Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, July 12, 1916
12 July, 1916.Wednesday.
Here, dear Mildred, is the best out of half-a-dozen plans I have drawn up.See letter of April 27, 1915: "Royall has drawn up the itinerary of your little journey." After mature reflection I decided that what we had better do was to take up our journey where we left it in May, 1913, when we went to Vézelay;See letter of February 16, 1913. for if we went down to Avignon we’d be missing all the best French Romanesque—the Provence school is poor stuff compared with what is to found further north.
Mindful of our fondness for leisurely travelling, I have laid out a plan that will show us Burgundian, Upper Auvergne and Upper Loire Romanesque; and that’s as much as people of discrimination can do in a fortnight. Another journey—we shall take several others in course of time—will show us the achievements of Poitou, the Limousin, Guyenne; another, of Languedoc and Provence.
It was a sore temptation to make a rush to Conques; but we shall be wiser to leave Conques until we can undertake that part of the country, which is very rich. If we had to rush through it there and back past many marvels without stopping it would be too painful—as William said when he saw two very endimanchées“In one’s Sunday best.” ladies, plumes and feathers flying, going to Mass.
We start—the elopement starts—with the Cistercian Abbey of Fontenay—the finest in France—close to Montbard and quite near (12 k.) here. So will you pick me up here, or at Montbard, or Semur, as you please?
The places underlined in my list have hotels where one may spend the night without fear. I have looked up all the distances on the map, so you needn’t consult PitkinPitkin Guide Books.—is that how he spells himself? They are mild distances; we don’t mean to rush, do we?
What a state of excitement the mapping out of the journey gets me into!
Love to Robert.
Yours always sincerely