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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.
Reference code
Bell, Dame Florence Eveleen Eleanore
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Person(s) mentioned
Lascelles, Frank
Lascelles, Mary
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter, paper

52.5200066, 13.404954

Berlin. Friday. Jan 29. Dearest Mother. What is the matter with Miss T. [Thomson]? I don't believe that you will get away on Sunday; Grandmamma says she is still unfit to travel. It is very nice for the children to have you, but you must be feeling anxious to get back to Papa. I wonder how he is prospering all by himself, poor dear!
Yesterday in the middle of lunch the Empress Frederic called and Uncle Frank and Aunt Mary had to bustle away to receive her. She came to say goodbye; she went to England today. After lunch Marie von Bunsen came to see me. I took her up to my sitting room and she stayed for an hour and a half - it was not at all too long however, for she is delightful to talk to and I had nothing to do that afternoon. She talked of books and pictures and all sorts of interesting things. She offered to take me some morning to the modern picture gallery and said she would write to one of the Directors and get him to come with us. I jumped at this and I hope we shall do it. I should enjoy it immensely. She knows a great deal about pictures and would be a really delightful cicerone. She is far the most interesting person I have met here. We dined early and went afterwards to a big bazaar at which all Florence's little friends were selling. It was not unamusing. Everyone we knew was there. My particular pal is Count Dönhof; he is a Bavarian, I think, and was in the diplomatic service; an oldish man. He took me off to the smoking room (it was quite proper!) and gave me Turkish coffee which I love. There was a man there dressed up as a gypsy who was playing Brahms waltzes in a divine manner. We sat and listened to him for some time. When the bazaar was over, at 10 o'clock, we danced a little, but it was hot and not very pleasant so we came home. I met Mrs Kauffmann's sister, Frau von Wedel, at the gavotte probe the other day - she was there with her daughter. They precipitated themselves to call on Aunt Mary; we were a little bored by them. Frau von W. is exactly like Mrs K. Aunt Mary introduced her to me.

This morning we skated with Countess Harrach and Countess Arnim, two very nice girls. I was much amused to find that the castle at berhofen belongs to the Harrachs! They go there every year, but were prevented this year. We compared notes about the Lake of Thun, which she, of course, knows very well. Her father proposed to her mother on top of the Niesen! You shee [sic], no one proposed to us!

It was a delicious morning, bright and cold.

Will you send this letter on to Papa - my dear love to him. Ever your affectionate daughter Gertrude

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