St Hilda’s Hall,
My dear Mother,
Thank you very much indeed for your parcel, which arrived on Friday, and also for your letter of this morning. Thank you also for forwarding Marguerite’s post-card and Auntie Lucy’s letter. I will write to Marguerite and to Jean. I read the E. W. Wilcox1 article. It made me howl! What a fool the woman is!
To-day I have been to tea with Mrs Moore, and quite enjoyed myself. I like Mr Moore very much, and Mrs Moore also. There was a very pretty woman there, a Miss Scott, evidently a habituée, and a charming young married woman with a little girl of about two who was perfectly sweet! Joan Ackland2 is stopping here for the week-end. She was the girl who was up with me for Schol. and then went down in about the third week of our first term. She spent the first part of the afternoon in my room and we had a jolly chat.
Last night we had our first dancing night – great fun. We all tried to fox-trot, hesitation3, etc. but as none of us really knew anything about it you can imagine the effect! However I succeeded in reversing with Isabel, which is quite a triumph.
Joyce Tomlin has got engaged, and is going down at the end of the year. Ella Hallam has also got engaged – to a Mr Hogge ! – and is making frantic efforts to get married before the arrival of her people, who are on the way home! This is not the man she was engaged to before, so all sorts of things are being said, and the B., through whom the information comes, is much distressed. I would really like to know the rights of it.
On Friday evening the C.U. had a freshers’ social. We ate and drank and played mad games. We played Oranges and Lemons, with Joan Curzon and me as the bridge!
My best love to Daddie and Max.
Your loving daughter
1E W Wilcox – Ella Wheeler Wilcox, 1850 – 1919, writer of highly sentimental poetry and novels.
2Joan Ackland: there were all sorts of reasons in the early days for women students at Oxford to leave and later return, sometimes for health, but often for domestic or financial reasons; a daughter would need to bow out of her academic course to care for sick parents or allow sufficient finance for a brother to continue with his academic career.
3‘Hesitation’ would refer to the hesitation waltz.
The next letter will be posted on 2 February 2016.