Monday, December 5, 2016

Cistercian Abbeys: History And Architecture, Henri Gaud And Jean-Francois Leroux-Dhuys

Cistercian Abbeys: History and Architecture
Photography by Henri Gaud
Text by Jean-Francois Leroux-Dhuys
c. 1998 for the English edition

One of my most treasured books; a coffee-table book.

If anyone wonders from whence the great cathedrals sprang, look no further than the Cistercian abbeys. These were built "several decades" before the great catherdrals were built.

I was fortunate to have visited the ruins of several abbeys in England between 1986 and 1989 and then again between 2002 and 2004.

  • 1000 AD: true fear that the world would end at the end of the millenium
  • 1050 AD: the fear that the world would end dissipated; Christian West came into its own; feudalism was establishing itself on the ruins of the Carolingian ear; strengthened by the Gregorian reform that was to prove to be the most characteristic feature of the eleventh century, the Church demanded independence and purity, encouraging the development of the monastic orders
  • broad brush
  • Benedictine Robert of Molesme, in his search for ever greater perfection after a number of previous experiments, founded the new monastery of Citeaux in 1098
  • his successors Alberic and, in particular, Stephen Harding created, the conditions necessary for the development of the Cistercian Order
  • this was a rigorous Order that demanded renunciation of the world and an asceticism that attracted the chivalrous nobility; for these men, this was an adventure comparable to setting out on a Crusade
  • under Bernard of Clairvaux: until the 1150s, the White Monks set up a network of communities over the entire face of Europe, created in the image of the heavenly Jerusalem;
  • this initial stimulus lasted for a century
  • 12th century: the high point of medieval monasticism
  • founding Rule of St Benedict; their role in economic growth contributed to the development of towns in the 13th century
  • the "Desert Fathers" (early Christian hermits) were replaced by new Orders, Dominicans and Fransciscans, whose growth coincided with that of the towns
Part I
Nine Centuries Ago

  • Molesme: 1075 -- marks the beginning of the Cistercian adventure
  • Citeaux: 1098
  • western civilization had reached a low point; moral chaos
  • Christianity drew the "red line" beyond which civilization would not fall
  • for two centuries, 1050 - 1250, Christianity experienced a period of expansion; Cistercians played a major role
Chapter 1: The Origins of Christianity
  • Constantine the Great, 272 - 337: converted at age 40; created the unexpected alliance between Christianity and the Roman Empire; Council of Nicaea, 325 -- the Trinity
  • first Roman emperor to stop Christian persecutions; legalized Christianity along with other religions and cults
  • established an eastern capital at Byzantium
  • first to third centuries: a specifically Christian monasticism developed
  • as religious peace became established, the first monks appeared; when religious persecution came to an end, martyrdom was no longer the sole route to sainthood
  • most interesting: "official recognition of Christianity had brought about a relaxation in morality. New witnesses were needed and these were the monks, who offered their lives of self-mortification to God 
  • Pax Romana: assimilated Celtic culture and the new Christian religion; this became the inheritance received by the West afer the Roman and Byzantine empires went their separate ways
  • walled towns::cathedral enclosures; these cathedrals prefigured the enclosed space of the monasteries
  • invaders occupied Rome (476) but people remained Roman and Christian (for the most part)
  • Benedict of Nursia (northeast of Rome) founds the abbey of Mont Cassino (529); draws up "the Rule"
  • Charlemagne takes control of the Empire and the Church: 817; without equal on earth
  • Benedict of Aniane ("the second Benedictine") brings together all monasteries under the one Benedictine Rule (also, 817); 
  • 910: foundation of the Benedictine Order
Chapter II: Christianity in the Late Eleventh Century
  • 1000: western Europe depression; superstitious about fin de siecle, end of the world
  • 1050: things began to settle down
  • Otto, 962: reestablished the Germanic Holy Roman Empire -- but only possible with help of bishops (why bishops are next to king/queen in chess)
  • from wiki: chess reached Western Europe and Russia by at least three routes, the earliest being in the 9th century; by the year 1000 it had spread across Europe; originally "an elephant", the modern bishop first appeared shortly after 1200 in Courier chess; the term "bishop" did not enter into the English language until the 16th century; Icelandic 12th-century Lewis Chessmen portray the bishop as an unambiguously ecclesiastical figure
  • bellatores (warriors); laboratores (workers); and, oratores (men of prayer)
  • the situation of monasticism (page 19): fascinated feudal lords
  • from 910, due to the directives of Benedict of Aniane, the spirit of Cluny (central-east France Saone-et-Loire), the Cluniac Order revived; biggest church in the world at the time; controlled 1200 priories across Europe (theoretically) but growing more autonomous
  • a return to the spirit of the hermit, the Desert Fathers (page 20)
Chapter III: From Molesme to Citeaux, 1075 - 1119
  • Molesme: 1075 - 1090; directly north of Cluny, southeast of Paris, southwest of Luxembourg
  • founder of Molesme: Robert
  • reverted to becoming a hermit; gathered his friends, founded a new abbey at Molesme
  • Benedictine monastery for 15 years; rigorous asceticism; monks rediscovered the virtue of manual work
  • Molesme became wealthy through feudal donations; mother abbey of a Benedictine congregation of 35 priories; an identity crisis
  • Citeaux (1090 - 1098)
  • Alberic and Stephen Harding: at Molesme; wanted things even more strict
  • they leave Molesme and found an abbey at Citeaux; in the same general region of eastern France
  • feud between Robert (Molseme) and Alberic (New Monastery, Citeaux)
  • Alberic's goal: make the New Monastery an exemplary Benedictine abbey, with strict observance of the Benedictine Rule
  • first mention of the "Cistercian monks who came from Molesme" -- Cistercium is the Latinname of Citeaux, near Dijon in France
  • 1100: the pope places the New Monastery under personal protection; the new monastery much stricter than Robert's Molesme
  • Odo 1, the duke of Burgundy (who will feature in the Normandy invasion of England) donated land to the Cistercians
  • Stephen Harding and the Carta Caritatis (1109 - 1119); two important events marked the beginning of the abbacy of Stephen Harding: a) okay to accept donations and farmlands; and, b) shaped the spiritual and political future of the Cistercian world through the arrival of a novice, 1113 -- Bernard of Fontaine; Bernard's group invigorated the new Cistercian order
  • Harding, all of a sudden, had a huge population to manage, and was concerned about the Bernard "clan"
  • the first four daughters: La Ferte; Pontigny; Clairvaux (assigned to Bernard), and Morimond
  • Stephen Harding: to ensure a return to strict rule of Benedict -- the Carta Caritatis -- the Charter of Divine Love
  • December 23, 1119 -- the Charter given to the Pope who accepted it and the term "New Monastery" no longer used; new name, the Order of Citeaux has been born -- the Cistercians -- very strict Benedictines
  • the constitution, page 28: set rules for monasteries; a model of organization
  • federal (central) vs state (independence)
  • what was ahead of its time was the Order's supra-nationality
  • the widespread renown of Bernard of Clairvaux of major importance -- the Bernard "clan"
  • copying books -- illuminated manuscripts -- of major importance

Chapter IV: Bernard of Clairvaux, 1120 - 1153 
  • 1119, Carta Caritatis -- ten monasteries; by the time Bernard of Clairvaux died in 1153, some thirty years later, it embraced 351 abbeys of which half were outside France and 169 attached to Clairvaux alone
  • Cistercians: their political power was immense; principally through Bernard of Clairvaux; he even eclipsed the mother-ship, the abbot of Citreaux
  • Bernard:
  • personal charisma
  • defense of the poor
  • the cult of the Virgin Mary: took a page out of the troubadours' book; placed love at the heart of his mystical theology; sublimated it into devotion to the Virgin, queen of Heaven
  • the schism of Anacletus, between 1130 and 1137 mobilized Bernard of Clairvaux
  • kings and princes gave the abbot of Clairvaux the task of naming the legitimate pope
  • Bernard chose Innocent II over Anacletus II
  • Second Crusade: 1146 - 1151
Chapter V: Monastic Architecture According to Bernard of Clairvaux
  • in truth, Cistercian architecture owes everything to him
  • St Bernard canonized 1174; took a long time; occurred one year later than canonization of Thomas a Becket in 1173
  • amazing expansion of the Cistercian Order expressed itself in the appearance of hundreds of building sites
  • the Order's first great building campaing was opened by Bernard of Clairvaux, in 1135; Clairvaux II; even Citeaux had to wait until 1140 -- forty years after its foundation, before work started on its abbey church
  • the Ur-Cistercian churches: Fontenay in Burgundy; Poblet in Catalonia; Maulbronn in Germany; and, Fountains in England
  • Cistercian builders: 750 abbeys, and much more
  • the difference between asceticism and poverty (page 39)
  • the Cistercian architecture (page 39)
  • no sculptures; no paintings except on crosses, which must be of wood
And this is where I will end. This is an incredible book. This takes me only through page 39 and there are almost 400 pages in this book.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The Hero Of The Empire, Winston Churchill, Candice Millard, c. 2016

The Hero of the Empire: The Boer War, a Daring Escape, and the Making of Winston Churchill
Candice Millard
c. 2016

One can pretty much get the overview of the book by reading the captions of the pictures in the middle of the book. To wit:

  • Born in Blenheim Palace, a lavish Oxfordshire manor built in the early 18th century for John Churchill, the 1st Duke of Marlborough; the latter Winston’s inspiration for success.
  • Born into the highest ranks of British aristocracy …
  • Churchill’s American mother, born Jennie Jerome …
  • Churchill’s mother becomes a widow at age 45; marries a young aristocrat only two years older than Winston….
  • On his trip as a journalist to South Africa, he carried a pencil sketch of Pamela Plowden, the first great love of his life …
  • October 9, 1899, Paul Kruger, president of the Transvaal, told the Brits to leave; the Brits did not; Kruger knew war would break out …
  • Soon after war was declared, Sir Redvers Buller was named commander in chief of Her Majesty’s army in South Africa; nicknamed the Steamroller; Brits thought he would end/win the war quickly …
  • Boers’ Louis Bother, youngest Boer commander, left the Brits reeling …
  • Boers well known for harsh treatment of native Africans and Indians; among the most effective advocates for these people were Solomon Plaatje who would become the first secretary of the African National Congress; and, Mohandas Gandhi, who led a team of stretcher-bearers on some of the most blood-soaked battlefields of the war …
  • Churchill arrives in South Africa just two days after war was declared; a journalist; wanted to be involved — this would be 1899 … [July 8, 1918 — Ernest Hemingway injured in Italy as a reporter in WWI] …
  • Close friend Aylmer Haldane invited him along on an armored train on a reconnaissance mission .. one of the most dangerous missions in the war ….
  • November 15, 1899, just a month after Churchill arrived in South Africa, Botha led a devastating attack on the armored train; Haldane and Churchill on board; train derailed; sixty Brits, including Churchill, captured …

  • POW Churchill arrives in Pretoria, the Boer capital …he had great respect for his enemy on the battlefield, but glaring disrespect for average Boer coming out to look at him …
  • Churchill was imprisoned with about a 100 British officers in the Staats Model School …
  • Churchill turned for help to Louis de Souza, the Transvaal secretary of state for war. Souza could not give Churchill freedom, though he befriended him in other ways …
  • He escapes, leaving behind a maddeningly arrogant note, addressed directly to Souza …
  • After striking out on his own, attempting to cross hundreds of miles of enemy territory without a map, a compass, weapon or food, Churchill stumbled upon the Transvaal and Delagoa Bay Colliery; taking a wild chance that he might find help, he forced himself to come out of hiding, …
  • By an incredible stroke of luck, Churchill knocked on the door of John Howard, the mine’s manager and one of the few Englishmen who had been allowed to remain in the Transvaal during the war; when Howard agreed to help him, Churchill would later write, “I felt like a drowning man pulled out of the water.”
  • After hiding Churchill in a rat-infested coal mine shaft, Howard finally found a way to secret him out of the country — burrowed deep inside the wool trucks of the mine’s storekeeper, Charles Burnham. Burnham not only agreed to let Churchill hid in his trucks, he rode with him all the way to Portuguese East Africa, bribing guards and inspectors along the way …
  • When Churchill finally arrived in Lorenco, Marques, the capital of Portuguese East Africa, he quickly made his way to the British consulate. Everyone was looking for him; the consulate did not recognize him; told him to go away…
  • As soon has escape was known, he became a national hero, greeted in Durban, the largest city in British-held Natal, by cheering throngs;
  • After delivering his speech in Durban, he returned to the exact location where the train had been attacked, derailed, and he escaped .. he spent Christmas Eve in a tent on the same railway cutting where he had been forced to surrender …
  • He saw the reward poster — upset that the “Dead or Alive” award was so low …
  • After he was free, he convinced Buller to give him a commission in the South African Light Horse, though it was against Brit rules for a journalist to become a soldier and vice versa; he was allowed both; paid by the newspaper but not paid by the military; he took part in several pivotal battles before returning to Pretoria, where he and his cousin, the 9th Duke of Marlborough, freed the jubilant men who had so recently been Churchill’s fellow prisoners…
  • Just six months after his escape, Churchill ran for Parliament for the second time. This time, to no one’s surprise, least of all his own, he won; owed it all to the South African War.

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Dante's Inferno; Robert Hollander And Jean Hollander, c. 2000

The Inferno
Translated by Jean Hollander; comments and editing by Robert Hollander & Jean Hollander's 
c. 2000
DDS: 851.1 DAN

The Princeton Dante Project.

From the introduction, page xvii, Robert Hollander & Jean Hollander's verse translation of Dante's The Inferno, c. 2000, DDS 851.1 DAN:

Dante seems completely aware of the radical newness of a lady loaded with such lofty theological meaning in the tradition of vernacular poetry of love
From wiki:
In Greco-Roman mythology, Aeneas (possibly derived from Greek αἰνή meaning "praised") was a Trojan hero, the son of the prince Anchises and the goddess Venus (Aphrodite)
His father was a first cousin of King Priam of Troy (both being grandsons of Ilus, founder of Troy), making Aeneas a second cousin to Priam's children (such as Hector and Paris).
He is a character in Greek mythology and is mentioned in Homer's Iliad.
Aeneas receives full treatment in Roman mythology, most extensively in Virgil's Aeneid where he is an ancestor of Romulus and Remus. He became the first true hero of Rome

17 pages; very, very good; lays out the story, background, etc
I will come back to this again

Inferno I
begins his story, "midway in the journey of our life" -- he found himself in a dark wood; he was lost. The nature of the wood has terrified him. He is so terrified, death is not much worse.
Does not know how he got to this state.
But then looked up a hill; saw a light; and, no longer afraid.
Turned to look back; noted no mortal being yet alive in the pass he had just traversed.

As he was climbing, met in succession, a leopard, a lion, and then a she-wolf.

In response, he turned and fled to a lower place.

Runs into a stranger, who says his parents were from Lombardy; Mantua was their homeland. Manuta is the capital of Lombardy, a province in the far north - central area of Italy (the Alps?).

He, the stranger, says he was born sub Julio (I assume under Julius Caesar), though late in his time; lived in Rome, under "good" Augustus, in an age of false and lying gods.

Augustus founded the Roman Empire; he was the adopted son of Julius Caesar.

The stranger says he was a poet. As a poet, he told (sung) the story of Anchises (father of Aeneas and a member of the royal family of Troy).

The stranger asks Dante why he is fleeing to a lower place, from the peak that gives delight, origin and the cause of every joy.

Aha! Dante asks the stranger, "Are you Virgil?" Wow!

Virgil: 70 - 19 BC. (Dante Aligheri: late Middle Ages, 1300 AD).

Dante tells Virgil that Virgil is his only teacher, only author.

Virgil tells Dante he must take a different path. The leopard, lion, she-wolf (may have been one, changelings) -- no one can defeat it except a hound that will come later. The hound will be the salvation of low-lying Italy, for which maiden Camilla, Euryalus, Turnus, and Nisus died of their wounds. -- line 106 - 108.

The hound will hunt the beast until the beast is sent back to Hell (whence primal envy set her loose).

Virgil says he will be Dante's guide to that other path, which will lead Dante from "here" to an eternal place where you shall hear despairing cries and see those ancient souls in pain as they bewail their second death.

Then you will see the ones who are content to burn because they hope to come among the blessed (think of the Urnfield culture).

Virgil says that at that point he will depart Dante but leave him with another guide, a "her." He, Virgil, can not go to the top of the mountain because Virgil was a rebel to that Emperor. Dante says he wants Virgil (and then the new guide) to take him to Saint Peter's gate. 

They then set out.

Then a 9-page discussion follows.

No more notes here. I will follow this in my private notes.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Rise Of The Rocket Girls, Nathalia Holt, c. 2016

Rise of the Rocket Girls: The Women Who Propelled US, From Missiles to the Moon to Mars.
Nathalia Holt
DD: 629.1 HOL

The story of "the human computers" at the Jet Propulsion Lab in Pasadena, CA. 

January 1958: Launch Day

Part I: 1940s
The women
  • Barby Canright
  • Macie Roberts
  • Barbara Lewis (later Paulson)
Part II: 1950s
The women
  • Barbara Lewis (later Paulson)  
  • Janez Lawson 
  • Helen Yee Chow (later Ling)
  • Susan Finley
Part III: 1960s
The women
  • Barbara Paulson
  • Helen Ling
  • Susan Finley
  • Sylvia Lundy (later Miller)
Part IV: 1970s - Today
The women
  • Barbara Paulson
  • Helen Ling
  • Susan Finley
  • Sylvia Miller
Epilogue -- the group below traveled to JPL for a "reunion" of sorts
  • Barbara Paulson
  • Joanie Jordan
  • Kathryn Thuleen
  • Georgia Dvornychenko
  • Virginia Anderson
  • Janet Davis
  • Helen Ling
  • taught her son BASIC and FORTRAN
  • Sue Finley
  • still working on DSN
  • NASA's longest-serving woman
  • Sylvia Miller
  • Victoria Wang
  • Margie Brunn
  • Caroline Norman
  • Lydia Shen
  • Linda Lee
  • Marie Crowley
  • Nancy Key
  • Sylvia Lundy (later Miller) 

  • the book is based mostly on first-person interviews conducted by the author, 2011 - 2015
  • where possible, events reported confirmed by archival material
Chapter 1: Launch Day
  • Begins in 1939
  • Suicide Squad: began with three young men. Out of Pasadena; tinkering with homemade rockets, while one or two were students at Caltech. Worked in the Guggenheim Aeronautical Laboratory.
  • Barby, incredibly bright, fitting in classes at Occidental College.
  • 1939: National Academy of Sciences awards a grant to the Suicide Squad, now known as the GALCIT (Guggenhiem Aeronautical Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology).
  • first year: $1,000
  • second year: $10,000
  • US government's first investment in rocket research
  • in deference to Army Air Corps, they changed their name to Air Corps Jet Propulsion Research Project
  • the group approached Richard and Barby Canright about being the mathematicians for the group
  • the group needed a place to work: Arroyo Seco -- a few miles outside Pasadena (1936)
  • avoided the word "rocket"
  • August, 1941
  • JATO: jet-assisted-take-off -- six little rockets on a prop plane
  • four months later a rocket-powered plane would be needed
  • as I read that I had the feeling this was as important as what the Wright Bros did at Kitty Hawk
  • December, 1941
  • Barby: thousands of computations -- thrust-to-weight calculations
  • it took just a year for the JPL rockets to boost the Doublas A-20A bomber into the air
  • Frank and von Karman set up a company: Aerojet
  • started experimenting with torpedoes but could not use that word; only the US Navy allowed to use that word
  • von Karman leaves in 1944 to launch the air force's Scientific Advisory Group
  • Frank took over
  • JATO tests in Muro, CA -- now Edwards AFB
  • the computers: four women and one man; their prized possession -- one Friden calculator
  • up to that time, only the slide ruler
  • rocket science and now they knew they had to concentrate on propellants
  • propellant (not fuel): fuel + oxidizer (an element that is able to accept an electron, like oxygen)
  • because there is no oxygen in space, rockets have to carry their own oxidizer
  • the calculation the engineers and computers most interested in: specific impulse -- the change in force that accumulates as a rocket uses fuel; specific impulse indicates roughly how much momentum builds up as the propellant is thrown out the back of the rocket; this calculation is the simplest way to compare the effectiveness of different propellants
  • Barbie and Macie (page 33)
  • Macie promoted as top computer; because of her, all future computers would be female
  • Pasadena Junior College
Chapter 2: Headed West
  • Helen Yee Ling Chow: Hawaiian teen-ager; Pearl Harbor; full scholarship, Univ of Notre Dame; only female to major in mathematics; her brother worked at JPL; learns about computers, knows that it would be a perfect fit for her sister
  • Barbara Lewis; another girl interested in math; Ohio; her mother goes out to CA at her request; felt at ease when interviewed by Macie
  • Susan Greene (m. Pete Finley), southern Californian; 5 years old in 1941; hired as a computer at Convair; was programming but that word was not used; commute was awful; thought of JPL just five minutes from home; married, pregnant, first baby died at two days of age

Part II


Barbara Lewis (later Paulson)
Janez Lawson
Helen Yee Chow (later Ling)
Susan Finley

Chapter 3: Rockets Rising

1955: JPL, after 10 years, sending the Corporal missile from JPL area to the White Sands Proving Ground in southern New Mexico, just 60 miles north of Mexican border.

Corporal: project had begun in the lat 1940s; a guided-missile system; unlike anything JPL had attempted; Army wanted this; Barbara's first project at JPL

First Corporal rocket, October, 1945, edge of space; the highest a rocket had ever flown; known as the WAC Corporal; WAC: without altitude control since it had no guidance system, and also for Women's Army Corps since it was smaller than other missiles given military-sounding names

Using very dangerous liquid propellants

Liquid propellants let to engines shaking, exploding, unpredictable

Barbara was 19 years old at the time

Thrust provided by mixture of aniline and nitric acid; Barbara did all the calculations; it took a full day of calculating for one trajectory

These were hypergolic propellants: a combination of fuel and oxidant that would ignite on contact; same propellant class that launched Apollo

The little sister, WAC Corporal was particularly interesting to Barbara because it was being launched as a two-stage rocket; the slim American rocket would sit atop the Nazi V-2; the V-2 could target a city more than 200 miles away

The idea of combining the power of the V-2 with the high-flying WAC Corporal was ingenious; the combination, they called the Bumper WAC

Pencil, paper, slide rule and Friden calculator; the Friden could not calculate logarithms (wow) so she had to manually use a text

While they worked out the little sister, Corporal was launched, spring, 1947; first test of a large missile; considered first all-American; everyone was surprised when it soared to 129,000 feet before reaching its target 60 miles away

A description of the sex-crazed male engineers

A description of the all-women computers hired / led by Macie

January, 1949: needed to find new testing location; missiles falling into Mexico

Cocoa Beach, FL; the range eventually became part of the Space Coast; rural Brevard County

Close to the equator, rockets got a boost from the rotational speed of Earth; more powerful at equator than anywhere else;

January, 1949: little sister -- reached 242 miles above Earth; greatest velocity and highest altitude any man-made object had ever achieved

Page 73: Operation Paperclip mentioned

1955: US deported a Chinese engineer working at JPL; he was one of the founders of JPL; spying never substantiated; became the Father of Chinese Rocketry

Foreshadowing: Frank, founder of JPL will have to watch from afar (not sure what that last paragraph is saying; Barbara Lewis will become a beauty queen

Chapter 4: Miss Guided Missile

JPL's Miss Guided Missile Contest
between 1950 and 1953, JPL budget, from $5 million to $11 million

Macie looking for as many qualified women as she could find

Janez Lawson: chemical engineering, UCLA; most popular girl in her class but also the lone girl in many of her classes (chemistry and math)

Macie's ad: did not require advanced experience or degrees: Janez saw this as code for a position open to women; this would be a secret back door to getting a job as an engineer, at the time closed to women

How interesting: late in the story we learn she was African-American -- a huge obstacle. Her father had been the first African-American city council member of Santa Monica

New contractor to manufacture and test the rockets: Firestone Tire and Rubber Company

Quality control a huge problem

JPL continued to work on Corporal, but now moving on to Sergeant: more sophisticated guidance system

The Sergeant: the solution seems to rest in a forgotten WW II engineering marvel, page 84

Monday, October 31, 2016

Roanoke Island: Solving The Mystery Of The Lost Colony Roanoke, Lee Miller, c. 2000

Solving The Mystery of the Lost Colony Roanake
Lee Miller
c. 2000

I have this book in storage. I assume I have read it but I don't recall it. I found it again in the library. I am ready to read it again.

  • three mysteries in one
  • evidence indicates that the truth about the colonists' fate was known, although misleading statements were passed off in its place
  • the story as it is generally told:
    • Sir Walter Raleigh obtained a royal patent from Queen Elizabeth I for rights to settle North America
    • spring of 1584: SWR launches an exploratory expedition; discover Roanake Island; return that autumn
    • 1585: military expedition financed by SWR; a fort is built; soldiers remain there until spring of 1586
    • 1587: SWR sends a colony of men, women, and children to Chesapeake Bay; to visit Roanoke Island in passing
    • governor: John White
    • for some reason, John White lands at Roanoke Island and remains; does not go to Chesapeake Bay as instructed; colony move into the abandoned fort
    • short of supplies, Governor John White returns to England with the transport ships
    • his return coincides with the coming of the Spanish Armada
    • due to that war, Governor John White unable to relieve the colonists until 1590
    • when he does return; the colonists have vanished
    • conclusion: colonists murdered by the Powhatan Indians of Virginia
  • loss of 116 people
  • the author doesn't believe the story as told
  • the story of the Lost Colony is America's oldest mystery story
  • the single most important question according to the author: why were the colonists left at Roanoke Island? It will be interesting to see why that is so important a question: the fort was already there; the colonists were exhausted after the long trip; would Chesapeake be any better?
A side note: this was all happening during the height of Shakespeare's theater career; the real Shakespeare (Sir Henry Neville) was investing, and may have invested in this adventure.

A side note: it would be interesting to see Nathaniel Philbrick weigh in on this mystery.

Roanoke Island: a wisp of an island; too remote for us to have visited when we lived on Langley AFB, Hampton Roads, Virginia (to the north) or many years later when we lived in Summerville/Charleston, South Caroline (to the south).

The island is off the coast of North Carolina. It is near the North Carolina - Virginia state line.

There is an incredibly long natural sea barrier to the east of Roanoke Island: Croatoan Peninsula.

The nearest bay -- a huge bay -- to Roanoke Island is fed by the Chowan River which has headwaters in Virginia, all the way up to the land of the Powahatan, on west side of the bay from Jamestown, Virginia. 

Part One: A Case of Missing Persons

Chapter 1: The Disappearance
  • July 1587: the chapter opens with 117 people. 116 people are lost according to the preface. I assume the missing person was Governor John White
  • first English colonists in America
  • according to the author, John White was well-versed in this part of America, and knew the colonists could not have survived on Roanoke Island (but he was going to return with supplies, wasn't he? and then move on up to Chesapeake Bay?)
  • first English child born in America: Virginia Dane to John White's daughter Eleanor and her husband
  • Ananias Dane
  • that was 1587; due to English war with Spain (Spanish Armada), John White did not return until 1590, three years later
  • autumn of 1590: John White lets SWR know about the lost colonists
  • 1593: John White composes letter to geographer and historian Richard Hakluyt with his side of the story; appears to be a farewell letter; after the letter, John White vanishes
  • 1600: the letter is finally published, seven years after it was written; ten years after SWR knew
Then the letter than John White wrote in 1593 about events starting in 1590 when he returned to Roanoke Island (page 5)
three ships and two little shallops which sink; replaced en route; the three ships:
  • Hopewell, flagship, Captain Abraham Cocke
  • Little John, Captain Christopher Newport
  • John Evangelist, the consort (a ship of any size that accompanies another vessel)
  • "chartered" by Master John Watts, known by the Spaniards as the greatest pirate on the high seas
  • John White is frantic; in 1588, the Spaniards came close to locating Brits (the Roanoke Colony) but never found them; White knows it's a race between John Watts pirate ships and the Spaniards, but the British pirates are in no hurry to leave the Caribbean, plundering
  • the Spaniards getting closer to learning about Roanoke; now the hurricane season 
Finally, up to North Carolina, first the southern banks, then the NE end of Croatan Island (August 10, 1590)
  • August 15, 1590: reach Hatorask Island (Hatteras); ahead lies Port Ferdinando; a break in the barrier island chain; through the break, in the distance, John White glimpses Roanoke Island; [Kitty Hawk in this very area; on Croatan barrier island, just a bit northeast of Roanoke Island]; his daughter Virginia wold be 3 years old; but John White was 3 years later in returning; a ship overturns; drownings; pirates don't want to try to get to Roanoke again; 
  • August 18, 1590: finally reach Roanoke -- nothing (p. 12)
  • White finds CRO carved into a tree (White had told colonists to use this cryptic ticker)
  • CRO but no sign of the maltese cross: his symbol for distress; no indication of distress at time CRO was carved
  • then sees CROATAN carved on a tree
  • finds his buried chest; but nothing more
  • pirates don't dare try to land at Croatan
  • White convinces one ship, the Hopewell, to winter over at Trinidad, and then next summer return to Croatan before returning to England (pirates probably figure a winter of plunder)
  • August 28, 1590: hurricane
  • White loses; Hopewell heads home; arrives at Azores
that was the letter; John White says that was his fifth and last voyage to America; and then disappears; letter dated February 4, 1593 (three years after his return) -- p. 18 


John Watts.

In Volume 2  of Memorials of Affairs of State in the Reigns of Q. Elizabeth and K. James I, two letters next to each other:
  • the first letter, dated August 13, 1605, from The Lords of the Privy Council to Mr Winwood, written on behalf of Sir John Watts, Alderman of the city of London, with regard to some "suit." 
  • the next letter, dated August 19, 1604, is from Sir Henry Neville to Mr Winwood, in which the treaties between France and Scotland have apparently just been signed is note by Sir Henry Neville.
Shakespeare lodged at Mountjoy from 1602 - 1604, and then near the end of his life, left London in 1611.

The Tempest – his last substantial play, 1610 or 1611.

References the famous shipwreck of the Sea-Venture, 1609, on way to Jamestown (second London Virginia Company) – wrecked on Bermuda – manuscript event circulated among the council (Neville was a member) but it was not published for general/wide release until 1625.

Chapter 2: A Case of Missing Persons
  • the author wonders if some crime has been/had been committed which was the reason Governor John White hastily left his colony --
Chapter 3: John White, Governor
  • the author will now explore the background of John White
  • nothing is known about John White: that alone is very, very weird -- he was the governor and nothing is known about him
John White: artist
  • first Roanoke expedition as an artist: 1584
  • second Roanoke expedition to accompany 15 soldiers to set up camp; again, as an artist: 1585
  • third Roanoke expedition: 1857; this time as Governor of the City of Raleigh in Virginia (not Roanoke, note); when they arrive, find dead soldier, George Howe (Secotan arrow); Mateo, a native to Croatoan Island accompanies the third voyage, back to his home; three ships: Ferdinando/Fernandez, master of "our Admiral (page 64), the Lion; a pinnace (Captain Edward Stafford); and, a flyboat (Captain Edward Spicer), captained by Captain Spicer; the flyboat and Spicer abandoned in the Bay of Portugal but later makes it to Roanoke (August 25 -- page 73); White and colonists had arrived at Roanoke on July 22; first to Caribbean before up to Roanoke; first stop, Santa Cruz in the Virgin Islands, reached it June 22 after a month at see (page 64); see page 63 for boats, captains; August 22 decision to return to England; depart August 27 on the Lion and the flyboat (see pate 76); September: John White and Edward Spicer get back to Ireland; Hakluyt (page 78) historian reports that Roanoke is a tremendous success;
  • 1590: fourth expedition to Roanoke; to find out what happened to the colonists; Captain Edward Spicer on this voyage also, but will die on beach at Hatorask; death observed by John White
Part Two: A Case of Murder

Author argues there was murder or sabotage. Suspects:
  • John White himself
  • James  Lasie and John Wright; were on second voyage, 1585; fateful winter of 1585 - 1586; author rules these two out; John Wright later subscribed to the Jamestown venture some years later
  • Darby Glande (p. 62): unlikely
  • Denice Carrell (Irishman) and Darby Glande (aka Darbie Glaven; David Glavid): left behind in Puerto Rico; Carrell never heard of again; Glande ends up reporting to Puerto Rico governor de Valdes (p. 67): Glande tips off Valdes that English are on their way to Roanoke (Jacan); Glande had been captured twice; escaped; escape seems suspicious; set up by third party; author says Glande never returned to Roanoke, so is not the suspect
  • Alanson: a friend of the Lion's captain (Fernandez)
  • Fernandez: in the midst of everything; it looks like he sabotaged the colonists in 1587; it turns out that he was also the captain on the second voyage, the voyage in 1585 that took the military soldiers to Roanoake.
The author says we need to go back to the second voyage; back to 1585 - 1586 to find out more about that expedition and more about Fernandez. First thing I want to know is why is a Spanish-surnamed sailor in charge when the English and Spanish are at war (Spanish Armada, 1587; delayed White from returning to Roanoke for three years); what was Sir Walter Raleigh's involvement; what did he know; when did he know it?

 Chapter 10: the second Roanoke expedition: Grenville and the Secotan (1585) -- this is the expedition to set up a military outpost at Roanoke to thwart the Spanish
  • 1585
  • Manteo and Wanchese, SWR's Indian guests, brought over from the first Roanoke expedition in 1584, join in New Year's (1585) celebrations
  • Spain is gearing for war; they've taken the Low Countries (Netherlands)
  • Raleigh is knighted, January 6 (Twelfth Night) as a reward for annexing the land of Virginia for the Queen
  • Raleigh's plan is to thwart the Spanish by building a secret military base at Roanoke; Spain cannot fight England without a steady stream of gold from America
  • Money welds Spain together; disrupt its supply and Spain's military will grind to a halt
  • Again, the riches of the West Indies -- think Alexander Hamilton
  • Raleigh assembles 13 ships -- page 81; Raleigh is assigned the warship the Tigeri
  • Captain Ralph Lane is recalled to service from Kerry, Ireland; will play a role in the Lost Colony -- page 82
  • April 9, 1585: ships assembled at Plymouth; SWR's cousin Richard Grenville is the commanding officer; second-in-command, High Marshl, Thomas Cavendish; Ralph Lane ranks 3rd (Irish ferociousness), sails as Lieutenant; Vice-Admiral of the fleet is Captain Philip Amadas (from Plymouth) -- he led the first expedition to Roanoke in 1584; Simon Fernandez, Pilot Major, is third officer on the maritime side.
  • The specialists on board (1585, military expedition): John White, artist; Thomas Hariot, scientist and SWR's tutor; Joachim Ganz, a mineral man from Prague; and Manteo and Wanchese are returning home
Spanish embargo on English shipping, May 1585

Queen Elizabeth grants hundreds of letters allowing privateering (piracy).

English syndicates make money, hand over fist. Huge, huge windfall; plundering as pirates.

The big thing: sugar!

Raleigh's naval fleet underway; difficult beginning. Grenville and Ralph Lane have a falling out with each other. Grenville is both Admiral and General on this expedition. -- page 85

June 23: along the Carolina coast; having departed on/about May 23.

Page 86: the Tiger runs aground on the outer banks. From here on, all ensuing events evolve from this disaster. Lane is furious; he says Grenville blamed Fernandez. Stores destroyed by salt water; too late for planting season.

I just noticed: north half of Roanoke Island named Manteo; southern half of Roanoke Island named Wanchese -- wow.

Inland expedition; deep in Secotan territory.

Hariot scrutinizes corn, unknown in England -- page 92.

Military turns on Grenville; the fleet sets sail. Ralph Lane remains at Roanoke, along with 107 men, less than a third of the entire contingent.

Two men returning with Grenville have secret letters (from Ralph Lane, others) about how awful Grenville is. "Ralph Lane's actions, more than any link in the chain of events forged thus far, will directly seal the fate of the Lost Colonists." -- page 96. Lane's tenure on Roanoke was a downhill spiral ending in enormous tragedy. The author says that to discover what happened at Roanoke we must enter the world of a madman.

Chapter 11: The Second Roanoke Expedition: Lane's Command (1585 - 1586) -- so Ralph Lane is left behind in command of a small contingent of British army personnel on Roanoke.

Lane's Fort, July 29, 1585:

Lane has been told he will get no food/help from the Secotan. The Secotan tell him he can stay at Roanoke but he won't get any help. Lane is a fool. He is adamant about staying. It is obvious they will all starve.

August 17, 1585: the fort is completed; Lane assumes command -- he is Governor and General. Philip Amadas, an admiral will be second-in-command. Two other officers identified: Edward Stafford and John Vaughan.

Remember, Lane was from Ireland.

Granganimeo is the leader of the Indians at their palisaded town of Roanoke. His brother, Wingina, "King of the entire Secotan country" moved to Lane's Fort.

Lane assigns Amadas to get information on natives:
  • the Weapemeoc confederacy, led by Okisko, is comprised of four small nations: the Yeopim proper, the Perquiman, the Pasquotank, and the Poteskeet, allied to the Secotan
  • West of the Weapemeoc Confederacy: the Chowanoc, also a member of the alliance.

Soldiers try to convert Indians; the Secotan are shocked, reeling. To convert would destroy their whole way of life.

Autumn, 1585: Secotan begin to die. English microbes start to wipe out the Secotan. Relations deteriorate.

Meanwhile: Grenville has returned home; great fanfare in London. Incredibly huge booty from America brought back in the ships.

But now Spain is preparing to invade England. England abandons Roanoke; too small to make a difference. Winter sets in at Roanoke. Things will not go well. Lane is unaware that he has been abandoned. Secotan "rich" with copper. Ultimately, Lane's obsession with copper will destroy the Lost Colonists.

Chapter 12: Chauni Temoatan and a Murder (1586)

Ralph Lane and military on Roanoke; not doing well
Amadas explores Weapemeoc country; returns
Hariot explores mainland farther in; likes it; Lane wants more information
explorers find evidence of natives able to use copper
White's map identifies name not seen before: Mangoak
Mangoak will be intimately associated with the Lost Colonists; we need to know more about them

Illness kills many Indians, including Wingina and Granganimeo; Wingina recovers; his brother does not; Wingina changes his name to Pemisapan

Lane blames Pemisapan for his problems with Menatonon on the Chowan River in Chowanoc -- it's a lie.

Pemisapan was closely allied with both the Weapemeoc and Chowanoc; could have defeated the Secotan.

Lane still wants to find the copper mines.

Lane has created problems for future colonists by what he did to the Secotan and other native Americans.

After 10 months at Roanoke, he finally departs when Drake drops off supplies.

Part Three: A Case Of Conspiracy

Chapter 13: The Lost Colonists (1587)

After Lane's hurried departure, Raleigh's long-awaited supply ship shows up; finds no men. Two weeks later, another ship under Grenville's commander arrives. Finds no one but leaves 15 soldies in charge of the fort at Roanoke.

July, 1587:

The 15 soldiers are gone.

White is in charge. Twenty colonists are ferried to Croatoan by Captain Stafford, Lane's former officer, along with Manteo.

This book has become impossible to read. Chronology is impossible to follow.

At end of chapter, author suggests that the colonists were collateral damage. The real target was someone else. He implies the real target was Sir Walter Raleigh. Someone wanted to see him fail.

Chapter 14: Raleigh's Rise To Power Page 135

Raleigh born in 1552

Chapter 15: Political Turmoil

Such an incredibly confusing book. Now the author goes back to "political turmoil" starting in 1569.

Chapter 16:  The Players

The author suggests these suspects who may have wanted to removed Sir Walter Raleigh from the court: Leicester, hatton, Burghley, Walsingham, possibly aided by the Earl of Essex. Who stood the most to gain with the removal of SWR?

Chapter 17: The Motive

Raleigh has become Walsingham's worst enemy.

Chapter 18: The Game

Rastell's Conspiracy: "A similar crime had been committed before. Fernandez's stalling; his betrayal of John White (an artist); his claim that the summer was too far spent; his mutiny: very neatly done, but hardly original. Surely Walsingham, as Secretary of State, had access to the records and knew it had happened before. It was an easy matter to replicate John Rastell's voyage of 1517."

Chapter 19: The Fall

Begins with John White's return.

Part Four: Who Are The Mandoag?

Chapter 20: Raleigh's Search

Five years after banishment, SRW returns to the Queen's court in 1597.

Chapter 21: Jamestown

Chapter 22: War on the Powhatan

Chapter 23: Requiem

Chapter 24: Deep In The Interior

Chapter 25: Who Are The Mandoag? START WITH PAGE 251!

Chapter 26: Epilogue

Friday, October 28, 2016

The Race Underground, Doug Most, c. 2014

The Race Underground: Boston, New York, and the Incredible Rivalry That Built America's First Subway, Doug Most, c. 2014

It may be best to read the Epilogue, the Acknowledgments, and the Author's Notes first before reading the book itself. I started to read the book but it did not catch my attention. I had no feeling for where the author was taking me or how he was going to get me there.

After reading the Epilogue, Acknowledgments, and Author's Notes, I had my bearings, and felt comfortable to begin reading the book.

Some quick takeaways: the London subway initially failed because they used steam engines underground, which made no sense. It was the relationship between the electric sector (think Edison) and the tunneling engineers that made the difference, and the success of the Boston and the NYC subways.

Some quick facts:
  • Boston won the race: 6:00 a.m. September 1, 1897, the subway opened to its first passengers
  • NYC: in the evening, 7:00 p.m., October 27, 1904, seven years later, NYC opens its first subway to passengers
  • within two days in Boston, the "novelty was over"
  • no neighborhood was more excited about the subway than Harlem
  • a rallying cry for a NYC subway was "fifteen minutes to Harlem"; that helped keep the dream alive
  • the blizzard of 1888 was perhaps the turning point in getting the NYC project going
  • Abram Hewitt's vision for the NYC, used the blizzard of 1888 to spur the project; came up with the idea for the city pay for and own the subway system but hire a private business to build and run it; Hewitt died a year before the subway opened
  • if one man deserves more credit than he's received for the birth of the subway, it's Frank J. Sprague, died 1934; he saw the greatest flaw (steam engines) in London's Underground which had opened 30 years before Boston/NYC decided to replicate it -- the delay was because steam did not work; Sprague, an employee of Edison's, figured it out; Sprague and Edison in huge public battle over share of glory; Edison won, Sprague lost
  • Fred Pearson, the Tufts prodigy, died aboard the Lusitania; Pearson owed much of his engineering legacy to the Whitney brothers
  • while living in Boston area for four years and traveling to Provincetown, Cape Cod, numerous times, I was never aware of the importance of the Cape Cod Canal, not built until 1913; "short-cut" from NYC to Boston; without it, ships had to sail clear around Cape Cod 
  • William Barclay Parsons: key engineer for both the NYC subway and the Cape Cod Canal
  • Parsons had a small firm; it became a behemoth which thrives to this day: Parsons Brinckerhoff -- also responsible for the infamous Big Dig in Boston
  • Parsons Brinckerhoff now responsible for the Second Avenue subway now under construction in NYC; the most complex, one of the most expensive public projects the city has ever undertaken; two 22-foot-wide tunnels, 80 feet below the surface; tunneling through solid rock
  • number of pages devoted to the Boston subway pale in comparison to the number of pages written on the NYC subway
  • Boston's subway was America's first, but it has been largely ignored by historians and authors
  • the Whitney brothers have also been treated unequally

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The White Road, Edmund de Waal, c. 2015

The White Road: Journey Into An Obsession
Edmund de Waal
c. 2015

What is this thing of whiteness? -- Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

Prologue: Jingdezhen -- Venice -- Dublin
  • the city of porcelain: Jingdezhen in Jiangxi Province, the fabled Ur, where it all began
  • author says he's been making white pots for 40+ years; porcelain for 25 years
  • his plan is to visit three white hills where porcelain was invented: in China, Germany, and England
  • he wants to see how "white" looks different in different places, different times
  • author's porcelain comes from Limoges in the Limousin region of France
  • author's studio: Tulse Hill, just off the South Circular road in South London
  • porcelain has been made for 1,000 years; traded for 1,000 years. In Europe for 800 years
  • porcelain is a synonym for far away
  • Marco Polo. A city called Tinju. Porcelain. His was the first mention of porcelain in the west
  • Latin, porcellani, or little pigs, is the nickname for cowrie shells... which feel as smooth as porcelain
  • he was 17 years old when he touched porcelain clay for the first time. Author left school early
    to start a two-year apprenticeship with Geoffrey (in his sixties)
  • the Gaignieres-Fonthill vase -- page 14; 14th century Chinese vase; now in the National Museum of Ireland, Decorative Arts and History
  • saggar: the container of rough clay that protects porcelain from the smoke and flames of the kiln duri the firing
  • mentions his last book, on netsuke
  • a trembleuse, a chocolatier, a girandole -- page 17
  • mentions Meissen, around the 1780s
  • Schlagsahne, page 18, coating of cream
  • mentions Moby-Dick, "so I know the dangers of white"
Part One
Chapter One: On Shards
  • shards and saggars
  • a mountain of shards
  • one of hundreds of such hills in this area; not a major kiln site; unimportant and undocumented
  • looks across a wide river that flows through the city on its way to the Yangtze
Chapter Two: Sorry
  • bonfire: will make a pot, but it will crumble in one's hands
  • 1,000 degrees Celsius: earthenware -- first kind of potter, but porous; with glaze, could hold water
  • 1,200 degrees Celsius: stoneware -- ring when you tap them; not translucent; needs to be glazed, also
  • > 1,300 degree Celsius: porcelain; far smoother; and there is no such thing as porcelain clay
  • porcelain is made of two kinds of mineral
  • first element: petunse, aka porcelain stone: provides translucency, hardness -- the body
  • second element: kaolin or porcelain clay -- the bones; gives plasticity;
  • petunse and kaolin fue at great heat to create a form of glass that is vitrified (one of the author's favorite words) -- at a molecular level the spaces are filled up with glass, making the vessel non-porous
  • again, the analogy, flesh supported by bones; petunse supported by kaolin
  • apparently Chinese petunse is not the answer; it requires Chinese kaolin; kaolin in England with Chinese petunse did not work, page 29
  • different mixtures
  • 50:50 petunse:kaolin -- hottest part of kilns; lower kaolin pots in cooler parts of the kiln
  • it is possible to make porcelain with small amounts of other minerals added to the petunse, but at the end of the day, it appears it's all about Chinese petunse and Chinese kaolin
  • easy to find petunse; have been mining it since the Sung dynasty
  • best petunse: black markings
  • kaolin: white; sprinkled with mica that glitters; harder to find; the best with blue-black seams and spot like grains of sugar; faint traces of quartz and mica would need to be washed out
  • kaolin takes its name from "Koa-ling, or High Ridge
  • known to outsiders since the 18th century
  • petunse: "little white brick" in Chinese; shorter and fatter than European house brick; about 2 kg each
NOTE: Song dynasty, Wade-Giles romanization Sung, (960–1279), Chinese dynasty that ruled the country during one of its most brilliant cultural epochs. It is commonly divided into Bei (Northern) and Nan (Southern) Song periods, as the dynasty ruled only in South China after 1127.

Chapter Three: Mount Kao-ling
  • kaolin mines
  • Mount Kao-ling, the author's "First White Hill"
  • less work required to cleanse than petunse
  • both pounded with hammers; powder - watery slurry
  • I believe the author is in the city of Jingdezhen -- on the river where the kaolin/putense/porcelain was shipped to the Yangtze
  • 23 distinct categories to the creation of porcelain
    • six categories of decorator
    • three of specialist in packing kilns
    • three each for firing kilns, mould-makers, carpenters for crates, basketmakers, ashmen for clearning away the residue after a kiln-firing, compounders for clay and grinders for oxides, experts in how to place pots inside saggars, others to place them inside a kiln, men to carry them out
  • this is just the "visible" part of the army needed; many, many poor invisible people involved
  • on page 38, it looks like there are errors in formatting -- misplaces the quotes and the indentation of of quotes from Pere d'Entrecolles
  • yes, in the city of Jingdezhen -- on the river Huang, the tributary that runs into the Yangtze
  • eager to learn how they use cobalt
Chapter Four: Making and Decorating and Glazing and Firing


The Hare With Amber Eyes, Edmund De Wall, c. 2010

Background: in 1991, the author was given a two-year scholarship by a Japanese foundation to give seven young English people with diverse professional interests a grounding in the Japanese language: one year at university; one year in Tokyo.

The author is said to be the #1 ceramicist in England. His Uncle Iggie was 84 at the time, and living in Tokyo.

Wow, early on in the book, p. 5, the word "vitrine." Had I not visited the Dallas Museum of Art recently, I would not have understood the depth or "real" meaning of "vitrine."

Shortly after the author returns to England, his Uncle Iggie, who had the collection of 264 netsuke dies.

The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Family's Century of Art and Loss
 Edmund de Waal, 
c. 2010

Two editions: one at the library; my personal copy, the "illustrated edition"
page numbers (lower page numbers: library edition; high page numbers: my illustrated edition)

  • author left school  early at 17 to become apprenticed to English potter Bernard Leach
  • shelves of books on Japanese pots
  • author spent one summer in Japan when he was a teenage apprentice
  • returned to England (Wales) and worked as a solitary potter for seven years (~ 18 to ~ 25 years of age)
  • now he was back in England; 2-yr scholarship; he was 28 years old
  • Japanese potters: writing impassioned letters about Blake, Whitman, Ruskin
  • Leach liked Rodin
  • Japonisme: the way in which the West has passionately and creatively misunderstood Japan for more than a hundred years
  • spent one after afternoon a week with his Uncle Iggie; he was 84 years old at the time
  • Senkaku-ji temple where the 47 samurai are buried
  • Prince Takamatsu's (young bro of Emperor Hirohito) garden with the pines
  • Uncle Iggie's favorite authors: Elmore Leonard or John Le Carre; or memoirs in French (explains the Proust quote at the beginning of the book)
  • Uncle Iggie's cold white wine: Sancerre or Pouilly Fume
  • place a cup of water in the vitrine to keep ivory from splitting
  • quote: "I liked the way that repetition wears things smooth, and there was something of the river stone to Iggie's stories."
  • Uncle Iggie dies; once his partner Jiro dies, the 265 netsuke will be given to the author, Edmund
  • origin of the netsuke: bought in late 1800's by author's great-grandfather's cousin Charles (lived in Odessa); bought the netsuke in Paris (remember Monet; in love with everything Japanese); later gave them to his cousin, author's great-grandfather Viktor as a wedding present ~ 1900, probably in  Vienna; great-grandfather of author was Viktor von Ephrussi; netsuke: bought in Paris, then to Vienna, then to Tokyo; now in London
  • the netsuke's first home: Charle's study overlooking the rue de Monceau in the Hotel Ephrussi
  • Charles' older brother had monstrous chalet overlooking Lake Lucerne were extended family from Paris, Vienna, and Berlin would hold family reunions, generally in the summer
  • this generation: Jules, Charles, Ignace were all Russian citizens
  • medlar; page 16, illus edition
Part One: Paris 1871 - 1899

1. Le West End
  • Rue de Monceau; art district; Jewish district
  • Hotel Ephrussi, 81 rue de Monceau: family house in Paris; also Parisian business headquarters; 8th arrondissment; Charles arrived in 1871; Monceau known as "Le West End"
  • Palais Ephrussi on the Ringstrasse: Viennese business headquarters
  • both built in 1871
  • Franco-Prussian War: 1870
  • Paris Commune: 1871
  • "doing a Rothschild": the Ephrussis were "deploying" family families throughout Europe to build a dynasty; six children from two brothers
  • all six children to be deployed as financiers or married into suitable Jewish dynasties (p. 29)
  • Odessa: where it began: in the Pale of Settlement; the area on the western borders of imperial Russia where Jews were allowed to live
  • by 1860: Ephrussis had become the greatest grain-exporters in the world
  • Odessa grain: down the west shoreline of the Black Sea; to the mouth of the Danube River; to Bucharest, Romania; Belgrade, Serbia; Budapest, Hungary; Vienna; southern Germany to Alps just north of Swiss border, almost to France; near Zurich
  • 1857: two elder sons were sent from Odessa to Vienna, capital city of sprawling Hapsburg Empire
  • one of the sons: author's great-great-grandfather Charles -- tasked with handling Ephrussi business in Austro-Hungarian Empire; in 1871, Charles would go to Paris
  • flaneurial pace (page 34)
  • Caillebotte, page 35 in my edition; page 29 in library edition; Le Pont de l'Europe
  • Charles: first ten years 
  • of his life in Odessa
  • then moves to Vienna for next ten years; both families lived in same house in Vienna; two sets of siblings, cousins
  • Charles with long-planned move to Paris
2. Un Lit De Parade
  • now one year in Paris; starts collecting, but not netsuke
  • buys a ridiculously huge Renaissance bed, a lit de parade
  • first collection is totally conventional
3. 'A Mahout to Guide Her'
  • not yet time for netsuke
  • it is in the salons that Charles is first noted; noted by novelist, diarist, collector Edmond de Goncourt in his journal
  • three principal salons visited by Charles:
    • Madame Straus (widow of Bizet)
    • Countess Greffulhe
    • Madame Madeleine Lemaire: rarefied painter of watercolors
  • Mme Lemaire's Thursday salon: mentioned in an early essay of the young Marcel Proust
  • you could not get across rue de Monceau on Thursdays
  • journalist de Goncourt writes about Charles; a regular casanova
  • gratin: the upper crust of the aristocracy
  • Princess Mathilde, the niece of Bonaparte; found Charles to be her "mahout to guide her through her life" (page 48)
  • Gazette des Beaux-Arts: important periodical
  • no netsuke yet, but starting to buy lacquer Japanese boxes form Philippe Sichel
4. 'So Light, So Soft to the Touch'
  • Charles lover: Louise Cahen d'Anvers; wife/mother of five children
  • de Goncourt records Charles and Louise where he sees them
  • Charles and Louise buy Japanese black-and-gold lacquer boxes together; they start their love-affair with Japan 
  • they buy their first boxes from the house of Philippe Sichel
  • since 1859, art from Yokohama arriving in Paris; becomes a flood by early 1870s
  • a few young Japanese men start to be seen in Paris
  • Japonese art was ubiquitous: Japonaiseries
  • earlier collectors: Japonistes
  • Charles and Louise: neo-Japonistes
  • Japanese art; Monet, Mme Monet in a Japanese Dress (La Japoaise)
  • Charles mentions the term Japonisme 'coined by my friend Philippe Burty' -- author thinks that's the first time that word is used in print
  • Charles is very, very excited about lacquer boxes in writing that essay
  • Pissarro and Monet mentioned together: page 64
  • the Trocadero exhibition
5. A Box of Children's Sweets
  • Philippe Sichel
  • arrived in Japan in 1874; lacquer boxes
  • "Japan was that box of sweets"
  • "Japanese things carried an air of eroticised possibility"
  • "And the Japanese could do erotica."
  • hunted out by Degas and Manet
  • "Vitrines had become essential to the witty and flirtatious intermittencies of salon life." -- page 61 in library edition; page 72 in my edition
6. A Fox with Inlaid Eyes, in Wood
  • Charles buys 264 netsuke; a complete collection from Sichel
  • figures and animals and erotica
  • Charles bought a black vitrine to put them in; in their first resting place in this history
  • vitrines: glass display cases; intrigue the author; page 77
  • trop de verre: too much glass
  • again, the word vitrine(s) pops up
7. The Yellow Armchair
  • Albert Durer et ses dessings: Charles Ephrussi first "proper" book
  • Laforgue: worked for Charles; author found this through a footnote in a book on Manet
  • Charles: recently appointed editor fo the Gazette (wow)
  • Jules Laforgue started work for Charles on July 14, 1881; one summer; one summer of Impressionism; Monet
  • Charles explored a new poetic language: "guitare" -- a new kind of prose-poem
  • "the yellow armchair, the red lips and blue jersey of Renoir's girl" -- page 83
  • Charles very fond of Laforgue; able to get him a job in Berlin as a reader of French to the Empress
  • Charles/Laforgue: 30 letters from Laforgue; published; poet's early death from TB
8. Monsieur Elstir's Asparagus
  • author is still in Charle's salon at Hotel Ephrussi in Paris
  • Charles passion: search for Durer's lost drawings
  • mondain: worldly
  • Charles new word to describe himself: vagabonding
  • as editor of the Gazette, championed Degas
  • first pictures in the Gazette were by Berthe Morisot
  • in three years, bought forty Impressionist works, and twenty more for his Bernstein cousins in Berlin: Moristo, Cassatt, Degas, Manet, Monet, Sisley, Pissarro, and Renoir
  • Charles created one of the great early collections of the Impressionists
  • he was promoting the Impressionists at the time when the critics were still against them
  • encouraged Madame Straus to purchase one of Monet's Nympheas
  • talked with Renoir at length; with Whistler
  • Proust said that many half-completed paintings were completed because of Charles' encouragement
  • Charles also bought "a spectacular painting by Monet of bathers, Les Bains de la Grenouillere
  • "shimmering new style of painting"
  • wow, wow, wow: the description of Renoir's painting, the Luncheon of the Boating Party is a must read; pp 94 - 95
9. Even Ephrussi Fell For It
  • much about artist Gustave Moreau
  • Renoir: anti-semitic -- p. 101
  • mentions Belle Epoque buildings in Paris; Paul Baudry; his work reviled by the Impressionists; folks liked Baudry's nudes; they still do
  • author wonders about visiting all the places where Charles' paintings now hang; wow, Charles had some incredibly paintings -- p. 102
  • the single asparagus painting by Manet: now in the Musee d'Orsay
  • group went to the Louvre every Saturday
  • Charles was becoming a public figure; 1879: become proprietor of the Gazette; helped raise money for the Louvre to purchase a Botticelli; organized exhibitions; awarded the French Legion of Honor
  • Proust: a neophyte if not yet quite a friend; visited frequently; new word, empyrean, page 105
  • Proust: 64 works of art that will appear later in the twelve volumes that make up A la recherche du temps perdu were illustrated in the Gazette
  • Proust: a study of Ruskin; the translation has a dedication to Charles Ephrussi
  • Charles and Louise still lovers; she, perhaps many lovers; Charles, perhaps bisexual
  • 1889: Ephrussi et Cie prospers
  • Ignace and Countess Potocka mentioned -- p. 106
  • Charles, age 40; devotee of the Opera; his dog was named Carmen
  • mentions Symbolist painter, Puvis de Chavannes
10. My Small Profits
  • 1880s: again, "it wasn't just Renoir who disliked the Jews"; anti-semitism; Ephrussi family a particular target
  • mentions Michel Ephrussi: go back to family diagram; patriarch marries a second time; he is the head of the great house at Odessa, the largest grain dealers in the world; b. 1845, in 1885 would have been 40 years old;
  • "speculation, making money out of money, is seen as a particular Jewish sin"; even Zionist apologists, "the Ephrussi, spekulant."
  • Edouard Drumont: editor of a daily anti-Semitic newspaper; Jews = nomadic; and, thus, owed nothing to the state
  • much talk about anti-Semitism; again, uses the word "vitrine" which is one of the author's favorite words
  • Ephrussis marry into the Rochschilds (p. 111)
  • for the first time, Jews own land; call themselves landowners; gets them in trouble
  • mentions duels, a new fad (illegal); p. 113
  • Ignace was an accomplished dueller, but choosing not to fight was regarded as a particularly Jewish failing
  • becoming increasingly difficult to be Jewish in Paris
11. A 'Very Brilliant Five O'Clock'
  • October, 1891: Charles takes the netsuke to a new home, 11 avenue d'Iena; larger than the Hotel Ephrussia; more austere on the outside; it is so large that it is practically invisible
  • Charles moved here with his brother Ignace (Leon's side of the family) three years after their widowed mother died; the brothers' house was torn down and rebuilt int eh 1920s
  • the new area is even grander than the rue de Monceau
  • the Ephrussis have been in Paris for only 20 years, but feel very, very secure
  • Louise's palace was directly across the road in the rue Bassano; near the Eiffel Tower; the place to be
  • Charles' taste was changing; his passion for the Japanese was being slowly overtaken; Japoaiseries was everywhere; even Proust noted it; describes the transition away from Japanese art in the drawing-room of Swann's lover, the demi-mondaine Odette, the Far East was retreating...
  • Charles turned more and more to the French XVIIIth century (18th century); still has his Moreaus, Manets, Renoirs; garnitures of Sevres and Meissen porcelain; replaced his lit de parade with an Empire bed -- p. 117
  • Charles, Empire: Empire is not le gout Rothschild, not Jewish. It is French.
  • the netsuke are there, but Charles is growing away from them; the author is not sure the netsuke fit in at all
  • they call late afternoon soirees: "five o'clocks" -- page 119; entertained the wealthy and the famous
  • 1894: the start of the Dreyfus Affair; 12 years that convulsed France and polarised Paris; interesting story told on pages 121 - 122
  • among Charles' friends: Degas became the most savage anti-Dreyfusard; stopped speaking to Charles and to the Jewish Pissarro; Cezanne, too, was convinced of Dreyfus's guilt; Renoir became actively hostile to Charles and his "Jew art"
  • "it is almost too strange to find how interwoven Charles is with Proust's figure of Swann"
  • "I knew in the broadest terms that my Charles was one of the two principal models for Proust's protagonist -- the lesser, it was said, of the two. I remember reading a dismissive remark on him ('a Polish jew ... stout, bearded and ugly, his manner was ponderous and uncouth') in the biography of Proust published by George Painter in the 1950s and taking it at face value."
  • author then goes into long list of how his Charles mirrors that of Proust's protagonist
  • wow, Charles conducted Queen Victoria around Paris
  • age 50, Charles had stopped buying pictures, "except for a Money of the rocks at low tide at Pourville on the Normandy coast"; the author thinks that painting rather Japanese
  • still editor of the Gazette
  • Louise  had a  new lover
  • Charles' first cousin in Vienna was to be married: Viktor von Ephrussi (on the Ignace side of the family)
  • as a wedding gift, Charles sends Viktor "something special, a spectacular something from Paris: a black vitrine wiht green velvet shelves, and a mirrored back that reflects 264 netsuke
Part Two: Vienna, 1899 - 1938

12. Die Potemkinische Stadt
  • netsuke leave avenue d'Iena (Paris); arrive at the Palais Ephrussi in Vienna
  • author now leaves Paris (after a year of "researching" Charles) and trains to Vienna
  • the Palais Ephrussi is huge; makes the Paris houses of Ephrussi look demure
  • the Palais is now the headquarters of Casinos Austria; 400 yards from Freud's house
  • author describes the Ringstrasse; officially opened 1865; daily "Corso" around the Ringstrasse
  • the Ringstrasse substantially Jewish
  • Vienna: hugely Jewish by end of 19th century; assimilated; only Warsaw and Budapest in Europe with a larger Jewish population; NYC had world's largest; public life in Vienna dominated by Jews
13. Zionstrasse
  • author notes there are three Ignace Ephrussi in this story, across three continents: youngest in the author's generation is uncle Iggie in his Tokyo flat; Charles' brother the dueling Parisian Ignace with string of love affairs; and, in Vienna we meet Baron Ignace von Ephrussi, holder of the Iron Cross Third Class....and many more military honors -- a "Ruritarian list of titles": Ignace was a founder (Grunder) of Austrian modernity; moved from Odessa as a child; with older brother Leon; Palais Ephrussi built around 1870;
  • Zeus' conquests: Leda, Antiope, Danae, Europa -- page 146
  • ceiling: stories from the book of Esther; Esther crowned as Queen of Persia; a Jewish story -- it is the only Jewish painting on the whole of the Ringstrasse; here on Ziostrasses is a little bit of Zion
14. History As It Happens
  • Ignace's three children grew up in the Palais Ephrussi: Stefan, Anna, and Viktor (the youngest; the author's great-grandfather); Stephan spends days with his father Ignace, learning grain
  • Viktor: the spare son; will be the smartest; wants to become a historian; Viktor's cafe: the Griensteidl;
  • again, the author speaks of Jews; in Vienna either Jewish or Viennese; begins on page 152; very, very interesting
  • Vienna University was a particular hotbed of nationalism and anti-Semitism; Jews therefore became great duelers to protect themselves;
  • 1899: the netsuke arrived in Vienna; already bounties for shooting Jews
  • falling out in the family -- wow, the heir apparent Stefan runs off with his father's mistress; Victor inherits everything
  • Viktor's fiance: Baroness Emmy Schey von Koromla; shooting parties at Kovescses, the Scheys' Czechoslovakian estate;
  • Viktor, age 39, marries in 1899; she, 18, but she was in love with someone else, a playboy; as a gift receives the netsuke from his cousin Charles in Paris; his father (Ignace) dies ten weeks later; Viktor inherits Ephrussi bank; wealthy beyond belief; his great-grandparents live on the 2nd floor of the Palais; and the netsuke have a new home
15. 'A Large Square Box Such As Children Draw'
  • author describes Viktor's 18-y/o wife at length; charming younger brother Philippe, known as Pips (page 164); mostly her life at Schey estate; author can't get his arms around that -- Jewish hunter
16. Liberty Hall (Kovecses library)
  • back to the story in Vienna where author feels more comfortable (compared to Kovesces, the hunting estate)
  • Elisabeth, the author's grandmother, born nine months after the wedding; later, Gisela, and Ignace ("young Iggie") -- Elisabeth will be the author's mother; "young Iggie" will be the author's great uncle, a cousin of Elisabeth's, son of Viktor;
  • great discussion of Vienna at fin de siecle
  • Charles Ephrussi, beloved owner of the Gazette, Chevalier of the Legion d'honneur, supporter of artists...collector of the netsuke, Viktor's favorite cousin, has died on September 30, 1905, age 55 in Paris (remember: he has given the netsuke collection that was in Paris to his cousin Viktor in Vienna); Proust writes condolences to the obituarist; left his estate to his niece Fanny Reinach
  • shockingly, Charle's brother Ignace Ephrussi, mondain, dueller, amateur de la feem, has also died; the three children (Elisabeth -- author's grandmother; Gisela, Iggie) given 30,000 francs
  • author discusses what it means to be an assimilated Jew
17. The Sweet Young Thing
  • Elisabeth's memoir: 12 pages; written for her sons in the 1970s; in the memoir the author hopes to find where Emmy (Viktor's wife) hid the netsuke; long description of what he finds at Palais Ephrussi; goes on for pages;
  • finally he finds the black lacquer cabinet -- as described by Uncle Iggie; the vitrine in Emmy's dressing room, with its mirrored back and 264 netsuke from cousin Charles
  • makes no sense; why the netuke in a dressing room; no one comes into a dressing room;
  • Emmy spent a lot of time in her dressing room; changed 3x daily
  • Emmy (wife of Viktor) has lovers, also. This is not unusual in Vienna. It is slightly different from Paris; endless flirtation; in one play -- changing costumes, changing lovers, and changing hats; sex is inescapable in Vienna; prostitutes everywhere; 
  • again, his grandmother's lovers
18. Once Upon A Time
  • the Viennese Ephrussis have English nannies, so everything is English; the author describes the lives of the children: Elisabeth, Gisela, Ignace, and Rudolf
  • subject of this chapter: from the books the children read as children
  • while watching their mother get dressed on Sunday mornings, the children would be allowed to play with the netsuke
19. Types of the Old City
  •  he talks about the children playing with the netsuke; this would come from Uncle Iggy's stories in Japan
  • playthings in the dressing room, but across Europe, netsuke are becoming valuable collections
  • the first German history of netsuke -- illustrations; how to care for them -- Leipzig, 1905
  • netsuke have lost their association with Japonisme
  • begins to realize he beginning to obsess hopelessly about what is fast becoming the author's very special subject, the vitrines of the fin de siecle. On Freud's desk is a netsuke in the form of a shishi, a lion
  • Japan and Vienna (p. 205)
  • mentions Isaac Casaubon
  • Emmy is 30 years old; reads Die Neue Freie Presse, the daily feuilleton; the author uses that word in one form or another not less than three times on one page (page 206) and then again at the top of the very next page
20. Heil Wien! Heil Berlin!
  • 1914: Elisabeth is 14 years old; now allowed to sit with adults at dinner 
  • Sunday, June 28, 1914: Archduke Franz Ferdinand is assassinated in Sarajevo by a young Serbian nationalist; Die Neue Freie Presse writes, one day later, that 'the political consequences of this act are being greatly exaggerated'; Thursday: German support for Austria against Serbia
  • Franz Josef I -- very elderly by this time
  • Austria declares war on Serbia (July 28)
  • Germany declares war on Russia (Aug 1)
  • Germany declares war on France (Aug 3)
  • Germany invades neutral Belgium (Aug 4)
  • the whole deck of cards falls; alliances are invoked; Britain declares war on Germany
  • Austria declares war on Russia (Aug 6)
  • military call-ups; the Ephrussis -- in Vienna -- are in the wrong country (they are lucky they are not in Russia?)
  • Hotel Sacher mentioned, page 215
  • describes the Schottengymnasium where Iggie attends school; girls not allowed, so Elisabeth has private tutor
  • Jews streaming into Vienna, many from Galicia (between Poland and Ukraine) -- although not mentioned one would think that the Pale of Settlement would include this area; the Russians drove out the Jews in Galicia
  • Elisabeth is now almost 16; Gisela, 11; Iggie is 9; Iggie starts to drive dresses
  • Franz Josef I dies, November 21, 1916; 86 years old; on the throne since 1848 (spanned US Civil War to WWI); Elisabeth is now a young woman, age 16
  • many names for profiteer, but increasingly they elide: hoarder, usurer, Ostjude, Galician, Jew
  • increasing demonstrations against the Jews
  • Austrian desertions multiply; much of the Hapsburg Army surrenders; 2.2 million are taken prisoner; 17x more than British soldiers who are POWs 
  • November 3, 1917: Austro-Hungarian Empire is dissolved
  • November 4, 1917: Austria signs armistice with the Allies
  • November 12, 1917: Austria becomes a republic
  • influenza raging; Emmy gives birth to Rudolf Josef
  • Elisabeth remembers very little about the war; she had been accepted to the university
21. Literally Zero
  • Austria plummets in size; from 52 million to 2 million
  • the 'Carthaginian Peace' of 1919
  • author describes how Austria changed after the war -- no more imperial titles, no more Ritter, Baron, Graf, Furst, Herzog
  • anti-Semitism gained even more ground following the war; remember Hitler's coming of age years in this environment; born in Linz, Austria, b. 1889; moved to Germany in 1913 (24 years of age; joins German army in WWI; so now he was about 30 years old 
  • the Ephrussis lose almost everything due to terms of the armistice; bank still viable but needed a partner (the Gutmanns)
  • mentions Monet's willows overhanging a river bank -- wow, we saw that at the Kimball Museum exhibit: Money: The Early Years; in 2016
  • author talks of losing things -- page 248
22. You Must Change Your Life
  • 1919: Elisabeth's first term at university (remember, Elisabeth is Edmund's (the author's) grandmother; will study philosophy, law, economics -- very Jewish choice -- all disciplines had strong Jewish presences in the faculty; passion for poetry; in love with lyric poetry of Rainer Maria Rilke
  • Rilke: Rodin's amanuensis in Paris -- wow; Elisabeth traveled to Musee Rodin after the war to pay homage to Rilke -- as you read the author's comment about Rilke, you see glimpses of Impressionism -- page 251
  • author: he did not know until his grandmother's death at age 92 how important Rilke was to his grandmother -- page 253; close family connection to Rilke -- see page 253 
  • Elisabeth wrote to Rilke in the summer of 1921 -- correspondence between the 20-y/o Vienna student and the 50-y/o Swiss poet
  • it strike me: Elisabeth studying law with a passion for poetry! Who does this sound like? Yes, Dr Zhivago: studied medicine with a passion for poetry!
  • author recalls when, at 14, he sent poetry to Elisabeth, when she was 80 
23. Eldorado 5 -- 0050
  • the three older children leave Vienna; Elisabeth is first to go
  • 1922: Elisabeth, PhD, poet and lawyer; the author's grandmother
  • 1924: Elisabeth: among the first women to be awarded a doctorate in law from University of Vienna; off to America on a Rockefeller scholarship; when she returns, she moves to Paris; son Victor (author's father) is born; Elisabeth's husband Henk has converted to Mennonite; Elisabeth comfortable of her Jewishness but considering conversion; both go to Anglican Church in Paris; ultimately ends up in Switzerland
  • the C. Ephrussi Collection of Manets, Monets, and Degas in the Jeu de Paume on the edge of the Tuileries gardens
  • Gisela marries; moves to Madrid
  • wow, wow, wow -- Ignace -- lost, banker, seamstress, "to NYC, to the boys"; then, Hollywood; and ends up in Japan, of all places and that's where the author eventually finds him
  • Iggie had trained as banker in Frankfurt; worst place for a Jew; Nazis growing; Hitler gains; Reichstag fire, 1933; preventive detention for Jews in new detention camps; largest was Dachau on edge of Bavaria; Iggie, 28, at this time 
  • Eldorado 5 -- 0050: phone number of designer on 5th Avenue, NYC and Iggie
  • much discussion about Iggie's fashion design, pp. 268 - 270
  • 1934: the three children are dispersed -- Elisabeth in Switzerland in the Alps; Anna back in Vienna; Ignaci (Iggi) designing cruise-wear in Hollywood; Anna had to leave Spain due to Spanish civil war
  • by end of chapter, Viktor is 78 (remember, he was likely the model for Proust's Swann); still in Vienna; very concerned about direction of politics, Germany and Austria
Part Three: Vienna, Kovescses, Tunbridge Wells, Vienna 1938 - 1947

24. 'An Ideal Spot for Mass Marches'
  • March 11, 1938 -- the last day of Austria's freedom; German troops massing on the border, facing an ultimatum; Viktor, Emmy, and Rudolf in Vienna, listening; Anna back in Vienna
  • March 12, 1938: 1:08 a.m. -- the announcement that Austria is national socialist, one with Germany's Hitler
  • house has been breached; much destroyed; Anna helps parents clean up;
  • March 14, 1938: Hitler arrives; mass demonstrations in support of Hitler; says new vote on whether Austria joins Germany; mass deportations to Dachau begin -- p. 287
  • March 31, 1938: Jewish organizations no longer recognized under Austrian law
  • April 9, 1938: Hitler visits Vienna; Goebbels proclaims Greater German Reich; formal recognition of the Anschluss
  • April 23, 1938: boycott of German shops announced; Gestapo arrive at the Palais Ephrussi
25. "A Never-To-Be-Repeated Opportunity'
  • Viktor and (fourth child) Rudolf are arrested; Emmy allowed to stay; after Palais Ephrussi searched by Gestapo; sign document turning everything over to regime or be shipped to Dachau; Viktor signs everything over to regime; takes effect April 27, 1938; Palais Ephrussi being stripped of art objects -- "a never-to-be repeated opportunity" to seize incredibly good art; much of the art is sold to private individuals to raise money for the Reich;  Viktor/Rudolph released after three days
  • August 12, 1938: Ephrussi and Co. "erased" -- taken off the business register; new name: Bankhaus CA Steinhausser; the Ephrussi family has been cleansed from the city
  • all Jewish men must take  new first name, "Israel"; all Jewish women must take new first name, "Sara"
26. 'Good For A Single Journey'
  • Viktor is 78; begins the bureaucratic hell of trying to get visa to leave country; Anschluss only six weeks old; Rudolf is 19 years old; gains permission to emigrate to the US; a job in Bertig Cotton company in Paragould, Arkansas; back at the house, Viktor, Emma, and servant Anna
  • Viktor and Emmy reach Kovecses, Czechoslovakia, May, 1938; the story how Elisabeth came back and helped them, page 304
  • children dispersed: Elisabeth in Switzerland; Gisela in Mexico; Iggie and Rudolf in America
  • Germany/Hitler claim Sudetenland; Germans just 20 miles from Kovecses;
  • Emmy dies October 12, 1938; unable to go on; suicide; overdose of heart pills -- age 59 -- hmmm; this is still only 1938
  • Kristallnacht; night of terror; 680 Jews commit suicide in Vienna; Vienna sounds like Aleppo (2016) in a different sort of way
  • March, 1939, Elisabeth leaves Switzerland, for England
  • March, 1939, Viktor leaves Kovecses, for England
  • Viktor and Elisabeth in Tunbridge Wells, London; Henk has booked them all rooms; Henk, Elisabeth's husband, a Mennonite
27. The Tears of Things
  • And then, February, 1944: Iggie turns up in Tunbridge Wells in his American uniform, an intelligence officer wiht the 7th Corps Headquarters. Ignace (Iggie) and Rudolph, brothers, both sons of Viktor, have taken American citizenship to enlist in the army; Rudolph in Virginia in Juy 1941, and Iggie in California, in January, 1942, a month after Pearl Harbor
  • March 12, 1945: Viktor dies; a month before Vienna was liberated by the Russians and two months before the unconditional surrender of the German High Command; he was 84; born Odessa; died Tunbridge Wells; reads his death certificate
  • Viktor's grave is in the municipal cemetery in Charing, far from his mother's in Vichy; furthest from Kovecses
  • page 278: Anna gives Elisabeth the 264 Japanese netsuke; the third resting-place in the story of the netsuke
Part Four: Tokyo 1947 - 2001
  • December 1, 1947: Iggie to HQ Tokyo; has the netsuke with him, the fourth resting-place of the netsuke; in a vitrine, again
Coda: Tokyo, Odessa, London 2001 - 2009
  • fifth resting-place will be in London, at the Victoria and Albert Museum