House arrest - Helen VlachosAndré Deutsch [Andre Deutsch], 1970, Hardback in Dust Wrapper.
Condition: Very Good — in Very Good Dust Wrapper. Light crease to the lower panel otherwise a very well presented copy.
Illustrated by way of: Black & White Photographs; Illustrated endpapers and blanks;
From the cover: “Even when a prisoner in her own flat, Helen Vlachos, owner and editor of two Greek newspapers, managed to cover events: witness the photograph on this jacket which she took from her terrace and which records King Constantine’s unsuccessful counter-coup against the Junta on December 13, 1967. This incident determined the daring escape which brought Mrs Vlachos to London that Christmas.
The escape, in turn, made this book possible. Circumstances still prevent Helen Vlachos from fully describing other people’s reactions to the Junta; but she now feels free to write about her own with the utmost honesty (not that she was guarded before: she was first arrested for calling Brigadier Pattakos a clown).
Because the Kathimerini and the Messimvrini were conservative newspapers, the colonels had hoped for an ally in their owner. Her contemptuous refusal to publish under censorship first baffled, then enraged them, and they shut her up. She starts her story with a vivid description of her arrest and of what it feels like to be a prisoner in your own home; continues with an account of what preceded the colonels’ pounce; and then does what she and her husband did, in fact, to pass the time after it: brings out the memories.
Her frank, shrewd and amusing way of writing does as much as the wealth of material at her disposal to make this part of her book delightful reading; but however entertaining her reminiscences or her portraits of famous people, she never loses touch with the tension against which her memories unfold: with what was happening outside the flat, and its implications for Greece. The narrative rejoins this tragic present in its concluding sections, in which she tells far more about her escape than has hitherto been possible.
Helen Vlachos has the rare gift of writing seriously — and she is passionately serious about her country and its fate — without losing her gaiety and humour. This is a gallant book, as well as a highly illuminating one. It is illustrated with photographs from the writer’s albums, many of them taken by herself.”