[ Sylvia Lynd, poet and Irish Nationalist. ] Autograph Letter Signed ('Sylvia Dryhurst'), probably to her cousin Georgie Maquay, reporting on the meeting for the 'amalgamation of the National Council & Sinn Fein League' and announcing her engagement.

Sylvia Lynd [ née Dryhurst ] (1888-1952), poet and Irish Nationalist, wife of journalist and essayist Robert Lynd (1879-1949) [ Sinn Fein ]
Publication details: 
11 Downshire Hill, Hampstead, London, N.W. 30 December 1912.
SKU: 18527

4pp., 4to. In fair condition, on browned and brittle paper, with chipping and one closed tear repaired with archival tape. Manuscript note at head of first page, in the hand of her daughter Maire Gaister, identifying the probable recipient as Georgie Maquay, son of Florence Dryhurst's sister ' (so understandably in South America to escape her)'. The letter's salutation and valediction are in Gaelic. She explains that she received his letter 'just before I crossed to Dublin', and explains that she 'didn't spend all my time in Dublin this year - I went up North for a fortnight in September - part of the time to Belfast & part to the Glens of Antrim'. She did not enjoy her visit to Dublin as much as usual, 'everyone was so anxious just then about Maurice Joy that they had not time to spare me - I suppose you have heard that he was very ill with an abscess on his lung & it was feared tuberculosis'. (Joy is described by one authority as 'a Kerryman with an English accent' who 'orbited the periphery of the Irish Literary Revival'.) She gives the latest news regarding Joy, 'heard from a little girl', before explaining that she 'stayed in Dublin till the end of August & saw some more of AE' (the poet George William Russell, 1867-1935). She 'usen't to like him at all when I first met him, but I was quite won over this year'. She now finds him 'splendid', though 'pessimistic about the country', and wishes he 'would become still more actively political'. She next reports on the 'amalgamation of the National Council & Sinn Fein League', which 'came off all right, but there were some anxious moments'. She discusses Charles Joseph Dolan (1881-1963) and the coming byelection in North Leitrim, 'Mr. Sweteman', 'Mr. Martyn', 'Mr. Griffith, 'Councillor Daly', 'Alderman Cole' (whom she claims 'will be the Mayor of Dublin in 1912 but please don't say I said so'). 'There was only one really odious person in the room - a man called Lord he was in the end the sole objector & made his giving way a trial of temper on both sides. I hope Mr. Lord will die of apoplexy before he does any harm. He is so very conservative & disagreeable that he ought to appeal to Unionists I should think - he certainly seems to have got into the wrong camp - in an Independent Ireland he would be anti-socialist & anti-suffragette & anti-educating the "lower" clawsses [sic]. Further references follow to 'Mr. Hegarty who is a fine man but very fiery', 'Bulmer Hobson & Robert Lynd & a perfectedly [sic] idiotic priest'. 'So much for the general meeting. The account in Sinn Fein gave a slightly different account.' She asks about the recipient's 'mining', and asks whether he feels tempted 'to go on an expedition to find El Dorado'. She ends with the news that she has 'been working all this year at the Academy of Dramatic Art', and has been 'lucky enough to get noticed by Mr. George Alexander & Mr. Cyril Maude who dropped in one day towards the end of term'. She ends, teasingly: 'What other news is there? Did I tell you I am engaged to be married? To a perfectly penniless Irishman of course - the marriage to take place about the year 1920 - his name is Robert Lynd, he comes from Ulster, you may have seen his name in Sinn Fein.' From the Lynd Family Archive.?>