27 MARCH 1942, Page 12



Sts,—In view of the outburst of indignation provoked by Mrs. Tarn's remarkable letter printed in your issue of March 13th, I wish I had carried out my intention of a week ago and written at once to con- gratulate you on finding space for what seemed to me a very moving and poignant document.

It amazes me that anyone, whether he agreed with her or not, could possibly read Mrs. Tarn's letter without feeling at once sympathy and distress. It revealed a young woman in a mood of bitter spiritual anguish, and the immediate reaction of anyone no longer young would have been, I should have thought, an instinctive admiration of its courage and a wish, if in any way possible, to soothe its pain. Yet only Mrs. Mackay of your contributors to last week's paper shows any patience with Mrs. Tarn's predicament or any awareness of her unhappiness. The others scold, or cry " defeatism," or thump a patriotic chest.

Is it not a grievous thing that a young wife should be driven to declare her lite ruined and her function as a woman stultified? And can any one of the injustices, complacencies and hypocrisies which have hurt her so cruelly be denied? Her letter seems to me an inevitable and a tragic pendant to your admirable article " Braced and Compact? " Mrs. Tarn is manifestly neither a cynic nor one who blindly refuses to face realities ; she is (this I judge from her letter, whose very artlessness proves its sincerity, for I know nothing whatsoever about her) a norm"! being with a fine feminine sensitive- ness, who is miserable because she feels that indeed " virtue some- how, for some reason, has gone out of us " (out of all of us), and wondered whether a confession of one woman's desolation might possibly help to bring it back.—Yours, &c., MICHAEL SADLEIR.

Lower Througham, Stroud, Glos.