PN Review Print and Online Poetry Magazine
Most Read... Henry Kingon Toby Martinez de las Rivas
(PN Review 244)
Eavan BolandA Lyric Voice at Bay
(PN Review 121)
Vahni CapildeoOn Judging Prizes, & Reading More than Six Really Good Books
(PN Review 237)
Tim Parksin conversation with Natalia Ginzburg
(PN Review 49)
M. Wynn ThomasThe Other Side of the Hedge
(PN Review 239)
Jamie OsbornIn conversation with Sasha Dugdale
(PN Review 240)
Next Issue Alberto Manguel Selbstgefühl New poems by Fleur Adcock, Claudine Toutoungi and Tuesday Shannon James Campbell A Walk through the Times Literary Supplement
Poems Articles Interviews Reports Reviews Contributors
PNR 250 Poetry Archive Banner
PN Review New Issue

This report is taken from PN Review 167, Volume 32 Number 3, January - February 2006.

A Letter from Charlotte Mew Betty Falkenberg

Charlotte Mew writes to Thomas Hardy, thanking him for his endorsement of a civil list pension for her.

86 Delancey Street N.W.1

Jan: 1st 1924

Dear Mr. Hardy

The news has just come from 10 Downing Street that a Civil List Pension of £#75 has been granted me. It has rather taken my breath away. It seems so generous - unreasonable - when - from head to feet (as they say of a bad husband in 'The Town') I know myself to be unworthy of it.

I owe it to the amazing kindness of friends to most of whom I am practically a stranger - and to the weight of great names - with yours coming first.

I am told that I ought to be proud that you should have spoken for me - indeed I ought - But pride - in that sense - with me (I hope you will understand) - is a sort of surprise and confusion - a humbling but a touching thing.

What I do feel is gratitude and entire unworthiness. And you will believe that I thank you from my heart.

With Every possible good wish to yourself and Mrs. Hardy for 1924

I am

       Gratefully yours
       Charlotte Mew

The petition submitted to Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, recommending a Civil List Pension for Charlotte Mew, was drafted ...

Searching, please wait... animated waiting image