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Emma du Maurier To Sylvia Llewelyn Davies - 1890

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Letter from Emma du Maurier to her daughter Sylvia, September (?) 1890. "Tell Arthur we have come to the conclusion that although we will thoroughly trust him with our daughter, we will not trust him with our luggage."



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New Grove House,
Hampstead Heath. Tuesday [? September 1890]

My darling Sylvia,
We were delighted to get Arthur's telegram saying you had arrived all right at Kirkby Lonsdale, but as he said nothing about getting his handbag at Grosmont we feel rather anxious. He will get Papa's post card tomorrow morning, but I write to explain the matter more thoroughly. We found the handbag a few minutes after we had started, and when we got to Grosmont and saw by the time table that your train would stop there ½ an hour after, we thought it was a brilliant idea to write Arthur's name on the back of one of our cards and to give it to a guard who promised to ask for Mr. Davies in a 3rd class carriage and to give him the bag. However, as Arthur doesn't mention having got it I'm afraid the porter didn't find him. I have therefore written to the Station Master at Grosmont. We sent off the Gladstone bag from London. I am so sorry we were all thoughtless about it. I thought you had explained to the man who took our luggage which boxes were to be kept back for the 10.20 train.
Tell Arthur we have come to the conclusion that although we will thoroughly trust him with our daughter we will not trust him with our luggage. I was so sorry not to get a last look at you, darling, but Papa was taking up all the room and I couldn't see out.*
New Grove House seems very palatial after St. Hilda’s Terrace [at Whitby] but we all feel rather depressed. A packet of Guy's photographs having been sent from the Howards has rather depressed me now I am back again in Hampstead: all the sadness of the whole affair comes back to me.
Do wrote soon darling, and with much love from us all, I am always your loving mother,
Emma du Maurier.

Peter's comments:

* Presumably of the window of the cab which took them to the station, leaving Arthur and Sylvia behind to catch a later train to Kirkby.

I can't be quite certain of the date of this, the only contemporary letter of any consequence from Grannie which I have; but I think I have put it on the right month and year. I imagine S. preserved it partly because she liked to keep a good many letters belonging to the period of her engagement, and partly because the episode of the handbag and the Gladstone bag probably became a standing joke.
Grosmont is a junction a few miles from Whitby.
I don't know who the Howards were, and can only assume an engagement between Guy du M. and a Miss Howard had been broken off.

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