WALEY, Arthur (1889-1966). Series of approximately 127 autograph letters signed (4 incomplete) and 32 autograph postcards signed to Beryl de Zoete (superscribed and signed with a variety of pet names and Chinese characters), the majority London (50 Gordon Square, Bradford Hotel etc), also Zagreb, Norway, the Engadin and elsewhere, virtually all incompletely dated [1918-1961]; with 17 autograph letters and postcards signed by Beryl de Zoete to Waley, the majority n.p., n.d. [c.1918-1949], including 5 from Ceylon in 1949; also 59 letters, cards (mostly) and notes signed by Waley to Alison Robinson [Waley], various places, [1943-1955], and a collection of autograph and typescript drafts of her letters to Waley, or related notes.
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VA… Read more THE ARCHIVE OF ARTHUR WALEY (1889-1966) A key figure in the transmission of the classical texts of Chinese literature to an English-speaking readership, Arthur Waley taught himself Chinese and Japanese only after taking the post of Assistant Keeper of Oriental Prints and Manuscripts at the British Museum in 1913 (a post which he retained until 1929). His first privately-printed translations of Chinese poems appeared as early as 1916, and he reached a broader readership with the collection A Hundred and Seventy Chinese Poems (1918). A steady flow of translations from the Chinese and Japanese were to follow over the remainder of his life, his reach eventually extending from classical poetry to philosophy, biography and vernacular literature; his best-known works include the Genji Monogatari of Murasaki Shikibu (published 1925-1933) and Monkey (1942). His substantial correspondence with orientalists and sinologists across the world is a key source for the development of these disciplines in the first half of the 20th Century. Waley was a Bloomsbury resident for more than 40 years, and his archive includes correspondence with the great majority of those now identified with the Bloomsbury Group, as well as the admissions book for the short-lived Omega Club, established by Roger Fry as a commercial forum for the group. An important presence in the archive is that of his partner Beryl de Zoete, the writer on the dance, with whom he lived, and maintained a rich correspondence, from 1918 until her death in 1962; shortly before his death four years later, he married Alison Robinson, the degree of whose relationship with him since their meeting in 1929 is hinted at in his eliptical letters to her. A smaller group of Arthur Waley-Beryl de Zoete papers is held by Rutgers University.
WALEY, Arthur (1889-1966). Series of approximately 127 autograph letters signed (4 incomplete) and 32 autograph postcards signed to Beryl de Zoete (superscribed and signed with a variety of pet names and Chinese characters), the majority London (50 Gordon Square, Bradford Hotel etc), also Zagreb, Norway, the Engadin and elsewhere, virtually all incompletely dated [1918-1961]; with 17 autograph letters and postcards signed by Beryl de Zoete to Waley, the majority n.p., n.d. [c.1918-1949], including 5 from Ceylon in 1949; also 59 letters, cards (mostly) and notes signed by Waley to Alison Robinson [Waley], various places, [1943-1955], and a collection of autograph and typescript drafts of her letters to Waley, or related notes.

Details
WALEY, Arthur (1889-1966). Series of approximately 127 autograph letters signed (4 incomplete) and 32 autograph postcards signed to Beryl de Zoete (superscribed and signed with a variety of pet names and Chinese characters), the majority London (50 Gordon Square, Bradford Hotel etc), also Zagreb, Norway, the Engadin and elsewhere, virtually all incompletely dated [1918-1961]; with 17 autograph letters and postcards signed by Beryl de Zoete to Waley, the majority n.p., n.d. [c.1918-1949], including 5 from Ceylon in 1949; also 59 letters, cards (mostly) and notes signed by Waley to Alison Robinson [Waley], various places, [1943-1955], and a collection of autograph and typescript drafts of her letters to Waley, or related notes.

Inevitably Waley's letters to his long-term partner are concentrated at the very outset of their relationship, and on periods of separation, notably during the Blitz when he remained in Bloomsbury and during de Zoete's expedition to Ceylon in 1949. The early letters are markedly hesitant about detaching de Zoete from a previous relationship, suggesting with infinite caution in a letter postmarked 9 August 1918 that 'It seems to me that you might work towards ultimately reaching a point when you could be perfectly frank about me with Mr Mathews ... No doubt in the beginning I was a joke to you, just as the first time I dined with you, you were a joke to me. But you have long since ceased to be a joke to me'; an undated letter of a similar date discusses marriage in a similar tone, 'You said you did not feel prepared to say now whether you would marry me in April. I never asked this. I suggested you might make up your mind by April whether you wanted to marry me at all'. An extensive series of letters written during the Blitz give a vivid picture of life in Bloomsbury at that time, between Gordon Square and the Ministry of Information (in Senate House): 'a tornado of time-bombs last night ... The removal squads are quite inadequate in numbers, & the risk of removal enormous'; 'The raids are worse again. I little thought to find our house this morning'; 'On leaving the Ministry I found a rope across Malet St & was told there was a time bomb in the courtyard of the Gordon Square church ... Bicycling is very tricky, owing to all the roads being powdered with broken glass'; 'Sept 23 ... A glorious morning, but not so glorious a night. The Ministry was hit twice ... There were also bombs on the B.M., Southampton Row, next door to the newsagents in Torrington Place ... & time-bombs galore'. The remaining letters touch on a rich variety of subjects, from his writing and research to his relations with Ezra Pound, Sir Kenneth Clark and other friends in the Bloomsbury world. Waley's correspondence with his future wife, Alison Grant Robinson, chiefly comprises the briefest notes, suggesting an elusive and apologetic relationship: 'I shall be delighted to see you, on condition you don't say nasty things about Beryl'; 'I hate to cause you pain & disappointment'; 'Will you obey me or not?'.
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