[Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of radio: family correspondence.] 40 items to governess Millicent Goodsir ('Miss Unger') from Marconi's second wife Cristina [née Bezzi Scali], her mother and daughter: letters and cards in English, inscribed photographs.

[Guglielmo Marconi [Marquis of Marconi] (1874-1937), inventor of radio, winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics; his second wife Maria Cristina Bezzi-Scali, their daughter Elettra Giovanelli
Publication details: 
Most from 11 Via Condotti, Rome. 1914-1968.
SKU: 24681

Forty items, in good condition, lightly aged and worn, with some of the photographs with evidence on reverse of having been mounted. Millicent Goodsir [née Unger] (1885-1983) was governess to Christina Bezzi Scali (1900-1994), daughter of Francesco, Count Bezzi Scali and his wife Anna (1879-1968). In 1927 Cristina became Marconi's second wife. Their only child was Maria Elettra Elena Anna Marconi (b.1930), who would marry Prince Carlo Giovannelli (1942-2016). The present collection indicates the affection in which Mrs Unger was held by Marconi's wife, to whom she had acted as governess, as well as by her mother. It contains affectionate letters (one written immediately after Marconi's death) and cards (one referring to Marconi's friendship with Churchill), inscribed photographs, and a typed lesson plan for the young Cristina Bezzi Scali. ONE: Eight ALsS from Cristina Marconi to Mrs Goodsir (the first to 'Miss Unger' and the other seven to 'Mrs. Goodsir'), the first signed 'Cristina Bezzi', another signed 'Cristina Marconi', and the other six 'Maria Cristina Marconi'. The last two, including the signature, appear to have been written by an amanuensis. The first undated but c.1914 ('We are all very anxious to see if Italy will go to war!'), the others between 1937 and 1968. A total of seventeen pages. An affectionate correspondence. In the first letter she congratulates her on the announcement of her marriage, and reports: 'I study English with Miss Florence Hicks who lives next door to us'. The second letter is written as an autograph postscript to a typed black-bordered circular, 30 July 1937, acknowledging condolences on her father's death. '[...] You fully understand what this loss has been for me and my little child. | I pray God will help me to bear this heavy burden and to give me the strainght [sic] for the life without the love and protection of my dear husband. [...]' The other six letters date from after the war. In 1950 she reports, 'We often go to the ceremonies in Saint Peter and often we have the privilege of seeing the Holy Father.' In 1964 she describes how she has 'been with Elettra far away on the maiden voyage of the new liner Guglielmo Marconi to Australia, Tasmania, New Zealand, Polynesia and Fiji Islands. It has been a wonderful and interesting voyage with warm welcome to us both, with great demonstrations to the memory of my dear husband - | I have always been in touch by radio-phone with my dear mother who is now 85'. In 1965 she thanks her for news on 'her dear husband's work', adding, 'I am always so much moved and glad to hear that especially in England he is not forgotten.' In the final letter she announces the birth of her grandson, 'our darling little Guglielmo who is a bonny baby nearly 1 year old'. TWO: Six ACsS from Cristina Marconi to Mrs Goodsir, two from 1939 and one apiece from 1958 and 1967. In 1951 she sends family news and condolences on the death of Mrs Goodsir's husband. In the last 1967 card (written out by an amanuensis) she thanks her for a gift relating to Winston Churchill, adding: 'I keep a special souvenir for the great State man [sic] who was a good friend of my dear husband; I shall never forget more han one week-end spent together with Sir Winston and Lady Churchill'. THREE: Two ALsS from Anna Bezzi Scali to Mrs Goodsir, 1914 (addressed to 'Miss Unger') and 1930. A total of ten pages. The second letter, seven pages long, is written after a hiatus of sixteen years. She gives family news, expressing grief on the death of her daughter Maria and the age of thirteen ('She died like a little saint, full of patience in her sufferings - You can easily imagine what it was for me to lose her. The little darling! But .... God's will be done!' She continues: 'Christina also has grown into a woman, and married three years ago the celebrated Guglielmo Marconi, known in the whole world for his prodigious inventions. He adores her and she is very happy. They go about a lot in their yacht The Electra and stay a good part of the year in London - I have also been there more than once and often accompany them on their travels'. She discusses her daughter's pregnancy, and gives other family news. FOUR: Two ACsS from Anna Bezzi Scali to Mrs Goodsir, one also signed by her daughter 'Cristina and Elettra Marconi'. FIVE: Two tiny printed carnet calendars, 1932 and 1933, laid down on cards, each also carrying a 5 x 4 cm studio photograph of Elettra Marconi. The first with signed inscription by Anna Bezzi Scali, the second with one by her daughter Christina Marconi. SIX: Five 13.5 x 8 cm prints of family photographs. Two featuring Marconi, his wife, and an infant Elettra, one of them with 1948 inscription by Cristina to Mrs Goodsir. Two of the others are inscribed: one by Anna Bezzi Scali, showing her holding her granddaughter Elettra Marconi, from Genoa, 1930; the other of Cristina Marconi, signed by her, also from Genoa, June 1931. The last, uninscribed, is of an infant Elettra in bathing costume on a beach. SEVEN: Sixteen Christmas cards and postcards, all but one illustrated with views of Rome, signed variously by Cristina Marconi, her mother Anna Bezzi Scali and her daughter Elettra Marconi, all to Mrs Goodsir. Sent between 1953 and 1968. With affectionate messages in the usual form and tone. EIGHT: Typed lesson list for one day (by Miss Unger, later Mrs Goodsir) on slip of paper, headed: 'Christina's Time Table'. Beginning: '9 AM Music Lessom. [sic] Practice. Practice. Music Lesson. Practice.' and ending '8-30 Bed.' Includes: '7. Rosary. Rosary. Rosary. Rosary. Rosary.'