Came to London Tuesday morning for the Wounded Allies 'War Fair' at the Caledonian Market.
Heavy shower. Great success. I sold books at Marguerite's stall. After 5.30 crowds of young women came to look at books and some to buy. One well-dressed man had never heard of Balzac. Demand for Kipling, Chesterton, Conrad and me. Difficulty of selling autographs. Enthusiasm for Jepson's "Polyooly". Met Pett Ridge and he looked just like an actor.
Various estimates of profits of two days; but you can see that the men keep estimates lower than their hopes. Thus Mr. Henry - £8,000 to £15,000. Selfridge estimated attendance first day at from 25 to 30,000. I agree. Yet one man in charge of a gate said that through that gate alone he estimated that 30,000 people had passed. And so on. There were not enough goods or stalls. The place looked nearly empty when I arrived, and remained so. It was too big. I did a very good trade in books, but I brought down prices at the end considerably, and autographed favourites were going for 3s. and even 2s. 6d. Habit of women squealing out in ecstasy over name of a book, and then refusing even to consider the purchase of it. Perhaps they were so startled to find that they had recognised a title.
News of Kitchener's drowning came at noon on first day. His sister Mrs. Parker was at Marguerite's stall, but she had left before it came. The rumour in the afternoon that Kitchener was saved roused cheers, again and again ....
Additionally for June 8th., see 'Ideas on women'
Miss Thomasson is a small, slim, dark, effective woman, with large bright eyes and dark eyebrows in striking contrast to a tower of prematurely silver hair. On Sunday, after dinner, we took coffee in the Place Blanche, and talked there till just eleven o'clock, me getting worse and worse. However, I talked all the time, explaining at great length my ideas on women, sometimes making her laugh at what she considered my naive absurdities and then making her suspect that perhaps my absurdities were not so absurd after all. I recently said to Miss Ruck, a very young art student friend of Miss Thomasson's: "Women, my dear girl? I know women inside and outside. I know women as well as I know my own pocket." I wonder what they think of me?