1940 · Surrey
by RHYS DAVIDS, Caroline Augusta (1857-1942)
Surrey, 1940. unbound. very good(+). Extremely scarce and remarkable eye-witness account of her experience during the London Siege. A.L.S. 4to. 2 pages, Pali Text Society, Surrey, England, November 7, 1940, to an American Buddhist, in part: "...When the London Siege, with its war on civilians began, nights in our outer London area grew disturbed by our ever stronger defense guns now planted all around. We are 15 miles from the heart of London and I came to my other home, my younger daughters of the address above, and here I have had to remain for 6 weeks and more. Nor are things permanently quieter yet. There's too much casual throwing away of bombs on outer areas when the enemy gets turned back to make it a safe home. But it is often awkward being away from my H.Q. with only my Pali dictionary and all but a few books. This hurling about of bombs so much practiced by out air-inferior enemy has had one tragic result for us. One bomb dropped over Guildford, a non-military Surrey town, burnt up all the reserve stocks of our Pali work of 60 years, save most of the Dictionary (elsewhere) and 2 books of mine; one just published. This wasteful plunder deprives us of our source of income, subscribers being now only about 50... for the war has hit us abroad. It means an increased difficulty in finishing our nearly accomplished task - some 6 more vols. to print..." In closing she hits at the possibility of receiving American donations: "...In this overrunning fountain of sympathy America is showing us, of any services whence a little financial help might be shown us - I should be most grateful..." *Caroline Rhys Davids wrote this letter when she was 84 years of age and was only six volumes short of having published "The complete dictionary of the Pali language"; a project her husband had started in 1907. Fine condition. Acclaimed British political-economist and with of Thomas William Rhys Davids. Like her husband she was an expert on the Pali language and Buddhist texts.
(Inventory #: 283979)