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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, August 12, 1940

Geneva 12.VIII.40

I’ve just had your air-mail letter of Aug. 2, and am deeply touched by the thought and care you’ve given to my predicament. The program you outline corresponds to what I’d like to do. But I don’t think I can start anything without having been able to consult with Elisina. And when that will be, I know not. I’ve applied through Am embassy Berlin for permission to enter Occupied France—that being the course recommended by the German Consul General here. No reply as yet. From unoccupied France, it now appears to be impossible. I failed when I tried from Vichy, July 29-30.

To take your points:See letter of August 2, 1940. (1) Impossible to tell how this could be done, without being able to get there. (2) I’m in touch with our people, except those in Paris, whom I can only reach via Berlin. (3) Our people in Vichy have had a cable from Bill B.William Christian Bullitt Jr. (1891–1967), an American diplomat, journalist, novelist; he was the first U.S. ambassador to the Soviet Union (1933–1936) as well as an ambassador to France (1936–1940). asking them to work out with me some plan for removal “for safe storage in Paris.” No mention of the Emb. caves. (4) I fear nothing can be done in time to profit by McKeesport,SS McKeepsort, the first mercy ship deployed by the United States Red Cross in 1940 at the beginning of the Second World War. The ship was sunk by a German U-Boat on April 29, 1943.—but perhaps some later ship? (5) Fine about the seal, if it can be done. At present, Elisina has 12 German officers living in the house. (6) I can’t leave these parts till I’ve been able to consult with Elisina and agree on some plan with her. (7) It’s angelic of you to offer to cable the MarshalPhilippe Pétain (1856–1951) (Maréchal Pétain), a French general who became marshal of France and later chief of state of Vichy France, the collaborationist French state, between 1940 and 1944.—but I don’t think, the Vichy Govt. can do anything. Their own Minister of the Interior wasn’t allowed to go to Paris, 4 days ago.

I’m watching like a cat for any possibility of going—but I’ve got to make sure of being able to get out again.

I get messages from Elisina, by one way or another, and now and then a letter. She’s well, and of good heart.

My dear, what a question; do I approve of that match?The marriage of Sir Arthur Salter and Ethel Mather Bullard, née Bagg (1883–1969), on June 15, 1940. I had rather expected it for some time to come. After all, he’s marrying her, not I, and I think I agree with you about it. I don’t think it will interfere with his work.

I’m trying to find out just what the plight of our friendWolfgang Friedrich Volbach. Volbach and his wife immigrated to the Vatican City in 1934, and he worked in the Vatican library and as a professor at the Papal Institute for Christian Archaeology. at the Library is, and if I can, I’ll let you know.

I hear from BetbillThe Bliss abbreviation for Bettine Tyler and William Royall Tyler. fairly often. All seems to be well with them, thank God and Milrobs.

I’ve completed a draft of the Emp. roundelBZ.1937.23. paper,Hayford Peirce and Royall Tyler would publish the emperor roundel sculpture (BZ.1937.23) in “A Marble Emperor-Roundel of the XIIth Century,” Three Byzantine Works of Art, Dumbarton Oaks Papers 2 (1941): 1, 3–9. which I’m sending by air-mail to Hayford, as there are a few points he must consider before it goes to print. And, please, make him come to Washington and have a careful look at the original, our text in hand, before the bon-à tirer“Ready for printing.” is given. This is essential.

I hadn’t known that Robert was away—tho’ I realised he must be in need of a rest. Give him much love from me, please, and keep all the rest for yourself.

R. T.

I haven’t had any reply from Hyperion.Hypérion, a French book publisher. I’ve written Hayford authorising him to try, if he can get hold of GloecknerAndré Gloeckner, an author and art editor for Hypérion, the French book publisher. over there, to get G to agree where Vol. IllL’art byzantin. The third volume was not published. is concerned.

Associated Things: L'art byzantin
Associated Artworks: BZ.1937.23