Mary's musings

Mary Hoffman, author of over 90 children's books, including the Stravaganza series and Amazing Grace, has begun a web journal which will be updated roughly once a week. You can read more on

Tuesday, December 04, 2007


Well, I finished Shakespeare's Kings, which was very good. And I read Leonardo Sciascia's "La Scomparsa di Majorana" (The disappearance of Majorana). We had a class on it today and our teacher got very upset with people who pronounced the "j" as in English, because that sounds like "maggiorana" which = Marjoram, rather than with a "y" sound as in mayonnnaise. Ettore Majorana was a Sicilian physicist who disappeared or committed suicide in 1938, having seen two lots of writing on the wall, as it were, the persecution of the Jews - he was Jewish - and the development of the atom bomb. The Italian racial laws came out six months after his possibly faked death (no body was ever found) and he had met Heisenberg and Nils Bohr, as well as being a genius in his own right.

I saw Cranford, which is getting sadder and sadder and the middle episode of The Blair Years, which is beyond sad. It kept me awake fuming and grieving. There is nothing that man can do or say to make reparation for what he did and I'm glad he has become a Catholic; he can explain it all to his Maker in due course and be judged by Someone we hope he will take notice of at last.

Also saw lots of TV about the Queen - she is very moody, isn't she? Sometimes a delightful smile, others in a right old grump. But I don't blame her being acid with Annie Liebovitz - the woman tried to patronise her. And Her Maj (or Mayesty) must be the last person on earth drinking gin and Dubonnet! It's like asking for port and lemon or Babycham. Not that she asks, of course. Her sommelier just pours one out for her and she knocks it back - maybe she went off it years ago and doesn't like to say - but she doesn't seem the type to hang back. I saw the documentary about her marriage to Philip too (much too much TV this week) and she just about ordered up that delicacy the way she does her tipple. "I'll have that Greek prince with a touch of German."
Maybe she went off him years ago too but doesn't like to say...


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