An Open Letter to her Fans
Following on from the 'First Contact' made via the Friends of Angélique Yahoo Group with Anne's daughter, Nadine Golubinoff, we were delighted to receive an 'open' letter from Anne Golon in 2000 endorsing our existence. Despite its rather sad and embittered content, this letter proved to the Group that Anne Golon had accepted that we were genuine and trusted us with her innermost feelings.
This letter was written at a time when Anne Golon believed herself to have been abandoned by her fans for decades when, in fact, the very opposite was true. This in itself must have been a very bitter pill for her to swallow; particularly as the evidence of the existence of an international English-speaking fan base was in direct opposition to the 'lack of interest' mantra drip-fed to her by her publishers (and other interested parties). It took the advent of the Internet to very publicly expose the blatant lies to which she had been subjected...
The translation reads as follows:
"Dear Angélique fans
Thank you, thank you a thousandfold for supporting the cause of this author.
Your thoughtful gestures and the encouragement you have shown me have helped to bury the end part of the (old) Millennium. I was very reassured by this and for a while was able to forget the bitter conflict my adversaries subjected me to; some of them wished to appear stronger, by their bestial, wolf-like behaviour, when all the while they were perfectly aware that the literary work entitled "Angélique" was being exploited on an illegal basis.
It appears that a country such as France which sets out to protect not only her own authors, but those originating from other countries, allows officials to show a certain leniency towards two of their well-known multinationals. These have been guilty of illegally using the rights to literary property, of false declarations, false writing, false usage and have abused my trust etc. In this country even the Judges, when faced with a request from the authors : Anne and Serge Golon, allowed the Tribunal to strike off the date each time it was submitted by the defendants, from the proceedings, thus delaying the judgement - which in any case is inevitable.
Unless, of course, my adversaries are waiting for the "old lady", which I am, to die.
But my dear fans, believe me when I say that I will not give them that satisfaction.
The next volume of Angélique is already well under way and it will be completed.
In addition to this I am a long way forward with the editing of the script for the Animated Film.
I hope that soon I will be able to speak to you all, directly, through the Internet.
See you soon
With best wishes
The original of this letter was auctioned off amongst the fans to raise funds for Anne Golon - it was the main purpose of our group at the time (and to meet her of course) once we had discovered the tragedy of the 'lean' years she had been subjected to!
I scanned the original, written in blue ink on tissue like paper so that a copy could feature on our historical section.
These are the three pages of the open letter written by Anne Golon to her (International) English-speaking fans (whom she didn't know existed) in the latter part of the 1990s.
Provenance of the Auction
A Mother’s Story
You may wonder what the next few paragraphs have to do with an idea for an Auction that I’ve had, but I’d ask you to please read the prelude before making judgements. I’ll attempt to be brief (but you know me …) and any jokey or light-hearted moments/comments are quite deliberate.
I want to draw a parallel of two women here, the first you will have guessed of course is Anne Golon who in a separate persona to that of world-renowned author is a mother. The second is mine and my sisters’ mother.
At the age of 78, our mother suffered the first of her two triple strokes. This left her severely debilitated, although thankfully her mind remained clear – this was good news but it was also bad news. Good because it meant after a long while, when she was able to formulate speech again she could communicate clearly and had retained almost her entire long-term memory, bad because she became very frustrated with all the new debilities. Already you are probably asking, where are we going with this – I intend to draw parallels in due course.
What I would ask you to remember, is that our mother, prior to the first stroke was the same vital person she had been since young adulthood which came to an abrupt close with the invasion of Poland in 1939 when she had to grow up very fast. Her story during the war was that she was a runner for the underground – her task, to deliver messages between individual cells. She was, inevitably caught – whether through unfortunate circumstances or betrayal we shall probably never know. In due course she was sent for interrogation in a Russian prison where she knew one of her cell-mates was a traitor. She didn’t exactly look forward to her interrogation sessions, but as there was a map on the wall of the current state of play of the war, she used that knowledge to cock a snook at her interrogators. Eventually, she was shipped out of the prison in that most fashionable and trendy travelling facility of the time – the cattle-truck. Her parents were also offered this luxurious travelling facility which had the added attraction of not providing food or water to the passengers. They were, however, permitted to get off the train when it stopped to search for food – the only minor problem there was that the train did not wait for the disembarked passengers to return. The first to suffer that fate was my grandmother. Our mother managed to just get back at one point when the train was moving off and by sheer tenacity hung on with all her strength until she was pulled in but not before gashing very badly the disabled leg that was a childhood legacy of Polio. The gash remained open and unhealing for all the time she spent in Siberia – oh yes, did I forget to tell you the ultimate destination of the train? She and Grandfather survived on onions – she never ate another one after getting out of Siberia, which happened with the second wave of a tenuous amnesty Poland signed with the Russians to free their own to become soldiers for the Allies against Germany. They made their way to Persia where they were mobilised – Grandfather returned to Russia briefly to see if he could discover what had happened to his wife and ultimately to give her a decent burial. Mother trained as a nurse and moved to North Africa where the military hospitals had been set up to receive wounded from various fronts. That is where she met Father who had the good sense to have half his head blown away in the first surge at Monte Cassino. (Good, in the sense that otherwise he would not have met Mother and you wouldn’t be reading this now!). In due course, unable to return to Poland, they settled in England, became active members of the Polish community, Scout and Guide Troops and brought up two daughters. Mother stayed at home, became a seamstress and after we grew up went into the sewing business. She worked well past her official retirement age and was just as busy and active at home.
I hope you can see from this that after her first stroke, having been active and never given up, her infirmities caused by the stroke must have been awful – but she didn’t give up, not even after the second one which had a more profound effect, leaving her ever weaker and suffering indignities which are painful to watch let alone experience.
That is as much as I am going to say here, because the rest is neither pleasant nor relevant. The cause of strokes is unknown (I don’t mean medically) but they say stress is a likely contributory factor. Our mother, we hope, was not under any particular stress that we are aware of when she was struck down, so there could have been a variety of reasons – also not relevant here.
Therefore my point – at last!
Madame Golon celebrated her 79th birthday in December, she too, presently, is a lively, feisty, very alive woman – who, as you know is currently battling for survival in more ways than one. The stress and strain must be intolerable despite having the whole-hearted support of her daughter Nadja and good friends Iva and Régile. As you know, Anne has already endorsed the Groups’ help and sent us a written thank-you for what we have done so far.
For members new to the group, it may be fitting to explain that all monies raised by the Group have been used to support Anne Golon in their small way. The purchase of the illustrated book has brought in funds to allow the second books’ publication to become a possibility in due course.
Subscriptions and donations have been used two-fold:
to purchase a Birthday present in the form of a hamper and flowers for her to enjoy
to give her a gift of money for everyday survival.
The total amount raised and given to her was 5,000ff – approximately £500 sterling. Not a huge amount, but hopefully enough to help her buy decent food for a few weeks. It was she who said poignantly when she received this gift of money “One has to eat”.
Perhaps the cost of the hamper should have been diverted to everyday use, but then, why not afford her the chance to enjoy some luxury items over a very special period?
So – the question of raising more funds arises – because let’s face it 5,000ff will have long evaporated by now.
I’ve decided, therefore, to put Anne’s letter up for auction in the hope that by wishing to “own” a piece of authentic Anne you may wish to bid (megabucks?) for the privilege. I have to say, I would prefer to keep this document for myself, but as I am in a privileged position, it would be most unfair and I fully intend to bid for the item(s) myself, and hope also to be well and truly outbid!
There must, however, be some structure and promises made before I allow the documents out of my hands.
The first and most important is this – I must have an undertaking from the owner(s) of the documents that it will never ever be used against Anne in any way and that it will be deemed solely as a personal “souvenir” of this great lady. I write this, because the contents, as you know have some pretty hot and sensitive comments in them.
You’ll probably have noticed the (s) and wondered – well, to secure the highest possible amount (financially), I would suggest that perhaps the document could be auctioned either as an entirety or as 3 separate items.
If the document of 3 pages is to be sold as one, then a reserve price will have to be reached. The reserve price would have to be in the region of 3,000ff as I cannot see the point of a lesser amount being of any tangible use.
The document can be divided into the 3 pages with individual offers being made, the highest bidder being given the choice of which page he/she would like for preference.
If the auction goes to 3 pages, I will guarantee sending photo-copies of the other two pages with the purchased original, so that each bidder has a full set of the document.
I will also undertake to send the documentation by the finest, safest (and most expensive) method that the UK has to offer which is by registered mail – they now do an international version as well and the delivery is signed for at every stage of its journey, including sending back to me a card with the recipients signature as proof of delivery. I’ve used the system twice and it works.
I know that I’ve sent the document out as jpegs on the onelist, but anyone requiring a photo-copy in addition to the internet format only has to ask – I’ll be happy to provide, I’ve done 20 so far and can copy a few more before I part with the original.
Bidding can be done two ways :
“Silently” to my personal ID or
through the list.
If a bidder wishes to remain anonymous, I will only update the list by telling them what the current bid is.
Anyone interested and like to start me off??????
Footnote: As of today's date (28.09.15) I cannot remember who bought the letter - more research needed .....
Page refreshed : 22nd March 2017