accent). Of course it was not what Joe Ackerley or I
could stomach. But the packed thousands did, and hundreds
afterwards walked up to be "saved" a very impressive crowd.
Vulgar, yes: God saying to us, " You thought no one saw you
on that day. But I saw you, I took a picture of you"; suggest
ing those photographers who stand about at the seaside
snapping people. The audience seemed to us half dopey,
somehow. Ever and anon we sang a vulgar hymn, with great
enthusiasm. All very strange. God certainly does move in a
mysterious way, His wonders to perform. I think he really 5
converting many people to a Christian life; he is a Baptist.
One day I must ask some Baptist about this "being saved".
What happens when they sin again, and go on sinning ? Can
one be saved again ? Well, quot homines, tot sententiae, 1 and good
luck to them all. Joe Ackerley came out murmuring " Dread
ful creature ! " I tried not to feel this, because I think he is
sincere, though melodramatic.
Easter over, and here we are in May. And about Whitsun
I probably go to Turkey for about 4 weeks. Black Sea,
Constantinople, Ionian coast; all very interesting and beautiful.
I shan't drive this time.
How good and how welcome your letters are. It is good
of you to write just what I need and want.
I hope you had not too strenuous a Holy Week and
Easter. . . .
My love always,
1 "As many opinions as there are men."
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.I
i6th May, I954f (or Deus qui fidelium) 1
Oh dear, Hamilton, I seem to have mislaid your two lovely
letters; I was carrying them about in my hand to answer them,
and must have put them down somewhere in the flat, but
where ? Anyhow, for the moment, non sunt. They will turn
up; but meanwhile I am answering them without the book.
However I remember lots of nice things out of them, in
particular "D^us qui Errantibus" 2 which pleases me very much.
That letter isn't in my selection of Paston letters; I must look
at it in the full edition at the Lfondon] Library* I don't think
particularly well of our Pjrayer] Bjook] way of adding
"almighty" to "God" in so many collects; it is unnecessary,
and not v.g., it seems to me. We do it on this Sunday too. I
see that "to those that go astray" is another rendering of
"errantibus", which I rather prefer to "those that be in error",
I think. Qui errantibus rather comes home to me just now,
owing to this and that; so does "veritatis tuae lumen ostendis".
How fortunate one is to be able in viam redire? , . *
On being reminded by you of poor Ovid, I got out Tristia
and Ex Ponto and read his sad accounts again. 4 "Orbis in extremi
jaceo desertus harenis . . . aequora semper ventomm rabie solibus orba
tument"* It doesn't promise good bathing! All the same,
1 "O God, who (makest) the faithful (to be of one mind and will . . .)";
see Collect for 3rd Sunday after Easter.
2 "O Almighty God, who (showest) to them that be in error (the light
of thy truth)"; see Collect for 3rd Sunday after Easter.
3 "(To the intent that they may) return into the way (of righteousness)" ;
see Collect for 3rd Sunday after Easter.
4 Tristia and Epistulae ex Ponto were written when Ovid (Publius Ovidius
Naso, 43 B.C. c. A.D. 17) was in exile from Rome at Tomis, on the
5 " I lie abandoned upon the sands at the confines of the world. ... the
seas deprived of sunshine for ever swell beneath the wrath of the winds/'
Ovid, Ex Ponto, 1.349-
''obligor, ut tangam laevifera litora Ponti", 1 and no doubt poor
Naso made the worst of it. Anyhow, he was at Tomis [sic], at
the bleak Thracian end of the Black Sea. I am sure that on the
southern shore, where I shall roam (as well as to other places)
it won't be like that, with icicles perpetually hanging on the
hair and the beards of the fierce locals; no, it will be bland
and sunlit, aprica litora? and the Euxine Sea will be smooth and
blue. I shall also be on the Ionian coast and the southern coast
(I mean of the Mediterranean, not the Pontus) and in the
interior; Ankara and the other inland places. And especially
Istanbul Constantinople or Byzantium as I prefer to call it
where there is so much to see. I always think S[anta] Sophia
must be one of the very most beautiful things anywhere, inside
and out. And the Byzantine palaces, and the Theodosian wall
crumbling to ruin. I will send you picture p[ost] c[ard]s, which
Naso never did to his friends. I suppose Poste Restante,
Istanbul, Turkey, would find me, on and off; I can't be sure
of any other fixed point. I shall be back at the end of June.
The posts may be odd between Turkey and Cambridge, Mass.,
so don't worry, if you don't hear; you will eventually. I fly
on June 4th, just before Whitsunday. I always seem to spend
Whitsunday, that ghostly feast, in some heathen land. Not that
Moslems are heathens, of course. Talking to a young Jewish
friend to-day, I said without thinking, " Let me see, do you
have the 10 Commandments, or are they only in our Pjrayer]
B[ook] " ? He replied, "After all, WE made them, didn't we ?"
and I had to hand it to him that they had. And the Moslems
made the Koran, which I believe is a very good code of morals
on the whole. " Very superstitious people," a Christian Arab
said to me in Syria, " they pray in their mosques all day." Your
letters have turned up good. I now have again before me
your explanation of the kind of salvation that such as Billy
1 ** Here am I making vows, and all that I may reach the savage shores
of the ill-omened Euxine." Ovid, Tristia 1.2.83.
2 "Sunlit shores."
Graham sets going in people, and of the metaphors that help in
this. I do see that it may be very valuable and saving. But
tends too much to depend on emotion; and, as you say, that
passes. Thank you for saying that about Salutis jundamentum?
I like that. I sometimes wish you nearer at hand, so that I could
discuss things with you. It would be good for me.
I have noted Lacey's "A. C. Faith" 2 and shall get it from
the L[ondon] Library]. Also the Historic Christ* That chapter
on Worship sounds interesting. I have to review a history of
the Church in England 597-1688, by Dr S. C. Carpenter, late
Dean of Exeter. 4
Much love always,
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
2^th May, 1954!
My dear Hamilton,
This letter is aimed at June 2nd, that auspicious feast, but I
dare say it will reach you too early. (I thought better too early
than too late.) Anyhow, it brings much love to you for your
birthday, and for the coming year. I see you are patroned by
the Martyrs of Lyons and Vienne, Pothinus the Bishop and
Blandina the Virgin, and their companions in holy martyrdom.
I have ordered to be sent to you a book you won't read, but
I feel you ought to have it from me, and you may like the
illustrations, and bits here and there. Anyhow, it brings my
love and good wishes, and gratitude for all you've done for
me since August 1950. I don't think this book (Ruins) is likely
to be published in your adopted continent.
1 "The essentials of salvation."
2 T. A. Lacey, The Anglo-Catholic Faith (1926).
3 Probably James MacKinnon's The Historic Jesus (193 *) see below p. 220.
4 S. C. Carpenter, The Church in England, 597-1688(1954).
I should have begun by thanking you for your letter "begun
May 19", of which I absorbed every word. I might take a
Marquand novel to Turkey, perhaps. Yes, in common with
most novelists to-day, his world has few supra-mundane com
munications. Compare George Eliot: she was a rationalist, yet
her Maggie Tulliver is guided through her life by the com
munications of conscience and God; G. E.'s world was open
to that always. On the other hand, I have just been reading
two new novels, both by friends; the people get into dire
straits, and never a cry for help to God, never a prayer, never
even a dim faith. Their desperate human problems have to be
resolved in human terms. I am just now in touch . . . with a
desperate human problem: this business of husband throwing
over wife . . . and taking a mistress. . . . No religious faith in
either ... or in the mistress ... It is all so squalidly unrelated to
any principles; or rather, the principles are unrelated to good
ness as I see it. And it is on my conscience that we my
generation, who had codes, often deserted the codes and
disrupted them, damaging them for the next generation so
that now they scarcely seem to exist, in many people. I
have a very personal remorse about this, though I was only
one of many. But what is to come of it all ? ...
No, don't try and write to Turkey. I'll send you news of
my travellings when I can. But no air letters from there, alas.
I admire your enterprise in making the Colonial rebels pray
for the descendant of Geo: III. Do you add the President
of the revolted colonies ? In this country, royalty-worship has
become a lunatic hysteria, guyed, I am glad to see, in Punch
("Our Palace Page") and elsewhere. Now I must get on with
my review of S. C. Carpenter's book. This is, I suppose, my
last word to you from England for the present. Fera litora
Pontfl- call me.
My love always. I shall think of you on 2nd June at Mass,
1 "The savage shores of the Euxine."
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.I
8th July, I954t
My dear Hamilton,
I arrived home at 4 a.m. the day before yesterday, plunging
from extreme heat to icy cold and wet. Turkey was hot;
particularly in the south (Antioch, etc.) but [also] all over. I
found waiting for me, among a great pile, your letter of 27th
June. I am very sorry for its sad news of the loss of the two
Fathers. It will cast a sad melancholy over your Retreat, I am
afraid. Sudden accidents like that are so much more of a shock
than death from illness. 1
Turkey was most interesting and exciting. Too hot: I was
slightly ill from it while I was there ; [with the] exhaustion of
getting a lot done under that fierce sun, scrambling about,
frustrated by not knowing Turkish; though kind English
friends sometimes turned up opportunely. But it was interest
ing. I went from Constantinople down the Black Sea to
Trebizond, the last little Byzantine empire, not conquered by
the Turks till 1461, eight years after Constantinople fell. It was
a very famous place in the Middle Ages: "the emperor of
Trebizond" has many references in poetry. Now it is com
pletely Turkish, the last Greeks turned out 30 years ago,
and all the Greek churches now mosques. But there is a
Byzantine ruined palace and castle on a high crag above the
town, and I climbed up there and felt forlorn Byzantine ghosts
pattering about it. Apart from that, it is a very Turkish town;
women still muffled up to the eyes and mouths (a dress dis
carded in the large towns, but still common in remote places).
Women are being ill-treated, having been looked on as slaves
for centuries; they walk while the man rides the donkey; 'they
stay at home while the men eat out in cafes and restaurants;
1 Two Cowley Fathers (Rev. Richard Morley, S.S.J.E., and Rev. Francis
Hanlon, S.S.J.E.) were drowned when their boat capsized in the Lake of
Bays, Ontario, Canada, on 2pth May, 1954-
they are pushed aside in the scramble for tram seats (as I found
I never once got a seat) and almost pushed into the sea in the
stampede for getting on to a boat. A shipwreck among Turks
would be a poor time for women; none of them would ever
get on to one of the boats. Nor have they (quite) souls. Nor
may they eat with men: not even the Consul's wife in her own
house when her husband has Turks to lunch. While as for
bathing (in remote places such as Trebizond) one would
probably be stoned. It will take at least 50 years before they
catch up with the West in this matter. Constantinople is a very
noble and exciting city the Bosphorus is glorious. Sfanta]
Sophia is now a museum. I got South to Antioch, and saw the
earliest Christian church (a cave, supported by columns), and to
Smyrna and Ephesus, the latter extremely moving. The great
Temple of Artemis was destroyed in C.3, and its ruins lie in
a swamp. But the ruined city the Roman one, that St Paul
saw is very extensive: forum, Marble Way, theatre (where
the Ephesians shouted for 2 hours about Diana), etc. Then, on
my last day, I got to Troy imagine the thrill. The sea is now
4 or 5 kilometres back, so the Greeks couldn't now watch the
walls from their ships.
I didn't mean to bore you with my Ruins; don't do more
than look at the pictures. But when I write a book, I feel you
should have it.
By the way, 1 have been looking in vain in the Missal for
a collect you once quoted, "Domine, in manus tuas sunt exiti"
[sic], or anyhow something like that, I may have got the words
wrong. 1 I wonder just where it is? If you happen to remember,
tell me sometime. You'll by now be out of Retreat, I
suppose. . . .
misquotation from a Psalm not a Collect; see below p. 162.
2o, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.I
26th July, 1954 1
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you so much for yours of I4th. How interesting to
meet a Roumanian 1 who knows Tomi (more correctly Tomis ?) 2
and has seen Ovid's grave ! Is it kept in nice order ? It is the
present-day Constantius, of course; 3 no chance of my having
got there, as it is behind that annoying Curtain. As I heard
an ingenuous American youth in an Istanbul hotel say to his
friend, " I promised my father I wouldn't go anywhere near
the Iron Curtain." I suppose his dad feared that if he did, hands
from the Other Side might reach out and drag him over- So I
couldn't visit the scene of Ovid's woes, or see those terrible
Getans with icicles in their beards. (Though actually no doubt
in June and July they would have thawed out.) It always makes
me rather sad to think that the barbarians of Tomis were hurt
by the accounts of them and their country in Tristia and Ex
Ponto; though one wouldn't really have thought they would
have got hold of those works. I am sure that is the least
agreeable part of the Euxine. The other end, the Colchis end
where I travelled, was, do you remember, the home of the
Golden Fleece and its ferocious custodians, and the more
ferocious Medea and her father. I like to think of the Argo
voyaging along that sea, and visiting the ports which I saw.
The ship Argo was a familiar craft in my family; we called our
canoe after it and struck out into the waters of the Mediter
ranean to some rock where the fleece hung. I think it is a good
thing to be brought up on the classical tales; they register
deeply and for life.
Of course I soon found that phrase I was looking for, in
1 Then an employee at Phillips Book Store in Cambridge, Mass.
2 Of these alternative spellings "Tomis" is the more usual
3 Usually known as Constanza.
Psalm 68 : "Domini, Domini, exitus mortis'' 1 It is expanded in
our Visitation of Sick Children into "to whom the issues of
life and death belong." 2
I am sorry about the disturbing changes in the disposal of
your Fathers. You will miss those who are going far away,
like Fr Pedersen. . . . Well, as you say, the thing goes on,
irrespective of personalities. Yesterday in chapel we sang
" Disposer supreme". ..." To frail earthen vessels, and things
of no worth, entrusting thy riches, which aye shall endure.
Those vessels soon fail, though full of thy light, and at thy
decree are broken and gone; thence brightly appeareth thy
truth in its might, as through the clouds riven the lightnings
have shone". 3 Let us hope so. I wonder if the Roumanian
ever sent you Ruins. My sister is still reading it, a small piece
each evening. She says she likes to go to bed with a nice
picture in words in her mind; she has now got to the end of the
section called " The Haunting Gods", which deals with ruined
temples, churches, abbeys, etc. I am now embarking on my
novel, but haven't properly got down to it yet, as I have been
busy with recovering from Turkey, odds and ends, and writing
some poetry, besides seeing a lot of people. Also writing a
longish article for the Times Lit. Sup. about A History of the
Crusades.* Are you interested in John Addington Symonds ? 5
He left an interesting MS diary, now in the hands of the London
Library (on whose Committee I am), and the question is, is it
fit to publish or not ? It is full of rather surprising things about
1 "God is the Lord, by whom we escape death. 5 * Ps. 68.20.
2 See "A Prayer for a Sick Child"; one of the occasional Collects
appended to the Order for the Visitation of the Sick in the Book of Common
3 See The English Hymnal, Hymn 178 :
Then brightly appeareth the arm of thy might,
As through the clouds breaking the lightnings have shone.
4 See "The Tragedy of the Crusades," Times Literary Supplement, 2pth
October, 1954. See above p. 87.
5 Historian and translator (1840-1893).
people, such as Dr C. J. Vaughan, Headmaster of Harrow
(brother of my great-uncle by marriage) 1 under whom he was
in the 1840'$. No more space, as you observe! But much
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
4th August, ip54f
My dear Hamilton,
Our last letters crossed, yours of 2yth July, mine of a few
days earlier. I was much interested in yours, and very sorry
that your friend Mrs Paine has "poped", as we call it here.
Why do they do it, these sane, intelligent, reasoning Anglicans,
who have had the faith and the sacraments all their lives, been
nourished by them and known God through them ? I do find
it hard to understand. I really, I suppose, agree with someone
who said lately that the Roman Church is not a Church for
adults. Perhaps the Anglican Church is the only Church which
is this, do you think? But worse than the rather trashy non
sense they have to swallow is, of course, the barrier they set up,
the iron curtain between themselves and other Christians.
Surely a Christianity which won't worship with other
Christians, outside their own exclusive body, is self-
condemned? I hate to read their interpretations of what they
believe Our Lord meant and said about it; how can they be so
astray as to a character and purpose so clearly shown us in the
Gospels ? If you ever talk about it to Mrs Paine, I wonder if
you will get much light on that question. A Portuguese friend
of mine once said the Church had to show by its exclusiveness
1 In an earlier letter to Father Johnson R. M. had said that C. J. Vaughan
was an uncle of her great-uncle Canon E. T. Vaughan, though she later
corrected this to brother. See Letters to a Friend, p. 286.
that it had the truth in a unique way and mustn't seem to
condone the worship of those who hadn't. But I am very sorry
it has come between you and your valued friendship. Though
perhaps it won't. My cousin Jean 1 and I never discuss it,
and are very good friends, with so much common ground. She
was really delighted when I came back to the Church, and did
feel it was a supremely important thing. . . . Well, it seems that
some people must see things in that way; I think argument
with them achieves nothing. I am interested in what
you say about English and American Anglicanism. Yes, how
different are their roots and background and growth. I don't
know nearly enough about Amer: Anglicanism, or Anglo-
Catholicism. When did it start ? Did they get the repercus
sions of the Tractarians? I doubt if there was anything of our
lyth century A.Cism among the Episcopalians of Virginia and
Maryland in that century. A pity, in a way, that more of our
High Church refugees from Cromwell didn't go across the
Atlantic, to counteract the Mayflower. Or the Non-Jurors of
the end of the century. But when did it begin ? When the
S.S.J.E. first set up a branch there, what kind of reception did
they have ? And when was that ? 2 I vaguely remember in an
American novel or two early this century noticing that some
of the Episcopalians went to "high" New York churches; I
mean, somewhere round 1914, I suppose. If there is a history
of the Ang: Church in America, I would like to read it.
There should be something like Dr Carpenter's The Church
in England, which is an excellent account of the shaping and
development of the Church. I will send you my review of it,
if I can lay hands on it, and you could probably get hold of the
book itself from your Roumanian bookseller or another. I
think it v.g.
1 Jean Smith.
2 Between 1870 and 1880, when the Cowley Fathers first started working
in the U.S., they met a good deal of opposition from Low Churchmen on
account of their "ritualism."
I am just off for a week to the I[sle] of W[ight] with my
sister, and am choosing books to take with me. I shall be
writing, too (my novel). And (since it is not Turkey) bathing,
if the weather allows. And driving about with my sister and
her friend 1 , picnicking and exploring the corners of that nice
island, which I love. I might take T. A. Lacey's book that
you mention, perhaps, and Dr Kirk's on the Church, not
The Vision of God but another. 2 I must go to the Lfondon]
L[ibrary] to-morrow and look about on the theology
I only learned the other day a thing that interests me about
Alice Meynell, and that you probably know. I always thought
that it was Coventry Patmore whom she loved, and to whom
she wrote that poem "Renunciation" ("I must not think of
thee . . .") 3 but it seems it was a priest of her own persuasion,
whom she loved so much that his superiors had to move him
elsewhere. What a lot of this priest-devotion there must always
have been ! I expect you know it from personal experience.
It may be quite innocent, and quite unreciprocated; but what
an embarrassment to the priest, and how difficult to know how
to meet it ! Without, I mean, being either unkind or dangerously
encouraging. . . .
My love always,
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.I
i$th August, 1954!
My dear Hamilton,
Again our letters have crossed. Yours (begun Aug. 2)
reached me on the I[sle] of W[ight]; mine was posted Aug. 5.
1 Nancy Willetts.
2 Probably K. E. Kirk's The Apostolic Ministry (i94<5).
3 See "Renouncement" by Alice Meynell (1847-1922).
I am now returned, after a nice but not very warm or dry ten
days. Such was the weather that I bathed only twice. But my
sister and I enjoyed driving about the island, its downs and
little lanes, which are much more attractive than the over-
built-up coasts. The best thing is the ruins of Quarr Abbey,
lying in a field above the sea, huge fragments of a great
Cistercian Abbey. But I rather like it all, except the vulgar sea
resorts, I understand your difficulty about talking to Mrs
Paine. 1 Though wouldn't it be interesting and enlightening if
you were able to ? I always want to know what are the real
reasons behind these conversions from Anglicanism. One
understands those from agnosticism or from the unlovely
Protestant churches. But I am interested in what urges High
Anglicans, who 'have something so good already, and have
believed in it so firmly. Did someone persuade Mrs Paine, or
did she think it out alone ? . . .
20th Aug. Your letter of i6th came this morning, so we just
avoided crossing again. I don't much like crossing; for one
thing, you tend to answer again my letter before the last (in
case I might not have got your first answer to it) and not
comment or reply to the one you got later, so I don't know
what I told you, and may repeat myself. I do quite forget what
I said in my letter of the 5th; did I ask you if you had ever
suffered from excessive devotion from those who come to
you? . . . You are right about pars tibi. It is one of the errors
I discovered too late, and listed at the end of my copy for future
correction. 2 There are only too many such, alas. I'm glad you
too like "Supreme, quales, Arbiter. 9 ' 3 In stanza 3, are "they",
who are borne like clouds to do thy will, the vessels (broken
X R. M. has added a note here: "This was written before your last
letter, of course."
2 In Pleasure of Ruins (p. 12) a quotation from the elegy on pagan Rome
by Hildebert of Lavardin (1056-1133), "Par tibi, Roma, nihil" ("there is
nothing thy equal, Rome"), is misprinted as "Pars tibi . . ."
3 "Disposer supreme . . .".
and gone) or the lightnings? 1 It's not in Phillimore's Latin
Hymns that you sent me. 2
I expect those Latin rhymes may be by the Dean. 3 In 1888
he would be ^bout 30, after all; he was a contemporary at
Eton with my uncle Regi. Or of course it may have been his
father. They are a classical family. I have just been giving
Noel Annan, a young King's don, data about my own family
connections for an essay he is writing for George Trevelyan's
8oth birthday, about families and their inter-relationships and
hereditary qualities. 4
Do many Americans confuse purpose and propose ? It does
seem illiterate. I remember your telling of a penitent who did
it in confession. On the Isle of Wight we heard the most
illiterate sermons. I think preachers should have a special
licence before they mount the pulpit. It must put off so many
people. I believe St Paul's, Knightsbridge is v.g. I might try-
1 See The English Hymnal, Hymn 178:
Those vessels soon fail, though full of thy light
And at thy decree are broken and gone;
Then brightly appeareth the arm of thy might,
As through the clouds breaking the lightnings have shone.
Like clouds they are borne to do thy great will,
And swift as the winds about the world go; ...
2 The Hundred Best Latin Hymns; selected by J. S. Phillimore (1926).
3 R. M. probably means W. R. Inge (1860-1954).
4 See N. G. Annan's essay " The Intellectual Aristocracy" in Studies in
Social History, edited byj. H. Plumb (1955)*
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you so much for your entertaining letter written on
the Feast of St Bart's. " Bartlemy the Bright " it was not, in
this land; but to-day and yesterday really are, miraculously
and for the first time in this dreadful summer, warm, with the
sun appearing. I am driving up the Thames Putney-ward, with
a companion who always seeks to bathe; 1 we think we can find
a spot somewhere in the reaches of the river where we can go
in. He works in Madrid and Salamanca, but spends August
here, and always when we lunch together has his swim-suit in
his pocket in case. ... I am feeling rather happy to-day, after
a long and fruitful talk yesterday with - ... It is encouraging
when someone one trusts, and someone with understanding,
thinks one has "grown". How I hope I have, a little. After
all, it would be strange if one didn't grow at all, going to daily
Mass; though how pitifully little effect these great things have
on one's life is a matter not only for distress but for wonder.
How can it be, coming away day after day from that mystery,
that one lives on this low level ? "Confession, absolution, com
munion, then at it again," as H. G. Wells gibes. Well, that is
Now my space is gone, and I wanted to ask you if you
know where is that prayer I once copied out beginning, "Ut
qui me, non meis mentis, intra viatorum numemm dignatus est
aggregare, luminis sui claritatem infundens. ..." I have put no
reference to it, and don't know where I found it. 2 You, who
know all, may know this. With this nice bit of flattery I send
my love and end my letter, which seems a trifle crowded.
1 David Ley; see Letters to a Friend, p. 295.
2 It is adapted from the Exultet, see above p. 30.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
8th September, 1954*}*
My dear Hamilton,
Your letter posted sist Aug. was rather especially good.
Thank you for it. How endlessly kind you are to me, and how
you manage to say just the things that I need, and that give me
fresh stimulus. Also, thank you for reminding me where that
fragment of prayer came from. Of course I remembered at
once when you told me, and looked it up. I had stupidly
forgotten even that I got it from you, and that you had supplied
the "viatorum" in it. I read the whole tiling through again;
how beautiful it is. Canon Hood might well have used the bit
about the candle this morning at his solemn Mass on the name-
feast of St Mary's Aldermary, before which he blessed his new
candles, candlesticks, and crucifix, which someone had pre
sented to the re-built church. I went to this on his invitation;
a beautiful service, though for my more austere taste rather too
much motion and gesture and fuss and intricate weaving about
among the clergy. All part of "the structure", no doubt; and
amazes the poore devat[sic], of course, but my bit of the
structure is quieter and more to my taste. ... Is [it] right
that there is very little Anglo-Catholicism in America ? Are
there scarcely any churches which gorgeously sit deckt, are
nearly all plaine and quite threadbare ? What a great pity, and
how lucky we are in London, with so many to our mind. No
wonder people like Mrs Paine feel they must go where there
is more beauty. I like the look of St Paul's Knightsbridge very
much; it is beautiful, rather dark, very ungarish. . . .
Interesting about "felix culpa" 1 I had always supposed it
St Augustine's; if so, end of C.4, 1 suppose. How old would
that Mass be, I wonder? It could be before that; but also
1 "O happy fault (which was counted worthy to have such and so great
a redeemer!),'* see dieExultet.
might be after. Pope Zosimus in 417 ordered candles to be
blessed; many "church writers spoke against it as heathen, both
before and after this. The origin of the Paschal candle, says the
Encyc. Brit., is lost in the mists of antiquity. Probably the Jews
had it. Fr Martindale might well have done a 3rd book,
"Dates of the Missals." But there are more specialised studies
of Missals; some I have read, and will look up again. . . .
2o,Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
24th September, 1954"]"
My dear Hamilton,
I am horrified by your account of your four termagants
who have been sweeping over your parts. 1 I read a little about
them in papers here, but not very much or very graphic.
What an intimidating thing it must have been. I am thankful
they have now swept by, and that "Carol" 2 didn't destroy your
Monastery, as she well might have. I have been dunking about
you with much concern. , . .
I am learning to meditate a little, or trying to. I am doing
the Book of Wisdom, chapter by chapter, it is such good and
delightful stuff, isn't it ? so full of the Spirit of God and of
Hagia Sophia. And how I like the gay career of the ungodly,
vanishing away like the soft air, but meanwhile missing no
flower of spring and crowning himself with rosebuds, how
lovely. 3 . . .
Yes, I remember Dr Addison's book on the Episcopal
Ch[urch] in U.S. 4 ; it interested me. People say now that
1 During September 1954 hurricanes caused much damage and many
casualties on the east coast of the U.S.
2 One of the hurricanes. 3 Wisdom 2. 3-8.
4 Daniel D. Addison, The Episcopalians (New York, 1904).
a great deal of religion is spreading about, both in the Uni
versities and elsewhere, but not predominatingly Afnglo-j
C[atholic], in fact much more the middle and the slightly
Evangelical type of churchmanship. What I mainly hear about
is A.C.ism; at Cambridge the Franciscans at St BeneYs are
attracting undergraduates, men and girls, and there are several
good Deans and Chaplains, and Little St Mary's is a great
centre; at Oxford St Mary Magdalen's, and I suppose still
Cowley ? And perhaps St Barnabas still ? I don't know. I am
interested that you think it a stronger movement in America.
Yes, I must ask Canon Hood about it; not that I ever see
him Perhaps I might ask him sometime to come and drink
sherry with me. . . .
Long Crichel House,
ist October, 1954!
My dear Hamilton,
I have a notion that I haven't got your latest letter with me
here (where I am week-ending), but only the one posted i6th
Sept., describing the four dreadful harpies who swept round
you, and saying a lot more, which I have answered in my
last letter before this. But I'm not quite certain whether I have
had another letter since that or not: it is stupid of me, but
when I get back I shall know; if I did have one, my having
forgotten doesn't mean that I wasn't interested in it. ...
I think I shall often go to weekday Mass at St Paul's,
Knightsbridge (8.30, and only 5 minutes longer in the car [than
to Grosvenor Chapel], and good both in Mass-execution and
the church itself, which is very attractive). I think they have
there rather a large organization and staff and ecclesiastical
Bustle; but this won't affect me. . . .
I am week-ending with my friends here Raymond
Mortimer [and] Eddy Sackville-West. . . . Also here for
week-end are Jacobine Hichens that was (who wrote that novel
about a girl who didn't go R.C. . . -) 1 now married to Lionel
Sackville-West. , . . They and I form a little Anglican enclave
in this delightful compatiy of agnostics and one convert; we
have just been a walk and enjoyed a Church gossip most
unusual in this house ! Now I must get ready to drive out to
luncheon a few miles away. Much love. I shall write again
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
nth October, 1954!
My dear Hamilton,
Your letter of 28th Sept. arrived some days back; thank
you so much for it. I find in your letters a lot of food for
thought; that Ember Wed. collect you quote turned my mind
towards "sedulous service" 2 , and that, at least, should be one's
aim. . . . Canon Hood is ... coming [to sherry and I might
ask [him] . . . about the Church in America 1 have also
Gerard Irvine and his brother James and wife (both [Gros-
venor] Chapel members), Jacobine Hichens , . . and my cousin
Jean Smith the Papist. So I must be careful that Jacobine doesn't
talk about the Bp of Rome and his detestable enormities
She is now married to a nice quiet Anglican (quiet, but wildly
High), and about to bring forth a nice little Anglican infant
1 Noughts and Crosses.
2 See post-communion Collect for Ember Wednesday in September
(". . . ut quae sedula servitute . . .").
I wish I could get Fr Talbot's Addresses? they are still re-
binding, but I've ordered them from Mowbrays. I must tell
you about my sherry party when I next write ; I hope the guests
will all get on together! Under the mellowing influence of
alcoholic liquor, people usually do. How I wish you could
drop down among us and join us. Only then I suppose I
shouldn't want to converse with anyone else, which wouldn't
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
2ist October, ip54f
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you for two admirable (and very helpful) letters, of
I2th and lyth, the latter received to-day. I was going to write
to you to-day, so am glad your letter came before I did so. I
think my last letter to you was written on the nth, the day
before the sherry party
By the way, Canon Hood, when I mentioned you as a
distant cousin, radiated pleasure. He referred to "a delightful
sight of you in 1919," when he stayed there [Cambridge, Mass.]
a few days, and said what a delightful person you were. I don't
think he has seen you since ? . . . Another priest who praised
you was Fr [Cecil] Wood, who came to the Chapel to assist
in the noon celebration last Sunday; he spoke to me outside
afterwards, and said he had tremendously enjoyed an evening
with you in September, during his American tour. I don't
think he had known that I knew you, before I asked him if
he had seen you. Your name seems to light people up !
Thank you for your advice about Mass. I am glad you
think I needn't feel tied to ... [Grosvenor] Chapel; though it
1 Edward Keble Talbot, Retreat Addresses, edited by Lucy Meiizies (i954)
does pull at me with the bonds of gratitude and deep affection,
and remembrance of all I learned there and the habits I formed,
which can never be abandoned while I have health and strength
for morning outings, and these show no signs of flagging,
indeed, long practice has made me much tougher about them.
But I now plan to divide my days between the Chapel and St
Paul's [Knightsbridge,] and am glad you approve. On Mondays
... and Wednesdays and Fridays, I go to St Paul's . . . which
I like extremely. . . . They have it in a small chapel in the
south aisle, always several people there, nothing could be
better. The confessional seems to me to be rather publicly
placed (and unusually), in the very middle among the seats !
But I presume that during confessions the chapel is otherwise
empty, or it would be all quite audible. . . . On the other
mornings Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday I go
to Mass at the Chapel, only communicating on Sundays. . . .
I think this compromise is satisfactory, don't you? I don't
want to desert the Chapel more than this ... I was very
anxious while that horrid " Hazel " l ploughed her destructive
way overland, lest she should take Mass, in her stride, and
much relieved when the news came that she hadn't. Re
intercommunion, of course we must keep and pass on our
sacramental heritage; but is there harm in praying with those
who have it in another form, such, e.g., as Wesleyans, most
devout communicants who use, I think, our P[rayer] Bfook],
but have no bishops ? It seems to me to be Christian one
ness to do this. . . .
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.I
7th November, I954f
My dear Hamilton,
Remembrance Sunday. A poppy on my coat, another on
my car. I attended divine worship in Knightsbridge, a very
beautiful service with excellent discourse from the incumbent, 1
whom I like more and more (so far only from afar). I went
there also for All Saints' Mass; All Souls to the Chapel. . . .
Thank you for your interesting letter of 26th Oct. I like
the picture of the devout and luckless people of Worcester all
at church while the cads of Droitwich bought up their markets !
Of course you are right about the rather proletarian clergy;
they are needed, and it is right that we should have them. I
must try and not feel, as the Preacher puts it in Ecclesiasticus 38,
that to some it is given to follow the plough and turn the
potter's wheel and uphold the fabric of the world, but not to
sit in the places of counsel and where parables are spoken. Of
course it isn't so; but a trifle of polish does oil die wheels, so
to speak. It is much to be hoped that the other type will soon
present themselves in greater numbers. . . .
I have just cut out from the Sunday Times an article by
J. B. Priestley about your cousin J. C. Powys, whom he much
admires. I can't send you this herewith, but will put it in an
envelope and despatch it overseas, and you will doubtless
receive it in some weeks. There are some interesting books in
to-day's reviews: the autobiography of Edwin Muir, 2 [and]
two books by men who entered monasteries, one Redemp-
tionist, where he stayed 6 years and was then turned out, he
knew not why, 3 the other by Fr Bede Griffiths, O.S.B., who
stayed in and was happy. 4 He was a convert, the other an Irish
1 Rev. E. B. Henderson.
2 Edwin Muir, The Story and the Fable (1940; revised ed., 1954).
3 Gary MacEoin, Nothing is Quite Enough (1954)-
4 Bede Griffiths, The Golden String (1954)-
born R.C., quite poor by origin. Both are reviewed by Philip
Toynbee (Arnold TVs son, and Gilbert Murray's grandson),
himself a young man of no creed, who marvels at this entering
into rigorous religious rule and shutting out the delightful and
valuable world around, which he himself so greatly enjoys;
but he is much impressed by this sacrifice for something they
believe in, and which he sees must, therefore, have some truth
in it. 1
I am reading Arnold Toynbee's new vols. of his history,
which I find extremely interesting. 2 His ex-father-in-law,
Gilbert Murray, complains that he has "gone all mystical",
which is wrong for a historian. But I like it, though I do see
that he isn't always on sound ground in his deductions. . . .
10 p.m. I went into St Paul's Vicarage at 7.30, with about 20
others [for the Sunday evening "Open House"]; Fr Henderson
I liked very much; he read aloud a speech of a Bishop at
Minneapolis, 3 and there followed a kind of fireside chat or
discussion about all manner of things, very nice, though rather
low-brow. They talked, inter alia, about the Roman Church,
which is rather aggressively attacking Anglicanism just now,
and how far it was wise to make criticisms in return. ... I
didn't raise my voice, feeling too new except once, to
tell them the meaning of "eirenic", 4 which no one knew
and they were sending for a dictionary; but I imagine
Fr H. must have known, and was kindly coming down
to the level of his company, so as not to seem a know-all.
But I enjoyed the talk; he is very entertaining, nice and
friendly. . . .
We are having floods here; perhaps a few just men will
be spared. I should like a voyage in an ark. I wish when in
Turkey I had climbed Ararat and found splinters of the ancient
1 See The Observer, ydi November, 1954.
2 A. J. Toynbee, A Study of History (Vols. vn-x, 1954).
8 At the Anglican Congress at Minneapolis in August 1954.
4 " Tending to peace."
ark, as travellers were used to do; they made good relics, and
wrought miracles. . . .
Much love always.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
loth November, 1954
My dear Hamilton,
Here is the J. C. Powys article I wrote of; I don't know
when you will get this, I've quite forgotten how long the ocean
mail takes. I remember we used once always to use it, but that
was 4 years ago.
I wonder if The Cornerstone, by Mme [Zoe] Oldenbourg
(translated) will come your way. It is a historical novel about
the Albigensian period very vivid and full of graphic pictures.
I have only just begun it; but it is being hailed as a masterpiece
in its genre.
How very ignorant even clever and educated people often
are about history sometimes ! I have just read The Golden
Thread 1 , an autobiography by Bede Griffiths, O.S.B., who
some years ago became R.C. and entered Prinknash. When
at Oxford he read for Honour Mods, read privately Aristotle,
Aquinas, Dante, St Augustine (in Latin), much in the way of
Greek and Latin literature, and instead of Greats took the
English Lit. School, and was obviously able (as well as a natural
religious mystic). But, can you believe it, he knew so little of
the elementary history that is in every child's history book,
that it never occurred to him that the churches he saw about
him and attended (he was a devout Anglican, for a time) had
ever in the course of their history used anything but the English
B[ook of] Cfommon] Pfrayer], which he must have supposed
to have been produced about 1000 years before it was ! That
1 The Golden String.
they had said Mass in Latin never struck him. Nor did he
know that England was Christianized from Rome in C.6.
When these facts burst upon him, he turned towards Rome
and decided it was the True Church, and joined it. Such gaps
in the knowledge of an intelligent and educated young man
are very odd. I suppose most children of literate families learn
about St Augustine and the English conversion in their first
I know R.C.s who are getting rather worried about the
Pope's recent pronouncements; he is said to be failing and
getting senile. Can Popes be retired on grounds of health ?
This new Day of Mary certainly seems redundant. 1 People
wonder what he will pronounce next. . . .
My love as always,
20, Hinde House, Hlnde St., W.I
yd December, 1954*]"
My dear Hamilton,
You must try and forgive my over-long pause between
letters: it's not that I forgot, but that life lately has been, with
one thing and another, rather harassing, and I waited till things
cleared a little before writing, since you aren't one of the
people I can write to about other things while my mind is full
of things I don't refer to
This . . . letter is a poor return to your two very good ones,
of Nov. 9 and 28. I am glad you liked to have that Priestley
article on J. C. Pjpwys], I thought it good and interesting. He
is a critic of good sense. About Arnold Toynbee's new vols.
of his history: I atn finding them very interesting, because,
besides his tremendous learning, he has ideas. I know these
1 Presumably R. M. means the Feast of the Assumption of the
B.V.M.; but this doctrine was defined by Pope Pius XII four years pre
viously, in 1950.
new vols. have had a lot of criticism, and especially of course
from R.C.s, who are annoyed with him because he gives good
reasons why he shied away from going over to Rome some
years ago. ... In his earlier vols. he took a much more R.
Catholic standpoint, and I believe thought seriously of going
over, but thought better of it. In vol. 10 of this new part of
his history, he has changed his standpoint, explains that he was
put off by the unchanging faults of the Church, and now has a
much vaguer and more universal religion, towards which he
believes that history, led by God, is working. Of course this
doesn't please his R.C. critics, who seem to me unfair to him.
Canon Roger Lloyd takes a much fairer view. Of course some
criticism is justified. His father-in-law, Prof. Gilbert Murray,
a lifelong agnostic, complains that Arnold has "gone all
mystical"; and some historians have said that he twists facts
to suit his theories. All the same, it is interesting. He is so
amazingly learned that one learns an immense amount from
every page; he seems to have been that kind of infant prodigy
who read Xenophon in Greek at the age of 4, and remembers
all he has learnt, so that his mind is a wonderful storehouse.
One must allow such a man a few quiddities. But it is unfair
to say that his historical trends are impersonal; on the other
hand, they are, in his view, guided by God, towards some far-
off divine event to which we are working. I must read The
Everlasting Man again. 1 But G. K. Cfhesterton] wasn't a man
of A.T.'s intellectual stature, of course.
Yes, our liturgical funerals are very beautiful. I am glad
you got to that one, and were able to see the daughters. Our
short requiem Masses are also v.g. We had one in G. Chapel
yesterday morning. . . .
"Marjorie Bowen" is now dead; her name was Mrs
Campbell, I think. 2 I didn't know her, and not her books much
1 G. EL Chesterton, The Everlasting Man (1925).
2 Gabrielle M. V. Long, nie Campbell (1886-1952) used the name
"Marjorie Bowen" as one of her pseudonyms.
either. No, she wasn't a Christian, I believe. But she ought to
have admired the Wesleys. I haven't read that book 1 , though
I have read one or two of hers. She began at about 17, with
The Viper of Milan, and wrote historical novels for many many
years. Not first class, but competent. ... I like Advent to be
here. I have been reading those Advent Benediction things,
"Rorate Coeli," for Advent I "... et iniquitates nostrae, quasi
ventus, abstulerunt nos . . ." 2 beautiful, but desolate. The
Roman "Stir-up Sunday" collect seems better than ours, with
its "remedia majora"^ instead of "plenteously be rewarded". I
must send you my Xmas card, in a sea-letter. My love.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
i6th December (O Sapientia), I954J
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you for your letter begun on the 8th. I'm sorry
mine came unstuck; I can't think why it should, except that
they don't make the edges sticky all round, only one bit. Still,
it is meant to hold and if it doesn't the P.O. should sticky more
of it. I don't know what they do to these letters in the planes.
I wonder if this will reach you for Christmas; I hope it will.
I sent you my card by surface mail, and that may or mayn't
reach you before the day; you never know. . . .
It is odd how differently people react to faith; some receive
it so much more easily than others. . . . You know, Hamilton,
there are and always have been a lot of things I can't and don't
try to accept; I just can't feel they matter, and don't strain
after them. I have God, Christ, the Holy Spirit, and the Mass;
1 "Marjorie Bowen," Wrestling Jacob : A Study of the Life of John Wesley
and Some Members of the Family (1937).
2 " Drop down dew, ye heavens . . . and our iniquities, like the wind,
have carried us away."
3 "Greater blessings"; see Collect for 25th Sunday after Trinity.
the rest I don't concern myself with, except as the ancient
idiom which enshrines these central things for me. Does this
shock you? I don't think it will; you understand so well.
Anyhow, as I said, minds are so different, and must work on
things in their own way, and God will make allowance for our
limitations. . . . O Sapiential we must pray that she will lead
us all along the road.
I hope you will have a good Christmas. I shall go to be
shriven at St Paul's, Knightsbridge, and, I think, go to the
Midnight Mass there too though perhaps I may feel drawn by
old affection to go to the Chapel. Then to Romford on Xmas
morning early, to stay with my sister till 27th. I expect you
will [be] under snow. Not so (I trust) we. My love for
Christmas. . . .
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
2$th December, I954J
My dear Hamilton,
How good to get your letter begun Dec. 20, posted 22nd,
arrived 28th (not bad for this season). You say a lot of things
in it that sustain my mind in its present somewhat drooping
state. . . . Yes, I did indeed need the Church, and still do;
however unfit I sometimes feel for it, I hope to find more and
more in it to appropriate till I die CRESCAT nostrae salutis
effectus?- Thank you, I like too that Advent ember prayer, very
much. What a rich storehouse the Missal is !
I had a quiet Christmas at Romford; my sister rather over
tired; she can still see to work, but expects the cataract to stop
her before long. I'm sorry about your snow; I hope it didn't
block you altogether. None here yet; in fact, it is wonderful
mild weather so far. This morning I had, as it were, two
1 " May the fruits of our salvation be increased''
Masses; one at the Grosvenor at 8.15, then came home and
heard a broadcast of one at 9 at my other place of worship; it
came over very well. I suppose not to perplex prayer-book
listeners, the prayer of oblation was put after the communion.
Fr Henderson has a very pleasant quiet voice, which came over
well. . . .
I am sending you by surface mail a page of the Sunday
Times containing " Books^of the Year", a symposium to which
a lot of writers contributed. I wrote about Arnold Toynbee's
new vols. of his History ; difficult to compress what I wanted
to say into 300 words, but I had a shot at it. Have you come
across Dialogues of Alfred Whitehead, by an American Boswell
called Price? 1 They interest me a good deal; I was given it
for Christinas. This Boswell took down Whitehead's con
versations over a number of years, when the Whiteheads were
living in Memorial Drive, Cambridge, close to you, I suppose.
Mrs W. joins in, and it is good talk. All manner of discussable
questions turn up. One doesn't always agree with the great
man, but he is always interesting. I think he gets St Paul rather
wrong; he regards him as very dour and stern, and regrets
his giving Christianity the shape it took. He forgets the
splendid lyrical passages, about Charity, 2 putting on the whole
armour etc., 3 a hundred more, which make his letters so full
of the poetry of Christianity. But he (Prof W.) doesn't much
like the Jews, on the whole. I have been reading also another
American book, by Wallace Notestein of Harvard, a history
professor, on the state of the English people 1603-30, just before
the colonization of New England. 4 That too interests me,
though badly written, like so many American books. On the
whole, so many American writers, even those of plenty of
scholarship, seem to have little feeling for style. But they are
1 Dialogues of Alfred North Whitehead, as recorded ly Lucien Price (1954).
2 1 Cor. 13-1-13. 3 EpL 6. 1-20.
4 W. Notestein, The English People on the Eve of Colonization, 1603-30
very good scholars. This Notestein writes for Americans, to
explain to them what their first colonizers were like in England.
He obviously has great sympathy with puritamsm more than
I have, or you, for we think it nearly wrecked our Church.
On this, and the religious conflict in C.iy that led to the Civil
War, C. V. Wedgwood writes excellently, in a new book that
I am also reading, the first volume of the long book she is
writing on the Civil Wars. 1 She is v.g. Dear Hamilton, I do
hope you will have a happy year, beginning your second half
century of celebrating Mass. You are very kind to me, as
always where should I be without you?
1 C. V. Wedgwood, The King's Peace (1955), die first volume of her
History of the Civil Wars, The Great Rebellion.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., IV.i
itfh January, I955f
My dear Hamilton,
Yours of 4th Jan. came on the loth, thank you so much for
it. I have been thinking about several things in it; mostly
concerned with the various different approaches to religious
faith. I do agree that the specifically Protestant approach is
much more difficult than the Catholic one, which is a daily
entry into or anyhow to the gates of the visible symbols of
the kingdom, with its rites and acts and words and mysteries;
all we have to do is to look and listen and feel we are in it.
Whereas the Protestant is, I suppose, much more thrown on to
looking back at what he believes happened long ago, and
accepting some interpretation of it, with difficulty often. Yet
it is extraordinary with what conviction and ardour evangelical
Christians have done this; making their redemption hang on
the death of Christ, to which they seem to give far more
importance than to his life. Whereas the Catholic enters the
visible courts, enters into his "myth" ("myth" is defined by
someone as "a popular concept encircling a nucleus of truth")
and gets at the truth, or some of it, that way. It is much easier;
I could have done no other, with any success or benefit, I think,
though so many thousands have and do. Without frequent
Mass, I don't think I could pray, except in a very barren and
sceptical way. Mass sheds the light by which we perceive and
know what things we ought to do ; though I suppose the power
to fulfil the same could come by prayer, only with more
difficulty. Don't you prefer I do the Latin form of that
collect P 1 I always use it now. I like the greater terseness of
"ut et quae agenda sunt, videant; et ad implenda quae viderint,
convalescant" (good word). 2 This is the form I have copied into
1 Collect for 1st Sunday after Epiphany.
2 ". . . that they may both perceive what they ought to do, and may
have strength to fulfil the same.'*
my Preces Privatae. By the way, why does Knox say he is
translating from the Vulgate ? He so often gets right away from
it, and obviously is referring to the Greek. 1 As in Romans 12.
3, where the Vulgate (and the Missal) has "Non plus sapere
quam oportet sapere, zed sapere ad sobrietatem" which is rather
nice, but Knox has (like the Authorized Version more or less)
"not to think highly of hjmself beyond his just estimation, but
to have a sober esteem of himself,'* which is I suppose probably
what the Greek means, tho' it could mean either, couldn't it ?
I don't know how the Revised Version renders it. But the
two are quite different.
I haven't seen the Reinhold Niebuhr article you quote from.
But I can't ever feel in touch with him, somehow; he lays
emphasis on history, rather than on the present working of the
Logos, which I find a more possible approach. One must have
both: but perhaps people are divided as to which is the more
significant, and the more saving, for them personally.
I agree with you that the Notestein account of the early
C.iy Englishman's attitude towards his nation and his religion
is very unpleasing, tho* I fear it was to a great extent so, and
that this was the attitude those puritans took with them to New
England. I have been reading (and reviewing) C. V. Wedg
wood's The Kings Peace, which I think you would enjoy; it
deals with the years 1637-41, very graphically. The picture it
gives of the militant puritans, as of the Laudian tyranny, is
rather dreadful, though not worse than we knew already, if we
have studied the period at all. Such shocking bigotry and
cruelty on all sides, except for a few reasonable and peaceable
men, such as Chillingworth, 2 Falkland, 3 and those like-minded.
Laud actually wanted to burn alive a poor illiterate stonemason
1 R. A. Knox's translation of the New Testament is, according to the
sub-tide, "newly translated from the Latin Vulgate". But in the footnotes
frequent references are made to Greek and Hebrew sources.
2 William Chillingworth (1602-1644), Anglican divine, author of The
Religion of Protestants.
8 Lucius Gary, second Viscount Falkland (1610 ?-i64s).
who had spoken disapprovingly of the Anglican hierarchy in
public. Certainly we are more humane now. If we have
"morals without religion" often, we don't have so much
religion without morals as once or rather with perverted and
cruel morals. Though that is just what the South African
government has, and all those Calvinist Dutch adherents. , . .
It is nice to have the Christmas turmoil over, and be able
to settle down to work. I haven't got far with my novel, but
shall get on with it, I hope, now. I had a sudden invitation
from my cousins in Ipswich, Mass., 1 to join them in a Jamaican
bungalow in February ; it sounded delicious, bathing in a warm
sea, coconut palms, boating about among the islands my idea
of heaven. But of course I can't. Much too costly to get there,
and I am tied here at present, by a number of things. Strange
to think of those warm seas now when the snow lies in the
London streets so thick that it is hard to drive through, where
it hasn't been cleared. I hope you keep reasonably warm. I
drive to Mass through the untrodden snows of Hyde Park,
which looks very beautiful. No : surely the difference between
prose and poetry is a matter of sound, not of subject ? No space
to pursue this, or for anything but my love.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.I
$th February, 1955 f
My dear Hamilton,
This can't be much of a letter, because I am deeply snowed
under by jobs, including my piece that I have to write for the
BBC "Critics", a programme of criticism of current shows
(theatre, films, books, art, radio) which I have just gone on to
again, after about a year. We meet on Thursdays for lunch and
record our discussions, which are broadcast on the following
1 William and Isadore Smith.
Sunday afternoon. I write a short script on radio, but we all
discuss all the subjects, so have to see all the things. I am just
in from a matinee of Richard II at the Old Vic and still have
ahead before Thursday a film about escapes from German
prison camps, some modern Italian pictures, and the reading
of a book I don't particularly want to read. So my time gets
pretty well filled up, and I get little for my novel. Thank you
so much for yours dated ipth Jan. That was a fatal evening for
me, for my car was stolen while I dined at the Athenaeum
Club, and turned up next morning in a ditch outside Peter
borough, after having been used in the night for "several serious
crimes," the police say. Unfortunately the criminals had
vanished. So my poor car is still in Peterboro' being repaired,
while I ride perilously (and coldly) about London on the old
bicycle I used during the war. Traffic seems thicker now.
However, I am acquiring skill and expertise in the art. It is
nice between 8 [and] 9 a.m. when I ride to Mass either at
Gros. Chap, or St Paul's, and get back before the traffic is
really thick. And I can ride nicely to the London Libjrary],
which is a route with two one-way streets. All right too at
week-ends, and in the evenings. My main trouble is the wind !
But I am quite enjoying it, tho* it will be nice to be lazy in my
car again soon.
I am interested in your comparison of Evangelical] and
Cathfolic] religion, one basing itself on subjective experience,
the other on sacramental life, which seems utterly true. How
lucky I am to be in the second, "well in." I am sending you a
Tablet review of The Great Prayer, by Hugh Ross Williamson
(still just an Anglican . . ). Surely he goes too far in his claims
for what Anglicans all believe ! You won't get this for some
time, of course. All this R.C. harping on "authority" seems so
narrow; they seem to look at religion in blinkers. And it is
characteristically unfair to say that 400 years of protestantism
have given us an "irrational prejudice against the teachings of
Christ and his Church." It is this tendency to rule out Pro-
testants (including Anglicans) from the Church of Christ that
is so tiresome and silly. And imagine saying that Quakers are
prejudiced against "the teachings of Christ" ! I should say they
know much [more] about these than most R.C.s do. 1 But I do
think that in many quarters there is a growing tolerance and
willingness to admit the Christianity of non-Romans, and
willingness to co-operate with them in humane works. There
is the very broadminded type represented by my friends the
Brothers Mathew, for instance, of whom Lady Violet Bonham
Carter says that the Bishop is "the only free-minded R.C."
she knows. I know several more myself, actually though
"free" isn't perhaps quite the right word. . . .
No more room ! But my love.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.I
20th February, 1955!
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you so much for yours of the loth. It is good of
you to write, and to answer my letters so splendidly, even when
perhaps you don't feel like writing but more like book-binding,
a state of mind I can so well understand. Last night I felt so
little like doing any writing work that I decided I must instead
change the linoleum cover of my large kitchen table; so I
moved everything off it, stripped off the blue lino I had had
there for some years, replaced it with a fine scarlet one that I
had ready for it (after scrubbing the table), washed and put
back on it all the crockery, tins of rice and sugar, etc., polished
the lino with lavender polish, and now it looks so smart and
smells so nice. This was really because on Shxove Tuesday 1
am having a little cocktail party, the last gaiety I shall have of
1 R. M/s comments on Roman Catholic attitudes relate to opinions
expressed by the reviewer of The Great Prayer, see The Tablet, 5th February,
that kind till after Easter. So I must tidy up the living-room
and bedroom too, get out and wash my glasses, provide enough
to drink, and generally abandon books and devote myself to
worldly and social joys. This party will be after I go for
shriving to St Paul's, so it will be a mixed day. I went to St
Paul's this morning for Mass; Fr Henderson preached the best
Lent sermon I have ever heard. He really is an inspiring person.
... I go to Mass through snow and ice (shocking weather has
returned !) on my admirable bicycle, car being still under repair.
I find a bicycle slips less on iced roads than one's feet do, and
feels quite safe, so don't worry about that. And one gets quite
used to the traffic. Still, I shall be glad to get the car back!
Your remark about being sacrificed by Druids made me laugh.
Actually, one's bicycle used to be stolen sometimes over half a
century ago ; and one was thrown off it, and from ponies, and
fell from trees, and was all but drowned, and people were
robbed and assaulted . . . no, we weren't secure, even in the
iSpos. The fact is, this is a dangerous planet; perhaps all
planets are? But a rather nice one, all the same; I shall miss
it when I have to leave it. Yes, you are right; I am wasting
my time over these "Critics" plays and films. It is nearly over
now; in Lent I shall settle to my book firmly and renounce the
world, which will be a good thing.
I must look at Overton & Relton. 1 That Bish. John
Conybeare was my great-great-great-great-(or was it 5 greats ?)
grandfather. 2 I have his Defence of Revealed Religion. He was
one of an unbroken line of Conybeare clergy down to my
mother's brother 3 (who later turned R.C. however) and his
son, my cousin James, 4 who was Provost of Southwell and is
now retired, but actively helping in the parishes round Oxon.
1 J. Overton and F. Relton, The English Church from the Accession of
George I to the End of the Eighteenth Century (1714-1800) (1906).
2 John Conybeare (1692-1755), Bp of Bristol, was R, M.'s great-great-
great-grandfather; see genealogy of R. M. in Letters to a Friend.
3 Rev. J. W. Edward Conybeare (1843-1931).
4 Very Rev. W.James Conybeare (1871-1955).
(He wrote a little book I once sent you, Here's a Church.) 1
Several of these Conybeare priests were more or less dis
tinguished; one was professor of Anglo-Saxon at Oxford in
the 1 8th century and very learned. 2 The Bishop of Bristol was
a great controversialist, and was always at odds with Thomas
Hearne the antiquary. I am glad Overton & R[elton] approve
of him. The line of priests of that name is broken now, but
not the line of succession in blood, as two of my uncle's grand
sons are in Orders, but their name is McCormick, their mother
having married the one-time Dean of Manchester of that
name. 3 . . .
You kindly ask questions about the car situation. (How I
value your never failing sympathy, by the way!) I hope to
get it back in a week or two. I pay nothing, all being covered
by insurance; except [for] a little work I am having done on it
which needed doing before it was stolen. It will be made quite
safe and sound again. I shall feel happy in it when I have used
bell, book and candle in it to exorcise the spirits of those bad
men. ... I do look forward to having it back. It will be driven
from Peterbro' by someone from the garage there. So all will
end well. ... I do hope you keep well ?
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
8th March, 1955!
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you for yours posted 28th Feb. I'm sorry you have
no Max Beerbohm in your library. He is one of my very
1 W. J. Conybeare, Here's a Church Let's Go In (194.6).
* Rev. John J. Conybeare (1779-1829).
3 R. M.'s first cousin Alison Conybeare m. Very Rev. J. G. Mc
Cormick (1874-1924); their two sons being Canon J. C. McCormick
(1906-1960) and Rev. M. E. McCormick (b. 1909).
favourite writers. His urbane irony and humour, his exquisite
mannered style, his particular slant on his environment, are
so endearingly charming. I have always loved him. I used,
some 20 and 30 years ago, to see him in London sometimes; but
now he never comes, he lives wholly at Rapallo. He is, of
course, in his 8os now. But from time to time he gives a
delightful talk on the wireless. There is no one quite like him;
after reading him, almost every one else seems coarse. . . .
Lately I have been reading Elizabeth Bowen's new novel A
World of Love. It is rather fascinating, though not to every one.
I reviewed it in two columns of The Times (not the Literary Sup.,
that was by someone else, who liked the book much less than
I did). By the way, I wonder why you say the critics "don't
like me ? " I should have said I got quite my fair share of
praise from them, and in the Lit. Sup. I am fairly often men
tioned in general literary articles, besides getting nice long
reviews when I publish a new book. Sometimes, of course,
1 write an article there myself, and in that I naturally am not
mentioned! I don't think any of my literary colleagues would
agree with you that I am unfairly treated; I sometimes think
I get more than my fair share of appreciation. Though naturally
not every one likes my books, nor any one else's for that matter.
Ivy Compton-Burnett is a writer I don't think you would care
for. I find her entertaining and sometimes brilliant; but
her novels are certainly odd, and often awkwardly written.
Is she praised in American papers? I wonder if the fact
that I haven't for some time myself published a book in
America, and therefore haven't been in the public eye there,
has made you think this is also so in England. But it really
Yes, G. M. Young's Victorian England is excellent. 1 Though
I can't remember if it is EARLY Victorian England that I am
thinking of. But possibly he has added on to it and made it
1 G. M. Young, Victorian England: Portrait of an Age (1936; 2nd ed.,
all one book now P 1 Anyhow, he is v.g. A very intelligent,
civilized mind. Is it a Penguin ?
Yes, my Shrove Tuesday party was quite fun. About 14
people, all of whom are my near friends. Goodness, how I
shall miss my dear, amusing, intelligent, friendly, affectionate
circle of friends when I have to leave them. Whatever "social
joys are there", these won't be or most of them won't, for
some little time, I suppose. The day before my party, I got
shriven , . . [and] Fr Henderson is ... giving some good Lent
addresses ... So my religion is being kept together, more or
less . . . and mostly by daily Mass. ... I am very much interested
just now in "character", and how each moment and each
thought builds it up. I have been reading a little book by
Bishop Austin Pardue, Bp of Pittsburgh, which is partly on
this subject. He says a lot of sensible things. His little book
(1952) is called A new and contrite heart? I wonder what you
would think of it. Some of it is rather too American for me.
But he has the right angle. Oh yes, the C. of E. is a far better
business now than a century ago. I don't think that, if I had
left it in those days, I should ever have returned; perhaps one
would have, if urgently minded for some Church, have gone
Roman: but I couldn't have been happy or honest in that for
long. ... So I should no doubt have remained an unsatisfied
agnostic. And now, here we are, with all this at hand. Tough
going at times; but always a visible path, if at times obscured.
I wish someone would write a long, really long, religious poem,
that one could read bits of when one felt like it. There is David
Jones's Anathemata, but it is rather confused and scrappy and too
obscure. 3 And Eliot's Ash Wednesday, and his Four Quartets;
but again they are rather twisted and obscure for easy reading,
say in bed at night. This is my last week of the "Critics," I am
1 Early Victorian England, edited by G. M. Young (2 vok, 1934), con
tained an editorial essay which formed the basis for Victorian England.
2 Austin Pardue, New and Contrite Hearts (New York, 1952; London,
3 David Jones, The Anathemata; Fragments of an Attempted Writing (19 52).
rather glad to say. My car is still in Peterbro', and I am home
sick for it. Snow still falls. What a winter! But my love
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
$th April, i955t
My dear Hamilton,
I have been a long time answering your interesting letter
of isth and I4th March, partly because I have been more than
usual busy. . , .
We are now arrived in mid-Holy Week, which I am keep
ing at St Paul's; we are having some good addresses there
from the Provost of Southwark, 1 also Fr Henderson at mid-day.
I feel a little mean about the dear Chapel, but there it is.
Meanwhile, in the intervals of devotions, I am busy with my
novel ; now that I am off the "Critics" I have much more time
and attention to give it, and am quite enjoying myself.
I don't recognise "where error is irreparable repentance
is useless" 2 but hazard a guess that it is Gibbon, it has his anti
thetical rhythm, don't you think? G. M. Young would be
looking at him as a master of history when he wrote that about
"the greatest of our masters." But I may be quite wrong about
this; if I come on it, or on any one who knows it, I'll let you
know. Not a good slogan for this week, I feel, which should
be spent partly in repenting one's irreparable, as well as
It has been an odd week otherwise; Churchill resigning in
the hush created by the cessation of newspapers; 3 but every
1 Very Rev. H. E. Ashdown.
2 See G. M. Young's Introduction to Victorian England.
3 Winston Churchill resigned the Premiership on 5th April, 1955; this
was during a newspaper strike.
one knew of it, and crowded Whitehall last night to cheer him,
and besieged 10 Downing Street when he appeared at the door
to welcome the Queen to dinner. I heard all about that dinner
afterwards from Randolph Churchill, who turned up at eleven
p.m. at the house where I was dining, and gave a very lively
account. . . . The wireless gives more news than usual, there
is also the Manchester Guardian (which I can't get), and the
weeklies for comment.
I also met Evelyn Waugh last night at dinner ... I don't
think his writing will ever be what it was in his brilliant and
unregenerate youth; his conversion did him no literary good,
however spiritually improving. I hadn't seen him for some
years, and he accused me of agnosticism; I was able to retort
that I was now a practising Anglican and went daily to Mass,
which is, I suspect, more than he does. . . . Of course you are
right in your diagnosis of the wholesale attitude R.C.S have
towards their religion; though there will always be some few
who, like Von Hugel and Acton and Tyrrell, can't believe
I have been reading Phillips Brooks's sermons and addresses;
do you know them, I wonder? 1 I like them; though they
seem to belong to a different and perhaps outdated religious
world, on the whole.
Well, here we are nearly at Easter: Good Friday to
morrow (time having moved on since I began this letter) so it
is too late to send Easter greetings, which, however, I belatedly
do. It seems likely to be as chilly and occasionally rainy as
usual here. I'm not going away anywhere. . . . Evelyn Waugh
says the next Pope may be a Chinese ! That would be very
impressive; they look so wise, one could almost accept their
infallibility when they said " Me speakee ex cathedra 9 . . . .
A new curate (middle-aged or elderly and an ex-missionary
from New Guinea) has just arrived at St Paul's to help for a
1 Phillips Brooks (1835-1893), Bp of Massachusetts, published several
volumes of sermons.
time one Canon Benson. When someone introduced us, he
at once broke out into pleasure about Told by an Idiot and other
of my novels which it seems are read by New Guinea mis
sionaries, which surprised and pleased me. To-morrow I shall
attend the Three Hours at Holy Trinity, Clapham Common,
where my evangelical Macaulay relatives used to worship 150
years ago (Zachary, I mean). It seems to have gone Higher now
than he would have cared for ! Fr Henderson is taking it.
My love for Easter.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
3 of/i April, 1955 1 (fwst ofSta Caterina da Siena)
My dear Hamilton,
I was very sorry to hear in your Easter Sunday and Monday
letter than you hadn't been well, and still weren't. I have been
bothering about that a good deal, and hoping you were better,
and weren't trying to do too much. Perhaps it is better now
that Holy Week and Easter are over.
I didn't tell you the glad news that my car is back, greatly
furbished up and refreshed by the repairers in Peterborough who
had it in hand for so long; they not only repaired the damage
done by the thieves who finally flung it into a ditch, but the
small dents and scrapes on the paint made in the course of
ordinary wear and tear; so it looks better and goes better than
for a long time past. So, except for making me bicycle about
in the arctic winter for two months, the criminals did me a
service. I must say it is nice to have it again, and get about in
it so snugly if "get about" can be used for the incredibly
jammed-up driving we do in central London. Now, with this
railway strike beginning to-morrow (Sunday) night, even more
people will bring their cars up to London, and the confusion
will be worse. I don't use mine much in central London
except in the quiet hours of morning and evening (com
paratively quiet, that is) and during week-ends. Of course I
do use it sometimes, I have to. But in many cases walking is
quicker. . . .
Meanwhile I am writing at my novel, which I think is
rather foolish and frivolous, but I like doing it; it is very
restful after the toil of Ruins. I am not going far afield this
summer, so shall have the more time. Only short visits; of
which one is a week at a Butlin's Camp at Skegness with my
two little girls (13 and n) at end of August. They look forward
to this enormously. There [are] any number of juvenile
amusements; Jane wants to ride all the time, and Mary Anne
to swim and dive, and of course they will play all kinds of
games. For my part, I shall swim, and walk about outside the
camp (though I believe Skegness is frightful). ... I shall drive
them there through Cambridge, and stop an hour there to
show them a few colleges and the Backs. They are nice
intelligent vivacious children. . . .
We have Billy Graham here again. Just now in Scotland,
but re-laid into many English churches and (particularly)
chapels, and apparently doing good to many people. By the
way, what do you feel about the Church of South India ? Such
a fuss going on in The Tablet about it ! I must tell you later.
Nothing now but my love.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
9th June (Corpus Christi], 1955 f
My dear Hamilton,
Turning up a letter of yours posted 5th May, I am reminded,
to my vexation, that I meant to write to you for your birthday
on 2nd June, but never did, having been circumvented by a
number of hindrances in the race set before me, and forgot it
till too late. I am sorry about that. But I now send my belated
love for that day; I could wish that you had had a letter from
me on it to wish you happy returns and a good year, but better
late than never. In your letter you say you are recovered, or
nearly, from your illness; I hope that goes on. Thank you for
your letter and for saying in it that you keep me in mind in
your prayers, which I like to be, and feel it is a great support
I have been, and am, very busy with my book and other
things. I am not going abroad this summer, or on any other
long holiday, as I must work at this book till it is done. I feel
I could approach it with more vivacity if we could have a little
summer; but that seems to be a thing of the past in this grey
and cold land. This is Fr Henderson's last week here; he
is being bishoped 1 on Saturday, nth June, in St Paul's
[Cathedral], I have been given a seat in a Canon's closet,
which I am told gives a good view. I have never seen a con
secration. It will be an interesting ceremony. "We subscribed
to give Fr H. a cope, crozier, rochet and two mitres. All these
episcopal garments are terrific in price, and I think it is a shame
they aren't officially bestowed; many a poor bishop must
be ruined by it, and gaiters too, etc. Fr H. takes his last
Mass in our church to-morrow. How we shall miss him !
... I shall probably go oftener than lately to Grosvenor
Chapel. . . .
I met a young German this afternoon outside the Church
of the Annunciation, [Bryanston Street,] who asked me when
they had their evening Mass there. I said they didn't and asked
if what he wanted wasn't a Roman church, and of course it
was. He was surprised that the Annunc. church wasn't Roman ;
he could see no difference. He truly said that it was not at all
like St Paul's or the Abbey, which he had lately seen. I had
some difficulty in explaining that they were all C. of E. I can't
think why the 1928 P[rayer] B[ook] didn't include a service for
1 Consecrated Suffragan Bishop of Tewkesbury.
Corpus Christi, by the way. 1 One could easily compile one,
out of all the many Eucharistic prayers and Secreta of the Missal.
Or, of course, just take over the service as in the Missal, which
is good. I'm not sure, as between the Latin and Engflish]
versions of Easter 4; both have advantages, don't you think?
I like "the unruly wills and affections'* rather. 2 I must read
that Life of Gore. 3 He was a truly venerable man. Did I tell
you that in May I went to the funeral of my old cousin W. J.
Conybeare, late Provost of Southwell, who died in his Oxford
shire retirement ? It was a nice village churchyard funeral and
family gathering; full of Conybeares, McCormicks, Macaulays.
Now I must go and get my car out. My love always,
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
26th June, 195 5 f
My dear Hamilton,
Your letter posted 7th June did, as you say, cross mine; and
now I have the one posted 22nd, so I have two good letters in
hand, which is lovely. I ought not to write to you this week,
however, as you are in Retreat; but you can lay it by unopened
till it is over.
To answer first your point about "very"; surely never
rightly with a verb, unless the verb (like "tired") has become
practically an adjective. Of course there are some border cases
(is "hurt" one of these in its mental, not physical, sense?) but
I'm sure never with disappointed, pleased, surprised, occupied,
etc., etc. I mean of course people use it all the time, but not
1 Two Collects and the Epistle and Gospel for the Feast of Corpus
Christi are included (inconspicuously) in the 1928 Prayer Book, with those
for the " Lesser Feasts and Fasts," under the heading " Thanksgiving for the
Institution of Holy Communion."
2 See Collect for 4th Sunday after Easter.
3 Presumably G. L. Prestige's Life of Charles Gore (i935).
rightly, and it is jarring, don't you think ? I don't think one
can make hard and fast rules about it; it is a question of what
sounds wrong to educated ears. One can say "very tired," but
not 'Very exhausted," I suppose because of "tired" having
become an adjective. Well, I don't know. I looked up the
Latin Trinity collect. 1 I think our English one loses force by
"keep us stedfast in this faith and evermore defend us from all
adversities" ; I prefer "that by stedfastness in the faith we may
be defended," and am interested in your idea that it may mean
the stability of the faith itself, not our firmness in holding it.
I would translate "ab omnibus adversis" "from all that is against
us," and you suggest "all that conflicts with the faith" ; any
how I don't think "from all adversities" is good; after all,
adversities means only misfortunes, and loses the sense of
contrary and hostile things which fight against us a sense
which "adversities" didn't carry even in the i6th cent.
Yes, I do like to examine these Latin prayers and get their
meaning. It was one of the many good things that you first
put me on to. I don't think I read Geoffrey Faber's Oxford
Apostles when it came out, but I may have and forgotten. 2
Anyhow, I will get the Penguin. I know G. F.; he is a red-
faced man of business (publishing) externally, but writes
excellently, and knows a great deal about the Tractarians, of
Since I wrote to you last I had a week-end at Cambridge
(in fact, last week-end) and dined at the High Table at King's, 3
which I always like, as I know several of them still, and they
all (except the quite young ones) knew and loved my dear
uncle the Vice-Provost. 4 . . .
I had such a nice letter from a stranger who wrote to me
1 Collect for Trinity Sunday.
2 Geof&ey Faber, Oxford Apostles (1933).
3 " Ladies' Night " is an annual institution at King's College, Cambridge,
which was started shortly after World War II. Each Fellow of the College
is allowed to invite a lady to dine at the High Table.
4 W. H. Macaulay (1853-1936).
before about Ruins, and has now read The World My Wilderness
and likes it. I have a few oddments I might send you in a sea
envelope, and will put this in (do not return). There are also
two letters out of a somewhat odd and acrimonious corre
spondence in The Tablet about Anglicans and R.C.s; Peter
Anson (now R.C. of course) writes enclosing quotations from
an Anglican Religious friend to him; 1 ... I wondered if I
should cut out and send you a poem by me in the Times Lit.
Sup. last number, 2 but remembered that you don't care for my
poetry, so didn't.
I read David Cecil's Melbourne 3 with great pleasure, but
it's less fascinating than The Young Melbourne, which he wrote
20 years ago. This is a really superb description of the Whig
society of the late i8th century, and of the personalities in it.
The new volume hasn't the same charm, I think; perhaps its
period hasn't. I didn't feel, though, that he was unjustifiably
novelistic about Melbourne. But I don't think I really felt this
about his Stricken Deer* either, tho' I dare say your grand
fathers, who knew Cowper (or anyhow knew all about him
from others), would think so. I have just read a very interesting
pseudo-memoirs of the Emperor Hadrian; 5 fascinating in its
knowledge of the 2nd century Roman Empire, as well as a
brilliant reconstruction of Hadrian himself. I think you
would be interested in this. It is translated from the
French. . . .
By the way, Fr Derry is such a nice, human, humorous
person. 6 I like him better and better. He came in here for
1 See The Tablet, 1 8th June, 195 5-
2 " Dirge for Trebizond," see The Times Literary Supplement, 24th June,
3 Lord M. (1954). 4 The Stricken Deer; or the Life of Cowper (1929)-
5 Marguerite Yourcenar, Memoirs of Hadrian (trans. Grace Frick, 1955)-
6 Rev. W. R. Derry, Curate-in-charge of Grosvenor Chapel and
Warden of Liddon House (an Anglican centre for graduates and young
professional men and women, founded in Kensington in 1907 and later
attached to Grosvenor Chapel).
sherry the other day, alone, and we had an interesting talk
about the work he is doing for young people at Liddon House
discussions, debates, addresses, etc. I have promised to speak
to them. My love, and thank you for everything. You do
uphold me so much.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
My dear Hamilton,
Here are the oddments I said I would send you in a sea
letter. I have just stuck up the air letter. It is Sunday evening,
and I am staying in, writing letters and now going to get on
with my novel. It has been a really lovely summer day most
unusual this year and it seems [a] waste not to be out and
about in it, but I can't spare the time. And I won't add to this,
except to send my love again. I hope you are having a good
Retreat. . , .
My love always,
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W. I
20th August, 195 5 1
My dear Hamilton,
Your letter of 1 5th Aug. filled me with shame that I have
omitted to answer the one of 4th July, which has been lying
on my writing-table ever since I got it, waiting reply. Again
and again I had it in mind to write, but was always prevented.
I have been working very hard on my book while at home,
and also have done a certain amount of going away, though
much less so than usual in the summer; that is, I haven't been
abroad, or on any long visit anywhere. On the 27th till 3rd
Sept. I go to Butlin's camp at Skegness with my two little girls,
and am rather looking forward to it, though it does sound most
odd! I will tell you more about it after I have been there. I
know we are woken each morning by a reveille and a singing
of " Lads and Lasses, get up to play", or something similar,
then every one queues up for lavatories, etc., labelled " Lads"
or " Lasses" (I mean the lavatories are labelled, not the lads and
lasses) ; but if we like we can plunge into the swimming-pool
instead, if weather permits. Then I suppose breakfast, and at
8.30 there seems to be "church", whatever that may mean; if
it is Mass, after breakfast would be an odd time for it, one
would think; but I believe all these camps have a church and
a parson attached; I dare say it is a nice paid holiday for the
parson, and really quite a good opening for him to get into
touch with the campers. Then follows the day, with not a dull
(or quiet) moment, what with bathing, games, physical
exercises, riding for those who like it (as my younger charge
does), as well as cinemas, television, dancing, concerts, etc.
Perhaps there may be an Old Folks' Corner, where I shall sit
sometimes and scribble away at my novel and take notes of
the camp life, which might turn into an article perhaps. Well,
I think a week will be quite enough, but I shall enjoy it, and
the children will love it.
Your letter of July 4 was very interesting. What you say
about the variety of practices allowed in the C. of E., as
compared with the R.C. [Church], brings to my mind a
conversation I had the other day with ... [a Roman Catholic
friend of mine]. She (who was till 25 years ago a devout
Anglo-Catholic) says that her "cradle Catholic" friends tell
her often that they are completely puzzled by the C. of E.,
which they gather has quite different practices and even
beliefs, in different churches; and quite different in many
cases from their practices of 60 or 70 years ago. They think this
extraordinary, and she can't explain it to them, how it happens,
well tho' she understands it herself. I personally think it all to
the good, as giving something for every one, however different
their minds, backgrounds, and religious temperaments. She
and I were comparing our own differences in belief which are
very considerable. Then we got on to discussing the question
of R.C. "fundamentalism" about the Bible. They do seem
committed to this in theory, as much as the Evangelical
Grahamites are, but I think the more scholarly and educated
ones are trying to extricate themselves without loss of face
(I'm so glad we Anglicans don't mind losing "face" about such
things) from the impossible position defined in Providentissimus
Deus 1 and Lamentabili? and shown by their expulsion of their
Modernist scholars during the early years of this century. 3 This
question of fundamentalism is being discussed just now in the
Times correspondence, apropos of Billy Graham's mission
to Cambridge next term, which is got up by C.I.C.C.U. 4 and
rather deplored by the University scholars, as "stifling the
mind" and alienating many young men and women from
religion by presenting absurdities to them. Of course
C.I.C.C.U. and O.I.C.C.U., in the two universities, have
always been rather of that way of thinking. Did O.I.C.C.U.
flourish when you were up ?
Another discussion (this time in The Tablet] has been raging
about the R.C. pronunciation of " Mass," and the way many
of them say " Mahss," and why. I think myself it is of Irish
derivation; but some R.C. critics complain that it is used
sometimes [as] a snob gesture by converts. I find it useful, as
I know by that, and by the dropping of " Roman " from
1 A Papal Encyclical issued in 1893, asserting that the whole of Scripture
was written "at the dictation of the Holy Ghost."
2 A Papal decree issued in 1907 condemning propositions derived from
contemporary Modernist teaching.
3 Clergy who had been identified with Modernism were mostly ex
4 The Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Christian Union.
" Roman Catholic," when my acquaintances have suffered
conversion. Besides, I rather like these distinctions.
Later. Shocked by news at I o'clock of that horrid "Diane" 1 ( ?)
who, it seems, has swept the coast from Virginia to Mass.
But how far up Mass. ? I wish I knew. Perhaps we shall hear
more later. I do hope not near Cambridge, and that the whole
thing wasn't terribly disturbing and distressing for you.
To change the subject, did you ever read Eleanor, a novel
(1906, I think) by Mrs Humphry Ward? I never did till the
other day, and I must say I found it unexpectedly interesting.
Partly about Italy, the conflict bet[ween] the old Papal Italy and
the post-iSyo Italy, and die views on this taken by the English
man who is the chief character and by his Italian acquaintances,
all very well done. There is also the human story, about
Eleanor, who loved this man and had to fight her jealousy and
misery because he fell in love with a young American girl; all
her conflict and struggle and final moral victory (Eleanor's, I
mean) is very well described; so is the old excommunicated
priest-scholar who helped her. I found it all very vivid and
good, and even beautiful, and wish you could get hold of it.
I must see if I can find a copy in some second-hand bookshop.
I think better of Mrs H. W. than I did before.
We are having some more hot weather; I adore it. I bathed
in the Serp. this morning after St Paul's Mass, and it was most
lovely. I remember beginning this practice, and writing to you
of it, in June 'si. 2 This is the first hot summer since then (or
anyhow when I was in England). I am most anxious to know
about the exploits of "Diane," and hope the BBC will be more
explicit in its accounts later to-day. I keep thinking about you
and her ! Much love and anxious thoughts.
1 A hurricane.
2 See Letters to a Friend, p. 134.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
2$th September, 195 5 f
My dear Hamilton,
1 meant to write before, in answer to yours of 30 Aug.
but have been first at Butlin's (!)... and then in Worcs. for a
wedding, and in the spaces in between feverishly writing away
at the novel (not nearly finished yet, alas).
That devil " Diane/' to have flooded your basement and
destroyed so much valuable literature, vestments (or were these
able to be dried?), and other things; and, worse, to have
caused you all that shock and distress. I have been thinking of
you with anxiety. The only consolation is that it could have
been worse, as it was in those other places, that were flooded
and blown to pieces with so much loss of property and lives;
it was terrible. I am thankful that " Edith " was comparatively
harmless in your parts. And since then there have been others
of the dreadful sisterhood; where did " lone " pass your
shores, and what of "Janet " ? Alistair Cooke (who gives us a
weekly Letter from America on the BBC) says the reason why
we used not to hear so much about these creatures is that
American news has grown more important since America's
growth in world power; but this seems to me to be an im
probable reason. Surely they are worse ?
And now Eisenhower seems in danger. 1 I hope he won't
die; it would be sad, I think.
Butlin's was quite fun ; rather like a visit to the moon, quite
out of this world. Absurd, of course, for an adult, but having
the two children made it fun; they loved every minute of it.
One unexpected thing was the little camp church, Anglican,
with a chaplain of great geniality to one and all; Mass every
day at 7.30 and 8.30, to which I went (at 8.30), and it was very
well attended. A radio voice announced each morning at 7.29,
1 President Eisenhower had suffered a heart attack on 24th September,
" In one minute there will be a celebration of Holy Com
munion in the camp church." Disgusted and sleepy voice from
the chalet on my left, " What an entertainment ! " We all slept
in nice little chalets in a row, or rather in many rows, for there
were about 500 campers at a time. We had swimming pools
(but I bathed in the sea myself) and every kind of game and
diversion, and my younger charge, who is pony-mad, rode
every day and helped to groom the horses. There was a
repertory company, which acted exciting dramas, and tele
vision, which I saw for the first time and didn't think much of.
Why is it so popular ? One programme, which showed a panel
of 4 famous people in a game of guessing " Who wrote that ? "
to my surprise quoted something from me (but I don't know
where I said it) something about "it is to the eccentrics that
the world owes most of its knowledge"; no one guessed me;
when they were told, they had to discuss its truth or otherwise,
and on the whole agreed with me. My two children were
delighted by this. ... By the way, on the way back (in the car)
from Skegness, we turned aside to look at Yaxley church and
village (Hunts). I wondered if that was your Yaxley, or is
yours the one in Suffolk ?* It was a beautiful old church. There
was no list of vicars, so I couldn't look for "Johnson." But I
expect yours is Suffolk. However, I plucked a little flower from
the graveyard and thought of you. . . .
I am still being bombarded with little Catholic Truth
pamphlets, and long letters telling how I have no Mass, no
sacraments, no priests. How rude they are! Imagine if I
started writing in that vein to, say, Methodists. They are so
stuck up and arrogant. Of course nothing could be so true as
they think their Church is I answered one of these priests
who write to me that I thought Christians should tolerate one
another's religions, and I was glad they had sacraments and
thought they ought to be glad that I thought I had. The
1 R. M. has confused Yaxley with Yaxham in Norfolk, where the
Johnsons had a family living.
chaplain at Butlin's welcomed everyone to Communion
Church, Chapel, or whatever though he was definitely
Anglo-Catholic in his rites. That's the Christian spirit, surely.
Imagine what our Lord would have said. My love always and
I hope you are well and not bothered by hurricanes.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
i&th November, 195 5 f
My dear Hamilton,
Your letter begun loth Nov. came to-day, just when I had
it in mind to answer, much too late, the one of ist Oct. That
one has been lying by me to be answered for some time and
I even took it away with me to Pleshey 1 last week when I went
there for Fr Henderson's very good Retreat, 2 but I didn't get
time there for letters actually. In the free time, which was all
the afternoon from lunch to tea, I walked out and saw the
country, and picked berries in the lanes and fields. Do you
know Pleshey Retreat House, I wonder ? You may even have
taken retreats there, I dare say. I was never there before.
Evelyn Underbill used to take retreats there, I think. It is a
nice place; I like its atmosphere. And the addresses couldn't
have been better. . . . But what I was saying was that I really
was about to write to you when your letter came to-day. Only
extreme busy-ness has kept me from it, as from much else.
Yes, I suppose we do have to write rather less often than once;
this doesn't mean that I value your letters, or like to write
myself, any less, but merely that so much else obstructs and
takes one's time. I have kept all your letters from the begin
ning; and goodness, what I owe to them! No one can ever
have had such letters. Your patience with me, your making
1 The House of Retreat at Pleshey, near Chelmsford.
2 He was then Bp of Tewkesbury.
clear to me so much that was obscure or that I had never
thought of, your bringing me into touch with the Church, with
the sacraments, with the whole marvel of reconciliation and the
newness of this new life in which I have tried to live, however
faultily, for nearly 5 years now well, I don't need to tell you
all this, for you know it. It has been the most wonderful
ministry of letters that ever was. And so much else, in the way
of interest you [have] provided literary, historical, auto
biographical, etc. What I want is that both of us should write
whenever we feel like it, and I hope we often shall. I should
miss it terribly if it stopped. One great thing you introduced
me to and made me familiar with was the Roman missal and
its prayers; so many of these have got into my private prayer-
book and are part of my daily prayers at Mass. . . .
[A friend of mine] came to tea to-day, to meet E. M.
Forster, who has always been a great hero of his. E. M. F. was
telling us about Billy Graham's recent mission at Cambridge,
which of course is little to his liking, tho' when he met him
he thought him a nice, simple, friendly person, not "civilised,"
but "a good type". B. G.'s success is largely, of course, among
[members of] C.I.C.C.U., who are a very strong party in the
University. E. M. F. thinks B. G. much nicer and more
tolerant than they are. With his agnostic views, he of course
laments the strong religious trend just now in Cambridge. . , .
Do you know Newman's Via Medial I am reading the
3rd edition, 1 which is in one way rather sad; published, I think,
40 years after the first, and long after his conversion, and an
notated from his present Roman standpoint; i.e. every anti-
Roman remark retracted and deplored; even his criticism of
the Inquisition's treatment of Galileo and the new Copernican
theories of the planetary movements is taken back; he says in
a note that of course such new theories, even tho' true, could
not be safely allowed, as they might confuse people's faith, and
1 J. H. Newman, The Via Media of the Anglican Church (srd ed., 2 vok,
the Church was right to forbid them; he adds " I neither know,
nor desire to know, by what methods this was done "which
is very insincere, as he knew quite well of course that people
who affirmed them were burnt alive. 1 The whole re-issue of
this book is pathetic and sad. But I like a lot of the book itself.
I never got through the Glastonbury Romance* but have always
thought I sometimes would, when I have more time. I am
just now reading in bed an account by Winifred Peck (born
Knox) of her childhood with her brothers and father; 3 the 4
boys were all brilliant: Ronnie (at 4 years old composing
remarkable limericks, etc.), E. V., the eldest [and] the wit and
leader of the family, then Dillwyn, the King's classical scholar,
and Wilfred, the Anglo-Catholic; strange progeny of the
Protestant Ulster Bishop. It is a very pleasant account of a
childhood in the 8os and 905. I have just got from Bp David
Mathew his new book on Charles I and Scotland; 4 very
scholarly and detailed, and dedicated to me, "in memory of a
long friendship," which is nice. No room now for more, I see.
I am still struggling to finish the novel; shortage of time is
acute, and will wreck my life and all my undertakings. I
should like to have time for geology and cosmology perhaps
one day I shall. Why do we pray that "they [the faithful
departed] may have rest? " Rest is not what we shall want,
surely, but more scope for work and new knowledge.
Much love always.
1 Belief in the Heliocentric system was not al<3ne regarded as a heresy to
2 J. C. Powys, A Glastonlury Romance (1933).
3 Winifred Peck, Home for the Holidays (1955).
4 David Mathew, Scotland under Charles I (1955).
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.I
ijth December, 1955!
My dear Hamilton,
I am writing to-day and posting to-morrow in the hopes
of reaching you by Xmas, but I know this [is] chancey ; I meant
to write earlier, but have been laid up with prolonged flue,
and for the last 10 days bronchitis, which is a bore. I am now
getting about again, but not very energetically. . .
This letter is really to thank you for yours of ist Dec., and
to wish you a happy Xmas. I loved your letter. It reminded
me of all the things I have had from you through this rich 5
years. Without your guidance I should not have known all
those missal prayers, and found all those riches in them as you
say, progressively, and as mood and occasion suggest. I was
thinking how thin and dull and inadequate it would be to have
had instead an evangelical re-conversion; not, I think, that this
would ever have been possible for me, much as I admire our
evangelical ancestors. But the 'material they have to feed on,
their literary entourage, is so comparatively unsatisfying except
of course for the Bible. Not that they couldn't have access to
everything, but they don't seem to much. But how good
many of them used to be ! And how lucky we have so much
more that is attractive and valuable to our imaginations. I am
interested in your cosmological and geological readings and
thoughts. It is all so extraordinary, it makes me dizzy: good
ness yes, what a drop-scene behind our animated, just beginning
human lives, to be played out against all that gaseous tre~
mendousness, of which our passions and aspirations are such
odd and frail reflections. (Though this is not really putting it
well, because we are of a higher order. Who would have
thought that conscience would evolve from all that ?) Are you
interested in the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and have
you seen Edmund Wilson's book about them? 1 I don't see,
1 The Scrolls from the Dead Sea (1955)-
do you, how Christ can have been an Essene; after all, his life
was known to the Evangelists, and they must have mentioned
it. I am being given Knox's complete Bible for Xmas, which
I shall like to have, though it is a pity it should be based on such
a comparatively poor text as the Vulgate. But he had the
Greek and Hebrew in his mind, of course. 1 I already have the
N[ew] Tjestament]. The next thing will be the great translation
now being worked on here, but we shall have to wait some
years for that. 2 I wish we would revise our Gospels for the
Day again. I do think it so stupid to have that "begat" Gospel
they read on Dec. 12 at Mass. A bad day for it, too, as it is in
honour of the B.V.M. and why must we hear at tremendous
length of Joseph's descent from David ? 3 Then I hate all those
Gospels about the creatures with wings and eyes. I would
much rather have instead some more Wisdom or Ecclesiasticus.
I really do hate those fantastic creatures pictured in the heavens
in Rev[elation] and in the O[ld] Tfestament], they make me
feel quite ill, and to bring God into them seems so irreverent.
My mother used to tell us that poor St John was obviously
feeling ill and delirious. I have been reading On the Gods and
the World, by the Roman 4th C. pagan Sallustius; something
of a Neoplatonist, and very attractive. 4 " When we are good,
we are joined to the gods by our likeness to them: when bad,
we are separated from them by our unlikeness. When we live
according to virtue, we cling to the gods, and when we become
evil we make the gods our enemies, not because they are
angered against us, but because our sins prevent the light of the
gods from shining upon us, and put us into communion with
spirits of punishment. ... To say that God turns away from
1 R. A. Knox's Bible (1955) is stated, in the sub-title, to be "a translation
from the Latin Vulgate in the Light of the Hebrew and Greek originals/'
2 The New English Bible (1961).
3 R. M. probably means the Gospel for yth December (not I2th), the
Vigil of the Conception of the B.V.M., which is Matt. i. 1-16.
4 See Gilbert Murray's translation of the treatise of Sallustius "On the
Gods and the World " in his Five Stages of Greek Religion (1925).
evil men is like saying that the sun hides himself from the
blind." Very like William Law, in parts. What he lacks, of
course, is redemption, the seeking of man by God. But it is
always so good to find the same golden divine thread running
back and back through the ages; Christian, pagan, Hebrew,
all part of the long gradual revelation, of which one hopes for
and expects so much more as time goes on.
Someone has sent me for Xmas a nice little selection from
i yth cent, sermons, made by G. Lacey May 1 , with a little preface
which is unfair to the puritans, though you know how little I
like them ! But he sees no good in any of their preaching, etc.
Whereas Baxter, 2 Samuel Rutherford, 3 Chillingworth (during
his puritan phase) 4 had so much that was good to say. He is
too much of a Laudian, naturally. Without all these facets of
truth, Christianity would be a less rich complex of ideas than
I lunched yesterday with the brothers Mathew both very
interesting. I like David's book very much, and have just been
including it in a 3oo-word contribution to the Sunday Times
" Books of the Year." I did six books 3 history, 2 autobio
graphy, one Good Behaviour, Harold Nicolson's pleasant study
Fr Harris 5 laments that he can't find more servers. What
is the reason that women mayn't serve at Mass ? If they could,
he would have an abundance of willing helpers. It seems silly;
women are neater-handed, and would actually serve better than
inexperienced young men, surely. But there is a theory that
they may not handle the vessels. I wonder why. I suppose it
is the oriental basis of Christianity; and one feels that St Paul
would not have liked the idea at all! On the other hand, one
1 Wings of an Eagle: An Anthology of Caroline Preachers, edited by G.
Lacey May (1955).
2 Richard Baxter (1615-1691), Puritan divine.
3 Samuel Rutherford (c. 1600-1661), Scottish Presbyterian divine.
4 See above p. i88w.
5 Rev. D. B. Harris, Vicar of St Paul's, Krnghtsbridge,
can imagine Our Lord saying that such distinctions were
nonsense, and that [there] were neither male nor female in such
matters. What a pity He didn't. But obviously there was no
chance, and the orientalists had it their own way.
Well, my love for Xmas, and may you be well through
it. I hope I shall be by the day, and fit for midnight Mass and
Romford next day. This is my sixth Xmas letter to you.
Thank you again for those 5 years.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
6th February, I956f
My dear Hamilton,
Now I have two good letters from you to answer, that of
3 ist Dec. written in answer to my Xmas one, and of 2ist Jan.
which came to-day, a pleasing sight on my mat as I returned
from Mass at St Paul's. Yes, thank you, I am now quite
recovered from both pre-Xmas flue and post-Xmas bronchitis,
which detained me for a little while. I only now have the
slightest of coughs remaining, and am very vigorous in
pleasures and chores. Not even badly affected by our 5 days
of arctic weather which it seems was the coldest since 1895 and
which froze everyone's pipes and cars; but fortunately here
such visitations are usually short, and a blessed thaw arrived
last Saturday to melt us again. I do hope you didn't suffer
badly from it, but of course in your parts it is common form
each winter. Though I don't know that that makes it much
more bearable to the poor Anglican priests with licences to
practise their professions in a cold land.
Among what you describe as the "unordinary, time-taking
things" that occupied me lately was the finishing and despatch
ing of my novel; Collins now have it, and are retyping it.
Mark Bonham Carter, the director there who is my friend
likes it, I am glad to say. He read the beginning of it to his
mother (Lady Violet B. C.) and he said it made her laugh, also
him; he says he was also moved, so that is a good combination,
I suppose laughter and being moved, I mean. I think some
people won't care about it much. I do hope you will ! Its name
is The Towers of Trebizond, and Trebizond stands for not
merely the actual city (tho' this comes in, and a lovely place it
is) but for the ideal and romantic and nostalgic vision of the
Church which haunts the person who narrates the story. I
won't tell you more about it now, but shall send it you when
it comes, which probably won't be till September, as it takes
six months to print a book now, and July and August aren't
good months. I am now catching up on arrears of articles, etc.,
and letters and much else, before starting to think about
another novel; I think I shall write only novels in future, it
seems less trouble, and if one stays out of novels for some years
it is bad for one's sales. Yes, I saw that review of Books for
Schools, I don't know who Norman Culpan is, or what his
qualifications; I suppose he didn't think my novels suitable for
the young, or perhaps just didn't think of them, owing to my
not having written many lately. 1 Perhaps it's time I got on
the fiction map again ! As a matter of fact They Were Defeated
used to [be] (perhaps is) recommended to Eng. Lit. students at
Cambridge, I believe. I am reading some interesting books:
James MacKinnon's Historic Jesus* (he was Regius Professor of
Ecclesiastical] Hist[ory] at Edinburgh). It is v. learned, and
interests me so far. Also I read a book by an Italian professor
(trans.) about the "Cult of the Virgin Mary," 3 tracing
its gradual growth after the first few centuries, its sources
(largely apocryphal gospels, of course), the resistance to it from
various early Fathers, its extraordinary claims, based on no
Gospel evidence of any kind, the reception by the different
doctors of the Church of the Immac[ulate] Conception and
Assumption Aquinas very much against the I.C., also, I think,
St Bernard. The Roman doctrine of the evolution of revealed
truth is very dangerous; it means they can dispense with
evidence and simply declare revelation to the Church whenever
they choose. It is feared (by conservative R.C.s) that the next
thing will be the declaration of Mary as sole mediatrix. If it is,
they will have either to take it, or to leave the Church. I am
very sorry for them. The Pope gets very unreliable. Gerard
1 Norman Culpan (Lecturer and Librarian, County of Stafford Training
College), in his booklet Modern Adult Fiction for School and College Libraries
(School Library Assoc., 1955) does not mention any novels by R. M.
2 James MacKinnon, The Historic Jesus (1931).
3 Giovanni Miegge, The Virgin Mary: The Roman Catholic Marian
Doctrine (trans. W. Smith, 1955).
Irvine was saying that two things hinder Anglicans going to
Rome more than anything else these fantastic pronounce
ments, made or feared, and the intolerant manners of R.C.s
towards Anglicans, refusal to pray with us, etc. I certainly
could never myself join a Church which wouldn't pray with
I have been reading the Liturgy of South India, and a
commentary on it, also an article about it by a French R..C. in
Theology* I might send you this number of Theology; I think
it would interest you. The liturgy itself seems very good.
Another thing I will send you is Latin in Church, which I got
to send you before, but see it is still lying about. 2 I will try and
post it in the next day or two. . . .
Fr Harris is the most cheerful and affable and sociable of
people; he holds salons in the porch on Sunday evenings after
church; getting to know people. ... He seems to have
arranged a busy Lent programme for us, too. To-morrow he
is coming to lunch with me at my Club to meet a few friends
of mine who are all anxious to induce the Church BBC
Advisory Committee (headed by Cantuar) 3 to allow the tele
vision of High Anglican Masses in some of the times allotted
to the C. of E. At present the R.C.s always put on a High
Mass during their times, and the effect is enormous; many
seem to be converted outright to Rome, having never seen
anything like these services before. So John Betjeman and I
think our Church too should be in on it, and we are persuading
Sir G[eorge] Barnes, the Television head at present, and a very
able King's man, to work for this Fr Harris is also coming,
as I am hoping St Paul's may be one of the churches chosen, if
we succeed. It has a very beautiful Mass and choir, and I don't
see that it wouldn't convert as many people as Downside Mass
1 Louis Bouyer, "A Roman Catholic View of the Church of South
India," Theology, January 1956.
2 F. Brittain, Latin in Church (1934; 2nd ed., 1955)-
3 The Chairman of the BBC's Central Religious Adv. Com. was then
the Bp of Bristol (Rt. Rev. F. A. Cockin) not Archbishop Fisher.
does ; it has what is to the large majority the advantage of being
in a language they understand. Televiewers in this country are
not on the whole an intellectual type. None of my friends have
a set, but nearly all my sister's patients at Romford do, also
my nice window-cleaner, in fact nearly everyone. Much love.
I see there is no room for anything else ! But what a lucky
chance that you turned into that bookshop in 1950 and got
my publisher's address !
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
jth May, 1956 j
My dear Hamilton,
Your letter of ist May came to-day, and I am shocked to
learn that my last was as long ago as 6th Feb. I have [been]
meaning to write, and have had yours of 5th March lying
among my letters waiting to be answered. But, being much
taken up with jobs, writing and others, I suppose I didn't answer
it. And now I have another. I did indeed mean to write long
ago, and don't know how it happened that I didn't. . * . Have
you had Fr Huddleston's Naught for Your Comfort'? I know he
was touring America speaking about South Africa, so no
doubt his book has also done well there. He is a delightful
person; I have heard him more than once, and did so to-day
at the Caxton Hall. He is certainly rousing the nation's
conscience about South Africa, and is also much annoying the
S.A. government. To-day the Community [of the Resurrec
tion's] feast began with a High Mass at the Annunciation church,
[Bryanston Street,] to which I went, invited by my C.R.
cousin, 1 who is home on leave from South Africa, and knows
Fr Huddleston well. He introduced me to him after Mass.
1 R.ev. C. Reginald Smith, C.R.
Then this evening there was this meeting. It is a tragic
situation; people seem to think the C.R. missionaries will be
all expelled from South Africa within a year or two. At
present, the [ir] Johannesburg schools being all closed (I think),
they are fighting to keep their Rhodesian ones going, and try
ing to raise enough money for this.
Don't think I am ill when I don't write. If I was dead, my
sister would write and tell you; I have asked her to. But I
shan't be dead! I have not had flu since March, and have
been well and active, missing few morning Masses. I alternate
for these between G. Chapel and St Paul's. ... I like to know
that you remember me at Mass; I feel I need it in these days.
I shall get Wilfred Knox's book from the library. 1 I used
to see Him sometimes at Cambridge, when he ran the Oratory
(at least I think he was [Warden then]). He was a great
influence among undergraduates. 2 I knew all the Knoxes:
E. V., who is charming always, Wilfred, Dillwyn, of King's,
who died long ago, and Ronald. Over 30 years ago, when
Wilfred wrote that book, I suppose "the Catholic movement
in the Church" was much less advanced than now. I see people
in the C[hurch] Times are complaining that there are fewer
confessions now, which surprises me rather. 3 I want to read
W. Ward's Life of Newman. 4 " The fact is there are so many
books I want to read and can't get time to; but I will make a
note of that one to ask for at the London Library next time
I am in. I am reviewing for the Times Literary Supplement a
little book called The Saints and Ourselves (series 2). 5 Not much
1 The Catholic Movement in the Church of England (1923).
2 Wilfred Knox (1887-1950) came to Cambridge in 1924 as Warden of
die Oratory of the Good Shepherd, a society of prayer. In 1941 he became
Chaplain of Pembroke College.
3 See correspondence in the Church Times, " Fewer Penitents ? " (isth
April 4th May, 1956).
4 Wilfrid Ward, The Life of John Henry Newman (2 vok, 1912).
5 Saints and Ourselves: Personal Studies, edited by P. Caraman (2nd series,
in it; and I find these little studies of saints rather boring on
the whole. They ought to have mor^ faults. The Bible saints
had plenty, and their historians don't try to smooth them over.
The Apostles were all full of faults. But these medieval saints
wear an air of pious perfection which makes them unreal. One
always is told of their remarkable and invariable humility, till
one longs for some of them to be stuck up for a change, or
grasping and impertinent like John and James trying to grab
the best seats in heaven, which was so natural, or cross and
crotchety and impatient like St Paul, or disagreeable and
bullying like St Jerome with his matrons, virgins and widows.
A touch of original sin would certainly help to make these later
saints more real.
I expect the proofs of my novel in a day or two; it is to
come out in September. Meanwhile I am reading lots of books
about the Greek islands, as I am probably going to some of
them in August, together with Archbp and Fr Gervase
Mathew, O.P., Sir Maurice Bowra, the Bp of Exeter, 1 etc. But
if things get worse with the Greeks over Cyprus, I shan't go.
I shall be writing again about 25th May, so till then, my
love. Do remain well, strong, young, and read a lot of
interesting books to tell me about.
20, Hindc House, Hinde St., W.i
[Postmark: 26 May, 1956] |
My dear Hamilton,
This is the letter I said in my last that I meant shortly to
write, in time for 2nd June, that auspicious day. Isn't it, besides
your birthday (don't tell me which birthday, I don't want to
know how the people I love are getting on, as I hope they will
1 Rt. Rev. R. C. Mortimer.
live for ever here; anyhow, I know you, unlike some of my
friends, such as dear Gilbert Murray, and Max Beerbohm who
died the other day, are [one of the] happy and young septua
genarians, which to-day is nothing) this sentence has now got
a little lost, but what I was saying was, isn't it also the day you
became a S.S.JJEL Father? 1 If so you have been one for well
over half a century, I know. Anyhow, this is a birthday letter,
to send my love and greetings. I keep on looking for Eleanor,
that book of Mrs H. Ward's that I like, but it hasn't yet been
unearthed by any bookshop. I think perhaps I'll send you a
novel I have by L. P. Hartley, which I think his best, a rather
moving story about the involvement of a boy in the affairs of
I have just finished doing the proofs of my own novel. . . .
Later (when it conies out in Sept.) I shall want to know what
[you] . . . think of it. Bits of it you may take exception to, as
too critical of the Church; but you will see that the real point
of the story is a great nostalgia for the Church, on the part of
the central character, who is lapsed from it. They go to Turkey
on an Anglican mission to Turks. This all sounds like a rather
odd book, I fear, and perhaps it is. It has a camel in it, also
I don't think Becket (I learn that it was his doing) ought
to have hurried us on so quickly from Whitsun to Trinity, do
you? 3 Only a week to remember the Holy Spirit, then we
start brooding over the Trinity for some 26 weeks, which is
absurdly monotonous and unimaginative. I could have done
with at least six weeks of Whitsun. About the Trinity, I
haven't much to think, actually. However, Corpus Christi
comes on Thursday, and about that one would gladly think for
months, not just for one day. Some of us from St Paul's are
1 Father Johnson was professed on 2nd June, 1909.
2 L. P. Hartley, The Go-Between (1955).
3 The observance of the Sunday following Pentecost as a Feast in honour
of the Holy Trinity became popular in England in the Middle Ages, partly
because St Thomas Becket had been consecrated Bishop on that day.
going down to Nashdom (Burnham) on C.C., to see (or take
part in) the Nashdom monks' 1 procession through the Beeches.
I hope it will be warmer than to-day ! I always remember our
Varazze C.C. procession through the town, from one church
to another, people throwing down roses from their windows
all the way, the blue sea rustling on one side of the town, the
hills climbing back with their pines and olive terraces 011 the
other ; and in between the little town with all its bells ringing
and the harsh singing of the procession as it wound along
bearing its crucifix and banners and incense. It is a lovely
memory to have. The beeches round Burnham won't be so
Now I must write to an aged schoolmistress of mine 2 who
writes to me that she is very nearly blind now and can scarcely
read print, but relies on some library where they read aloud;
I don't know if she also reads Braille. Thank goodness for the
wireless, on which she relies for News and many other things.
She used to be a grand person, whom I adored when I was a
little High School girl and wrote essays for her.
Did I mention in my last how much I liked Fr Waggett's
Heart of Jesus (Holy Week addresses of 1904) ? 3 I wish I could
get hold of another copy: my sister and I have only one
between us. This must stop: again, my love. . . .
By the way, why does the Lower House of Convocation
reject women's lay ministry ? It seems so stupid.
1 Anglican Benedictine monks of the community at Nashdom Abbey,
near Burnham, Bucks.
2 Bertha L. Browne, who taught History at Oxford High School, 1892-
3 P. N. Waggett, The Heart of Jesus (1902).
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
i&th August, 1956 f
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you so much for your letter posted on I3th. It is
ages since either of us wrote, I know. I too have thought of
it many times, like you, after I had sent you The Go-Between,
but I was frightfully busy, finishing off my proofs, catching up
on arrears of reviews, etc., and the time hurried by. I do hope
you won't ever feel it on your mind that you ought to write;
I know you are always there, and that I am too, and so securely
that letters don't matter much after all, though it is nice to
exchange news sometimes. I was glad to get yours. Mine isn't
very sensational. My book is coming out on Sept. 3, and I
already have some advance copies, so am sending you one
almost at once. I do wonder if you'll like it. Don't think my
jokes, comments, speculations on religion, etc., flippant, will
you. They aren't actually, of course, mine, but those of my
protagonist, who is the narrator of the story, for it is in the first
person, a method I have never used before. This has both
advantages and disadvantages. It is fundamentally a serious
book, particularly the religious side of it; but the narrator and
the other characters may be thought by some readers to be
discussing things in too sceptical a spirit. I hope you won't.
When I reflect that but for you I should probably still be
straying beyond the verges of the Christian Church, I remember
that you are at least in part responsible for a novel which you
mayn't really much like, in all its parts. Still, you may. Let
me know candidly sometime, if you will; no hurry.
I hope you are taking things easy in August, after your
retreat period. If you read the T[imes] Lit. Sup. for iyth
August, you will see it has a huge special supplement about
"The Frontiers of Literature" ; one of the many articles is
called " Religious Writing," and is by me. Not v.g., as I didn't
quite know exactly what we were supposed to be writing
about; what, I mean, was the theme. Nor, I think, did most
of my colleagues.
I am reading a v. interesting large book on English Pulpit
Oratory from Andrews to Tillotson, by W. Fraser Mitchell (1932).
All iyth century, naturally. There is a long section on " The
Anglo-Catholic Preachers," a good many besides Andrewes
and Donne, who are less familiar than these. This morning I
sat under Fr Ross at All Saints', [Margaret Street,] I like
All Saints' (though I avoided it on Aug. 15, thinking I should
be worried by Assumption fuss). G[rosvenor] Chapel is shut
for August, and I go often to All Saints' on week days.
We are having a wet chilly August. I go away for short
times, but am mainly here, partly because [while] my sister's
holiday was on she wanted to stay at home as her eyes
are bothering her rather (cataract ripening slowly, and she
won't see so well till after she can have the operation, but she
can read all right, and do her work). I'm glad you enjoyed
The Go-Between; I like it best of Hartley's books myself. I saw
something of him during the July P.E.N. conference in London,
when we had the foreign writers over here and entertained
them. He is a nice, modest, quiet person Full, I mean, of
good and kindly feelings. I thought you would like the
Norfolk setting of that novel. I don't mind these Americanisms
as much as you do, I think; some of them, of course, are i6th
and i yth century English, which they took over there. I have
noticed lately that some Americans use "presently' in its old
sense of now, instead of its modern sense of soon. Is this
common? I mean, e.g. " He is presently in New York." I
have my enchanting godchild Emily 1 over here from Mass.,
where she lives, with the Harvard Glee [Club] singers, she
being a friend of the conductor's daughter, 2 so she has been
travelling about Europe with them. She is just 21, and
1 Emily Smith.
2 Harriet Woodworth, daughter of G. "Wallace WoodwortL
I will get hold of Bede Frost's book from the Library and
read it. By the way, my novel (The Towers of Trebizond) is
coming out later in America under another name, I think A
Strange Wild Power* which words are taken from the epigraph
I wrote for the title page. 2 They thought the other sounded
like a travel book! Besides, what Americans have heard of
Trebizond? I can't wait for you to read it. But don't feel you
must write. This business of letters gets me down too ; un
answered letters pile up like an unsealed mountain on my desk,
daunting me and giving me faint nausea. I think you should
be firm, and not give in to them. Have you read L. E.Jones's
Edivardian Youth ? Mainly about the Balliol of 50 years ago.
Not quite so charming as his Victorian Childhood? (mainly
Eton), but very interesting. But he is wrong about the relations
of the sexes; girls weren't at all in the segregated state he
My love always,
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
My dear Hamilton,
Yours begun i6th Sept. came this morning, telling me my
Towers had arrived; they took a long time en route. I do hope
you will like the book, when you have finished it. Most people
do, I think, and it has had a very good kind press, with a few
exceptions. I think all Anglicans (including many clergy) like it.
John Betjeman gave it a v. good review in the [Daily] Telegraph.
The Church Times hasn't yet done it; I hope they'll approve!
On the other hand, it doesn't go so well with R.C.S and
1 See below p. 234.
2 Dialogues of Mortality.
3 L. E.Jones, A Victorian Boyhood (1955).
dissenters. I had a letter to-day which pleased me, from a friend
who is agnostic, but wistfully religious. She writes: " That a
person of your distinction and your entourage should affirm
publicly, in August 1956, that she believes there is such a thing
as sin, and that she is agin it, must hearten many also-rans who
have had a suspicion all along that this might indeed be so. It
will enliven their endeavours to stick to their notion that
'what we have to gain, Is not one battle, but a weary life's
campaign', and that it is better to wear our lives away in a
doubtful attempt to see the job in hand through to the finish."
I was touched and moved by this ; I know the kind of thing
she has in mind a life with a difficult husband. And [another
friend] . . . who has had a storm-tossed emotional life, with
several successive husbands and lovers, wrote me a long letter,
saying she loves the book, which "henceforth shall be my
Bible. It is the most improving novel in my lifetime." That is
nonsense, of course, and I only repeat it because I thought you
might like to hear it said of a book by your daughter-in-God,
for that I really am, you know, even though I feel that much
of the way I have to look at things isn't the way you look at
them, owing to different backgrounds, different temperaments,
different minds. I don't mean that what I have, through six
years, learnt from you, has any of it been rejected; it is all
there, but planted, perhaps, in another soil and growing up
therefore a little differently I fear not so much seges some
times as just grass and things* But oh yes, there is the seges too,
as you know. Anyhow, I do hope that you won't see any
irreverent flippancy, or unseemly religious speculations, in this
book of mine, even when it does seem to show levity on serious
subjects. All I have said about the tensions set up by being
separated by sin from God and the Church, are, as you will
know, very personal.
The seges quotation is Ovid, the Heroides I now forget
which book. I don't know if he ever visited Troy's site, then
a Roman city of course; lots of Romans did. Nor does one
know if seges ever flourished there; when I saw it, it was far
from looking like corn land. 1
Fr Chantry-Pi gg was old-world, and had his own whims
about pronunciation, such as woof for wolf, and hool for howl.
It does seem to me that ow was oo in most English words till
I'm not sure when; it has been retained in names, such as
Cowper. And a good deal in Scotland, as doon for down, hoo
for how. O[ld] E[nglish] for owl was ula, Old German some
thing similar, Latin ulula (hence ululate, and howl). Dunbar
makes fule rhyme with oule. I say Cooky for the poet, but not
for the Fathers, until I have their leave. Nor, I think, is it used
for Cowley in Oxford.
Hugh Ross Williamson, lately seceded to Rome on account
of the Church of South India, has written his autobiography, 2
which I am reviewing for the T[/wes] L[iterary] Supplement].
He has some surprising opinions about Anglican churches; he
says there are now only two that he would call Anglo-
Catholic: St Magnus the Martyr's, and the Annunciation,
Bryanston Square [sic]. Not All Saints', [Margaret Street,] nor
St Mary's, Graham St., nor St Matthew's, Westminster, nor
any other these are only " High Church". It has also come
to seem to him that Cranmer composed more of the Pjrayer]
Bjook] than he can have thought when an Anglican ; e.g. the
Prayer of Oblation, which he says is a Cranmer composition,
to stress the idea of the sacrifice of ourselves as against offering
the sacrifice of our Lord. But this prayer surely is a pre-
Reformation one; my American P.B. [commentary] ascribes
it to "ancient liturgies". Also he has since his conversion read
only "true Catholic sources" of history so now he knows
that the Gunpowder Plot was a Protestant one. How odd
1 See The Towers of Trebizond, p. 36, where " Fr Chantry-Pigg" quotes
from Ovid (Heroides 1.53), lam seges est ubi Troiafuit ("There is corn now
where Troy was once").
2 Hugh Ross Williamson, The Walled Garden; an Autobiography (1956).
it must be to have one's whole intellectual outlook so
coloured anew. 1
I expect you perhaps by now may have read a little more
of Trebizond and I long to know what you think of it; I do
hope not too badly. You probably also by now know the sex
of Laurie. I saw no need to stress it, since so much of life is
common to both sexes; but of course I mention it near the
end, and most people discerned it early. I adopted for Laurie
a rather goofy, rambling prose style, to put the story at one
remove from myself. I find that many readers and reviewers
like this style, and some say they have caught it. I hope you
laugh at the jokes, such as they are. The Queen reviewer, a
woman, only saw one joke, the name Chantry-Pigg, and
thought that a poor one. 2 I thought there were more than that.
The camel and ape are popular with those who don't make
much of the religious theme, so there is something for everyone.
But I do know it is very faulty and imperfect. Farrar, Straus
& Co. 3 are publishing it in America in the spring. My love;
I hope you are well. I am. We are now all assembling after
our summer holidays. Grosvenor Chapel is open again for
1 Hugh Ross Williamson points out that his book The. Gunpowder Plot
(1951) was published four years before his conversion.
2 The Towers of Trebizond was given an unfavourable (unsigned) review
in The Queen (i8th September, 1956), but the name "Chantry-Pigg" was
3 Farrar, Straus, & Cudahy, Inc.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
ist October, 1956^
My dear Hamilton,
How lovely to get your letter postmarked Sept. 24. You
will know by now that I also got the one before, that you
feared was mis-posted. I think letters are, on the whole, pretty
tough and clever, and usually wing their way to their destina
tion, tho* there is an occasional annoying mishap of course.
Anyhow, yours came, and I answered it, and I think in my
letter I tried to explain that my book might perhaps in some
parts make you feel not quite in accord with it, in some of its
criticisms of the Church in history, and perhaps some of its
jests. But now I have your letter written after you had read it,
which much relieves me and delights me, because you do like
it. I am so very glad. I looked up the pages you mentioned,
and felt particularly glad that you had liked them (they are
about the Church, and Laurie's vision of it), in spite of your
being aware that some people might not. I should have been
very very sad if you had disliked those pages or felt jarred by
them. I suppose I was trying to set down some of the things
I felt myself about it all.
I too, you know, felt Laurie's half-stunned insensibility,
and even aversion, towards the Church, for some time after the
man I had loved for so long died. I don't take Laurie far enough
in her life to get to where she, as I did, encounters some
influence that brings her church-ward. But of course it came:
feeling as she always had about the Church and about separation
from God, she would not for very long be outside it. I like the
Knox version of II Corin: 4, [3, 4,] which you mention: "our
Gospel is only a mystery to those who are on the road to
perdition, those whose unbelieving minds have been blinded
... so that the glorious Gospel of Christ cannot reach them
with the rays of its illumination . . .". The whole rendering of
that splendid chapter is admirable. Oh dear, I often feel well
on the road to perdition myself, and that my mind is so blinded
as to be incapable of prayer and access to God, so often.
Perhaps I am permanently blinded and deafened, by all those
years away from it all.
I have long had that prayer on Ember Friday, about gratiae
tuae lumen ostende, written out in my MS prayers, and often
use it. 1 Ember days? You might be right in your etymological
guess, for, says the O[xford] Dictionary], " It seems however
not wholly impossible that the word may have been due to
popular etymology working upon some Vul[gar] Latfin]
corruption of quatuor tempora; (cf. German quatember, ember-
tide)/' But how odd that such a popular corruption should
have got into the written missals made by the clergy. First
example in O.D. is [A.D.] iooo,Law$ of Alfred, "ymbren-wican",
1 think the Latin in my American edition will be carefully
checked over there. I am glad to say that Farrar, Straus have
accepted my English title; it is much the best. The firm seems
to like the book v. much. I wonder what the critics there will
make of it. Here they have been wonderfully nice; many
understand what it's all about, many are amused, some edified
(this comes out in private letters more than in reviews), and the
low-brows find in it a camel and an ape, which they enjoy. If
you were at hand, I would show you the reviews; they might
interest you. Only 3 reviewers haven't liked it. I was told that
Christopher Hollis has done a good review for The Tablet (not
yet out), which pleases me, as R.C.s don't all like it, and I'm
not surprised. It amused Archbp Mathew, and apparently
Evelyn Waugh, tho' I expect it made him cross too, he is so
jealous about his own Church. One friend told me she had
been considering poping, but, reading in my book about the
1 " (Graciously hear us, O merciful God: and) shew forth (in our hearts)
the light of thy grace"; see Collect for Ember Friday in Lent.
2 Three days of fasting and prayer occurring in each of the four seasons
of the Church year. Traditionally associated with the crops, now almost
entirely with ordinations.
C. of E. and its glories, she is now going in for that instead !
So perhaps it really is, as John Betjeman claims, Anglican
propaganda, I hope so. And I am asked where "the great OV *
are to be found. 1 I am getting to feel a little like an Anglican
missionary to the heathen ! . . . Did I tell you I had been seeing
my American cousin and godchild, now just 21 ? ... An
enchanting child. I wish she would go and see you. She is
Much love always.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.I
My dear Hamilton,
How good you are. Two letters, one posted 4th, the other
pth, and both so full of good things, and both answering mine.
What you say about the Prayer of Oblation sent me to the
American Prayer Book [Commentary] that Father Pedersen so
kindly presented me with some four or five years ago. 2 I see
it is, as you point out, much fuller than ours (the Prayer of
Oblation, I mean). I had noticed that before, and marked the
parts we don't use. I see the Invocation was in the 1549 book
but left out of the 1552; what a pity. At least, it was, in 1549,
stronger than it became in the American version. As to the
oblation part, I can't think why Cranmer left out those words;
they in no way imply re-sacrifice. 3 I shall remember to say
1 The Greater Antiphons (or Great Advent Antiphons) are to be found
in the Roman Breviary and translations are included in The English Hymnal
("Introits and Anthems" 734). See The Towers of Tretizond, p. 208.
2 See Letters to a Friend, p. 170.
3 The words here italicized in the 1549 "prayer of oblation" were
omitted from the Prayer Book of 1552: " Humbly beseeching Thee that
whosoever shall be partakers of this holy communion may worthily receive
the most precious Body and Blood of Thy Son Jesus Christ', and be fulfilled with
them myself during that prayer in future. I do add in a good
deal of extraneous matter to the Mass prayers, actually. . . .
Hugh Ross Williamson . . . whose autobiography I am review
ing for the Times Literary Supplement implies that Cranmer
invented this prayer. . . . With it I am doing a little book by
the Red Dean of Canterbury 1 [who says] . . ., talking of the
feeding of the 5000, that Christ ordered the food to be dis
tributed "equally, to each according to his need." Well, it
couldn't have been both. . . .
Yes, I like my grandfather's translations of the Epistles, and
of 2 Corinthians 4. I have been comparing it with Knox's;
both are good. Those verses would indeed grace the Towers oj
T. I suppose that in grandfilial loyalty I ought to use my
grandfather's. I have a very nice copy of that book leather
bound, 2 vok, i88i. 2 Has your 1892 edition got all those
beautiful plates ? Mine has. I wish books still went in for those
lovely soft pencil drawings; there is nothing like them now.
I always wish so did she that my mother could remember
her father; he died when she was a year old.
Thank you for speaking so well from behind your side of
the grating. A pity, I always feel, that I have no access to that
grating; I should acquire many good things through it. But
perhaps letters are as good. You invariably supply my mind
with such various food both for thought and spirit. So I won't
bother any more about perdition, but shall concentrate on
grace. We have just been having a Church Week, in the Rural
Deaconry 3 of Westminster; I am not quite sure what it was in
aid of, but designed to put the C. of E. on the map in some
way more than it was before. I didn't walk in a torchlight
procession from St Stephen's, Rochester Row to the Abbey,
Thy grace and heavenly benediction, and made one Body with Thy Son Jesus
Christ, that He may dwell in them and they in Him/'
1 Very Rev. Dr Hewlett Johnson, Christians and Communism (1956).
2 W. J, Conybeare andj. S. Howson, Life and Epistles of St Paul (1852).
3 Probably a slip for " Kural Deanery."
but some people did, including my friend Susan Lister. I don't
know what effect such things really have, nor the rather dull
addresses given at St Paul's Knightsbridge by five clergy from
Monday to Friday. We had the Bp of , and him also of
, besides 3 lesser divines. I only heard three of them, but
they weren't interesting, not even the bishops. Much too
earthen, many of these vessels.
Did I tell you I had a very nice review in The Tablet, from
Christopher Hollis ? I somehow wasn't expecting that. He no
doubt thought that Laurie said some rather erroneous things
about the Church, its past history, etc., but kindly provided
me with a nice alibi, pointing out that her intellect had been
somewhat corrupted by sin, and that her views were not to be
identified with mine, as this would be most unfair. I thought
rather generous in one of his communion; and as a review, it
couldn't have been kinder. This Towers seems to be by some
way the best received of any I have written, which I am glad
of, for many reasons.
Next Sunday I discuss with C. S. Lewis (before the St
Francis Society in Cambridge; Fr Lothian Sumner 1 is its
head), with Dr Chadwick 2 in the chair, " Some Difficulties
which keep people out of the Christian Church." I put the
difficulties; C.S.L., who is full of resource, supplies some
answers. I have grabbed the easier role, as he says; but I
obviously couldn't take the other. There will be a discussion
after it, in which the undergraduate audience takes part. Dr
Lewis says, " I can't fight Logical Positivists, and that is what
we shall get." So think of us on Sunday next, 2ist, undergoing
this from 4.30 to 5.30. I shall have time too to call on my
Conybeare cousins, and perhaps see E. M. Forster. . . .
Here come in by the 2nd post two more letters [about the
Towers], one from a stranger, one from an old friend, who says :
1 Fr Lothian, S.S.F., Friar-in-charge of the Cambridge house of the
Society of St Francis.
2 Dr Owen Chadwick, later Professor of Ecclesiastical History.
" It moved me more than [any] modern book I have read."
The stranger (in the Highlands) says something similar. All this
kind of thing makes me feel extremely small, it is so undeserved.
But something in the book which was part of my own most
poignant experience has somehow got across to people and
moved them, and of course I am glad of that. No room to
comment on your "Nunc autem mihi forsan vaces 1 . . " but it
seemed to me flawless.
My love always.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
I4th November, I956f
My dear Hamilton,
I am not typing this, so I will try and write as well as you
do, so that you mayn't have to bother at guessing any words.
Ever since I had your last letter (posted 25th Oct.) ending with
your just having had a visit from Constance B[abington]
Smith, I have been longing to write, but time was more than
usually elusive, and I never did. And the other day Constance
telephoned, on her way through to Cambridge (Eng.), and this
morning I drove her to Mass at 8.30 at St Paul's, Knightsbridge,
and we had a delightful talk about her doings, and about how
lovely it was seeing you, and how charming you had been, and
all you had talked about. I wished I had made a third. I had
asked her to visit you if she could, but hadn't warned you, in
case she found it impossible. She is a great dear, isn't she,
and did a very good job in America, I think. ... I must tell
you of someone who likes [Trebizond] . . . Princess Margaret!
It seems she read it, to herself and to her companions, on her
voyage to Africa, and liked it so much that she wants to meet
me ! So Mark Bonham Carter, a friend of hers and of mine,
is having me to dine to-morrow night to meet her. I am
1 " But now however you may perhaps have time to attend to me.'*
delighted that she likes it. What with Royalty, and the
Anglican Hierarchy who next, I wonder ? Perhaps it will be
the Pope, or Nasser; you never can tell. I hope my head won't
get turned! (By the way, you ask who Dialogues of Mortality
are by. By me, they are I usually have to compose my own
epigraphs. Do you like it? It says what I feel is the book's real
Yes, the Times Literary Supplement reviewer (don't
know who) took me to be more "in the dark" than I am.
Laurie was, of course, still, when the book ends. So, once, was L
Laurie will come later on to where I am now, give her time.
As to "the Rev. Chantry-Pigg," it rather surprised me that the
well-informed editor (Alan Pryce-Jones), or his colleagues,
didn't put that right. Some people who should know better
do say it, in these days. Lord Kinross put it in some book, and
I rebuked him in a review. But he was bred a Presbyterian, and
is now nothing. 1 It used to be a complete vulgarism, of course.
It was quite interesting meeting C. S. Lewis at St Francis
House. He is very good and quick and witty in public speech,
and I enjoyed him. It was my part to stimulate him with
questions, and the evening went quite well. He is a great
influence among undergraduates. I wish I knew what century
had the first pictorial representation of God the Father.
Nothing B.C., I think, owing to the Jewish inhibitions about
art. Perhaps the catacombs. How pleased I feel that Constance
saw you! But she said you looked very "frail", which disturbs
me rather. How are you ? I send much love.
1 Lord Kinross (who was an Episcopalian) recalls that when he wrote to
R. M. explaining that his "solecism" had been meant facetiously, she replied
apologizing for not having seen his ' joak."
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
[Postmark: ijan., 1957] t
My dear Hamilton,
I have a feeling that it is more than time I heard from you
again. Your last letter that I got was posted October 25 ; you
had just been seeing Constance Babington Smith, you said in
your very last lines at the end of the letter. I answered that,
and wrote for Christmas, and sent you my Christmas card (self-
composed) by surface mail, which I expect reached you after
Christmas, or even may not have yet done so. But I am a little
anxious about not having had a word for over two months,
and no line of Christmas or New Year's greeting, and have
been fearing that perhaps you haven't been well. Do send me
a word to say how you are. I hope it was merely that you were
rather tired, and not writing letters; but sometimes I reflect,
if you are ill, should I know it? And [I] probably shouldn't,
which disturbs me at times. But I do hope all is well.
We had a rather uneasy Christmas, with the Suez dis
turbance, and petrol rationing, and everything. One's activities
are rather hampered by petrol shortage; e.g. early weekday
Mass, to which I can't drive every day now. I sometimes go
to St James's, Spanish Place, just across the street, but of course
can't make my communion there, owing to these absurd walls
that churches put up round themselves (how unChristian it is) ;
sometimes to All Saints', Margaret St., which is slightly nearer
than Grosvenor Chapel, and to which there is a bus if I can get
it; to St Paul's, Knightsbridge, on the mornings I take the car
(about twice a week, so far). The Annunciation, [Bryanston
Street,] (nearer than these) I find tiresome and self-conscious.
In St Paul's, Portman Square, just round the corner, nothing
at all seems to occur on weekdays, and very little on Sundays.
They have the 10 Commandments printed large outside, but
the service list contains remarkably little. I suppose having my
car has spoilt me; plenty of people have to do without this.
All Saints' is only 12 minutes' walk, actually. To-morrow they
have one at 9, a very nice hour ! No one knows when rationing
will end; perhaps not at all, even after the Canal is opened
again, as oil costs dollars. Alas, what a sad mess Sir Anthony
has made of things. . . .
My book has been doing quite well, and has been received
with almost universal kindness, which pleases me more than
the money, though I am very glad to have the money just
now, with so many things needing it refugees, South African
causes, personal needs such as that of my sister who is just
retiring from her life-long job of nursing, and has tied up most
of her money in covenant subscriptions. . . . Luckily I have
plenty for us both, and can take over her covenants, so far as
she will let me. She has never spent a penny on herself,
scarcely. I am glad she is now retiring, as she isn't anything
like strong enough to go on. She means to do a little relief
work, unpaid, but needn't do anything she doesn't feel
This should be a New Year's letter, but 1957 begins to
morrow, and I am late for it. Constance did so enjoy seeing
you but I think I told you that before. Didn't you find her
charming ? She is such a lovable, delightful person. I think her
book on Air Photography, which she went to America to
interview people on, is going to be v.g. 1
Did you read Fr Huddleston's Naught for Your Comfort'?
... He is such a very nice person: we meet sometimes, and he
likes my book. He is now much troubled about these S.
African trials of alleged "traitors", most of whom he knows.
" Christian Action " (Canon Collins's movement) is getting
up a fund for their defence, and I am on a panel for this appeal.
The world grows more and more dreadful and illiberal and
unchristian. What kind of a year begins this midnight? One
can't get one's thoughts off that poor boy of 21 who was
1 C. Babington Smith, Evidence in Camera; Tlie Story of Photographic
Intelligence in World War 11(1958).
deliberately gagged and suffocated in a box by the Egyptians,
and his poor parents. 1 What is this awful substance of which
human beings are so bestially made? It is hard to face.
Much love for 1957. I hope for a letter soon. Perhaps one
may cross mine. Meanwhile, I think of you often, and hope
you are well.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
I2th February, I957f
My dear Hamilton,
Your letter posted Feb. 8 arrived yesterday, a coal of fire,
because it is your 3rd since my last to you, and. that last was
one of anxiety because it was longer than I liked since I [had]
heard, and I was rather anxiojis lest you might not be well.
You can imagine my relief when I got yours of 3ist Dec. I
didn't reply to it at once, nor to the next, partly because very
much occupied, and partly because I didn't want to burden
you with the feeling that it was again your turn to write. I
myself know so well that inhibition caused by preoccupations,
demands for immediate replies to other letters, reluctance to
write at all, in my case laziness and the mere hurrying by of
time, so relentlessly fugitive. Don't think that when I don't
write I don't enjoy and peruse and think about every line you
send me; they are always so full of interesting and suggestive
and delightful matter. The two I have before me (I seem to
have mislaid for the moment the one posted Jan. u, but it will
turn up) are both most interesting. I didn't know I hadn't told
you of my dinner to meet Princess Margaret. I enjoyed it v.
x Lt Anthony Moorhouse, of the West Yorkshire Regiment, was
abducted by Egyptians in Port Said on nth December, 1956, and died a
few days later from suffocation in a large steel box.
much. She is a charming person. . . . There were, besides my
hosts (Mark Bonham Carter and wife), Lady Elizabeth
Cavendish, a great friend of the Princess, and of John Betjeman
and other people I know, a very nice girl . . . and two men . . .
I had a conversation with her; she first read the Towers at
Balmoral, and laughed so much, alone in a room, that the
Queen her sister came do,wn to know what was the matter.
Then the Queen read it, and also laughed. She took it on her
African trip and read it aloud to people. . . . Her talk is very
largely about records and gramophones and Covent Garden
opera; one of the men at dinner was concerned with this. We
heard some records during the evening and also discussed the
pronunciation of words a little, which is much more up my
own street. She is a very bright, high-spirited girl. One calls
her " Ma'am " at intervals, just to show one remembers who
she is; but conversation with her is quite easy and natural. Yes,
it was a great thing that she made that decision; 1 I think she
would have felt very unhappy and out of things if she had made
that marriage, besides feeling wrong. It would have been a
tragic situation, and no life for her. ... I hope some one she
can love and marry will turn up before long. And that she
will always stay within the " heavenly mystery'*, whoever she
marries. . . . Mr Phipps, the very influential Chaplain of
Trinity, Cambridge, of whom she is very fond . . . gave last
week a series of broadcast 5-minute talks at 7.50 a.m. (a series
I always listen to as I get ready to sally out to Mass) and was
admirable. 2 This week the talks are anonymous, and called " I
was an atheist" or fan agnostic") and are by an Anglican
Franciscan, a doctor, a journalist, a headmistress, a housewife,
and an electrical fitter (who calls his talk " I was a pagan." I
don't expect he knows what a pagan is, or about the number of
1 Princess Margaret's decision (in October 1955) not to marry Group
Captain Peter Townsend.
2 A series of talks, "Jesus Lives," in the BBC programme " Lift up
strange gods in fields and hills and woods that pagans wor
shipped; but illiterates, including, alas, many of our clerical,
even episcopal, earthen vessels often use the word as meaning
atheist, so I expect this fitter does too). I wish they would have
also a writer, as this might have been interesting. The general
subject is how they became Christians. A psychologically
fascinating theme. I agree with you about the understatement
usual in novels about religious belief, and that there must be far
more prayer and awareness of God than is generally allowed in
fiction. Many reviewers share this blind spot; reviewers of the
Towers were divided into those who apprehended its religious
theme and discussed it, and those who didn't really take it in
at all, but found the book merely amusing, and perhaps a good
travel tale. Its readers are also thus divided; many of them tell
me how much they enjoyed it, but lots of these say " I never
laughed so much at a novel. The camel! " etc. I'm glad to
find, tho', that very many others liked the serious theme,
including, to my surprise, known unbelievers such as Julian
Huxley, who told me he "much liked the religious parts. One
realises that there must be an institution like the Church, to
enshrine people's religious and moral values." I feel particularly
glad that most clerical readers and reviewers have liked it. I
will send you a copy of Gerard Irvine's review in the monthly
London Magazine. He describes my Anglicans as being " High,
and also regrettably broad"; he means, of course, Laurie and
me, not Fr Chantry-Pigg !
I am interested in your reading my earlier novels, especially
And No Mans Wit. I'm glad you like the way they converse.
I haven't, so far as I remember, got much religion in that; but
some discussion of it may have seeped in; it is difficult for any
of my family to keep it out, whatever our beliefs ! An end
seems to have come to this. I do hope you are fairly well. . . .
I keep well, and get to Mass somehow most mornings. I've
just heard that the Towers has been awarded the James Tait
Black annual prize by Edinburgh University, which pleases
me. 1 No more now but my love. I hope you'll get some nice
Valentines on I4th.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.I
29th March, I957f
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you for yours of 25th March, and for that of iyth
Feb., which I have left far too long in answering; but you
know how time rushes by. One is delighted to have a letter,
reads it more than once, and lays it by in the place where to-
be~answered-presently letters lie and pile up. "To-be-answered-
at-once,-or-as-near-as-I-can" is a more urgent pile, consisting
of bills, invitations, questions which demand reply, etc., etc.
Both piles grow much too high, I needn't say, while one
pursues one's other labours. Mine have partly consisted lately
in a contribution to a book to be presented to T. S. Eliot on
his yoth birthday. I am trying to recall what I felt about his
poetry when first I read it, or some of it, in the early 19205.
The impact was enormously exciting, and I have been trying
to put it into words. 2 Also, I have other literary jobs to try
and fmish before I go to Venice in early May.
The Towers of Treb. is coming out in America this month,
I think; I am shocked at the vulgarity of the paper jacket,
which is covered with absurd figures, meant, so far as one can
judge, to represent the people in the book, absurdly caricatured.
I asked to have the jacket sent me to see beforehand, but the
1 The annual choice of books for the James Tait Black Memorial Prizes
is made by the Professor of English Literature at Edinburgh University.
2 See R. M/s essay " The First Impression of the Waste Land " in T. S.
Eliot; a Symposium for his Seventieth Birthday edited by Neville Braybrooke
publishers didn't send it. So now I expect it will be reviewed
as a vulgar comic book !
I am sorry you find that I am not well considered in the
American press. I certainly don't complain of the attitude
towards me of tl}e English press, which is revealed in my press
cuttings, and in the periodicals I see. Perhaps if the Americans
neglect me (they didn't use to) it is because I haven't published
anything there much lately, and one gets forgotten. Nothing
between 1940 and 1950, and nothing since then till now, as they
didn't do my Ruin book. I was interviewed the other day by
an American called Webster (the same that did the one on Ivy
Compton-Burnett that you mention, probably). He is engaged
on a survey of contemporary fiction, and is including me. He
said he had at first decided not to include me, on the grounds
that I was "frivolous"; but he had, on second thoughts, and
on taking advice, decided to do so, as he discovered that I was
"thought good", tho' perhaps still rather "frivolous". But
serious too, he thought. He isn't a very weighty thinker, I
imagine. But I don't mean to be depressed by your reports of
American neglect; I really do get some very nice attention
from there; all I merit, I feel. One day I will send you some
English reviews of the Towers spares, that I don't want back.
I don't know what more one could want. I have to-day from
Germany an article which, quite untruly, calls me'seit demTode
Virginia Woolfs Englands klilgste, wenn nicht bedcutendste
Schrifstellerin. Ihre Bucher sind getragen von Shawschem Witz,
Swiftscher Phantasie und Ironie . . ." 1 etc., etc., if you can make
all that out; I can't quite, but I see it is kindly meant ! (I expect
your German isn't as good as your Latin !)
More than enough about my reputation. Don't be anxious
when I don't write. I am seldom ill, and have had no ailment
1 " England's most intelligent or even most prominent authoress since
die death of Virginia Woolf. Her books are sustained with the wit of
Shaw, the fantasy and irony of Swift."
for ages but a touch of flue. I have more reason to worry
about your health, I feel. I was interested in your point
about the childishness of many of my young female characters.
I expect it is that I was young for my age myself, what is called
a tomboy, and liked to do all those things you mention. But
I don't think girls and women in general do, so much as boys
and men. I used to find that most of my adventures were more
shared by my brothers than my sisters, on the whole, though
we all liked adventure. And when I was at Oxford, at 18, I
had a reputation for liking roof-climbing, etc., which wasn't
shared by any of my friends. Surely men do far more uncom
fortable things than women do; camping out in snow,
exploring tropical jungles, etc. I think women are much less
fitted for and fond of such rigours. As to their clothes well,
I suppose high heels are pretty comfortless for walking, and I
never wear them myself. Nor do I like cold or draughts. But
I too am puzzled by some of the uncomfortable things some
women wear. But, as to that, look at men in hot weather in
heavy suits. But I agree that men like comfort in clothes and
chairs, etc., before appearance and that many women don't.
Food, too. But I should die in an Arctic blizzard. Just look
what men voluntarily go through. No, I don't think you have
Many come up. Derived (see O[xford] Dictionary]) from St
Mary of Egypt, by whom people used to swear. Became
" Mary Gipsy", then " Mary Gip", [then] "Gup" (what you
say to horses when driving them), [and then] got (by association
with this) to be " Mary come up." This seems a natural enough
development, I suppose. Language is queer. I've never seen
the 1636 P[rayer] B[ook] meant for Scotland, but always
thought it was only a little different from the B[ook of]
Cfommon] Pfrayer], and, as you say, the source of the American
one. Isn't it also what the Scotch Episcopals use now? The
Scotch thought it was "the Mass" but they thought ours was
too, of course. 1 Very odd about that word " Mass", why it is
so hated by extreme Protestants, when all it is is (as the 1549
book says) "the Holy Communion or the Lord's Supper,
commonly called the Mass". St Paul's (Knights.) is some
times picketed on Sunday mornings by sandwich-board
men saying " The Mass is a blasphemous fable" (see article )
and other Kensitite 2 utterances. It seems all a question of the
name you give it. I am just now following High Mass with the
1549 book, rather confusing, as we've chopped it about so.
So much of the service/0//ouW the consecration and administra
tion then. I must say I like it as we now have it (not, of course
B.C.P.). Oh dear, so much more I meant to say, but here is
the end, as usual.
Yes, surely : Bemdictus benedicat, and Benedicto benedicatur.
Has it gone wrong ? I correct proofs shockingly. 3 Your letter
is full of interest; e.g. about reasons for non-religious novels
in America. I meant to tell you about an. R.C. novel I am
reading. I will, later.
Till then, my love.
1 The first Scottish Prayer Book (approved in 1636, but usually known as
the Scottish Prayer Book of 1637, the year of its publication, or as "Laud's
Liturgy") was based largely on the Book of Common Prayer of 1549. The,
first American Prayer Book (of 1789) was based partly upon the subsequent
"Scottish Communion Office" of 1764, and partly upon the English Prayer
Book of 1662. The Prayer Book currently used by the Scottish Episcopal
Church is a twice revised version of the "Scottish Communion Office."
2 Reminiscent of the Protestant propagandist John Kensit (1853-1902).
3 Presumably R. M. had misquoted the Graces "Benedictus benedicat"
(" May the Blessed one bless"), said at the beginning of a meal, and
"Benedicto benedicatur" (" Blessing on the Blessed one"), said at the con
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
2nd June, 1957!
My dear Hamilton,
I put off writing till I was back from Venice, as there are
no air letters there, so I think I have not yet answered your
last letter, which I have before me now; it came to Venice
with me, and I thought of writing, but decided to wait till I
was back, as you suggested. Venice was delightful, as always.
What a place it is ! A unique mixture of physical beauty and
magnificent works of art, both architecture and painting. St
Mark's always wholly captivates me, tho' I know some people
don't care for the shape of its facade; but I agree with Ruskin
about the beauty of this. And how marvellous inside, with its
great cruciform shape and golden mosaicked apses. It has very
beautiful singing, and we often dropped in for vespers or some
Mass. In all the Venice churches there are evening Masses now,
as well as in the mornings. (Our little C. of E. church is rather
bleak; I went there at 8.30 on Sundays for communion, as
these fanatic and intolerant Romans won't let us communicate
in theirs.) Then the Piazza, and the Doge's Palace, as beautiful
Gothic as St Mark's is Byzantine, and the little streets winding
along by the little canals, and the wonderful, mainly baroque,
churches all about, some most beautiful, and the charming
little campos, or squares, with their market stalls and stone
fountains in the middle, and the Grand Canal with all its
splendid palazzos. We stayed in a small and pleasant pensions
on the Giudecca Canal, with a wonderful view of the Giudecca
opposite, and the island of San Giorgio with its Palladian
church. Quite near us was the magnificent Salute church. Near
also was the Accademia gallery, with its wonderful pictures.
The weather was, in the main, warm and sunny and delightful,
and coming away was sad. But more and more I am struck
by the follies of the R.C. church the sheer childish nonsense.
[A friend of mine] ... a convert thro' marriage, who was in
Venice, says that he just by-passes the follies (e.g. indulgences
and miracles), which he says are only meant for the simple. I
don't think I would like to belong to a church which deliber
ately taught nonsense to children, and "simple" people, which
the more educated priests don't believe themselves. Can this
be right ?
The Towers ofT. has had an excellent reception in America.
Time only gave it a snippet, after asking me for a photograph
and saying it was giving it a full-page review. ... I got a
quite kind review, however, from an R.C. Religious, who had
been interested by it, and thought it revealed "a new facet of
the Protestant mind." But, he said, the feeling left by it in
Catholics must be sorrow that so much faith and earnestness in
religion was based on nothing (i.e. on false premises and false
teaching). It amounted to saying that God was "nothing", but
of course he didn't mean that. What a strange and sad point
of view theirs is I mean, discounting all other faiths but their
own narrow one. I'm afraid there is rather an unseemly rivalry
and even war being waged now between the two Catholic
churches in this country. The Archbishop of Canterbury]
spoke strongly about the Roman propaganda campaign, 1 and
about the boast they make of converts, which [sic] he says are
less in number than the other way round. They are starting a
Church Enquiry Centre, to offset the "Catholic Enquiry
Centre", which has launched a huge campaign for converts.
Yet, feeling as R.C.S are taught to do about their exclusive
Tightness, I suppose they must try for converts. The really
unChristian thing is to forbid their members to join in prayer
with other Christians; goodness, what would Our Lord have
said to that ? They have certainly taken a very wrong turning.
But then I suppose all Christian churches have, being human
as well as divine. . . .
I should like to show you also another kind review, this
time from the Nonconformist angle, in the British Weekly. It
1 Archbishop Fisher, reported in the Church Times, 3ist May, 1957.
said how few novels depicted Nonconformity in action, com
pared with those which dealt with R.Cism and Anglicanism,
and what a different standpoint it was, with its emphasis on the
Word, Bible reading, and preaching, and its comparative
neglect of the sacramental life that means so much to Romjan]
and Anglican Catholics. " The sin of Anglicanism is to make
sacraments more and more central but to neglect preaching.
The sin of Nonconformity is to treat sacraments often as little
more than optional embellishments/' etc. It is an interesting,
fair, and thoughtful review; the writer thought I have no
knowledge or understanding of Nonconformity, and probably
would not like it if I had. Of the book he says he laughed all
through it, but takes it also very seriously. It all makes one feel
how many mansions there are, and must be, inside the Christian
Church, each contributing its facet of light and truth. How
angry R.C.s are at this point of view, however!
I do hope you are well. Write to me sometime and say
how you fare. Meanwhile, my love.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
2nd August, 1957 f
My dear Hamilton,
Yours of 22nd July came the other day, rather to my
remorse, as I hadn't yet answered the one of 22nd June, which
was really an answer to mine. I now have both letters before
me, and very nice too. Thank you so much. I do know how
troublesome writing is, and I do take it as a mark of great
kindness and affection, and value it much. I myself have been
pretty busy finishing one or two things I had on hand, such
as a long article on the Mediterranean for a book of photo
graphs which is to be published early next year, also in America. 1
1 RolofF Beny, The Thrones of Earth and Heaven (1958).
The photographs are beautiful, the text is by four different
writers; me, Freya Stark, Stephen Spender, and Bernard
Berenson. 1 And now I am free to turn to other writings, such
as my coming novel (not yet begun). . . .
Talking of "markets" for books, I too was surprised that
The Towers got on to the American best-selling list. I was
interested in an article in (I think) the N[ew] Y[ork] Times (or
was it the Saturday Review ?) a little while back, on these lists.
The writer, a very intelligent young man, said that on every
such list there seemed to be two or three samples of what he
called "minority literature", which were forced into best
sellers by good reviews, but would never be naturally so. Those
he mentioned in this class were The Towers ofT., The Fountain
Overflows by Rebecca West, and I think one by Aldous Huxley.
He was talking of the most recent best-seller lists, and of what
he called "intellectual" novels that got into them. What the
great mass of readers make of them when they read them is
another matter. As to The Towers 9 those who didn't care about
the 39 Articles perhaps quite liked the camel, and one or two
of the jokes. I wonder how E. Waugh's Mr Pinfold is liked
in America. It has had a mixed reception here. It's not
amusing at all, and deals with hallucinations, which is rather
a boring subject, but it is very clever in parts. As to the Towers*
I find they have introduced me to a number of priests who like
it, and who accost me about it, and whom I am glad to meet.
One is Simon Phipps, the Dean 2 of Trinity, Cambridge . . .
whom I met the other day at a Spectator sherry party, and found
delightful. I believe he has a great church influence in Cam
bridge, among undergraduates, and is a counter influence to
C.LC.C.U. But an Oxonian told me that the most numerous
conversions at Oxford just now were to Islam. I said that this
seemed to me very odd, and what was the attraction? He
replied that so many men liked women to be behind grilles and
in galleries when at church, and not taking up the seats on the
1 Also by a fifth, Jean Cocteau. 2 R- M. means Chaplain.
floor, which annoyed them. This seems rather unfair ! If they
get to church in time, they can get seats all right. But they
don't, it seems, like the idea of a church full of females. Even
Pusey House is now invaded by women undergraduates. Well,
I suppose Moslemism is better than no religion at all, tho' to me
it is very unattractive. Did you over there get the reports of
the claim of a priest to have converted Gilbert Murray to the
R.C. Church on his deathbed? It sounds most unlikely to us
who knew him well, and even his R.C. daughter, Mrs
Toynbee, made no claim for it, as she said her father had been
practically unconscious, except for moments, for 5 or 6 weeks
before he died. 1 His son Stephen was indignant, and firmly
repudiated such an idea, in letters to The Times, saying his
father had died as he had lived, "a reverent agnostic" 2 . ... I
went to the memorial service at the Abbey, where the ashes
(after cremation by his own desire) were buried; it was a fine,
rather austere service; the Dean 3 composed it, I think. He put
emphasis on the words " Not every one who saith Lord, Lord,
shall enter into heaven, but rather whoso doeth the will . . ," 4
which G. M. certainly did. Some distinguished agnostics here
were rather alarmed lest their convert relatives should intrude
a priest to their deathbeds and make the same claim. I hope to
protect myself with Anglican rites. . . . Not that one would
make a distinction between two forms of Christian rite, but
one would want what one is used to and loves. The differences
are, of course, really things of this world, things of the flesh,
and we should not mind them. Are you quite fair in classing
Maugham . . . with Aldous Huxley and Lawrence, who both
have spiritual vision, I should say? D. H. L. isn't cynical; he
1 Rosalind Toynbee comments that R. M.'s account of her attitude
appears to be based on indirect information which she regards as inaccurate.
2 This statement by Stephen Murray was first made in a letter to the New
Statesman (2<$i June, 1957), not to The Times,
3 Very Rev. A. C.Don.
4 See Matt. 7. 21.
has great and earnest enthusiasm for what he believes of life . . .
[sic] but I see I can't expatiate on this as space has run out. I
wonder if you are still almost alone in your House. How good
that your novices are so promising. I like to think of you deep
in Terence and Plautus. What a nice study ! Do read a book on
Crashaw, by an American Austin Warren it is v.g. 1 Much
love, and my thanks always,
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
yd December, 1957!
My dear Hamilton,
Thank you so much for your welcome letter dated Nov.
12-15. I was so glad to get it. I knew it was a long time since
I wrote, but not that it was as long ago as August ! Time goes
by so quickly, in such a rush, one can't keep pace. And now
Xmas makes it worse than ever. But you have been much and
often in my thoughts and prayers, and always in my affections.
I have been quite well, not even had the Asian flue, which
has afflicted so many of my friends and non-friends but has not
come nigh me, perhaps because I got myself inoculated
against it, as I usually do get any flue that is going about. I
have been very much cluttered up with work, mainly articles
and reviews, which after Xmas I hope to shed, as I want to get
down to my next novel, not yet begun. Now here we are in
Advent, which I find a very exciting and rather disturbing
season, and [it] makes one think more than ever of the hourly
judgment of God on every thing one thinks, says, or does; I
suppose the advent of God in this way becomes closer and more
apparent the more one lives, unless one goes on ignoring it
entirely till it fades into unrecognizability. This, to me, seems
1 Austin Warren, Richard Crashaw; a Study in Baroque Sensibility (1957)-
to be the Judgment, not any unspecified and dateless Great Day,
Dies Irae, etc., in which people used to believe with such
apprehension and looking forward. Judgment; coming each
morning at Communion, coming whenever one turns one's
mind that way, which one ought to do more often. I like
Advent and the great O's. I have printed four of them,
Radix, Clams, Oriens and Sapiential to work into the verse I
have composed for my Xmas card this year, and which I shall
send you by surface mail to-day, I hope.
You mention Constance Babington Smith's book. Bits of
it are even now being serialised in the Sunday Times, and she is
very busy arranging these, and very happy. The book comes
out here in January. I hear it is selling well in America ; 2 I don't
quite know why, but I never quite understand why all these
books about the last war and its doings have such a sale. I never
read them myself, and shouldn't read this one if it wasn't by my
dear Constance, whom I love. She ... has put the story
together in a very efficient way, and her publishers are pleased
with it. She is a great dear. Not intellectual, like some of the
Babington Smiths, but capable, and very charming. She began
by making smart hats, then fell in love with planes and once
designed a hat made like a bomber, which she wore at an
aeronautic garden party. I saw her this very morning, when
she was up for 2 days, and I drove her to 8.15 Mass at Grosvenor
Chapel. You would like her very much if you knew her, and
she you; in fact, she did.
Please keep this under the seal, so to speak (really under), 3
as it isn't the thing to mention it beforehand, and I should
simply hate it to get about America, or London, as it is really
private. I have been officially offered the rank of Dame, of
which there [are] very few just now, and only Edith Sitwell
1M O Root (of Jesse)"; "O Key (of David)"; "O Day-spring'*; "O
*Air Spy, the U.S. edition of Evidence in Camera, was published in 1957.
3 R. M. does not mean this "literally" (Father Johnson had not been
her confessor since 1916).
to represent letters, though several actresses. I am considering
whether to accept it or not. It might make me feel rather
foolish, and I should prefer a C.B.E., which a lot of writers do
get, it is less conspicuous. But I am told that perhaps one can't
commute for this ! So I am still undecided. What would you
do ? But don't bother to answer this, as I have to decide by
next Monday, before you even get this letter. I have only told
my sister, who of course is for the Dame, but her advice is not
I am glad you occupy yourself with Plautus and book-
covering. I was reading the other day in the Latin Hymns you
sent me once (nicely covered by you), 1 and in which you
enclosed separately part of St Bernard's great hymn, the part
beginning Hora novissima and translated by Neale. 2 It strikes
me that Neale made rather a noisy business out of "agminis et
sonus est epulantis"\ "the shout of them that feast" suggests
rather a pagan banquet than a feast of saints. But it goes well;
I remember liking it, and the picture it evoked, when I was a
Someone said to me the other day that my next novel was
bound to be a let-down, to some extent, to those who liked
very much the last, which a good many people did. I dare say
the next won't be liked so much, and I shall- miss the apprecia
tion of so many clergy; but I don't feel one should be daunted
by this. I shall write it as it comes, and keep its readers as far
out of my mind as I can. Oh dear, how well I know all you
say about putting off things one has to do. It is a disease with
me, and letters pile up like snowdrifts, accusing me all the time.
So do books I ought to have reviewed, etc., etc. I will send
you the Xmas Spectator, with an article I wrote in it about
1 The Hundred Best Latin Hymns; selected byj. S. Phillimore (1926); see
Letters to a Friend, p. 261.
2 John Mason Neale (1818-1866) translated several parts of the long poem
De Contempt* Mundi by Bernard of Cluny (not by St Bernard of Clairvaux)
including die passage which begins Hora Novissima.
3 See The English Hymnal, Hymn 412, "Jerusalem the Golden."
Xmas. 1 There seems to be more and more a general revolt
against the racket we have made of it. I suppose really it should
be a time for giving to the most needy, not exchanging presents
and cards with one another. I am glad to say that Fr Harris
preached very well about this on Advent Sunday. I must stop
this and do up my card for you now, and sally out to the post
I do hope you will keep well over Xmas, and not get unwritten
letters on your mind as you cover books and read Plautus. I
have been reading a lot of Tractarian-age books, all interesting.
How terribly the Articles bothered most of them! But
Newman wrote (Tract go) didn't he, that R.C.s could sign
all of them except the one about the Pope ? 2 R.C.s now write
in The Tablet, "Catholic toleration" (of Anglo-Catholics) "has
been carried to its very limits". But what do they propose to
do about it ? I pass Smithfield with apprehension ! 3 My love
and greetings for Xmas and New Year.
1 "Saturnalia," see The Spectator, 22nd November, 1957.
2 This is a free interpretation, not a literal one, of Newman's Tract go.
3 It was at Smitkfield that about 300 Protestants were burned during
Mary Tudor 's reign.
20, Hinde House, Hinde St., W.i
I2thjune, 195 8 f
My dear Hamilton,
It was nice to see your handwriting on a U.S. air letter
yesterday morning on my return from Mass at G[rosvenor]
Cfhapel]. It is indeed far too long since we wrote. Not either
of our faults really, I think, for we were both hampered and let
by circumstances. Of course I should have written ages ago,
to tell you all my news and comment on yours. But I was
attacked soon after Xmas (you did, I hope, get my Xmas card
the one with tumbling towers and my version of some of
the great O's; perhaps you have written since then, yes, I
think you did) by rather bad and repeated onslaughts of what
we call here fluemonia, the kind that goes to the lungs, and
when you think you are recovered returns and strikes you again.
I was in and out of bed for some time; [then] went to the
Palace to be darned on nth Feb., a rather nice occasion, for I
knew most of the five Knights in my category (the K.C.B.E.s), 1
I being a D.C.B.E. 2 (but for short we are K.B.E.s and
D.B.E.). And most were Cambridge, such as Julian Huxley,
Jim Butler, and others, 3 and we had a friendly get-together
beforehand while we were coached in how to deport ourselves
when receiving our decorations from H.M. She does those
things very charmingly, pinning on the decorations and saying
a few pleasant words to each recipient. I felt rather ill, however,
and after that went down to Dorset to Raymond Mortimer's
house to rest and recover. Soon after my return I lunched with
Patrick McLaughlin in Dean Street, and, coming out, turned
to speak to Fr Denis Marsh 4 behind me, stepped into space
down the steps and crashed into the street, breaking my right
1 Knights Commander of the British Empire.
2 Dame Commander of the British Empire.
3 J. R. M. Butler, as well as Claude Elliott, S. C. Roberts, and Steven
Runciman had been at Cambridge; Julian Huxley at Oxford.
4 Fr Denis, S.S.F.
wrist and thigh. I was ambulanced to Charing Cross Hospital,
where the fractures were set (very expertly) and I was put to
bed in the public fracture ward, where I lay for a fortnight,
tended by pleasant nurses and surrounded by other fractures.
It was rather noisy and restless of course; I liked my seven
fellow-fracturees, but they never stopped talking. We were
brought H[oly] C[ommunion] on Sunday morning from St
Martin~in-the-Fields ; I was the only one in the ward to "take
it", so my bed was curtained off, including a young man from
the men's ward, and we had it. The others were very nice and
quiet during the short service. One of them said to me sym
pathetically afterwards, " It makes a nice change, doesn't it?"
She herself had been brought up R.C. " but there, you can't
believe it, can you," she added philosophically. There was
another R.C., an Irish girl who told us about Our Lady's statue
at Lourdes weeping "real tears" ; we were all quite polite about
this. But after a fortnight I was moved to a private room at the
Univjersity] Collfege] Hospital in Gower St., where I could
have my typewriter and type with my left hand, the other
being encased in plaster, and have all my kind friends to see me
and adorn my room with lovely flowers. Two chaplains used
to drop in, the Anglican, a cheerful and gossipy young man
who entertained me, and the Roman, v. nice, tho' quieter.
There was a third, from the Whitefield Tabernacle close by, 1
but he didn't call in the Private Wing, as he had no adherents
there. What a snob business church life is, to be sure. Reading
a book by Peter Kirk lately, 2 I learnt that his father, the late
Bish. of Oxford, had been brought up a Methodist, and that
Peter never knew this till after his death when he was going
thro' his papers. Isn't that odd. So difficult, one would think,
to conceal it from one's children. I suppose the grandparents
were dead. But children ask questions of their parents, how
1 The Whitefield Memorial Church (Congregationalist church in
Tottenham Court Road).
2 Peter Kirk, One Army Strong? (1958).
many times did they have to go to church on Sundays, etc. ; we
certainly knew, from my father and uncles all about Hodnet
church where my grandfather 1 was rector, in fact we have often
been there. Df Kirk must have found it a job to keep his
childhood so dark from his enquiring young. I wonder if his
wife knew. One can only suppose this was a form of snobbery,
tho' P[eter] K. says he can't imagine why it was. Well, I was
hospitalized for 6 weeks, and came out a few weeks ago, since
when I have been desperately trying to catch up on my life.
My hand is still n.g, for writing more than a very short time,
but I can type. My leg is almost all right. I can now drive
my car again. But it was all a great interruption, and I am very
much behind. Yes, you address me quite correctly as " Dame
R. M." The simple call me often " Dame Macaulay", which
is like " Rev. Jones", or " Sir Churchill"; I think they are
rather shy of Christian names. A letter in The Observer lately
spoke of " The Venerable Higgins and the Rev. Wilson".
Lady Juliet Duff, whom I have been visiting in hospital lately
(St Saviour's, Osnaburgh St.) was called by all the nuns except
the Mother " Lady Duff". This letter seems all about me; I
meant to write for your birthday, and wish I had. I am glad
you are stronger now, and very glad you are retiring early, and
generally being looked after. The "shattering Reformation"
in your cell is one I need in my flat! I would love to see you
as "no small dandy" in your shortened habit. Brother Paul 2
writes to me, to ask me if he may use in his devotional
magazine 3 some verses of mine from the Xmas cards I have
sent you, and which he says you have passed to him. Of course
he may; I am writing to him. I haven't got L. P. Hartley's
book, 4 and am not reviewing it; but I think I shall get it for
you as a belated birthday gift if you would like it, so expect its
1 Rev. S. H. Macaulay (iSoy-c. 1873).
2 Brother Paul, Oblate, S.SJ.E.
3 Many Mansions, a privately circulated devotional magazine.
4 Probably The Hireling (1957)-
arrival soon. I have now got on to my new novel (after
finishing a number of other literary chores) but work slowly
and erratically without a serviceable writing hand. 1 I was glad
that the American reviewers and public took so kindly to
Trebizond. I am going to the Black Sea again in late August . . .
on a cruise. I like being back at Mass again. I seldom am there
without thoughts of you and love and gratitude. Now I must
write, if I can, to Brother Paul; a short note only, and I think
by surface mail. His letter to me began " Your old friend Fr
Johnson has . . ." and for a moment my heart jolted in fear.
But all was well. 2
My love always, and take care of yourself.
1 R. M.'s new novel Lad reached the stage of some rough notes and a
roughly drafted first chapter before her death on soth October, 1958, aged 77.
2 Fr Johnson survived R. M. for 2^ years. He died on I7th March, 1961..
Acquaintances (unnamed), R.M.'s:
in Cyprus, 99; in Lebanon and
Syria, 100 ; Irish girls, 106, 108,
264; Christian Arab, 156; young
German, 200 ; window-cleaner,
222; an Oxonian, 255; "non-
friends", 257; in Charing Cross
Acton, Lord, 132, 197
Agar, Herbert, 151
Age of Charles I, The (D. Mathew),
Agnosticism, 89, 125, 166; R.M.
accused of, 197
Agnostics, 89, 142-3, 172, 176, 179,
211, 247, 256; former, 246-7
American Prayer Book Commentary,
see Oxford American Prayer Book
Americanisms, 150, 167, 228
Americans: 145; "immigrants", 43;
and politics, 43, 146; and U.S.
Presidential election (1952), 48;
New Englanders, 114; U.S. Con
sul in London, 149; and R.M.'s
novels, 151, 249; "Colonial
rebels", 158; in Istanbul, 161;
writers, 182; as scholar's, 182-3
Anathemata, Tlie (D.Jones), 195
Ancren Riwle, The, 85-6
Andre wes, Bp Lancelot, 107, 228
Anglican Church, The: C.E.M.
Joad on, 42; Sir L. Jenkins on,
42; R.M. on, 42-3, 58, 139,
181; Bp of Monmouth on, 52-3;
variety of practice in, 53, 200, 205-
6; religious orders in, 60; "Bible
v. Church" in, 86; R.M.'s enthus
iasm for, 99, in, 113, 128-9, 131,
163, 195 ; ignored by novelists, 106;
Prodigal Son analogy, 107, 108;
in I9th c. ill, 119-20, 195; in
1 7th c., 119, 183, 187-8; in 1 8th c.,
119; prayers for, 149; and Passion-
tide, 152; gossip about, 172; and
television time, 221 ; and women's
lay ministry, 226 ; "Church Week "
in Westminster area, 236; London
"enquiry centre", 253
Anglicanism: converts to, 42, 46, 47,
79, 253 ; apologias for, 115-16, 118;
Anglican Catholicism, 118-19, *4
223 ; doctrinal teaching, 127, 128 ;
American, 164; converts from,
106, 166, 177, 205; revival in
Engknd, 171; novels depicting,
254; British Weekly on, 254
Anglicans: "high but broad", 22;
novelists, 32, 33, 42, 75, 172;
apologias by, 42, 46; their free
choice of prayers, 43 ; and R. A.
Knox, 56; Archbishops, 56, 61;
and Roman Catholic practice, 89;
"through the centuries", 107; in
I7th c., 119; in i8th c,, 119; High,
140, 166; ordinands, 149; Bishops,
176, 237; and Roman Catholics,
203; Religious, 203; and "losing
face", 206; and women as servers,
215-16; priests, 219; missionaries,
222-3; in torchlight procession,
See also Clergy, English
Anglo-Catholic Faith, The (T. A.
Lacey), 157, 165
Anglo-Catholicism, 140, 171; in the
U.S.A., 164, 169; I7thc., 164
Anglo-Catholics, 106, 164, 205, 212,
Annan, Noel, 167
Anson, Peter, 203
Apostles' Creed, The, 151
Apostolic Ministry, The (K. E. Kirk),
Ararat, Mt, 176
Aristotle, in, 177
Arnold, Thomas, 117
Articles, the Thirty-Nine, 78, 251,
Ascham, Roger, 81
Ashdown, H. E., Provost of South-
Ashley, Maurice, 90
Ash Wednesday (T. S. Eliot), 75-6,
Athenaeum, the, 190
Augustine, St, of Canterbury, 178
Augustine, St, of Hippo, 30, 169, 177
Autobiography and Life of George*
Tyrrell (M. D. Petre), 105-6
Babington, Thomas, 15311
Babington Smith, Constance, 22,
238, 239, 243, 244, 258
Bacon, Francis, 81, 125
Barnabas, St, 99
Barnes, Sir George, 221
Bartholomew's Day, St, 87, 168
Baxter, Richard, 215
"Beasts, the Four", 214
Beerbohm, Max, 193-4, 225
Bell, Clive, 153
Belloc, Elizabeth, 75
Belloc, Hilaire, 75, 78, 80, 81, 86,
Bennett, Arnold, 72
Bennett, Arnold (R. Pound), 72
Benson, Canon J., 197-8
Benson, Rev. R. M., 60
Beny, RolofF, 254n
Berenson, Bernard, 255
Bernard of Cluny, 259n
Bernard, St, 220, 259
Best-seller lists, 258
Betjeman, John, 90, 145, 150, 151,
153, 221, 229, 235, 246
B.F.'s Daughter (J. Marquand), 146
Bible, The, 86, 213 ; Revised Standard
Version, 36-7; translation by R. A.
Knox, 39, 52, 1 88, 214, 233, 236;
the Gospels, 39, 63, 65, 96, 117;
Vulgate, 52, 1 88, 214; Erasmus*
translation (Latin), 79; English
Bible, The (G. C. Macaulay)-, 79,
84; Wycliffe's translation, 81;
Douai translation, 81 ; New English
Bible, 84, 214; Four Gospels, The
(trans. E. V. Rieu), 85 ; New Testa
ment, 96, 117; Old Testament, no,
214; Leviticus, in; Wisdom, 170,
214; Ecclesiasticus, 175, 214; St
Paul's Epistles, 182, 236; Author
ised Version, 1 88; Revised Version,
1 88; Greek Testament, 188, 214;
Hebrew sources, i88n, 214; Revel
See also Psalms, The
Birth control, 32, 37
Black Sea, the, 147, 149, 150, 154,
155-6, 159, 266
Bonham Carter, Mark, 115, n 6, 144,
219, 238, 246
Bonham Carter, Sir Maurice, 116
Bonham Carter, Lady Violet, 115,
116, 191, 219
Bouyer, Louis, 221
Bowen, Elizabeth, 194
Bowen, Marjorie, 179-80
Bowra, Sir Maurice, 224
Braybrooke, Neville, 248n
British Broadcasting Corporation:
"The Critics", 34-5, 4L 46, 47, 48,
50, 189-90, 192, 195-6; talks, 4611,
50, 53, 109, in; discussions, 51;
Coronation broadcast to Cyprus,
99; review of Pleasure of Ruins ;
125; televising of Roman Mass,
140-1; news, 197, 207; "Letter
from America", 208; Central
Religious Advisory Committee,
221 ; "Lift up your Hearts ", 246
British Weekly, 253-4
Brittain, F., 221
Broadcasting, by R. M., 34-5, 41, 46,
50, 189-90, 192, 195-6
Bronte, Charlotte, 44
Brooke, Rupert, 15, 16, 33, 77
Brooks, Phillips, Bp of Massachu
Brown, C. K. Francis, 139
Browne, Bertha L., 226
Browning, Robert, 50-1
Butler, J. R. M., 263
Butlin's Camp, see Holidays, R.M.'s
Cambridge: 16, 40, 140, 199, 223,
23 8 ; R. M. weekend at, 202
Cambridge Inter-Collegiate Chris
tian Union, 206, 211, 255
Cambridge University, 16, 246, 255,
263; hon. degree awarded to
R. M., 16; G. C. Macaulay lecture
ship at, 16; King's College Chapel,
117; King's College, 117, 202;
religious revival in, 171, 211; Eng.
Lit. students at, 220; undergradu
ates of, 171, 206, 223, 237, 239,
255; Pembroke College, 223
Candles, 76, 118; the Paschal Candle,
30, 32n, 170; Blessing of, 91, 94,
Caraman, Rev. Philip, 147, 223
Cardinal Gasquet (Shane Leslie), 132
Carpenter, Rev. S. C., 157
Gary, Rev. H. L. M. (Lucius), 17, 116
Gary, Joyce, 141, 143
Cassirer, E., 152
Catholic Encyclopaedia, The, 34, 39
Catholic Mind, The (journal), 51
Catholic Movement in the Church of
England, The (W. Knox), 223
Catholic Truth Society, 126
Catholicism: English (pre-Reforma-
tion), 74, 77-8, 82, 85-6, 92;
Western, 103; and approach to
Faith, 187; compared to Evangel
See also Anglo-Catholicism, Roman
Cavendish, Lady Elizabeth, 246
Cecil, Lord David, 203
Chadwick, Dr Owen, 237
"Chantry-Pigg, Fr Hugh** (The
Towers of Trebizond), 22-3, 230n,
231, 232, 239, 247
Chapman, Dr R. W., 57
Character, human, 83, 195
Charing Cross Hospital, 264
Charles I, King, 143
Chaucer, Geoffrey, 85
Chesterton, G. K., 147, 179
Children: religious services for, 119,
121-2, 130, 132, 137; religious
teaching for, 126-7, 129, 130,
137-8, 140; and poetry, 128
Chillingworth, William, 1 8 8, 215
Christ, 122, 214, 216, 236, 253; the
indwelling, 36, 40, 49, 63, 112, 152;
as Saviour, 49, 98, 1 12 ; His corning,
5<5, 59 257-8; as light, 71, 112, 149,
233; and Western Catholicism,
103; and the Church, 105; belief
in, in, 180; as Love, 112;
Divinity of, 151; His Passion, 152;
His death, 152, 187
Christianity: and other religions, 32,
99, 109, 215; "Eastern origins of",
103, 215, 216; instruction in, 117,
130; and order of universe, 142,
144-5; conversion to, 154, 156-?;
in England in 6th c., 178; poetry
of, 182; "complex of ideas", 215
Fasts: Ash Wednesday, 83, 9in;
Ember Days, 234n; Lent, 83, 89,
Feasts: All Saints' Day, 44, 45, 117,
1 1 8, 119, 175; Ascension Day,
96; Candlemas, 76; Christmas,
20, 56, 57, 60, 62, 66, 130, 131,
132, 137, 181, 189, 260; Con
ception of the B.V.M., 58, 130;
Corpus Christi, 19, 200-1, 2Oin,
225-6; Easter, 89, 91 ; Epiphany,
71 ; Finding of the Holy Cross,
45n; Palm Sunday, 83, 91;
Pentecost, 96, 99, 156, 225; Trin
ity Sunday, 225; 25th Sunday
after Trinity ( "Stir-up Sunday w ),
Sacraments: 78, 254
See also Baptism; Holy Com
munion; and Confession
Vigils: of the Conception of the
Christianity at the Cross-Roads (G.
"Christian Action ", 244
Christians and Communism (H.
Christmas Cards, R.M.'s: 265; 1952,
57, 60, 64-5 ; 1953, 127, 129; 1954,
180; 1956, 243; 1957, 258, 260,
Church in England, The (S. C.
Carpenter), 157, 158, 164
Churches: Greek, 96; in Cyprus, 99;
Byzantine, 99, 100; in Jerusalem,
101; Santa Sophia (Istanbul), 156,
1 60; earliest Christian Church
(Antioch), 1 60
Anglican: country, 42, 109; "very
Romanizing", 58, 130; "High",
67, 169, 231; abroad, 96; in
Cyprus, 99; near Westfield Park
Hotel, Ryde, 106; "dull and un
satisfying", 1 08; "musty smell"
of, 108-9; "Sunday-matins", 129,
131-2; in New York, 164; beauty
in, 1 66, 169; and ritual, 169; at
Butlin's Camp, Skegness, 208-9;
at Yaxley, Hunts, 209; "Anglo-
Catholic", 231; in Venice, 252;
at Hodnet, 265
All Saints', Margaret St, 30, 83, 91*
133, 228, 231, 243, 244; All Saints',
Notting Hill, 79; The Annuncia
tion, Bryanston St, 200, 222, 231,
Grosvenor Chapel, 30, 55, 62, 83,
92, 101, 129, 133, 171, 179, 232;
R.M.'s attachment to, 19, 88, 91,
174, 181; R.M/s attendance at, 22,
3on, 44, 51, 117, 173-4. 175. 182,
190, 200, 223, 243, 258, 263;
Requiem Mass for R.M. at, 24;
occasional members of congrega-
tion, 33, 79, 115, 116; Lady
Chapel at, 52; stoves in, 61 ; closed,
77, 104, 228 ; noticeboard defaced,
78; blessing of palms at, 83, 91;
R.M.'s absence from, 96, 196;
The Holy Angels, Cranford, 72, 73 ;
Holy Trinity, Clapham Common,
198; St Barnabas*, Addison Rd,
119; St Barnabas', Oxford, 171;
St Bene't's, Cambridge, 171; St
Cyprian's, Clarence Gate, 94; St
Dunstan's, Cranford, 72, 73n; St
Magnus the Martyr's, 231; St
Margaret's, Westminster, 105; St
Martin-in-the-Fields, 264; St
Mary's, Graham St, 231; St
Mary-the-Less, Cambridge, 171 ;
St Mary Abbots, 22, 121-2, 137;
St Mary Aldermary, 150, 169;
St Mary Magdalen's, Oxford, 171;
St Matthew's, Westminster, 231;
St Paul's Cathedral, 66, 67, 73, 139,
200; St Paul's, Portman Square,
St Paul's, Knightsbridge, 167, 169,
181, 192, 200, 21511, 225, 251;
R.M.'s affection for, 22; R.M.'s
attendance at, 22, 171-2, 174, 175,
190, 192, 196, 207, 219, 223, 238,
243; "Open House" at Vicarage,
176; Eucharist broadcast from,
182; Lent programmes, 195, 221;
choir, 221; "Church Week" ad
dresses at, 237
St Stephen's, Gloucester Rd, 141;
St Stephen's, Rochester Row, 236;
St Thomas', Regent St, 51, 53,
58; Westminster Abbey, 66, 200,
Nonconformist, 21; Whitefield Mem
orial Church, 264
Roman Catholic: Brompton Oratory,
62; Our Lady of Mount Carmel,
Kensington, 118, 122; in Cam
bridge, Mass., 130; St James',
Spanish Place, 130, 243 ; in Varazze,
137; St Mark's, Venice, 252; in
Churchill, Randolph, 197
Churchill, Sir Winston, 196-7
Church in the Markets, The (B. Ifor
Church Times, 29, 42, 46-7, 52, 55,
77, 144, 223, 229, 253
Clapham Sect, the, 108
Clarke, Rev. E. A. L., 82
Clergy, English: R.M.'s acquain
tance among, 22, 51, 147, 255,
259; fasting mass-priests, 89; in
i8th c., 107, 119; in I7th c., 107,
119; in I9th c., in, 119-20;
G. K. Chesterton on, 147; in
Cambridge, 171; "rather prole
tarian", 175; at Butlin's Camp,
205, 208, 210; "earthen vessels",
237, 247; hospital chaplains, 264
Clothes* children's, 40; "Cambridge
dowdiness", 40; oldest, 76; appeal
for, 80; for Middle East, 96; un
Coasts of the Country, The, (ed. C.
Cockin, F. A., Bp of Bristol, 87, 22in
Cocteau, Jean, 25 5n
Coleridge, S. T., 36
Collects, see Prayers: Collects
Collins, Canon L. John, 92, 244
Collins, William, publishers, 144, 219
Commandments, the Ten, 156, 243;
the 7th, 153
Common Prayer, The Book of, 119,
138, 143, 156, 177, 250; of 1552,
39, 235; Exhortations to Holy
Communion, 65 ; American Prayer
Book, 65, 250; and Abp Cranmer,
65, 78, 231, 235; and translations,
795 of 1549, 81, 235, 251; Cate
chism in, 122, 128 ; Wesleyans and,
174; Prayer of Oblation in, 182,
231, 235, 236; revision of 1928,
200-1, 20in; Scottish Prayer Book,
250; of 1662, 25on
Commonweal, The (journal), 35
Community of the Resurrection,
Compton-Burnett, Ivy, 194, 249
Confession, 67, 150, 223; R.M. and,
16, 17, 62, 181, 192, 195
Confidential Clerk, The (T. S. Eliot),
Connolly, Cyril, 125
Constantinople, 23, 154, 156, 159,
Conybeare, family of, 21, 43, 119,
201; clergy, 14, 192-3
Conybeare, Dorothea, 16, 40, 140
Conybeare, Eliza (ne'e Rose), 90, 117
Conybeare, John, Bp of Bristol, 14,
Conybeare, John Bruce, 121
Conybeare, Rev. John J., 193
Conybeare, Rev. J. W. Edward, 192,
Conybeare, Olive, 29
Conybeare, Rev. "W. J., 14, 117, 236
Conybeare, W. James, Provost of
Southwell, 29, 192-3, 201
Cooke, Alistair, 208
Corbet, Richard, Bp of Oxford and
Cornelius a Lapide, 64n, 65
Cornerstone, The (Z. Oldenbourg),
Cornford, Frances (nte Darwin), 14-0
Coronation, of Queen Elizabeth II,
61, 99; wording of Oath, 52;
expense of, 56; preparations for,
66; and Roman Mass, 141
Cosin, Bp John, 60
Cosmology, 212, 213
Coulton, G. G., 132
Cousins (unnamed): R.M.'s, 16, 140,
237; Grace Macaulay's, 117
Coverdale, Miles, 124
Cowley Fathers, see Society of St
John the Evangelist
Cowper, William, 203
Cranmer, Abp Thomas, 33, 65-6,
78, 83, 98, 124-5, 231, 235, 236;
Cranmer (H. Belloc), 78, 80
Crashaw, Richard (A. Warren), 257
Cromwell, Oliver, 82, 83, 164
Cruelty: throughout history, 53, 82,
109; of crusaders, 87; in Africa,
92, no; "in the name of the
Church", 84, 85, 189, 212; during
the Reformation, 125; in I7th c.
England, 188; human beings and,
Crusades, the, 87
Culpan, Norman, 220
Cycling, 33, 190, 192, 198
Cyprus: hymn on, 66, 105; political
situation in (1956), 224
See also Holidays, R.M.'s; Travel,
Daily Express, 133, 142
Daily Telegraph, 130, 229
Daniel, Samuel, 117, 120-5 pass.'
Complete Works in Verse and Prose,
Darwin, family of, 40, no, 140, 143
Darwin, Charles, 142
Darwin, Maud (nie Du Puy), 40, 140
Davey, Rev. L. W., 31
Dawson, Christopher, 57, 103, 107
Death, 59, 65, 66
De Contempts Mundi (Bernard of
Defence of Revealed Religion (J.
Denis, Fr, S.S.F., 263
Derry, Rev. W. R., 203-4
Dialogues of Alfred North Whitehead,
as recorded by L. Price, 182
Dictionaries: CasselTs (Latin), 36,
146; The Oxford Dictionary, 113,
122, 152, 234, 250
Dix, Dom Gregory, 29
Dodd, Rev. C. H., 117
Don, A. C., Dean of Westminster,
Donne, John, 139, 228
Downe House School, 33
Dray ton, Michael, 124
Drugs: penicillin, 112; M. & B., 112
Dryden, John, 81
Duckett, booksellers, 29, 33, 34, 88,
DufF, Lady Juliet, 265
Dunbar, William, 59n, 231
Early Victorian England, ed. G. M.
Eden, Sir Anthony, 244
Edwardian Youth, An (L. E. Jones),
Eisenhower, President Dwight D.,
Eleanor (Mrs H. Ward), 207, 225
Eliot, George, 158
Eliot, T. S., 75, 115, 141, 195, 248;
Symposium for his Seventieth Birth
day, ed. N. Braybrooke, 248
Elizabeth II, H.M. Queen, 56, 158,
197, 246, 263
Elizabethan Recusant Prose (A.
Southern), 80-1, 83
Elliott, Claude, 263n
Ember Weeks, 149
Encyclopaedia Britannica, 170
England, Church of, see Anglican
England in the Seventeenth Century
(M. Ashley), 90
English, the: Protestant bias of, 84;
and colonization of New England,
182; in iyth c., 188; during Civil
English Church from the Accession of
Ceorge I to the End of the Eighteenth
Century, The (J. Overton & F.
Relton), 192, 193
English language: compared to
Latin, 31, 45; changes in, 79; early
Middle English, 86; I5th c., 125
English literature: in Tudor period,
English People on the Eve of Coloniza
tion, The (W. Notestein), 182-3,
English Pulpit Oratory from Andrewes
to Tillotson (W. Fraser Mitchell),
Episcopalians, The (D. D. Addison),
Erasmus, 6 1, 62, 79, 113, 128
Eton College, 14, 167, 229
Eucharist, The: R.M.'s devotion to,
19, 128, 138, 180, 187, 225; R.M.'s
attendance, 19, 43 44, 52, 53, 55,
58, 83, 115, H3, 190, 192, 207,
219, 223, 243, 246, 263, 266; Re
quiem Masses, 30, 31, 48, 76, 79,
119, 179; Midnight Masses, 56,
62, 66, 73, 9i, 92, 132, 133, 137,
1 8 1, 216; for the Epiphany, 71;
R.M.'s prayers at, 75, 211, 236;
R.M.'s daily attendance, 75, 96,
104, 168, 171, 174, 195, 197, 208,
211, 247, 258; evening celebra
tions, 88-9, 200; R.M.'s absence
from, 101 ; as in the Prayer Book,
101, (1549) 251; daily celebration,
101, 106, 208, 232; broadcasts of,
141, 182; noon celebrations, 173;
at Butlin's Camps, 205, 208-9, 210;
televising of, 221
Evangelicals, 108, 187, 198, 213
Evelyn, John, 67, 143
Everlasting Man, Tlie (G. K. Ches
Evidence in Camera (C. Babington
Smith), 244, 258
Except the Lord (J. Cary), 141, I43n
Faber Book of Children's Verse, The,
ed. J. Adam Smith, 128
Faber, Geoffrey, 202
Faith, Christian: approaches to, 16,
1 8, 117, 138, 187; "mystery of",
91; "central point of", 111-12;
R.M. and, 112, 180-1
Faith of the Millions, The (G. Tyrrell),
1 06, 109
Falkland, 2nd Viscount, 1 88
Famagusta, 97, 98-9
Farrar, Straus, & Cudahy, publishers,
Fathers of the Western Churchy The
(R. Payne), 37
Ferguson, family of, 119-20
Festivals: Hallowe'en, 45; New
Year's Eve, 66, 67, 139; Shrove
Tuesday, 9in, 147, 191-2; Oyster
Day, 114; "old St James' Day",
114; St Valentine's Day, 248
Fielding, Henry, 44, 96
Fisher, Geoffrey, Abp of Canterbury,
FitzGerald, Desmond, 46
Five Stages of Greek Religion (G.
Flats, R.M.'s: bombing of Lux-
borough House flat, 18, 107;
at Hinde House, 19, 61 ; untidiness
of, 46, in, 137, 265; fire at, 102,
107, 114; repairs to, 102, 104, 105,
109, in, 114; burglary at, 147-8
Floods, 80, 176
Folly Farm (C. E. M. Joad), 59n,
Four Quartets (T. S. Eliot), 195
Forster, E. M., 18, 142-3, 211, 237
Fountain Overflows, The (R. West),
Foxe, John, 82; "Book of Martyrs n ,
81-2, 8411, 85
R.M.'s: 62, 114, 139, 144, 162, 221,
264; her "beloved companion",
17, 18, 233; Anglicans, 22, 64,
88; her" doctor, 24; young men,
33; ex-pupils of Downe House
School, 33; Roman Catholic,
40-1, 62, 88, 92, 205-6, 252-3;
at Hampstead, 66, 137; givers of
Middle East introductions, 95;
Jewish, 156; novelists, 158; hus
band, wife and mistress, 158;
English friends in Turkey, 159;
Portuguese friend, 163; trusted
friend, 168; circle of near friends,
195; Fellows of King's College,
Cambridge, 202; admirer of E. M.
Forster, 211; lacking television
sets, 222; re-married friend, 230;
religious agnostic, 230; intending
Anglican, 234-5; an old friend,
237-8; suffering from Asian
Fr Johnson's: "younger Ameri
cans", 33; "that Prior", 38;
B , 58, 114-15; Harvard under
graduate, 77-8; "that Father",
137; Roumanian bookseller, 161,
Frost, Bede, 229
Fuller, Thomas, 72, 7311, 123
Fundamentalism, 151, 206
Furneaux Jordan, R., 119-20
Further Journey, The (R. Murray),
Galilee, 93, 96, 101, 102
Gardiner, Rev. H. C., 144
Gasquet, Cardinal, 132
Geology, 212, 213
George V (H. Nicolson), 30
Gibbon, Edward, 196
Glastonbury Romance, A (J. C.
Go-Between, The (L. P. Hartley), 144,
225, 227, 228
God: and men, 77, 181, 214-15;
diversity of influence, 86, 154;
belief in, 142, 1 80; and the "God-
shaped hole", 143; and the uni
verse, 145; wisdom of, 170;
seeking of man by, 215; the
Trinity, 225; separation from, 230;
the Father, 239; Judgment of, 257-8
God-children, R.M.'s, See O'Dono-
van, Mary Anne; and Smith,
Golden Grove, The, (J. Taylor), 67
Golden String, The (B. Griffiths),
Gollancz, Victor, 57-8
Good Behaviour (H. Nicolson), 215
Good Pagan's Failure, The (R.
Gore, Charles, 34, 3 8, 52; Life
(G. L. Prestige), 201
Grace, 59, 236; enlightening, 89-90
Graham, Dr W. (Billy), 120, 149-57
pass., 199; mission to Cambridge,
Great Heresies, Tlie (H. Belloc), 80
Great O's, the, see Liturgies: the
Great Prayer, The (H. Ross William
Great Rebellion, The (C. V. Wedg
wood), 183, 188
Greene, Graham, 94, 123
Gregory I (the Great), Pope, 34,
Gregory XHI, Pope, 87
Griffiths, Rev. Bede, 175-6, 177-8
Grosvenor Chapel, see Churches:
Gunpowder Plot, the, 51, 231
Gunpowder Plot, T7*e (H. Ross
Williamson), 23 2n
Hadrian, Memoirs of (M. Yourcenar),
Hakluyt, Richard, 81, 124-5
Hall, G. N. L., Bp of Chota Nagpur,
3i, 38, 43
Handwriting: R.M/s, 40, 49, 71, 88,
1 1 6, 145; Fr Johnson's, 145
Hanlon, Rev. F., 159
Hanshell, H. D., 7in
Hardy, Thomas, 96
Harris, Rev. D. B., 215, 221, 260
Hartley, L. P., 144, 225, 228, 265
Hearne, Thomas, 193
Heart of Jesus, The (P. N. Waggett),
Heaven, 59, 65, 127, 153
Heliocentric system, belief in, 211-12
Hell, 61, 127; fear of, 59, 63, 65, 66,
Henderson, E. B. (Jock), Bp of
Tewkesbury, 22, 175, 176, 182,
192-200 pass., 210
Herbert, George, 24, 107
Here's a Church Let's Go in (W. J.
Hichens, Jacobine, 30, 32-3, i?2
Hidden Stream, The (R. A. Knox),
Hilton, Walter, 85
Hireling, The (L. P. Hartley), 265
Historic Jesus, The (J. MacKinnon),
History of Christian-Latin Poetry
(F.J. E. Raby), 130
History of the Crusades (S. Runciman),
History of the English Clergy, 1800-
1900 (C. K. Francis Brown), 139
Holidays, R.M.'s: Isle of Wight, 20,
104-10 pass., 165-6; Cyprus and
Middle East (1953), 21, 61, 66, 75,
88, 93-103 paw.; Turkey (1954).
21 ; Black Sea Cruise (i95$)> 23,
266; and religious life, 96; invita
tion to Jamaica, 189; Butlin's Camp
at Skegness, 199, 205, 208-9; plans
for Aegean trip (1956), 224. See
also Travel, R.M. and
Holland, Philemon, 124-5
Hollis, Christopher, 234, 237
Holy Communion: R.M. and, 19,
174, 252, (in hospital) 264; sick
room (Dr Joad), 59, 90; evening,
88; at Easter, 91; refusal of, 94;
"Thanksgiving for" (in 1928
Prayer Book), 20in; God's Judg
ment and, 258
Holy Spirit, The, 90, 104, 170, 180,
Home for the Holidays (W. Peck), 212
Hood, Canon Frederic, 52, 53, 60,
104, 145, 150, 169, 171, 172, 173
Hooker, Richard, 36, 81, 107, 124-5
Huddleston, Rev. T., 222, 244
Hiigel, Baron Friedrich von, 106,
Hugh, St, of Lincoln, 122
Hundred Best Latin Hymns, The,
selected byj. S, Phillimore, 167, 259
Hurricanes (in U.S.A.), 170, 171.
174, 207, 208, 210
Huxley, Aldous, 255, 257
Huxley, Julian, 247, 263
Hymns: on Cyprus, 66; vulgar, 154;
English: "King of Glory, King of
Peace ", 24-5 ; "Disposer Supreme ",
162, 166-7; "Jerusalem the
Golden", 259n; Latin: 152, 259;
the Te Deum, 36; Vexilla Regis
prodeunt, I52n; Pange Lingua, i52n
Ideas and Places (C. Connolly), 125
Iddesleigh, Elizabeth (Countess of),
Idylls of the King (Tennyson), 86
Illnesses: R.M.'s: 18, 21; undulant
fever, 21, 29, 31. 38, 4L 49, 61;
last illness, 24; colds, 40, 41, 54;
influenza, 88, 90, 91, 213, 219, 223,
249, (inoculations against) 257;
pleurisy, 112; in Turkey, 159;
bronchitis, 213, 216, 219; coughs,
219; "fluemonia", 263
Fr Johnson's, 126, 198, 200, 243
i/ Penseroso (J. Milton), 36
Infallible Fallacies, 115-16, 118, 126
Inge, William, 167
Inge, W- R - Dean of St Paul ' s I<5 7
Inquisition, the, 84, 108, 211
Intellectual Aristocracy, The (N.
Intercommunion, 21, 96, 174, 210
Interpretation of the Fourth Gospel, The
(C. H.Dodd), 117
Irish, the, 35, 43-4
Irvine, Rev. Gerard, 51, 53, 58-9,
72-3, 145, 172, 220-1, 247
Irvine, James, 172
Istanbul, 23, 154, 156, 159, 160
James, St, 114, 224
Jane Eyre (C. Bronte), 44
Jenkins, Sir Leoliiie, 42, 47, 48
Jerome, St, 37, 224
Jerusalem, 87, 96, 100-1, 102, 144
Jerusalem Journey (H. F. M. Prescott),
Jews, the, 32, 156, 170, 182
Joad, C. E. M., 41, 42, 45-6, 59, 90,
John, St, 214, 224
John Inglesant (J. H. Shorthouse), 143
Johnson, family of, 17, 209
Johnson, Catharine B. ("Aunt
Johnson, Dr Hewlett, Dean of
Johnson, Rev. John Barham, 203
Johnson, Rev. John Hamilton Cow-
per: cousinship with R.M., 14,
19, 173 ; ministry to R.M. (before
1916), 16-17, 7i> 2 58 ; and Norfolk,
33, 228; ordination, 17; joined
S.S.J.E., 17, 225; transferred to
U.S.A., 17; and his penitents, 17,
37, 47, 75, 139, 150, 167, 236; and
R.M.'s novels, 18 (See also Mac-
aulay, Rose, Books by); tastes, 18;
R.M.'s gratitude to, 19, 49, 129,
131, 133, 139, 154, 157, 169, 183,
2 7 8
204, 210-n, 213, 2i6, 2(56; and
book-binding, 43, 83, 191, 259,
260; and "air papers", 44; as
Latinist, 45, 249; and "little some
thing", 66; R.^/s prayers for, 67;
prayers for R.M., 93, 200, 223;
ancestors, 107, 2^3; his cell, in,
265; and Anglican Church, 113,
128, 129, 131, 139; and poetry, 128,
203; and R.C. Church, 131, 139;
upbringing, 140; birthdays, 157,
158, 199, 224, 265; and other
priests, 173 ; health, 265; and
shortened habit, 265; death, 266n
Johnson, Kenneth Cowper, 94
Johnson, Dr Samuel, 63
Johnson, Rev. William Cowper (Fr
Johnson's father), 89
Johnson, Rev. "William Cowper (Fr
Johnson's grandfather), 203
Jones, David, 195
Jones, L. E., 229
Jonson, Ben, 124
Joseph, St, 214
Julian of Norwich, 85
Justification by Faith, 30
Kempe, Margery, 84
Kensit, John, 25 in
King's Peace, The (C. V. Wedgwood)
Kinross, Lord, 239
Kinsey, A. C., 109
Kirchberger, Clare, 61
Kirk, K. E., Bp of Oxford, i<55n,
Kirk, Peter, 264-5
Knevet, Lady, 81
Knox, Dillwyn, 212, 223
Knox, E. A., Bp of Manchester, 212
Knox, E. V., 64-5, 212, 223
Knox, Mgr R. A., 39, 55-6, 188, 212,
Knox, Rev. Wilfred, 212, 223
Koestler, Arthur, 62
Koran, The, 156
Kyrenia, 98, 99
Lacey, T. A., 15?, ^5
Lacey May, G., 215
Lacordaire, H. D., 132
Lamb, Charles, 36, 40
Lambeth Palace, 56
Lamennais, F. R. de, 151
Langland, William, 85
Larimer, Hugh, 81, 125
Latin in Church (F. Brittain), 221
Latin language, 122, 146, 234; and
1 3th c. women, 86; and English
girls, 86; rhymes, 167
Laud, Abp W., 60, 188-9
"Laurie" (The Towers of Trebizond),
23, 219, 225, 227, 247; sex of, 232;
her prose style, 232; her exper
iences parallel to R.M.'s, 233, 238,
239; eventual return to the Church,
233; C. Hollis on, 237
Law, William, 60, 119, 215; on the
indwelling Christ, 40, 49, 63, 98;
R.M.'s appreciation of, 44, 49, 98 ;
Fr Johnson on, 98; Selected Mystical
Writings (ed. S. Hobhouse), 40;
Pocket William Law (ed. A. W.
Hopkinson), 40, 44, 49, 54, 57
Lawrence, D. H., 257
Lecky, William E. H., in
Leslie, Shane, 132
Letters: between R. M. and Fr
Johnson, 13-14, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22,
23, 71, 9i, 93, 117, 152, 166, 227,
236, 245; R.M/S to Fr Johnson
"not worth preserving", in; Fr
Johnson's "ministry of letters",
between R.M. and Jean Macaulay,
13, 20, 88, 94; writing of, 19, 49,
52, 74-5, 83, 85, 204, 220, 254;
from Coleridge to Lamb, 3611; on
Eleanor Macaulay, 38; from
Roman Catholics to R.M., 47,
48-9, 209; on reactions to Gun
powder Plot, 51; of Erasmus, 61;
to authors on their books, 75, 141,
202-3, 230, 234, 237-8; to The
Times, 92, 206; of J. H. Newman,
103; unanswered, 104, 107, 229,
245, 248, 259; to The Listener,
119-20; of Lord Acton, 132; the
Paston, 155; of St Paul, 182; to
The Tablet, 203, 206, 260; to the
Church Times, 223; to The Ob
Letters to a Friend (R- Macaulay),
Letters to a Layman, see Question of
Anglican Orders, The
Lewis, C. S., 37i 40, 44 237, 239
Ley, David, 168
Liddon House, 2O3n, 204
Life and Epistles of St Paul (W. J.
Conybeare and J. S. Howson),
light: "the Light that lighteth every
man", 20, 32, 49, 71, 93, 99, 109,
152, 187; lights in religious cere
monial, 30, 32, 118; as subject of
prayer, 75, 76, 93, 129, 155, 234;
"of the gods 1 *, 214-15; of the
Gospel of Christ, 233
Listener, The, 119, 145, 146, 153
Lister, Susan, 22, 237
Little Gidding, 60, 119
Liturgies : the Greater Antiphons, 20,
52, 76, 129, 133, 180, 181, 235, 258,
263; Easter Eve ceremonies, 29,
30, 91, 94; the Exultet, 30, 32, 168,
169; Anglican, 42, 47, 48, 130;
"Watch-night services", 66, 67;
development of, 67; Benedictions,
74, 1 80; memorial services, 77, 256;
Vespers, 79, 252; said inaudibly,
91; in Latin, 96; Orthodox, 99,
127; marriage services, 105;
Roman Catholic, 113, 129, 131,
140; funerals, 179, 201; Three
Hours* Service, 198; for Corpus
Christi, 200-1; "Gospels for the
Day", 214; of Church of South
Living Room, The (G. Greene), 94-5,
Lloyd, Canon Roger, 179
Logos, the, 80, 1 88
London Library, the, 57, 106, 109,
in, 120, 155, 157, 162, 165, 190,
London Magazine, The, 247
Long, Gabrielle M. V., 179-80
Longmans, publishers, 147
Lord M (Lord D. Cecil), 203
Lothian, Fr, S.S.F., 237
Lowndes, Mrs Belloc, no
Macaulay, family of, 14, 15-16, 20,
43, 201; clergy, 119; Evangelicals,
198, 213; RJM/s uncles, 265
Macaulay, Aulay, 15, 1 6
Macaulay, Rev. Aulay, 14
Macaulay, Eleanor, 15, 20, 29, 30,
31, 38, 43, 48
Macaulay, George Campbell, 14, 15,
16, 17, 20, 79, 84, 86, 114, 147,
Macaulay, Grace Mary (ne'e Cony
beare), 14, 15, 17, 20, 33, 137, 138,
140, 214, 236
Macaulay, Jean: letters from R.M.
to, 13; birth, 15, 20; childhood,
15, 76, 127; R.M.'s visits to, 20, 54,
56, 62, 66, 132, 137, 181, 216; and
religion, 20, 117; and District
Nursing, 20, 54, 244; awarded
M.B.E., 20; retirement, 20, 244;
holidays with R.M., 20, 104, 107,
165, 166; tastes shared with R.M.,
21, 63; and R.M/s illnesses, 21;
illnesses, 54, 90; overwork, 54, 61;
on new housing estate residents,
66; on Bp of Bristol, 87; and her
"catechumen", 117, 151; reading,
162, 226; eye trouble, 181, 228;
patients, 222; and R.M.'s death,
223 ; finances, 244; advice to R.M.,
Macaulay, Margaret, 14, 18, i27n
Macaulay, Mary, 20, 47, 79
Macaulay, R. H., 15, 167
Macaulay, Rose: death, 13, 24,
266n; happiness of her last years,
13, 49, 211 ; return to Church, 13,
19, 20, 139, 140, 164, 181, 211, 213;
estrangement from Church, 13,
17, 19, 20, 21, 107, 117, 121, 143,
195, 230, 233, 234; and family
relationships, 13, 15, 76; ancestors
(clerical), 14, 107, 119, 132; birth,
14, 20; naming of, 14; cousinship
with Fr Johnson, 14; education,
15, 226; childhood in Italy, 15, 76,
92, 127, 140, 161; shyness, 15, 16;
confirmation, 15; religious educa
tion, 15, 127, 137, 138, 143; at
Great Shelford and Cambridge, 16,
40, 116, 140, 223; at Somerville
College, 16, 140, 250; literary
reputation, 16, 17-18, 194, 220,
249; and 1 7th c., 1 6, 24; and High
Church practice, 16; war work
(1914-18), 17; secret attachment,
17, 23, 158, 233, 238; tastes shared
with Fr Johnson, 18, 211; spiritual
development, 19, 42-3, 49, 128,
1 68, 21 1 ; good health, 21, 49, 55,
99, 101, no, 150, 174, 219, 223,
247, 249, 257; created D.B.E., 23,
263, 265; accidents to, 23, 148,
263-4; in hospital, 23, 264, 265;
and Fr Johnson's prayers, 35, 48,
100, 133; and English language,
45; untidiness, 46, in, 114; con
trition, 49; and state of Grace, 49,
Macaulay, Rose: [contd.]
65, 90; personal relationship to
Fr Johnson, 61, 112, 227, 230, 236,
257; ineptitude as artist, 65; Lent
resolutions, 83, $4, 192; and war,
87; and collective guilt, 87; pass
ports and visas, 93, 95, 101, 147,
149; and sacramentalism, 94;
attachment to possessions, 107;
New Testament study, 117; and
poetry, 128; "nullifidian ", 140;
and "alien worlds ", 146-7; prayers
for Fr Johnson, 67, 158; and proof-
correcting, 1 66, 251; and 'family
history', 167; and meditation, 170;
agnostic reputation, 197; quoted
on television, 209; clubs, 221;
differences in temperament from
Fr Johnson, 230; and spiritual
aridity, 234; finances, 244; and
pronunciation, 246; German ar
ticle on, 249; boyish tastes, 250;
and Anglican death-bed rites, 256;
offered D.B.E., 258-9; tendency
to procrastinate, 259. See also
Confession; Flats; Friends; God
children; Handwriting; Holidays;
Illnesses; Letters; Motor car;
Motoring; Retreats; Swimming;
Books by: novels, 141, 147, 15*. I 9,
220, 250; projected novel, 24, 220,
255, 257, 259, 266; Abbots Verney,
16; And No Man's Wit, 247;
Crewe Train, 17; Dangerous Ages,
17; Keeping up Appearances, 17;
Milton, 18; Orphan Island, 17;
Personal Pleasures, 18, 76
Pleasure of Ruins: writing of, 1 8, 21,
35, 41, 50, 53, 64, 74, 75, 77, 84, 85,
90, 93, 98, 199; proofs of, 102, 104,
105, no; index, 105, in; illustra
tions, 112, 130; publication, 119,
124, 125, 130; apologies for, 119,
146; party for, 125; reviews of,
125-6, 130, 133, 141, 142, 144;
price, 126, 151; jacket, 127; not
published in the U.S.A., 130, 142,
151, I57" sales, 133; readers,
141, 162, 202-3; errata, 144, 166;
sent to Fr Johnson, 157, 160,
Potterism, 17; Some Religious Ele
ments in English Literature, 18; Tliey
Were Defeated, 18, 71, 151, 220;
Told by an Idiot, 17, 198
Towers of Trebizond, The: serious
theme, 13, 227, 232, 239, 247, 255;
"real point of the story", 13, 225;
bearing on R.M.'s past, 13, see also
"Laurie"; publication of, 22,
219-20, 224, 225, 227; dedication,
22; Fr Johnson's opinions of, 22-3,
219, 225, 227, 229, 230, 232, 233,
236; reviews of, 23, 229, 232, 239,
247, 249, 253-4, 266; publication
in U.S., 23, 229, 232, 234, 248;
private appreciations of, 23, 230,
234, 237-8; writing of, 162, 165,
189, 190, 192, 196, 199, 200, 204,
205, 212, 219; favourable reac
tions to, 219, 229, 232, 234;
237, 238-9, 244, 246, 247, 253, 255,
266; unfavourable reactions to,
219, 229-30, 232, 234; title, 219,
229, 234; symbolism in, 219;
proofs of, 224, 225, 227; "the
camel", 225, 232, 234, 247, 255;
"the ape", 225, 232, 234; first-
person narrative of, 227; title-page
epigraph (Dialogues of Mortality),
229, 239; imperfections of 232;
Latin in, 234; "Anglican propa
ganda", 235; sales, 244; readers,
247; reviewers, 247; awarded
James Tait Black prize, 247-8;
best-seller in U.S.A., 255
World my Wilderness, Tlie, 18, 75,
151, 203; Writings of E. M.
Forster, The, 18
Discussions: at St Francis House,
Essays by: "The First Impression of
the Waste Land", 248
Reviews by: 40, 41, 45, 47, 48, 112,
128, 145, 147, 151, 152, 162, 164,
194, 223, 227, 231, 236, 257
Articles by: 182, 220, 257 ("Religious
Writing*), 227; for Tlirones oj
Earth and Heaven, 254; "Satur-
nalia ", 2<5o
Talks by: 204; "Men's "Women and
Women's Men", 44, 5O, 53*,
"Changing Morals", 50, 53, i9
Poetry by: 16, 43, 162; ttDir g e for
Trebizond 1 *, 203; Christmas card
verses, 65n, I27n, 258; Fr Johnson
Macauhy, Rev. S. H., 14, 95, 265
Macaulay, T. B. (Lord), 14
Macaulay, W. H., 202
Macaulay, W. J. C. (WiU), 15
Macaulay, Zachary, 198
McCormick, family of, 193, 201
McCormick, Alison (ne'e Conybeare)
40, 140, 19311
McCormick, Canon J. C., 193
McCormick, J. G., Dean of Man
McCormick, Rev. M. E., 193
MacEoin, Gary, 175-6
MacKinnon, James isyn, 220
Mclaughlin, Rev. P., 50-1, 263
Man on a Donkey, Tlie (H. F. M.
Prescott), 41-2, 47, 55, 62, 71, 74,
Manchester Guardian, 142, 197
Manning, Cardinal, 119
Marcus Aurelius, ill
Margaret, H.R.H. Princess, 238-9,
Marquand, John, 146, 155, 158
Marques, Susan, no
Marsh, Sir Edward, 77
Martin, St, 50
Martindale, Rev. C. C., 29n, 33n,
35, 49, 170
Martyrs, 157; Elizabethan, 73;
Marian, 73, 260; King Charles I,
143. See also John Foxe, Book of
Mary, the Blessed Virgin, 130, 137,
214; Assumption of, 46-7, 79, 86,
101, I78n, 220, 228; Immaculate
Conception of, 58-9, 130, 220;
tomb of, 101; "ait of", 220;
"as sole mediatrix'*, 220
Mary, H.M. Queen, 92
Mary of Bethany, 34, 38-9
Mary St, of Egypt, 250
Mary Magdalene, St, 34, 38-9
Mary Tudor, Queen, 81, 90, 26on
Mass, the Roman, 130, 138; withold-
ing of Chalice at, 77; evening
celebrations, 88, 252; televising
of, 140-1, 221; at Downside
Abbey, 221; R.M.*s attendance
at, 243, 252. For the Anglican
Holy Communion see Euchar
Mathew, Abp David, 35, 38, 56, 86,
120, 121, 126, 132, 191, 212, 215,
Mathew, Rev. Gervase, 56, 120, 121,
126, 191, 215, 224
Matthews, W. R., Dean of St Paul's,
Maugham, "W. Somerset, 256-7
Maycock, Rev. F. H., 104
Maynard, Theodore, 78
Melbourne, Lord: biographies by
Lord David Cecil, 203
Men at Arms (E. Waugh), 30
Meynell, Alice, 165
Middle of the Journey, The (L.
Milman, H. H., Dean of St Paul's,
Milton, John, 36
Mind of the Missal, The (C. C.
Missals, 234; the Roman, 29, 30, 3111,
45n, 48, 84, 201, 211 ; R.M.'s, 46,
160, 1 88 ; Altar Missal at Grosvenor
Chapel ("Cowley Missal"), 58, 76,
77 79 82, 130; Gothic, 76;
English Missal for the Laity, 77;
Peoples' Missal, The (E. A. L.
Clarke), 82; studies of, 170
Mr Weston's Good Wine (T. F.
Modern Adult Fiction for School and
College Libraries (N. Culpan), 220
Monasteries, dissolution of, 60, Si,
Monasticism, 125, 175-6
Month, The (journal), 71-2, 147
Moorhouse, Lt Anthony, 244-5
Morals: changing standards of, 53,
109, 189; codes of, 156, 158; and
More, Henry, 143
More, Sir Thomas, 81, 83, 128
Morley, Rev. R., 159
Morris, A. E., Bp of Monmouth,
Mortimer, Raymond, 47, 108, in,
114, 125-6, 153, 172, 263
Mortimer, R. C., Bp of Exeter, 224
Moslems, 90, 97, 156
Mosques, 90, 97, 99, 159
Motor car, R.M.'s 19, 21, 201;
theft of, 190; repairs to, 190, 193,
Motoring, R.M. and, 21, 199, 209,
243-4, 265; through Oxfordshire,
29; in fog, 55, 145; in snow, 60,
142, 1 89; in Cyprus, 75, 97, 100;
in Isle of Wight, 166; in central
Mowbray, booksellers and publi
shers, 49, 54, 60, 77n, 82, 173
Muir, Edwin, 175
Murray, Gilbert, 176, 179, 21411,
Murray, John, publisher, 16
Murray, Rosalind, see Tony bee,
Murray, Stephen, 256
Musophilus (S. Daniel), 120, 121,
My Host the World (G. Santayana),
Mystery, in religion, 127, 128,
Myths, 147, 187
My Way of Faith (M. D. Petre), 106
Nashe, Thomas, 125
Naught for your Comfort (T. Huddle-
ston), 222, 244
Neale, John Mason, 259
New and Contrite Hearts (A. Pardue),
New Commentary on Holy Scripture-
(C. Gore, H. L. Goudge & A.
Guillaume), 34, 38, 52
Newman, J. H., Cardinal, 72, 81, 103,
119, 211-12; Letters and Corres
pondence (A. Mozley), 103; Life
(Wilfrid Ward), 223; his 'Tract
Newman's Way (S. O'Faolain), 72
New Statesman, 79, 125, 130, 2650
Nicholas, St, 55
Nicolson, Harold, 30, 215
Nicolson, Nigel, 105
Niebuhr, Reinhold, 188
Nonconformist Churches, 21, 86,
Non-jurors, 49, 107, 119, 164
Norms for the Novel (H. C. Gardiner),
North, Sir Thomas, 124-5
Notestein, Wallace, 182-3, 188
Nothing is Quite Enough (G. MacEoin,
Noughts and Crosses (J. Hichens), 30,
32-3, 40-1, 172
Nova et Vetera (G. Tyrrell), 106, 109
Novels, 144; depicting Roman
Catholicism, 106, 251, 254; depict
ing Nonconformity, 143, 254; and
"alien worlds", 146; lack of
tions", 158; American (early 2Oth
c.), 164; for school libraries, 220;
understatement of religious belief
in, 247; survey of contemporary
fiction, 249; non-religious, 251;
depicting Anglicanism, 254; "in
tellectual", 255; and best-seller
Observer, The, 130, I76n, 265
O 'Donovan, Jane, 118, 121-2, 126-7,
129, 130, 132, 137; R. M. holiday
with, 205, 208-9
O'Donovan, Mary Anne, 22, 118-19,
121-2, 126-7, 129, 130, 132, 137;
R.M. holiday with, 199, 205,
O'Faolain, Sean, 72
Oldenbourg, Zoe, 177
Olivier, family of, 43
On the Gods and the World (Sallustius),
One Army Strong? (P. Kirk), 264,
One Poor Scruple (Mrs W. Ward),
Oratory of the Good Shepherd, 223
O Sapientia, see Liturgies: the
Ordeal of Gilbert Pinfold, The (E.
Ordinations, 149, 234n
Orthodox Church, The, 96, 99, 127
Out of the Silent Planet (C. S. Lewis),
37, 40, 44
Overton, J., 192, 193
Ovid, 155-6, 161, 230-1
Oxford American Prayer Book Com
mentary (M. H. Shepherd), 33, 231,
Oxford Apostles (G. Faber), 202
Oxford High School, 15, 226
Oxford Inter-Collegiate Christian
Oxford University, 177, 263 n;
Somerville College, 16, 33, 140,
250; Lady Margaret Hall, 33, 42;
Literary Society, 44, 5; Oriel
College, 72; religious revival in,
171 ; Balliol College, 229; reported
conversions to Moslemism, 255,
256; women undergraduates, 256
Oxfordshire, 29, 44
Paine, Virginia (Mrs Frank C.),
47-8, 57, 58, U4-I5, 163, 164, 166,
Palmer, Rev. R. F., 62, 66
Paphos, 99; Bp of, 99
Pardue, Austin, Bp of Pittsburgh, 195
Parties: for The Living Room, 123;
late, 123-4; for Pleasure of Ruins,
125; given by Fr Caraman 'and
Longmans, 147; given by R.M.,
172-3, 191-2, 195, 221; given by
Bonham Carters for Princess Mar
garet, 238, 245-6; given by The
Patmore, Coventry, 165
Paul, Brother (s.s.j.E. Oblate), 265,
Paul, St, 95, 99, 160, 182, 215, 224
Peck, Winifred (nee Knox), 212
Pedersen, Rev. A. L., 115, 162, 235
P.E.N. International, 228
Period Piece (G. Raverat), 40, 41,
iio-n, 126, 129, 130, 137, 140
Petre, Maud D., 105, 106, 120
Phipps, Rev. Simon, 246, 255
Pius XII, Pope, 178, 220, 239
Platonic Renaissance in England, The
(E. Cassirer), 152
Platonists, Cambridge, 143 n, 152
Plautus, 257, 259, 260
Pleshey, Retreat House at, 22, 23, 210
Pliny, I24n, 126
Poetry: writing o 16, 162; for
children, 128; and prose, 189;
long religious poems, 195. See also
Macaulay, Rose, Poetry by
Point of no Return (J. Marquand),
Pope, the: R.M. on, 62, 172; papal
pronouncements, 178, 206, 221
Popes: health of, 178; if Chinese, 197
Powys, John Cowper, 18, 44, 126,
145, 146, 175, 177, 178, 212
Powys, Theodore F., 126
Prayer, 187; meditation, 170; in
capability of, 234
Prayers: R.M.'s Preces Privatae, 19-20,
45, 75-6, 92-3, 107, I3i, 188, 21 1,
in the Breviary, 30, 48, 84, 131
post-communion, 31, 87-8, 107,
translated into English, 31-2, 35,
44-5, 49, 54, 78, 98n, 201, 202
Latin, 32, 45, 46n, 52, 76, 122,
168, 169, 202
in Fr Johnson's letters, 43, 52, 120,
124, 131, 153, 202, 211, 213
Collects, 54, 55, 62, 75, 84, 93,
146, 149, 152, 155, 160, i62n,
180, 187-8, 201, 202, 234
Secrets, 36, 49, 86, 201
Introits, 44, 45, 76
"for the whole Church", 33;
memorizing of, 84; for the
Sovereign, 97-8 ; Eucharistic, 132,
138, 201, 236; "soppy" devo
tions, 138; "very repetitive",
140; Passion-tide, 152; Prayer
for a Sick Child, 162; for the
dead, 212; Graces (at meals),
251. See also Cranmer, Abp T.
Prescott, H. F. M., 41-2, 71, 74, 75,
Presence, the Real, 67
Price, Lucien, 182
Priestley, J. B., 175, 178
Priests, devotion to, 165, 166
Pritchett, V. S., 79
Protestants: Marian, 73, 81, 83-4,
85; as writers, 80, 81; dissenters,
Protestant Episcopal Church, The,
164, 170, 172; General Convention
Protestant Truth Society, 140
Protestantism, 84, 89, 116, 120, 125;
conversions from, 166; and ap
proach to Faith, 187, 190
Pryce-Jones, Alan, 79, 239
Psalms, The, ill, 143, 147; quota
tions from, 76, 160, 162; Latin and
English Psalter, 107;
Punch, 142, 158
Purchas, Samuel, 81
Purgatory, 59, 127
Puritans, 78, 119, 125, 183, 188, 215
Pusey House, 55, 104, 256
Quakers, 49, 63, 191
Queen, The, 232
Quennell, Peter, 153
Question of Anglican Orders, The (G.
Raby, F. J. E., 13011
RadclnTe College, 235
Raleigh, Sir Walter, 81
Raverat, Gwendolen (nte Darwin),
40, 41, 140
Raymond, John, 125
Recovery of Belief, The (C. E. M.
Joad), 41, 42, 45-6, 4yn, 48
Reformation, the, 52-3, 60, 61, 74,
82, 83, 85, 113, 123, 125, 128;
psychological origins of, 78, 91
Reformation and the Contemplative
Life, The (D. and G. Mathew),
Refugees, 80, 100, 244
Renouncement (A. Meynell), 165
Reserved Sacrament, the, 52n, 92
Retreat Addresses (E. K. Talbot), 173
Retreats: attended by R.M., 17, 22,
24, 210; attended by Fr Johnson,
74, 159, 160, 201, 204, 227
Richardson, Samuel, 96
Rieu, E. V., 85, 117
Roberts, S. C., 26sn
Rolle, Richard, 85
Roman Catholic Church, The, 41,
n<5, 234; and birth control, 37;
and St Mary Magdalene, 39; and
Assumption of the B.V.M., 46-7,
79, 86; election of Cardinals, 56;
R.M. on, 58, 107, 108, in, 113,
115, 128, 139, 163, 195, 209, 221,
252-3 ; and death-bed dispositions,
59; and Reason, 81; "Bible v.
Church" in, 86; and fasting rules,
88, 92 ; and "vague non-Catholics *,
106; and "central point" of Faith,
1 12 ; and anti- Anglican propaganda
115-16, 176; teachings of, 127,
128, 138-9, 220; and Passion-tide,
152; and variety of practice, 205;
"fundamentalism " of, 206; and
modernism, 206; 'enquiry centre*
in London, 253
Roman Catholicism, 118, 125; R.M.
and, 21 ; in the U.S.A., 35; Irish,
35; appeal to the simple, 42, 253;
potential converts to, 56, 120, 122,
129, 221; converts to, 79, 106, 109,
in, 113, 117, i63-4r~i72, 175,
177-8, 192, 203, 205, 206-7, 211,
221, 231, 252-3
Roman Catholics: "refusal to wor
ship with other Christians", 15,
32, 73, 163-4, 221, 253; nuns, 15,
127, 140, 265 ; and other faiths, 41,
73, 163, 190-1, 253, 254; and
Anglicans, 42, 47, 49, 78, 203,
209, 221, 252, 260; in the U.S.A.,
42; and prayers, 43; Jesuits,
51, 64, 65, 72n, 105-6; under
graduates, 55n; Dominicans, 56,
72n; writers, 72, 80-1, 83, 106, no;
historians, 78, 132-3 ; English Recu
sants, 80, 81, 128, 137; and perse
cution of heretics, 81, 82, 84, 85;
priests, 86, 89, 122, 127, 165, 209,
253, 256, 264; R. Murray on, 89;
devotional manuals of, 92; Irish,
175-6; critics of A. Toynbee
history, 179; and "authority", 190,
197; broadminded, 191, 197;
scholarly, 39, 206; "conservative",
220; and indulgences, 253; and
miracles, 253. See also, Letters,
from Roman Catholics to R.M.
Rose, family of, 14, 43, 119-20
Ross, Rev. K. N., 42, 46-7, 228
Ross Williamson, H., 51, 190, 231-2,
Rothley Temple, 153
Royalty: extravagance of, 56, 61;
"royalty- worship ", 92, 158
Rugby School, 14, 15
Ruins, 18; at Rhodes, 64; Bantu, 74;
in Cyprus, 75, 93, 97, 99; mosques,
90; of Salamis (Cyprus), 99; in
Syria, Lebanon and Jordan, 100,
101, 103; at Capernaum, 102;
Greek, 127; R.M/S passion for,
142; Roman, 149; Theodosian
Wall (Istanbul), 156; atTrebizond,
159; Temple of Artemis (Ephesus),
1 60; Quarr Abbey, 166
Runciman, Steven, 87, 149, 263
Ruskin, John, 252
Russell, Bertrand, 117
Rutherford, Samuel, 215
Sackville-West, Edward, 172
Sackville-West, Lionel, 172
Sackville-West, Mrs Lionel, see
St Anne's House, Soho, 51
Saints, the, 44, 45, 49, 130, 139, 224.
Individual saints are indexed by name
Saints and Ourselves, ed. P. Caramon,
Saints in Politics (E. M. House), 108
Santayana, George, 116-17
Scotland under Charles I p. Mathew),
86, 212, 215
"Scriptures, Holy ", 55, 61
Scrolls from the Dead Sea, The (E.
Sermons and addresses: on Corona
tion Oath, 52; at Grosvenor
Chapel, 59, 119, I44 *47 *49; at
Paphos, 99; illiterate, 167; at St
Paul's, Kniglitsbridge, 167, 175,
192, 260; retreat addresses, 173,
210; Lent addresses, 195; Holy-
Week addresses, 196, 226; books
of, 197, 215; "Church Week"
Seven deadly sins, the, 46, 47, 48, 50
Sex: and friendships, 33 ; in marriage,
37; and psycho-analysts, 37; and
Shorthouse, J. H., 143
Sibthorp, Rev. Richard, in
Sidney, Sir Philip, 124-5
Simon, Rev. Ulrich, 57-8
Sin: salvation from, 49; belief in
existence of, 230; and separation
from God, 230
Sitwell, Dame Edith, 259
Smith, A. W., 189
Smith, Rev. C. R., 222
Smith, Emily, 22, 228, 235
Smith, Isadore, 189
Smith, Jean, 164, 172
"Social joys", 32-3, 192, 195
Society for the Promotion of Chris
tian Knowledge, 7in, 76, 79, nsn
Society of St Francis, 237, 239;
friars of (unnamed), 171, 246
Society of St John the Evangelist,
77; St Edward's House, West
minster, 16, 17; in the U.S.A., 17,
164, 173; founding of, 60; Mission
House, Cowley, 116, 140, 171;
mission priests of (unnamed),
116-17, 162; rules of, 130; novices,
South Africa: tension in, no; re
ligion in, no, 189; Anglican
missionaries and, 222-3; Anglican
schools, 223; "treason trials", 244
South India, Church of, 199, 231;
liturgy of, 221
Southern, Alfred, 80-1, 83
Spanish Tudor (H. F. M. Prescott), 90
Spectator, The, 150, 255, 260
Spender, Stephen, 148, 255
Spirit of the Oxford Movement, The
(C. Dawson), 103, 107
Sports and Games: walking, 33;
hockey, 33; tennis, 33; croquet,
153 ; boating, 161, 189; riding, 199,
205, 209; roof-climbing, 250
Sprigge, Sylvia, 142
Stalin, Josef, 90
Stark, Freya, 255
Stephen, Sir Leslie, 141
Stern, Karl, 40
Stevenson, Adlai, 48
Stewart, W. H., Bp of Jerusalem,
Story and the Fable, The (E. Muir),
Stricken Deer, TJie (Lord D. Cecil),
Strikes: newspaper, 196-7; railway,
Studies in Social History, ed. J. H.
Study of History, A (A. Toynbee),
176, 178-9, 182
Study of Lamennais (A. R. Vidler),
Suez, 243, 244
Sunday Times, 45, 46, 47, 48, 73, 108,
126, 130, 175, 182, 215, 258
Swimming (and bathing): R.M/S
passion for, 15, 65; at Varazze, 15;
at Grantchester, 33; in Cyprus,
75, 99, 1 oo ; in Lake of Galilee, 102 ;
in Isle of Wight, 107, 165, 166; in
the Black Sea, 149, 155, 160; in
the Thames, 168; in warm sea,
189; at Skegness, 199, 205, 209;
diving, 199; in the Serpentine, 207
Swinburne, Algernon, no
Sykes, Christopher, in
Symonds, John Addington, 162-3
Tablet, The, 32, 95, 190-1, 199, 203,
206, 234, 237, 260
Talbot, Rev. E. K., 173
Taylor, Jeremy, 60, 67, 107
Television: 140-1, 205, 209, 221-2
Temple, Abp William, 61, 73 ; works
of, 1 06
Tennyson, Lord, 84n, 86n
Theology (journal), 221
Thomas a Kempis, 85
Thomas Aquinas, St, 177, 220
Thomas Becket, St, 225
Thrones of Earth and Heaven, The
(R. Beny), 254-5
Time (journal), 253
Times, The, 92, 130, 194, 206, 256
Times Literary Supplement, The, 79,
145, 162, 194, 203, 223, 227-8, 231,^
236; review of The Towers of
Trebizond, 23, 239
Tomis, I55n, 156, i<5i
Tom Jones (H. Fielding), 96
Tortosa, 100, 103
To the Lighthouse (V. Woolf), 141
Toynbee, Arnold, 176, 178-9, 182
Toynbee, Philip, 176
Toynbee, Rosalind, 89, 256
Tractarians, 89n, 108, 164, 202, 260
Travel, R. M. and: by air, 95, 97,
101, 103, 156; in Cyprus, 97, 98-9,
100; in Lebanon, 100; in Syria,
100 ; in Jordan, 100, 101, 102; in
Israel, 101, 102, 103; reactions to
Middle East, 103; in the U.S.S.R.
(attempted), 147, 148-9* 150; in
the U.S.A., 148-9; in Turkey, 159-
60, 161, 176; enthusiasm for, 150;
expenses, 150. See also Holidays,
'Treacle wells", 113, 190
Trebizond, 23, 159, 160, 219
Trevelyan, family of, 14
Trevelyan, G. M., 167
Trilling, Lionel, 146
Troy, 160, 230-1
Tulliver, Maggie" (The Mill on the
Turks, 149, I59~6o
Tutin, Dorothy, 123
Two Studies in Virtue (C. Sykes), III
Tyndale, William, 83, 124-5
Tyrrell, Rev. George, 109, 120, 197;
works of, 105, 106, 149; Auto
biography and Life (M. D. Petre),
Understanding Europe (C. Dawson),
Underhill, Evelyn, 210
United Nations, 100, 101
Unity, of the Churches: Christian
Unity week, 73 : Bp of Bristol on,
University College Hospital, 264
Varazze, 15, 76, 118, 137, 226; con
vent school at, 15, 92, 127
Vaughan, C. J., Dean of LlandafT,
Vaughan, Canon Edward, i63n
Vaughan, Henry, 76
Vaux of Harrow den (C. Anstruther),
Venice, 23, 24, 248, 252
Vesuvius, Mt, 126
Via Media of the Anglican Church, The
(J. H. Newman), 211-12
Victorian Boyhood, A (L. E. Jones),
Victorian England (G. M. Young),
Vidler, Rev. A. R., 151*1
View-Review (journal), 71
Viper of Milan, The (M. Bowen), 180
Virgin Mary, The (G. Miegge), 220
Vision of Cod, The (K. E. Kirk), 165
Visits, by R.M. : to Oxford, 29, 44,
50; to Dorset (Long Crichel
House), in, 112, 114, 171-2, 263;
to Mottisfont Abbey, 153; to
Cambridge, 202, 237, 238; to
Worcestershire, 208; to Nashdom
See also Holidays, R.M.'s and
Macaulay, Jean, R.M.'s visits to
Von Hiigel, Baron, see Hiigel,
Baron Friedrich von
W. G. Ward and the Oxford Move
ment (W. Ward), 112-13
Waggett, Rev. P. N., 16, 116, 226
Walled Garden, The (H. Ross
Williamson), 231, 236
Ward, Mrs Humphry, 207, 225
Ward, Maisie, 72n, inn, 120
Ward, W. G., 112-13, I20n
Ward, Wilfrid, 1 12, 120, 223
Ward, Mrs Wilfrid, no
Warren, Austin, 257
Waugh, Evelyn, 30, 197, 234, 255
Wedgwood, C. V., 183, 188
Weidenfeld, George, 149, 151- J 52
Weidenfeld & Nicolson, publishers,
112, 125, 133, 142, 144, 147, I49
Weil, Simone, 35
Wells, H. G., 168
Wesley, Charles, 180
Wesley, John, 180
West, Rebecca, 255
Westcott, B. F., Bp of Durham, 83
Whitehead, Alfred North, 182
Why 1 am not a Roman Catholic (K. N.
Ross), 42, 46, 47
Wight, Isle of, 20, 104-10 pass., 165-6
Wilfrid Wards and the Transition, The
(M. Ward), in, 112, 117, 120
Wilkins, Bp John, 72, 7311
Willetts, Nancy, 20, 21, 62, 165
William IV, King, 61
Williams, Charles, 71
Williams, Rev. G. Mercer, 10, 39
Wilson, Edmund, 213-14
Wings of an Eagle, edited by G. Lacey
Wood, Rev. Cecil, 173
Woodworth, Harriet, 228
Woolf, Virginia, 141, 142-3, 249
Words, their derivations, meanings,
usage and pronunciation: advers
ities, 202; *alm3h, 37; almighty,
155; already, 62; cantaloup, 113;
commercium, 35-6, 43, 45, 46, 48;
convalescant, 187; Cowley, 231;
Cowper, 231; digno, 77; 'divine
working', 54; down, 231; eirenic,
176; Ember days, 234; errantibus,
155; excita, 54; exsequentes, 54;
fulc, 231; grievous, 150; halibut,
45; hallows, 45; how, 231; howl,
231; in nomine, 52; "Marry come
up", 250; Mass, 206, 250-1;
monstrous, 98; mysterium, 77;
myth, 187; "Norman", 121,
122-3, 125; novimus, 32; obsequies,
152-3; owl, 231; pagan, 246-7;
paganism, 89 ; percipiant, 54; Petre,
105; Pravoslavni, I27n; proficiat,
146, 149; "prP se "' 150;
Protestant, 52; purpose, 167;
rationabilia, 52, 81; remedies, 54;
Roman Catholic, 206-7; sanctifica-
tionibus, 87-8; undo, 38; very,
201-2; wolf, 231
Words of the Missal, The (C. C.
Martindale), 29, 33, 34, 35-6, 49-50
World of Love, A (E. Bowen), 194
Worship (journal), 88, 89, 92
Worthies of England, The (T. Fuller),
Wrestling Jacob (M. Bowen), 180
Wright, Rev. Charles, 121-2, 132,
Writer's Diary, A (V. Woolf), 141
Young, G. M., 194-5, 19<5
Young Mr Newman (M. Ward), 72
Zosimus, Pope, 170
Dame Rose Macaulay
R.OSE MACAULAY, who died in 1958, was born in England in
1 88 1. During much of her childhood she lived with her
parents and five brothers and sisters in Italy. Her father, G. C.
Macaulay, who lectured in English literature at Cambridge
University, was the first in generations of his family not to
become a member of the clergy. Miss Macaulay herself grew
away from the Anglican Church in her middle years, but in
later life, through her correspondence with Father Johnson,
returned to the Church's sacraments. After her first novel
Abbots Verney was published in 1906, she produced over the
next forty years a succession of novels, verse, essays and
criticism. Her last book, a satirical novel, was The Towers of
Trebizoncl, published in 1956. In 1951 Cambridge University
bestowed upon her an honorary Litt.D. and in 1958 she was
created Dame Commander of the British Empire.
A cousin of Rose Macaulay, CONSTANCE BABINGTON-SMITH
is the author of Evidence in Camera and Testing Time. She was
born in 1912, and joined the W\ A.A.F. in 1940. For her work
as a photographic interpreter during the war, she was
awarded the Medal of the British Empire and the American
Legion of Merit (the first time this had been awarded to a
British woman). After the war she stayed on in the United
States, but now lives again in England.
who died in 1958, was born in England in
1881. During much of her childhood she lived
with her parents and five brothers and sisters
in Italy. Her father, G. C. Macaulay, who
lectured in English literature at Cambridge
University, was the first in generations of his
family not to become a member of the clergy.
Miss Macaulay herself grew away from the
Anglican Church in her middle years, but in
later life, through her correspondence with
Father Johnson, returned to the church's sac
raments. After her first novel, Abbots Verney,
was published in 1906, she produced over the
next forty years a succession of novels, verse,
essays and criticism. Her last book, a satirical
novel, was The Towers of Trebizond, pub
lished in 1956. In 1951 Cambridge University
bestowed upon her an honorary Litt.D. and
in 1958 she was created Dame Commander
of the British Empire.
Constance BaUngton- Smith
A cousin of ROSE MACAULAY, Constance
Babington-Smith is the author of Evidence in
Camera and Testing Times. She was born in
1912, and joined the W.A.A.E in 1940. For
her work as a photographic interpreter during
the war, she was awarded the Medal of the
British Empire and the American Legion of
Merit (the first time this had been awarded
to a British woman). After the war she stayed
on in the United States, but now lives again