steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Butler Records - Part 8

In one of the first entries in this journal I wrote out some extracts from the notebook my father kept of mine and my brother's childhood sayings. I didn't maintain such a record for my own children, which I now regret, as they sometimes ask me for anecdotes of their younger days and my mind tends to go a blank. But then again, laziness aside, I wouldn't have felt quite right hovering over them with a Boswellian pen in case they dropped some pearl of cuteness. Okay - that's just an excuse. I was lazy.

Currently I'm getting my father back by reading the diary he kept in the early months of 1940, as a young man of 21 - and what a searing social document it is! More about that another time, perhaps. Meanwhile, this post is about his father, who in the previous war had carried out a unique experiment in language acquisition, using my aunt Myfanwy as his subject - an experiment he then published in his beloved Esperanto Monthly. (My aunt may not have been the first child to make a speech at Hyde Park Corner, but she was probably the first to do so in an artificial language.)

Esperanto experiment

Esperanto experment 2
Tags: family history, language
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