Each month, I get out all my favorite magazine collections: Romantic Homes, English Home, and Victoria, from 1988 to 1996. It is always interesting to find ways to increase our knowledge through the articles in these older issues. The March, 1996 contained a report of the Isle of Sark, in the English Channel. The history was fascinating. Sybil Hathaway, the last Dame of Sark, wrote a book about the island, for her children, when is now available to read for free online, here.
The island was owned by Dame Sybil and her American husband during World War 2. She wisely kept her subjects encouraged by going around to all the farmers daily and talking to them. She wrote a book about it called "Dame of Sark" which you can actually read online Time magazine related an amusing story about how she handled the Nazi officers during their occupation of her island.
We can benefit from this in the home, I am sure, as we strive to guard and guide the people put in our care. Reading the book aloud to your children is more effective, I think, as it comes to life. We can learn from her courage.
Here are some pictures from the 1996 March Victoria:
When I return this evening I will post a recipe for this, which was served in a tea room in the 1990's on Sark:
I have tried this, and it works.
For a wonderful review of the story of the Dame of Sark, go to The Pleasant Times.
The story was made into a television series in England. I listened to my daughter read the story aloud and was instantly inspired by it. This woman didnt allow taxes on her island and she tried to encourage long marriages. Her island had no motor cars but did allow tractors. For five years when her island was surrounded by barbed wire, she kept the islander's morale up.
I think the reason I felt so in tune with her was that in a way, the home today is being attacked and occupied by forces that destroy it. A homemaker, the wife and the guard of the home, has to keep everyone reminded of who they are and what their purpose is. This woman would not tell the Nazi invaders anything and neither would her subjects. In our homes today we have to be very careful to keep the family loyal to each other . We need to learn that the home is private and not open to the public, but only by our choice for hospitality. The Dame of Sark would invite the officers to her dining room when she wanted to but they were not allowed in there all the time.
I thought the story was actually better than The Sound of Music. They got very low on food because the Nazi's forbid fishing and planting and farming. They wouldnt let any supplies in. This woman said that she would always maintain dignity and not let defeat enter her voice. With the attack from within the home (husbands who want their wives to go to work, critical friends, etc) homemakers can really learn a lesson from this woman, who was strong in times of peril.
See also, my post: Sybil Hathaway