Quotes: MENA   Enter Symbol: NewsLetter: Search: advanced

British teen’s 1914 diary brought to life on Twitter  Join our daily free Newsletter

MENAFN - Arab News - 14/02/2014
No. of Ratings : 0
Add to Mixx!



(MENAFN -Arab News) PARIS: She’s a 16-year-old British girl like any other — hates Mondays, likes cakes, tea and shopping, finds French lessons dull but Paris beautiful

But the story of Olive Higgins, told through the diary she wrote as she set off to school in Paris in January 1914, is no ordinary one

Blog readers and over 1,400 Twitter followers have been reading her diary online since New Year’s Day, released in daily extracts by London-based British journalist and writer Rob McGibbon, who was given Olive’s diary in 2001 by an antiques dealer

After just six weeks of entries, however, Olive’s voice suddenly falls silent on Wednesday. The teenager became too unwell to write, and eventually died on Feb. 25, 1914

The realization that Olive was buried in a cemetery just a few hundred yards from where McGibbon was born, the same cemetery he used to look out over from his grandfather’s house, triggered his interest. From that moment, he was hooked

“It really was a stunning moment of surreal connection that absolutely convinced me that this was a providential gift, that this was a heaven-sent gift if you like,” said McGibbon. “It was such a coincidence, such a weird strong connection.

Consumed by Olive’s tale, McGibbon spent time and savings trying to produce a work on the diary, researching in Paris for months at a time

“From the moment I got the diary it became a complete obsession. Within a few weeks I’d found the grave, I’d found her homes, I abandoned all my work to just focus on that.

After a series of rejections from publishers, McGibbon shelved the project until it dawned on him that 2014 would mark the 100th anniversary of Olive’s death

He decided to let Olive’s voice tell her own story to the world, determining that social media would be an apt forum for the teenager’s words, and renouncing his hopes for a book

“I have definitely felt the sadness of hearing Olive’s voice again and ... there’s been a sadness for me to revisit all the work that came to nothing. But equally, it feels like there is a resolution and that feels good,” said McGibbon

Besides the geographical connections with Olive, McGibbon said he had a great deal in common with the young school girl, including diaries he himself wrote while at boarding school

Olive’s entries give an honest account of her daily, often humdrum, life in the convent school L’Institut de Notre-Dame-des-Champs, with feelings of homesickness and upset sprinkled with an adolescent’s unfiltered impressions of Paris in the waning days of the Belle Epoque

Of the elegant department store Galeries Lafayette, Olive remarks that it is “very nice, better if a millionaire.

After a visit to the Louvre where she sees the Mona Lisa, Olive describes her “very ordinary smile unintelligent expression” on her “vacant looking head.

Olive calls Pere Lachaise cemetery, final resting place of the greats of France, “creepy.” Her piano teacher is “frumpy.

Olive eventually dies in the convent in Paris on Ash Wednesday, which for McGibbon made the story one about faith, including his own faith to stick with the story

He added that if a lesson can be drawn from Olive’s tale, it is a reminder of the fragility of life. The cause of her death has not yet been revealed

“We all are aware that life is fragile but when you read someone’s diary knowing it is going to be their last days, I don’t know if anything can be more poignant,” he said

Olive’s silence following her last diary entry will be filled with the words of McGibbon, who said his revelation of the details of her final days will “break your heart.

Olive’s diary can be found on the blog at http://www.olivesdiary1914.com/ and @OlivesDiary1914 on Twitter.


 


Arab News




  MENA News Headlines
 May 24 2015 - Kuwait- Min. of Amiri Diwan receives KISR delegationKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Minister of Amiri Diwan Affairs Sheikh Nasser Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Sabah received a delegation of the Kuwait Institute for Scientific Research (KISR) including Dr. ...

 May 24 2015 - Kuwait- His Highness Crown Prince receives top officialsKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) His Highness the Crown Prince Sheikh Nawaf Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah received on Sunday at Bayan Palace His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak ...

 May 24 2015 - GCC-EU ministerial meeting held amidst critical developments - Qatari FMKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Qatari Foreign Minister Khaled Al-Attiyah said GCC-EU ministerial meeting, in Doha on Sunday, was held amidst critical regional and international developments, ...

 May 24 2015 - Kuwait- Info Min. stresses important role of FANA amid current circumstancesKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) Minister of Information and Minister of State for Youth Affairs Sheikh Salman Sabah Salem Al-Humoud Al-Sabah on sunday underlined the important role of the ...

 May 24 2015 - Arab army chiefs resume meetingKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The chiefs of staff of Arab armed forces resumed their meeting here Monday under chairmanship of the Chief of Staff of Egyptian Armed Forces Lieutenant General ...

 May 24 2015 - Kuwait- His Highness Premier meets Iraq parliament speakerKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) His Highness the Prime Minister Sheikh Jaber Al-Mubarak Al-Hamad Al-Sabah held talks Sunday at Bayan Palace, with the visiting Iraqi Speaker of the Council of ...

 May 24 2015 - EU major partner for GCC - ZayaniKuwait News Agency (KUNA)
(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) The European Union (EU) has been a key partner for the Gulf cooperation Council (GCC) since the six-member bloc was established in 1981, according to GCC ...

 May 24 2015 - Salmiya Sports Club Reign SupremeArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) The Salmiya Sports Club won the Kuwait Karate Federation Junior category trophy for 2014/2015 Championships. The finals and awarding ceremony were held under the auspices of the ...

 May 24 2015 - Q8 Opens First CNG Service Station In BelgiumArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) The international arm of Kuwait Petroleum, Q8, on Thursday took another big step and major milestone in strengthening and expanding its presence in Europe by opening its first ...

 May 24 2015 - Kuwait- Wataniya Telecom Dives 40 Fils NBK FlatArab Times
(MENAFN - Arab Times) Kuwait stocks headed south on Thursday to close the week on a sour note. The key index dropped 46.87 pts to 6332.27 points snapping the 2-day upswing. The banking shares were ...

more...


 






Google

Click to Apply

 
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network

MENAFN News Market Data Countries Tools Section  
 

Middle East North Africa - Financial Network
Arabic MENAFN

Main News
News By Industry
News By Country

Islamic Finance News
Private Equity News

How-To Guides
Technology Section

Travel Section

Search News

Market Indices
Quotes & Charts

Global Indices
Arab Indices

Commodoties

Oil & Energy

Currencies Cross Rates
Currencies Updates
Currency Converter

USA Stocks
Arab Stocks
 

Algeria 
Bahrain 
Egypt 
Iraq
Jordan 
Kuwait 
Lebanon
Morocco 
Oman 
Palestine
Qatar 
Saudi Arabia 
Syria
Tunisia 
UAE 
Yemen

Weather
Economic Calendar
Financial Glossary


Financial Calculators

RSS Feeds [XML]

Corporate Monitor

Events

Real Estate
Submit Your Property

Arab Research
Buy a Research

Press Releases
Submit your PR

Join Newsletters


 
© 2014 menafn.com All Rights Reserved.  Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | Advertise | About MENAFN | Career Opportunities | Feedback | Help