Enclosure – Letter to RG from Ros Graves

from Dr. Rosaleen Graves
177 Junction Road, N.19.
Darling Robert
You'll be wondering why I haven't thanked you long ago for your "Poems" – which were (or was?) my nicest Xmas present – far & away. It's fun finding ancient friends & unknown ones in the same volume.
Thank you very much indeed, my dear, for sending it to me.
The reason (as you may possibly have guessed) is that your prophecy about Jim's
making a kind of reconciliation came true – & in spite of what you say, I'm taking him seriously. Its not that he's recanted or apologized or anything like that – such behaviour would be quite impossible for one of his type – but almost immediately after I'd told him of my visit to the lawyer & his verdict – he propounded a scheme of our working a joint practice in Devon & sharing a house again – so it looks as if the thought of losing family life had shaken him a bit.

He still writes to me coldly as "Dear Rosaleen...from Jim" but is quite friendly on our rare meetings & is really making communal plans at last – which have some sort of financial sanity.
I don't know if we shall ever establish a really good personal relationship again – but I'm content with this at present – & even if I get no personal happiness out of a new start – the boys will – as they adore their father.

I've had a small present for you for months – ×××× [crossed out] a puzzle- picture of Napoleon & his wife & child masquerading as a plant of flax. Its in an old frame & I should think is a contemporary of those times as no-one now would bother about Napoleon's family.
It only cost 1/-1 in a shop where they re-make mattresses – & I thought it might amuse you – but I'll have to wait till [until] I see you as it would probably break in transit.
My 2 German refugees have at last gone to Australia, poor things. Its absurd for an elderly business man to be sentimental about a Xmas tree, I know,
but I felt very sad when they said "there will be no Xmas trees in Australia –"
We were all frozen up at Xmas – car, pipes, & kitchen boiler but had a very good time all the same with a giant Xmas tree, & lots of parcels for the boys.
We go to Devon in about 3 weeks. I've sold my London practice (for only £325 after 10 years) to an old fellow-student at Ch X Hosp. [Charing Cross Hospital]
The Kent practice is too small & too scattered & will just have to disintegrate. In Devon I'm to get £350 a year as assistant in the partnership – & when Jim has had a job at Ch X H [Charing Cross Hospital]
& joins the practice (? in August) we're to get £600 between us. The firm will pay all surgery expenses & a car allowance – & we'll have only 1 lot of domestic overheads – and if it does well we could later buy a share in the partnership, so I'm very pleased about it.
The village, Bishopsteignton, is 2 miles from the sea – & overlooks country very like the Barmouth Estuary – with lovely rolling wooded hills & the river Teign – very broad.
It will be lovely to get back to village life again, after this dreary suburb – Well – wish me luck! I think I shall get some at last.
I shall have to become Rosaleen Cooper, I fear, in such a conservative district & sink into married oblivion – so I'll sign myself for the last time as your most loving sister

Editorial Notes

1one shilling eds.

Hands Referenced

Places Mentioned

  • London

  • Devon

    Devon, England

People Mentioned

  • Robert

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

    Cooper, Rosaleen Dr.
    Dr. Rosaleen Cooper, R.G.'s sister. W.G.; husband Jim, sons Dan, Roger & Paul RPG.
  • Jim

    Cooper, Jim
    RG's brother-in-law, married to Ros, son Roger eds.

Organizations Mentioned

  • Editors

    Editors of the Graves Diary Project.


    • Title: Collected Poems [1938]
    • Author: Graves, Robert
    • PubPlace: London, Toronto, Melbourne & Sydney
    • Publisher: Cassell and Co. Ltd
    • Idno: A48
    • Date: 1938