1 February 1920

St Hilda’s Hall,



                My dear Mother,

Many thanks for your letter and parcel, and for your letter this morning.  I am glad Peggy has got another job – is it on the same lines as the first?  Has she no other ideas?  Please thank her very much for taking so much trouble over my dress, or if you let me have her address, I will write and thank her myself.

I am very sorry you had so much trouble over Aunt Ethel.  I hope she wont have a relapse after the excitement of Uncle Cyril’s coming.

We have had quite a full week.  A perfectly delightful American theological professor from Yale is expounding at Manchester College, with weekly public lectures, to which we are going.

My W.E.A. Study Circle was a great success last week.  Four men turned up beside Mr Jones, all very keen and intelligent, so we had quite an interesting discussion.  Miss Butler is going to open our next meeting.  She is a Home Students1 don and member of the Oxford City Education Committee, so I hope it will be a good discussion.  I feel rather nervous about it, as Mr Jones cannot come, so I shall have to take command of the situation.  Cicely Thompson is now a member of the circle.

On Thursday we got tickets for the Union, Evelyn, Joyce, and I. The motion was “that Ireland has herself frustrated the efforts of the government to deal with the Irish problem”.  The first speaker was rather boyish.  The second was a perfectly fascinating little Irishman, with an adorable accent and manner of speaking, a hot Sinn Feiner.  He claimed the status of belligerents for Irishmen, protested against being treated as a criminal, and declared that England had made war on Ireland from the beginning.  His speech was mostly made up of witty paradoxes and epigrams, with little connected argument, but was delightful hearing.  He said Sinn Fein was a platitude – merely meaning patriotism!  The third speaker was an Ulsterman, but spoke very well, and caused a sensation by claiming that Ulster had a continuous and aggressive nationality for 2,500 years!

On Friday the First Year gave a play – based on a parody of L.T. Meade.  Quite effective, and very funny, though not as good as their Freshers’ play last term.

We Schools’ people are going to have a punt of our own next term.  We find we can hire one for about 6/- each – there are 16 of us – through the Co-op.

Please give my love to Daddie and Max.  I had tea with Doris this afternoon.

Your loving daughter,


1The Home Students became eventually St Anne’s College.

The next letter will be posted on 8 February 2017.