Sunday, May 14, 2017

Notebook 1: Mrs. Carl Goodman and Mr. Andrews reprints

Feb. 4th 1925
Halethorpe M.D.
The Editor of the Elizabeth Journal

Dear Sir:

Many thanks for your letter of Feb. 2nd and enclosures, which explain why I never received any the papers as I had which I had asked for.

In my letter of Dec 22nd I enclosed stamps and asked for copies of the paper and to be sent only one letter, the one which I had received from Mrs. Andrews. The letter from Mrs. Carl Goodman I had have never seen before (and re-enclose). Mrs. Goodman apparently did not send stamps, so probably Miss Foote thought I had sent both letters, and dispatched the papers straight to Plainview.

I am nevertheless very anxious to see the notice & likeness of Mr. Andrews...

all of which I should like to keep so I hope you will kindly send me a paper or papers if there was more than one notice of his death, which as the others have already received theirs I need not send on to them and can keep for myself. 

Thanking you,
Yours Truly,
Lucy Derrick Swindells

Carrie's Notes: This is an interesting note from Lucy to the editor of the Elizabeth Journal. Somehow there was a mixup in the previous notes sent requesting copies of an obituary or story written about the former Rector Mr. E. H. J. Andrews. It sounds as if the paper knew Lucy wrote both letters (which makes sense as her handwriting is so distinguished and recognizable) and sent all copies to her instead of passing them along to Mrs. Goodwin. Lucy's letters often show her ability to look past her own flaws in order to not accept blame for mistakes. 

Notebook 1: Mysteriously from Mrs. Carl Goodman

Jan 22, 1925

Mrs. E.H.J. Andrews
317 Beech St.
Plainview Texas

The Editor Eliz. New Jersey

Dear Sir: I have just seen the account of the death of Rev. E. H. J. Andrews of Plainsview former Rector 1917-1922 of All Saints Episcopal Church Elizabeth (Elmora) N. J. The Clipping was not dated but Mr. Andrews died Dec. 7th and the account was probably in your paper of the 9th or 10th. We have not here a picture of Mr. Andrews, and if you can... 

let us have the cut used with said article we should greatly appreciate it. Also Ms. Andrews would like to have one or more copies of your paper of the issue if you can spare from the files. I, acting editor (since Mr. Andrew's death) of the North Texas Adventure Diocesan paper, am anxious to have cut for use in ("Sam?"). Please send to me carriage collect. 

Yours very truly,

Mrs. Carl Goodman

Carrie's Notes: Located in the notebooks are several letters that Lucy must have penned for other people. I don't know how Lucy knew Mrs. Goodman, although I believe she may have known her husband when she lived in Elizabeth, New Jersey (before she moved to Maryland).  I don't know if Lucy penned these letters as a favor to friends or charged as an additional business venture. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Notebook 1: The Green-Leach & du Maurier Controversy Pt. 4

March 31st 1925

My dear Mrs. Croker,

In the course of conver (not sure of the writing "Sen Muir?") informed the Poetry Circle last night that immediately following Mr. Meredyth's expulsion from the Circle you entertained him & Miss du Maurier at your house in honour of their engagement.

I was most interested to hear this as at the time of the quarrel I was told that Mr. Meredyth & Miss du Maurier were a couple of cheap adventurers whom nobody would sponsor but as you are sponsoring them I conclude you know of some reputable person somewhere with whom either is connected.

In England one does not receive socially anyone out of the absolute unknown, and I am so interested in studying social customs in a new country that I would love to hear from you an American point of view why you should entertain these people, so for all I could hear was that Mr. Meredyth was connected with a circus & his grandmother a full blooded Indian.

When I came into the Circle I told Mrs. Green Leach that my Uncle's brother in law Sir Hugh Gwen was secretary to a former Local Government Board while another brother in law Sir Francis Cory Wright entertained Queen Victoria's daughter, the Duchess of Albany at his home "Kenwood" when her Royal Highness came by to open a Hampstead Hospital, my cousin Canon Mason is shortly to become a Bishop & my brother are colonels in the British Army, Mrs. Green Leach also told me her family history thus our intimacy established. Mrs. Green Leach came with you to call on me and I was surprised afterwards to learn that Miss du Maurier complained I had not asked her.

From an English point of view there was no reason on earth why I should have asked her, but I do long to learn what Americans do in such circumstances.

Then Miss du Maurier deliberately omitted Mrs. Green Leach's name from her list of Maryland Poets which was a flagrant insult & I have spoken to most of the other members of the Circle. None of them could see in this action anything but the meanest of spite, but I am sure you must know of some other reason for it or you would not have asked her in your house. I do ask you to tell me something in her favour as one does not like to think anyone absolutely bad.

The circle is so dear to Mrs. Green-Leach. She practically lives for it. It was her idea the child of her brain & for many months she personally inconvenienced herself weekly to have the members meet at her home, she paid $50 of her own money as the EAP Prize Contest and if anybody ever earned anything she has earned her place as President.

Mr. Meredyth was only asked to leave the Circle when Mrs. Wood came forward & said that he had tried to turn Mrs. Green-Leach out of her position & offer the Presidency to herself, Mrs. Wood. To try & steal her position from Mrs. Green-Leach was more cruel than if any other common thief had tried to steal her money. Members of the Circle went further & said that in naming Mrs. Wood he knew she had her hands too full to accept the position & hoped she would say "No, I am too busy, you be President Mr. Meredyth." Then he would. (letter unfinished)

This is one of my favorite letters in the first notebook. Once again, it continues the controversy between Mrs. Green-Leach, Mr. Meredyth, and Miss du Maurier. I love the way Lucy not-so-gingerly tries to pull information from Mrs. Croker... almost to a point of sugar-coated bribery. This letter also shows Lucy's willingness to look past her own family flaws, and point out what she finds as flaws in others, such as being related to a full-blooded Indian or being part of a Circus. Let's hope Mrs. Croker decided not to mention anything about Lucy's bad marriage and her unruly children in response to this letter. - Carrie

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Notebook 1: Green-Leach & du Maurier Controversy Part 3

Jan. 20th 1925

Mr. C. A A Parker   Editor   L.Alouette??
30 Waite St. Malden Mass

Dear Sir. Mr. Parker

Many thanks for yours of Jan 17th. I had not heard that your Magazine was passing into other hands but I had heard of course of the Green-Leach and du Maurier controversy.
As it was represented to me that Mrs. Green-Leach had not treated Miss du Maurier fairly I appealed to the members of the Circle as to whether they were prepared to vote any want of confidence in Mrs. Green-Leach, and I was assured on the contrary that they are full of loyalty and devotion to her and their sympathies entirely on her side. Most of them live in town and know both ladies equally intimately, (as I living in the country) "bloom unseen or waste their sweetness on the desert air." but should let their poems be a source of joy and inspiration to others. 

Yours Very Truly,
Lucy Derrick Swindells

This is one of those notes in which I'm not entirely sure the end goes with the beginning! The last page may actually be from another letter, but they were side by side in the notebook. At any rate, I'm assuming Mr. Parker was at one point the editor of a now defunct poetry magazine, which I couldn't find any references too. What's interesting is again Lucy broaching the subject of the infamous Green-Leach & du Maurier controversy! It's amazing to me that word of the controversy could have reached outside of Baltimore all the way to the offices of a magazine editor in Malden Massachusetts! - Carrie

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Notebook 1: Poem for Mrs. Green-Leach

March 31st 1925

My dear Mrs. Green-Leach,

You expressed a wish last night to see the poem, "Hot afternoons have been in Montanta" and I remembered sending the cutting to Mrs.Valliant who at a former meeting expressed the same wish. 

I did not know she would return it, but she has kindly done so. This morning & I got it back this morning. I am therefore very pleased to be able to send it on to you. 

With our love,
Very Sincerely yours, 
Lucy Derrick Swindells

One of the joys of reading Lucy's letters is reading and learning about the poems she references. I had a very clever & kind English teacher in 11th grade named Mrs. Little.. Mrs. Little opened up the world of poetry to me in a way I will never forget. She helped me to see the beauty, intelligence, humor, history, and wisdom that can be found in the genre of poetry.The poem Lucy shares today, "Hot afternoons have been in Montana" is written by Eli Siegel who was the founder of the philosophy Aesthetic Realism. The poem encompasses a variety of themes from love of the earth, to a history of people around the world, to the different meaning of poetry, to sexuality, etc... I wonder what Lucy and/or the poetry society would have thought of this worldly writing and it's many interpretations! - Carrie

Monday, December 6, 2010

Notebook 1: A note on Flappers & short hair...

April 2nd 1925

I should like to make a few comments on the letter "Flappers at 60" in this mornings paper. Why should women mind making the change which circumstances have already forced upon men.  
Until well into the eighteenth century gentlemen wore long hair. I say say gentlemen advisedly for poor men had already had to dispense with it. 
Long hair unless exquisitely tended is the ugliest thing in creation. Is not the charwoman style of curtains and a little twisted knob good for a laugh in any Pantomine. Where as the Prince in the Pantomine has always short hair not quite to the shoulders delicious curling all round the neck. 
The almost impossible task of doing long hair attractively before hurrying out to the day's work forced men to discontinue it. 
So now that daughters of most households work in offices or other places instead of lolling gracefully on sofas. They too have learnt the value of time. They have incidentally become most all more attractive and Mothers seeing their daughters charms with short hair like to look pretty too. 


This is the first letter we read that shares Lucy's strong opinions on the need for women to have short hair. One of her most well known (and published) letters to the Baltimore Sun contains a letter she sent to the King of England about his resistance to women cutting their hair. Today's letter contains wonderful language, I love that she mentions a "charwoman" - which is an older English term for a maid or cleaning woman. It is interesting to me how Lucy uses such generalizations about women such as... they don't have time to be lolling on sofas anymore... that long hair is only seen on maids or cleaning women (or therefore women of a lower class). The last sentence is rather telling as well. I wonder if Lucy initially cut her own hair when it became the style for her daughter to do so in the 20's. To see a picture of Lucy read the About page.   - Carrie

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Notebook 1 - Nov. 17th 1924: Dog Problems

Unfinished letter

The Chief of Police
Nov. 17th 1924

Dear Sir:
Today Mrs. Kensey at corner of Rehbaum & Arbutus Ave. threatened my dog because she said he had wetted her porch. The reason for this is that...

I hate I don't have the rest of this amusing letter. (I'd love to know Lucy's reasoning behind the dog "wetting" the porch!) This snippet makes me laugh no matter how many times I read it. Poor Lucy, she really could have used the advice of Judge Judy! - Carrie