Letter from G. Jekyll [Gertrude Jekyll] to William Robinson

Scope and Content

Written from Villa Quisisana, Capri, [Italy]. Manuscript

She is glad to hear of his early morning walks; at home in winter she sometimes enjoys the beauty of an early start in the garden; she is glad to be high up in the sun and wind with the sea all round and no business to attend to; she does not know the day of the week or month; she enjoys the free and simple ways of living; she is in love with an idea – of using wood and charcoal instead of coal; she extols the virtues of cooking over three handfuls of charcoal in a grated pit on a tiled bench in place of the big, dirty kitchen fires in England; she wants to discuss with him local cooking practices which she finds clean and simple; she likes Robinson’s architect’s ideas and would like to talk to him but she disagrees with him regarding abolition of petticoats which sounds to her like abolishing women; his architect ‘seems to assume a standpoint for women equal to that of men, which they do not possess’; she is keen to see Robinson’s house plans; she likes a house to have a large entrance hall, but she needs to see the site before she can imagine the house; she sends a list of local plants and asks his advice as to which she should stock up with; the only seeds she can see are on Spanish broom and a lot of fruit on myrtle; there are many cyclamen and tazetta daffodils; she is considering returning home by sea as she dislikes rail travel; soon after she hopes for a visit with him; she is glad to be away from the horrors of the English Christmas

Dated 23 Dec, no year [1883; Jekyll was visiting Capri in Dec 1883-Jan 1884]