»  Letter: Wednesday, April 13, 1994

    E.A. Derbyshire to John & Lynette Derbyshire

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  Transcription of Letter

From
Mrs E. A. Derbyshire
Lister House, Boughton Green Rd
Northampton
England
NN2 7SU

To
John & Rose L. Derbyshire
15 Chestnut Street
Huntington   NY 11743
U.S.A.

April 13th 1994

My dear John and Lynette,

Sorry, love, I still think of you as John's little Rose, but this time I remembered Lynette. Not much news, just thought you'd like to have a letter, Rose, as I can speak to John on the phone, much as I'd like to ring you dear I have to think of the wretched phone bill  I make very few calls & very rarely long distance ones. Rose, I must tell you, Judith lent me a wonderful book, called "Wild Swans". It's written by a Chinese lady, & she writes about her mother, grandmother & other relations covering the time from 1870 to the present day. The author is Jung Chang who now lives in London. It is very graphic account of the reigns of Chiang Kai-shek and Chairman Mao. You see dear we knew nothing of the dreadful things that were happening in China, no news or foreigners were allowed in or out. John didn't tell me much about his time in China or the whole story of your meeting  I only know he was very concerned about you after he left China & by then we were hearing more but after the war I'm afraid we were so concerned with own affairs we didn't relalize the awful things that Mao had done to his people. It makes me think of your mother & yourself so much more and only makes me love you more & wished I had talked to you when you first came to me. I'm ashamed I wasn't more understanding. I was selfish, more concerned for John's safety at the time. Jimmy told me a little about the sufferings of the people under Mao, but this book is so brilliant. There were times when I wept. The women were so brave. There is a map in the book & Jilin Province is clearly marked, though it is not mentioned in the book. I hope all is well with you. I so want you to have a happy life Rose and your dear little girl. I am happy you have found friends and able to have some time to yourself. This letter is meant more for you than John. I just want to stress how much I love you, all of you.

Mother   X X X X X X

Three daughters of China (Wild Swans)