Saturday, May 8, 2010

The Late Unpleasantness

In When May Follows, Raf tells Katrina that he has no family, his parents were killed in the war, his trusted servants traveled him across Holland to live with his grandparents and Nanny was caught and narrowly avoided being sent to a prison camp.

The Mighty Neels took part in WWII as a nurse. She "was posted to a Casualty Clearing Station - the thirteenth! - a unit made up, with the exception of the Regimental Sergeant Major, of Territorials."

Nazis and wartime stories come up in other books as well--I'm thinking of the amnesiac man-servant in Cassandra By Chance in particular. She mentions the 1940 bombing of Rotterdam in at least two books and survived the same sort of thing herself:

I met my husband when he was admitted to the hospital as a patient and a year later, we married. He was posted to London and we found a dear little flat, furnished it with bits and pieces my family gave us, put our meagre wedding presents on display and moved in. We were bombed out of it almost immediately. We were both out at the time, so although we were left with the clothes we stood up in and my little cat who the firemen saved, we counted ourselves lucky. I complicated matters of course as I was expecting my daughter.

The Mighty Betty, indeed.

1 comment:

  1. The firemen saved the cat...prelude to the many pet rescues that The Venerable Neels favored us with.