Page 152. " I spend all afternoon trying to translate five lines of Henry Levet's Afrique occidentale "

French poet Henry Jean-Marie Levet had poems published in various well known French journals during his lifetime, but given the influence his work had on great poets such as his fellow Frenchman, Valery Larbaud, it accumulated to just 11 pages in the end. These exist as the ‘Cartes Postales’, or ‘Postcards’.

Page 154. " Ben took me to meet Picasso at his studio "

Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso was normally referred to rather more simply as Pablo Ruiz Picasso.

Pablo Picasso
Public DomainPablo Picasso - Credit: Argentina. Revista Vea y Lea

Picasso was a painter of Spanish origin who actually lived most of his adult life in France. His painting passion began at an early age, but even the young Picasso could surely not have known how highly regarded his work would later become.

Throughout his youth, Picasso produced paintings which invoked surprise, such was their realism.

By 1900, he had made his first journey to Europe's then art capital, Paris, where he would ultimately spend much of his time, when not in the Spanish city of Barcelona. Just five years later, he was esconced within the social circle of the American art collectors Leo and Gertrude Stein.

Picasso also met fellow artist, Henri Matisse - a good friend and of course, also a professional rival...

Experimenting with a variety of artistic styles and techniques saw Picasso produce artwork of great diversity and his pieces can be categorized into particular periods.

The Blue Period (1901–1904) saw somber blues and blue-green colours combine, with few other parts of the palette used to break up the paintings.

In contrast, The Rose Period (1904–1906) exuded glorious pinks and oranges, peppered throughout with circus folk and harlequins.

Other common periods into which Picasso's work is divided is his African-influenced Period (1908–1909), Analytic Cubism (1909–1912) and Synthetic Cubism (1912–1919) periods.Indeed, Picasso famously co-founded the Cubist movement - one of his many artistic legacys...

 

Page 154. " I should be in Bordeaux in time for dinner at the Chapon Fin. "

Think of Bordeaux and one thing should immediately spring to mind – wine.

Whether a wine aficionando or not, any visitor to this French city must surely appreciate the sheer scale of wine production Bordeaux is famous for the world over. Around 850 million bottles, both red and white, come from the city each year, which also hosts the Vinexpo wine fair.

Bordeaux is more than its wine however and as a ‘City of Art and History,’ is a UNESCO World Heritage city – well frequented by tourists and the film industry alike because of its 18th century architecture.

 

Google Map

 

Page 154. " Toulouse - Perpignan, cross the border at Port Bou and from there on down the coast to Barcelona - Valencia - Granada - Seville. "

Toulouse is home to the 18th century Capitole de Toulouse, which includes the Hôtel de Ville, Théâtre du Capitole (opera house) and the 16 th century Donjon du Capitole. Hugely inhabited,

Capitole of Toulouse, and the square of the same name with the Occitan cross designed by Raymond Moretti on the ground.
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeCapitole of Toulouse, and the square of the same name with the Occitan cross designed by Raymond Moretti on the ground. - Credit: Benh LIEU SONG

Toulouse saw a surge in population size during the 1900s, helped along by its aerospace and high-tech industries. Indeed, Toulouse now provides a base for the European aerospace industry, its Space Centre the largest in Europe

Sanch de Perpignan
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeSanch de Perpignan - Credit: Sylenius

 

In Perpignan, (bookmarked previously), the Procession de la Sanch is an annual ceremony once again held in the area (pictured). It takes place on Good Friday and sees a masked procession parade the streets, representative of prisoners who, on being led to their execution, were kept hidden from public view.

Meanwhile, LMS’s transition from France into Spain, saw him pass through Port Bou, a small location which was however, fairly significant during the Spanish Civil War because of its rail infrastructure.

Port Bou
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikePort Bou - Credit: David Gaya

 

Moving onto Valencia, the city is well known for its famous paella dish and the Falles Festival. A port city, Valencia’s is the largest port on the Mediterranean Western coast.

Torres de Quart (València)
Public DomainTorres de Quart (València) - Credit: Felivet

The former industrial city saw many changes during the 1900s, including restoration of significant landmarks (Quart Towers were one), which subsequently drew more visitors into the area.

LMS, going on to the city of Granada, would have found himself at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountains, yet still just a short hour away from the Mediterranean coastline

Alhambra de Granada, España
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeAlhambra de Granada, España - Credit: Kkansas

 

Granada is full of impressive architecture, most notably, the palace city of the Alhambra and its exotic Gereralife garden. The Alhambra is a beautiful representation of Spanish-muslim art from the 13th and 14th centuries and is one of the most famous of Islamic buildings.

Also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Alhambra comprises a defensive zone, the Nasrid Palaces and of course, ‘El Generalife’ – with palace, gardens and orchards.

 

 

 

 

Page 154. " I think I may even head on to Lisbon after Seville and perhaps catch a steamer home to Southampton. "

 

Supermarine Spitfire Mk.PR.XIX
Public DomainSupermarine Spitfire Mk.PR.XIX - Credit: Adrian Pingstone

Google Map

Lisbon is synonymous with politics, culture and economics and holds the title of one of the world’s oldest cities, with a history dating back to the fifth century. The Moorish people took control during the eighth and then the Crusaders came along in 1147, claiming Lisbon back for the Christians and subsequently converting it into a hub of political, cultural and economic activity.

 

Lisbon
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeLisbon - Credit: Osvaldo Gago

Although Portugal’s capital city in name, legally and unusually, Lisbon's title has never been made official by way of a statute or in writing, but simply through constitutional convention.

During WW2, Lisbon remained a neutral port and therefore home to many war refugees fleeing Nazi Germany.

Like many of the places visited by LMS, it is packed with beautiful architecture – in Lisbon Romanticism, Gothic, Baroque and many more are juxtaposed alongside one another to great effect.

The port city of Southampton, located in the south of England, is located near the famous New Forest.

In 1912, the doomed passenger ship, the RMS Titanic, sailed from its docks and there is a commemorative statue in Southampton in memory of those on it. Southampton was also where the Supermarine Spitfire was designed and developed.

WW2 saw the city suffer greatly from bombing, particularly because of its importance as a commercial port and industrial city. 

 

Page 155. " Metropole Hotel, Lisbon. Yesterday I took the train to Cintra. "

Cintra/Sintra is a popular destination for tourists visiting nearby Lisbon in Portugal and boasts beautiful 19th century Romantic architecture well worth seeing. Some of these impressive buildings include the Castelo (Castle) dos Mouros from the 8/9th century, which gives glorious views of the Sintra-Cascais Natural Park and there is of course also the magnificent 19th century Pena Palace.

Palacio da Regaleira, Sintra, Portugal.
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikePalacio da Regaleira, Sintra, Portugal. - Credit: Hugo Lopes

Cintra is subsequently a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once described by Lord Byron as "the most beautiful in the world."Another famous visitor was the explorer Christopher Columbus, who was saved by the Rock of Sintra, which he used to direct himself to Lisbon when his ship was blown off course from Spain in 1493.

Page 155. " It happened at the Castelo da Pena. "

 

Palácio da Pena,Portugal
Public DomainPalácio da Pena,Portugal - Credit: Tania Fonseca

 

One of the Seven Wonders of Portugal, Pena National Palace is a wonderful representation of 19th century Romantic architecture and enjoys national monument status in the country.

The palace perches proudly on a hill overlooking Sintra and offers up wonderful views of the surrounding area and is itself visible from Lisbon on a clear day.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is used by the President of the Portuguese Republic and other government officials for state various occasions.

Page 155. " to take a photo of the view south towards the hills of Arrabida. "

Arrábida Convent, Setúbal
Creative Commons AttributionArrábida Convent, Setúbal - Credit: Igiul

Page 157. " who do you think you are? Stravinsky? Galsworthy? "

 

Stravinsky
Public DomainStravinsky - Credit: George Grantham Bain Collection

Russian composer, conductor and pianist Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (1882-1971), who became both a naturalized French and American citizen during his lifetime, is remembered as one of the most influential 20th century composers.

 

With a career rich in range and diversity, Stravinsky began with ballet compositions in Russia before turning his attention to neoclassicism throughout the 1920s, when he drew inspiration from the likes of Bach and Tchaikovsky to flavour his work.

The 1950s saw his style adapt that of 'serial procedures', where he manipulated various musical elements by applying the techniques he had acquired over the preceding years and produced music similar to his earlier Russian work.

Meanwhile, English novelist and playwright John Galsworthy (1867-1933) is famously the author of 'The Forsyte Saga' (1906—1921), along with its sequels, 'A Modern Comedy' and 'End of the Chapter'.

 

Galsworthy, whose literary style reflected the lives of the upper-middle class and highlighted the social deficiencies within it, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1932.

 

Page 159. " Freya loves ballet, so we went to see Giselle last night. "
Lithograph by unknown of the ballerina Carlotta Grisi in en:Giselle. Paris, 1841.
Public DomainLithograph by unknown of the ballerina Carlotta Grisi in en:Giselle. Paris, 1841. - Credit: Original uploader was Mrlopez2681 at en.wikipedia

One of the most popular Romantic ballets, Giselle tells the passionate story of a peasant girl who is driven to her death after discovering her young lover 'Loys' is actually a Count and cannot marry her.

Upon her death, Giselle is summoned from her grave by the Wilis. These female spirits, on earth, jilted before their wedding day, take revenge by rising nightly from their graves to dance men to their death...

Giselle's ghost is subsequently risen to haunt her betrayer in love. He however, visits her grave to repent of his wrong-doing and Giselle takes pity on him. She protects the Count from the deadly touch of her fellow phantom females until dawn has come and he is safe once more.

Giselle is a ballet of two acts and was inspired by a poem from Heinrich Heine. It takes place during the Middle Ages, in the Rhineland.

 

Page 159. " Wallace sold me 'Meeting with Picasso' piece to Life magazine "
Life Magazine cover
Public DomainLife Magazine cover "The Flapper" by F. A. Leyendecker, 2 February, 1922 - Credit: F A Leyendecker

Life Magazine's most notable contribution to the news magazine publishing industry was its reliance on photojournalism. Indeed, it was America's first all photographic news magazine and was remarkably successful for four decades.

Its popularity did, however, finally peter out and now exists only as an Internet brand name and in the odd special issue edition. 

 

Page 162. " Lionel has croup. "

Croup is a respiratory condition experienced most commonly by children, especially those aged two to four years-old.

It is caused by an infection of the larynx (voice box), the trachea (windpipe), and the bronchial tubes and is often accompanied by a barking cough and a harsh 'crowing' sound when the child inhales.

Treatment includes moist air, saline (salt water) nose drops, decongestants, cough suppressants, pain medication, fluids, and occasionally antibiotics.

Page 164. " He's commissioned a long article on Juan Gris "
Violin and Checkerboard, 1913, oil on canvas by, en:Juan Gris
Public DomainViolin and Checkerboard, 1913, oil on canvas by, en:Juan Gris - Credit: Original uploader was Cactus.man at en.wikipedia

Spanish painter and sculptor José Victoriano González-Pérez (1887-1927), or Juan Gris, spent most of his artistic career in France.

His work was part of the famous Cubism Movement and he created some of the best examples of this particular style of painting.

Gris experimented with various types of Cubism, including the analytic style and synthetic Cubism. However, he used exuburant splashes of colour in his artwork not seen in that of some of his peers e.g. Picasso and Braque, who produced more monochromatic paintings.

 

Page 164. " the twin refulgent beams of Picasso and Braque "

Georges Braque (1882-1963) was a painter who, along with Picasso and Juan Fris, adapted the Cubism style of painting.

Beginning with impressionism, Braque was soon inspired by Fauvism, which combined colour to great effect to convey captured emotions on canvas.

From 1908–1913 however, Braque's interest in  geometry and simultaneous perspective saw him create the type of art which would become known as Cubism.

Page 165. " Ben has taken a large villa in Biarritiz and Bidart "

 

Bidart coastline
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeBidart coastline - Credit: Gruson-Daniel

Google Map

The small hill-top town of Bidart is situated beside the sea and is the epitome of peace and tranquility. Nearby Biarritz bustles with activity (see earlier bookmark), but in Bidart, visitors can relax away from the busyness on beautiful beaches and under the same glorious shining sun.

 

 

Page 166. " When the party broke up for a game of boules "

Boules, otherwise known as pétanque, is a game played with metal balls.

Players must try to get their balls as close as possible to the elusive 'jack'. It is similar to the game of bowls.

Page 166. " I had birdied the ninth hole and was teeing up at the tenth "

A 'Birdie' in golfing terms reflects a very good score for the golfer and means they have scored 'one-under par' on any given golf hole.

Meanwhile, a par refers to number of strokes it should take an expert golfer to complete a hole and usually number three, four and five.

Scoring a birdie can mean the golfer has achieved a two on a par-three hole, a three on a par-four hole, a four on a par-five hole or a five on a par-six hole.

Page 167. " He leant forward and whispered, 'It's the Prince of Wales.' "
Photograph of the Duke of Windsor outside the White House on the date of the announcement of the Japanese surrender ending World War II.
Public DomainPhotograph of the Duke of Windsor outside the White House on the date of the announcement of the Japanese surrender ending World War II. - Credit: Photographer: Abbie Rowe (1905–1967), U.S. National Park Service

Controversy dogged the Duke of Windsor, whose life is woven into William Boyd's novel to great effect and the details of which tell his story well.

Christened Edward VIII (Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David), the Duke was King for just a few short months in Britain, creating uproar when he abdicated from the throne to marry American socialite Mrs Wallis Simpson. He was never actually crowned and goes down in history as one of the shortest monarchs to ever rule the UK.

The courting pair married in a private ceremony on June 3, 1937, at the Château de Candé, near Tours in France and Edward subsequently became the Duke of Windsor.

After tying the knot, he and his wife visited Nazi Germany but were later accused of sympathising with the Nazis and were deployed to the Bahamas, where, as detailed in the novel, the Duke served out time as Governor.

In the time thereafter, the Duke lived out his days in retirement, in France.

 

Page 167. " the Prince has taken a house here and that the American woman, Mrs Simpson "
Portrait of Wallis Simpson, 1936
Public DomainPortrait of Wallis Simpson, 1936 - Credit: Unknown English Photographer

Equally as controversial as her future husband, Wallis, Duchess of Windsor (1896-1986) was an American socialite originally born under the name Bessie Wallis Warfield.

She later became Mrs Spencer and then Simpson, before netting herself the former King of the British Empire and Emperor of India...

Such was the scandal of the Prince wanting to marry a twice married and once divorced American that Britain was thrown into a major constitutional crisis and saw Edward abdicate from the throne after only a few months as King.

Meanwhile, the Duchess was never awarded the title of 'Her Royal Highness'.

 

Page 167. " so we explained about Lady Furness being supplanted "

Film producer and actress Thelma, Viscountess Furness (1904-1970), (nee Morgan) was the woman seemingly favoured by Edward VIII before Mrs Wallis Simpson came onto the scene.

Indeed, Mrs Simpson was once a close friend of Lady Furness who unwittingly  introduced the American socialite to Edward VIII at a social event...

 

Page 168. " Tender is the Night "

F. Scott Fitzgerald's fourth novel, 'Tender Is the Night' was first published in 1934.

It tells the tale of a glamorous couple - Dick and Nicole Diver - who decide to take a villa in the South of France with some friends.

The story weaves through the intricacies of what unfolds at the villa - the inter-tangled love lives and emotions of the party, with some startling revelations thrown in for good measure...

There is also a murder to complicate things even further...

Page 169. " The Juan Gris, 'Ceramic Jar and Three Apricots,' hangs above the fire in Draycott Avenue "
Juan Gris: Roses (Flowers)
Public DomainJuan Gris: Roses (Flowers) - Credit: Juan Gris (1887-1927)

Although the exact painting mentioned by LMS could not be located (any help in this is welcomed!), the 'Roses' painting pictured gives an idea of what 'Ceramic Jar and Three Apricots' may have looked like...if not, it at least gives a representation of the type of artwork Juan Gris produced.

 

Page 169. " tied up in blue-chip shares and policies "

Blue chip shares and policies....for those not in the financial know-how, are top quality investments involving a lower-than-average risk of loss of principal or reduction in income.

Page 171. " Then Adrian Daintrey came in with a party in the evening "

London artist Adrian Daintrey (1902-1988) was a student of the Slade School of fine Art and continued  his artistic education at the Louvre and L'Academie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris.

He later worked as an art critic and also as a part-time art teacher and showed his work throughout his career from his studio.

Page 172. " Movements. Norfolk - London - Norfolk. "

 

Google Map

 

 

 

Page 172. " We plan our summer. Greece "

 

 

Meteora, central Greece
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMeteora, central Greece - Credit: Takeaway at the English language Wikipedia

Google Map

Philosophy, the Olympic Games, gods, godesses, literature, art and architecture... all this and more makes up the creatively rich country known as Greece/Hellas - the Hellenic Republic.

Ancient Greece and the remnants of it, still feature prominently when it comes to the Grecian lifestyle and the same was of course true when LMS would have visited.

Home to Homer, author of The Iliad and The Odyssy, Greece enjoyed the talents of many major literary figures. From the ancient period of Greek literature to the Byzantine and then modern, a number of great works originated from the country, which was to shape literature as we now know it in the western world.

Greece is also synonymous with philosophy, with great thinkers such as Plato and Socrates making their mark during their own lifetime and far beyond.Those who came before Socrates, were known as 'Presocratics', although very little of their work has survived down through the ages.

Although images of sunny beaches may come to mind first, the mainland of Greece is in fact mostly mountainous, the highest mountain being Mount Olympus, which stands at  2,917m (9,570 ft).

With the twelfth longest coastline in the world however, Greece does of course boast beautiful scenery, (including beaches!) with a scattering of idyllic islands, including Crete, the Cyclades and many others.

Geographically, Turkey lies to its east, with Albania, the Republic of Macedonia and Bulgaria to the north.The coast has also played an important role in the Grecian economy over the years, with a high reliance on the country's shipping industry.

 

Page 172. " met in Paris and flew to Marseilles. Then from Marseilles by boat to Athens. "

 

The Acropolis, Athens
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe Acropolis, Athens - Credit: LennieZ

The Mediterranean climate of Marseilles will always draw sun-seekers and the fact the summer season runs from May to October only exacerbates the number of visitors the French city receives each year.

 

As the capital of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region and the Bouches-du-Rhône department, Marseilles is large, the largest French city on the Mediterranean coast in fact and also home to the country's biggest commercial port.

The historic city was founded by the Greeks in 600BC and is therefore the oldest in France.

It is also home to two forts - Fort Saint-Nicolas on the south side and Fort Saint-Jean on the north, as well as the Château d'If. Located in the Bay of Marseille, the castle rose to fame after featuring in 'The Count of Monte Cristo' novel.

Culturally, the Opéra played a huge part in Marseille's history and although it enjoyed its heyday between the end of the 18th century until the 1970s, a small number of operas play still in the city to this day. 

Meanwhile, the capital of Greece, Athens is a city saturated in history, which harks back more than 3,000 years.

As one of the most ancient cities in the world, Athens is subsequently a relative melting pot of philosophy, literature, politics, economics and industry. Indeed, during the classical period, Athens was a centre of learning and philosophy, with Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, in full flow and it is where democracy first reared its head.

Monte-Cristo prison known as
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeMonte-Cristo prison known as "if castle" - Marseille France - Credit: Jean-Marc ROSIER http://www.cjrosier.com

The story of Greece and indeed the western world can be read in the ancient monuments and architecture still standing in Athens - one of the most famous being the Parthenon. There is also the much visited Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery.

Such is the wealth of evidence of times past, that the city is at the epi-centre of world archaeology, attracting myriad teams each year who are eager to discover more about what went before...

It must not be forgotten that Athens also contains many theatrical stages - around 148 to be precise - just another dimension to this well-rounded city.

 

 

Page 172. " Delphi - Nauplia - Mycenae - Athens "

Also very archaeologically significant, Delphi combines historical site with modern Greek town.

The remaining columns of the Temple of Ilmaris at Delphi, Greece.
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe remaining columns of the Temple of Ilmaris at Delphi, Greece. - Credit: Patar knight

 

If myths are to be believed, it was home to the most important of Greek oracles - the Delphic oracle and also a place to worship the god Apollo.

Delphi also played host to the the Pythian Games, where Greek athletes competed annually from 586BC - it did not rank as highly on the calendar of events as the Olympic Games later would, but they were significant nonetheless.

View on Nauplia (Nafplio) city, Argolis (Argolida), Greece.
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeView on Nauplia (Nafplio) city, Argolis (Argolida), Greece. - Credit: David Holt

 

Delphi was described as being at the 'centre of the world', which made it much more important in the ancient Greeks' eyes and to which they paid homage in their own way...

The seaside and also port town of Nauplia/Nafplio was the first capital of modern Greece, now the capital of the peripheral unit of Argolis.  Finally, the archaeological site of Mycenae is found just south-west of Athens and was once one of the major centres of Greek civilization, with a military stronghold which dominated much of southern Greece.

The antique city of Mycenae, in Greece.
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeThe antique city of Mycenae, in Greece. - Credit: Andreas Trepte, www.photo-natur.de.

 

 

 

Page 173. " I golfed at Gullane and Muirhead with a friend of Angus from the city, Ian Fleming. "
Ian Fleming oil painting
Creative Commons Attribution Share AlikeIan Fleming oil painting - Credit: Constance Vlahoulis

Ian Lancaster Fleming (1908-1964) is the well known author of the James Bond novels, which later transferred to the silver screen with great success. He was also the creator of another famous story -  Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, which he wrote for his only son, Caspar.

Fleming's literary career didn't take off until 1952 - before then, he worked at the Reuters news agency and was a stockbroker.

During WW2 he took on the role of  assistant to the Director of Naval Intelligence in the Admiralty in London, as LMS indicates.

Afterwards, Fleming became the foreign manager of a collection of foreign correspondents.