Yes, Mrs. Williams: A Personal Record of My Mother

Yes, Mrs. Williams: A Personal Record of My Mother

Yes, Mrs. Williams: A Personal Record of My Mother

Yes, Mrs. Williams: A Personal Record of My Mother

Excerpt

Determined women have governed my fate. Brought up on stories of my family, to whom I was devoted though I did not always approve of them, I made my way looking under every stone if need be to get on in the way I wanted to go.

My mother was half French, out of Martinique, the other half was a mixed breed, the Hohebs, Monsantos, I have already written too much about them. Her mother, Meline Hurrard or Hurrand, was of Basque stock. My father was English, typically English, as I learned to know him during my growing years. Obstinate but gentle in his nature, always a true gentleman, he never became a citizen of the United States though he made no objection to my remaining one after I had been born in the country.

My father, as a child of five, came to the States with my grandmother. He used to tell me, when I was very young, a wild story of going aground on Fire Island shoal when they had first crossed from England, of a bowsprit looming through the fog, and of the first few crowded hours at the Battery. When my grandmother remarried, to an itinerant photographer up in New York from St. Thomas for the purchase of supplies, she went with her son to that island where he was to grow up. Consequently, in the States where I was born, our earliest acquaintances were all English: the Hazels, the Lambs, the Dodds, and whoever it might be. Many of them the wives of sailing captains, the Forbes, Heitman, and Bushes with whom . . .

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