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Elisina Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, May 4, 1913


May 4th 1913.Sunday.

Dearest Mildred,

We returned on Saturday evening with three charming houses up our sleeve,The Tylers were looking for a house to rent for the summer in Burgundy. and having renounced a fourth which glittered but was not gold. We want to see you very much, and if the gods are good there is a little surprise in store for you. But you mustn’t ask questions, and in due time I’ll tell you. At present I am bounded by a promise.

Your G. SchlumbergerLéon Gustave Schlumberger (1844–1929), a French historian and numismatist who specialized in the Crusades and the Byzantine Empire. is the great authority on Byzantine matters, I suppose? Some day we would very much like to show him our chalice.BZ.1955.18.

De MorganJacques Jean Marie de Morgan (1857–1924), a French civil engineer, geologist, and archaeologist. is in Italy; but M. Allotte de la FuyeFrançois Maurice Allott de la Fuÿe (1844–1955), an Assyriologist and president of the French Society for Numismatics. will do in the meantime, and when he returns we will gird our armour and make ready for the final encounter. We were so happy with you and Robert and we pray that Heaven will send us another soon.The meaning of this reference is unknown. May we come to tea late one day this week, or will you come to toast and jam here?

Bless you for being such a dear, and for remembering to send me the complete works of Mrs. WhartonRoyall Tyler first met Edith Wharton in February 1913 at the home of Raymond Koechlin. He wrote to Elisina Tyler on February 26: “I had a very pleasant time at Koechlin. He lives very snugly indeed—more so than we do, rather, and has most beautiful things. . . . Metman and his wife were there, Mrs. Wharton, the writer, and someone else. . . . I talked a little to Mrs. Wharton, who is an intelligent woman of very near 50, I should think. She asked me to go and see her”; on March 11: “This afternoon I went to tea at Mrs. Wharton’s. She has a beautiful flat in the rue de Varenne. She is a very intelligent, and I think nice woman and she wants very much to meet you. There were lots of people there, all French, but I talked mostly with her and Koechlin”; and again on March 16: “I am going to lunch with Mrs. Wharton and the Blisses on Tuesday and have also accepted for you. Mildred says I have made a conquest of Mrs. W. Que tendé.” Apparently, Elisina did not meet Wharton that Tuesday, as an invitation from Wharton to Elisina of June 10, 1913, inviting her to tea, is annotated in Elisina Tyler’s hand: “Invitation to my first meeting with Edith.” Edith Wharton mss., William Royall Tyler files, folder 9, The Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington. In her autobiography, Edith Wharton also remembered first meeting Royall Tyler “before the war at the house of my friend Raymond Koechlin, the distinguished archaeologist and collector.” Edith Wharton, A Backward Glance (New York and London: D. Appleton–Century, 1934), 348. with the appreciation.

You should see Autun! You should see M. le chanoine régulier de la Cathédrale.“Mister the ‘canon regular’ of the cathedral.” Piffaut!Canon Piffaut authored a pamphlet, Canonisation de Ste Marguerite-Marie et de Ste Jeanne d’Arc, in 1920 for the pilgrimage of the diocese of Autun to Rome for the canonization of these two saints. you should see Saulieu with a romanesque ass on wheels taking the holy family into Egypt! (round the corner). You should eat the things we ate and grow as fat as I have grown, et pour cause!“And for good reason.” What more can I say? I want to do by as I have been done.

Our best love to you both, and a kiss from William who now shows [word or words not transcribed from the original letter]Several of the autograph letters of Elisina Tyler were not included in William Royall Tyler’s gift of the Bliss–Tyler correspondence to Harvard University (see The Early Letters (1902–1908), note 1). At Harvard, these letters exist only in typed transcriptions where, often, foreign words and phrases from the original letters are not transcribed. by carrying his stick on his left arm and taking off his hat to salute me, regardless of the elastic.

Ever yours,


Associated People: Edith Wharton
Associated Places: Paris (France)
Associated Artworks: BZ.1955.18