21 April 1922

Victoria Palace Hotel, Paris

Most dear Elizabeth,
   I have kept on putting off writing to you until I could say that I was quite well. But that's silly. For I think of you, wonder where you are and if you have started your journey, long to know, and miss the joy of your hand-writing on the envelope. Oh dear, it would be nicest of all to see you and to hear you talk. I shall always miss you as one misses someone very near and dear. It would be too lovely if John and I might come to the Chalet in August - too thrilling. I dip into the idea and put it away again - as one does a beloved book.
   About John's novel. I felt very much as you did when I read the Times review - almost as though the reviewer had been reading another book. . . "A later and a loftier Annie Lee." It has been very well reviewed on the whole. Don't you think that perhaps he lays bare the secret of many many men - the desire to walk away from their solitary job, solitary cottage loaf and marmalade and find an ideal pub with a cosy landlady. I don't know. I had much better hold my tongue. John is by no means puffed up. He looks upon it as an experiment and having written it feels he can now swim in the deep end of the bath without fear. [To Elizabeth, Countess Russell, 23 April 1922.]