Filson Young

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The FY divorce

Posted by Richard D North in Divorce / Paul North / Vera Bax (nee Rawnsley) on 31 July 2008

As a boy I knew that FY and my grandmother Vera had had a messy divorce. But I never heard of any sexual abuse by FY of my father Paul. That was news to me when I first read Silvester’s book. Of course, we know nothing of this case – including whether there was any truth to Vera’s allegation, or its severity.

My father had plenty of childhood memories which might have made him bitter or angry, and don’t seem to have done. For instance, when Vera married FY, Paul was more or less farmed out to other people for his holidays, sometimes to FY’s Cornish relatives. This was probably quite good news for the boy, since the relatives were affectionate and lived in beautiful and exciting St Ives.

Quite probably being away from FY’s tempestuous nature was part of the appeal of such an arrangement.

Anyway, it’s worth noting that my father always took great care of the FY material he had inhereited from Vera and was pleased when I took an interest in Filson in the 1970s.

Come to that, it is worth noting that Vera herself told my mother that Filson was the best and most enjoyable of her three husbands, and that was after the divorce.

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