26 September 1914

Today Kittie left Hampstead to stay with the Pyms at Foxwold, near Sevenoaks in Kent.

It was a sign of her desperation, or of her need for comfort, or at least of her desire to be with people she loved and who loved her.  Violet Pym, aged 32, was one of the group of ‘young people’ to whom George and Kittie were particularly close.  Her husband, ‘Evey’, was probably away with his regiment (see my posts at the end of July and beginning of August).  Kittie could help amuse and keep an eye on Violet’s two young children, and support Violet, who was almost full-term in her third pregnancy.  Violet’s mother, Catherine Lubbock, was presumably in residence close by at Emmetts.  Catherine was a half-sister of Kittie’s first husband, Archie Ripley, who had died in 1898.

Kittie Calderon 'keeping an eye on' Pym and Lubbock children at Foxwold, c.1912

Kittie Calderon ‘keeping an eye on’ Pym and Lubbock children at Foxwold, c.1912

The weather was much as it is at the moment, the setting idyllic.  Foxwold and its grounds feature in the 1985 Merchant-Ivory film Room with a View.

George did not write to Kittie today or tomorrow, probably because he was preoccupied with the exercise at Southampton that he referred to in his letter of 22nd.  However, he never mentioned this in his subsequent letters; possibly the exercise was a rehearsal for embarkation and therefore a military secret.

Next entry: A lacuna

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About Patrick Miles

I am a writer who specialises in Anton Chekhov and is writing a biography of George Calderon.
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