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Royall Tyler to Mildred Barnes Bliss, October 21, 1949

United Nations

Hôtel Normandy




Dearest Mildred—It’s sad indeed to think of you in Paris, and that had it not been for this assignment, which I think you’ll understand I had to accept, I might be there with you—the more so that it now appears I shall not be back till just before Xmas—if then. I’m very low at being deprived of part of your visit this year.

Well—to try to dwell on the brighter side of the picture, here I am in a part of the Mediterranean World which I had not seen, hitherto. Egypt yes, and Constantinople, but never the Arab States that lie between those two. And I find the experience prodigiously interesting. Only—I wouldn’t have chosen to have it just now. Of course, I have little time for anything but the job I’m on, but I have seen a few things of those we like, and hope to see more.

The Museum hereThe National Museum of Beirut, the principal museum of archaeology in Lebanon. owns those prodigious Egyptian objects from the Shrine at ByblosByblos, the Greek name of the Phoenician city of Gebal, a Mediterranean city now named Jbail, in Lebanon. Byblos was first excavated by Pierre Montet between 1921 and 1924, and by Maurice Dunand, over a period of forty years beginning in 1925. which, as you may remember, were exhibited at the LouvreIn March 1922, Egyptian objects excavated at Byblos by Pierre Montet were exhibited at the Musée du Louvre, Paris. a couple of years after the end of World War I. and other things of great interest as well.

I spent one morning at Cairo on my way here, and saw Engert,Cornelius Van H. Engert (1887–1985), an Austrian-born American diplomat, who, in 1946, was assistant and acting diplomatic advisor to the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA), from 1946 to 1947, and a representative of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development for the Middle East, India, and Pakistan, from 1948 to 1951. who mentioned you with affection. I liked him, and hope to get a couple of days there with him towards the end of November. I shall also have to visit Syria, Irak (Bagdad), Transjordan, Arab Palestine and Israel. I hope to see Baalbeck shortly, and le Krac des Chevaliers,Krak des Chevaliers, a Crusader castle in Syria that Raymond II, Count of Tripoli, gave to the Knights Hospitaller, in 1142, who possessed it until it fell in 1271. and Byblos, etc.

Much love to you and Robert, dearest Mildred

Your GrowlerMildred Barnes Bliss’s nickname for Royall Tyler.

Associated Places: Beyrouth (Lebanon)