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Letter from Emma du Maurier to her daughter May Coles, 11 December 1906
[Not in the Morgue]
2L Portman Mansions, W.
Wednesday [11 December 1906]
My darling May,
[…] Arthur has not been so well lately. He has suffered very much from indigestion, so today a specialist (a Mr ? Smith) recommended by Treves went to see him. I telephoned this morning to Sylvia to say I would like to see her if she wished me to go – & she answered she should like me to go, so Trixie drove me there [from Boxmoor] & left me. When I got there the doctors were there, the specialist & the local doctor – Arthur was in bed & I didn’t see him – the specialist attributes the indigestion to the morphia he has taken & has ordered Veronal & has also ordered him to take a great deal of nourishment – oysters, champagne etc. I saw Dr. Rendel on Sunday who takes a very grave view of Arthur’s condition. I wasn’t much alone with Sylvia as Margaret was there & the boys were in & out. She did not break down at all, as of course before them she does her best to be cheerful. I asked her to let me have one or two of them at Ramsgate, but she prefers to have them at home. […] Write soon my darling & Trixie says you never write to her –
Your loving mother
Emma du Maurier
[AB: Veronal was the brand name for barbital, the first commercially available barbituate. It was prescribed primarily as a sleeping aid from 1903 until the mid-1950s.]
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