Letter from Ursula Wood to Gerald Finzi

Letter No.: 


My dear Gerald,

I brought your letter here, for consultation and advice, as well as having talked it all over with Bob1 & Katharine Abercrombie.2  As things are now I don't think you'd ever be able to collect enough people, privately, to contribute to guaranteed fund to make it large enough for B3 & his family to live on. A public appeal would not do either - & unless you can give him as much money as he is earning its no good. Seriously, I think that he might resent being given money, instead of earning it for his own liabilities. It is one thing to accept money from a friend, or a Trust, in an emergency, but I'm not at all sure that its the thing to live on. After all - Charles Lamb did earn his didn't he? I know that both you & I and Bob are more or less lilies of the field, so its very hard not to wish equal freedom available to all others - but I don't see how we can achieve this.
What I do think we can, & should, do, is to collect as much money as we can, to give B. a long recuperative holiday, to help him get over his asthma & bronchial trouble. I think this would be a real & valuable thing to do, & if it included an invitation to use some house in a delectable spot (Madeira?) for a month also - fine. I know you won't like me saying so, but the training as a social worker has really inclined me to the view that you do best for people by dealing with the thing that causes trouble, & helping them to stand on their own feet. In B's case, the trouble seems to be health really. 4 days in an office may not be too bad, & its probably much more peaceful than home with 3 little creatures rollicking all over everything all the time, as I dont suppose his house is very soundproof.
I honestly don't think we should try to change the course of his life, it seems not only difficult, but verging on the impertinant4: but if we can produce a decent cheque, & the Times will give him a break of a month or two, I think it would accomplish something.
Ralph thinks it would be wrong & unfair to make him throw up a good job - as he has a moderately congenial one. 
I send a copy of the Author - not for the correspondance,5 but for the Article on awards, etc.


1. Robert C. Trevelyan.
2. Catherine Abercrombie, wife of the poet Lascelles Abercrombie.
3. Edmund Blunden.
4. sic.
5. sic.


Location of copy:

Shelfmark of copy: 
Finzi Box 10
Original database number: