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5 January 1976

Extracts from a letter from Nico Llewelyn Davies to Andrew Birkin, 5 January 1976

[...] In the course of my talk with Eiluned [Lewis] the other day, which just touched on Michael’s ‘girl-friends’, she said “oh of course Audrey Lucas was the one, wasn’t she? Is she alive?” In fact Audrey (with whom I had been in quite recent touch - since Janet Dunbar’s book) died last year. True enough she was devoted to Michael, but I’m as certain as could be that there wasn’t a whiff of an affair. I dfon’t think he had one: and if I’m right about this (at age 20/21) it’s a tinge of a clue, though in itself it means pretty well nothing. Rupert [Buxton] - I can’t judge from this distance, tho’ I never had (I was only 17 or less) a suggestion of a feeling that he might be homosexual. But I was fantastically ignorant - until about 18 years old. The nearest I can get to serious homosexual theories so far as Michael is concerned is to do with his great friend Roger Senhouse - later publisher with Secker & Warburg and a very good friend of mine - it was he who came to Eilean Shona that last year. Died last year or the year before. Entirely homosexual. I liked him very much indeed!

Of course, a major drawback in my helping you is that I never gave thought to such things as "struggling to get father away" etc - and am apt to think many of such thoughts are cooked up by an author who has to find some reason for what he is thinking, if you see what I mean! Whereas I was/am just a brother who by the grace of God is more less normal (or at any rate think I am). The "jealousy" towards our contemporaries, in my confirmed view, was of a second's duration if that: all the stuff in JMB's letters about how Etonian everyone is, and how JMB is only put up with because he ladles the soup etc - this is ALL JMB's sort of humour.

I would think the "terrible danger" [alluded to by Mackail re JMB following Michael's death] could mean that JMB talked of ending his life to such as Cynthia, or Uncle Coley, or someone - never of course to me, and I doubt to Peter. [...]