Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes, July 14, 1905
R. M. S. “Clement.”The RMS Clement was acquired by the Booth Steamship Company of England and entered service on December 13, 1900.
I was so awfully pleased at getting your letter in town. As you see, I am now in the Bay of Biscay, and tomorrow hope to land in Oporto, whence we go direct to Salamanca. We, because Lyulph Howard is with me. I have every hope of turning him into as bad a dagoRoyall Tyler's slang for “Spaniard.” as one could wish. I spent three or four weeks in town, and had a pleasant time. I went the other day to call upon Miss Sturgess [sic], and found her deep in consultation about her bridesmaids’ dresses with one of the bridesmaidsFour of the six bridesmaids were identified as Florence Padelford, Leila Paget, Mary Sturges, and Frances Leggett. See “M. P.’s Bride American; Ambassador at Wedding of G. C. Montagu and Miss Sturges,” New York Times, July 26, 1905. who, funnily enough was a great friend of mine. They are all to wear veils, like girls in a Convent School, a horrible idea I think. I don’t know the man, but everyone who knows him is very fond of him.Alberta Sturges married George Charles Montagu (1874–1962) in 1905. When he succeeded to the title of 9th Earl of Sandwich in 1916, she became the Countess of Sandwich.
I went to the British Museum nearly every day, and of course explored for the Economy.Probably one or more volumes of the twelve-volume study on England’s rural economy written by William Marshall (1745–1818) and completed in 1798. See Pamela Horn, William Marshall (1745–1818) and the Georgian Countryside (Abingdon: Beacon, 1982). The results are—Between 1796 or there abouts and 1812 there were over 90 editions published, all like yours. Then a lull till 1860 when two or three more saw the light and finally in 1902 a horrible little artistic 2/- edition, also like yours. But nowhere could I find any trace of a translation of the learned Chinaman’s journey.Possibly Journey to the West, a novel published anonymously in the 1590s during the Ming Dynasty and ascribed to the scholar Wú Chéng'ēn since the twentieth century. It is considered one of the four great classical novels of Chinese literature. Don’t you think it should give food for thought that in the 18th century, which one is accustomed to hear called such unkind names—materialist, hard, soulless ect [sic] so many editions of the book were demanded, and in the glorious nineteenth, or at least since 1812, only three or four?
I wonder if you know Edmond de Goncourt’s two books on the Japanese woodcutters.Edmond de Goncourt (1822–1896), a French writer, critic, and book publisher. His last books were monographs on the Japanese woodblock printers, such as Kitagawam Utamaro (Outamaro, le peintre des maisons vertes [Paris: Bibliotheque-Charpentier, 1891]) and Katsushika Hokusai (Hokusai [Paris, 1896]). They are perfectly delightful, you must read them. I wish you could see the KoriusaiIsoda Koryusai (or Koriusai) (1735–1790), a Japanese printmaker and painter. See also letters of February 16, 1905, and June 4, 1905. I bought in Germany. I love it. I haven’t the slightest idea how long we shall stay in. I hope some time, for there is so much I want to do and it is easier to travel on horseback with two than one. And Spain is so very attrayante,“Inviting.” for the reason largely that there are no good works on its pictures or buildings or literature or—anything.Royall Tyler would later publish a book on the art and culture of Spain. Royall Tyler, Spain, a Study of Her Life and Arts (London: G. Richards, 1909). I shall be very curious to see what Lafenestre produces in his book on the paintings of Spain which will appear in his series “La peinture en Europe.”Georges Lafenestre (1837–1919), a conservator of paintings at the Musée du Louvre and a professor at the École du Louvre and the Collège de France, Paris. His multivolume series, La peinture en Europe (in collaboration with Eugène Richtenberger), ultimately did not include a volume on Spanish art. Only 8 have appeared so far, and I have only seen the one on Venice,Georges Lafenestre, Venise (Paris: Librairies-imprimeries réunies, ). but I strongly advise you to get them all. They are simply a catalogue raisonné of the pictures in a town or district, with short biographical notices of the painters and as much as is known of the history of each picture, dates of restoration ect [sic], a splendid work.
When I was at Venice, I went to Castelfranco where Giorgione was born, to see his picture in the Cathedral,Giorgione (Giorgio Barbarelli da Castelfranco) (ca. 1477–1510), an Italian painter in Venice. Royall Tyler is referring to Giorgione’s Madonna and Child Between St. Francis and St. Nicasius (also known as the Castelfranco Madonna), ca. 1503, exhibited in the Cathedral of Castelfranco, Veneto. and I don’t think I ever saw such a thing. I think it is more beautiful than any TitianTitian (Tiziano Vecelli) (ca. 1488/1490–1576), an Italian painter of the Venetian school. in all ways, and such exquisite pleasure to see it where it belongs in a church instead of stuffed into a Gallery with other pictures.Royall Tyler claimed to dislike museums. See letter of June 4, 1905. How the Italians treat their works of art! That is, the public spirited ones. When you were at Venice did you see the Querini Stampaglia [sic] collection?Fondazione Querini Stampalia (which includes the Pinacoteca Querini-Stampalia) was founded in Venice in 1869 by the last descendant of the Querini Stampalia family. There is a Giorgione there, a portrait of a man, with a red beard, and he has beautiful hands.Portrait of a Man, 1527–1528, often identified as a portrait of Francesco Querini. Although the painting was originally attributed to Giorgione by Bernard Berenson and others, it was reattributed to Palma Vecchio (1470–1528) as early as 1909.
I hope the newspaper cuttings reached and pleased you. And let me beg you to stop reading the Spectator and take the Saturday, which is far broader in its politics, far less insular in its view, and which contains every week an article by Max BeerbohmSir Henry Maximilian “Max” Beerbohm (1872–1956), an English parodist and caricaturist. In 1898, he succeeded George Bernard Shaw as drama critic for the Saturday Review, on whose staff he remained until 1910. on the theatre, and he is delightful, the only approach to a dramatic critic in England. Also McColl [sic]Dugald Sutherland MacColl (1859–1948), an editor and art critic successively for the Spectator, the Saturday Review, and the Week-end Review. He was an influential champion in England of French Impressionism, and he served as keeper of the Tate Gallery (1906–1911) and the Wallace Collection (1911–1924). writes very well on painting. And the Spectator is quite useless except to inform one of the sedate and solemn opinions of the Low church party,The Low Church party is the more evangelical and strictly Protestant sector of the Anglican Church as compared to the High Church party (which emphasizes ritual and apostolic succession). who do not interest one. I shall have sent to you Major Hume’s latest book, The Influence of Spanish on Spanish Literature [sic].Martin Andrew Sharp Hume, Spanish Influence on English Literature (London: E. Nash, 1905). See also letters of June 14, 1904, and October 10, 1904. It is not well written—and the man is innocent of any delicacy of touch in such matters, but he knows enough not to ape the airs and graces of people who have. And he knows his ground. And above all things he, who, as I think I told you treated me last year with studied formality, received me this year with open arms, and asked my opinion. So read the book. It is quite worth it.
I am not going to say anything more about Hell or ParadiseSee letter of June 3, 1905. till we meet. It is too complicated for us on paper.
Before I left town I saw PelléasPelléas et Mélisande (1892), a play by Maurice Maeterlinck about the doomed love of the title characters. acted by BernhardtSarah Bernhardt (1844–1923), a French stage actress. and Mrs. Partric Campbell [sic]Mrs. Patrick Campbell (née Beatrice Stella Tanner) (1865–1940), a British stage actress. in French, the latter with the most appalling British accent—all the more so as she felt it necessary to use the mysterious intonation which some actors think necessary to a proper interpretation of Maeterlinck.Maurice Polydore Marie Bernard Maeterlinck (1862–1949), a Belgian writer. I am becoming very enthusiastic about him. And at the Court Theatre in Sloane Sq.Royal Court Theatre, a theater on Sloane Square in London. (the only decent English speaking theatre I ever was in) I saw Bernard Shaw’sGeorge Bernard Shaw (1856–1950), an Irish playwright. “You Never Can Tell.”You Never Can Tell, a four-act play written by George Bernard Shaw in 1897. Very well done except for one or two parts.
This ship is very small, and the first-class passengers are Manchester and Liverpool, but the second is occupied by a large band of Turks in their national dress, and the boy and I go and play with them. Unfortunately they cannot speak a word of anything, but we get on very well with them. We all sit in a circle on the deck, and one of them plays a dulcimer and two or three sing, and the rest of us clap our hands. This behaviour scandalizes the very genteel people from Liverpool and Manchester so much that they won’t speak to us.
Please let me know as soon as you do whether you come to England this autumn, and plans in general.