May 14th 1941
It is so long since I wrote to you that I can hardly say this is an answer to your last three letters which I have before me now. I have just returned to England after being away for some time so I will use that as an excuse for not writing sooner. You must have wondered why I didn’t write before this but I expected to be here a month ago and it didn’t work out that way.
Returning here to find England in the flush of springtime one can easily forget the wet cold winter so common in this country. One is amazed at the soft greenness of the landscape and it is easy to understand why Englishmen abroad always suffer from nostalgia in the spring. Daffodils, primroses and apple blossoms! Here in Kent there seems to be miles of apple blossoms and the countryside is so quiet and peaceful. Rolling, comparatively flat country covered with prosperous looking farms and oast houses – I’m sure Cheshire isn’t much more beautiful than this.
Perhaps you have forgotten the newspaper article about G.B.S., written by Winston Churchill, you sent to me but I thought it rather interesting. I have a very high opinion of Shaw, though he goes off the deep end at times. He is the sort of Englishman (Irishman) who helps to set the pace for the rest of England to follow. He is one of a group of distinguished English authors who help to keep England in the lead in the literary world. Most of the other authors you mentioned I have read. I liked Margaret Rawlings and J. Conrad very much. I bought a copy of Charles Morgan’s ‘The Voyage’ and enjoyed it. I will send it to you. You apparently have read it, but it is no use to me now that I’ve read it, and perhaps you will know of someone who would read it. I’m sorry to hear you didn’t care for A Huxley’s ‘Eyeless in Gaza’. Admitted it was rather depressing, and a bit overdone, but some of his characters are well drawn. If you get a chance read his ‘Ends and Means’. This is not a novel but rather interesting in the light of present events.
I was sorry to hear about the death of your old sheepdog. Perhaps the pup will make up for this loss in time. Dying is one of the faults dogs have. Their average length of life is much too short compared to humans. One becomes attached to them and regrets their passing away. I’ve shed tears over them myself when I was a youngster.
Since I wrote last life has been as quiet as it is possible for it to be under the circumstances. I’m still in good health though I’ve lost some weight which has done me little harm. I expect to be going away from England for some time after this trip so don’t be surprised if you don’t hear from me for some time. It would be good to hear from you from time to time as your letters always make pleasant reading. I like the name ‘Jim’ (good name for a girl I think). I had an Aunt who was called Dick and it always sounded odd saying ‘Aunt Dick’ but she was never called anything else. Something she acquired in her younger days when she was a bit of a tomboy.
Your family are all well and happy I hope and you yourself happy and working. One is better off at the present time if one is doing something worthwhile I think. Your part of the country has had its share of air raids I gather. There is the consolation that the longer it goes on the sooner it will be over and it is easier to be cheerful in the pleasant summer weather don’t you think?
Well Jim I’ll say Cheerio for the present and I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you again. Please do not pay me back in my own coin by waiting a long time before you write.
P.S. Here is the proper address:
P.O. H. Whyte