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Elisina Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss and Robert Woods Bliss, December 11, 1936 [3]

Finance Ministry


Dec 11th 1936

Dearest Mildred and Robert,

Your dear cable, and Bill’s announcement of the arrival of our grandsonRoyall Tyler (b. 1936), the first child of Bettine Tyler and William Royall Tyler, was born in London. After earning a BA in Far Eastern Languages from Harvard University and a PhD in Japanese literature from Columbia University, he became a scholar and translator of Japanese literature. He presently lives in Australia in New South Wales. arrived together this morning, and your cable seemed an immediate reply to the message I had sent you at once in my thoughts when I opened the telegram giving me the news. I have spoken with Royall who is in Paris for 3 days after the Geneva Meeting. He is deeply moved by this great event in our lives. And he was also happy, and moved, to associate your dear names with the message I gave him.

I spent a fortnight in England last October before coming out here. Betsy was the picture of health and of contented equanimity. Bill weighed some 76 kilos, a remarkable weight, and had quite recovered—bless him,—from the nasty adventureTuberculosis. See letter of April 10, 1936. of last spring. But the doctors say that the harsh climate of New York, combined with the strain of hard work is too risky for him. So we greatly hope that the Guaranty Trust may wish to employ Bill in their London house, which is the centre of their European affairs, and where his connections, and knowledge of languages and various European countries may be of use to them. The Guaranty Trust Directors have been very generous to Bill, and he regrets to have to leave America just now. But if he has the good luck to go on in their service he will have plenty of opportunities to go over in the future for longer or shorter spells of time. The poor lamb really held on until he dropped.

The great events in EnglandThe abdication of King Edward VIII on December 10, 1936. have not surprised anyone who had had an opportunity of seeing which way things were tending. I hope that the new reign will be less shadowed by private adventure, as the affairs of the world need the strong hand of the Anglo-Saxon race at the helm.

Our dear Edith is at Hyères, after a short visit to the B.B’s in Florence. She gets tired easily—alas,—but she is learning to dole out her energy with an eye to the day’s requirements, and that is the really important point. I fear I shall not see her now until the Spring, but we write very frequently.

Gioia had a major operation poor lamb, in July. She has recovered well, but of course our anxiety and distress has been very great. All summer Bill and Betsy were with me at Antigny. The altitude, and the general healthiness of the place was the means of restoring Bill in a surprisingly quick recovery. Alas, I could not try the same system on Gioia, as she could not be moved.

I wish you both, most lovingly, a happy Christmas and a very happy New Year. When are you coming to Europe? Violet Carruthers (Markham) is coming to spend Christmas here with us.

Bill’s future will be decided when Dan Grant,Daniel B. Grant (1893–1948), an American banker and a vice president (since 1930) of the London office of the Guaranty Trust Company of New York. who is the General Manager of the London office, has seen the head in New York. He has sailed yesterday I think, so no news will come till early January. When they come, you shall know first.

My other chickens are well,—and I enjoy that humiliatingly rude health which Providence grants me as long as I don’t overstep my prescribed limitations.

Do be an angel, and do send me news of the Oaks, and the garden. What a wonderful three days we spent with you last year,Elisina Tyler, William Tyler, and Bettine Tyler spent three days at Dumbarton Oaks in early November 1935. and how happy I am to have such a vision in my memory.

Tell Robert that our little house is still as he saw it, and that we long to welcome you both here. We have good friends here, and a very pleasant and interesting circle, and Vienna just round the corner for great music.

My very best love to you both,

Ever lovingly


I hope you received my cable sending mutual congratulations!