CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/232
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her parents, Robert and Maggie Laws
Date24 March 1918
Extent4 sheets
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, 7 Via Venti Settembre, Rome, to her parents, thanking for their letters up to 6 January; thanks for cheques; explaining change in personnel at the bank; exchange rate favourable at the moment; she should not have difficulties getting into France, and may be granted leave to return to Italy in case of illness; Uncle's antagonism has been 'a bitter experience'; however, everything will be ready in the house by Easter Sunday, and then she will be free to go when called; Uncle has been selfish; he should not expect them all to go on supporting him until he is ready to stop; 'Too many lives have been like Aunt's, patched together to suit others, and then left through death to drift as best they can'; Uncle is becoming old and grumpy, and feels he should control things in Rome because he has the experience and the age; she wishes she could take Aunt away to France for good; Italy now has a strong anti-war and anti-Catholic element; if the Kaiser's armies fail on the Western front they will throw themselves at Italy; she wonders if God will keep her in Italy if Aunt needs her; Aunt is eager for her to leave when she has the chance; they are not to worry if mails are cut off as frontiers are closing and opening; the staff at Chambéry pay their own way except for the nuns, who are on a different footing; she would only work there permanently if she could live in, as travelling back and forth is very tiring and the weather and ill health can play their part; she never wants to end up a lodger like Aunt Amy, and if she could not afford a small house she would rather live and work in an institution; the retreat in Italy has affected Savoy; 'the fact that the Caporetto could have been held by one machine gun, the Austrians having got through in a thin, long line, made it a bitter experience for the patients sent away from the care of the 103'; her hours will be convenient for her living in; her parents will miss the Chalmers; there has been an appeal in the Women's Magazine for workers in Livingstonia; Aunt Amy is remiss in not forwarding letters faster; hopes for Mr. Cullen Young's recovery; interest in accounts of their Christmas services; rumours mentioned by her father of the closing of the church in Rome; Uncle is thinking of turning out Miss Jazdowska because of the increased taxes of having the manse as two apartments [There were Jazdowskis associated with teaching and art in Aberdeen: James Bronislas Jazdowski, son of John, teacher in Aberdeen, graduated from Marischal College in 1856 and according to an annotation of the Search Room student list died in Rome in 1902]; he does not like her and makes no allowance for her 'Polish, changeable nature'; he would then move downstairs to the first floor apartment, but it transpires that he would have Aunt in the servant's room and all the best rooms to himself; Aunt will refuse to make the move downstairs while Amelia is away; Uncle must not stay on at Rome after he has retired, as 'emeritus', as he would prevent his successor from making changes. In a postscript she emphasises her struggle not to fight with Uncle and her eagerness to be away; he does not even let her talk to gentlemen even though her experience in massage has proved her character; the talk of moving apartments was the last straw; she does not like hearing people judged according to their church connexion, and prefers her 'unpretentious patients to the church-going people here'.
Access StatusOpen
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