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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Dame Florence Bell

Letter written from Berlin, Germany, in which Bell provides an overview of her recent activities and social engagements, noting that she has arranged to be presented to Princess Louise Sophie of Prussia at an upcoming Court Ball.
Reference code
Bell, Dame Florence Eveleen Eleanore
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Person(s) mentioned
Lascelles, Frank
Lascelles, Gerald
Lascelles, Mary
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter, paper

52.5200066, 13.404954

Berlin. Jan 24 Dearest Mother. I imagine from your telegram that a letter to Paris will still catch you. On Friday morning I went to the Museum before lunch and had a real nice hour all by myself there. Aunt Mary and I payed visits in the afternoon - we called on a Frau v. Rath, a nice German whom you were taken to see - do you remember. I met a cheerful old buffer there with whom I conversed - I don't know who he was, an Excellenz of sorts. Then we went to Frau v. Roth, the Swiss colleague - Aunt Mary hates her. There we met the Princess Frederic Leopold's ladies who asked when I was going to be introduced to her; we replied that that was my one object in life and arranged that I should be presented during the first polka of the first Court ball. The Goschens came to dinner on their way through to Petersburg [Sankt-Peterburg (Saint Petersburg, Leningrad)] - very nice people, I thought. You know them, don't you? In the evening we went to a big, sort of subscription, ball at the Reichshof. All the world was there, but it was not very pleasant; the rooms were fearfully hot and far too crowded. I was stepped upon by a tall officer in the beginning, which caused me great agony. My foot is still black and blue. Florence, Gerald, Captain Covans and I had an amusing supper together; but I danced the cotillon with a man I don't like - Major Luffan. Captain C. has gone back to England - we are sorry for he is an amusing cheerful person. He is a great friend of the Reggie Talbots. Yesterday there was an awful blizzard. It snowed all day and we did not go out - I was unreasonably tired. Miss Howells came at 5 o'clock and played duets with F. About 10 o'clock, Lord Langton and Lord Granville came in and we played cards till 12. I am so fond of Lord G.; he is a charming boy. He has a great success in the world here. This morning I went to church. It is still snowing; Aunt M. and I are going to pay some calls. Col. Grierson dines. Uncle Frank and I are reading Lord Roberts' book which is awfully interesting. It is extraordinary how well Aunt Mary is - she is a different person; interested in everything, amused when she goes out and eager to pay her calls and do all her duties. I do admire her for the effort she has made. Ever your affectionate daughter Gertrude.

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