Letter from Florence Henniker to Thomas Hardy, 5 July 1921

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2, Hyde Park Square


My dear friend –

Thank you for yr. cheerful & pleasant letter – & also for the kindness in telling me of another Weymouth Hotel. But alas! my finances won't allow of anything so pleasant now as a visit to your lovely coast, or motor-drives round Wessex with you & F. –

I have, as yet, failed to sell my house, owing, I suppose to the depressing & universal "slump" [Page 2] which has overtaken us - But I do hope that in a short time the outlook may be brighter – I wish you wd. both come to London for a few days when this very dry weather comes to an end, as I suppose it must soon. The park is like cocoa-nut matting, & I fear our beloved birds are having a bad time. –

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How amusing your Film experiences must have been! It seems marvellous to complete a whole book in one day. I don't suppose the film-actor can be a person of very high calibre, as a rule ? – I shall never become a frequenter of the "movies", as I think them so bad for the eyes. –

I am glad you have had some agreeable visitors. Mr De La Mare struck me as very pleasant, unspoilt & simple, & I admire some of his work greatly, as I daresay you do? – I am sure you are very kind to the young [Page 4] Georgians. De La M. is, however, on a different footing, isn't he? from most of them.

I went to the Gosses last Sunday. He was in excellent spirits, & youthful as ever – Of course we talked about you. I met there 3 of the typical young Poets, who signed the address to you – A brother & sister – she with an extraordinary hat, like a bad specimen of – shall we say, Gothic architecture (-^the^ Sitwells–) I think she wrote in a detestable little book called "Wheels.".

By the way, they were not all very young [Page 5] authors who signed the document –! –

I have just finished a book, translated from the Italian of Ferrero called "Ancient Rome & Modern America"– It gives one a good deal to think about, & some of it wd. interest you, perhaps–? –

Did you hear of the stroke of dreadfully bad luck which 3. of the poets, including Mr de la Mare have had? It appears [Page 6] that they were each given a sum of money from the sale of Rupert Brooke's works, – & now, after a lapse of some years, it is discovered that the income-tax was not paid! It seems cruelly hard to come down on these men for some hundreds of pounds, which they certainly could not [Page 7] pay except with the greatest difficulty & worry.

My sister-in-law is quite well again, thanks – & I daresay an enforced rest really did her good–

I remember thinking Mr Jeune, whom I met at tea with you, very pleasant company. I hope he is better.

I hope some day to meet [Page 8] the Galsworthys. Do you think he would find me too dully respectable?–

I wonder if this craze for prize-fights & games is a sign of great decadence? But the Press seems to have no sense of proportion – There was more fuss and larger headlines on the death of Ly Randolph Churchill than there would have been ^about the passing of the^ most celebrated writers, or soldiers – &c.

Best of love to Florence, &c.

[Page 9] greetings to Wessex.

Y affect friend

Flo H.