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Elisina Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss and Robert Woods Bliss, April 13, 1936

Hotel Astor



April 13th 1936

Dearest Milrob

I hope this letter will reach you in good time to wish you a comfortable and happy crossing. I should be so happy to have a line before you sail, telling me that you are both perfectly well.

We have had distressing news of Bill lately. He lost, as you know, 15 Ibs. in weight during the dreadful heat last summer. He did not make it up, of course, in the short fortnight that was granted him as a holiday, and he has been pulling against the tide all these months. Recently he caught influenza, bronchitis followed, and while he was in Washington for a couple of days, at the British Embassy, it was discovered that there was a recurrence—slight, we are told,—of the trouble of five years ago. They are sailing on the 18th on the Lafayette. I shall go to Paris to meet them and our later plans will depend on the advice of the excellent doctorDr. Léon Smolizanski (1882–1944), author of L'albumine dans les crachats des tuberculeux (Paris: Jouve, 1911). who took such good care of Bill five years ago.

Dearest Milrob—just as I was finishing this last sentence, the postman brought me a letter of Royall’s of the 11th telling me he had had a telegram from you, and that you are in Rome. I am so happy to feel you are that much nearer. And I send you my most loving and grateful thanks for your sympathy and understanding.

I am here with my young nephew,Gerard Blankenburgh de Castle (born 1918). the last of my line,—who needed sea air and sunshine during his Easter holidays, as he has grown suddenly and the doctor advised the change. My sister, who is his guardian, could not come from England.

I will write you as soon as I have seen Bill, as you don’t sail till the 28th. Let me know your address in Naples, please. I shall have to leave this youngster here by himself for 3 days, but though just 17, he is wise and reliable.

The greatest comfort in all this has been the wisdom, goodness and understanding of the Lindsays,Sir Ronald Charles Lindsay (1877–1945), the British ambassador to the United States between 1930 and 1939, and his wife, Elizabeth Sherman Hoyt Lindsay. who have certainly been the means of averting a serious trouble. How can one ever hope to make any return in life to the friends who have shown their affection towards us and ours, in such moments as these? When you see Elizabeth Lindsay, do tell her please that without her, this anxiety would have been unbearable. How sad Bill and Betsy will be to miss you!

My very very best love to you both, dearest creatures, Now, take great care of yourself!

Yours ever,


Associated Places: Italy