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Mary Llewelyn Davies to Sylvia Llewelyn Davies - 1


Letter from Mary Llewelyn Davies to Sylvia du Maurier, 16 April 1890: "It quite surprised me how you have got into my heart in so short a time!"

{Sadly no original]


K L, 16th April, 90

My dear Sylvia,
Thank you very much for your dear note and for all your loving words. It is delightful to think that your visit to us has established an intimacy and affection which will, I hope, go on always increasing.
I have missed you so since you went away! It quite surprised me how you have got into my heart in so short a time! The little red room looks sadly desolate - no dear couple there when I look-in - not even the two chairs standing before the fire - and in the evening that corner of the sofa is empty and I don't know how the little white shawl is getting on.
You say nothing about your own dear people; I hope you found them all well, and that you were not very tired after your journey and that parting! We have a letter today from the shapely one, but it is all about his arrangements as to his Chambers. I dare say you will know more about his daily life now than we shall. We shall anxiously await news of briefs and clients. You will have to learn (among other things!) all the legal talk and phraseology which was so familiar to me before I was married.
My poor Margaret is still in her room, but I really think she is better. She's going today to try and tackle her Congress paper, which wants, she thinks, so much revision. She's trying to put off the Committee which was to have been on Saturday next to the following Saturday, and that would give her more time for recovery.
She and I are left tete-a-tete today, for our two gentlemen are gone up Whernside via Ingleton. Cold and very blowy still. Margt sends you her dear love. My little photo is better than nothing, but make haste and send us something more really like you - and eschew a head rest.
Good bye, darling. Write as often as you feel inclined. Kindest regards to yr father and mother and Mary.
Your loving

Peter's comments from the Morgue:

These two first letters, after their first meeting, show very clearly the strong affection which at once developed between Sylvia and her future mother-in-law. As the subsequent letters from Mary Ll.D. (I have no more of Sylvia's to her) also show, the affection continued until Mary's death five years later.
Whatever truth there may have been in Mary Millais' little note of warning, it would seem that Sylvia got well past the formidableness in the course of her first visit to the Vicarage. I think she truly loved them all, and they her; though, naturally enough, things were never quite the same after Mary Ll.D's death.

{AB: Mary Hodgson alludes to this in her responses to Peter's questions: "K.L. was not congenial to your mother after Mrs Davies' death."}


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