Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Katherine Mansfield in Paris

31 rue de Tournon, Paris

Sunday morning.

(February, 1914)

Your letter this morning was a lovely surprise. I had not hoped to hear from you until tomorrow at earliest. Thank you, darling.

Everything is quite all right, here. Your room feels cold and it smells faintly of orange-flower water or furniture polish--a little of both. I spent a great part of the day reading Theocritus and, late last night, happening upon our only Sainte-Beuve, I found the first essay was all about him. What I admire so much in your criticism--your courteous manner: Sainte-Beuve has it to perfection.

Do not worry about me. I am not in the least frightened, but if Campbell abuses me too heartily, tell him 'I am not one of a malignant nature, but have a quiet temper'.*

It's a spring day. The femme de menage is cleaning the windows and I've had a bath.

Take care of yourself.

*a translation of a fragment of Sappho.
-from Katherine Mansfield's Letters to John Middleton Murray 1913-1922
edited by John Middleton Murray (London: Constable & Co., 1951, 1958)p.9
Katherine Mansfield and John Middleton Murray had moved to Paris for her health and to save money, but John had to return to London to face a bankruptcy hearing concerning the failure of his literary magazine and he was staying with mutual friends the Campbells.

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