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Elisina Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, April 19, 1929

Sainte-Claire du Chateau
Hyères Var
April 19th 1929Friday.

Dearest Mildred,

Your letter to Edith dated Easter EveSaturday, March 30, 1929. has arrived, and as she is still unable to attend to her own correspondence, I am answering you in her name.For Edith Wharton’s illness, see letter of March 29, 1929 [1].

Bill and I left her for a few days last week which we spent together at Gourdon.Château de Gourdon, a château near the French Riviera owned between 1918 and 1938 by May Norris (d. 1938), an American interior designer and friend of Edith Wharton. We are back again now, and Bill is leaving tomorrow night to go for a brief visit to Oxford when he hopes he will pass his entrance examination to Balliol College.Balliol College was founded in 1263 as one of the constituent colleges of the University of Oxford. He has already passed the ‘Responsions’Responsions, the first of the three examinations once required for an academic degree at the University of Oxford. It was generally taken by students prior to or shortly after matriculation in order to allow the university to verify the quality of the students that colleges were accepting. The examination consisted of questions on Latin, ancient Greek, and mathematics. It was abolished in 1960. for admittance to the University.

I shall be with Edith a few days longer, as long as she needs me. I am very happy to be able to tell you that she is really making progress now; morally and intellectually she has all her usual gaiety and vigour, physically she is still delicate and subject to small relapses if the utmost watchfulness is not exercised over her food, and the strain of ordinary intercourse. The doctor is pleased with her, and I think that by the time you arrive in France you will find her practically well again.

I want to thank you so much on her behalf, and mine too, for your contribution to the ‘Maisons Américaines de Convalescence’For Edith Wharton’s American Hostels for Refugees (Accueil franco-américain aux réfugiés belges et français) and her American Convalescent Homes (Oeuvre des maisons américaines de convalescence), which established three principal homes in France for the families and children of refugees either suffering from or threatened by tuberculosis, see Brussels, Buenos Aires, and Paris (1909–1919): An Introduction and Alan Price, The End of the Age of Innocence: Edith Wharton and the First World War (New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1996). which Mlle MalyeThérèse Malye (1886–1951), Mildred Barnes Bliss’s social secretary in Paris. has just sent. A great deal has been done already in helping several young people to recover their health, and your generous gift will enable us to do a great deal more. Our Committee meets regularly once a month, and is working smoothly through our connection with the Dispensary of the Office Public d’Hygiène Sociale of the Place des Peupliers, which is blessed with the most devoted staff of doctors and nurses.

I have just seen Sir Alan and Lady Johnstone;The American-born Lady Alan Johnstone (née Antoinette “Nettie” Eno Pinchot) (d. 1934) was married in 1892 to Sir Alan Vande-Bempde-Johnstone (1858–1932), who served as British minister to Denmark in 1905–1910 and Holland in 1910–1917. A friend of Mildred Barnes Bliss, Lady Johnstone organized and managed the American hospital at Ris-Orangis, near Paris, during the First World War. The strain of the work impaired her health and caused a complete breakdown in 1925. See “Lady Johnstone Dies; Widow of Diplomat,” New York Times, June 2, 1934. we lunched with them yesterday on the way back from GourdonChâteau de Gourdon, a château near the French Riviera owned between 1918 and 1938 by May Norris (d. 1938), an American interior designer and friend of Edith Wharton. to Hyères. Sir Alan was very anxious about the health of his elder brother who has recently been ill; he is now better.

Edith will be here for another three weeks at least. Royall is in Warsaw, and is passing through Paris on his way to London on Thursday the 25th. He will be in London for about a month, then for a fortnight in Hungary, then in Geneva for the meeting of the Finance CommitteeOn October 25, 1920, the League of Nations had appointed an Advisory Economic and Financial Committee composed of two sections of ten members each and tasked with “the working out of measures of an economic and financial nature which have been submitted for adoption by Members of the League in accordance with the Covenant of the League.” of the League,The League of Nations, an international organization in Geneva whose principal missions were to maintain world peace, settle international disputes through negotiation and arbitration, and create stability within financial markets. and then, I hope, in Paris!

My best love, dearest Mildred, to you both, and best love from Edith and from your Bourguignon.

Yours ever
Elisina