Art History, Blog

A sad letter…

Mr Anton van Duyl, husband of the painter Therese Schwartze, died July, 1918. The notification Schwartze wrote to her friend Nell Frank in Tenby (UK) took three weeks to arrive, because of WW1. This is the comforting letter Nell wrote back to Schwartze. It is extra sad now we know that Therese Schwartze herself died a few months later.

August 31st

My darling girl,
I received your letter yesterday, written more than 3 weeks ago. How dreadful it is that we are so far from each other! I was thankful to hear because I was suffering much anxiety about you.

I know so well all that you are feeling, my poor darling, you feel desolate and lost without him!
You feel that all happiness and joy is over for you! but you must be brave, my brave Theresa, and fight against these sad feelings. My dear Ernest always said that life was like fighting with ones back against a wall, and he knew what it was!
It is simply awful for you and I am so distressed and sorry! The more that you were both absolutely devoted to each other – nothing ever came between you in all those long years of happy love and affection.
I am gladd Lizzy sat up through that dreadful night with you because she has a dear loving heart and comforted you I am sure. I wish Druif had been able to be with you too.
Give my love to all my dear friends at 1091 whom more and more I long to see once again.
and believe me my dearest friend
Ever yours Nell


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