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They wrote it this week: Nothing like a young ass to perk up an ...


They wrote it this week: Nothing like a young ass to perk up an old donkey

Extracts from diaries and letters written between March 9 and March 15


March 9

1916, Stanway House, Gloucestershire

[Lady Cynthia’s youngest brother, the Hon. Yvo Charteris, had been killed on the Western Front in October 1915 at the age of 19. He had, they all unresentfully agreed, been the most loved of his six siblings. Their youngest sister “Bibs”, Lady Irene Charteris, was at this time 13.] Day of terrible depression. I suppose a thaw is the most conducive atmosphere. I am distressed about Mama. She doesn’t seem to get any better. If only one could make people’s presence as intense in happiness as their absence is sorrow. One should teach oneself to be as consciously glad that Bibs is alive as one is sad that Yvo is dead. If I could only canonise the living instead of the dead. ..

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