W8719a TO REV. CALVIN AND MARY BALDWIN MCQUESTEN from their mother Mary Baker McQuesten
Aug 13 1924
To: Rev. Calvin and Mary Baldwin McQuesten, Whitehern, Hamilton
My dear Mary and Calvin,1
Touring Devonshire,2 Cornwall, St. Ives Penzance, Land's End-Cornish Cream in great abundance. I always groan when I think of you two poor things left at home and poor Edna. Cal did tell me of his visit to Edna, it comforted me very much. She could not help but feel sore at our going off and leaving her for the whole summer. Have treated myself to a lorgnette and black feather boa and going out today to get SOROSIS boots3 - - - - - - -. [page(s) appear to be missing, but note Footnote No. 1].
We returned here yesterday Evening after ten days in Devonshire and Cornwall, reaching St. Ives on Saturday night the 10th glad to rest there all Saturday and on Monday, drive out to Penzance, along the waterfront, having an excellent view of St. Michael's Mount, an ancient monastery on top of high rocky island, reached when tide is out; then on to Land's End; getting an excellent lunch there.
Everywhere Devonshire and Cornish Cream, in great abundance. I always groan when I think of you two poor things left at home and poor Edna.
Found your letter here telling of Mrs. McMillan and sister. Think you have done splendid by your friends. Cal did tell me of his visit to Edna, it comforted me very much. She could not help but feel sore at our going off and leaving her for whole Summer. Have treated myself to lorgnette and black feather boa and going out to-day to get Sorosis boots. H. got shoes before much cheaper here. $7.50 for her S.[sic]. To-morrow we drive to Windsor, Stoke [on Trent?]. Cannot go every where; do not think I can see Oxford; and thankful to have seen So much. Expect Florrie Burton & family here for afternoon Tea to-day. Do not send any of our cards on to E. as we keep sending her. We have not suffered from heat, except the hour we spent at Torquay and have worn woollen undervest all the time nearly cool by sea.
With fondest love.
1 This letter appears to be made up of one fragment and one complete letter both with the same date, so we have conflated them.
2 Mary, Tom and Hilda were touring England with the Canadian Bar Association delegation to a convention with English lawyers. The Daily Mail of July 22, 1924 carried pictures and reports of the English and Canadian lawyers as they welcomed the American Bar Association at Westminster Hall on July 21, 1924. They visited the historic sites and were introduced to royalty and Britain's leaders (Barnsley).
3 "Sorosis" is the brand name of a boot that was usually front-laced with a pointed toe and hourglass heel (Jonathan Walford, Fashion Historian, Font Hill). The archive contains a bill from a Saxone Shoe Co. Ltd., on The Strand in London, for shoes and laces, dated the same date as the letter. The total cost was 3.90 pounds. The name "sorosis" is related to a women's club or society, and may suggest a particular fashion or style of the day (WNCD 808). In 1930 Mary refers to using a lorgnette glass, see W7085. The Whitehern archive contains a lorgnette glass and several pairs of boots from that era.
W8719a appears to be a letter fragment and a full letter. We have conflated them into one complete letter. Mary may have begun one letter and then later used another sheet of paper for a complete letter.