By David Painting
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The obliging Mr Andrews accordingly took several shots of brother and sister nonchalantly seated opposite each other at the card table, with Amy very much in command both of her faithful Harry and the photographer with a look which very clearly says ‘No simpering here please: we are real people in a real situation’. But when the time came for Harry to leave, Amy was left in solitude to reflect on the first anniversary of Llewellyn’s death, writing sadly and realistically: ‘Today is the anniversary of the day when the man who loved me best in the world died.
Mr H. Vivian walked up here this afternoon and apropos of Etta’s engagement delivered a tirade against old maids stating clearly his opinion that a girl who doesn’t marry goes contrary to all the laws of the world. “Je vous fais mes compliments” Mr H. V. ’ This comment she confided indignantly to her diary, but for the sake of Mama preserved a frosty silence in the face of such crass provocation from the great entrepreneur. This was only one of many occasions when the insensitivity of the Vivians both irritated and amused Amy Dillwyn.
She moved into the brand new mansion with a retinue of household staff made up of butler, cook, maids and gardeners, as well as a series of governesses and tutors whose job it was to teach the children all they needed to know to take their proper place in the world. Their father, Lewis Llewelyn Dillwyn, MP, left them in no doubt that they belonged to a family of considerable distinction and antiquity both in social and, just as important, in intellectual terms. Much was expected of them because they had a long and (generally) honourable tradition of public service behind them which made Hendrefoilan the outward and visible sign of rank based not on snobbery but on social responsibility.
Amy Dillwyn by David Painting