Saturday, August 20, 2011

Saturday commute xxxvii: Reading with the abbé



  The courtiers were
  delightful, they
  were not snobs ..
  But they were pro-
  vincials. There was
  freedom of speech
  but no one to ex-
  change it with. In
  short, Lunéville 
  was not Versailles.


   Saint-Lambert behaved rather well.
   Having aroused this unwanted pas-
   sion, he did nothing to try and
   check it, he waited for it to die
   down again .. She only asked per-
   mission to go on loving and this
   Saint-Lambert graciously accorded.

Abbé Girard, quite the nicest of priests, who came here, asked for Voltaire Amoureux, so I said to Mme Costa what should I put comme dédicace. She said I think better put nothing or else when he is dead & they look at his books, he will be compromised. "You see you are such a beautiful young [sic] lady, it's not as though you were Mme de Pange." 

Can you wonder I like coming here!

There will be more of
this writer, whose works
gave buoyant delight and
sweetly ribald relief to
the household of one's
childhood. She has been
grievously exploited, as
she gaily anticipated.
Let's meet her anew,
with this observation:
the volume she proposes
to inscribe is the most
necessary study of Vol-
taire which he did not
write, himself; and he
is lucky to get it.

                   But do we need such a thing?

                   Does a vine need a season of

Nancy Mitford
Voltaire in Love
Hamish Hamilton, 1957©

Nancy Mitford and
Heywood Hill
John Saumarez-Smith, editor
The Bookshop at 10 Curzon Street
  Letters .., 1952-73
  NM to HH, 25 Oct 63
The Estate of Nancy Mitford, 2004©
Frances Lincoln, Ltd, 2004

ii Benjamin A. Huseby photography
   Bolshoi youth


  1. delightful and delighted to see one of my most favorite of authors of the era-and beyond. Voltaire in Love is a particular favorite in fact. pgt

  2. LOVED the letters of Heywood and Nancy! I'm actually sending them to a friend as a gift tomorrow..