Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist
poliphilo

Harold's Progress

I continue schlepping through the 1930s.

Harold spends much of '34 and '35 writing a biography of the recently deceased US diplomat Dwight Morrow. He's not that fond of Dwight and he upsets Dwight's former colleagues at J.P. Morgan for being insufficiently reverential about their institution, but the upside is that he gets to visit Mexico- which he thinks the most beautiful country on earth- and to know Dwight's daughter and son-in-law, a likeable young couple called Lindbergh.

At the end of '35 he gets himself elected to parliament, after which the fug of politics closes in around him. The abdication crisis looms, Spain burns and it's clear that some sort of reckoning with Hitler's Germany is going to be unavoidable.

The pen portraits remain as sharp as ever. Here's the British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin addressing the House of Commons in December '35...

"At first sight he is a solid English gentleman, but then one notices odd nervous tricks. He has an extraordinarily unpleasant habit of smelling at his notes and licking the edges as if they were the flap of an envelope. He scratches himself continuously. There are russet patches across his head and face. And a strange movement of the head, with half-closed eyes, like some tortoise half-awake smelling the air- blinking, snuffy, neurotic..."

I'm part way through Vol 1. Two more await- and they'll take us right through to 1964. Did Harold get to meet the Beatles? I wouldn't put it past him. He met everybody else.
Subscribe

  • Random Childhood Memory

    I was seven or eight- and the other kids were playing cops and robbers ( a game that involved rushing around going Nee-Naw like a squad car) and…

  • In Lockdown

    Ailz has tested positive for covid so we've put ourselves in lockdown. She feels achey and thinks it wiser not to eat anything- but is sitting up…

  • Autumn Advances

    The gulls have moved on. Breeding season is over and the nests among the chimney stacks are abandoned. I put out the left-over cat food and…

  • Fungi, Train Crash, Allingham

    The lawn is sprouting fungi all over. We went round with an app to identify what they were. The little brown jobbies are nitrous bonnets- and not the…

  • Books, Books And More Books

    Ailz is doing a couple of courses. One about being a Quaker and one about being a Doulah (sp?). This brings books into the house- and space has to be…

  • Meeting My Son's Parents

    I dreamed I was meeting my son's parents for the first time. To begin with I met the father- who had once been a clergyman- and then without the…

  • Post a new comment

    Error

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 2 comments