Thursday, 5 April 2012

I do not like scolding people



Author Katherine Mansfield and editor John Murry met in 1911 and had a turbulent relationship by anyone’s standards: by the time they wed in 1918, they had split several times and seen other people; indeed, the pattern continued through their marriage. Three years after marrying, Mansfield wrote a stern letter to fellow author Princess Elizabeth Bibesco, a woman who for some time had been having an affair with Murry. Mansfield could deal with the infidelity; what she couldn't stand, however, were the love letters.

(This letter, and many other fascinating pieces of correspondence, can be found in the bestselling book, More Letters of Note. For more info, visit Books of Note; 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