Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Death of the Romanovs

One hundred years ago today the Russian imperial Romanov family and its attendants, all under house arrest at Ekaterinburg 1,000 km east of Moscow, were were shot, bayoneted and clubbed to death, as ordered by the new ruling Bolshevik party, headed by Vladimir Lenin. Among the murdered were Tsar Nicholas II, his wife Tsaritsa Alexandra and their five children. Both the Tsar and the Tsarina kept diaries - see Hope remains above all for extracts from the Tsar’s (dull) diaries - but to mark this anniversary I have chosen the very last (and also very dull) diary entries penned by the Tsaritsa - Alexandra Feodorovna - as found in The Last Diary of Tsaritsa Alexandra.

Alix Viktoria Helene Luise Beatrix was born in 1872, the sixth child (of seven) born to Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine (part of the German Empire), and his first wife Princess Alice of the UK, the second daughter of Queen Victoria and Albert. Her early life is said to have been carefree and happy, but when six years old she, and other members of the family, fell ill with diphtheria. Her mother and one sister died leaving Alix reserved and withdrawn. She and her siblings grew close to their British cousins, spending holidays with Queen Victoria. The British queen intended Alix to marry her grandson Prince Albert Victor, who was second in line to the British throne, but Alix had fallen in love, years earlier, with Grand Duke Nicholas, heir to the throne of Russia. Despite many obstacles, the two eventually married in 1894, and, on
 being accepted into the Russian Orthodox Church, Alix took the name Alexandra Feodorovna, and she became the Russian Tsaritsa and Empress.

There is a substantial literature on the Tsar and Tsarina, and much information online, not least at the extensive Alexander Palace Time Machine. See Hope remains above all for further biography links. Wikipedia has an extensive entry on the murder of the Romanov family. It explains how the Bolsheviks revealed the death of Nicholas II but kept secret the other murders, and how it was only in 1979 that the bodies were discovered. It would be another 10 years, in the glasnost period, before the full details of that night - 16-17 July 1918 - were revealed to the West.

After Alexandra’s death, hundreds of letters she wrote to her husband were found at Ekaterinburg. These have been much employed by historians to help explain the unfolding of events prior to the  Russian Revolution. But, like her husband, Alexandra also seems to have kept diaries all her life. With the demise of the Soviet state, several of these, long hidden in the Moscow archives, came to light, including for the years 1887-1892, 1894 and 1916-1918. They are mostly written in English, though her native language was German (and she spoke fluent Russian). Only one of these, however, has been published in English (others have been translated into Russian and/or Dutch - see a discussion at the Alexander Palace Forum ), notably The Last Diary of Tsaritsa Alexandra, as edited by Vladimir A. Zozlov and Vladimir M. Khrustalëv (Yale University Press 1997).

According to Yale University Press: ‘The 1918 Diary takes us into [the Tsarista’s] private world, revealing the care she lavished on her children during this period of revolutionary turmoil, how she felt toward her husband, Tsar Nicholas, and what she imagined about the profound struggle - between past and present, old and new worlds, the sacred and the profane - then occurring over the destiny of Russia. The diary reveals that even in her most intimate reflections, she remained the representative of a great system of belief that had prevailed for hundreds of years in Russia and that she and Nicholas hoped to perpetuate. We see in painful detail the tragic daily confrontation between this system of belief and the reality of the modern world that had, in every sense, broken free of her and Nicholas’s control.’

Robert K. Massie, a US historian and biographer, provides an informative introduction to the Last Diary: ‘Its cryptic, unemotional style stands in sharp contrast to the tumultuous style of her letters. Here she is creating, for herself alone, a simple record of the highlights of each day: the weather and temperature; family illnesses and health; meals; periods and subjects of study; visitors (welcome and unwelcome); books read; games played. Her religious faith is evident. On the diary’s first page, she displays her effort to master the numerical system of Old Church Slavonic (different from everyday Russian, which uses Arabic numerals). Through the diary, she records saint’s days, feast days, and other religious holidays. Every religious service held by the family in Tobolsk and Ekaterinburg is set down. Usually, her feelings about an event break through only in a highly abbreviated form. Nevertheless, despite its style and brevity, the diary is filled with poignancy and drama. Alexandra does not know what is going to happen; the modern reader does. Fleshed out by our knowledge from other sources, this diary gives a clear picture of these grim weeks and tells us much about the character of this much-criticized, reclusive, and melancholy woman.’

The book also contains a short essay by Jonathan Brent (then editorial director at Yale University Press) on the diary itself in which he explains its rather pedantic form, its preoccupation with numbers and the use of coded language. He writes: ‘Alexandra’s diary brings the inexorable, predetermined succession of days, anniversaries, hours, and minutes - numbers following one another seemingly without end - into relation with the daily, unpredictable contingencies of the weather, her children’s temperatures, and the chaotic events of the Revolution. We see the empress presiding over a world within a world, which is given simple form in her daily observations.’ And, a little further on he says: ‘Although Alexandra’s incessant jottings of time, place, weather, holidays, and anniversaries may seem, at first glance, of little or no importance, they are, upon reflection, what give this little book unique significance as a text. The diary records not only the empress’s own day-by-day descent into the maelstrom of revolution and the modern world, but principally her symbolic accommodation of the new and her resistance to the destruction of a traditional order of thought, action, and belief.’

Here are the last seven entries in the Tsarista’s last diary (though I have left out the temperature and time notes that accompany each entry in the published work).

10 July 1918
‘Sunny morning.

Went out in the afternoon with the others, ideal weather; very strong back & leg ache fr. kidneys probably.

2 day the others have no meat & live upon Kharitonov’s Tobolsk remaining meagre provisions.

Took a bath.

bezique. They still find excuses not to bring Vladimir Nikolaevich’

11 July 1918
‘The Ox Command, insisted to see us all at 10, but kept us waiting 20 m. as was breakfasting &c eating cheese

wont permit us to have any more any cream. Workmen turned up outside & began putting up iron railings before our only open window. Always fright of our climbing out no doubt or getting into contact with the sentry. Strong pains continue. Greyish weather.

Brought me for 6 days, but so little only suffices for putting in the soup.

The Bull very rude to Kharitonov.

Remained in bed all day. Lunched only, as they brought the meat so late. Anastasia read to me whilst the others went out. Lovely weather.’

12 July 1918
‘Bright sunshine - in the afternoon then were severel showers 6c short thunderstorms.

The others went out twice, Maria remained with me, I spent the day on my bed & got into it again at 9:30. Lovely evening. Every day one of the girls reads to me Spir. Readings, i.e. Complete Yearly Cycle of Brief Homilies for Each Day of the Year (Grig. Diachenko).

Constantly hear artillery passing, infantry & twice cavalry during the course of this week. Also troops marching with music - twice it seems to have been the Austrian prisoners who are marching against the Chechs (also our former prisoners) who are with the troops coming through Siberia & not far fr. here now. Wounded daily arrive to the town.’

13 July 1918
‘Beautiful morning. I spent the day as yesterday lying on the bed, as back aches when move about.

Others went out twice. Anastasia remained with me in the afternoon. One says Nagorny & Sednyov have been sent out of this government, instead of giving them back to us.

At 6:30 Baby had his first bath since Tobolsk. He managed to get in & out alone, climbs also alone in & out of bed, but can only stand on one foot as yet. 9:45 I went to bed again.

Rained in the night.

Heard three revolver shots in the night.

14 July 1918
‘Beautiful summers morning. Scarcely slept because of back & legs. Had the joy of an obednitsa - the young Priest for the 2nd time.

The others walked - Olga with me. Spend the day on the bed again Tatiana stayed with me in the afternoon.

Spir. Readings, Book of the Prophet Hosea, ch. 4-14, Pr. Joel 1- the end.

tea - tatted all day & laid patiences. Played a little bezique in the eveing, they put my long straw couch in the big room so it was less tiring for me.

Took a bath & went to bed.’

15 July 1918
‘Greyish morning. Later sunshine. Lunched on the couch in the big room, as women came to clean the floors, then lay on my bed again & read with Maria J. Sirach 26-31. They went out twice as usual. In the morning Tatiana read to me Spir. Readings. Still no Vladimir Nikolaevich - at 6:30 Baby had his second bath - Bezique. Went to bed 10:15.

of warmth at 10:30 evening.

Heard the report of an artillery shot in the night & several revolver shots.’

16 July 1918
‘Grey morning, later lovely sunshine. Baby has a slight cold. All went out 1/2 hour in the morning, Olga & I arranged our medicines. Tatiana read Spir. Readings. They went out. Tatiana stayed with me Sc we read: Bk. of the Pr. Amos and Pr. Obadiah. Tatted. Every moring the Command, comes to our rooms, at last after a week brought eggs again for Baby.


Suddenly Lyonka Sednyov was fetched to go & see his Uncle & flew off - wonder whether its true & we shall see the boy back again!

Played bezique with Nicholas.

to bed. 15 degrees.’

Saturday, July 14, 2018

A dishcloth round my soul

‘I look through my diary notes from work on A Dream Play [Strindberg], not very encouraging reading. I was in bad shape, uneasy, dejected, tired, my right hip hurting and aching continually, and mornings were troublesome. My stomach was sabotaging me with cramps and attacks of diarrhoea. Tedium hung like a damp dishcloth round my soul.’ This is from the diary of Ingmar Bergman, Sweden’s greatest film director born a century ago today. Although he left behind ‘extensive diaries’, only a very few have ever been edited or published in Swedish, and none have appeared in English, except for a handful of extracts in Bergman’s autobiography.

Bergman was born on 14 July 2018 in Uppsala, Sweden, into a devout Lutheran household, though he himself later said he lost his faith at the age of eight. And, at the age of nine, he acquired a magic lantern, a possession which inspired an early fascination with theatre. As a teenager, he was sent one summer to Germany where he attended a Nazi rally, seeing Adolf Hitler. In 1937, he started at Stockholm university, studying art and literature, spending most of his time on theatre, and going to see films. Though he never completed his studies, he began to write scripts, and, in 1942, directed his own play, Caspar’s Death, which led to him being offered film script work for Svensk Filmindustri. The following year, he married Else Fisher, with whom he had one child, though they were divorced two years later. Bergman would marry four more times, and have at least eight more children.

In 1944, Svensk Filmindustri released Hets (Frenzy) directed by Alf Sjöberg, then Sweden’s leading film director, with an original screenplay written by Bergman. It was an international success, and led to Bergman being offered the chance to write and direct a film of his own, Kris (Crisis) released in 1946. During the next ten years or so he wrote and directed more than a dozen films, including Fängelse (Prison) and Sommaren med Monika (Summer with Monika). He achieved international success with Sommarnattens leende (Smiles of a Summer Night) in 1955 which was nominated for the Palme d’Or at Cannes. Soon after, he directed Det sjunde inseglet (The Seventh Seal), also nominated for the Palme d’Or, and Smultronstället (Wild Strawberries) which won numerous awards. Many other films followed, some of which he made on the island of Fårö, where he spent much time.

In early 1976, Bergman was arrested by the Swedish authorities for tax invasion. Although the subsequent investigation collapsed and the charges were dropped, Bergman suffered a breakdown, closing his Fårö studio, suspending projects and removing himself to Germany. By the late 1970s, he was returning on visits to Sweden,  resuming his role as a director at Royal Dramatic Theatre, directing for Swedish television, and, in 1982, directing his last film, Fanny and Alexander (which won four Oscars, including best foreign film). Only in 1984, though, did he return permanently to live in Sweden. Retired from film directing, he continued to write scripts for film and television and to direct plays (such as A Dream Play). He died in 2007. Further information is available at Wikipedia, the Swedish Film Database, IMDB, New York Times obituary, and Encyclopaedia Britannica.

Jan Holmberg writing for the Swedish Film Database gives this assessment of Bergman. ‘Basically the same theme with variations permeates all of Bergman’s works: a universe peopled by dysfunctional families, humiliated but vampiric artists and an absent God symbolized by the characters’ overall inability to communicate. His style is austere and unobtrusive, except for his uncompromising close-ups, denuding the human face as at once enticing and mysterious. Bergman’s importance to the art of film cannot be overestimated. His insistence on doing most of his works in his native Swedish, so minor a language, and their nonetheless resounding around the world is unprecedented. He is without a doubt Sweden’s foremost twentieth century artist; perhaps the foremost ever.’

Most of Bergman’s literary output consisted of screenplays for his own films and those of other, but he also wrote plays, short stories, novels, essays, and two autobiographical works (Magic Lantern published in English by Hamish Hamilton in 1988, and Images: My Life in Film published by Arcade Publishing in 1994). According to the Ingmar Bergman Foundation website, his literary remains also include ‘extensive diaries and letters’ the vast majority of which remain unedited and unpublished. As far as I can tell, the only substantial extracts from Bergman’s diaries that have been published came in 2004, with Tre dagböcker (Three diaries), a compilation of the diaries of Ingmar Bergman, his wife Ingrid and their daughter Maria von Rosen covering just the years 1994 and 1995 (starting with Ingrid’s cancer diagnosis). Publication, by the Swedish company Norstedts, received publicity in the English media because of the revelation by Ingmar Bergman that he had had a secret daughter with a Swedish countess in the 1950s - see the BBC or Fox News for example.

Tre dagböcker has not been translated into English, but further details can be found at the Ingmar Bergman Foundation website, which also provides this translated quote from the foreword: ‘A few words on the editing of the diaries. They were written in the moment, and were never intended to be read by anyone author than their authors. Hardly anything has been changed or corrected. Almost everything has been presented exactly as it was written. Nor have we abridged the sections that contain a plodding monotony. They stand in contrast to the upsetting drama that has affected us.
Some may wonder why we have chosen to make such rough and unpolished documents public. The answer is that it has been a part of the grieving process. We have not attempted to hide or excuse our own shortcomings or our helplessness. This is no literary work, but a document. Not a book, but a testimony.’

Otherwise the only published trace of Bergman’s diaries I can find in English are in The Magic Lantern (as translated by Joan Tate) - this can be freely read online at Internet Archive. It was republished in 2007 by University of Chicago Press which described the book thus: ‘More grand mosaic than linear account, Bergman’s vignettes trace his life from a rural Swedish childhood through his work in theater to Hollywood’s golden age, and a tumultuous romantic history that includes five wives and more than a few mistresses. Throughout, Bergman recounts his life in a series of deeply personal flashbacks that document some of the most important moments in twentieth-century filmmaking as well as the private obsessions of the man behind them. Ambitious in scope yet sensitively wrought, The Magic Lantern is a window to the mind of one of our era’s great geniuses.’

Here are the only mentions by Bergman in The Magic Lantern of his diaries/note books (the page numbers refer to the pdf form at Internet Archive, not the published book).

Page 23
‘I look through my diary notes from work on A Dream Play [Strindberg play], not very encouraging reading. I was in bad shape, uneasy, dejected, tired, my right hip hurting and aching continually, and mornings were troublesome. My stomach was sabotaging me with cramps and attacks of diarrhoea. Tedium hung like a damp dishcloth round my soul.’

Page 24
‘On Friday 14 March we had the First run-through [of A Dream Play], letting it all go through without interruptions or re-runs. In my diary I wrote: “Frustrating run-through. Sitting there glaring. Totally outside. Totally unmoved. Well, time enough.” (The premiere had been planned for 17 April, seventy-nine years to the day-after the world premiere.)’

Page 46
‘For a month or so, we had been visited by two quiet, courteous gentlemen from the Tax Authority, who had been given a space in our temporarily empty office and were busy going through our accounts. They had also expressed a wish to be allowed to examine my Swiss firm, Personafilm, so we immediately sent for all the books and placed them at the gentlemen’s disposal.

No one had the time to bother about these quiet individuals in the empty room. According to my diary notes, I see that a voluminous memorandum from the Tax Authority landed with us on Thursday 22 January. I did not read it but sent it on to my lawyer.’

Page 47
‘In my notes on 22 January, I seem to be less worried about the memorandum from the Tax Authority than about a painful eczema that had broken out on the third finger of my left hand.

Ingrid and I had been married for five years. We lived in a newly built apartment house at Karlaplan 10 where Strindberg’s House had once stood.

We led a quiet bourgeois life, meeting friends, going to concerts and the theatre, seeing a number of films and working with gusto.

This is a brief background to what happened on 30 January and subsequently. There are no notes in my diary for the months that follow. I returned to writing them, intermittently, about a year later. So what follows will be what I remember in momentary images, sharply in focus, but blurred at the edges. . .’

Page 107
‘The summer was hot. Neither my wife, Ka’bi, nor I felt like hunting for a holiday house, so we stayed in Djursholm, paralyzed by the heavy thundery heat and our own despondency. I noted in my intermittent diary: “Life has precisely the value one puts on it,” undoubtedly a banal way of putting things but, to me, such insight was so breathlessly new I could not implement it.’

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Nanda’s views on planning

Gulzarilal Nanda, a Punjabi politician twice interim prime minister of India, was born 120 years ago today. As a young follower of Gandhi, he was imprisoned a couple of times for non-violent protest, but later he served the new independent nation’s government in various roles for more than 20 years. There is very little information about him readily available in English, but a biography (available to preview at Googlebooks) was published to celebrate the 100th anniversary of his birth, and this refers to, and quotes from, diaries he kept.

Nanda was born into a Hindu family on 4 July 1898 in Sialkot, Punjab, then a Province of British India but now part of Pakistan. He studied in Lahore, during which time he married Lakshmi. They would have three children. He also studied at Amritsar, Agra and Allahabad, taking up a social studies research post at Allahabad before being appointed Professor of Economics at National College in Bombay in 1921. He joined the Non-Cooperation Movement that same year, and the following year become Secretary of the Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association (for which he worked until 1946). He was imprisoned for Satyagraha (a form of Gandhian non-violent resistance) in 1932 (and again between 1942 to 1944). In 1937, he was elected to the Bombay Legislative Assembly, subsequently serving in various capacities. He is credited with launching the Indian National Trade Union Congress, and, later, he became its President. In 1947, he went to Geneva, Switzerland as a government delegate to the International Labor Conference.

In 1950, Nanda was made vice-chairman of the Indian Planning Commission, and the following year he was appointed Planning Minister in the Indian Government. After being elected to the Indian Parliament (Lok Sabha) in 1952, he was reappointed as Minister for Planning, Irrigation, and Power. He was re-elected to the Lok Sabha through several general elections up to and including one in 1971, though for different constituencies, serving in several ministerial positions (Union Minister for Labour and Employment during 1962-1963, and Minister for Home Affairs during 1963-1966). Most significantly, he was Prime Minister on two occasions, each time for 13 days, the first after the death of Jawaharlal Nehru in 1964, and the second after the death of Lal Bahadur Shastri in 1966. He was awarded the Bharat Ratna, India’s highest civilian award, in 1997. He died in 1998, aged 99. There is a little further biographical information available online in English, at Wikipedia, PM India, or History of India for example. However, there is also a biography of Nanda by the journalist Promilla Kalhan which is available to view at Googlebooks: Gulzarilal Nanda: A Life in the Service of the People. This was first published in 1997 by Allied Publishers for the Indian Association of Social Science Institutions.

Nanda was a diarist, although there is very little information about his diaries readily available online. Certainly, there is no sign they have been edited or published. However, Kalhan does mention them several times in her biography, and she quotes from them occasionally. Here are several relevant extracts from her narrative (those which include quotations from Nanda’s diary).

Pages 30-31
‘Nanda’s views on planning are spelt out in short notes he jotted down in his diary during the 1950s in his inimitable style - short, crisp and indicative. The following are some of the extracts from his diary on the subject of the Five-Year Plans:

“Planning: The people of the country have taken to planning, from the start - accepted it... At the top there were doubts, differences. Now the acceptance of planning is almost unanimous in the country.

The importance of industrialization has always been accepted. Gandhiji’s emphasis on cottage industries... Cottage industry, however, will not suffice. He said - produce cloth in the country and dispense with foreign machines etc. for producing cloth. But whatever foreign machinery cannot be dispensed with must be produced in the country e.g. for Railways etc. Even for development of cottage industries at a higher level the help of steel, electricity, irrigation is needed.

There are however differences still regarding the kind and degree of planning. Those are related more or less to some basic differences in the objective of planning or the relative emphasis inter se - or a kind of economic and social set up we are working for.

Two chief aims of planning:
(i) Best utilization of resources, i.e. no under-utilization and no waste.
(ii) The utmost realization of the objectives i.e. programme should be on lines calculable to activities and objectives in the optimum manner.” ’

Page 34
‘Moreover, as he pointed out in jottings in his diary, a shift from the private to the public sector was not without its dangers. If allowed to function unchecked, the bureaucracy could end up by ushering in state capitalism which would be difficult to dislodge. It could result in a kind of dictatorship, like that of Hitler or Stalin. It would lead to centralised power rather than democratic socialism. New habits of work through co-operatives had first to be formed. The aims of the working class could not be achieved by strikes and a slow down but by assuming greater responsibility and producing better results. Employment for everyone with a suitable level of income was an important step towards ushering in socialism.

Jawaharlal Nehru had said that he could not expect to see socialism established in his lifetime. But Nanda did not see why this should not be possible during the course of a few years, given the right outlook, promulgating the right institutions and leadership. He wrote in his diary: “Success of public enterprises is not simply a matter of internal efficiency, but adjustment to an environment so that a public enterprise can function effectively in conformity to social objectives of making the best use of all resources, human and material”. He had in mind employment and cottage industries among other needs. “In all this effort”, Nanda added “corruption is a serious hindrance to the development of a socialist pattern. The Prime Minister (Nehru) had described the problem in terms of food, clothing, shelter, education, medical aid and equal opportunity. When there is scope for corruption, there cannot be equal opportunity.” He said that “Some attention has to be paid to the well-being of women, landless labourers and tribals among others - and equality of opportunity to all children. The ideology underlying a socialistic pattern is not an exclusive concern of any one Party. It is the concern of the whole nation. Loyalty to the community is important to promote its abiding progress. Loyalty to one’s immediate personal interests comes later. Democratic socialism is a way of expressing it. Gandhian socialism is more expressive. Sarvodaya has a great deal to do with it. But it is better not to call it Sarvodaya. Its implications are far wider and deeper.” ’

Page 41
‘Prohibition found a place in the Second Five-Year Plan. In an entry in his diary dated January 1956 Nanda had this to say :“Prohibition: We have to make it successful. To whatever extent we go forward it must be attained effectively. We are told that only a very small percentage drink in India. That should be an added reason for carrying out prohibition because it should be easier to make it successful. When large numbers drink there is no strong public opinion against it. But if ninety per cent do not, it is a reservoir of public opinion which if utilized properly is a guarantee of success of prohibition.” ’

Page 90
’Nanda was in the habit of keeping a diary, to be exact, not one diary but notes on various subjects and therefore a number of diaries.’

Page 173
‘The last page of the diary, his most recent jotting consists of one word, repeated several times. The word is: Gayatri [famous Hindu mantra addressed to Savitr, the sun god].’

As notes in his earlier diaries reveal, Nanda was interested in Kurukshetra, starting colleges, possibly even a University devoting itself to the teaching of Indian culture and research. This not only became a reality but today the Kurukshetra University has become a full-fledged institution teaching other subjects as well.

Nanda’s diary indicates that he has been deeply concerned with the future governance of various institutions and welfare work started in Kurukshetra by him. He mentions the names of various people, including Sadhus he knew there, who might take over the responsibility. Nanda also bought some land in Kurukshetra with money he borrowed from one of his two sons, to set up some welfare projects. That he has been responsible for the upliftment of Kurukshetra is recognised by everyone.’

Blatant self-seekers

’I am very fond of John. He was a very capable PM, making the economy the best ever. However, the modern Tory Party is top-heavy with shallow minds and blatant self-seekers. They expect quick results and have little guts or loyalty. They short-change the leader when the going’s rough.’ This is from the colourful diaries of Woodrow Wyatt, born a century ago today. Early on, he was elected as a Labour MP, but later became more influential as a Thatcher-supporting journalist. His diaries, published posthumously, are said to have ‘provoked widespread outrage’.

Wyatt was born on 4 July 1918 in Kingston upon Thames, near London, the second son of a headteacher. He was educated in Eastbourne and at Worcester College, Oxford. He joined the army and served in the Second World War, rising to the rank of major. In 1945, he was elected to Parliament for Birmingham Aston, and remained an MP until 1955, serving as a junior minister in Clement Atlee’s final administration. Subsequently, he worked as a reporter for the BBC, before returning to Parliament in 1959 as member for Bosworth, Leicestershire, which he represented until 1970.

After leaving politics, Wyatt was appointed chairman of the Horserace Totaliser Board in 1976 (a position he retained until the year of his death). He continued his journalistic writing, most notably for the News of the World with a column called The Voice of Reason. He became an admirer and confidante of the Tory leader Margaret Thatcher. In 1987 he was appointed a life peer with the title Baron Wyatt of Weeford. He was considered one of the most outrageous and outspoken political figures of his age. He married four times, his third and fourth wives giving him a son and daughter respectively. He died in 1997. Three years later, his daughter, journalist Petronella Wyatt, published a book entitled Father, Dear Father: Life with Woodrow Wyatt (which can be previewed at Googlebooks). Further biographical information can also be found at Wikipedia, as well as from obituaries at The Independent, The New York Times and the BBC.

From the mid-1980s until the year of his death, Wyatt regularly tape-recorded diary entries which were then typed up by his secretary. These were
 edited by Sarah Curtis and published by Macmillan between 1998 and 2000 in three volumes. They are now all out of print (see Amazon), but second hand copies can be picked up cheaply. According to Curtis, Wyatt kept a diary in the hope that his memoirs would eventually provide for his wife (the fourth) when she was a widow, though he was also ‘conscious of making a contribution to history.’ She quotes him saying: ‘The manuscript is not merely intended as a source of income for my estate when I am dead. It is becoming more and more in my mind to be the only memorial I can ever leave.’ Curtis adds that the process of dictating events ‘became a lifeline to him, a form of therapy, a means to confide his true reactions beyond the badinage of ordinary social exchanges.’

According to Anthony Howard, writing in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (log-in required): ‘[Wyatt’s] reputation was not enhanced by the posthumous publication from 1998 of three volumes of his Journals. These covered merely his life on the periphery of politics from 1985 but - through their wounding references to supposed friends and their brazen breaches of even royal confidences - provoked widespread outrage.’

A review of the first volume of journals can be found at the London Review of Books. Peter Clarke says: ‘What redeems these journals is that they have some good stories to tell and that Wyatt remained a good enough journalist to know how to tell them. Vain, snobbish, materialistic, greedy, reactionary and opinionated he may often appear, but at least he does not cover up his own lapses, foibles and frailties.’

But a review (entitled Lechery and treachery) of the third volume by Vanessa Thorpe, found on The Guardian website, makes an unfavourable comparison with Alan Clark’s diaries: ‘All private diarists are entitled to be inconsistent egotists, but when you decide to go into print you have a duty at least to entertain and there are three problems with Wyatt's attempts to do this. First, because he was a journalist, unlike Alan Clark, all his best stories were delivered up to the public at the time. Second, Wyatt is not prepared to be revealing enough about the areas of his life which were truly odd. Third, his writing lacks Clark’s imaginative phrasing.’

Here are several extracts from the third volume.

28 June 1992
‘My letter to the Mail on Sunday was printed, edited somewhat but not so badly that it was worth taking it [the matter] to the Press Complaints Commission.

Actually, of course, the truth is she [Princess Diana] is slightly barmy and whinging, making a bloody nuisance of herself and behaving incredibly badly, enthusing people to attack her husband through the Morton book. But I don’t want to be represented as saying that.

Another swim and another enormous breakfast, then off betimes to get to the Paul Getty cricket match.

The ground is amazing. I said to Paul, “It’s as though some deus ex machina had swooped out of the sky and scooped up great mounds of earth from the valley and put this cricket ground down among the hills.” He said, “That is roughly what did happen.”

Today in the Sunday Telegraph appears the great piece by Graham Turner with a photograph of us having lunch in the garden at Cavendish Avenue. He left out the 1961 date and he also didn’t mention the Pavilion Blanc, but I suppose it wasn’t too bad.

In the same Sunday Telegraph was a long interview of Petronella’s with Mrs Thatcher about the record she had been making of the Gettysburg speech, hoping to make money from it for her foundation. I didn’t think it was a very kind article. It talked about her voice being high pitched and I thought it was snide in some respects, in the way that Barbara Amiel says she mustn’t be - she will damage her own career because people won’t be willing to talk to her.

When we got back I talked to Margaret. She said she probably would make a maiden speech about Maastricht on Thursday when there is a debate in the Lords.

She is over-doing it a bit and I can’t restrain her. I said, “Your maiden speech is supposed to be non-controversial.” She said, “But I shall only be following precedent. Macmillan in his maiden speech attacked me.” ’

29 June 1992
‘Petronella had two tickets for the first night of Spread a Little Happiness: a Celebration by Vivian Ellis. It was an enormously happy affair, without rape or violence or any grizzly message or people traumatically disordered, disabled mentally or physically. In short it was romantic. I clapped so hard I nearly broke my thumb.’

30 June 1992
‘Margaret was introduced into the Lords today. The house was absolutely packed. I have never seen it so full. I managed to find a seat on the Opposition side, high up, because it all has to be rearranged when the introduction ceremony is on. Then pretty Baroness Hollis (Labour) came in to squeeze in beside me. She said, “Do you mind?” l said, “I never mind sitting next to a pretty girl.”

When Margaret came in, it was like a lioness entering into what she must realize is something of a cage. She was very dignified, fairly pretty but not quite as pretty as usual. When the ceremony finally finished and she shook hands with the Lord Chancellor on the way out, a very substantial “Hear, hear,” went up twice all round the chamber from all sides. They are looking forward to the fireworks.

She then came back without her robes, wearing a very attractive black dress and a beautiful diamond brooch, large, and sat where all the Tory Prime Ministers sit on the bench nearest the lobby, just apart from the normal Ministers’ front bench. She listened with great interest, particularly to Lord Stoddart asking why we couldn’t have a referendum on Maastricht. At one moment I looked across at her from where I was sitting on the crossbenches and she saw me and I blew her a kiss and she smiled very sweetly.

In the lobby outside was Denis Thatcher and his family, all very enthusiastic, saying what a great honour it was, which was piffle because it isn’t an honour at all for her to go into the Lords like any other life baroness. It was very mean of Number 10 not to arrange for her to become a life countess.’

29 January 1995
‘Talked at length to Margaret. She was full of complaints. She said John Major was previously madly pro Europe when he was in her Cabinet. Now he is reversing himself. He doesn’t believe in anything.

When I said I was convinced he would win she said, “I hope he does.” That she said in a sincere tone.

I asked her does she ever speak to him on the telephone to which she replied in a testy voice, “I won’t speak to him on the telephone because there are always leaks if I do. And I would only have a row with him in any case.”

After about half an hour or so we stopped talking. She did say her old, “God bless you for ringing, God bless.” She retains affection for me, that is clear, as I do for her and always will. Indeed, it’s more than affection, it’s a love I have for her.’

16 July 1997
‘John Major came to dinner. The dear wronged and injured man, free of the strains he was put under, was cheerful. He will give up Huntingdon to let Chris Patten in. “He’s my best friend.”

John said he wanted Patten to be Prime Minister and he would resign at the appropriate moment, possibly going to the Lords: he might not even do that.

I said I thought William Hague was pretty ghastly. John said he would get Chris Patten back in the House to challenge him. This is allowed under the rules where there can be a leadership change once a year, unless they alter the rules beforehand which I don’t believe Hague would dare to do. John said he voted for Kenneth Clarke for the leadership as the best man to rattle Blair on the economy, though he thought Ken a real bastard.

John thought they [Labour] would get two terms. It would be too difficult to disperse such a huge majority after only one parliament. I said, “It is quite extraordinary how all their ideas are yours and from the Tory Party.”

I suppose it is possible that Patten could be acceptable as a sort of centre candidate. He’d certainly be better than Hague. John said, “I don't want this dreadful, overdone, right-wing stuff all the time. I want someone to lead from the centre where it’s best to be, in the centre or slightly right.”

I remain convinced that Portillo has the best chance now that he has calmed down, but he must be warned to have no connection with David Hart. Rifkind was a fool to have him as his political adviser when he was a senior minister.

I am very fond of John. He was a very capable PM, making the economy the best ever. However, the modern Tory Party is top-heavy with shallow minds and blatant self-seekers. They expect quick results and have little guts or loyalty. They short-change the leader when the going’s rough.

It was lucky we didn’t have a cowardly crew like that when we stood alone against Hitler. They’re nothing like the old Tory MP squires who put first their duty to the country.’

The Diary Junction

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Nobody to dig the graves

‘On the 19th of May, died Erich Hansen Li, who, throughout the voyage, had been very industrious and willing, and had neither offended anyone nor deserved any punishment. He had dug many graves for others, but now there was nobody that could dig his, and his body had to remain unburied.’ This is from the astonishingly tragic diary of Jens Munk, a Norwegian-Danish explorer who died 390 years ago today. His expedition to find the Northwest Passage ended in disaster: with his vessels ice-bound, almost all his crew succumbed to cold, hunger or scurvy. Munk’s diary records every death day-by-day over a period of months.

Monck (or Munk) was born in 1579 and grew up on his father’s estate at Arendal, southeast Norway. After his father’s downfall, he left with his mother to live in Aalborg, Denmark, but aged on 12 he embarked on a life at sea. He was sailing with a Dutch convoy, when it was attacked by pirates off the coast of Brazil. Munk survived, and then spent six years in Bahia working for a Portuguese magnate. In 1599, he managed to return to Denmark where he found a position as a ship’s clerk, eventually becoming a successful seafaring tradesman himself. In the 1610s, he was commissioned on various exploratory and military missions by the Danish-Norwegian king, Christian IV. On one of these, in 1615, he captured Jan Mendoses - a notorious privateer - off the northern coast of Russia. In 1618, the king appointed him commander of the first Danish expedition to East India with five vessels and nearly a 1,000 men, but the command was taken away from him weeks before sailing, probably because of a conflict with the Lord Chancellor. Around this time, Munk also suffered the loss of a large amount of money due to a failed whaling expedition

In 1619, Munk set out, with two royal vessels and 65 men, on an ambitious expedition to find the Northwest Passage. In September, he found the entrance to Hudson Bay becoming the first European to explore the bay’s western reaches. But the expedition then spent a disastrous winter near the mouth of what is now known as the Churchill River, a place Munk named Nova Dania (New Denmark). Everyone except Munk and two crewmen died from cold, hunger and scurvy; but, remarkably, with the onset of summer, the three men managed to return home sailing one of the vessels. Punk was imprisoned at Bergen for a short while but released on order of the king, and returned to Copenhagen. He continued to serve the king in various capacities, though a planned second expedition in search of the Northwest Passage never materialised. In 1625, the king promoted him to admiral in charge of a fleet on the Weser during the Thirty Years War. He died on 26 June 1928. Further information is available at Wikipedia, The Canadian Encyclopedia, the Northern Lights Route, and in the book Exploring Polar Frontiers.

Munk kept a diary of his voyage to Hudson’s Bay in 1619-1620. He published this in 1624 under the title Navigatio Septentrionalis, illustrated with a map of Greenland/Hudson’s Bay, and two woodcuts. It was first translated into English and published in 1650 as An account of a most dangerous voyage perform’d by the famous Capt. John Monck, in the years 1619, and 1620. This is freely available online at Googlebooks (though the printed text uses the old-fashioned long s). However, the diary is also available in a modern script in the second volume of Hakluyt Society’s Danish Arctic Expeditions 1605-1620 published in 1897 - see Internet Archive. This also contains extensive notes and a long introduction by C. C. A. Gosch (and is the source of the following extracts).

12 July 1619
‘On the 12th of July, I sent my lieutenant with some of the crew on shore at Munckenes [named by Munk], in order to fetch water and to ascertain what was to be found there, because it seemed a likely place for finding harbours and for obtaining water. In the evening, they returned with water, and reported that there were harbours but no anchorage; nor could we lie there in safety from ice. We were, therefore, obliged to choose the better of two bad alternatives, because nowhere in the channel could we see open water. Half a mile from Munckenes, I caused the lead to be thrown, and reached the bottom at 150 fathoms. On the same day, I shot two or three birds with a gun; but, at the last discharge, the same gun burst into pieces, and took the brim clean off the front of my hat.’

13 July 1619
‘On the 13th of July, towards evening, we were in the greatest distress and danger, and did not know what counsel to follow, because we could not advance any further by tacking, the ice pressing us hard on all sides. Being, then, in such a perilous situation, all the officers considered it most advisable to take in all the sails and fasten the sloop Lamprenen to the ship Enhiörningen; which, accordingly, was done. We then commended all into the hand of God; and, trusting to God’s merciful assistance, we drifted along and into the ice again. This incident of the attack of the ice and the distress of the ships in the ice are shown on the plate accompanying this treatise.

While we thus drifted forwards and backwards in the ice, in great danger of our lives, the ice displaced a large knee in the ship, which was situated under the peg of the head of the ship, and fastened with six large iron bolts; wherefore I set all my carpenters to work to set that knee straight again. But it was too big for them, so that they could do nothing with it in that place. I therefore had the ship swung round and turned, so that the side to which the knee had come into a crooked position drifted against the ice, and then ordered the rudder to be worked so as to turn against the ice in order that the knee in a measure might right itself again, which also was effected as perfectly as if 20 carpenters had been engaged in refitting it. Afterwards, the carpenters adjusted the bolts which had become bent.’

12 September 1619
‘In the morning early, a large white bear came down to the water near the ship, which stood and ate some Beluga flesh, off a fish so named which I had caught the day before. I shot the bear, and the men all desired the flesh for food, which I also allowed. I ordered the cook just to boil it slightly, and then to keep it in vinegar for a night, and I myself had two or three pieces of this bear-flesh roasted for the cabin. It was of good taste and did not disagree with us.’

21 January 1620
On the 21st January, it was fine clear weather and sunshine; and, on that date, thirteen of us were down with sickness. Then, as I had often done before, I asked the surgeon, M. Casper Caspersen aforesaid, who was also lying mortally ill, whether he knew of any good remedy that might be found in his chest and which might serve for the recovery or comfort of the crew, as well as of himself, requesting him to inform me of it. To this he answered that he had already used as many remedies as he had with him to the best of his ability and as seemed to him advisable, and that, if God would not help, he could not employ any further remedy at all that would be useful for recovery.’

1 March 1620
‘On the 1st of March, died Jens Borringholm and Hans Skudenes; and, the sickness having now prevailed so far that nearly all of the crew lay sick, we had great difficulty in getting the dead buried.’

4 March 1620
‘On the 4th of March, the weather was mild, and we caught five ptarmigan in the open country, which were very welcome to us. I ordered broth to be made of them, and had that distributed amongst the sick; but, of the meat, they could eat nothing, because of their mouths being badly affected inside with scurvy.’

8 March 1620
‘On the 8th of March, died Oluf Boye, who had been ill nearly nine weeks, and his body was at once buried.’

9 March 1620
‘On the 9th of March, died Anders, the cooper, who had lain sick since Christmas, and his body was at once buried.’

11 March 1620
‘On the 11th of March, the sun entered Aries; it was then the Spring Equinox, night and day being equally long. In those quarters, the sun rose in the East-South-East, and set in the West-North-West at 7 o’clock in the evening; but it was not really more than six o’clock on account of the variation. On the same day, the weather was fine and mild, and I had all the snow thrown off the deck of the ship and had it nicely cleaned. At that time, I had but few to choose between that could do any work.’

11 May 1620
On the 11th of May, it was very cold, so that we all remained quietly in our berths that day; because, in our extreme weakness, we could not stand any cold, our limbs being paralyzed and, as it were, crushed by the cold.’

12 May 1620
‘On the 12th of May, died Jens Jörgensen, carpenter, and Suend Marstrand; and God knows what misery we suffered before we got their bodies buried. These were the last that were buried in the ground.’

16 May 1620
‘On the 16th of May, it was very cold indeed. Then died the skipper, Jens Hendrichsen; and his body had to remain unburied.’

19 May 1620
‘On the 19th of May, died Erich Hansen Li, who, throughout the voyage, had been very industrious and willing, and had neither offended anyone nor deserved any punishment. He had dug many graves for others, but now there was nobody that could dig his, and his body had to remain unburied.’

20 May 1620
‘On the 20th of May, the weather was fine and mild and the wind southerly. It was a great grief to us that, whilst God gave such an abundance of various kinds of birds, none of us was strong enough to go into the country and shoot some of them.’

17 July 1620
‘On the 17th of July, towards evening, I met much ice, and I stood off and on in front of the ice; but, in the course of the night, the weather being calm and misty, we stuck firm on the ice. I then let go the boat of Enhiörningen, which I had taken in tow for the purpose of having it for use if I should come near to land anywhere.’

The Diary Junction

Friday, June 22, 2018

Carrying their gas masks

‘We saw a sign of the times tonight: I had some shopping to do and my husband ran me down in the car. We came back by a lane that has always been used by courting couples since I can remember. They were there in plenty - all carrying their gas masks!’ This is Nella Last, famously, an ordinary housewife who, thanks to a call by Mass Observation at the start of the Second World War, became a diarist. She died 50 years ago today, and it was not until a dozen years later that her diaries were published for the first time. They were much praised, and they were recognised as an important social record. More recently, volumes of her post-war diaries have been published, partly thanks to publicity provided by a popular film adaptation of the war diaries.

Nellie (Nella) Lord was born in 1889, daughter of a railway audit clerk. She suffered a serious injury when young which left her unable to walk properly for half her childhood. Her education, she described later as ‘patchy’. She married William Last, a shopfitter and joiner, in 1911. They lived in Barrow-in-Furness, Lancashire, and had two sons. In the early 1930s, she was active in local party politics, helping to canvas for the Conservative Party during the 1931 general election. During WW2, she worked for the Women’s Voluntary Service and the Red Cross. Her eldest son, Arthur, was a tax inspector and therefore exempted from conscription, but her youngest son, Cliff, joined the army. Later Cliff emigrated to Australia where he became a noted sculptor. Nella died on 22 June 1968. A little further information is available from Wikipedia, the BBC, and the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

In 1939, after suffering from depression, Nella Last joined Mass Observation, an organisation set up two years earlier to document attitudes and practices in every day life. In particular, she responded to a call by the organisation, in August that year, for members of the public to record and send in a day-to-day account of their lives in the form of a diary. This, and then with the war too, she had a new lease of life, and began writing up to 1,500 words a day for Mass Observation. Indeed, she eventually submitted over two million words during the war, and went on submitting diary material for 20 more years after. Her Mass Observation diary is considered to be one of the fullest and frankest of such diaries, exceptional not only for the length and regularity with which she wrote but also for the interest and quality of the writing.

The diary was first edited by Richard Broad and Suzie Fleming, and published in 1981 by Falling Wall Press as Nella Last’s War: A Mother’s Diary 1939-1943. It was republished in 2006 as Nella Last’s War: The Second World War Diaries of Housewife 49 by Profile Books. The publisher says of the work: ‘This was the period in which she turned 50, saw her children leave home, and reviewed her life and her marriage - which she eventually compares to slavery. Her growing confidence as a result of her war work makes this a moving (though often comic) testimony, which, covering sex, death and fear of invasion, provides a new, unglamorised, female perspective on the war years.’

Also in 2006, the British television company ITV broadcast a film based on the diaries - Housewife, 49 - starring Victoria Wood. This brought the war diaries to a much wider audience, and, subsequently, Profile books published further volumes of Last’s post-war diaries: Nella Last’s Peace: The Post-War Diaries of Housewife 49 (2008 - see also Googlebooks); Nella Last in the 1950s (2010 - see also Googlebooks), and the The Diaries of Nella Last: Writing in War & Peace (2012 - see also Googlebooks), all edited by Patricia Malcolmson and Robert Malcolmson.

The following extracts are taken from the 2006 Profile edition of Nella Last’s War.

4 September 1939
‘Today has been an effort to get round, for my head is so bad. A cap of pain has settled down firmly and defies aspirin. I managed to tidy up and wash some oddments and then, as the neatness did not matter, made two cot blankets out of tailor’s pieces. I’ve nearly finished a knitted one. I have a plan to make good, warm cot blankets out of old socks cut open and trimmed. It breaks my heart to think about the little babies and the tiny children being evacuated - and the feelings of their poor mothers. I’ve got lots of plans made to spare time so as to work with the W.V.S. - including having my hair cut short at the back. I cannot bear the pins in now, and unless curls are curls they are just horrid. My husband laughs at me for what he terms ‘raving’, but he was glad to hear of a plan I made last crisis and have since polished up. It’s to keep hens on half the lawn. The other half of the lawn will grow potatoes, and cabbage will grow under the apple trees and among the currant bushes. I’ll try and buy this year’s pullets and only get six, but when spring comes I’ll get two sittings and have about twenty extra hens in the summer to kill. I know a little about keeping hens and I’ll read up. My husband just said, ‘Go ahead.’ ’

5 September 1939
‘I went to the W.V.S. Centre today and was amazed at the huge crowd. We have moved into a big room in the middle of town now, but big as it is, every table was crowded uncomfortably with eager workers. Afterwards, huge stacks of wool to be knitted into bedcovers, and dozens of books of tailor’s patterns to be machined together, were taken. They average about seventy-seven yards of machining to join each piece with a double row of stitching and a double-stitched hem. I’m on my third big one and have made about a dozen cot quilts. As my husband says, it would have been quicker to walk the distance than machine it. I’m lucky, for my machine is electric and so does not tire me. Everyone seemed to be so kind - no clever remarks made aside.

Tonight I had my first glimpse of a blackout, and the strangeness appalled me. A tag I’ve heard somewhere, ‘The City of Dreadful Night’, came into my mind and I wondered however the bus and lorry drivers would manage. I don’t think there is much need for the wireless to advise people to stay indoors - I’d need a dog to lead me.’

11 September 1939
‘The announcement in the paper, following one on the wireless, that the Government were preparing for a three-year war seems to have been a shock to a lot of people. One woman I know - a big-made woman of about fifty-six who took on an air-raid warden job - has had a nervous breakdown. Her niece said she had always had a fear of the dark and, now she knew she would have to take her turn in the dark all winter, she has cracked up. Other friends look aged, and I have a cold feeling down inside when I think of my Cliff off on Friday. I will dedicate every part of my time when I’m not looking after my husband to the W.V.S. I’ll work and beg things and keep cheerful - outwardly at least. Now when I plan and work harder, I find my brain sharper and I don’t forget things. I’m following my doctor’s advice and have not lost any more weight. I can sleep at least four hours a night and, although always tired, have not been so exhausted.

We saw a sign of the times tonight: I had some shopping to do and my husband ran me down in the car. We came back by a lane that has always been used by courting couples since I can remember. They were there in plenty - all carrying their gas masks!’

23 September 1939
‘Such a lovely day, and when we went to Spark Bridge I could hardly realise the year was so far advanced, for all is so lovely and green. We called at Greenodd to see Cousin Mary and her two evacuees - they have settled down wonderfully. A chance remark of one of them made me think. Their mother, who with the baby is living a little distance away, called to take them nutting, and as Mary was getting them ready she made some remarks about ‘when we get home again’. A startled look came over the younger boy (about seven) and his eyes filled as he said rather pitifully, ‘Aren’t we going to stay here always?’ I saw the look on the mother’s face, and my heart ached as I thought how I would have felt if my family had been scattered.’

1 October 1939
‘Feel better for my lazy restful day and must take more rest. Now that I’m going down to the W.V.S. Centre on Mondays as well as Thursdays and Tuesday afternoons. I’ll plan my days out carefully. Easily prepared lunches, cooked the night before - so that I can make a nice lunch and lay the table for tea and be away in one and a half hours.’

5 February 1940
‘I don’t get much done these days, for I am beginning to feel I want to go to sleep if I sit down to sew; and then again, when the alarm-clock goes off at five minutes before every hour, and I’ve to make baby’s wee eggcup of Nestlé’s and give it to her, a quarter of an hour at the very least goes out of every hour - day and night. She made a mewing sound today. It was hardly a cry and her tiny fingers curled round my finger with surprising strength when I put my finger in her doll-like palm. Sol is in deepest disgrace - very deep. I put cod-liver oil swabs I’d used in a paper bag in the garage, and meant to put the bag in a sack with all the oiled wool together. It was on the potatoes barrel and must have got knocked off, and my silly little old dog has eaten them! I’ve given him castor oil and am hoping he is all right tomorrow.’

10 March 1940
‘We took Cliff to the station at 7.45 and found a huge crowd waiting. There must have been at least 200 soldiers, airmen and sailors going off leave, and a lot had come to see them off. We heard by conversation that one group were on draft leave, and there was one young fellow, who looked about twenty-four, parting from his wife of twenty-two to twenty-four. She was such a pretty, frail-looking girl, who would be having her baby soon, and my heart ached as I saw her poor little brave face with its fixed grin as she waved goodbye. Stations to me are always rather sad-making, but tonight, with the mist wreathing and steaming under the roof and the blue lights half-obscured by smoke and mist, I thought it was the most hopeless, deadening place on earth. To see the people in the carriage with the blue light robbing them of colour was an added horror. I felt so tired and cold - a queer inner coldness - that I came to bed to write my letters.’

The Diary Junction

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Diaries of a musical theorist

‘D-minor Quartet of Schoenberg, by [the] Rosé [Quartet]. A single, long-drawn-out atrocity! If there were such a thing as criminals in the realm of art, one would have to count this composer among their ranks, as one born such or perhaps merely turned criminal.’ This strident judgement of the Austrian atonal composer Arnold Schoenberg can be found in the diaries of another Austrian composer, Heinrich Schenker. Though not remembered for his compositions, Schenker, born 150 years ago today, is considered one of the 20th century’s leading theorists and analysts of tonal musical.

Schenker was born in Wiśniowczyk, Austrian Galicia (present-day Ukraine) on 19 June 1868 into a Jewish doctor ’s family. He attended German school in Lemberg (now Lviv), studying piano from an early age. He enrolled in the Law Faculty of the University of Vienna in 1884, and studied concurrently at the Vienna Conservatory of Music. He received his Doctor of Law in 1890, decided to remain in Vienna, and chose to devote himself entirely to music, giving piano lessons, working as a music critic, as well as accompanying others on stage, conducting and publishing small-scale compositions.

But Schenker also began to analyse and theorise about music, and it is for this that he is best remembered. For Universal Edition, newly founded in Vienna in 1901, he edited keyboard works by C. P. E. Bach (1903) and later J. S. Bach ’s Chromatic Fantasy & Fugue (1910). These editions, it is said, marked the beginning of a life-long involvement with composers autograph manuscripts, copies, and early printed sources, the contents of which he sought to transmit without editorial intervention, save for footnoted commentary. His most important theory, expounded in Das Meisterwerk in der Musik (The Masterpiece in Music), was, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica, that great musical compositions grow from a single idea and that their contrasting themes represent only a different aspect of this one basic thought . His work greatly influenced other 20th-century theoreticians.

Around 1903, Schenker met Jeanette Kornfeld (born Schiff), the wife of a friend, and over several years a relationship developed between the two. By 1910, she had left her husband to be with Schenker and to help him with his work. It was not until 1919, though, that she was able to divorce her husband, and marry Schenker. By then, Schenker had been diagnosed with diabetes, a condition which would affect his day-to-day life, and ultimately cause his death in 1935.

Schenker Documents Online has this assessment of his legacy: ‘Already in January 1930, the rise of the National Socialists in Germany had cast its shadow on Schenker ’s life, putting beyond reach a prospective official appointment in Berlin. Soon after his death, his students, his living legacy, most of whom were Jewish, were scattered: many emigrated to the USA and elsewhere, others remained and were deported (as was his own wife) to the camps. The Schenker Institute established in Vienna a few months after his death was closed down in 1938, as had been a similar institute in Hamburg in 1934. Copies of his publications at UE were confiscated by the Gestapo, and he himself was characterized grotesquely [. . .] The dissemination of his ideas was to come not from Europe but from the USA, through his students [. . .]. The influence of Schenker ’s theories blossomed there in the 1950s and 1960s, and gradually extended back to Europe and to other parts of the world during the later 20th century. Further information is also available at Wikipedia and at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.

Schenker kept a diary for most of his life, as well as engaging in regular correspondence with a large number of friends and colleagues. Most of this literary material remained unpublished through the 20th century, and it was only with the Schenker Documents Online project, starting in 2003, that much of it became freely available to the public. The project counted on over 20 contributing scholars from both sides of the Atlantic, as well as a dozen research faculty and staff (consultants, programmers, and web designers, most affiliated with the Department of Digital Humanities, King’s College London), and considerable financial support from British and Austrian funders, including the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust, and the Austrian Science Fund. 

Today, the interactive digital archive includes Schenker ’s diaries, from 1896 to 1935, lesson books, and a large volume of two-way correspondence, all presented both in transcription and in parallel English translation. A review in the Journal of the American Musicological Society sums up its value: ‘[The] diverse contents record economic hardships, significant political events, quarrels with publishers, intense musical debates, student successes, simple pleasures (a cigar after lunch, an evening radio broadcast), and even dreams (some amusing, others poignant). Public and private, life and work - all are commingled. As in Schenker’s late theory, insight emerges only through the interrelationship of many coexisting levels. ’

The following extracts have all been taken from Schenker Documents Online.

5 February 1907
‘D-minor Quartet of Schoenberg, by [the] Rosé [Quartet]. A single, long-drawn-out atrocity! If there were such a thing as criminals in the realm of art, one would have to count this composer among their ranks, as one born such or perhaps merely turned criminal. Without feeling for key, motive, measure, on its own terms just utterly threadbare, without a trace of technique, and nevertheless at the same time constantly the hugest non-existent, the total sham . . . ’

16 February 1907
‘Exceptionally, at Privy Counselor Redlich’s place, played with companions’ quartet. Unbearable atmosphere; good looks made for bad playing. ’

2 May 1907
‘In the morning, a walk in the Botanic Garden.

Egypt at the Panorama. Reading: ”On Cultivated Plants” by Prof. Giesenhagen (Teubner) has a lovely, profound and liberating effect! ’

14 May 1907
‘My electoral “duty ” fulfilled for the first time, compelled to cast my vote for a socialist. ’

22 May 1907
‘Very gloomy fog, right down to the ground.

Open letter to Mahler signed in a deliberate frame of mind; situation not without humor. ’

2 December 1912
‘My mother found completely at ease, despite having suffered my vehemence. (She had, yet again, inferior evidence of anguish from Mozio).

A joint visit to the Urania suggested by Floriz initially declined. ’

25 September 1913
‘A day of madness: just when I am supposed to go see Mama, the piano tuner appears, Mr. Wolfram gets in my way, the Court Library must be visited as well as the historical exhibition. In the Court Library there are only very few Beethoven autographs to be found, and there I also learn from officials that the Artaria collection went to the Berlin library because the consent to purchase it, in accordance with typical Austrian behavior, arrived believe it or not four hours too late!!! In the historical exhibition, we see quite wonderful pieces of the Rainer papyrus collection, valuable individual documents of Xenophon, and so on.

In the afternoon, at Hertzka ’s. A run-of-the-mill idiot! He again speaks loudly only of his sacrifices and only quietly of my accommodation - speaks loudly about the [costs of] advertising [my work] but is happy to ignore my counter-reckoning - inquires about Weisse as if he wished to publish his work, but immediately curtails his devotion by pretending to await a later opus - inquires again about my works, would like to have some of them, would gladly like to see the Little Library; and since I constantly let him feel that he is, however, too miserly for such business, he replies by saying that he would be prepared, as proof of his not being miserly, to put down 50 Kronen for any well-intended gesture!! And national treasures find their way into hands such as these! I kept him in the dark with regard to Peters, and he is, for the time being, also satisfied with that!! ’

30 November 1913.
‘Express letter from Floriz, in which he expresses his delight that the matter has once again been put right. He already sees the matter as finished, from a simple inclination towards comfort and laxity; he wants to see it as finished so that he - even if prematurely - can proceed towards enjoyment and avoid any effort that might possibly be required if order is to be achieved! In one sense the letter was, however, gratifying, since a small distancing from the sister could be detected, which carried a lot of weight. I hasten to reply to his letter immediately, and finally explain to him that I was almost at the point of resenting him for identifying with his sister even when she perpetrates a serious wrong against someone else! I hope that Floriz will now keep his word and think that his sister ought to behave in a more civilized way!!

Excursion to Hetzendorf; an exceedingly violent gale rages through the downright springlike, sunlit world; a gale that almost has the power to force our imagination out into space, from where we could perceive the whirling of the earth upon its axis. We felt as if we were experiencing the gale not beneath our feet on firm ground but beyond the atmosphere, as observers of the mighty celestial orbit. The sun drew out sap, just as in the springtime; many bushes succumbed to the lure of its rays and sprouted buds, which sparkled joyfully in the sunlight, without realizing how near they were to freezing to death.

The competency of a man. I ask the conductor on the streetcar, who is only temporarily covering our line, whether he is knowledgeable about the distant lines? He replies: Yes, we are obliged to know the entire network, otherwise our job would indeed be very easy. The tone in which he spoke these words would, even from the mouth of a Moltke or a Napoleon, have made a poor impression!

Typically Viennese: a steam laundry adheres to neither its collection nor its delivery times, and does not even respond to an urgent postcard! ’

5 February 1925
‘At Dr. Baumgarten’s: I show him the last statement of account; he writes a letter to UE threatening legal action. We give Mozio 120 dollars. I cannot refrain from mentioning that I could have made Tonwille myself for 32 million, to my own benefit and to the benefit of the world - he plays deaf! Lie-Liechen cannot refrain from reminding him about Frieda - he plays deaf! He offers to intervene with the Philharmonischer Verlag - through Elbemühl; I take his boasting word right out of his mouth, saying: I dismissed this publishing house. Lie-Liechen writes the fair copy of the Largo. ’

22 April 1933
‘The installment from Mozio. Day of Music-Making at the Palais Kinsky. Bamberger incomparable in Mozart ’s Divertimento; in making this judgment, I encounter opposition from people [in the audience]: “Really?” ’

16 February 1934
‘From Sophie (letter): concerning her husband’s health. From UE, account: 82.04 shillings; 47 copies of Brahms, and one volume - Theory of Harmony!! - Via a telephone call to Deutsch, Mrs. van Hoboken gets in touch! Lie-Liechen invites her for afternoon snack tomorrow. I play two movements from suites by Handel to the members of my seminar. After teatime, at Fritz ’s. From Oppel (postcard): he provides the [relevant] issue of Die Zukunft. ’

Saturday, June 9, 2018

Teedon and the poet Cowper

Samuel Teedon, an unremarkable school teacher at Olney, just southeast of Northampton, England, was buried 220 years ago today. He would certainly not be remembered today but for a diary he kept. The diary is not special either, yet it was edited and published a century or so after Teedon’s death because he had been a friend of the poet William Cowper, also once a resident of Olney, who is  mentioned several times in the diary.

Samuel was born in 1736, the son of William and Mary Teedon, in Bedford. He was educated for the church, and was able to read religious texts in Greek and Latin, and some French. It is possible he worked as a tradesman before, in 1775, arriving in Olney, where he took a position as school teacher. His household included three others: a cousin, Elizabeth Killingworth, who he called ‘Mammy’; her son Eusebius or ‘Worthy’ who helped him at the school and worked as a bookbinder; and Polly Taylor, another cousin, or, possibly, his natural daughter. Teedon died in 1798, and was buried in Olney churchyard on 9 June. A little further information can be found on the website of the Olney & District Historical Society.

Most of any information that is available comes from Teedon’s diary, as edited by Thomas Wright (also author of The Life of William Cowper) and published in 1902 by At the Sign of the Unicorn. The Diary of Samuel Teedon (freely available to read online at Internet Archive ) covers only two and a half years (from late 1791 to early 1794) but it is thought there may well have been other diaries, now lost. The extant diary, in fact, was lost for many years, but was rediscovered in 1890, and subsequently donated to the Cowper Museum at Olney in 1900. A number of letters exchanged between Teedon and Cowper have also survived, and it is these, rather than the diary, that provide more detailed information on the relationship between the two, as outlined in Wright’s introduction to the published diary:

‘Teedon, a not uncommon product of the Evangelical movement, had got it into his head that he was especially favoured by Providence, and, extraordinary to say, Teedon’s belief, by and by, came to be shared by Cowper, with the result that, by degrees, the refined and gifted poet got to regard the vain and eccentric schoolmaster as a kind of Delphic oracle. Cowper had seen visions, dreamed dreams, and heard voices. Teedon in like manner received, as he took them to be, revelations from God. But there was this difference; Cowper believed himself a man whom God abhorred; Teedon regarded himself as Heaven’s special favourite. Consequently, whenever in doubt, Cowper had recourse to Teedon. That Teedon was sincere in his convictions we have no reason to doubt. He endeavoured to use his influence for the poet’s good, urging him to keep continually occupied, encouraging him to be frequent in prayer, and assuring him that God in His own time would remove the terrible burden.’

Here are several extracts from Teedon’s diary.

19 October 1791
‘Mr Bean came about 10 of the clock to school to offer in Mr. Thornton’s name the Schoolmastership to the Colony of Sierra Leon[e]. I told him I would consider of it. This I informed my cousins of, & because I did not immediately reject it, a most terrible scene followed. He came again to school & read the letters of Mr Thronton & Mr. Newton writ to introduce him to accept the chaplainship. This was at 4 of the clock. I gave him a positive denial on the score of the climate, yet this did not allay the ferment occasioned. I went to Mr. Sutcliff’s meet.’

17 January 1792
‘I went down to Mr. Hillyard’s meet[in]g. I re[a]d a Note in a very kind manner [from Cowper] inform[in]g me Mrs. Unwin mended every day something, and yesterday walked in the orchard for the first time. I went to Hull’s & was desired to come to-morrow.’

10 November 1793
‘I went to Church in the morn but was taken very ill there just as the sermon was ended. Very ill at home but thro’ mercy compleatly cured by Drinking freely of Brandy. Did not go out on that Acc[oun]t all the day follow[in]g.’

21 December 1793
‘Broke up School to-day, set the Church boys the Collect for Christmas day & to write the Ep[istle] & Gos[pel]. I went to Mrs. Andrews & told her I gave nothing to the Sub[scription] for the Soldiers in Germany &c, & drank some Gin & water. The meet[in]g boys I set part of the 9 Chap of Isa.’

27 January 1794
‘I went to school, it proving a deep snow which came very suddenly. I had but 2 came which I dismissed, & in the afternoon I had but 6. Worthy so ill with his Cough we were all alarmed. I went down to Clark’s bought an handkerchief 2s 6d for Mammy & 4 Ells of cloth for myself 14d per Ell.’

The Diary Junction

Quarrelling with Fyodor

‘I was thankful when this miserable day came to an end, for I detest quarrelling. Fyodor never waked me to give me my good-night kiss, and that is a bad sign. But perhaps it was better so; we should only have started quarrelling again.’ This is Anna Snitkina, the very young second wife of the great Russian writer Fyodor Dostoevsky, confiding in a diary which she considered as ‘the friend’ to whom she could ‘entrust my hopes, my thoughts, and all my fears’. Anna died a century ago today, but in her later years transcribed some of her diary (written only for a few years, and in shorthand) into Russian; and she also prepared a manuscript of reminiscences about her husband.

Anna Grigoryevna Snitkina was born in 1846 in St Petersburg. On leaving school she trained to be a stenographer. She was engaged by 
Dostoevsky to work on a novel, The Gamblers. By this time, Dostoevsky, in his mid-40s, had completed several novels, including Crime and Punishment. He had also spent four years in a prison camp for subversive writings, travelled much in Europe, developed a gambling addiction, and been married (to Maria Dmitrievna Isaeva, who died in 1864). Within months of meeting Anna, and despite a 25 year age gap, the two were married, in February 1867. Dostoevsky’s gambling debts were such that Anna had to sell her jewellery before the couple could embark on an extended honeymoon in Europe. They remained abroad, in Germany, Switzerland and Italy, for four years, during which time Dostoevsky wrote The Idiot and began work on Demons, and Anna gave birth to two children, though the first died aged three months.

Anna proved to be a steadying influence on her husband, sharing his poverty, enduring his gambling sprees, nursing him through illnesses (he suffered from epilepsy), and helping to manage his finances. On returning to Russia in 1871, the family’s money problems were ongoing, but Anna gave birth to a third child. In 1873, however, they successfully formed their own publishing company, and published Dostoevsky’s Demons. On the back of this success, Dostoevsky launched a periodical, A Writer’s Diary. In 1875, a fourth child was born to the couple in the mineral spa town of Staraya Russa, where they sometimes went for Dostoevsky’s health, and where they eventually bought a house. It was here that Dostoevsky wrote most of his last and most feted book, The Brothers Karamazov. He died in 1881. Thereafter, Anna worked on the archive of literary material and photographs left behind by her husband; and she designed a room in the Historical Museum in Moscow dedicated to him. She also attended to her hobby of stamp-collecting. She died on 9 June 1918. There is a little further information (though not much) about Anna at Wikipedia (as well as within Dostoevsky’s own entry), Russkiy Mir, and Encylopedia.com.

During the first year or two of her marriage, Anna kept a detailed diary in shorthand, filling at least seven notebooks. She only began transcribing this into Russian in the 1890s as an aid to writing her memoirs, and, in fact, only transcribed a small part of the diary, notably six months in 1867. Most of the notebooks no longer seem to be extant, and were possibly destroyed by Anna herself. However, the 1867 diary was published for the first time in Russian in 1923; and Anna’s memoir followed in 1925. The memoir (with extracts from the diary) appeared first in English (Routledge, 1926) and the diary itself appeared two years later. Published as The Diary of Dostoyevsky’s Wife it was edited by René Fülöp-Miller & Dr. Fr. Eckstein, and translated from the German edition by Madge Pemberton (Victor Gollancz, 1928). The memoir - Dostoevsky Portrayed by his Wife - is still in print - see Googlebooks for a preview.

Fülöp-Miller, in his preface, gives Anna’s own explanation
 (as found in the memoir) for why she decided to keep a diary: ‘For the first eighteen months of our married life I kept my diary exclusively in the form of shorthand notes, with occasional gaps of small importance during the time of my illness. I kept this journal for a variety of reasons; for one thing I feared lest, in the rush of new impressions, many small incidents would fade entirely out of my memory; the writing of it, moreover, was an excellent way for me to keep up my shorthand, and help to perfect it into the bargain. But my principal reason was of quite a different nature; my husband was to me such an interesting and wholly enigmatical being, that it seemed to me as though I should find it easier to understand him if I noted down his every thought and expression. Added to which, there was no single soul abroad to whom I could confide either my doubts or my observations, and I came to regard my diary as the friend to whom I could entrust my hopes, my thoughts, and all my fears.’

The following (rather banal) extracts are taken from the 1928 edition of the diary.

2 May 1867
‘I got up at nine, and remembered I must send my letter to Mama, to whom I write every week, and that I simply must ask them about sending money. I enclosed a little note in this letter for Masha, to whom so far I have not written much. Fyodor woke up while I was finishing the letter; and I told him I was going to the post, and went out quickly. I really was back in a few moments, but Fyodor said he would have to keep a fast hold of me, as I was “slippery as a piece of silk.” After tea Fyodor declared he must go to the chemist’s to get some medicine. I was seized with a dreadful fit of jealousy, and thought he was going to meet some other woman. I sat by the window, leaning out as far as I could till I nearly fell out, looking through a pair of field glasses at the way lie went and mum come hack by. Already my heart was filled with all the torment of a deserted wife; my eyes, staring in front of me, were full of tears, and still no Fyodor came. At last I saw my darling strolling along another way home, all unconscious. I went to him at once, and told him what I had been through. (It would have been interesting to know the precise object of my jealousy, for it really could only have been old Ida, or even Frau Zimmermann!) The walk had tired him so much that he sat down and went fast to sleep, after asking me to wake him in half an hour. Suddenly the idiotic thought came into my head that he was dead; full of fear I crept up to him, and saw as I looked at him that he was as alive as could be. I waked him up at a quarter to six; he dressed, and we went through a rather sharp shower out to the Terrace to eat. But there we were to meet with a strange happening, that made it impossible for us to go there for meals in future. Four of the waiters were sitting in the room and playing cards as we went in, and in the room next to it where were only two other customers besides ourselves, only the “Diplomat” was on duty. A Saxon officer came in, and the “Diplomat” flew to serve him. Fyodor knocked, but the “Diplomat” took no notice. Fyodor knocked again, and then the “Diplomat” came up, but made no attempt to listen to us, excused himself, and went back again to the officer. We meant to eat only a la carte, and ordered some soup; the waiter scarcely heard us out, and then brought it to us. Long after we had finished it, he never came near us again, but continued to attend to the officer. Once again Fyodor knocked, and then the waiter spoke very rudely, saying he heard and would be with us presently, and that there was no need to keep on knocking. Then he brought some wine. Fyodor ordered a veal cutlet and two portions of roast fowl. After a while up came the waiter, bringing one portion only of roast chicken. We asked what he meant by it and he declared we had ordered one chicken only. Fyodor put him right and the man went away again saying he would soon bring all we wanted. Fyodor got into a terrible rage. He was all for going away immediately, saying he would not be treated like that by servants, but I took their part as best as I could, as I so wanted to go on dining. Fyodor declared he could wish himself alone. The waiter came back bringing with him one veal cutlet. Obviously he had made this mistake on purpose. Fyodor then completely lost his temper. He asked for the bill which the waiter said came to twenty-two silver groschcn. Fyodor paid him a thaler and wouldn’t take the change up from the table. We left the place, furious. I was really not so furious as Fyodor as to me it had a comic side, our not eating there. I implored him to calm himself, but he wouldn’t, and began to scold. So I told him if he insisted going on like that I would rather go home. Then he began to shout at me and I got so cross I began to go home, but on the way I thought how lonely it would be sitting there all alone, and went to the post instead, to see if there were any letters. But there was nothing, so I bought some cigarettes and went home. Ida told me Fyodor had been back already, walking up and down and then going out again. That made me feel dreadfully upset, for I couldn’t imagine where he had got to. Then I looked out of the window and saw him coming along. I was ever so glad and received him as if nothing had happened. He was pale and agitated, and obviously depressed by our quarrel. He told me how he had hurried after me at once, and not finding me at home thought I must have gone on to the Terrace, to show my independence by eating there. We dressed then and went out in the pouring rain. But where to go we knew not for one can hardly get lunch at eight in the evening. We passed the Hotel Victoria on our way, so we went in. Everything there was very nice and well ordered; newspapers and writing material lying on the tables. We asked for the menu and chose three dishes, and this little meal came to two thalers, ten silver groschen. Certainly everything was beautifully done, but the price is fearfully high. Actually twelve silver groschen for one chop - who ever heard of such a price! We also had ices, and I must say we had never seen such beautiful pink ices as those they brought us, and not really so very dear, either. At nine o’clock, when we had finished our meal we went on our way home again; but to-day was to be a day of disagreements. I had opened my umbrella; but as I do not know how to handle it so beautifully as do these immaculate Germans, I got it all tangled up with some worthy German gentleman. Fyodor started positively yelling at me and for very rage I started to tremble all over. We had to go to the locksmith to get our trunk, but the shop had been closed long ago and all our knocking was in vain. We started quarrelling again once we were at home, drinking tea - oh, what a miserable day! I wanted to talk quite calmly to Fyodor about his journey the next day; but he misunderstood me and started shouting again; that was too much for me; I started shouting myself, and then went into the bedroom. Repentance followed, moaning over my misery, doubts as to whether we were suited to one another, and so on and so forth. How foolish are all these heart storms and all this unhappiness over something that is not really even there! I was thankful when this miserable day came to an end, for I detest quarrelling. Fyodor never waked me to give me my good-night kiss, and that is a bad sign. But perhaps it was better so; we should only have started quarrelling again. Fyodor is going away, not to-morrow, but the day after.’

29 July 1867
‘Early this morning, the weather was perfectly lovely, but towards ten it clouded over and rain began to fall. More boredom, and I simply do not know what to do with myself. I suppose I should go along to the Reading Room, but I don’t like turning up there in my shabby gloves. So I stayed in again all day, and was most dreadfully at a loose end. For sheer lack of occupation I started translating a French book. It would be a good thing to get used to it, and then I should be able to translate something good. The weather was as dismal as my state of mind, and I could hardly wait for our dinner to be brought in, which was better to-day. Afterwards, Fyodor lay down for an hour’s sleep, and I read. When he got up again we went to the post and then on to the Reading Room, where we found a great many people, including ladies. But for some reason or other there was a heavy smell of cabbage, and at the reading table there was no room. We sat down by the window. The man in charge handed Fyodor some Russian papers at once, and we started reading; when it got dark we moved to the table, on which a lamp was burning. An Englishman was wandering around, also wanting to read, but he couldn’t find a proper place, and created quite a disturbance in the room that is usually so silent. It annoyed me very much. I read the “Moscow News” and the “Northern Bee.” At last the fidgety Englishman changed his place, and I was duly glad of it. A Russian lady, fairly elderly, sat herself down next to us and demanded Russian papers. She was probably beautiful in her day, but now is so no more. Like all the Russian women here, she was dressed in Russian fashion, and very badly at that. Then came in a charming girl, whom I, had I been a man, should have fallen in love with. A dear little nose, blue eyes, sable eye-brows, but unfortunately her face so made up that, for all she could not have been more than three and twenty, she appeared quite wrinkled. Finally we went home; on the way, I went into a baker’s shop and bought “Lenten Buns,” which I did not much care for at first, but afterwards continued to eat the whole evening. I was fearfully cold, and shivering all over my body, so that I almost began to think I was sickening for nettle rash. After drinking some tea I lay down on Fyodor’s bed and went to sleep, while he worked and wrote. He told me to-day he was going to start dictating his article to me to-morrow. I am delighted about it as that means I shall have something to do and time will not hang so heavy on my hands. I lay there for a couple of hours, then went to bed, and to sleep again. Fyodor was very sweet when he came to bed later, and said a multitude of nice things.’

The Diary Junction