PROUST, Marcel. Two autograph letters signed to Lucien Daudet, both n.p. [Paris], the first n.d. [circa 1 May 1917 ?], explaining that he had planned to visit him on Sunday, but went to dine at Larue and then went to see his brother who is in Paris and ill; also mentioning that the son of the King of England was said by the patron to be in the restaurant, and if it was indeed the prince he was charming, 'si c'est vrai, il est charmant et a fait un certain nombre de choses extrèmement gentilles que les princes ne font jamais', 4 pages, 8vo; the second n.d. [23 August 1917], saying that every three or four days he tries to have him telephoned at Monsieur de Hinnisdael's; the operator has been forbidden to connect the number but relays messages; today he learns that Monsieur Daudet has gone out; telling him that Reynaldo [Hahn] is in Paris, recalling Léon Daudet's son's warm remarks about Lucien, and referring to his sorrow at the death of Emmanuel Bibesco, 8 pages, 8vo (together 12 pages, 8vo).
The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII and, after his abdication, the Duke of Windsor) was reported in the French press to have visited Paris on leave from the front at the end of April 1917.
Emmanuel Bibesco, with his brother Antoine, was at the heart of the group of young aristocrats who were Proust's companions from 1900-1905. Emmanuel, who since his return from the Far East had suffered an increasing paralysis, committed suicide in England on 22 August 1917. Proust had received the terrible news by telegram and shared his intense grief in his emotional letters to his friends in the Bibesco circle. Kolb, XVI, 111 and 214; Cahiers, V (XXXIX and XLVII). (2)