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Artists who paints in oil en plein aire. Member of the three member Plein Aire Cottage Artists. Members: Mary Rose Holmes, Violetta Chandler and Helen Tilston

Monday, May 8, 2017

18 Years Ago Today - A Particular Friendship

Photo by Helen Tilston
Dirk Bogarde left this world eighteen years ago today.

I was saddened and planted, at our farm,  a white lilac bush in his honour.  I did not have the pleasure of meeting Dirk Bogarde.

Photo Helen Tilston

Dirk Bogarde was an Actor, Painter and Novelist.

Bogarde served with the British Army during the second world war at 22 years. Bogarde was one of the first Allied officers in April 1945 to reach the Berger Belsen concentration camp in Germany, an experience that had the most profound effect on him and about which he found it difficult to speak for many years afterward.

Dirk Bogarde is often referred to as a Matinee Idol and starred in many movies.  

Later he became more selective and acted in more challenging roles.  
Bogarde was born and lived in England and later in France with his long time partner Anthony Forward.

It was Dirk's writing that captured me and in particular this book which hooked me on his writing.

In a nutshell the story is: Madame X, while waiting for her hair to dry, is reading a magazine at her hairdressers in California. She reads that Dirk Bogarde has purchased a new home in England.  Madame X recognizes the home and it is one she lived in many years earlier.  Madame X writes to Dirk Bogarde and they correspond for several years.  He bears his soul to Madame X.  The love between the two is magical.   A must read.

I have read all of Dirk Bogarde's books and they adorn my bookshelf.    

Today a white candle flickers and I recall a man who was born with integrity, charm, common sense and with so many gifts all of which he used.


  1. Hello Helen - when I was a school girl I had a French penpal, and I remember writing a letter to her mentioning that Humphrey Bogart was my favourite actor. She sent me a photo of him, and when it arrived I suddenly realised that I had mistakenly written the wrong name - a photo of Dirk would have held much more appeal to the young me.

    1. Ha, Ha, Ha Rosemary. This hit my funny bone and sounds like something I would have done too. They names are unusual and easy to confuse.

      I agree Dirk as a young man was extremely handsome. He aged nicely too.

      Helen xx

  2. White lilac is a beautiful tree, and a beautiful tribute to a great actor and interesting character. I enjoyed Dirk Bogarde's films, saw all the Doctor movies back in the day, and of course Death in Venice. He was a fine actor, but I never knew he was an officer during the war, and involved in a significant way. Thank you for sharing.

  3. Hello Patricia,
    Dirk spent almost 4 years in service. I have yet to see his Doctor movies. His writing touched me greatly. What a talented man. He was also a great painter.
    Helen xx

  4. Hi Helen,

    Although his name is familiar to me, I confess that I have never seen any of Dirk Bogarde's films, but your wonderful tribute to this multi talented man has certainly sparked my curiosity.

    Hope you are enjoying the spring and having fun on location!


  5. You have a sweet heart, Helen.