DMH Spotlight - Memories of  Geroges Simenon and Family Back

"Dear Diana, I am sorry not to have answered your letter sooner. On Saturday the 8th of December, we cooked marshmallows on the barbecue. It was delicious. Afterward we roasted chestnuts. The heat of the fire warmed us and made the ice fall from the trees. And we would go under it as under a shower. I wish you a Merry Christmas. Marie-Jo."

A note from Marie-Jo Simenon, middle child of Georges and Denyse Simenon. Marie-Jo later died tragically by her own hand. She wrote to DMH during the time that Diana had been brought into the Simenon family circle to be a friend to the children. The Henry family and the Simenon family had met in Bürgenstock, Switzerland, when Diana was 14. Georges Simenon said she spoke the most perfect French he had ever heard. (His exact words inscribed, below.) He invited her to join the family the next summer for a month at their castle as their cloistered children's guest. Diana Mara Henry is working on an illustrated autobiography of her life, with a working title of Golden Girl: My Walk through History, which will include more of these memories.

FYI: Inspector Maigret was Simenon's most popular detective.

FLASH: Georges Simenon was also a photographer of talent, as can be seen from his marvelous images, below:

Within the scope of the Agreement of Cooperation between the French Community of Belgium, the Walloon Region and the Republic of Hungary the Belgian Embassy in Hungary, the Walloon-Brussels Representation and Hungarian House of Photography presents


In Simenon's eye

Open to the public: 04. - 27. March 2005.

The exhibition was arranged from the photographs which were generously placed at our disposal by John Simenon and the author's family, and is organised within the scope of the Francophone Week in Budapest

Hungarian House of Photography in Mai Manó House
H-1065 Budapest-Terézváros, Nagymezõ utca 20.
Telephone: 473-2666
Fax: 473-2662

Johnny wrote to Diana, and she wrote back, during the year between the summer they met in Bürgenstock and the summer she spent at their Château d'Echandens. This must have been one of the first of that correspondence, when it seems the Simenon family was coming to check out the Henry family while they were still in Europe (and staying at another grand hotel) one last time before making the committment. Here Johnny writes: "Diana. We received your charming letter at the moment that I was coming back from middle school and as I was about to write you one. I just started school again this morning and I am even more impatient than you to see you again, you and your family, next Sunday. Up to now it has been at least as hot here as in Cannes. [His card is addressed to the C. Henry Family, Carlton Hotel, La Croisette, Cannes] Mommy and Daddy are in Paris from this morning until Friday and they are as delighted as I to see you again on S. All our affection, Johnny."

"To Diana Henry

Who speaks a French that is more pure, with a better accent, than my children, these little sketches of Paris in summer.

With my feelings of great sympathy [ Warm regards ][Signed} Bürgenstock, 1962"

All images Diana Mara Henry. All rights reserved. Terms of Use