Tuesday, 13 September 2016


When I was a child, I was given a book called Trovato. It was written and illustrated by someone who called herself simply Bettina, which I thought peculiar. I've just looked her up and discovered she was an Austrian, driven out by the Nazis.

I did not much like the way she drew faces, and I found the story her book told disturbing on many levels. It concerned an old single lady, which I found worrying in itself, as she appeared to have no real friends or relatives. I always find the possibility of loneliness disturbing. Then there was the event that triggered the story - an earthquake in Italy. That was really worrying. Surely earthquakes never happened in Europe, I thought.

Alas, Bettina was right on that score. I pulled out the book, following the Umbrian earthquake. It is an odd little tale, but, if you overlook the faces, strangely attractive, I think. Perhaps it is simply that it has been with me for such a long time. Anyway, here it is, (if you want to read the text clearly double click on each picture, if on a tablet, or click once on a computer, and it should come up in its own screen, with much better resolution):

I think Eliza is probably my favourite character in the book.

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