Wow, I love the account of L'Engle's mother, although I don't think I'd call it "bossiness" (presumption, maybe? Of course she may well have been very bossy; this just doesn't strike me as an example of that trait).
-- Lynn --
--- In email@example.com, John D Rateliff <sacnoth@...> wrote:
> I came across a passing reference to Madeleine L'Engle this past
> weekend that I thought her fans, of which there are many in the
> society, might find interesting. Janice and I were on a visit to
> Whidbey Island and the inn where we were staying had a library, mainly
> made up I think of books abandoned by previous guests over the last
> eighty years. One such book was a rather battered copy of a biography
> of John Dos Passos, which I dipped into because he's one once-
> prominent American writer about whom I know almost nothing. After
> reading accounts of his quarrels with Edmund Wilson in the early 1960s
> (in which my sympathies were, surprisingly enough, mainly with Wilson)
> and with Hemingway during the Spanish Civil War (in which I think Dos
> Passos came out the better of the two), I was surprised to find two
> photographs provided courtesy of Madeleine L'Engle, one of which
> included a teen-aged M.L. herself. Checking the index, I discovered
> that the L'Engles were next-door neighbors to the Dos Passos family, I
> think in the early 1930s. There's a brief description of L'Engle's
> mother, and how much Dos Passos disliked her bossiness (he once came
> downstairs to find she'd walked into his house without knocking.
> Seeing him, Mrs. L'Engle remarked that she didn't think his house was
> as awful as people said, then left).
> Anyway, if anybody cares to follow up on this, the book in question
> is DOS PASSOS: A LIFE by Virginia Spencer Carr .
> --John R.