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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes, September 19, 1902

Grand Hôtel Brun


19 Sept.

Dear Mildred.

I am desolated at having to leave Venice before your arrival, but, as perhaps you have gathered from my Mother’s letters, we joined forces with an American family, that we had met at Venice and decided to go to Ancona by sea, by the boats that go to Ancona once per week. So we had to go on Monday morning. The letter from Brentano’s was disgusting. Such stupidity is incomprehensible. I hope you have made it clear to them, we are staying in Florence for a week, so there might be time to have it sent there—36 Via Montebello—(Gonelli’s Hôtel). Since picking up the American family I have changed my mind about the problem, but I may have two to submit—one shall certainly be a problem from real life.See Anniversary. Rimini and RavennaRoyall Tyler wrote of his trip to Rimini and Ravenna: “After my last term at school, my mother took me to Bayreuth and afterwards to the Tyrol. From there, I induced her to make another and longer visit to Venice and then to Ravenna. Thus, while classical art, western primitives and the Renaissance still eluded me, I turned eagerly to Byzantine color and form.” (Autobiography 2:36). Royall Tyler’s autobiography is undated and concerns his life through the early years of World War I, which may be the period when he wrote it. A photocopy is at the Massachusetts Historical Society in Boston, Massachusetts, in the Walter Muir Whitehill Papers, N-2177, carton no. 70. are archaic places, with hideous hotels, but the latter is very interesting—quite 5th century, and Byzantine,Royall Tyler credited his great interest in Byzantine art and history to a first trip to Venice that he made with his mother and stepfather in 1900. He recalled: “My experience in Venice opened the door leading to Byzantine art, the central point from which I later approached other domains. For the time being, the Byzantine vision alone held me.” (Autobiography 2:36). See also The Early Letters (1902–1908). but the American family (2 girls and Momma, who afford me intense joy) and my Mama could not stand the food, so we had to leave.

The mode of expression that I have adopted in this letter may make you despair of my future as an author, but I am being interrupted constantly by the 2 girls, who are deciding weighty problems such as whether my hair would be better parted on the other side etc.

I am

Yrs. sincerely

Royall Tyler.

Associated Things: Anniversary; Autobiography