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By William Boyd

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I would go out and about in Edinburgh with my camera and often return home without having removed it from its box. So, what pictures did I take? I photographed a cabman’s shelter in Balcarres Street, decorated with two stuffed marionettes. I photographed the lugubrious, mangy camel in Corstorphine Zoo. I took a picture of my father, in full academic dress, shaking hands with Queen Mary when she and George V visited Edinburgh in 1911. I caught Thompson dozing on a sofa in a sunny room, his mouth gormlessly open, one hand cupping his balls.

Tropez 18 Berlin, Year Zero 19 The Hollywood One 20 The Last Walk of Jean Jacques Rousseau 21 John James Todd on the Beach Monsieur Rousseau embraced me. He kissed me several times, and held me in his arms with elegant cordiality. Oh, I shall never forget that I have been thus. ” BOSWELL: “You have shown me great goodness. ” ROUSSEAU: “Yes, you are malicious, but ’tis a pleasant malice, a malice I don’t dislike. ” BOSWELL: “Goodbye. ” ROUSSEAU: “Do so. ” BOSWELL: “One word more. Can I feel sure that I am held to you by a thread, even if of the finest?

She was illiterate but had a tough, sharp mind. Her husband was a French polisher and they lived not far away in the Grassmarket. She had three children, two boys and a girl, all school age, but they were never in our house. Oonagh would arrive at six in the morning and leave after dinner at eight. How did she run her own household? What happened to her children? We never inquired. Actually I did, from time to time, but she always deflected my questioning: “Oh, they’re fine. ” I did not persist.

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