Letter from Florence Henniker to Thomas Hardy, 20 November 1913

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The Little Orchard



My dear friend.

How nice of you to write to me from Cambridge! and thank you too for telling me that you are pleased to have this link with Arthur in belonging to his old College. Magdalene must be proud to have you as a Fellow. I hope it may be cheering to you, & a real interest, to go there from time to time.

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I see in to-day's "DMail" an account of the "Woodlanders" & a picture of Marty South. It will be interesting to hear how far you –, (for perhaps you saw the Rehearsals, at any rate?) & Miss Dugdale, think she came up near to your conception of the character? It wd. rather wonderful if an untrained actress succeeded in satisfying [Page 3] people who care for the book. I daresay Miss D. will kindly write & tell me about it. –

I am going to send you a very small vol. of really charming poems by Miss Wedmore. I think "England" & "The Grand Duke's Funeral" especially good. I hope she will have the praise she deserves from some of the critics. Sir F. Wedmore gave a [Page 4] very interesting poetry reading the other evg. in Sevenoaks. He read your "Bereft" & "The Rash Bride" - (The latter particularly well - I thought. Also a beautiful little poem "Twilight", by Masefield, which I am sure wd. appeal to you – & a lovely little lyric "Denny's Daughter", by Moira O'Neill – intensely pathetic in its simplicity. Do you know it? I wonder if you are writing more verse now?

I have read a great [Page 5] many of the stories in yr. new book. Some day I must talk [Page 6] to you about them. I thought the "Tryst at the Ancient Earthwork" extremely good - & such a difficult thing to do! "The Waiting Supper" "The Grave by the Handpost" - & "A Mere Interlude are very characteristic of you – including that dramatic [Page 7] situation of the honeymoon in the latter - The "Committee Man of the Terror" is very original & I so admire the last paragraph "that outline against the stars of the morning" – is graphic – "Alicia's Diary" interested me – but in some ways it is unlike you – I think –? [Page 8] I hope you are feeling better, & the vein in yr. leg does not now give trouble? This place seems to suit me – & I am doing a good deal to the garden & I hope to encourage many birds.

yr affec. friend



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Thomas Hardy Esq O.M.



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