Saturday, October 13, 2007

Looking back

[Barbara Pym (1913-1980) to Henry Harvey]

108 Cambridge Street
London S. W. 1.

9 February 1946

My Dear Henry,

Thank you very much for your letter. It came very quickly. I had an idea that I owed you one, though that would have been rather unusual, I mean, if it had been ten years ago. Yes, I 'did start it' , even if I was inspired by you or rather the sight of you in the English Reading Room. I even got Rosemary Topping to go and look in your books when you had left them for a moment to see what your name was. Does anybody ever do that now? I suppose not, though no doubt others are doing it at Oxford. I almost envy them--one seems to feel so little now, and life was certainly exciting then, full of splendours and miseries. . . .

-from A Very Private Eye: An Autobiograhy in Diaries and Letters by Barbara Pym / edited by Hazel Holt and Hilary Pym. (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1984) p. 178.

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