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Gladys Meredith [Mary Webb] autograph letter, September 20 [1911] to future mother-in-law

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Gladys Meredith [Mary Webb]. Autograph letter signed, September 20 [1911], to Mrs. Thomas Webb, seven pages on seven leaves. Webb opens this letter by thanking Mrs. Webb for her continuing correspondence. Of herself, Webb says: “. . . I have a bad habit of exaggerating things—unconsciously almost—to make them suit ones idea of what they ought to be. . . . I try to cure myself . . . to say ‘oh! no, there weren’t thousands of butterflies, there were, to be accurate, six!’” Webb then compares her views on exaggeration to similar ones held by G. K. Chesterton. She reminisces at length about her father, and about her brothers as schoolboys. Expressing modesty about her abilities as a poet, Webb says: “It is just that the wonder of things gets into my head & my heart to such a degree that it must occasionally find an outlet, & being wholly un-gifted with regard to music & painting & writing, I’ve fixed on the unfortunate last as being the least impossible.” Webb goes on to praise the author of Thysia as a fine poet (Morton Luce, a friend of the Webb family), saying that after her father’s death she took great comfort from the poem. Thysia deals with love, death, joy, sorrow, friendship, and immortality. Provenance: Frederick Baldwin Adams, Jr.