Wednesday, September 18, 2019

All well. I’m slightly more than halfway through row 23 of the Spring Shawl borders – what’s that? Two rows in advance of yesterday? Better than nothing.


I am riveted by “The Prime Minister” and find it hard to believe that I have ever read it before. Could I possibly have forgotten Ferdinand Lopez? (No spoiler there – he’s in the first chapter.) I’m sure we read our way through the Barchester novels. We must at least have embarked on the Pallisers – I remember Phineas, and Mrs Goesler. I’ll search the archives.

I heard from Sharon today – she who has been so useful on the matter of the pocket square pattern – about the new “Lampedusa: a Novel”. It hasn’t yet been published over here. I got all set to order the kindle edition nevertheless, only to be told that it won’t be available until February. Why ever not?

-- Ah! Perhaps because by then it will have been published here.

I am slightly suspicious of it, on the grounds of poetic-ness and also because of reading in the descriptions of it that Lampedusa adopted Gioacchino Lanzi in order to pass on his dukedom. I think Gioacchino had a dukedom of his own. I’d better look it all up. That glorious day when Archie and I went “Cooking with the Duchess” at their palazzo in Palermo, I sat next to Gioacchino at lunch (!!!!!) but mostly talked to his son, on the other side. Never mind dukedoms – I asked why Gioacchino wasn’t the Prince of Lampedusa, although he was the author’s adopted son. His son didn’t know. I said that there are titles in GB which can’t pass by adoption. I think that’s true.

My Italian homework this week is to take a paragraph or so of current text and re-cast it into indirect discourse. I have spent a bit of time (not much) with RAI – the Italian BBC – without finding anything. I cannot go to bed without at least defining the task. I think religion might be my best hope. The Pope speaks excellent Italian.


  1. =Tamar7:48 PM

    If the adoptee already had a title, there may have been land and money involved somehow too. Adopting him may have given the adopter control of more land and money.
    I've read that not just some but _all_ UK titles are prohibited from passing by adoption. Money and land can be inherited by adoptees, but not titles.

  2. I have read none of the Pallisers, but all of the Barchester Chronicles. I have no idea why, they seem a peculiar choice for me. It must have been a recommendation from someone in one of my "summers of unread classics" undertakings. I do remember reading and laughing out loud at Gulliver's Travels. It's a shame all we were ever taught about what the chapter on Lilliput. Happy to hear you found the yarn.

  3. Also, I just looked at Lampedusa on Amazon here. The hardcover is not available until Feb 2020, but it looks as though the Kindle version is out now. I wonder if there is a way to get this via another's US address?

  4. I just went to see the picture of Perdita as a kitten. I guess I’ve reached the age where stuff that happened 5 years ago seems recent. interesting concept. It seems to telescope somehow: sometimes closer, other times more distant. At least I have knitting to keep me grounded.