My dearest Julius,
You will like to hear something about our visit to the Grove School yesterday, & as you will not be at home when I get back tomorrow, I will write this morning. I met Kathleen in the Strand about half-past one, & when we had lunched, we took the tube up to Tufnell Park station, & then began making enquiries & after some little difficulty & a good long walk right up Highgate Hill, we found the house which stands at the very top of the hill & overlooks Hampstead Heath.
The school consists of three old houses (Queen Anne’s time I should think) which have been thrown into one & adapted for the purpose. Miss Lacey is getting on & rather the old fashioned style of head-mistress, certainly as regards her dress which is quaint; I should think she is a clever woman with decided ideas of her own & that she takes a thorough interest in her girls, more with the view of educating & training them well, than with the object of making a lot of money by the school. She does not believe in examinations & will not prepare for any junior ones, & only for those which are likely to be of use in whatever career a girl is preparing for, or write a view to getting to college.
She gives no marks nor prizes in any part of the school. There are about 35 boarders & a few day girls, but she evidently does not care much about the latter, & only has them because some people are anxious to send them. There are only eight girls under fourteen & these have a separate dining-room & dine early.
The ordinary course of work includes English Subjects, Science French & Greek; Latin is not taught until the girls begin to specialize, Miss Lacey considers Greek easier & expects her older pupils to know enough when they leave to be able to read & appreciate its literature. There are numerous class-rooms & a nice large sitting room for the girls when not at work; the bed-rooms are large & airy, not more than three girls sleep in one room, two in the smaller ones. She keeps no servants at all, but has a staff of lady servants who do all the work, except the hardest jobs which a man & woman come in daily to do. We were there quite a long time, so had plenty of time to ask questions. I told Miss Lacey I should be going home in a day or two & would then talk matters over with you & we would write to her.
Kathleen & I managed to do our shopping afterwards & got a nice eiderdown at Maple’s, it was rather expensive so we had better make it a joint present from all of us; it was to be sent by post, so tell Ethel to take charge of the parcel.
I am sorry Juliet has still got a cough, I shall have to doctor her when I get home.
Give my love to the girls & with much to yourself, dear
Your loving wife
Eugénie N Sladden