Letter from Betty Thomas to Thomas Hardy, 4 August 1925

[Page 1]

177 Ladbroke Grove

N Kensington

London W10

To Mr Thomas Hardy Author of "Tess of the Durbervilles"

Dear Sir

I beg that you will condescend to read this epistle

I am writing with reference to an article published in Evening [Star] re: production of your famous book Tess of the Durbervilles: on the legitimate stage.

I am aware that I am taking a great liberty [Page 2] in writing you, but I feel I must make an attempt to gain at least an interview

You will think I am writing at random, but I beg to ask if I may be considered to take the part of Tess. I am young being twenty three, my type is truly I think of the country girl but apart from looks and all other things I am so interested in Tess, because I have read it many times each time more absorbed than the other, each time living the part, and then in real life experienced nearly all the trad^g^edies [Page 3] of your Tess, no girl could ever have had the tragedy in life that I have, without losing her mental balance or seeking oblivion in a reckless existence.

I am not and do not profess to be an actress but my life it seems has been only a big sad part and I truly feel a target to fate. I know I could play this part, I have every confidence please it is not of financial benefit I am thinking although I am just in ordinary circumstances, but something always tells me my suffering has been for some reason.

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I wish to impress that up to present I never have been so presumtious as to put myself forward but when I read this article I was immediately resolved. I absolutely swear I am writing the truth, to tell my story would entail a lot of writing sufficient I think for a book but I feel I would only be too happy to reveal my experience to you.

I am not a native of London having recently journeyed here from South Wales.

Re: nationality my father was Irish and my mother Scotch

I was born in Glasgow.

I must thank you for reading this and incidentally apologize in taking such a liberty.

Yours in anticipation

"Mrs" Betty Thomas