St Hilda’s Hall,
My dear Mother,
Thank you very much for your letter and the cake, and the enclosed note. The cake was much appreciated by Gerry, Isabel and I, who had on it a cocoa which lasted into the “wee sma’ hours” this morning. They had just returned from seeing “The Title” at Somerville or rather St Mary Hall1, and I went in to hear all about it. They were delighted with the play, and said that it was extremely well done. I didn’t go because I decided I didn’t want to see women students instead of Aubry Smith and Eva Moore – and Martin Lewis.
I could not get your parcel posted after all till yesterday. Thursday was early closing and on Friday it poured and poured. However I hope it will arrive on Monday in time for the wash. I shall not want any of the things back again except the stockings.
Yes, I shall be coming down tomorrow week – Monday 17th – by a morning train. I have just sent Dr Williams’ Library a list of books to ask how many they have, so as not to bring any down unnecessarily. What I shall do for my foreign period, I can’t think. I expect I shall have to tackle the British Museum, for nearly all the books I want are in French. I can’t have Miss Coate, I understand from Miss Levett, so she has written to a Mr Cruttwell who is coming up next term and who has “original ideas”, which sounds promising, if not very reliable!
My friend Mr Cohen improves on acquaintance. Do you know that little man had £200 a year in schols! These men! If Max turns up his nose at Arts he will be sacrificing an awful lot. He could easily pay his way here. Mr Cohen is at Wadham, Reggie’s quondam home. By the way, I am so glad Reggie is as near as Bedford Hill I shall look forward to seeing him this vac., and wish I could come home to tea today.
The river is in a most provoking humour. It refuses to go down. I haven’t yet been in a punt, and don’t see much possibility of it this term. It does nothing but rain and rain! However we still row, and this week Best will have the Eight in his mind. This week also are Torpids and the B. is applying to the Council for tickets for one of the college barges – or “houseboats”, as the Daily Sketch prefers to call them!
My cold is almost gone, save for a peculiar headache that recurs now and then. It was that and the vile weather that made me stay in bed last Wednesday. My cold was only in my head. I had not the least sign of a cough. I am now doing the headache with china2. I think the weather and “Artesse” 3 are responsible for most of it. Those anthracite stoves are wicked to work with, and I have deserted the Rad of late for our own library, which recent regulations have made quite tenable.
I hope Daddie is really better after his gallivanting on the South Coast. I expect it meant a little more rest for you, also, to have only the kid to look after. Poor old Ted. I am glad he is getting well. I always thought Wilburn looked a little delicate.
My best love to Daddie and Max. I am looking forward to getting home to you both, and the boys. I am a little tired of exclusively feminine society, though I must say it hasn’t been quite unalleviated this term!
Your loving daughter,
1St Mary Hall, part of Oriel College but for a short time it housed Somerville Students.
2China is a homeopathic remedy also known as “Cinchona officinalis” or “China officinalis “.
3Artesse – A solid fuel stove of the period that burned anthracite.
The next letter will be posted on 27 April 2016