Thursday, 5 April 2012

I do not like scolding people

In March of 1921, Katherine Mansfield wrote the following stern letter to fellow author Princess Elizabeth Bibesco, a woman who for some time had been having an affair with Mansfield's husband of three years, the critic John Murry. Their marriage had been a turbulent one, and she had to some degree come to terms with the infidelity. What she couldn't stand, however, were the love letters.

(Source: Katherine Mansfield: Selected Letters; Image: Katherine Mansfield, via.)

24 March, 1921

Dear Princess Bibesco,

I am afraid you must stop writing these little love letters to my husband while he and I live together. It is one of the things which is not done in our world.

You are very young. Won't you ask your husband to explain to you the impossibility of such a situation.

Please do not make me have to write to you again. I do not like scolding people and I simply hate having to teach them manners.

Yours sincerely,

Katherine Mansfield