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Letters of Henry Holiday to Helen Patuffa Hood

Identifier: Coll-1558

Scope and Contents

All three letters are on the letterhead of 'Wansfell', 18 Chesterfield Gardens, Hampstead NW 3, and dated 17 January 1921, 8 February 1921, and 17 February 1922. Each open with the salutation, 'My dear Patuffa'.

The letter of 17 January 1921 begins, 'I have just found, to my much delight, Mrs Kennedy Fraser's invitation to your wedding, wh. reached me at Betty-Fold, our house at the Lakes'. Holiday had hoped to attend, 'but when I unpacked the invitation had disappeared'. He continues by talking about the church. 'I was christened in All Souls Church and my parents were married there about 90 years ago. He goes on to say that he 'felt some hesitation in addressing you as patuffa, knowing as i do that marriage alters much in peoples relations to their friends [...] Please tell Mr. Hood that June 17th was my 81st birthday [...] and when he hears what a very old fogey I am I hope he will think that the friendship is a safe one'. he asks, 'Are you keeping up your beautiful singing and yr. cultivation of the Songs of the Hebrides'.

In the letter of 8 February 1921, Holiday writes that he is 'afraid to seem like pestering' her, but wants to tell her how pleased he is to be back in touch, and how much he is looking forward to seeing the Hoods when they are in London. 'How amusing to hear that you came across my book. Did you really get all through it without fainting in the effort. It was brave of you to tackle it'.

The third letter of 17 February 1922, Holiday apologises for forgetting her married name, and thanks her for the invitation to a concert. 'I am so busy that I consider it almost criminal to indulge in a daytime concert but I can't help that - I'm coming with my friend Miss Scott'.


  • Creation: 1921-1922


Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Open to bona fide researchers, but please contact repository for details in advance of visit.

Biographical / Historical

Helen Patuffa Hood (born 1889) was the daughter of Marjory Kennedy-Fraser. She had married John Charles Fulton Hood - the Rev. Canon John Charles Fulton Hood - in 1920. Marjory Kennedy-Fraser and her daughter Patuffa used to present the mother's collected songs in recitals which took them to New York, London and Berlin in the 1920s.


3 letters

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

The letters were acquired by purchase in June 2014. Accession no: E2014.47.

Related Materials

Also within Special Collections, Edinburgh University Library, are other similar or related materials with association to Helen Patuffa Hood:

  1. Coll-1036 - Papers and correspondence of Marjory Kennedy-Fraser.
  2. Coll-1393 - Music manuscripts, artwork and photographs relating to Helen Patuffa Hood
  3. Coll-1407 - Material relating to Marjory Kennedy-Fraser and Helen Patuffa Hood.
  4. Coll-1433 - Correspondence relating to Marjory Kennedy-Fraser, A. Y. Fraser, and others

Check our available finding aids, or ask for assistance.

Processing Information

Catalogued by Graeme D. Eddie 19 June 2014

Letters (3), 1921-1922, from Henry Holiday (1839-1927) to Helen Patuffa Hood (b.1889)
Language of description
Script of description
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Repository Details

Part of the University of Edinburgh Library Heritage Collections Repository

Centre for Research Collections
University of Edinburgh Main Library
George Square
Edinburgh EH8 9LJ Scotland
+44(0)131 650 8379