THE FLOWER AND THE NETTLE: Diaries and Letters 1936-1939 by Anne Morrow Lindbergh

THE FLOWER AND THE NETTLE: Diaries and Letters 1936-1939

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Roughly 65 percent longer than the earlier three installments in Anne Morrow Lindbergh's retrospective--indicating that surely some of this extensive domestic detail about her post-kidnapping, prewar years in England and France should have been eliminated. But her readers looking for the qualities of the earlier books will still find them--the receptivity to experience, the lucent candor, the pretty prose guilty of a word like ""luscious,"" and the strong if often anxious sense of self. These years build toward the critical time when Lindbergh will take his arguable position and one reads the diaries primarily interested in how she will respond to the proposed life in Germany with its strongly ""directed force"" and the ""patches of dislike in [her] mind"" toward everything the Germans represented. A trip to the Soviet Union finds her more ""innately"" attuned to the Russians even if she criticizes them. Before and after, there are their stays at Harold Nicolson's lovely house, Sevenoaks, visits with the Bullitts and Kennedys and Lady Astor at Cliveden, also with GBS and Gertrude Stein. But her early--on declared faith and pride in ""C"" remains undiminished; ""Charles is not only 'practical hard-facts of life.' He is idealism too. But it is a new idealism, of another age"" and he remains ""marvelously untouched"" as the campaign against him mounts at home--a campaign she professes not to understand. But then Lindbergh in these diaries remains marvelously untouchable--as well as temperamentally remote. Anne Lindbergh's undivided love for him and undeluded loyalty are equally impregnable.

Pub Date: Feb. 27th, 1975
Publisher: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich