Letter from Lala Fisher to Thomas Hardy, 9 May 1922

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Established 1902


CITY 6540

Edited and Conducted


R. R. F. Hill


Old Windsor Road


Near Parramatta


Lyceum Theatre Buildings,

214 Pitt Street, Sydney, Australia,

Dear Thomas Hardy,

Many times I have written to you each time, sensible of the liberty I was taking in intruding upon you, destroying my letter. For twenty years you have been a part of our life and through your thought and work we have often found something that made us, even in our most anxious moments, live and try anew.

Only this week we have been re-reading a book of yours - for perhaps the twentieth time.

For a long time I could not forgive you for "Father Time" in "Jude the Obscure", but now I would not have him out of the book if I could. He had to be.

My lover - we have been with one another over twenty years I think - first read one of your books to me - the great "Tess of the [Page 2] [Page 3] d'Urbervilles" & then we read "The Mayor of Casterbridge". And then re-read them both. And so it has been ever since - reading and re-reading your many books.

Just now I was reading aloud some of your poems, lingering especially over " Shelley's Skylark", "The Phantom Horsewoman" "Departure", "The Dear", "George Meredith," "In a Wood" "To an Unborn Pauper Child" - indeed lingering over them all. Thrilled by the superb closing lines of the volume

But - a stirring thrills the air
Like to sounds of joyance there
That the rages
Of the ages
Shall be cancelled, and deliverance offered from the darts that were,
Consciousness the Will
informing till It fashion all things fair

I simply had to come in & tell you of our love and reverence.

A short time ago I [Page 4] [Page 5] became quite angry concerning you while reading again "A Group of Noble Dames". "He detests women - he is most unjust to them" I ranted. But very soon afterwards I retracted "He understands them too well - & his Tess is the tortured upholder of that (earthily-obscured) ideal of chastity which has always been humanity's star".

Richard Robert Frank Hill is the name of the editor of this magazine & the lover who loves me & whom I love. [Nurse] O'Sullivan is the third in our Hardy reading circle. We all send you our deep respect and regard and we say as a prayer "God bless you, guard you, uplift you & hold you in His love"

I remain yours faithfully

Lala Fisher
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