[ilds] Fwd: Catherine Aldington (1938-2010)

James Gifford james.d.gifford at gmail.com
Thu Jul 22 14:28:08 PDT 2010

Forwarded from David Wilkinson.  I'm sure many on this list will 
remember Catherine Aldington's "Letter to Larry" in the 1987 /Twentieth 
Century Literature/.




'I am selfish enough to be pleased that she loves me more than anyone
else in the world, because that is how I feel about her!' [RA to HD.
9th August 1939].

Catherine Aldington died in France on 20^th July 2010 barely three weeks 
after her seventy-second birthday. Catha was born in Marylebone in July 
1938. She was the daughter and only child of Richard Aldington and Netta 
Patmore, formerly McCulloch. When she was seven months old her parents 
shipped her out to America on the /S. S./ /Aquitania /arriving in New 
York on 17th February 1939. By April 1941 they were in Florida before 
heading for Hollywood where Catha spent her childhood years. Catha 
returned to Europe with her parents in 1946 and settled in Paris over 
the winter of 1946-1947. The family then moved south to Le Lavandou from 
August 1947 through to February 1951 during which time Netta returned to 
England. Catha remained with her father, moving in the spring of 1951 to 
Montpellier. It was from here that Catha matriculated at nearby 
University of Aix in October 1960. Her father died in July 1962 after 
which Catha made her final move to the marshes in the tranquil 
surroundings of the Carmargue where she met and married Jacques 
Guillaume. As the direct link to the literary world of her father, Catha 
did not suffer fools and was always on the alert when approached. A poet 
herself, Catha was nevertheless reluctant to step into the limelight and 
came to terms with being the daughter of a respected writer by 
translating his work into French. Her acclaimed translation of Richard 
Aldington's poem /Reverie dans le Jardin du Luxembourg /was published in 
1986 by Actes Sud.

Her death, coming so soon after the death of Norman Gates who championed 
her father only adds to the greater sense of loss that surrounds us; she 
will be sadly missed by a body of international friends. Let us all hope 
that there will not be a flurry of academic jousting amongst those left 
behind and that Catha may be allowed to rest in peace. On a personal 
level, my friendship with Catha extends back to 1986. I believe we 
helped each other through some difficult times. We even laid various 
plans for her to come over to Cornwall but it was never to be. Over 
recent years dear Catha endured a prolonged and painful illness but 
towards the end she was ready to go.

Catherine Aldington leaves a widespread family in England, France and 
Italy but more significantly, her twin daughters Karine and Florence and 
their children. The wishes of the family have yet to be made known but I 
understand that a Memorial gathering is being held at /Les Pelegrins/ at 
10.00 am on 23rd July. Already Catha's email service has been closed. 
Friends wishing to pay their respects might write to The family of 
Catherine Aldington at Mas 'Les Pellegrins,' Quartier Pont Gau, 13460 
Saintes Maries de la Mer, France.

Catha's passing will inevitably affect the next issue of the /New 
Canterbury Literary Society Newsletter /for which Andrew Frayn has put 
his head in the noose as guest editor. Please send personal 
recollections of Catha and indeed other items of Aldingtonia to him. His 
email address is: andrew.frayn at manchester.ac.uk

David Wilkinson

St. Ives, Cornwall

22nd July 2010

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