Mrs Robert Henrey. The Little Madeleine. London: J. M. Dent & Sons, 1951.

Included in the official canon, glossed ‘(her girlhood)’.

First item in ‘Mrs Robert Henrey’s autobiographical sequence in chronological order’.

Reviewed Spectator, March 9 1951, p. 20; Sphere, March 10 1951, p. 34; Country Life, March 16 1951, p. 811; Tatler, March 21 1951, p. 35; Times Literary Supplement, March 23 1951, p. 7; Sunday Times, March 25 1951, p. 2; Listener, April 12 1951, p. 30.

Reissued by Dutton (New York), 1953, as The Little Madeleine: The Autobiography of a Young Girl in Montmartre.

Reviewed Time, February 9 1953.

The Little Madeleine ran to 350 pp. Demy 8vo (c. 156K words) bound in black cloth boards, price 12s. 6d. with gilt spine titling and a plain grey jacket with maroon titling. A watercolour frontispiece by I. Le Tournier. represents the Paris fortifications. This long book has twenty-eight chapters with only twenty-seven scene breaks (none at all before p. 88), suggesting structured composition rather than the habitual free flow of memory. (Mé’s habitual ‘dressmaker’ technique based on successive writing stints never resorted to patterns. She usually wrote extempore as she cut her dresses—freehand.) The text begins with a nice piece of typographic symbolism: a ten-line-high drop cap ‘I’ bearing a cameo portrait of a little girl in long blonde ringlets. It may have been borrowed from a children’s alphabet, but to someone versed in the Henrey universe it looks awfully like like a jewellery clip.