Autograph Letter Signed from the diplomat Sir Victor Wellesley ('Victor Wellesley') to Ernest Frederick Gye of the Foreign Office, describing a trip to India.

Sir Victor Wellesley [Sir Victor Alexander Augustus Henry Wellesley] (1876-1954), diplomat [Ernest Frederick Gye (1879-1955), diplomat]
Publication details: 
On letterhead of 12 Ranelagh Grove, Ebury Bridge, SW1; 8 June 1939.
SKU: 11249

10 pp, 12mo. Very good, on lightly-aged paper. Addressed to 'My dear Ernest'. The Wellesleys have been back from India a couple of months. The journey out was a 'delightful trip', despite a mishap with a 'steel hawser' which 'wound itself round the screw' in the middle of the Mediterranean. After a brief reference to Ceylon he describes the Indian visit. His wife tripped up on a step in front of the Maharaja of Mysore: 'I feel sure he thought she was tight. Mysore is too modern & up to date to suit me, but Seringapatam only nine miles away is fascinating. All the old walls are still in existence, the watergate where Tippoo fell his summer palace which has a tablet on it to the effect that Colonel Wellesley occupied it when Commandant of the town. There is also the old Wellesley Bridge. In short all is as it should be!' Madras is 'a beastly place' and Calcutta is 'worse'. Benares was 'fascinating & by far the most interesting place we saw'. 'Then to Agra to see the b[lood]y Taj. In daytime it is a monstrous piece of pretentious vulgarity but by moonlight it is simply wonderful. In essence a kind of phantom like appearance of melting mother of pearl'. Thence to Delhi, where they lunched with the Viceroy and went to a state ball, 'very much like the ordinary Buck house balls with the cream taken off it if you know what I mean'. The trip ended in Bombay, and he is now 'feeling the effects of it in the shape of financial tightness'. He feels that with the death of Emily Townsend, 'closes a chapter of the F.O. war days. Some how she does leave a void.' In Beirut 'things look none too good' , and trouble seems inevitable 'in the long run'. The 'India German anti-British propaganda is in full swing but not making much headway fortunately'. The 'Academy' has rejected him, but he considers 'the shelf [...] the pleasantest, happiest & most dignified place in the world'.