Monsieur Anton


Roger Mayne, Hampden Crescent 1956

'Monsieur Anton lodged in a dreary back room in a little house behind Paddington Station and lived mostly on porridge and potatoes because they were the cheapest things he knew. Thirty years ago, newly arrived in London, he had seen himself as a brilliant composer but constant failure embittered him and he saw that what he had taken to be genius was not even a very mediocre talent. Poverty restricted and desperate he had taken to the London streets with his accordion and there had been a time in the early nineteen-thirties when theatre crowds knew him well ... He travelled miles in a day playing gay Bavarian folk tunes or the waltzes of Vienna where he had been born. He never learned to speak English properly.'

10 May 2020


Margarete Orga, from an unpublished short story, typescript circa 1955


Clarendon Crescent, 1957