22 julio 2008


It was one of those Paris afternoons when,
by some trick of the light,the buildings
look as if they are made of opaque, blue glass

The Blessing

There is a photograph in existence of Aunt Sadie and her six children sitting round the tea-table at Alconleigh. The table is situated, as it was, is now, and ever shall be, in the hall, in front of a huge open fire of logs. Over the chimney-piece plainly visible in the photograph, hangs an entrenching tool, with wich, in 1915, Uncle Matthew had whacked to death eight Germans one by one as they crawled out of a dug-out. It is still covered with blood and hairs, an object of fascination to us as children. In the photograph Aunt Sadie's face, always beautiful, appears strangely round, her hair strangely fluffy, and her clothes strangely dowdy, but it is unmistakably she who sits there with Robin, in oceans of lace, lolling on her knee. She seems uncertain what to do with his head, and the presence of Nanny waiting to take him away is felt though not seen. The other children, between Louisa's eleven and Matt's two years, sit round the table in party dresses or frilly bibs, holding cups or mugs according to age, all of them gazing at the camera with large eyes opened wide by the flash, and all looking as if butter would not melt in their round pursed-up mouths. There they are, held like flies in the amber of that moment - click goes the camera and on goes life; the minutes, the days, the years, the decades, taking them further and further from the happiness and promise of youth, from the hopes Aunt Sadie must have had for them, and from the dreams they dreamed for themselves. I often think that there is nothing quite so poignantly sad as old family groups.

The Pursuit of Love

Hay tres novelas de Nancy Mitford publicadas en castellano: A la caza del amor (The Pursuit of Love), Amor en clima frío (Love in a Cold Climate) y La bendición (The Blessing). La narradora de las dos primeras, Fanny Logan, reaparece en París en la también estupenda Don't Tell Alfred.

Annick Le Floc'hmoan escribió Las hermanas Mitford (Ces extravagantes soeurs Mitford). De Mary S. Lovell es The Mitford Girls, y su cartas se han publicado en edición de Charlotte Mosley, The Mitfords: Letters Between Six Sisters. Jessica Mitford tituló su libro de recuerdos juveniles Hons and Rebels. Este es uno de los párrafos:

The endless schoolroom talk of "What are we going to do when we grow up?" changed in tone. "I'm going to Germany to meet Hitler," Boud announced. "I'm going to runaway and be a Communist," I countered. Debo stated confidently that she was going to marry a duke a become a duchess. "One day he'll come along, The duke I love..." she hummed dreamily. Of course none of us doubted for a minute that we should reach the objectives we had set for ourselves; but perhaps seldom have childhood predictions materialized with greater accuracy.

De arriba abajo: Unity, Jessica, Nancy, Diana