Document ReferenceLa Ch 93
TitleTranscriptions of 42 letters from Jessie Wood [née Jessie Chambers] and Jack Wood to S.S. Koteliansky; 1936-1943 [date of copies not known]
Extent62 ff (plus wrapper and envelope)
Content DescriptionTranscriptions of 39 letters from Jessie Wood [née Jessie Chambers] and 3 letters from her husband Jack Wood to Koteliansky. Letters transcribed into one 62 folio document as follows:

Letter No.1, dated 10 Nov. 1936: Letter from Jessie confirming that she knows a little Russian and offers to undertake a translation of Poushkin's "Eugene Onegin" for the Cresset Press in collaboration with Professor R.M. Hewitt of Nottingham University College under the supervision of Janko Lavrin. Is glad he likes her book on D.H. Lawrence.

Letter No. 2, dated 13 Nov. 1936: Letter from Jessie. More on the translation work with Hewitt. Is writing an account of her family and has just reached the point where they move to "the little farm where D.H.L. used to visit us" [Haggs]. Claims that she hadn't intended to include Lawrence in the account at all, but realises it would be "impossible to give a truthful picture of myself without including Lawrence".

Letter No. 3, dated 19 Nov. 1936: Letter from Jessie discussing the possible nom-de-plume of 'E.T.' for her memoir, because her association with Lawrence will inevitably identify her.

Letter No. 4, dated 1 Dec. 1936: Letter from Jessie. Has been reading the 'Life and Letters of Anton Tchekhov' and discusses her thoughts on the work.

Letter No. 5, dated 3 Dec. 1936: Letter from Jessie thanking him for sending a book of Tchekhov's stories, and discusses the memoir she is writing.

Letter No. 6, dated 8 Dec. 1936: Letter from Jessie thanking him for sending Dostoevsky's 'Grand Inquisitor' and discusses Lawrence's introduction to the book with reference to Christianity and Jesus.

Letter No. 7, dated 21 Jan. 1937: Letter from Jessie informing him that her mother has died. Discusses the relationship between her mother and Lawrence, and also her distaste of Lawrence's philosophy on Christianity, which she thinks was inherited from his mother and Eastwood Congregational Church. Briefly discusses John Middleton Murry's 'Son of Woman'. Mentions corresponding with Harry K. Wells, a Lawrence collector, about the recent discovery of 'Paul Morel'.

Letter No. 8, dated 27 Jan. 1937: Letter from Jessie. More on her mother's death, and reaction of her family in Canada. States her opinion of Harry K. Wells.

Letter No. 9, dated 19 Apr. 1937: Letter from Jessie thanking him for the message he sent to her via Willie Hopkin. Promises to send the ms of her memoir. Comments on a piece by Koteliansky from the London Mercury ['Two Jewish Stories', Feb. 1937]. Gives her opinion of 'Phoenix' by D.H. Lawrence.

Letter No. 10, dated 23 Apr. 1937: Letter from Jessie. Sends the first part of the ms of her memoir [not present]. Discusses the Hopkin family, Willie Hopin, Sallie Hopkin and their daughter Enid [later Hilton]

Letter No. 11, dated 26 Apr. 1937: Letter from Jessie. Asks whether he thinks there may be the makings of a novel in the ms she sent to him.Makes arrangments to visit Koteliansky.

Letter No. 12, dated 28 Apr. 1937: Letter from Jessie discussing arrangements for their visit. Thanks him for the kind comments about her ms.

Letter No. 13, dated 4 May 1937: Letter from Jessie discussing her ms. Asks what Koteliansky wants to know about Lawrence, and mentions her correspondence with Emile Delavenay. Discusses Lawrence's confusion between love and sex, and remembers a conversation they had when Lawrence was dying.

Letter No. 14, dated 7 May 1937: Letter from Jessie. Is sorry to hear about his illness. Hopes that Koteliansky will one day tell her what Lawrence meant to him. States that she has had no contact with Lawrence's family since his death, despite writing to his brother George about a year after his death.

Letter No. 15, dated 12 May 1937: Letter from Jessie asking him to visit when he has recovered from his illness. Discusses Lawrence's "uniqueness" and "great gift", also Lawrence's "meanness" with particular reference to his short story 'The Shades of Spring'.

Letter No. 16, dated 28 May 1937: Letter from Jessie thanking him for the gift of 'Classic American Literature'. Invites him to visit when his health is better.

Letter No. 17, dated 15 Jul. 1937: Letter from Jessie discussing her memoir. Recalls a tutor of Lawrence and her's called Botany Smith, who has recently written to her about Lawrence.

Letter No. 18, dated 21 Jul 1937: Letter from Jessie making arrangements for Koteliansky's visit.

Letter No. 19, dated 14 Aug. [1937]: Brief letter from Jessie written on holiday in Saundersport near Tenby, Wales.

Letter No. 20, dated 28 Oct. 1937: Letter from Jessie concerning her novel, and mentions her interest in Pacifism.

Letter No. 21, dated 27 Dec. 1937: Letter from Jessie thanking him for the book, a translation by Koteliansky of a work by Tchekhov. Informs him that she received a letter from Hugh Kingsmill asking permission to quote from her book on Lawrence ['D.H. Lawrence: A Personal Record'].

Letter No. 22, dated 31 Dec. 1937: Letter from Jessie. More on her novel. Thanks Koteliansky for warning her about Hugh Kingsmill's book being an attack on Lawrence. Asks whether he knows about the exhibition of Lawrence's mss at Los Angeles Public Library.

Letter No. 23, dated 29 Apr. 1938: Letter from Jessie. Sorry to hear of the death of Lady Ottoline Morrell.

Letter No. 24, dated 6 May 1938: Regrets that she hasn't made progress with her ms.

Letter No. 25, dated 9 Sep. 1938: Letter from Jessie. Has started work on revising her new book. Discusses their recent holiday, including stays in Shropshire and Wales and caring for Basque refugee children.

Letter No. 26, dated 26 Oct. 1938: Letter from Jessie. Has nearly finished the first part of her book, and promises to post it to him.

Letter No. 27, dated 28 Oct. 1938: Letter from Jessie sending the first part of her ms [not present] and asks for his opinion. Hasn't read Hugh Kingsmill's book yet ('D.H. Lawrence' London: Methuen, 1938)

Letter No. 28, dated 2 Nov. 1938: Letter from Jessie thanking him for reading her ms and comments on his opinion of it. Discusses her and Lawrence's background and experience growing up.

Letter No. 29, dated 4 Nov. 1938: Letter from Jessie discussing her ms.

Letter No. 30, dated 8 Nov. 1938: Letter from Jessie written following a visit to see Koteliansky. Gives her and her husband Jack's impression of Ralph Hodgson and Marjorie Wells. Discussion of theagreement with Jonathan Cape [publishers] for her book. Invites Koteliansky and Ralph Hodgson to stay. Intends to continue with the second part of her ms.

Letter No. 31, dated 10 Nov. 1938: Letter from Jessie. Sends the publisher's agreement and related letter [neither present]. Invites Ralph Hodgson to visit and feels sure he'd be interested in elements of Nottingham history. Discusses the relationship between herself and husband Jack Wood. Brief discussion of [John Middleton] Murry and [Max] Plowman.

Letter No. 32, dated 20 Dec. 1938: Letter from Jessie discussing Christmas and religion. Gives her opinion of [Knud] Merrild's book 'A poet and two painters' (London: Routledge, 1938), with particular reference to Frieda Lawrence. Has read Hugh Kingsmill's book and gives her opinion. Shares Koteliansky's poor opinion of David Garnett.

Letter No. 33, dated 29 Dec. 1938: Letter from Jessie discussing Christian values, with particular reference to D.H. Lawrence's beliefs. Refers to an article on Lawrence in the Times Literary supplement. Enquires whether Koteliansky has heard of the Russian philosopher Solovyev.

Letter No. 34, dated 5 Apr. 1939: Letter from Jessie. Sorry that she been unable to send the second part of her ms.

Letter No. 35, dated 18 May 1939: Letter from Jack Wood informing Koteliansky that Jessie has been in hospital due to a burst artery in her head.

Letter No. 36, dated 30 May 1939: Letter from Jack Wood confirming that Jessie is a little better but still hasn't regained the use of one arm and leg.

Letter No. 37, dated 12 Jun. 1939: Letter from Jack Wood reporting that Jessie has gone into a Convent Nursing Home and is making good progress.

Letter No. 38, undated [c.Jun.-Oct.. 1939]: Letter from Jessie reporting that they are on holiday in Lincolnshire, and she is feeling better although still suffers from paralysis of the right hand.

Letter No. 39, dated 9 Oct. 1939: Letter from Jessie concerning changes to their lives due to the Second World War, including petrol restrictions, taxation, evacuation and education. Hopes the government aren't going to repeat the mistakes made in the last war.

Letter No. 40, dated 20 Dec. 1939: Letter from Jessie thanking him for the book of poems.

Letter No. 41, dated 1 Jan. 1943: Letter from Jessie discussubg the Second World War. Has heard that Ada Clarke lost her eldest son in a prisoner of war camp [John Lawrence Clarke, known as 'Jack']. Also reports on the death of Ada and D.H. Lawrence's childhood friend Gertie Cooper.

Letter No. 42, dated 20 Jun. 1943: Letter from Jessie reporting that Methuen would like to publish her translation of Andreyev's 'Judas Iscariot' but she has lost the ms.
Termpublications, biographies, E.T. 'D.H. Lawrence A Personal Record'
literature, creative process, Jessie Chambers
publications, novels, Jessie Chambers (unpublished)
publications, selections, D.H. Lawrence 'Phoenix'
exhibitions, D.H. Lawrence mss at L.A. Public Library 1937
refugees, Spanish Civil War
publications, biographies, Knud Merrild 'A Poet and Two Painters: A Memoir of D.H. Lawrence'
wars, Second World War 1939-1945
wars, rationing, petrol
ReprodnNoteThe University of Nottingham & Mrs A. Howard.
Publication NoteThe D.H. Lawrence review, volume 12, numbers 1-2, Spring-Summer 1979, The Collected Letters of Jessie Chambers, edited and with an introduction by George J. Zytaruk ; with illustrations by Jack Bronson (Fayetteville, Ark.: University of Arkansas, 1979)

Click the links below to view related name indexes

CodePersonNameDates of existence
NA367Chambers; Jessie (1887-1944); childhood friend of D.H. Lawrence; known as 'Muriel'; married John R. Wood 19151887-1944
NA402Koteliansky; S.S. (1880-1955); Samuel Solomonovich known as 'Kot'; Russian translator1880-1955
NA74684Chambers; Sarah Ann (1859-1937); née Oats; mother of Jessie Chambers1859-1937
NA77309Hewitt; Reginald M. (1887-1948); Professor; Professor of English, University College Nottingham1887-1948
NA1573Lavrin; Janko (1887-1986); Professor; writer and academic; Professor of Slavonic Studies and lecturer in Central and Eastern European and Russian literature1887-1986
NA386Lawrence; Lydia (1852-1910); Mrs; née Beardsall; mother of D.H. Lawrence1852-1910
NA3393Wells; Harry Kohlsaat (1911-1976); Dr; graduate of Harvard University USA1911-1976
NA171Murry; John Middleton (1889-1957); editor, author and critic1889-1957
NA3492Hopkin; William Edward (1862-1951); prominent figure in the political and intellectual life of Eastwood1862-1951
NA337Hilton; Enid (1896-1992); Mrs; née Hopkin1896-1992
NA3491Hopkin; Sallie A. (-1923); née Potter; wife of W.E. Hopkin-1923
NA389Delavenay; Emile (1905-2003); Professor; Professor of English1905-2003
NA5785Lawrence; George Arthur (1876-1967); brother of D.H. Lawrence1876-1967
NA75234Smith; Ernest Alfred (1872-1942); Rev.; known as 'Botany Smith'; Lecturer in Botany University College Nottingham 1894-19081872-1942
NA80278Kingsmill; Hugh (1889-1949); real name Hugh Kingsmill Lunn; British writer and journalist1889-1949
NA3375Morrell; Ottoline V.A. (1873-1938); Lady; née Cavendish-Bentinck; patroness of artists and writers1873-1938
NA74745Wood; John R. (fl 1915-1968); known as 'Jack'; married Jessie Chambers 1915; Nottinghamshire schoolmasterfl 1915-1968
NA80279Hodgson; Ralph (1871-1962); British poet1871-1962
NA3469Plowman; Max (1883-1941); writer1883-1941
NA169Lawrence; Frieda (1879-1956); née von Richthofen; married Ernest Weekley 1899 D.H. Lawrence 1914 Antonio Ravagli 19501879-1956
NA3471Merrild; Knud (1894-1954); Danish painter1894-1954
NA4954Garnett; David (1892-1981); writer1892-1981
NA75073Clarke; John Lawrence (1915-1942); son of Ada Clarke née Lawrence1915-1942
NA74593Cooper; Gertrude (1885-1942); known as 'Gertie' or 'Grit'; childhood friend of D.H. Lawrence1885-1942
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