Although Paul Gallico was a prolific writer - not only of books, but magazine articles and short stories as well - he still managed to find time to answer letters from his friends and from fans.
This letter was found in an old copy of The Small Miracle; it is obviously written to the mother of a young boy who was concerned at the fate of Violetta.
Chalet Zur Heimat|
Dear Mrs Chandor,
You may tell your young man that you have it straight from me, and I ought to know - Violetta gets better-
In fact, she got quite well, and the last time I was in Assissi I saw her, and she was not only robust, but a little running to fat, for ever since she recovered Pepino has tended to spoil her some-what - and as for her smile---now she knows something.
Thank you for your sweet letter
Paul W. Gallico
This letter was found in a very early US edition of The Snow Goose, inscribed for Christmas, 1941, and was written to the original owner in reply, presumably, to a letter praising the story and asking what Gallico's plans were for other similar stories. (If anyone is interested, there is a bookplate in the book for Louise and Francis Williams, and the letter was addressed to Mrs Francis Bryan Williams in Richmond, Virginia.)
PAUL W. GALLICO * 231 EAST 62nd STREET * NEW YORK, N.Y.|
September 10, 1943
Dear Mrs Williams,
Thank you for your kind letter of August 23rd, and surely it was not impertinent.
I have taken a kind of year's sabbatical leave from writing short stories, because I was not
satisfied with what I was doing, and wanted to see if by taking a breather from that kind of
work, I might not improve when I came back to it.
I would like to tell a "great" story, but I think one has to have it in one's system, or
work up to it. Nothing that has happened in the war to date so captured my imagination as the
evacuation of Dunkirk, though many noble and heroic deeds have been done.
In the meantime, one goes on making a living, while fighting off the disillusionment that must
accompany every fresh evidence of disunity in our own beloved country.
I appreciate your letter and do hope indeed that sometime during my travels we will meet.
This letter was written to a teacher, who had used some of Paul Gallico's books to interest some reluctant readers, and had written to him to tell him how much the books had helped her.
10 Rampe des Saleurs|
25th January, 1968
Dear Mrs Leeson,
How nice of you to write me about your class and the students who have shown an interest in my books.
Actually FAREWELL TO SPORT antedates THE GOLDEN PEOPLE by some forty years. FAREWELL TO SPORT was instant memory of a career that I gave up; THE GOLDEN PEOPLE, a backward glance through the haze of forty years. SNOWFLAKE is not one of my most favourite books. For myself I much prefer THE ABANDONED or THOMASINA, two novels written around cats, and I think the young people might be amused at SCRUFFY, the story of a very naughty ape during the wartime years of Gibraltar.
Well, and then there is a book of mine called THREE LEGENDS which includes SNOW GOOSE, SMALL MIRACLE and LUDMILA, which might intrigue those who like a gentler tale.
At any rate, I greatly appreciate the interest you have shown and the trouble you have taken to write to me about it.
With kind regards to you and your students, I remain,
Paul W. Gallico.
This letter was written from Paul Gallico to Gaby Smart, a Manhattan socialite; it was found in a copy of Ludmila, personally inscribed to Gaby Smart.
May 11, 1955
Gaby, my dearest:
What HAVE they done to you ? They PUT a hole in your head, even though you didn't need one?
Have been trying to get news of you and today just had a note from Bienstock that you were home again after a long, rough spell at Mayo's. And I'll wager the body beautiful -- all thin and skinny.
I don't suppose you'll feel like answering this, but if you should, write to me to the Landmark House address at Salcombe, as I am taking the show on the road next week and going on a tour of Ireland for research and material for a Life of St. Patrick.
I caught it but good last March. Came down with a virus pneumonia which really knocked the bottom out of me, but the worst was trying to get my strength back when it was over. Still haven't got it completely and seem to be a sucker for any germ that comes along.
The new Esquire looked strangely nude to me without the Gallico Column. I sure have been in and out of that magazine.
In spite of many difficulties, I managed to finish my novel Thomasina as soon as the virus laid off a little. I don't expect it will be popular in the U.S. No sex, no dirt, no bloodshed (well a little) Just a little girl, her veterinary father and an arrogant cat named Thomasina. And speaking of cats, how did Hortie come through your illness?
I should so like to know what really happened to you and that you are all right now. Maybe you'll have a secretary in some time and dictate me a little note.
I don't know when I shall be coming over. If I can dream up something which will get my expenses paid -- soon. If not, it'll be a while. Writing a novel is an expensive luxury. But I have a couple of ideas. If one of them pans out, I shall be tapping on your door. Except by that time you won't be pale and wan any more.
Has Bienstock stood up well for you?
I send you genuine sympathy for all you have been through, and much love and affection.
Inclosed will give you an idea of the little hovel where I have been recuperating.
As always --
I would like to thank:-
- Elizabeth Taylor for the scan of the letter about Violetta;
- Mrs Jeanne T. Leeson, who very kindly allowed me to buy her letter from Paul Gallico about his books;
- Patti O'Mahoney, who sent me the text and the photos of the letter from Ireland.
I would always be interested in seeing any other letters from Paul Gallico.
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