Christmas 1918


to Lady Ottoline Morrell,
2, Portland Villas, East Heath Road, Hampstead, London

M & I have been for a walk on the Heath today — The gorse is in bud. I have taken such a turn that I feel inclined to turn Catherine wheels at least—

It would be lovely to come to Garsington for Christmas — but I am afraid I’d better not — dearest. I might be such a nuisance — infernal. My cough is such a bore.

Murry sends his love — you know you have mine.
Ever, Katherine

And another, containing one of my favourite KM quotes:

to Anne Estelle Rice
2, Portland Villas, East Heath Road, Hampstead, London

I wish we were all in France with a real Xmas party in prospect — snow, huge fire, a feast, wine, old, old French tunes on a guitar, fancy dresses, a Tree, and everybody too happy for words. Instead we are wondering whether to give the postman 5 shillings, or, since we have only been here since August, will 3 be enough? Etc. Etc. Etc. This cursed country would take the spirit out of a Brandied Cherry.

Mille Baisers, chérie

And after Christmas:

to Clara Palmer
2, Portland Villas, East Heath Road, Hampstead, London

Have you had a happy Xmas? We had a real old-fashioned one — stockings, a tree — the house decorated — crackers, mistletoe and good cheer. “We” means Jack and I, our “faithful souls” and the cat! I could not help thinking what it would have meant to darling old Les — his first peace Christmas!

yours affectionately,
Kass (Middleton Murry)

And again:

to Dorothy Brett
2, Portland Villas, East Heath Road, Hampstead, London

We had a superb Xmas — stockings — a tree, decorations, crackers, puddin, drink — most potent and plentiful — parcils pouring in and out. Murry seemed to wear a paper hat (a large red and yellow butterfly) from Xmas Eve until after Boxing Day — We gradually, under the influence of wine and chinese mottoes gave a party — Charades — Kot, Gertler, Campbell, etc. Oh, I did love it so — loved everybody. They were all fluttering and twinkling like candles in the darkest, most mysterious Tree of all — I wanted to say to everybody — Let us stay forever just as we are — Don’t let us ever wake up & find it is all over.

Yours with warm love

Beatrice Campbell later recalled how “Katherine had prepared a tiny Christmas tree with little bags of sweets for each of us which she cut off and solemnly handed round. It was a sort of Last Supper. Kot, I felt, disliked it very much, for it seemed like one of Katherine’s “stunts”, which in spite of his profound admiration for her he strongly disapproved of. Things became more cheerful later on and we had Charades.”


  • O’Suliivan, Vincent and Scott, Margaret (eds.) (1987) Collected Letters of Katherine Mansfield Volume II Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 294, 297, 298