4 May 1914; Monday

Got up about 7.45. Busy all day. Alf off work. Finished shortly after 5 o’clock. Played the piano, read Everyman, did a bit Pelman1, and had walk last thing. Went to the Berlitz with Joe and got copies of the prospectus. Berlitz2.

Read about Alsace-­Lorraine3 & Maeterlinck4 in Everyman5. Charlie came home bad6. Dorothy not well.


  1. “Pelman”: See note on 6 January

  2. Berlitz: ALL refers at the end of some diaries to ‘improvement’ in French and German, he attended evening classes in German at some stage, and as entries in the 1917 and 1918 diaries show, he studied French both privately and in Army classes; curiously, however, while he occasionally used German jocularly in later life, he never spoke French. 

  3. Alsace-­Lorraine: Germany’s seizure of the provinces of Alsace and Lorraine in 1870 after the Franco-­Prussian War was (with the possible exception of the financial reparations also demanded by Germany) the greatest single cause of resentment in France towards Germany before WW1. This anger also led to France’s first attacks in WW1 being aimed, disastrously, at recovering these provinces. [Quite irrelevantly – my brother CWL told me when very young that our grandfather CWL had his arm broken when playing at school at ‘the Franco­Prussian War’; he was 14 in 1869/70.] 

  4. Maurice Maeterlinck (1862 – 1949) was a Francophile/francophone Belgian dramatist and essayist (copies of his “The Life of the Bee” and “The Blue Bird” are still found) who lived all his adult life in France – though not in Alsace-­Lorraine. 

  5. Everyman: see Everyman and Arthur Linfoot’s Library

  6. “Bad”: in North-Eastern English idiom means ill or unwell.