Letters to Maro

An auction house has on offer 5 letters and a post card from Evelyn Waugh to Maro Stathatos (nee Vatimbella, 1919-1989) and her son John. These were written in the period February 1962-October 1963 and are in the nature of arranging for visits and meals as well as expressions of thanks. In the post card dated 1 August 1963 advising her son how to recognize him on the platform at Taunton Station, Waugh describes himself as “short, corpulent and elderly”.

Maro is identified in the auctioneer’s material as an Egyptian-born Greek artist. Her maiden name is frequently associated with descriptions of her paintings. She was also a friend of Lawrence Durrell and one of his letters to her is on offer as well. Patrick Leigh Fermor was a friend of three generations of her husband’s family. He was named Constantine and was apparently a son of Peter Stathatos who features in Leigh Fermor’s biography as the source of the horse he “borrowed” to join the royalist uprising against the Venizelos government in the 1930s.

The auction house International Autograph Auctions has the 5 letters on sale for £200 each and the post card for £150.  Here’s a link via invaluable.com. The Waugh correspondence is Lots 140-45. The live auction will be held on Thursday, 20 June 2019 at 1pm, BST. How Waugh came to know Maro is not explained in the notes but it may come indirectly through her connections with Leigh Fermor who was a close friend of both Diana Cooper and Nancy Mitford. It may also have involved an acquaintanceship with his daughter Margaret who is mentioned by Waugh in the letters and whose presence or absence seems to be relevant to the arrangements.

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