Enclosure – Letter to RG and LR from Karl Goldschmidt


11a. Cosway Street
Marylebone Rd.
N. W. 1.
Oct. 15. 1938
Dearest Laura & Robert,
We were so glad to hear from you: we needed your letter very much. This passport withdrawal about which you write: I have had no idea that this was on the programme again: your mentioning it is the first I heard about it. We had something of a self-denial week last week: due to the purchase of two deck-chairs as the floor was getting too cold to sit on when we have ×××× [crossed out] friends[KG]; so I haven't had a paper every day & I ×××× [crossed out] must have missed it. I don't think it is anything too[KG] worry much about: unless it is one little item in Mr Chamberlain's game of understanding Hitlers racial policy: which I do & cannot believe. In that case, of course, it would be only too legal to get rid of all the refugees, lock, stock & barrel, with the excuse of their not possessing legal papers. Otherwise it simply means my not being able to travel, which for financial & other reasons I never have considered. I shall soon know what is going to happen. Harold will have to apply for extension of my permission to the Home-Office on Monday. My time is up on the 8th of November. I am hoping for the best & not worrying & I hope you won't either. I shall not fail to tell you of any developments that might arise. Schwarz's position is definitely something to worry about: do let me know of whatever you hear.
So glad to hear that Dorothy is starting work so quickly & under such good auspices. Please give her our love
& tell her that we think often of her & that we hope work will be good & satisfying.
The Deyá letter upset me very much but I would not have missed it for anything in the world. Poor, poor Solomon1 & poor poor Can Torrent & everything & everybody. Some people will have to suffer for causing so much suffering. I have no words to express my feelings, but I have never felt so near to you, Laura and Robert, than when I read these letters. May God bless you: meaning what it doesn't mean. This is one further step toward the ultimate rightness of things: I believe we are very near it now. Nearer than ever.
(By the way, I read George Bernamo's book: it is not only an apologia for Catholicism ×××× but a queer apologia for French royalism of such an exclusive kind that G.B. denies everybody the right to call himself a royalist except himself. Though he does not give any reason for this extraordinary attitude. I read the book mainly because from the photo on the wrapper I remembered him very well, & due to a nostalgic feeling that produced. You know him: he is the thick-set Frenchman of pallid complexion, startling blue eyes, untidy grey-black hair & moustache with a game leg, who used to sit scribbling & holding court at any time of day in the Alhambra & Borne. There is little good in his book.)
I feel strongly the Germany jokes were something more than only bad taste. I apologize. I would not have sent them now. Thanks for making me feel easier about them. I cannot tell you how thinking of you helped us to get over those dark days. I was surprised at myself & felt almost ashamed for having faith where other people were so poor
×××× [smudge] cursed my inarticulateness which prevented me from spreading it & helping. No, I have no fear of any ultimate consequences.
I first heard of Margaret's leaving Norman from Harry & Alix whom we ×××× [indecipherable] invited[KG] for coffee one evening last week. I had not seen Margaret for over a month though Marie saw her frequently until she found a room. A day or so later she looked Marie up. According to Marie she does not think that the Himpem's job is suitable as she is looking for a job where she has maids under her. I fear Margaret avoids me very carefully. ×××× [indecipherable] I beg you not to mention this to her as it might in the end prevent her from seeing Marie as well & then she Margaret [KG] would have nobody here at all. It all comes from my saying that you had written to me, telling me to[KG] try to help her work out the problem of going to France. She felt that she had been 'discussed'. ×××× [illegible] I am very sorry it happened, though I cannot see that my doing so was very wrong. Margaret is very difficult to help. She suffers from spasms of self-poisoning as I used to: so I think that for the moment I cannot do anything except try to help her through Marie. I am sorry if it messed everything up. Besides there may be nothing in this theory of mine. Only she does never come when she would find me at home. I suppose she will have written to you by now. I am very sorry for both Norman & Margaret.

About Harold: I don't know: I wish to think there was hope. But he ×××× so hopelessly entangled in this Buddhist tomfoolery. Maybe it will pass.
I read the Times Lit. Sup. Review & by God, I was angry! On the other hand I don't see what else they could have done: as every any[KG] attempt at decency would be out of keeping with this paper's present ×××× [illegible] policy. It is disgusting. Harold told me about Humbert Wolfe2.
Dear Eric: I thought of him & Ldenka often during these days. How splendid of them to carry on the good work.
Thanks for the cat names: yes, we did find one, though time must show whether it is a good one as it has not yet sunk in. We called her SOETKIN: after Till ULENSPIEGEL'S mother in Cosher's Flemish opera. She was a good woman: that's all. And we just hope our Soetkin will be a good cat. She has made for much smoothness of life: as cats will have it so & we love her very much and are grateful to her. She sends greetings & puts her soft little pads against your face & says: "Who are you?"
Marie has something of a job since about two weeks ago. She takes Sally, Olive's daughter to school every morning & collects her in the afternoons. And there is another person who has her place cleaned by her once a week. A very Alma-Squarish place, Marie says & likes doing it the better for it.
When is THE WORLD & OURSELVES coming out: Marshall Simpkin, the retailers, asked the other day:
Marie says will I answer her letter & give her love & say thank you & to understand that pens are difficult things to give love with but saying so less so. And that she likes Sally & taking her but is still looking for something less ×××× & more substantial.
We had dinner at Ethel's on Thursday & Nancy3 was there too. We had some very wholesome talk till very late. We are looking forward to having them here soon.
To Robert's letter: Yes, everything shall be done on Monday & I shall let you know as soon as things happen. (I often have the feeling that I have known T.E. intimately. Not that I care for the feeling. Do you think he is dead enough, or not yet?)
I suppose it is a good thing my being here: though not good enough: missing you so often. I am looking forward to the proof copy. And best wishes on publication.
And, dear Laura & Robert, how sorry we are about David. It is horrifyingly, shockingly wicked of the boy. We do sympathize [sic: symphatize] so much. I think we saw this smouldering in him ever since he returned from Italy. And sorry for David too. It is so difficult to be young & still more difficult to bear it gracefully. Luckily he can't escape getting older &, I am sure, more graceful.
Nice that Jenny is getting on. The son of Jenny's director in Liverpool is a good customer of ours. Harold told him about Jenny & he is going to ask his father to keep an
eye on her in the way of interest.
I had supper with a Daily Herald man whom you know: Roger Pippit. I rather liked him as he was so sweet to his wife & because he is so fed up with Fleet Street4. He lives in a basement on top of which lives Louis McNeice. He said that the neighbouringness made him lose his respect for him as a manas well[KG] after he lost it for him as a poet.
This all for today. Special love for Alan, Beryl, Dorothy & David & the lovingest love from the both of us to the each of you & all
Kincaid's book5 to follow as soon as possible. Is D.K. the chap who sent you poetry from India? I hope not as D.K. died recently. The book is supposed to be good. It was almost my job to choose the illustrations but house-hunting after having not found anything after a strenuous fortnight made me refuse. I found our new place exactly the time when I should have been in the British Museum.

Editorial Notes

1RG's bulldog. eds
2English poet who reviewed LR's Collected Poems for the Observer , see Friedmann 319. eds.
3Nicholson? eds.
4London eds.
5 British Social Life in India by Dennis Kincaid. London: George Routledge & Sons, Ltd., 1938. see 1 December, 1938 eds.

Hands Referenced

    • Annotation: ink correction of BG tss
    • Character: schooled
    • Ink: red
    • Annotation: ink correction of letter enclosure
    • Character: regular
    • Ink: black

Places Mentioned

  • Can Torrent

    Deyá, Majorca, Sp
    House next to Canellun also belonging to LR & RG. Built by Norman Cameron. WG
  • Deyá

    Deyá, Majorca, Sp
    Town located on the northwest coast of Majorca, on the hillside between the Teix Mountains and the sea: this was RG's home with Laura Riding from 1929 to 1936. He returned there with his family after WW II. Eds.
  • Alhambra

    Palma, Majorca, Sp
    One of the best Palma hotels. WG
  • Alma Square

    London, Westminster, England
    Between Maida Vale and Abbey Road; R.G. & L.R. lived there in the winter of 1937. eds
  • Liverpool

    Liverpool, England

People Mentioned

  • David

    Graves, David
    R.G.'s second child [by Nancy Nicholson]. W.G. In RAF; killed in the war. The only one of Graves' children who might have become a poet had he lived. K.G., eds.
  • Hitler

    Hitler, Adolf
    (1889-1945)
  • Jenny

    Nicholson, Jenny
    Jenny Nicholson: oldest daughter of Robert by Nancy Nicholson.
  • Alan

    Hodge, Alan
    Oxford history graduate. Became close friends with LR & RG. First husband of Beryl Graves. CP & WG
  • Laura

    Riding,Laura
    (1901-91) American poet. Laura Riding (née Reichenthal; then Laura Gottschalk).
  • David Reeves

    Reeves, David
    Brother of James Reeves [and Ethel Herdman] RPG 292.
  • Dorothy

    Simmons, Dorothy
    Sculptor associated with the Graves-Riding inner circle (1938-39). Married to Montague Simmons. eds
  • Margaret

    Russell, Margaret
    House-keeper L.R. & R.G. had had in London. WG
  • T.E.

    Lawrence, T. E.
    'Lawrence of Arabia.' Met Robert in Oxford in the early twenties. Made Robert his biographer and had him write "Lawrence and the Arabs." WG
  • Beryl

    Pritchard, Beryl
    daughter of Harry and Amy Pritchard, R.G.'s second wife. Formerly married to Alan Hodge. Robert and Beryl had four children: William, Lucia, Juan and Tomas. eds
  • Harry Kemp

    Kemp, Harry
    Poet. Met Graves and Riding through James Reeves in August 1936, just after their arrival in England. In their previous correspondence, Riding had been intrigued by his falling-out with Communism. He became associated with their circle, collaborating on various projects. (RPG 248-49)
  • Karl/Carl

    Goldschmidt, Karl
    Karl Goldschmidt, later Kenneth Gay: Graphic artist, friend and secretary of Robert Graves and Laura Riding since 1934. R. G. spells both as Carl and Karl.
  • Swartz

    Schwarz, Georg
    German Jew. Deyá neighbour. Antique dealer. Lived with Frau Emmy Strenge, his house keeper, in Can Caballo some hundred yards from Canellun. RG and LR translated his "Almost Forgotten Germany." WG
  • Robert

    Graves, Robert
    [1st person]. (1895-1985). Poet, novelist, essayist, critic, and author of his diary. eds.
  • Chamberlain

    Chamberlain, Neville
    (1869-1940) British Prime Minister in the 1930s; m. to Anne Chamberlain née Cole eds.
  • Harold Edwards

    Edwards, Harold
    Antiquarian bookseller & British Buddhist; bookshop at 4, Cecil Court off Charing X Rd. K.G.; wife Olive née Wallis and baby girl Sally. Karl Goldschmidt's employer in 1938. eds.
  • Norman Cameron

    Cameron, Norman
    Poet. Built Can Torrent in 1932-1933. W.G.; m. to Elfriede, then to Catherine Vandervelde; friend and contributor to LR and RG's work eds.
  • Alix Kemp

    Kemp, Alix
    Married to poet Harry Kemp. The couple shared a house with Graves and Riding in Ewhurst, Surrey (1937). eds (RPG 277); also referred to as Frau Eierman by RG eds. see Diary August 30, 1936
  • Marie

    Goldschmidt, Marie
    Karl Goldschmidt's first wife. RPG 280-81. The couple met when Marie was employed as domestic help at Ewhurst (summer 1937). eds.
  • Tattersall

    Tattersall, Eric
    RG met on board the HMS Grenville eds. see Diary August 3 & 5, 1936
  • Sally

    Edwards, Sally
    daughter of Harold and Olive Edwards KG
  • Olive

    Edwards, Olive
    married to Harold Edwards KG
  • Ethel

    Reeves, Ethel
    Sister of James Reeves. AMG 317.
  • Louis MacNeice

    MacNeice, Louis
    Irish poet (1907-1963). eds.
  • Kincaid

    Kincaid, Dennis
    author (1905-37) eds.
  • Goldschmidt, Karl
    Karl Goldschmidt, d.1995, who later changed his name to Kenneth Gay, was Robert Graves' and Laura Riding's personal secretary during the period when the diary was written. He later annotated another printout of the diary produced from the B.A. Graves transcript, which is at the Graves Trust Archives in St. John's Oxford. Notes by Karl Goldschmidt are denoted as KG.

Organizations Mentioned

  • Simpkin, Marshall

    Simpkin, Marshall
    Publishers eds.
  • Editors

    Editors of the Graves Diary Project.

Bibliography

    • Title: Times Literary Supplement
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Times London
    • Date: 1902-1968
    • Title: The World and Ourselves [former title: Letter Book]
    • Author: Riding, Laura [contributor; with Sally Graves, Sir Edward Marsh et al]
    • Editor: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: London
    • Publisher: Chatto & Windus
    • Date: 1938-11
    • Title: Collected Poems [1938]
    • Author: Riding, Laura
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell and Co. Ltd
    • Idno: A35
    • Date: 1938
    • Title: Observer, the
    • PubPlace: London
    • Date: 1791-
    • Title: Daily Herald
    • PubPlace: London