2 January 1923

La Prieuré, Fontainebleau, Avon

   We had a very quiet Christmas here, as the Russian Christmas is not until January 6th. Their New Year is on January 13th. What a frightful bother! Christmas, in any case, is no fun away from ones own people. I seldom want to make merry with strangers, and that particular feast is only enjoyable because of its childish associations. I remember us all going to St Paul's and Mother's enjoyment of "Hark the Herald Angels Sing." And that makes me think of darling Leslie still a child, enjoying everything. Such memories do not make for gaiety.
   I see by the papers I have received that my last book is nominated for the Vie Heureuse French Literary Prize as the former one was. It has no chance of success, for the French never take short stories "seriously". However, it is a good advertisement and costs nothing.
   Jack still sounds very happy and busy, dividing his time between the country and London, with a strong bias in favour of the country. I do wish the English climate were more temperate and that I could look forward to settling down there. But the idea of settling is to me what it seemed to be to grandpa Beauchamp. Only I am driven where he went willingly.
   My new book will not be out before the spring. I am still a little undecided about the title. I feel the choice of titles ought to be studied as a separate art. [To Harold Beauchamp, 31 December 1922.]