off at this time of year to go to a little fishing I have in Hampshire.
211 Queen Anne's Gate, S.W.,
February 1st, 1902.
I am obliged by your courteous letter, and will be with you at four o'clock whichever day suits you. I propose to bring with me a short synopsis of "The Staffordshire Potters, Their Inspiration and Results," and also a couple of specimens from which you might make experiments for illustrations. I want to place the book definitely before writing it.
Domestic circumstances with which I need not trouble you, they are I fear already public property, make it advisable I should remain, if not sequestered, at least practically in retreat for the next few months. I find I cannot concentrate my mind on a novel at this juncture. But my cottages and quaint figures, groups and animals, jugs and plates, retain their attraction, and I shall do a better book about them now, when I am dependent on things and isolated from people, than I should at any other time.
It is good of you to say what you do about my novels, but I doubt if I shall ever write another. My courage has turned to cowardice, and under cross-examination I found my frankness was no longer complete. I have taken a dislike to humanity.