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Updated June 2012

T. E. Lawrence to Mrs Thomas Hardy



Dear Mrs.Hardy,

Your note came to Clouds Hill, and I warned Mrs. Knowles of your visit. The flowers do not yet come to much. The laurel has been wonderful, this spring: better than ever I have seen it, and very scented: but you are too soon for the rhododendrons. Only two of mine, and your T.H. Eden Philpotts one have bloomed as yet. Yours is quite picking up, now, with about 20 good flowers: but it takes hundreds of plants to make a show on the hill-side, and for that we must wait for the Pontica to come out. They are full of bud, but not yet showing colour.

My mother must have put in dozens of daffodils and things, garden flowers, near the house, for the whole of my little patch of grass has been full of them. I am afraid I thought them very out-of-place. They spoiled the picture. However the rabbits seem to like them, and I have offered Mrs. Knowles the rest. Clouds Hill is no place for tame flowers.

They are still stuck half-way up their river - or were in mid-February, their last letter. The lapse of time makes me fancy they are moving again. Till they get to Mienchu or return to Shanghai, they will not get our letters. She writes always as if they ought to find them wherever they stop! China is too far off.

My own movements are uncertain. I think they are sending me to Felixstowe, in Suffolk, which feels a long way off (like China!); but I know nothing definite.

Yours sincerely


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Source: DG 767-8
Checked: jw/
Last revised: 19 January 2006


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