British Council

“Bulgaria has been long and persistently wooed by many suitors. Two of them, grown more importunate of late, are just pressing for a decision with lavish gifts and promises when suddenly we, indifferent till now, knock loud on the door and ask to be admitted.

Result: Surprise, suspicion and the perfectly natural, but none the less embarrassing enquiry "What have you got to offer?"

Ever since your visit last November, hopes – and prices! – all over Sofia have been raised, and something "big" has been expected of us. "Great Britain was entering the field at last. Great Britain was powerful and rich and would, even at the eleventh hour, put forth her strength."

So ran the legend. I encountered it everywhere. And it convinced me early on that something "big" must indeed be attempted if we were to capture the imagination of these people, not to disappoint and disillusion them, to have the door slammed in our face.”

3 March 1940
Letter from H. Littler to M.S. Everett