Stet by Ria Bacon

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

My ancestor, the Pope

Du sublime au ridicule il n'y a qu'un pas

At school this morning I saw a new poster display outside my daughter's classroom. "F is for family" read the banner heading and below were the first two contributions from the Prep class (aged 5). Both had photos and colourful drawings in crayon but the text differed somewhat. In the first was written,
This is Tom. He is eating a banana. He has a dog.
In the second were two typed extracts from an Italian history book with added comments in pencil in italics:
1. My great great grandfather was a General who won WWI. In October 1918, General Antonio D. launched a heavy offensive which the press called the Battle of Vittorio Veneto. [...] On 4 November, Antonio D. announced victory.

2. [...] But the problem of residence could be considered brilliantly solved for both families. The P---ini family took up residence in Palazzo G., while the Barberini family took up residence in their magnificent, recently built Palace of the Quattro Fontane.
But the matter of the Palazzo V. was not resolved until 1708 when Cardinal Bruno P---ini successfully negotiated the marriage of his niece to the grandnephew of (Pope) Clement XI...
[4 more paragraphs]
To think that the kid will have their illustrious heritage drummed in to them from age five. Bit sad really. For a description of a children's party with the Italian rich and famous (apparently), read here.