Elisina Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, September 20, 1916
September 20th 1916Wednesday.
I have spent 3 agonising days of storms and uncertainties.On September 12, 1916, Elisina Tyler’s son, Gerard Grant Richards, was killed by the collapse of a tunnel of sand in which he was playing on a beach in Cornwall. Eric Maclagan wired the news to Royall Tyler at Genay and to Mildred Barnes Bliss in Paris. Elisina Tyler went to England, and Royall Tyler returned to Genay. See Alan Price, The End of the Age of Innocence: Edith Wharton and the First World War (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996), 98–99. See also letter of September 18, 1916. Now at last I can tell you—and tell you first,—that I have seen Gioia and CharlieCharles Geoffrey Grant Richards (1902–1959), Elisina Tyler’s son. this morning, and that Wainwright has managed to wrench a promise from G.R. that I may see the children at regular intervals in the future. Some good has come out of this great great sorrow.
My poor sister is pitiful to see. She is suffering from the reaction of all she has had to undergo. My presence is a great comfort to her, and I am staying a few days longer to be with her.
HelenHelen Elizabeth Maclagan (née Lascelles) (1879–1942), wife of Eric Maclagan (July 8, 1913) and granddaughter of the 4th Earl of Harewood. and Eric Maclagan have been too wonderfully good to me. I stayed with them until to-day, when Helen was called to see one of her sisters who is expecting a baby very soon, and whose husband is at the front.
Dear dear Mildred, how can I ever tell you what you have been to me during this trial. God bless you for your goodness and wisdom and greatheartedness.
My love to Robert, and all my most loving thoughts to you.