AGAINST THE TIDE - Roots; Though a Sickly, Sensitive Child, Crime Writer and Solo Yachtswoman Clare Francis Studied Ballet before Discovering an Unlikely Passion for Sailing

By Atherton, Claire | The Mail on Sunday (London, England), January 6, 2002 | Go to article overview

AGAINST THE TIDE - Roots; Though a Sickly, Sensitive Child, Crime Writer and Solo Yachtswoman Clare Francis Studied Ballet before Discovering an Unlikely Passion for Sailing


Atherton, Claire, The Mail on Sunday (London, England)


Byline: CLAIRE ATHERTON

When I was a child my family lived in part of an old manor house in Thames Ditton, Surrey. The house was divided into flats with a shared garden.

It was really a glorified commune. I remember having breakfast in the kitchen and my mother being thrilled that orange juice had become available again for the first time since the war. It was still a time of austerity and she took great pride in finding healthy things for us to eat and drink.

My mother never worked. She was very happy as a housewife and was fulfilled by being a mother. My father was a civil servant and later became deputy chairman of the Central Electricity Generating Board, now called Powergen.

My parents had a very strong marriage. They did a lot of travelling until my sister Anne was born. Anne is two years older than me and we were very different as children; she was confident in a way that I was not. She was supportive, though, and we generally got on well.

My parents liked to take in refugees and homeless people. When I was two years old a Polish refugee called Brisha came to live with us as an au pair.

She stayed for three years. After Brisha left, there was a German refugee called Ellie, who was with us for a year.

Later, we moved to Esher, in Surrey. My parents had a house built for them and we lived in a road with cherry blossom on either side and mock-Tudor and mock-Edwardian houses set back behind a green verge. Nothing was original; it was the commuter belt idea of what good living involved. After the war, that kind of estate was something people aspired to live in. We had a rough orchard next to the house, but my father had a mania for neatness, so he cut down the hedge and replaced it with more lawn.

I went to the local primary school until I could join my sister at the secondary. From there I was sent to a fee-paying all-girls school, run by Christian Scientists. Christian Science was founded by an American called Mary Baker Eddy, who had apparently been cured of a spine injury by prayer.

The teachers believed that the Lord was the greatest healer, so there were no doctors at the school. But the tuition was very good and it was assumed that the girls would have careers, which was still quite unusual at that time.

My father believed very firmly in women having proper training and careers, so education was pretty important. That's why he was adamantly opposed to me auditioning for the Royal Ballet School when I was 13. But I loved the idea of being a ballerina. I started lessons when I was aged ten and my ballet mistress suggested I audition. Everyone said how wonderful it would be if I got in, except my parents.

My greatest regret is that I was accepted. If I hadn't gone, I would have had a very different kind of life.

I started at the junior ballet school. The academic teaching wasn't brilliant, but I'd lost my confidence by then anyway. I wasn't very talented at ballet and if you weren't good at ballet, you felt you weren't good at anything. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

AGAINST THE TIDE - Roots; Though a Sickly, Sensitive Child, Crime Writer and Solo Yachtswoman Clare Francis Studied Ballet before Discovering an Unlikely Passion for Sailing
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.