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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
Russell, Flora
Lascelles, Frank
Rice, Cecil Spring
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter with envelope, paper

52.5200066, 13.404954

Sunday Jan 16 British Embassy, Berlin. Dearest Mother. We had a most amusing skate yesterday afternoon. Colonel Grierson was there with his friend Captain Covans - rather a bore, poor gentleman, because he can scarcely skate at all and is very anxious to be taken round and taught. Mr Spring Rice was performing brilliantly and there were several rather nice girls, a Countess Harrach, amongst others, whom I particularly like. A Miss Howell, a pupil of Joachim's, came to play duets with Florence after tea. It was very delightful for she plays beautifully. We dined at the Schwabachs - he is a fabulously rich Jew, the head of the house of Bleichroder. We had a most gorgeous dinner, the table heaped with violets. Each of the women was given a great bunch of violets to take away with her. I was taken in by a Herr von Mützenbecher, an old dear who talked ceaselessly and with whom I made great friends. Mr Jackson, one of the Americans, was on my other side. At the end of the table on the other side of Herr von M., there was an agreeable soldier, Chapski (I don't know his title) who joined in our conversation. It was rather merry. After dinner a Count Dönhoff was introduced to me - I didn't like him much. There were longuers during which Florence and I talked to a very ugly Mademoiselle Talleyrand and a rather second rate little American, a Miss Rutter, niece of the Jacksons. Count Seckendorff, the Empress Frederick's man, was then presented to me and I thought him charming. He had met Flora here. And I also talked to a Countess Eulenborg, a dear old woman - her husband is Master of the Ceremonies. It's a thaw today - to our disgust. Florence and I are going to take a little walk with Uncle Frank presently. Ever your affectionate daughter Gertrude

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