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Letter from Gertrude Bell to her father, Sir Hugh Bell

In which Bell writes from London describing her recent activities and social engagements, noting that she has attended a dinner party with Walter Leaf and that she has spent time with her cousins, William and Gerald Lascelles.
Reference code
Bell, Sir Thomas Hugh Lowthian
Bell, Gertrude Margaret Lowthian
Person(s) mentioned
Chirol, Valentine
Creation Date
Extent and medium
1 letter, paper

51.5072178, -0.1275862

June 6. 90 Sloane St. Dearest Father mine. I was much amused at the Stracheys on Tuesday. We had a pleasant dinner here first with the two boys and I was rather sorry to go away especially as they were anxious I should stay. However when I got to my party I was glad I had come. The young Chamberlains were there - he is charming, we talked for a long time; Richmond Ritchie was very amusing and I was glad to find Mr. Clough who is a dear little person. The Strachey girls seem nice and your Lady Colley won my heart by admiring my gown! She is most attractive, I should like to see her often. It poured all day on Wednesday; Mr Harding and his wife came to tea. She is rather a pretty little smart woman with plenty to say and a pleasant ripple of laughter which accompanies the whole conversation but would grow rather tedious if she paid long visits. Dear me, I'm so glad I'm not married to Mr. Harding! Not that he isn't nice, on the contrary, there is literally nothing in him to take exception to, except his complete excellence. He isn't even dull, but his polite and agreeable conversation annoys me. I dined at home, Mr Chirol was here and stayed late. We talked and played picquet. I made them Turkish coffee which, to my great satisfaction, Mr Chirol pronounced excellent. And he knows himself in Turkish coffee. So I have reason to be proud. Yesterday, Thursday, I met Lady Arthur and Flora as usual in Woolland's shop and helped Lady Arthur make her purchases which is a constant source of delight to me. She comes out with a lot of little patterns in her purse and hunts over all London to find their counterpart, buying, meantime, yards and half yards of stuffs and velvet ribbons which take her fancy on the principle that as they are pretty they must come in useful some time. And all this is carried on with the greatest zest and at the same time a humorous consciousness that it is really rather droll. I went to tea at Audley Square where I found Olive Maxse and after she left I stayed on and on and had a long crack with Lady Arthur and Flora.
I dined with the Gervaises which I partly liked and partly disliked very much. The part I liked was Kitty Molington with whom I have fallen very deeply in love. She asked me to go and see her and I certainly shall. The part I disliked was the horrid poky little house, the nasty dinner and Mr. Walter Leaf whom I sat next to. He was very interesting indeed to talk to, but his personality is so extraordinarily disagreeable that the whole time I was helplessly trying to prevent myself taking a wild dislike to him, at any rate until I got out of the house - and without any success. I came back and picked up Mother and we went together to the Brasseys. We met Billy and Gerald coming up the stairs, forced our way into a crowded music room where we stood for some time conversing together in whispers. I was very much amused; the Stanleys were there, the Peases, the Talbots but not Mary, the Grant Duffs and the Russells. All the world was present besides, but they won't interest you more than they did me. Today I am to lunch at Audley Square and go to swim with Flora afterwards. What should I do without those people! I am so very fond of them and from my letter you might think I see no one else. I could wish I saw Mother as often! Ever your very affectionate daughter Gertrude.

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