Letter from Florence Henniker to Thomas Hardy, 21 November 1920

[Page 1]

3 Sussex Place

Lancaster Gate, W.2

My dear friend –

I think you must have felt pleasure in having written that very fine poem? There is so much in it – one has to read it often -

I read it aloud several times to Mrs Blake & Anna, – who both had the good sense & intelligence to appreciate it – I think the ve^st^anzas that appeal [Page 2] to me most are 5-6 8. & 9 – The concluding lines of 5 are lovely – & 8 is a beautiful stanza. I am so grateful to you for mentioning the dear horses –.

There is as much in 2 or 3 lines of this poem – as in a complete one by many people – I should think, isn't there?

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I am hoping to hear that Florence will come & stay here for a day or night – & see [Mr Harsaut]? –

The Gosse ceremony was a great success. Mr Balfour's speech, –(though I believe he had risen from a sick bed), was admirable, & my brother's was very humorous. – A great many people turned up; but perhaps the room ^or the light^ made them look their worst –. I thought they were, physically, a very plain audience, although no doubt bubbling over with intelligence!

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The John Drinkwaters (whom I met at a pleasant luncheon given by Mrs Clifford) stood out as being good-looking. He spoke with great enthusiasm about you –. I daresay you think well of some of his verse? –

I went ^not long ago^to hear Sir Henry Newbolt lecture on Mr de la Mare. It was a charming address, & he read a well chosen number of [the] poems, showing de la M. in his different moods. After the lecture – I, – (in a pushing manner–) forced myself on Sir Henry's acquaintance, & [Page 5] we, also, talked about you. I think from what he said, he will give another lecture on your poetry. I hope so. -

I hope you thoroughly enjoyed your Dorchester plays? I saw an account in 1 or 2 papers -. Have you had any more guests lately at Max Gate?

I am sorry this great cold has come on [Page 6] so early. I hate the winter in London, on account of the slippery streets for the horse traffic –. I think some of ones distresses get more acute as one grows older –, unfortunately.

Best love to F.

Yr. affec friend

Flo H–


I fear the Nobel prize has been given to a Scandinavian – hasn't it?