A typewritten letter addressed to Mr. Davis

Draft of a letter to T.L. Davis, 1928

Transcript below


Dear Mr Davis,

It is difficult to answer your question about Orlando. One so soon forgets what one meant, I have not read it since I wrote it. But I think I wrote it: because I wanted to write a biography; did not like the usual way; so asked a friend Miss Sackville West if I might write her life; then I found her family history went back to the Conquest; so I made her life the life of her family; thus I wrote not only the life of an individual, but the life of family; and the history of a country, I wanted to combine all three. As I say this may not have been my intention; but I it corresponds to what you say; it is the character of England; it is the character of a real person; and it is also an attempt to get at the truth about a life as it is not possible to do if one writes a biography dealing with facts.

Some of the photos are of her ancestors; others of herself. They show—I think as the book was meant to—how that everyone is partly their ancestors; just as every one is partly man and partly woman, of course ….

End of Transcript

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