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Elisina Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, May 18, 1914


May 18th 1914Monday.

Dearest Mildred,

We will come with the greatest pleasure on Thursday at 1.15. It will be a great joy to see you both again. The time has seemed long to me, and for some absurd reason I have been anxious about you. I see you are well, so it was only an old woman’s fancy.

My sister’s infinite goodness and serenity have helped me over a very difficult pass. She was a perfect angel to me, in every way. She is radium if you like. You see how soon I fall into plagiarism—but can I help it with such a temptation as that?

How good of you to have remembered my poor little friend in Cornwall.See letters of April 21, 1914; May 5, 1914; June 23, 1914; and November 8, 1914. I’ll write again of course to let you know of the safe arrival of your gift. In the meantime I thank you with great gratitude for her.

I have torn up your letter between this sentence and the last. I agree with you that it is difficult to know how anyone can “know” such things as those ascribed to the Antocolsky.Alexandra (also Alexandrine or Sacha) Antokolsky (or Antocolsky), the daughter of the sculptor Mark Matveyevich Antokolsky (1843–1902). See letters of April 21, 1914, and May 5, 1914. Although the contents of Mildred Barnes Bliss’s letter are unknown, around 1907/08, Alexandra Antokolsky reportedly seduced a seventeen-year-old boy, Nino Cesarini, who was the lover of the poet Jacques d’Adelswärd-Fersen (1880–1923). See Will H. L. Ogrinc, “Frère Jacques: A Shrine to Love and Sorrow; Jacques d’Adelswärd-Fersen (1880–1923),” 2006. This is a revised and updated version of idem, "A Shrine to Love and Sorrow: Jacques d'Adelswärd-Fersen," Paidika: The Journal of Paedophilia 3, no. 2 (Winter 1994): 30–58. In this case however it is fair to add that the Baroness de ZuylenThe Baroness Hélène de Zuylen de Nyevelt (1863–1947), a member of the Paris Rothschild family and the wife of Étienne van Zuylen van Nyevelt (1860–1934). She was the lover of an English poet living in Paris, Pauline Mary Tarn (1877–1909), better known by her pen name, Renée Vivien. De Zuylen wrote several prose poems, plays, and stories, four of which were in collaboration with Vivien using the pen name Paule Riversdale. is about as suspicious a friend as she might have picked up. With the tactlessness characteristic of her class that bold lady even tried to make advances to me! I have never met her, but she wrote, having seen me somewhere once.

Bless you, dearest Mildred. Our love to Robert, and our joint love to you.

Ever yours,


Associated People: Linetta Richardson
Associated Places: Paris (France)