Jan. 2, 1952

May all the blessings that the Deities and their prophets bestow upon mankind descend upon the Phelpses – among those personages I include Yahweh, Allah, Mohammed, Confucius, Buddha and other luminaries.

Yes Art, I was delighted to get the little book from McClelland & Stewart. I chuckled and chuckled over the reminiscential phases. They made the past come back deliciously. And the one of Morley is just as finely written – The others, too, are full of Phelpsian turns of phrase and Puckish whimsicalities that have made your household tones a part of Canadian radio music.

The reason why I deferred acknowledging the book was that Vi wondered if you and Lal could come to Toronto for a visit, stay with us, of course, and also 'here's the catch' if you would address the University Women's Club of Toronto. Could you make a planned trip to Toronto coincide with the time and delivery of said address? After the speech we would put on a cocktail party at the House, and then after the other guests depart, we should indulge in far-off memories – another variety of indulgence. Vi will write to you.

I am writing McClelland who told me that he intended bringing out the book in hard covers next Spring.


little book
Canadian Writers (Toronto: McClelland & Stewart, 1951). The book included commentaries on E.J. Pratt, Morley Callaghan, Thomas Haliburton, R. W. Service, Frederick Philip Grove, Merrill Denison, Archibald Lampman, Thomas Raddall, Stephen Leacock, Hugh MacLennan, L.M. Montgomery, W.O. Mitchell, French Canadian writing in translation, A.M. Klein and Earle Birney.

radio music
A reference to his long-running radio series, Neighbourly News.