Why this Blog?

A place where I can lament the changing times; for eccentric comments on current affairs and for unfashionable views, expressed I hope, in cogent style; also occasional cris de coeur largely concerned, I regret to say, with myself.


I welcome your comments, so do please write. Please note however that all comments are moderated prior to publication. Whilst I fully appreciate that life can be frustrating, nevertheless, abuse, SMS language and illiteracy will not be tolerated!

Tuesday 29 May 2012



Books are a life-saver for me - a means of escape from what one might call self-contemplation; therefore I am a regular at the charity bookshops.

I especially love certain 20th-century English writers - Evelyn Waugh, Anthony Powell, Lytton Strachey, Rosamond Lehmann, Rose Macaulay amongst others.   One of my recent acquisitions is an excellent biography of Miss Macaulay, A Writer's Life by Jane Emery.  This penetrating work really seems to me to capture Rose Macaulay's nature - at least insofar as any biography can achieve this daunting objective.

The reason for my mentioning this here is a quote from a letter Miss Macaulay wrote to Rosamond Lehmann (they were good friends).

[Background: Rose Macaulay had a twenty-year love affair - and working relationship with a married man Gerald O' Donovan, which lasted until his death from cancer in 1942.  Rosamond Lehmann had a number of affairs and in particular one of nine years' duration (nine years!! just imagine!!}with writer Cecil Day-Lewis  that ended when he left her for a young actress].

Referring to her novel Towers of Trebiziond, Miss Macaulay writes:

"It's a book I have had in mind to write for a long time and writing it - like that, at a remove from myself, in an idiom not normally my own, and in a lot of circumstances that I enjoyed making up, but still the heart of the matter being my own story - writing it did sublimate and clarify life life for me a little.  I never, thank God, killed my lover; I don't have that to bear; I only watched him die of cancer. and couldn't often be with him during his illness.  And for years after he died, I felt starved - a ghost as Laurie [in the novel] did. But less hard than what happened to you; death is not a poison, only a knock-out blow."

As my title reads COINCIDENCE - I wrote this here  in March with regard to the same idea, but sadly without Miss Macaulay's elegance of feeling and sympathy expressed.

She is of course absolutely correct.

Until the next time.

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