Marie Belloc Lowndes to William Plomer

Scope and Content

Letter from Marie Belloc Lowndes (1868-1947), author and sister of Hilaire Belloc. She writes: "I think I must be one of the few people still living who knew him [Gissing]. As a girl I was often asked to Sunday suppers by Edward Clodd... Gissing used to escort me back to Westminster. It must have been in 1890-91, I read everything I had reason to believe good - so I read Gissings three little read [sic] novels. This formed a link between us - I recall my rage at a very unfair and stupid review of I think New Grub Street tho' it may have been a much later novel, in The Spectator... Clodd was a true and kind friend to poor Gissing. Gissing was very delicate - I suppose was at that time consumptive - Tho' he was exceptionally good looking. He must have been, or I should not have noticed it."

Dated at Parfetts, Eversley Cross, Hampshire.

Gissing mentions of Belloc Lowndes in his diary, dated Sunday 24 January 1897: In afternoon went to Clodd's and stayed the night. People there... and a Mrs Lowndes (Marie Belloc) - nasty woman. See Pierre Coustillas, London and the life of literature in late Victorian England: the diary of George Gissing, novelist (Lewisburg, USA: Bucknell University Press, 1978), p. 433.

Includes envelope.