24 March 1922

Victoria Palace Hotel, Paris

   What a letter you have sent me! If I could hope one of my stories had given you one moment of the happiness you have given me I would feel less at a loss how to thank you. I have sat here, looking at the pages, and thinking "So she felt like that about The Stranger, she notices Florrie the cat, she understood my poor old Ma Parker and Miss Brill. . . "
   For it's not your praise I value most (though, of course, one does like praise) it's the fact that you have so beautifully, so generously seen what I was trying to express. It is a joy to write stories but nothing like the joy of knowing one has not written in vain. I have lived too remote from people for the last four years seeing nobody except my husband for months on end - And that makes one a little bit frightened sometimes lest one has lost touch with life. But a letter like yours is such encouragement that the only way I can thank you is by trying to write better. . . You say scarcely anything about the big black holes in my book (like the servant's afternoon out.) But I know they are there. I must mend them next time.
   How glad I am that you did not listen to the person who said you had "much better not." One does not expect such letters - how could one - few people are rich enough to be able to afford to give such presents.   [To Mrs. Oliver Onions, 24 March 1922.]