Today we're celebrating the luck of the Irish with an epic love story from the Emerald Isle. Happy St. Patrick's Day, everyone. Hi, I'm Alicia Rai.
And I'm Sarah Wendell. Welcome to lovestruck daily where we bring you a love story every day to your earphones. Happy St. Patrick's Day to you. I'm in love with
love with you. Happy St. Patrick's Day. Sara. Top of the morning. Top of the morning.
Yeah, yes. Have you been to Ireland,
I have been to Ireland. I went there and not for very long. I was there for about four or five days. I did like a tour through it. So we hit like three or four cities. So it was it was a hectic time. And it rained the entire time. But it was not surprised me. But but you know what it was one of my favorite trips. I went with my best friend at the time. This was when I was in law school. And I loved it for one because it was everything was so green and beautiful. And it felt like you just felt like skipping, like all over the place. Like you just want to skip everywhere. But more importantly than that, I felt like it was one of the few places at least like where we were at. I think this was in Galway, or something where we realized we were getting like a lot of like men's attention, which we normally didn't get on trips because we always dressed like hikers and I was like I feel like this hiking look is really working for us. Like our fleeces and our you know, hiking boots and stuff. I was like, wow, this is for the first time something that's attractive to people here. takes a walk. Let's go. Like, oh, I could walk with her other quotes. Maybe?
I have never been I want to go very
low. The kids will love it. You would love it. Yeah,
I don't know. But one year when my children were very little. I said, guys, it's St. Patrick's Day. And it there's something going I think I think a leprechaun came in the house. Like what do you mean? Is there gold? I'm like, No, go go, go. Go look at the toilet. And I had used green food coloring and the toilet bowl. And my older son went in there what mama LepreCon pee in the toilet. It's green. It's green mom, Mama Lacan was in the house. Now the truth is I and as I understand it, you're not supposed to invite the wee folk into your house that might cause problems. But my children were absolutely fascinated by the idea that a leprechaun had come and used our toilet.
It's got very like Elf on the Shelf vibes like your auntie. Yeah, miss. Yeah, yeah, exactly.
Well, to celebrate this most Irish holidays, we have an absolutely beautiful Irish love story. And to help us, we would love to welcome author and journalist Anna Carey. based in Dublin. Anna has written for the Irish Times the Irish Independent and has several award winning books published. We found her article in the Irish Times about Molly moss and David Francis, and we invited her on the show to tell us the story herself. Please give a warm welcome to Anna Carrie, who also hosts one of my favorite podcasts, double love about the strange and terrifying world of Sweet Valley High if that hits you in your nostalgia spot. It's a great show. Welcome, Anna. Anna, welcome. So, so excited to have you here with us today.
Happy to be here.
We are here to talk about a true love story that you wrote about in the Irish Times.
I did. Yes. So a few years ago, a woman in England called Roshan Finnegan found a collection of letters that her parents, Mary and David had written to each other, and during the Second World War, and she hadn't known that these letters existed and her father died when she was really really young. She had never seen this correspondence before. Just before her mother died in 2002 Roshi discovered their their existence, and they just basically revealed her parent's love story to her and her parents relationship to each other. Because, you know, she had no memories of this relationship at all, because her father died when she was so young.
So she had no memories of her father, and she grew up with her mother. And then there were all of these letters detailing a truly incredible love story.
Yeah. And I think they were basically in a suitcase and an attic Roshi, and her daughter had no idea that existed. So it's just an incredible thing to find. They were published five years ago. They're they're just extraordinary. I mean, they're, It's extraordinary to read as a total stranger, so I can only imagine what it was like to read as their daughter.
Yeah, they're very, very intimate. So can you walk me through the article that you wrote and tell me about the love story between these two people.
Well, they met in 1938. At a party in North London, it was in Highgate. And Mary went to a party in a friend's flat and went to the neighbors to borrow some glasses because they'd run out of glasses of the party
you ran out of glass. I know something's going
right at the party if you need to, like go into the neighbor's, and she went upstairs to the flash on the upper floor, and a young accountant called David Francis said that he would lend her some glasses for the party on one condition that he was allowed to, to come along and gatecrash. And she agreed, and they, they just basically fell almost instantly in love, which is it's just kind of astonishing. They were, they were only like about 20 I think each am and they were married a year later, and had a daughter a year after that. So it really was a whirlwind romance.
And that was a period of time where there was a lot of upheaval, I imagine a lot of people would find someone and be like, alright, life is very, very short right now.
Yeah, well, they got married, they got married in I guess they Nash didn't have the Munich Crisis, and that they then they married the following July. So you know, two months before the war started. They're both very politically engaged, like they're both involved in with the Communist Party. They used to sell like the daily worker at train stations. And he joined the Navy after the war broke out. And so I guess that's one of the reasons why their relationship is so documented because he was away training. And, you know, then he had posting various postings. So, you know, they spent way more time apart really, especially when they got married than they did when they were together, which is I guess why they have this amazing correspondence enough to fill a suitcase? Yeah. Indeed. Yeah. It was a romance of letters. Literally.
I love a good epistolary romance, although this one doesn't add, and very happily,
it has a really sad ending, which is so Roshan was born in the UK. She was born on August 31 1940, which is pretty much like the week bomb started voting on London. And just
the time you want to have a newborn, I mean, that's talking on your own piece of cake.
You've got no sleep all night out a baby by day on the job. It was actually I think it was really sweet when I interviewed wrote in and she said that reading about, you know, her parents who she essay said like she had never known them together, talking about her, was just incredibly moving. You know, her mother sharing all the details of the babies, you know, every little first step. And all the constant changes was was just incredibly moving thing for her to read, because they lived together for about a year because he was transferred to Swansea. And that was the only time they spent together the three of them. And then he was transferred to David was transferred us working naval intelligence. So he went to Scotland and then he went to to Madagascar, to to India. And when he was in India, he got smallpox. And he got it and he died. And he was only 25. Haha, that's heartbreaking. When she got the news of his death or resume, she got to telegram. And she didn't tell anyone else about his death for like, three days.
Oh, my goodness. Yes. So she's carrying that by herself.
Yeah. And her daughter was like, three. So you know, it was she really was on a road and a priority for the rest of her life. She said very, very little about him, and about that relationship. And she went on to live a long, really extraordinary life. He became a documentary film director. She wrote an amazing book, but I actually subsequently found in the sector bookshop and really enjoyed about Sidney Morgan. He was like an 18th century Irish female Irish novelist. She was really talented. And she did really interesting things. And she did have a happy second marriage. And she you know, much later but, uh, yeah, I mean, it was just, I just found her her whole life was was pretty fascinating when she deserves a whole biography on her own. You know, as a female documentary makers, like in the, in the late 40s is quite extraordinary, like working for the Labour government after the war, you know, establishing the welfare state and basically changing Britain and finding the NHS. And she was, you know, part of part of that essentially, it seems, you know, she, she lived long and fascinating life. Yeah. And so it's not like her story is, you know, a totally tragic word. No, that early romance Is, is kind of heartbreaking. Because, you know, they got to spend so little time together. And when you read the letters, they clearly were just, it was a whirlwind. Yeah, romance that. Like, the fire didn't Berta? No.
And she, she kept all those letters to, like I can just I mean, you, you interviewed machine it must been amazing to find this suitcase and find this incredible narrative of a love story that you knew nothing about because Molly didn't talk about
it. Yeah, I think that's one of the things that that I found removing, talking to her that it sort of gave her her parents gave her their relationship, that something that she just had no memory of, I think there is something so moving about the fact that she kept that Mary cat or the letter S. suitcase was there like, you know, she clearly did like she didn't live in the past and talk about and which is, you know, she definitely didn't live in the past. But she couldn't throw them out. Yeah. And I think there is something that about love letters, like I remember being really kind of, in a way appalled when I found out that after my great grandparents died, my great aunt burnt all their love letters to each other to say to have been a part times. I think she thought it was like to keep their privacy. Yeah. So there's no like the odd little Edwardian postcard to survived. That's just really sweet and charming land. But yeah, yeah. You just think how many love letters have been lost to history? I guess a lot of the time with good intentions because people want their privacy. Yeah, exactly. And I think some you know, if those letters survive, they could just tell us a moving story. And, I mean, that's something that I guess we have mostly lost now. Because those that that sort of ephemera tends to be digital. Now.
I know all of these letters were published in the book letters from the suitcase, but I was wondering if you would read one of the ones that have been excerpted in the article.
Here's a letter from Mary on October the 22nd 1940, which again, was a time when, like vontade had been bombed pretty much every night since the beginning of September at this stage. So this is the circumstances she's writing this and, and she says, my darling, no matter from you, yes, I suppose the battle the ride together, I hope I have the whole house to myself now and after doing the washing, the nights are still noisy and the Caledonian school has been hit again, the Mattila same the Germans have, I will take the baby out in her carriage to post this latter and maybe walk around a bit as it is a lovely autumn day, blue, brown and gold with enough wind to excite that benevolently warm. I'm knitting baby a pair of socks. That's apropos of nothing but just to let you know, I hope there will be a letter from you before the day ends to make it a good day. With all my storage of love, sweet David, Mary. She's a good
writer to benevolently warm. What a wonderful leader, a
And that's the thing like that's the letters are such a pleasure to read, because she really is a great mother. Both really good writers. Yeah. So you know, you don't feel like you're it's it's one of those collection of letters that would only be of interest to the family. No.
Now I know that you are also a writer and that you've written you've written some fabulous, why a books about historical suffragettes? Is that correct?
I have Yes, suddenly books are at the salary. So the suffragette books are in the form of letters. Perfect. And well, I think it's actually it's like, it works really well as a format. And because again, you've got the gaps in between, you know, so you can have some nice letter that depicts the next letter might be a few weeks laters they've got more to say so. Yeah, I did the one thing that I did I've ever one child telling me. First, they thought that the letters were really long, but I don't think anybody would write letters that long. And I was like, Well, let me introduce you to me in 1995 walking around Berlin.
No, where can people find you on the internet?
They can find me on Twitter at earch Nash. And they can find this double love the podcast that explores the strange and terrifying world of Sweet Valley High book by book and SBH podcast on Twitter or wherever you get your podcasts. Thank you so much, Anna. So nice to see you. It's been a pleasure.
Alicia, before we go out and celebrate today, what is your love to go?
Well, I really liked how Molly went up to David's door and knocked on it and asked for it. The glasses and how he in return, he said only if I didn't come with you. And I think they were both really, really bold. And so I think that would be my love to go just to be bold in everything you do on St. Patrick's Day or otherwise, whether you're channeling your Irish side or not people and go after what you
want, and throw such a good party that you run out of glassware. Oh, yeah. Someday we're gonna party that hard again. Yeah, yeah, someday.
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Our researcher is Jesse Epstein. Our editor is Jen Jacobs. We are produced by Abigail steckler and little Scorpion studios and Gillian Davis with executive producer frolic media. This is an I Heart Radio Podcast.
We wish you a very lucky happily ever after. With that I'm in love with you. I'm in love with you