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Elisina Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, April 16, 1917


April 16th 1917Monday.

Dearest Mildred,

Your letter and mine crossed, and this morning I had your message through Royall. I think I shall go to London at the end of next week, and see whether it might not be a good thing to use pressure on G.R. by proposing to submit the question of my seeing the children to the decision of the courts.See letter of April 9, 1917: "G.R. flatly refuses to let me see the children these holidays." However I do not think that I can decide that point without consulting Wainwright.

It is very cold—or at least fairly cold in Paris, and there is a good deal to be done. BeauvallonBeauvallon-sur-Mer in southeastern France, where Elisina Tyler stayed before April 9, 1917, has one of the warmest winter climates in France. See also letters of April 9, 1917, and July 21, 1917. seems a faraway dream. But the good things it has given me are living realities, and they are with me still.

William is flourishing, and showing plenty of spirit. He has just been to tea with Mrs. Cameron,Elizabeth Sherman Cameron (1857–1944), an American who worked with Edith Wharton and Elisina Tyler and was the intimate friend of Henry Adams. and it is always a great treat for him as she is more than kind to him.

Royall likes his job at the chancery,After the United States entered the war, Royall Tyler enlisted in the army and was commissioned a lieutenant and assigned to the U.S. War Department General Staff, G-2, for German prisoner of war interrogation. He eventually rose to the rank of major. See letter of July 21, 1917, and Major Royall Tyler and Military Intelligence during the Great War. and has had the luck to find a white Han or early Sung pot,This Han or Song ceramic is unknown. The Blisses would later acquire a white-glazed Northern Song dynasty jar and cover (HC.C.1921.003.[EW]) from the Parisian dealer Paul Mallon (inv. no. 6887) on August 29, 1921. of noble proportions and accessible price. I haven’t yet seen Robert, and when I reflect we are both in the same town it seems incredible.Mildred Barnes Bliss was in the south of France, in the area of Cannes, probably at Beauvallon-sur-Mer. In a letter of June 15, 1917, she told William Henry Bliss that she had returned to Paris refreshed and that Viti Paget had “motored up from Cannes” with her; see Mildred Barnes Bliss to William Henry Bliss, June 15, 1917, Blissiana files, William Henry Bliss correspondence. Alpina Viti Paget née MacGregor (died 1918) was the wife of Sir Alfred Wyndham Paget. There are great rumours of an earnest French offensive, of 750,000 men collected at Rheims, all sorts of hopes floating over our heads in the uncertain air of early Spring. May they come to full flower-time before long.

I won’t discuss the right attitude to take towards one’s limitations, dearest Mildred, but just quote to you what has always seemed to me one of the finest of thoughts! “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”Ecclesiastes 9:10.

I hear Geoffrey is at Beauvallon. Give him my love, and tell him that we both hope to see him soon. Give my love to Viti Paget,Alpina Viti Paget née MacGregor (died 1918), wife of Sir Alfred Wyndham Paget. and tell her I sigh for the day when her sisterAlthough Viti Paget did not have a sister, Elisina Tyler may be referring to Lady Mary (“Minnie”) Paget (1853–1919), his sister-in-law, who was married to Sir Arthur Paget. will come to my rescue!

With fondest love, ever, as ever, yours,


Associated Places: Paris (France)
Associated Artworks: HC.C.1921.003.(EW)