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Rupert Hart Davis to Nico Llewelyn Davies - 1979

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My dear Nico, it's a wonderful book, extremely well analyzed, endlessly engrossing and agonizing. JMB was like the victim of one of those fairytales, with two fairies at his christening, the good one saying "you shall be a genius of a unique kind and make a lot of money", and the bad one: "your private life will be a series of tragedies". He was doomed from the start, wasn't he? Poor brilliant, generous, affectionate little man. What would you suppose would have happened to all of you if JMB hadn't existed? The next of the family could scarcely have afforded to send you to Eton etc. Your father, being immeasurably handsome, was clearly a man of the utmost courage and unselfishness. The photographs of course show how beautiful your mother was, how attractive which photographs seldom succeed in doing. It was so right to have JMB's last years and omit all mention of C. A's uncourteous behavior. His life really ended with Michael's. Knowing now so much more about this, I can't help feeling his death was suicide. No other explanation explains the bizarre facts. From the photographs I see considerate facial likeness between George and Michael and you, but Jack and Peter look quite different. How wise and well-written are all Peter's contributions from The Morgue, and also your own bits. The photograph of you on p. 102 is adorable. In the snapshot with [Bernard] Partridge on p. 19 JMB looks exactly like Dan Holmes. Forgive this rather disjointed letter. I finished the book a few minutes ago and am still sharing JMB's agony at Michael's death. This is unquestionably the best book on the subject, unlikely to be surpassed. All the notebooks contents are immensely revealing and I think Birkin has done a wonderful job. Some of The Little White Bird was sickly....

Post Date - 19 Apr 2020 18:31 | Report
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