Letter from George Yeats to Thomas MacGreevy. 31 December 1926.[p.1 recto]
82 Merrion Sq.
My dear Tom
Too late for the new year, but I hope twill be a good one. Glad to hear Dolly is coming over to see Emperor Jones.The Dublin Drama League was producing produces Eugene O'Neill's The Emperor Jones on 16,17 January 1927, directed by Lennox Robinson and designed by Dorothy [Dolly] Travers-Smith. Any chance do you think of her staying over permanently? Willy snorts at the idea, but I'm not so sure.
I am really so glad you ARE on a play. So hurry up with it. The title of course....but mitigated for Dublin??? Or is that asking too great a scarifice??? I began scarification and it changed into sacrifice. WHY WHY WHY is it that we all have to deceive our parents? Is it because they began our lives by deceiving us.
Oh yes, I play it myself.. have a secret collection of records, the 24 preludes a la Chopin d'apres Cortot... O shades of Rummel... The Unfinished,Symphony No. 8 in B Minor by Franz Schubert, commonly referred to as "Symphony No. 8 in B Minorthe Unfinished Symphony"; on 12 May 1923 the South London Philharmonic Society performed Symphony No. 8 in B Minorthe Unfinished Symphony, the Egmont overture and the Emperor Concerto with Rummel as soloist. Vesti la giubba Pagilacci-CarusoThe 1902 recording of Vesti la giubba from Leoncavallo's Pagliacci by the Italian tenor Enrico Caruso was the world's first gramophone record to sell a million copies..... In questa tomba escura lascia mi ripesar... grand, but it ought to be sung by a soprano or at least a mezz.sopr.. you do need that antithesis to give you the same shock that the sudden solo rising out of the base and worldly choir at Westminster Cathedral gives you."In questa tomba oscura," ("In this dark tomb, let me repose. While I loved, ingrate, you should have thought of me."), a setting by Beethoven for voice and piano of an Italian text by Giuseppi Carpani, was also sung by meezo-sopranos. Caruso really isnt the goods for it. And a lot of Westminster and Chapel Royal (Windsor) choir carols... really good.. And the children have Come back to Erin, Laughing policeman, Toy Drum Major, and so on. They dont cotton to anything else, though Anne for some queer reason likes "No, Pagliacci non son"Caruso recorded Leoncavallo's 'No, Pagliacci non son!' from Pagliacci in 1921. and Michael always did like the 24 preludes.
I nearly wept over your postcard from Milan, and it wasnt until your letter this morning that I realised that you wernt there!!! [p.2 recto]If I hasnt been an ass I would have noticed Teddiedwards"Teddiedwards" is a nickname for Edward VII. head on the stamp, but I didnt, and the scrawl indicating your address was romantic in its squirls but uninforming, and then "S. Mack".... Oh Tom... how loathsomely foreign.. WE always call it ST. Anyway I felt hideously jealous and homesick. I am never really homesick for England but Italy... everything nice has always been in Italy.. so I felt vile and like selling all I have just to get to Italy which would be a folly, and middleaged people with children cant be too foolish.
Then too, I felt weak, and then WalterRummel's marriage in 1912 to the French pianist Therese Chaigneau, with whom he appeared in recitals for two pianofortes in 1913, had been dissolved. Among his lovers was the dancer Isadora Duncan; in 1925 he married Sarah Suzanne "Patricia" Hetherington, but that marriage also failed in 1928. wrote that he and his Patricia would like to come and stay here from January 17 to 30th. I simply cant... Its reduced now to five days from the 17th and five days before the 30th... ludicrous isnt it? They will go to his sister-in-law for the interregnum. He is giving a concert on the 30th.... It isnt a bit of use, Dublin will never click... and he loves it. So feminine.. Why DO the Irish always love the unattainable.. HE isnt Irish but begins to regard it as his adopted country. Its a beastly nuisance. One can cope with Walter, I've know him long enough to tell him to run away and play. But Patricia????? Anyway I suppose they'll play with each other The ghastly thing is that with you out of Dublin there is simply no one to take him on. Lennox will be an angel and ask them - or him -; out to Dalkey, but when he comes here he just sits and wont get away into a corner and have a little passionate conversation with them. He really is hopeless in the mass. And Walter has never, even now, learnt to talk to more than one person at a time... OH GOD.
I am sure you ought to come over and see your mother between the 17th and 30th???!!!