Source: Edmund Gosse, letter to Lady Gosse, 20 September 1909, in Evan Charteris, The Life and Letters of Sir Edmund Gosse (London, W. Heinemann, 1931), p. 317
Text: My dearest,—
Here is a day of heavenly brightness at last. I do so rejoice in it for you. I should think that Beaulieu must look quite lovely. Yesterday, at 8 in the morning, before I was out of bed, Evan telegraphed to know whether I would go to the Theatre. I did not like to leave Tessa alone, but she insisted I should go, and I wanted to see Evan, who was only passing through London. He started for Russia by the Moscow express this morning. We dined at the Ritz — such a nice little dinner, cold soup, a trout, a grouse and some raspberries, nothing more — but we could not get any theatre tickets we cared about. So at 9.45 we went to the Empire music-hall, and saw a very clever and amusing ballet, Une Visite a Paris (with the famous Apache dance), and afterwards, on the bioscope, the aviation week at Rheims. You cannot think how extraordinarily interesting this last was. To see the strange aeroplanes run along, and then soar up into the sky, and wheel gracefully about like great sleepy insects — most curious! It gave me my first idea of what it is all really like.
Comments: Edmund Gosse (1848-1928) was a British author and autobiographer. The film he saw was probably Pathé’s coverage of the aviation meeting held at Rheims in France, 22-29 August 1909, which was widely for shown and which was for many people the first sight that they had had of an aeroplane.
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