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Eric Aldwinckle collection.

Note: Most letters were contained in J. Russell Somers & Co. brown envelopes with dates, correspondents, and sometimes brief summaries of the content of the letters written on them. Envelopes listed below refer to the original mailing envelopes.
F.1 Eric Aldwinckle (E.A.) to Harry Somers (H.S.) and Ruth Somers (R.S.), 29 March 1943
F.2 E.A. to H.S., 27 April 1943. Written from the Invanhoe Hotel in Glasgow, the letter ends with ink sketches of cake, jam, bread, shortbread, and an egg.
F.3 E.A. to H.S., 21 May 1943 + envelope
F.4 E.A. to H.S., 21 June 1943, encl. programme of music by Walter Goehr and Concert Ensemble led by Maria Lidka, 19 June, Wigmore Hall. The programme contains a brief holograph note by E.A.
F.5 E.A. to H.S., 7 August 1943, includes poem which begins "Where is he who dare define / The Water from a mountain spring" and ends "'This is Water'"

F.6 E.A. to H.S., 28 August 1943, telegram
F.7 E.A. to H.S., 2 October 1943; the letter ends with one staff of musical notation
F.8 E.A. to H.S., [6 October 1943], includes the story of "Mime" which Aldwinckle hopes to make into a ballet one day and also hopes that Somers will use as "programme music"
F.9 E.A. to H.S., 17 March 1943 [1944]. The annotator of the envelope has redated it as 1944. The letter contains references to "Mime" and also to a painting Aldwinckle hopes to paint already titled "Return from Berlin". Note: This painting was completed and now hangs in the Canadian War Museum, Ottawa.
F.10 E.A. to H.S., 17 March 1944. The letter begins: "After posting my letter to you of the same date ..." The second letter concerns the beauty of a flight at 12,000 ft.

F.11 E.A. to H.S., 5 April 1944
F.12 E.A. to R.S., 26 May 1944 + envelope
F.13 E.A. to [H.S.], 26 May 1944
F.14 E.A. to H.S., 23 June 1943 re Benjamin Britten's new work
F.15 E.A. to H.S., 23 December [1943]; encl. ink sketch of his studio. He notes that he has nearly completed his painting "Return from Berlin" which is "a symphony to bomber crews"

F.16 Boosey & Hawkes Ltd. to E.A., 20 June 1944 (a rejection letter for "String Quartet" by Harry Somers); on the verso is a letter from E.A. to R.S., n.d. + 2 envelopes
F.17 E.A. to H.S., 15 July 1944, written from France, noting that the building in London containing his studio had been bombed but fortunately "Return from Berlin" had been moved to the vault of another building
F.18 E.A. to H.S., 1 August [1944]
F.19 E.A. to R.S., 17 August 1944, encl. water colour of a wasp, titled "Blooming' People!", 13 cm x 10 cm. The letter concerns the wasps that have bothered the troops since D-Day: "Strong healthy men seem to be in some great fear of them, even pilots who face flack and ... fight in the air at night seem in terror when surrounded by erratic ZS flight of one black and yellow wasp."

F.20 E.A. to H.S., 8 September [1944] + envelope. The letter notes: "That is why I accept with alacrity, for the first time offered, to live with you in the mind, defier of space and time..." A p.s. includes the information that he is now a Flight Lieutenant.
F.21 E.A. to H.S., 2 November 1944, a letter in four parts, numbered 1-12, followed by an additional letter, n.d., numbered [1]-7, with a pencilled annotation of the verso of last leaf "Harry from Eric, received with music Dec 7/44". The first letter includes poems "Normandy 1944 June" and "Reason Moves Me to Think Then--" which ends with a musical notations using their initials.
F.22 E.A. to H.S., [1 December 1944]
F.23 E.A. to H.S., [20 December 1944] + envelope
F.24 E.A. to H.S., 15 January 1945 + envelope
F.25 E.A. to [Augustus] Briddle, 10 February 1945, marked "copy". E.A. objects to Briddle's criticisms of Somers' quartet which debuted on 28 January.

F.26 E.A. to H.S. and R.S., 16 February 1945, mentioning Briddle. At the bottom of the letter are two pen and ink sketches, titled "An Englishth [sic] Myth" and "A Myther [sic]"
F.27 E.A. to H.S., [April 1945], encl. pen and ink drawing of a cat. The letter concerns the cat who E.A. "interviewed" outside a museum.
F.28 E.A. to H.S., 28 April [1945]; the vase story is mentioned, see F.35
F.29 E.A. to H.S., 18 May [1945] + envelope
F.30 E.A. to H.S., June 1945 + envelope. E.A. has begun to study lithography.
F.31 E.A. to R.S., 7 July [1945]; E.A. to H.S., [10 July 1945]. He expects to be back in Canada in August.

Manuscripts, typescripts, and news clippings:
F.32 "A Young Artist Paints Record of Air Heroes," ts. by Allen Nickelson, Canadian Press staff writer, 1943. Also two news clippings: "Toronto Artist Paints Men of RCAF in Action," by Mollie McGee, Toronto Globe and Mail, 7 February 1944; "Canadian War Pictures to Be Hung in London," by Kenneth C. Cragg, Toronto Globe and Mail, 29 December 1943.
F.33 "To H.S. and All Those Like Him", ms., poem, February 1945
F.34 "Life, There Is a Lot to Live For ...", ts., April 1945, which begins "I was attracted by two vases ..."

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Last Reviewed: May 7, 2003