Mine was no light youth of sinful gaiety and pleasure.

Mine were days of wholesome repression, punishment and fear. And

the rules alone would break your head! My father never

discussed his rules: he gave orders and I had to

obey. Afraid of being beaten, for he was a very

strong man, I pretended to agree with him, cultivated an

internal life of dissent that I hid from him and

the adult world. Within the family it was accepted that

I would be ruthlessly punished, both by beatings and by

enforced isolation. I was also bullied at my local day-school.


Paraphrases from the novels Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens, Martin Eden by Jack London, Of Human Bondage by W. Somerset Maugham, the autobiography Twilight of the Wagner: The Unveiling of a Family’s Legacy, Wagner’s The Mastersingers of Nuremberg, and Solitude a Return to the Self by Anthony Storr.