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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Dame Florence Bell

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Reference code
Bell, Dame Florence Eveleen Eleanore
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Person(s) mentioned
Malcolm, Ian
Cecil, Robert
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter plus envelope, paper

50.725231, 1.613334

Boulogne Jan 28 Dearest Mother. I have been a very poor correspondent but I have been struggling with a cold, a new system of files and between the two have felt too tired for any writing. Now I'm getting the better of both. Percy Lubbock - did I tell you he has come into our office? - has been a great help. He really is a dear and sits patiently writing immense indexes without a murmur. Our Mr Dove has gone for a fortnight's holiday and in his place we have Mr Boyd, Lord Milner's secretary - not so effective in his job as Mr Dove but rather entertaining. Two nights ago Philip Howell (now a Colonel) and a Col. Franks, a gunner on General Gough's staff, came through on their way to England for a week's leave, and dined with us. We sat talking till nearly 11 - it was extraordinarily interesting to hear their tales - and I breakfasted with Philip next morning, feeling rather more dead than alive. (But I'm much better this evening.) And last night Major Armstrong, Domnul's friend, dined with us (charming man) and Mr Boyd, so we have had quite the social movement. Domnul's letter is most interesting - I'll send it on to Major Armstrong. I don't quite realize what day Hugo comes - is it Saturday? what a joy for you and Father. Give him my dear love please. Tiger and I are very happy together. She is a most darling creature. By the way I wish Hugo would trot over and see me, even if it's only for 24 hours. I can't do much in the way of entertaining him because I'm so tired, but I think he would be interested to see what it's all like. And I should love to see him. I was much interested by Father's letter and fully agree that the Govt. are spinning a bad cotton with the dyers. I had a long and characteristic letter from the Lord. Incidentally he concurred in my view that the Jewish kingdom of Palestine was all moonshine. So Herbert Samuel needn't begin to stitch at his robes yet, nor rub up his Hebrew. I continue to have the most cordial relations with my chiefs, and the Fabian Ware people declare loudly that they will work with none but this ofice. If I find it necessary to have a 3rd type writer, as I think I shall (we work our poor two so hard) I've said I will bear the cost. It's worth anything not to feel that one is running people to death and living is not expensive here. We have just got into our new room in the office, tastefully carpeted and curtained by me, and we have a pleasant sense of elbow room which was most desirable. Ever your affectionate daughter Gertrude

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