Chapter One is mostly about…

His parents met in Washington, fell in love in Beijing and married in Geneva, and his father survived the Great War but died in Paris, just three weeks after the Armistice, from Spanish Flu. Yet most of Chapter One plays out in New York State…

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My direction of travel

Whitney Straight road sign

On the door of my study is an old American road sign, directing drivers to a small town down the road named Whitney. Insert a comma, and ‘WHITNEY STRAIGHT, AHEAD’ is my direction of travel.

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My cockpit

Paul Kenny - Clemenceau's desk

This isn’t where I write – though I wish it were. It’s the place Georges Clemenceau retired to after losing the French presidential elections of 1919. It’s in St-Vincent-sur-Jard, about 30km down the Atlantic coast from Les Sables d’Olonne.

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