Southern Comfort

Lucinda Lambton finds her namesake, and much more, in deepest Mississippi.

For as long as I can remember I have felt an inexplicably frenzied affinity with America. When a child, it was Lassie who first stirred my heart with her wagging tale;  Henry James and Edith Wharton later led me into the higher echelons of literature, while Mark Twain and Robert Service so cracklingly shed their Old World shackles and associations. Above all though, it is the architecture of the New World that has been an all-consuming source of delight, and about which I have spent years making films and writing books. From the modest charms of a ‘shot-gun’ house – so small that a gun can be shot clean through the building – to the classical columns that trumpet out the triumph of democracy throughout the land, every aspect of American architecture has always sent my spirits soaring to the skies. As for the sight of the stars and stripes – my emotions have always been unsuitable for one who lives under the Union Jack. Why has this passion never dimmed? While ‘God Save The Queen’ or ‘Land of Hope and Glory’ have kindled but dim sparks, even a passing mention of either ‘America the Beautiful’ or ‘The Battle Hymn of the Republic’ has sent me into rapturous roaring accompaniment – I’m proud to say word-perfect. Now, at long last, after some fifty years, I have found out why; arriving at the ‘point of departure’, almost a lifetime after this great passion began.

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