• Boyd Letters


30th September 1960.

Dear St. John,

It is with great fear and trepidation that I write to you,
but if I haven't written I certainly thought of you and wondered
how you’re keeping. I hope well. Last week C.K. Munro paid
a surprise visit to Belfast and we had a long chat so your ears
should have been red.

He had with him a Mrs. Wade whom I think was an actress
some 20 or 30 years ago. Her husband has edited Yates's letters
and I think was engaged in editing Wilde's letters when he died.
So I expect you know him. C.K. was in great form despite the
fact that he has recently broken a femur. He seemed to get
great enjoyment going round Belfast and the coast of Co. Down and
seeing all the changes - not all for the better I fear.

I am in good form myself, though during the summer I broke
four ribs. You will laugh when you hear how. Playing Baseball
with American monks in Donegal. I know you will immediately
exclaim: "Served the bugger right!"

The theatre here is in a bad way: the Group, as you probably
know, still goes on, but in a very feeble way. Goldblatt and Co.,
have left it, of course, and James Young a local commedian is in
charge, and farces are a staple diet. The other theatre, the Arts,
do the latest West End plays. Unfortunately they select the
sillier ones - or the sexier ones. Curious how this still
puritanical community relish French or even English sex.

I haven't seen Joe for some weeks. He's not well, poor man,
and I expect will never become quite his old self again.

Did you read a good autobiography by an Ulsterman, Robert
Harbinson - "No Surrender" is the title. It's all about his
childhood in the Bog Meadows, but I suppose the Bog Meadows was
as far away from the Newtownards Road as Siberia!


John Boyd
1960 Sep 30th
Belfast, Donegal, West End
Linen Hall Library, "Boyd025", Northern Ireland Literary Archive, accessed Sun, 06/16/2024 - 07:22, https://www.niliteraryarchive.com/content/boyd025