24 November 1918

St. Hilda’s Hall

Oxford

24.11.18

                My dear Mother

Many thanks for your two letters, the enclosure, and the parcel, which arrived by the second post on Friday, about 4.30p.m.  I was very glad to see the note but am positively afraid to break into it.  The cake is delicious.  Many thanks for the marmalade – but are you short at home?  I still have one unopened pot besides which I could make do till the end of term.  If you are short, write and tell me, and I will bring one of them home with me unopened.

I will send you some washing tomorrow – but I only require the stockings again up here.  Could you send me a pair of pyjamas as soon as possible – also a little sugar, if you can spare it, also “The Throne of David”, which I think is in the cupboard in my room.  Paddy is doing the Books of Samuel for Divvers1, and would like to read it as relevant to the subject.  I am very pleased with my new washerwoman.  She is good, quick, and cheap.  She charged me 7½d for a camisole, knickers, handkerchieves and towel the other day.  The laundry still keeps things for a fortnight.

I am very sorry Daddie is out of a job!2  He will have to take up golf!  Perhaps he will cultivate the acquaintance of his family a bit now.  I am looking forward to the vac.  It seems to me we might begin to enjoy ourselves as a family once more.  I shall have “masses” of work – as Jacynth says – to do in the vac!  Never mind, G. Bobs said my last essay was relevant – highest praise! – and well put in the first part, and he only wanted to make me consider the last part from a different point of view.  He is a ripping man.  The Levett also said at my last coaching that my essays were always to the point!  I am fearfully busy just at present.  Two essays a week and divvers is no joke!  Twice this week I have done over 10 hrs’  work – and that not late at night either.  I seldom do more than an hour’s work after dinner, and have a passion for going to bed early.

Doris Coleman spent the evening here on Friday, and I asked Joyce, Bronwen, and Isabel to meet her.  We made quite a jolly party.  I went to tea with her last Sunday.  Hutch is coming to tea with me on Thursday, and Joan is also coming, because they met at the Pensions.

The B. is going down at the end of this academic year – to make a home for Mrs B.  We are all very sick about it, and only wish she would take the Bursar with her, as the latter is getting on the nerves of all of us.  It will be hateful if we have a stranger planted on us, and none of us history people want to see our tutor transformed into Principal.  The Levett is, of course, Vice-Principal – also editor of the “Athenaeum”, I have discovered.

We nearly got introduced to the poet laureate3 the other day.  He came to see G. Bobs in the middle of our coaching the other day, and he said he wanted to bring him in to discourse to us on Prussia.  He called him an “original and entertaining man”.  I am so glad I know!  I shouldn’t have thought it from his poetry!

My dearest love to Daddie and the boy.  Please give my love also the Mrs Faulkner and the children.

Your loving daughter,

Margot.

P.S.  Please will you send me some silk to thread my brown beads on, because they have busted!

 

1Divvers – University Divinity exams all students had to take.

2It sounds very serious that Margot’s father is out of a job and the letter contain no clear sign of him working again, though Margot’s brother was still just a schoolboy.  The family story is that he left Sharwoods’s on a matter of principal, that their label contained false information, and that that was why Mrs Collinson was left with absolutely no pension on his death.

3The poet laureate was at this time Robert Bridges.

The next letter will be posted on1 December 2015.

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