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Elisina Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, October 2, 1912

Albergo Cappello Nero


October 2nd 1912Wednesday.

Dear Mildred,

I am sending you a post-card of Rembrandt’s mother,Since Elisina Tyler had recently been in Vienna, this reference is probably to a 1639 portrait in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna (no. 1273). which I remember you spoke to me about in Paris.

We have been here five days, and I am in a mood of secret obstinate determination never to leave this place again. In order to get me to budge the good Royall has proposed that we should go to Ravenna for three days; the idea being to get me past the corner, of course. I feel conscience stirring, but lazily, and the lagoons wash over every moral feeling that might make for action of a disagreeable nature. Still! Mary TudorMary Tudor usually refers to Mary (1496–1533), younger sister of King Henry VIII of England and queen consort of France through her marriage to Louis XII. Elisina Tyler probably is referring to Mary I (1516–1558), daughter of Henry VIII and queen of England and Ireland (1553-1558) and wife of Philip II of Spain (1554–1558). is looking down from a safe place in Heaven, and wishing to be justified in the sight of men by all the arguments that may be marshaled in support of a loyal and bômée bigote [sic]The meaning of this phrase is unclear. It is possible that it was not transcribed correctly from the original autograph letter, which is not included in William Royall Tyler's gift of the Bliss-Tyler correspondence to Harvard University (see The Early Letters (1902–1908), note 1). with a sad domestic history.

Eric Maclagan has been here with us in Venice, and indeed met us at Udine and went with us to Cividale. You should see the [word or words not transcribed from the original letter]At Harvard, these letters exist only in typed transcriptions where, often, foreign words and phrases from the original letters are not transcribed. gems at Cividale! You should see,—but perhaps you have seen?—the 10th century illuminated book of prayers,The Gertrude Psalter (also known as the Egbert Psalter) is in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cividale del Friuli, Italy (MS 136). Originally created by the monks of the Abbey of Reichenau in the late tenth century for Archbishop Egbert of Trier, in the mid-eleventh century, the book passed to Gertrude of Poland, who added her prayer book as part of the codex and commissioned its illuminations, which are painted in a mixture of Byzantine and Romanesque styles. and a beautiful binding of the 13th, carved wood and niello inlayThe early thirteenth-century Psalter of Saint Elizabeth (Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Cividale del Friuli, Italy [MS 137]), is bound with wooden plaques set into an incised silver gilt frame with niello.—and caskets,—early byzantine—and a bronze sword of splendid workmanship, and of great efficiency, I should guess.

Grant Richards has written a novel, called Caviare.Grant Richards, Caviare (London: Grant Richards, Ltd., 1912). Do read it, it is very good, in a very personal and eccentric way. It is exactly like him, and I envy him very much for having jumped forward so airily and with such good grace.

We are going to Ravenna—Hotel Spada d’oro e San Marco—and shall be there till Thursday, 10th for certain. Do let us know your plans, and what is decided about Robert's leave.The meaning of this reference is unknown. On February 11, 1913, Mildred Barnes Bliss wrote her stepfather, William Henry Bliss:[W]e have met Bérard, the French expert on two widely opposite subjects, Homer and the Balkan countries, and it is on the strength of his opinion that we have decided to spend our holiday in Africa and profit by the unique opportunity to be passed on from one Army post to another, and go as far into the Desert as the Oasis of Figuigue.” But there is no record that the Blisses made this trip. Blissiana files, William Henry Bliss correspondence. Give him my warm remembrance, and Royall's.

My dear Mildred, I send you my very best love.

Yours always


Associated People: Eric Maclagan; Grant Richards
Associated Places: Venice [Venezia] (Italy)