Hour of Gold Hour of Lead Author:Anne Morrow Lindbergh Part radiant, part somber, this second volume of Anne Lindbergh's Diaries and Letters covers the years of her early married life. The shy, sheltered, introspective girl is thrown into the world of action of her famous husband. From the very first moment he makes her a partner in his activities. He teaches her to fly; she learns to navigate and o... more »perate radio and to take aerial photographs on the survey flights they make together. Their flying meant long hours in cramped quarters, often sitting on parachutes in open cockpits of single-engine planes. Fog and storm posed frequent threats unknown to modern highly instrumented aircraft. Alertness is demanded, regardless of fatigue, and self-control under the pressure of fear. Most difficult of all, she has to live in the constant glare of publicity, tracked down by journalists, photographers, and a gaping public. No longer can she speak her mind.
Yet, there was "a kind of bright golden 'bloom' over everything..." The beauty of flying in the early days of aviation, with its closeness to nature--and to death--never palled. Then the first house was built, the first child was born.
In a reversal of terrifying swiftness, the hour of gold turned into the hour of lead. The tragedy of the kidnapping of Charles Lindbergh, Jr., unfolds in an extraordinary series of letters only recently recovered, in which Anne Lindbergh keeps her mother-in-law meticulously informed of each day's events, hopes, deceptions, up to the final blow.
There are few lives in which fame and fortune show their obverse so starkly. It is a measure of the strength of their characters and their marriage that Anne and Charles Lindbergh were able to sustain each other sufficiently to overcome bitterness and despair and to build a new life--though not another house until much, much later. A second son is born to them, and Anne writes: "The spell was broken by this real, tangible, perfect baby, coming...out of the teeth of sorrow--a miracle."
The spell was broken, but the scars of tragedy would mark their future, indelibly. Awareness of the fragility of life runs through the later notations, heightening their intensity to occasionally visionary perception.
Mrs. Lindbergh has writtn an introduction for each section, the second a memorable essay on the nature of grief.« less