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10:15am Thursday 19th July 2012 in Letters
Sir – I would like to submit this letter as a small token of my appreciation for Catherine Anne Stoye who passed away on June 12 at the age of 83 and whose memorial service was held in Oxford on July 12. I worked very closely with Catherine Stoye when writing my book, A Russian Jew of Bloomsbury: The Life and Times of Samuel Koteliansky, which came out last year. She was H G Wells’s granddaughter and the daughter of Koteliansky’s closest friend, Marjorie Wells.
I stayed in touch with Catherine Stoye the whole time I was writing my book and I spent several weekends during two successive summers interviewing her and going through her private archive of Koteliansky’s documents and personal items at the house in Oxford she shared with her husband John.
She was a very honest, very genuine human being (undoubtedly the very qualities that Koteliansky so cherished in her) and a supremely intelligent and reliable source of information.
She was also a dream executor to work with, not just in relation to Koteliansky’s materials, where she gave me blanket permission to quote anything I found necessary but also when it came to the correspondence of her grandfather, whose literary executor she likewise was.
Galya Diment , Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures, University of Washington, Seattle