The Life of Algernon Charles Swinburne

By Edmund Gosse | Go to book overview

APPENDIX II
PAULINE, LADY TREVELYAN

LETTER FROM SIR GEORGE OTTO TREVELYAN, BART.

WALUNGTON, June 8, 1916.

DEAR EDMUND GOSSE -- Pauline, Lady Trevelyan, was a woman of singular and unique charm; quiet and quaint in manner, nobly emotional, ingrainedly artistic, very wise and sensible, with an ever-flowing spring of the most delicious humour. No friend of hers, man or woman, could ever have enough of her company; and those friends were many, and included the first people of the day in every province of distinction.

She was Algernon Swinburne's good angel; and (to quote one of his letters) he regarded her with "filial feelings." It was a very real and permanent misfortune for him that Pauline Trevelyan died in middle life in the summer of 1866; and sad it was for me, too, since she was a second mother to me, who was so rich in that blessing already. Widely and almost absurdly different as we two young men were, Pauline Trevelyan was catholic enough to be in sympathy with both of us.

Algernon Swinburne and I had not a taste, or a pursuit, in common. The books, and the men, that he loved and admired when he was a youth of twenty years old, are known to the world through the medium of his exquisite literature. I, on the other hand, never tired of reading, and talking about, Thackeray, and Tristram Shandy, and Albert Smith's and Theodore's

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