CollectionGB 0231 University of Aberdeen, Special Collections
Ref NoMS 3290/2/314
TitleLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws to her parents, Robert and Maggie Laws
Date14 September 1919
Extent5 sheets
DescriptionLetter from Amelia Nyasa Laws, Edinburgh, to her parents, saying that Uncle is giving a Bible study in Leith but she is not going to church today, as a knee injury incurred in Crieff has not been rested properly and has now flared up, new financial arrangements in Rome, Uncle has always said that the £50 he always returned of his stipend was because he no longer covered Pontresina, but this turns out to be untrue: he felt awkward about having a larger stipend than others, and Aunt is angry that he did not put it in the bank for the future, Mr. Webster, formerly in Hungary, has come back to Edinburgh and is very energetic and efficient on the Continental Committee, but rubs others up the wrong way, Uncle is now irritable over travelling plans, though he was so happy in Crieff, he wants to go back to Rome early though there is no need, he is physically healthy but lethargic, his arrangements for going to Gryffe Castle went wrong, 'There are times when I should like to thrash men for their selfish dictatorship', looking forward to going to Paris, as Uncle's ignorance of French leaves Amelia in control, he must now remain in Italy to do his Bible Society work and to keep away from Aunt Amy, Aunt does not want to leave Rome and move to a village because they would lose their housekeeper Maria, hopes that Uncle will not trap Aunt in Rome and force her to spend summers there through being unable to travel himself, usual disagreements over arrangements, purchase of tickets, visas, etc., Amelia's parents have suggested full medical training but she is reluctant to involve them in more expense after all her musical training, 'a woman is old, professionally, at forty', and Mrs. Thin has prevented her from ever being able to study again, leaving a 'mental lesion', she has completed this summer the Pelman Course of Mind and Memory Training, which has been helpful and will be useful in the future, her nerves cannot take study for more than two months at a time, she does not like the idea of surgery, she does not wish to train as a nurse (with a parenthesis questioning God's reasoning in inventing childbirth and its causes), and would not treat syphilis, despising the sufferers who should be 'publicly slain for the murder of innocent girl-wives and children', 'Christianity is deplorably weak just because men are men before they are Christians', she aims more for psychotherapeutic medicine, how the brain governs the rest, and France is the best place to do it from the temperament of the people and the number of cases now there after the war, music may be involved in treatment, longs to be away from 'professional Christianity', though she may be able to do some good as a 'finger-post in lonely places', she has nothing in common with her own generation of women in Scotland, she does not like nurses, and finds a distance between herself and others easier in a foreign country, 'over intimacy leads to gossip and friction', 'Higher education in a woman is so rare there that it commands respect from both doctors and patients, and my purpose in entering a hospital at all is such an amazing proof of sincerity that it is an open sesame to their personal attachment', visit to the Grants and to the Ballenys, and news of Willie Balleny, now in the Rhine, and Madge who has married the U.F. minister at Campsie, who was wounded in the R.A.M.C., Mr. Balleny's death from pneumonia, marriage of Belle Thin after prolonged engagement, which she offered to terminate because of having to undergo a major operation, but her fiance refused, Mrs. Geddes is bedridden, and misses John very much, and her daughters are married or working in shops, Miss Kemp has shingles and is almost blind, Mrs. Beveridge is 'a perfect witch, worn, thin and nervous', Dr. Nicoll is returning to Crieff for a month, Miss Maggie Paton is in good form apart from rheumatism, Miss Bessie is like Aunt Amy, Aunt Amy has been forcing herself on Uncle's friends, Nora Hunter is Deputy Commanding Officer of the W.A.A.C. at Boulogne and Amelia may see her there, though she would like to emigrate to South Africa, General Wilberforce speaks very highly of her and has overseen her career.
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