Request a high resolution copy

Letter from Gertrude Bell to her stepmother, Florence Bell

Reference code
Gertrude Bell
Lady Florence Bell
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter, plus envelope

Feb 22 7 Hans Place. Dearest Mother. We shall be delighted to see Papa at breakfast on Thursday - if he does not appear I shall probably go up to Mansfield St in the afternoon and catch him there.
About my clothes, they cannot be sent here, for I have no room for them. I want the blue silk petticoat sent to Madame Alexandrä, 70 Norfolk Terrace, Bayswater. The rest had better be packed and sent to me when I want them.

Yesterday such an absurd thing happened. Auntie Mary had gone out; Florence and I were walking together; the boys alone here, hear a ring and a voice asking for Lady Lascelles, then for me, then angrily "Well it's a very odd thing for I was told particularly to come here this afternoon!" Presently we came in and found Lord Stanley's card - now this was very odd for Lord S. does not know Auntie Mary. We wondered what could be the explanation until tea time when Auntie Maisie came. She said "I heard Henry is giving you Persian lessons." I: "!!!!!"

Then it appeared that Grisel Ogilvy to whom I had related my attempts to find a teacher of Persian, had sent him - he's a very good Persian scholar! Auntie Maisie had met him at Dover St at lunch and he had told her he was coming here to teach me - oh it was very easy, he would like it, he would soon teach me and had asked if he would be likely to find us in; she had said no, but he had come all the same. Very kind of him, but fancy what my feelings would have been if I had been at home! Today I received a letter from Grisel saying she was sorry not to have announced her uncle's visit beforehand to me, but she did not know he intended to come at once. I shall meet her tonight at Mansfield St where I am going after dinner.

I had another offer of lessons on Saturday afternoon at Mrs Green's from Mr Strong! I feel I shall end by receiving special instruction from at least the Shah in person!

Mr Strong was most interesting; enormously excited to hear I wished to learn Persian; I felt a horrid fraud while he explained to me all that was to be done with it and how he longed for more people to edit books and translate and so on. He described to me the things he was doing; it was very very interesting. I do think the happiest people in the world are those who spend thirteen hours a day in a library.

The Tunis sits on O.W. this morning doesn't it. I should like to see Lady Windermere however.

No one knows who Observer of the Times letters is. At first people said it was Mr Chamberlain but I don't know on what grounds. It must be someone who knows Mr Gladstone very well for the last letter is full of his expressions, especially the Oh dear, oh dear! which it seems he is always saying. They seem to think the govt will go out on the second reading so Papa had better be prepared. How exciting it will be! Ever your very affectionate daughter Gertrude.

IIIF Manifest