100 Years Ago - a Weekly Selection from Mary Berenson's Diaries

Poor little Paul

Saturday. August 5, I Tatti

Prince Paul 1 came to dine, and told us about his awful childhood. His parents deserted him when he was 3, and he was left to his Grandfather who became King of Serbia when he was about 12. At first he lived with him in Switzerland, and one of his first recollections is being taken by his grandfather to a room where his somewhat older cousin George was strapped down, and seeing his grandfather beat the boy with a througed whip till the child was covered with blood and became unconscious. Poor little Paul was frightened really nit fits.

This childhood passed comme ça, afraid to death of the cruel old man, with no one to care of him and everybody whishing he was out of the way. His cousin George, who lives in Paris, has tried to poison them all, including himself.

How the poor boy loathes  Serbia and all the people connected with it.



1 Prince Paul of Yugoslavia (1893-1976) was educated at Oxford. He was an art collector and a disciple and friend of Berenson. From Berenson he received a painting of Matisse as a gift.