Write Well, Live Well


From a July 23, 1962 letter to William Maxwell:

I finally traded in my Mercedes-Benz on a 3.8 Jaguar. I lost money on the deal, but the cash consideration came out of my Sterling account in London. In some ways I am tough about money, but I practice self-deception too. Like I have had five pairs of Peal shoes made in the last year. They are paid for in Sterling by my London agent, and all I pay in dollars is the duty, which ranges from $2 to around $9. I therefore kid myself that I am getting a pair of Peals for $2. I had a coat made at Burberrys, a cashmere topcoat. I got it for $40 - the duty. In NY it would have cost me $400. To me this all makes perfectly good sense, The money I make in England is pretend money.

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