Unsigned Typed Letter, with manuscript corrections, [from the ethnologist Brenda Zara Seligman] to J. H. Driberg, concerning his 'Didinga notes', and with references to 'Sligs' [her husband C. G. Seligman] and 'Edward' [E. E. Evans-Pritchard].

Brenda Zara Seligman (1883–1965) ethnologist and wife of Charles Gabriel Seligman (1873-1940)] [Jack Herbert Driberg (1888-1946); Sir Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard (1902-1973), social anthropologist]
Publication details: 
Place not stated. 16 October 1925.
SKU: 13344

6pp., 4to. Paginated 1-7, with page 6 missing, and a strip at the bottom of page 5 torn away, resulting in the loss of five lines of text. The letter ends 'Our garden is coming along too slowly. | All best salaams,'. It lacks a signature, but comes from the Driberg papers, and it is presumably Driberg who removed what was probably part of the text which dealt with personal matters. It would not be until two years after this letter, at a meeting of the Royal Geographical Society on 7 February 1927, that Driberg would read his paper 'The Didinga Mountains' (subsequently published in the Geographical Journal, May 1927, pp.385-401). This would be published two years later by a paper by Evans-Pritchard: 'Some collective expressions of obscenity in Africa' (JRAIGBI), and in another two years would appear Driberg's 'The Didinga Language' (Berlin, 1931). The letter begins: 'Dear Mr. Driberg, | I was very glad to hear from you, but awfully sorry to hear of your illness; you seem to have had a lot of poisoning lately[.] I hope this is the end of it now. Sligs has been having a perfectly rotten time with sciatica; he has scarcely been free from pain for about eight months, and has had several acute attacks that have kept him in bed, so that with the old heart condition he is practically an invalid. However, he sticks to work, but it means that neither of us get through anything like the quantity we ought to.' She now turns 'to the Didinga notes', and thanks Driberg 'for the answers to all my queries. The awful thing is that I put the Didinga MS. away - Heaven knows where - and had not looked at it again until I received your answer. I should need to soak in it again to appreciate all the points properly, but it is really most interesting, and I should like to publish it some day, though I don't know when I shall be able to give the time to it as I am very behindhand with all my other work.' She proceeds to discuss, at length and in detail, with various linguistic points, what she sees as the 'interest of the system': 'trying to understand the complicated in-law relationships'. She finds it 'awfully interesting' that Driberg has 'got to Lafon. We realised the people were Anywak, as we saw some, though we did not go there. We shall look forward to your note on them for Man. | I agree with you about Migeod's diaries; it is irritating to have interesting stuff chucked out haphazard as he does. I reviewed his last for Man.' All that remains of the torn away passage which follows is the phrase 'who is training with Sligs is Edward [i.e. Evans-Pritchard]'. The letter concludes: 'I hope all the things you have imported to the Didinga Hills thrive. I expect the station is wonderfully developed by now - only wanting the grouse.'