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This report is taken from PN Review 33, Volume 10 Number 1, September - October 1983.

René Béhaine Edward Crankshaw
Some side-lights on Réné Béhaine have come from Edward Crankshaw, who was mentioned in C. H. Sisson's article in PNR 32 as the translator of Les Survivants. Mr Crankshaw writes:

'Although we corresponded a good deal we met only once-I suppose about 1936 when I was 27 and he was 56, very neat, dapper, positively electric, with crackling sense of humour. He put up for a few days- at the Regent Palace Hotel, as I remember-and went bouncing about London wearing a muffler round his neck and on his head an English schoolboy's cricket cap, colourful, which he thought correct for Piccadilly.

'He was born at Vervins (Aisne) 25 NE of Laon but spent his childhood at Sens and Troyes until he was fifteen when his family moved to Paris. His father, a fairly senior government official (I think part of the judiciary), came from an old landowning family whose property was occupied by the Germans for practically the whole of the 1914 war and effectively ruined. There was some story about compensation for war-damage which should have been received but wasn't-whether because of governmental chicanery or because Béhaine refused to receive anything from the hands of a régime he detested and despised with searing intensity I never understood.

'He was certainly very hard up, living when I knew him in the Var. But as all my friends were then either hard up or (as refugees) desperate, and as I had nothing either, it is ...


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