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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
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter plus envelope, paper

33.315241, 44.3660671

Baghdad Dec 8 Darling Mother. I've just got 2 delightful letters to you Oct 19 and 28. I'm not replying in kind because I've done my best in that direction - save the .....! - in a letter this week to Father.
This is the usual begging letter!

I haven't got nearly enough household linen. Marie says Ellen (sic!) has lots over from the hospital. Could she let me 'ave by post in small parcels:

4 prs sheets - for camp beds so yours will be big enough

2 pairs blankets

6 small towels

6 bigger bath towels (if you have them)

6 pillow cases

6 table cloths - my dinner table is about 4 ft 6 by 3 ft 6.

Only let me have what you've got.

Life here is horribly dear, I must tell you. I pay my cook Rs 90 p.m. i.e. £108 a year! and my butler (Tobi') Rs 70, £84 a year - he'll have to have his wages increased next month I fear. Meat is very dear, eggs not so dear as in England, and so varying, but all pretty high in price.

We're not on any rations now, we civil people, so I begin to realize what food costs. I note that I've got a balance of £4 at Harrods. I'll bust it somehow!

I observe too that you wish to live alone, bless you. I hope you will occasionally come and stay with me here! Ever your very affectionate daughter Gertrude

IIIF Manifest