Natalie Clifford Barney letter to Gilbert Seldes

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Autograph letter from Natalie Clifford Barney to Gilbert Seldes, dated December 12, 1958. An interesting letter to the critic, Gilbert Sedes, recounting her reminiscences of Muriel Draper, the memoirist: "Your name is associated with many memories...But among them I can recall only having really met Muriel Draper once, when she invited me to her flat and offered me her presidential chair, which I refused....Romaine Brooks Goddard, who painted her portrait (of which I send you amongst others this picture) enjoyed Muriel's settings...and as paintings are often a desirable confessional, Muriel evoked her home-life where 'good manners...were placed over very little to eat,' and it seems to me that this tell-tale portrait conveys the rest!" In a postscript, Barney adds that someone (name illegible) "is editing this next spring a book of mine Souvenirs indiscrets, but in which M.D. does not figure."

The "presidential chair likely is in reference to the Congress of American Women which Draper co-founded, and of which she was president. Barney's relationship with Romaine Brooks Goddard (they met during World War I) lasted nearly fifty years. Barney's Souvenirs indiscrets, a description of her literary acquaintances, was published in 1960.