By Ilija Trojanow
A singular in response to the lifetime of Sir Richard Burton.
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Extra resources for Der Weltensammler
On May 22, 1914, when Olga Tatjana was born, their lives brightened. As Paul put it, writing in Beatrice’s diary shortly after she gave birth: “Bubele Olga has come! Baby is a little darling and mother is a big one. ” As was customary for people in their social position, the Levertoffs had domestic help—in this case, two maids, country girls called Big Martha and Little Martha. Both were caring, but Big Martha was especially so, and she became Beatrice’s best friend in these years. Although a general declaration of war did not occur until August, after the assassination of the Austro-Hungarian archduke Franz Ferdinand, on June 28, 1914, the political situation in central Europe was becoming very unstable.
As a child, Denise slept in her mother’s bedroom. When Beatrice read aloud to her before bedtime, Denise would squeal appreciatively at a particularly well-turned phrase. She loved both the family kitten, whom she sang to, and her little dog, Gamzu, a Mischling (mixed-blood) terrier pup acquired when Denise was four. In fact, Denise identified with her puppy and encouraged him to be mischievous. She began growling at family members with whom she was angry. ) An attractive woman herself, Beatrice made beautiful clothes for her little daughter—pinafores in summer and an amethyst, velvet party outfit trimmed in fur for winter—and Denise liked to dress up in Olga’s hat, climbing on her tiptoes to admire herself in the mirror.
When Beatrice was ten, her stepmother died and she and her father went to live in an apartment above his office in nearby Methyr, where his coachman’s wife cooked for them and looked after Beatrice. When Beatrice was twelve, her father—still in his early thirties—passed away, another stunning blow. Now an orphan, Beatrice was taken to live in Holywell, Flintshire, where her maternal aunt Elisabeth (Bess) was the wife of a Congregational minister, the Reverend David Oliver. ” Holywell was a big change for Beatrice: “Neglect and freedom were replaced by strict care and many duties, in a household from which most of the older children had gone .
Der Weltensammler by Ilija Trojanow