25 SEPTEMBER 1993, Page 26

I like it here

Sir: In the recently published letters of Nancy Mitford her adoration of France and all things French almost saturates the reader. When writing before the war to my brother, Robert Byron, after a visit to her in-laws in Italy, her mood was rather different.

Dearest Robert,

Many thanks for your letter which I got in Naples. When are you coming to London — do come and stay here sometime. In any case I would like to know when you are up as I have an extraordinary and perfectly useless present for Lucy which I should think she will burst into tears (TEEARS) on seeing and which seems a difficult shape to pack up so I thought I might burden you with it.

Trentaremi was too extraordinary. My sheets weren't changed for a month during which time I was ill with a sweaty temperature. When I (not unnaturally) found my bed crawling with vermin and complained the assembled Rodds said I was a sybarite and unworthy to be given lovely treats abroad. On our way home Peter was knocked out in Paris and relieved of £20 worth of money and tick- ets and also an uninsured gold watch.


I would like to see you. Love from Nancy.

Lucy Butler

White Notley Hall, Witham, Essex