Letter to John Valentine from his wife Ursula



Letter to John Valentine from his wife Ursula


Hopes he is getting out and enjoying sunshine. Mentions she has sent him a parcel and continues with description of her activities in the garden. Reports a concert later in July and garden party next week. Hope to phone him that evening and mentions has settled with gardener. Concludes that she is about to take daughter to Sunday school.



Temporal Coverage



Four page handwritten letter


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Sunday 8th July.

My Darling,
How I wish we could be together while this lovely weather lasts, preferably here at home. I hope, at any rate, that you are getting out and enjoying the sunshine.

I sent off your parcel yesterday and hope you will receive it [deleted] yesterday [/deleted] safely. (Frances keeps interrupting me, I can’t write sense!) Yesterday afternoon we both worked very hard picking raspberries, Frances got 1/2lb & I got 2 lbs – she only dropped her bowl once! I’ve made them into jam, and now 5 lbs are awaiting you in the store cupboard. There are quite a lot of peas coming on, I do

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hope you’ll be home to have some. I blitzed the herbaceous border last night, from 7 – 10pm, and removed nearly a ton of weed. I should think, mostly convolvulus & buttercups – the former matted the whole bed together vertically & the latter horizontally. It looks very chastened today, & when I’ve forked it over I’ll try to put in a few plants to make it look better by the time you come. I’m not doing anything about the garden house till you come, then we can discuss it & tackle it together.

There is a nice concert on at Jordans on July 28th, a mixed voice choir conducted by Michael Tippett, whom you may have heard of as one of the few rising English composers, on

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a par with Benjamin Britten There’s a garden party at the vicarage next week (14th) which Frances & I hope to attend, and the week after the St Giles Singers are giving a performance, I forget what of.

There are lots of things I want to alter in the garden this autumn, I think I must make a list while they occur to me.

I hope to try to phone you this evening, if I can get some change. I settled up with old Mr Palmer yesterday, & was somewhat staggered when he presented a bill for £3.16.0. He’d put down 60 hours at 1/3, and really I should have thought he’d have been able to do more in all that time. However

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I can’t argue with the old boy, so I paid up, & will do the rest of the work on my own.

Must get changed & take Frances to Sunday school now. What a different life this is from my lazy existence [deleted] was [/deleted] at Cosford, where we used to consider how best to fill in the interval between meals. Here it is a job to fit everything in – in fact it never does [underlined] all [/underlined] fit in! Bunty remarked on my “lily white hands” – you should see them now, nails cut as short as poss & all scratched & nicked from gardening already.

All my love to you my darling, hope life isn’t [underlined] too [/underlined] boring, let me know if I can send you anything

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Ursula Valentine, “Letter to John Valentine from his wife Ursula,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 9, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/20421.

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