by rantywoman

Diana Athill on her childless aunt:

What my aunt felt about it she never said.  She was not only a reserved woman, but the most genuinely unselfish person I have ever met.  Silent, a little apart, she threw herself into work.  She gardened, she served on committees, she taught Sunday school in the village, she became a Justice of the Peace.  The books on her shelves were not quite like the books of the rest of the family, the pictures in her bedroom were not like their pictures, and she was the only one who would slip away for holidays abroad, walking in the Dolomites, or staying in rough inns in Italy or Yugoslavia.  She loved small children and they loved her.  Gently, diffidently, she dropped crumbs of poetry or romanticism or liberal opinion along their paths for them to pick up if they cared to.                        

Instead of a Letter, p. 132