TLS signed “Mayling Soong Chiang,” two pages, 8 x 10.5, Headquarters of the Generalissimo letterhead, November 3, 1941. Letter to celebrated author Pearl Buck (Mrs. Richard J. Walsh), who had received the 1938 Nobel Prize in Literature 'for her rich and truly epic descriptions of peasant life in China' in books such as The Good Earth. In part: "There was some unaccountable delay in the arrival of the Book of Hope, but on my return from the Hunan front on October 27th, I found the Book had been sent to me…I sent you a cablegram as follows: 'Delighted to find beautiful Book of Hope awaiting me upon return yesterday from Hunan front. Book is most unique touching tribute and will always be treasured memorial of deepening sympathy between women of our sister nations. To you who are moving spirit of this symbol of international goodwill and to all signatories I send personal thanks. I shall exhibit Book on first fitting occasion to all Chinese women's organizations.'
My visit to the Hunan front was partly to take comforts and funds for the wounded soldiers. As you will have learnt from the newspapers, our troops in the Hunan areas have very effectively repulsed the Japanese attacks made in great force and after months of preparation. Our successes could not be made the fullest use of, owing to our weakness in the air and our lack of sufficient artillery. Were it not for our deficiency in these respects, we know from actual experience that sufficient air reinforcement would enable us to stage counter-attacks that, with air support, could be driven right home. Adequate air support means that the strength and effectiveness of land forces are not merely increased but actually multiplied.
The spirit of the people and the army in all the regions that I visited was admirable. To you it will be no surprise to hear that the Chinese people still face all the horrors of war with the same dogged courage that they have always shown, as you have so forcibly described in their struggle against flood and famine." In fine condition. Accompanied by the original mailing envelope.
The 'Book of Hope' was a campaign led by Buck in 1940 to raise $100,000 for medical relief in China by soliciting $100 a piece from 1,000 American women; among the early contributors were Eleanor Roosevelt, Mary Pickford, and Katharine Cornell. An important association piece—the most famous woman of non-Communist China writing to the celebrated author who so aptly described the nation and its spirit.
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