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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Dame Florence Bell

In which Bell writes from London describing her recent activities and social engagements, including a dinner at Devonshire House during which she discussed British politics with guests Alfred Lyttelton and Victor Cavendish. She adds that she has also met with Bernard Henry Holland, Private Secretary to the Duke of Devonshire.
Reference code
Bell, Dame Florence Eveleen Eleanore
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Person(s) mentioned
Russell, Arthur
Green, Alice Stopford
Cavendish, Victor
Balfour, Arthur
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter, plus envelope

51.5072178, -0.1275862

Feb 20 Hans Place. Dearest Mother. I wonder when I wrote to you last? Oh I remember, Thursday afternoon. In the evening we dined at Devonshire House. There were there, Lady Edward, William Egerton, Alfred Lyttelton and Victor Cavendish who came in from the House announcing that he must be back in 20 minutes, but finally stayed till 10. Mr Balfour was speaking when he left and they feared that there would be a division that night on the first reading, which however did not take place. Victor C. is tremendously interested in his politics, talks of nothing else, thinks of nothing else; it's very nice to see, as genuine enthusiasm always is, and besides it was interesting for politics are so interesting at this moment. The talk is all of a dissolution and I think nearly everyone expects that the government will go out on the second reading of the local govt bill. Yesterday was hatefully cold; we did not do much all day. In the evening I dined with the Macmillans where I met the Russells, Miss Pearsall Smith, Bernard Holland, and another man who was not introduced to me. It was pleasant; B.H. took me in and Harold and I had a long and amusing talk afterwards. Mr Holland told me that he is a sort of unofficial private secretary to the Duke of Devonshire; he asked a great deal about all the Cavendishes whom he only knows slightly. It's very foggy and horrid today: I think I shall go and see Mrs Green later. How annoying it is about Hugo, I wish he would hurry up and peel[?]. Ever your very affectionate daughter Gertrude.

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