12. 7 February 1988 [NM] (Bacon's traducers)

previously unpublished; © the estate of eric sams and beatrice cazac (Mrs. Mathew’s letters)

Dear Eric,

   Thank you for handwritten lines - which look a bit like a musical score.

   As usual I find your letters incredibly stimulating and bracing. Your lines about Honigmann in particular, his knack of getting things wrong in ways which help one to see what is right.

   It is very good of you to try and contact Haycraft. No, I don't have a contract, I never thought of it actually, tho' he always wrote back very warmly, expressing a lot of interest, every time I reminded him that the book, of which he had seen a part and approved in principle, was not ready yet but would be next year.

   I am delighted that you are prepared to read my Conclusions, and am posting them separately to-morrow. Any views you may have on them will I know be helpful if I have to shorten the book, and after reading your own book, I can honestly say I would prefer your damn to most other people's bless.

   I was impressed with a remark you made in an earlier letter about the fight with your editor over cutting some superfluous evidence. Perhaps I am being self-indulgent in this, heaping up the evidence for Bacon. On the other hand, there never seems to be enough to break down the century-old prejudice embedded in people's mind. In particular in chapter 66, re Macaulay, I wonder if you will think there is anything I could leave out, without loss to the argument.

You will find in these chapters, in which I finally turn on Bacon's traducers, a slightly heightened tone, which is, I hope, legitimate after a thousand pages of quiet accumulation of proofs in his favour.

   So thank you, Eric. I still look on our dinner with Diana last year as the highlight of that year for me, and I will be thinking of her and you all at her recital in a couple of days.

   With every good wish for you own work