Wednesday, 24 December 2014

A Very Merry McCarthy Christmas

From Seeing Mary Plain: A Life of Mary McCarthy

 By Frances Kiernan    

Ellen Brady Finn recalls a Christmas party at Wellfleet in 1949 given by Alice Brayton (who McCarthy would later describe as 'The Very Unforgettable Miss Brayton'):

The Broadwaters' first Christmas, there was a little auction and the children were given ten pennies to bid on presents. Miss Alice auctioned the presents herself. Reuel was a chubby little boy and he spent all his money on this great big gorgeous tinselly stocking full of candy. It was eleven o'clock in the morning and Reuel was hungry. The rest of us were biding our time and getting wonderful presents....For some reason Mary and Bowden were terribly upset by all this. I think they wanted Reuel to make an impression as a tasteful little boy. Afterwards they came to our house - we had a party after Miss Brayton's every year - and Mary said that Miss Brayton had "cruelly psychoanalyzed her guests".