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Stories from a long-lost world
Originally published in 1947, Evelyn Eaton’s delightful collection of short stories about her life in Canada, England, France, and the United States in the first half of the 20th century has been updated and re-released for today’s e-book readers. Most of these stories originally appeared in The New Yorker in the 1940s, and the hardback book had illustrations by Garth Williams, who also illustrated such classics as Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little. Ms Eaton’s stories are full of delightful humor, and vividly bring back a world which was all too soon to be swept away by war and political turmoil. Today’s readers will find these stories just as appealing.
Chapter 1: Rue Eugene Delacroix
When I was a girl of seventeen, I was sent to Paris to be "finished." My mother gave me a choice of attending school or living with a French family. I chose family—the Olliviers—because I had just survived four and a half years in an English school known as "the girls' Eton," where I was exposed to three rigorous British R's—Rheumatism, Royalty and Religion. The buildings were damp, built of stone and, of course, unheated. There were two future queens and three duchesses in my class alone. The religion was High Church Anglo-Catholic. We had our chapel and our chilblains always with us. The stock inquiry in the fall was "Have you started your winter cold?"
One of my classmates, Lady Eleanor Smith, has described this school in her autobiography, Life's a Circus: "The rules seemed something akin to those of a female prison, and there was scarcely anything that we were allowed to do… We were fond of discussing various methods of suicide, and while we were obviously prone to the usual exaggeration of adolescence, it cannot be denied that the life we were leading must have been unsympathetic in the extreme to have caused so much bewildered misery."