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Views & Reviews Between the Lines

In praise of the simple life

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 03 December 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a2828
  1. Theodore Dalrymple, writer and retired doctor

    The most amusing chapter title I know is in a book called Letters on the Simple Life, published in 1905. The chapter is “The Simple Life in a Palace” by Queen Elisabeth of Romania (1843-1916), who wrote fluently in four languages, German, French, English, and Romanian, under the pseudonym Carmen Sylva.

    Her majesty does not really vouchsafe us the vital secret of the simple life in a palace, but certainly she gave most of her time over to good works. She was a truly remarkable person, an accomplished pianist, something of a painter, a romantic novelist and poet, a collector of Romanian folklore, and a patron of folk art when this …

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