BRACERS Record Detail
To access the original letter, email the Ready Division.
The text of this letter is similar to document .200322, record 19325, which itself is a typescript. The original letter is not extant.
The text varies—some additions, some deletions; all references to Miles Malleson are gone in this version.
There is another typed letter which matches this one in text, document .052420, record 99881.
BR TO CONSTANCE MALLESON, [24? JULY 1918]
BRACERS 116361. TL(TC). McMaster
Previous Brixton letter, BRACERS 131599; next letter, BRACERS 18682
Edited by Kenneth Blackwell, Andrew G. Bone, Nicholas Griffin and Sheila Turcon
Wednesday evening2 , a
My dear lovely Darling,
It was dreadful seeing you so sad3 — I did want to put my arms round you and kiss your eyes and say words of love, and let your tears come. It is dreadful when you suffer. I will do so much, so much, to make up to you when I come out. Beloved, I am grateful for your letter — I have hated not knowing what was happening to you. The first thing that strikes me is how extraordinarily you keep growing. When I think what you were when I first knew you4 — but again now, quite lately, you have grown in knowledge and wisdom. O my Dear I love you love you — I feel so deeply intimate. As you grow I become more intimate, more at home with you. I seem to live in the depths of your instincts. All that you say in your letter5 is so natural to me. There are times when I feel like your little child, and want your arms to keep me warm and safe against the night — and there are other times when I feel I have just managed to leap across a fearful chasm that you too must cross, and I want to tell you where and how to leap. I feel such misery when I think of all the pain you have ahead of you — in our earliest days I hardly dared to touch you because I knew if I did I must introduce you to the Pain of the World. Goodnight Beloved — my arms are round you, my lips are on your dear eyesb — I am murmuring “my lovely one, my Darling, my Heart’s Joy.” O love me my Heart for all my being is yours.
[document] The letter was edited from document 201122, a typescript dated only “WEDNESDAY EVENING” in Colette’s hand, in the Malleson papers in the Russell Archives. There is a retyped version at RA1 710.052420, which is verbally identical. Variant readings from document 200322, which appears to be a later composite letter, were rejected. See also note 1 to Letter 46.
[date] A typed note that came to McMaster with a related composite letter (BRACERS 19325) indicates that although the original letter is missing, it was written on a “‘Wed. evg.’, probably on or abt 24 July 1918.”
dreadful seeing you so sad Colette had visited him on 23 July 1918 (BRACERS 113144).
when I first knew you BR and Colette were brought together through their work at the No-Conscription Fellowship. They met for the first time on 31 July 1916 at the Lavender Hill police station, where Clifford Allen was surrendering to the authorities. They met again at a political dinner on 13 September that year. She and BR became lovers in the early hours of 24 September, after attending a convention of the NCF’s London Division. BR wrote his first letter to her later that same day (BRACERS 19041).
your letter Possibly her letter of 22 July 1918 (BRACERS 113144).
Record last modified 2022/10/03
Created/last modified by duncana