Days Like These

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15 March 1952


(pictured), journalist

and Labour MP, writes

in his diary:

"Norman Douglas is dead. It is startling to realise that a whole generation has grown up not knowing his South Wind, one of the half-dozen most important and sparkling novels of the century. Douglas may well turn out to have been one of the many writers who die poor but leave behind them books that bring in a steady income to heirs. In the latter years of his long life he discovered a new way of making money out of America's wealthier snob collectors of books and manuscripts. He found they would pay good prices for the original MSS of his earlier books, especially South Wind. So, whenever he needed cash, he would sit in his Capri villa for weeks on end copying out by hand a brand-new "original" MS. There are shocks in store for those collectors when they start comparing notes; I don't know that we need be particularly sorry for them."

18 March 1550


then 13, writes in his diary:

"The lady Mary [later Queen Mary] my sister came to me to Westminster, where after salutations she was called with my counsel into a chamber, where was declared how long I had suffered her [Roman Catholic] mass against my will in hope of her reconciliation, and how now, being no hope, I could not bear it. She answered that her soul was God's and her faith she would not change. It was said I constrained not her faith, but willed her (not as a king to rule but) as a subject to obey. And that her example might breed much inconvenience."

19 March 1599


casts a horoscope for

the Earl of Essex's

expedition to Ulster:

"There seems to be in the end of his voyage negligence, treason, hunger, sickness and death. He shall not do much good to bring it to effect. At his return much treachery shall be wrought against him; the end will be evil to himself, for he shall be imprisoned or have great trouble. He shall find many enemies in his return and have great loss of goods and honour; much villainy and treason shall be wrought against him to the hazard of his life, because the moon goeth to Jupiter." [Essex returned from Ulster, failed in an attempted rebellion against Elizabeth I and was eventually executed in 1601.]