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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her father, Sir Hugh Bell

In which Bell provides an overview of her stay at The Ridgeway, located in Shere, Surrey, with the Russell family, and noting that she is travelling to Leeds soon.
Reference code
Bell, Sir Thomas Hugh Lowthian
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter, paper

51.5072178, -0.1275862

July 9. 95 Sloane Street. My dearest Father. Your most pleasant letter was forwarded to me for I stayed on at Shere till this afternoon. Thank you very much for your offers - the opera glass sounds most attractive, but I want a habit more so I will order it tomorrow. Mary is quite right about your spoiling me isn't she! if I come to a bad end it will be quite your fault.
The Ridgeway was charming. I went with Mr. Grosvenor, Caroline came from somewhere also, not London. We arrived at 4 o'clock and found Flora waiting to drive us up. The house is very pretty, they have done a great deal to it, it has heaps of odd corners and unexpected rooms, and heaps and heaps of pretty things in it. The garden is charming with little lawns and flower gardens and brick walls with pots on them. Lady Arthur was not there when we arrived, she did not come till Sunday afternoon for she had stayed in London to look after Conrad who was not very well. Mr. Mallet was there and an odd shy Oxford friend of Harold's who never spoke but listened with interest to what we all said. I'm so hot and tired this evening I can't tell you really all we did. This is a sketch only. On Sunday we lounged; I sat to Caroline and talked a great deal. In the afternoon we all lay in a delightful neighbour's garden and read his book and eat his strawberries and cream. Caroline and I went in about 6, sat in her room and talked and read till dressing time. Monday everyone went away but me. In the morning we went for a long walk through the most lovely country, pine woods and heather with great views over the Weald and only came in in time for lunch. In the afternoon we all drove, Lord Arthur with us, in little pony carriages, through quite different country, commons and beech trees, but almost equally lovely. This morning we had another long drive to Leithe hill up which we walked and had a great view over the Weald and towards the sea. Harold drove me and we had long Oxford discussions. He is such a nice boy, very original, with heaps of views, and quite ready to talk about them if you really want to. I liked him particularly. In the afternoon we went into the neighbour's garden and saw the Brooke girls act As You Like It (the neighbour is Stopford Brooke's brother-in-law) They did it excellently; I had to go away before the end to catch my train. Flora and Harold drove me to the station.

I love Lord Arthur; we had little walks together round and about the garden, he showed me all the odd things in it and all his books and read me letters; you can't think what an old dear he was. I like her very much too, she's a very amusing woman. In fact I like them all, they are really nice. They wanted me to go back next Saturday, but alas I can't!

This is a very dull letter but I'm so sleepy. Ever your very affectionate daughter Gertrude.

Thank you for Pattison. I go to Leeds on Friday.

Lord Arthur's children snub him rather and don't listen much to his stories, except Harold, isn't it unkind of them! You see you are not nearly so badly off as some people though you do complain so!

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