Perhaps I mentioned it here, perhaps on one of my other blogs. We bought some postcard albums in the autumn that came from a chateau. The albums belonged to a little girl and her mother. The little girl, Odette, used to stay with her Granny the countess when her parents were travelling. Because of the postcards we sold, the present owner of the countess’s chateau got in touch with us. Odette’s mother didn’t exist in any of the records he had!
This week I received a package in the post. With a little help from us and a lot from other places, he had pieced together the life of Odette’s mother. She wasn’t really the Countess’s daughter but the illegitimate child of a close relative (who died) and a nobleman (who acknowledged her as his daughter) Granny, the Countess brought her up as her own. There was a lot more in the document sent to me. Odette lived into her 80’s and died in 1983. Her only child, a daughter, died a year ago, unmarried and childless. This is how we came to buy the albums at auction. I’ve often pieced together the lives of the people whose postcards we’ve bought in the past, but never have I had anything confirmed like this. I think that you can imagine how pleased I am. Odette’s father, a Doctor, earned the legion d’honneur in the first world war and helped the Jews in the village where he was Mayor escape from the German army during WWII. I always knew he’d turn out to be a hero.
I’ve still got plenty of cards left in Odette’s album… and I’m still looking for more clues.
If you're interested, you can read here about the floods in Paris exactly 100 years ago.