Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Happy Woman

Happiness precedes success: not follows it,as we are taught, says Shawn Achor, who has written a book re same.
Ann Moyal seems a perfect example of this.
An Australian academic historian born in 1926, she seems, according to her autobio I have just read, (Breakfast With Beaverbrook), to have loved learning from an early age, and been successful in, by and through it.
Her last and 3rd husband was Joe Moyal, mathematician, whose early work in physics was so before its time that it is now far more highly regarded and understood than when he first wrote it. Her previous marriages and break ups do not seem to have been at all traumatic or unfriendly for either party.
Ann's academic work and writings are exemplary and highly regarded. Rational, pragmatic, evidence based.
So, I enjoyed particularly her recount of staying, courtesy of an American colleague, at the former home of Virginia and Leonard Woolf, in Sussex.
A huge admirer of Virginia, she was given V's garden study in which to sleep. With doors and windows closed, she was woken during the night by violent bangings of things being thrown around the room. Too frightened to move , it was only morning that showed her bits flung around the room. She quotes the distinguished biographer and expert on the Bloomsbury group, Leon Edel, as saying: "I'm certain that that was Virginia herself."
I am impressed that Ann Moyal has published several books this century. In photos she certainly appears to be still a happy, vibrant, interesting woman.

7 comments:

The Elephant's Child said...

That sounds like a fascinating autobiography. One I will have to try and track down.
Anyone who can be civilised through relationship breakdowns should be regarded highly and I am jealous of her stay in Virginia Woolf's home. Nothing I have read of V would lead me to doubt her being a vengeful spirit either.

Frances said...

We need a book exchange, Elephant Babe.
I had read a review, thought it quite interesting, forgot about it until I came across it at the book fair. It cost me a dollar. I would be happy to pass it on.

The Elephant's Child said...

I would be more than happy to talk about book exchanges, at your convenience.

Frances said...

How?

The Elephant's Child said...

Email address is sue.goldberg@internode.on.net. Looking forward to hearing from you.

persiflage said...

Hello Frances, I have not visited for a while. I have a copy of Breakfast with Beaverbrook, it belonged to Dr P, who did indeed know her. I met her, but only a couple of times. Have just pulled the book off the shelf and have been browsing through it, and found many familiar names, some of who I knew, although not well.
Small worlds, eh?

persiflage said...

Hello, Frances, have not visited for a while. Dr P did indeed know Ann Moyal, and I met her once, and have just pulled her book Breakfast with Beaverbook from the shelves. Small world, eh!