Letter from Mary Hardy to Thomas Hardy, 6 February 1908

[Page 1]

King's House


My dear Tom,

You never write to me now a days, it is my duty nevertheless to inform you of my next year's whereabouts. I am going to Denchworth near Wantage. The salary is £40 a year, with a garden & a house partly furnished. I have to play the Organ in Church, I, on account of this wanted, of course, to give it up & Mr Rawlins, (the clergyman) was informed of it but he wrote to say he would pay a little for me [Page 2] to learn * & also give me a little time to practice when there, before playing in Church. Katies is going with [me] & Mother is going to stay with [me] for a few weeks when I go first.

It is a few miles from Wantage – a school of 35 children & about – I should imagine, 15 miles from Oxford. I shall be a long way from home – nearly 200 miles. They all want me to go there, because the people there are reputedto be extremely kind. When I am settled down

* i.e., the organ touch (she had played the piano for many years)

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you must come & see me, [gap of several words: tear] [far off as de] [gap of several lines: tear] longed for a place near the sea but I was obliged to give it up. We have only one more week to study & then my duty as a pupil, I suppose, will have gone for me. I have bought the Salisbury Sanctus Book & [Tunes] Book ^I want a Chant Book too^ but I can't afford it so you must send, to Bock hampton, yours, that I may have [Page 4] it in my holidays – as soon as I get home. [gap of several lines: tear]

I read an account of the closing of the Exhibtion; my curiosity is excited to know how it looks & if many frequent the far famed spot now? In my mind's eye I see all the ^[articles]^ disarranged, the floor dirty & men standing about & buying the things. Does Shakespere still [sit] there? Write & tell me. It is just four o'clock & a dull evening. I am thingking [Page 5] that you have all your lights burning in London at this time – we have but just the gas burner lighted.

Yours ever

Mary Hardy