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Arthur Llewelyn Davies to Mary Llewelyn Davies - 1


Letter from Arthur Llewelyn Davies to his mother Mary, 7 April 1891

[No original available]


3, Harcourt Buildings, Temple.
April 9th [1891]

Dearest Mother,
I think your kind scheme is a most excellent one — I have no doubt Sylvia wd. be delighted at the prospect of going and wd. enjoy the time thoroughly. It is just possible, but not likely, that Mr. du Maurier might raise difficulties about your payment of the expenses. But I think you might very well write and make the offer before Father's approaching visit to London.
I am still, or rather again, in flux. I went to Upper Gl. Pl. on Tuesday, but immediately gave up the lodgings, having undertaken to go off to Exeter for 3 weeks. Next day I gave up the Exeter scheme, and on returning found the lodgings just re-let, and some others I had thought of also gone. So I am stranded, and am again staying at Porchester Gardens. I have nearly decided to take rooms in Barnard's Inn which will be vacant in June. Meanwhile I think of taking Lionel Cust’s rooms in Park Lane (!) during his absence of 6 weeks at the low rent of 25/- a week.
My reason for giving up the Exeter scheme (wch. wd. have been remunerative and perhaps useful) was a sudden ebullition [= outburst] of good feeling and good sense on the part of George Lewis. He has sent me two things — a Statement of Claim to draw in a libel action by Baron de Worms, and a brief for defendant in a breach of promise case — "with you the Attorney General." The latter is only marked ten guineas, but if it comes into court (which is very doubtful) will be well reported. As a son-in-law (barrister) of George Lewis has lately absconded or disappeared, it is quite possible he may do some more for me. You will be relieved to hear that in both cases I am on the respectable (and I think the winning) side.
I am not going to buy the Law Reports at present, as Herbert Chitty has them, but only some less expensive volumes.
I am sending Chitty to Devonshire in my place.
Please address: 3, Harcourt Bldgs.
Your affect. son,

Peter's comment:

The "kind scheme" was an invitation to S. to go with J. and M.Ll.D. and Margaret and Theodore to Switzerland. As the next letter shows, the plan came off, A. himself meanwhile keeping his nose to the grindstone in London.
It is amusing, in a way, to think of George Lewis giving A.Ll.D. his first real chance at the Bar, and of a subsequent head of the same eminent firm of solicitors, Sir R. Poole, playing the part he did, as J.M.B.'s lawyer, in putting the lid on the last chances of J., P., and N.Ll.D. forty years later. But that, boys, is another story, which fortunately comes outside the scope of the present opus; though I have sometimes wondered whether there may not have been some quarrel between A. and R.P. to account for the virulence with which the latter showed — extreme and coldly hostile virulence — towards us at the time of J.M.B.'s will-makings and death.

[AB: Re. the latter reference to Sir Reginald Poole at the time of JMB's dying days and Cynthia A's efforts to have him sign a revised will leaving just about everything to her, see Janet Dunbar, 298-300. Ironic, too, that it was at Sir George Lewis's New Year's Eve dinner party in 1897 that Barrie first clapped eyes on Sylvia ...]


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