Letter from Frances Hodgkins to Isabel Hodgkins

03 May 1892
See full details See transcription

Object Detail

03 May 1892
Cranmore Lodge May 3rd 1892
My dearest Sissie
It is getting too dark to paint any more, so I have stopped and am going to have a yarn with you. It has been such a miserably wet day and I am glad to light the lamps and pull the blinds down and shut out the dreary outlook. How am I to thank you for the very generous “trifle” you sent me for my birthday as if you had not already given me enough. I felt such a brute taking it from you, especially now when you want all you have. Ungracious tho’ it sounds it would give me a great deal more pleasure to return it to you than to spend it. So Aunt Bella has bought my ducks, her kindness has indeed outweighed her choice and artistic judgement, surely she has got enough of my livestock on her walls. I met Miss Ross in town today and she said “Anything here in the way of feathers?” “I told her I had turned my attention to pork!” Don’t you think pigs are very paintable? Nobody seems to care much about them on paper, they prefer them roast, they say. I went with Miss Ross to see her studio – what a lot of pottering things she does paint, and yet she makes it pay, and talks quite cheerfully about selling at the Chicago Ex. to which she is sending some things. Your description of the Messon lunch was killing and your flow of bad language cheered me up considerably. It showed me that you had not set out the “revised edition” of yourself that you talked of so earnestly after your engagement. Do you remember?
Miss Marshall’s trip to Japan didn’t come off after all; when she got to Sydney, the Rosses cabled for her to come back as Mrs R. was ill & couldn’t manage without her. A trifle selfish don’t you think? Fancy coming back to vegetate in Ravensbourne after having been half way on one’s way to the Land of the Rising Sun.
I enclose Rosie’s last epistle there is nothing in it unless it’s a good deal of slang.
Mr Ian Reid* (or Tom Ries) has taken the Jack’s house & is going to set up a batchelor establishment. May of course is delighted, but what difference will it make to her I would like to know.
Yesterday I went to see the Dymocks they held up their hands in surprise when they saw me. Why do people look so astonished when I appear in public? Daisy is to be married in six weeks. You say you find Chch. dull without Will, it’s nothing to the dullness I feel here without you, it’s a good thing I have got a painting fit on me, or I might find these wet days a trifle long. Have you heard from Miss Holmes since you have been away, or has she ceased to be “avid for news of you”, to quote her last letter, do you remember ?
Bertie has been playing the Dead March in Saul for the last half hour and Boss is howling outside the door. Bertie with both pedals down refuses to hear my shouts so I will end this scribble and go and stop the awful racket.
With best love from us all,
Ever your loving sister Fanny
Ps Do not trouble about sending any money down for bills. I paid Morris & Harris today and N Haynes is all right, & Mother says you can settle with her when you come home. Give my love to Will when you write.
6 pages
Sender's address
Cranmore Lodge
Institutional No.
Credit Line
Letters from Frances Hodgkins. Field, Isabel Jane, 1867-1950 : Correspondence of Frances Hodgkins and family / collected by Isabel Field. Ref: MS-Papers-0085-01. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.