AMBASSADOR'S WIFE by Elisabetta Cerruti


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Some seventeen years, as an official hostess in other countries after her marriage to an Italian diplomat in Peking, offer not only a vista of foreign capitals and a perpetual party life but also implications and innuendoes of wider significance in the tension of the world situation before World War II. From China, the country of exquisite grace, of great poverty and great privilege (a dinner of 108 courses which took them four hours to eat and sent them to bed for five days), the Cerrutis went on to Russia where Stalin, invisible in person but not in spirit, and the tenor of suspicion made their stay there disquieting as well as physically uncomfortable. A two year interlude in Rio prefaced the transfer to Berlin in 1935 where she witnessed the advent of Hitler, the social and cultural blackout of the country, as well as close contact with the whole Nazi hierarchy. Paris and then Rome complete the circle of European capitals in which she played an official part, and the grand tour here is accomplished with intelligence as well as elegance, occasional humor and the ostrich plumes of diplomatic intercourse.

Pub Date: Jan. 20th, 1952
Publisher: Macmillan