An Evocation

After yesterday’s long trip we took it easy today.

I finished reading

The front and back of the jacket are from a painting by the author’s father, Ulric van den Bogaerde created in 1934.

In this book Dirk Bogarde returns to the years from 1927 to 1934 visited fleetingly in the first part of his autobiography ‘A Postillion Struck by Lightning’. The work really does evoke that period of a largely idyllic childhood. In his author’s note, the author, no doubt very fairly, credits Fanny Blake as ‘the most valiant of editors’ with having ‘wrestled hard and long with [his] deliberately limited vocabulary.’ It is this naive vocabulary and verbal style that is the greatest charm of this volume, conveying the very sense of the young boy who published, courtesy of the Viking branch of Penguin Books, this evocation in 1992 – so many years after the depicted events. Bogarde’s fluency and facility with description nevertheless shines through, as he expands on his early childhood.

The monochrome full page pictures among the text


retain Mr. Bogarde’s lightness of touch.

This evening we dined on Jackie’s spicy pork paprika with savoury rice. I drank SΓ©guret Cotes du Rhone Villages 2018 while Mrs Knight abstained.



  1. Thank you for the illustration copies from your book, they are lovely drawings, and you have reproduced them excellently Derrick….

  2. I was trying to decide if pictures one and two were the same original twice or the same scene pictured on two different occasions. I still can’t make my mind up 100%.

  3. I’ve trimmed a few wicks in my time, and still have a number of oil lamps which I enjoy in winter. His drawing of the lamps certainly evoked some memories.

  4. It’s great that even back then, people left stories for the future generations. A first-hand account of what life was like back then.

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