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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

Palazzo Gritti. Tuesday Dearest Mother. I think your party sounds so pleasant; I very much regret that I was not part of it - however you could not have put me up! It's a horrid bore that Papa goes tomorrow, I hate the idea of it. There never was such a nice travelling companion as he. Mrs Green arrives Û of an hour before he leaves - was fÅr ein travelling companion wird sie sein I wonder!
I had a very bad cold in my throat yesterday, the wind was bitter and I came in almost speechless. However I wisely dined at home on bread and milk and today am very nearly quite well. You have heard all about our expedition this morning - I do dislike Zarywill! he's a little beast and what manners! He attracts one's attention by tapping one on the shoulder with his stick; I fully expected he would chuck me under the chin before we parted and I still can't conceive how I managed to escape without his doing so. We were taken round the Archives by the Director. I never saw such a place as the Archives. They are in an enormous building of 4 courts, formerly a monastery, and from floor to ceiling the shelves are full of volumes and volumes of MSS, no printed books at all. We saw for instance shelves and shelves of all the reports of the Ambassadors in London - several rooms of reports from the Ambassadors in Rome [Roma], and so forth. I took down a volume of the English reports for the year 1640 and read a letter about the long Parliament which was fortunately not in cypher. I don't wonder it's difficult to write a history of Venice [Venezia] - you ought to begin by reading at least 10,000 volumes of MS if you want to be at all accurate! They gave one a great impression of the Venetian activity, those endless corridors full of letters and reports.

It's been very cold these 2 days and grey in the afternoons. I wish it would be really nice weather for a few days before I leave. I expect I shall stay on here at least another week. Your very affectionate daughter Gertrude

Give my love to Lisa. I wish I cd come and have a long talk with her tonight over her fire.

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