Two basic points: Smoke hard and enjoy it.
Light up and be grateful you are alive as you draw in the smoke. [LALD
13] Bond never got along well with people who didn't smoke or who frowned
on it [LALD 3, T 5]. But never smoke habitually; It is a pleasure, not a
You are primarily a cigarette smoker, and your basic consumption is sixty
a day [T 1], though 70 is not unheard of [CR 1]. Your preferred cigarette
is a Balkan and Turkish mixture with three gold bands at unfiltered butt
end [CR 4, 8]. You had these made specially at Morland's, 83 Grosvenor
St., W1, but since the demise of that firm, you sustitute other brands of
similar blend, Senior Service for example.
When abroad you have a variety of preferred smokes:
US: Chesterfield King [G 16] or Lucky Strike [LALD 1].
France: Laurens Jaune [FYEO 1]
West Indies: Royal Blend [DN 5] (Out of produiction, but try Craven "A",
the ones made in Jamaica, not Canada -CC.)
Japan: Shinsei [YOLT 5] These hit the palate and lungs like 90 proof
spirits and their combustion resembles that of a slow burning firework,
so take it gently at first.
Turkey: Diplomates [FRWL 14].
Cigars and cheroots: You don't smoke them. You find them suspect and
indicative of evil intent [FYEO 4], M's enjoyment of them notwithstanding
A wide, thin cigarette case of black gunmetal with room for fifty [TSWLM
10, G1, CR 1]. A black oxidized Ronson light, preferably well-battered
[G1, FRWL 25]
Never invite anybody, certainly not a girl, to your flat for a meal. This
indicates taking full responsibility for the selection and condition of
the fare, apart from letting people see something of the way you live,
which must remain forever a mystery. When you take a girl home for the
night, insist on breakfasting at a hotel.
Show no knowledge of how food is actually prepared. You have never cooked
a meal in your life. What you eat is provided either by the Scottish
treasure who keep house for you or by a girl or by a restaurant. [T 7, DN
20, OHMSSS 2] In your world, a meal appears, is devoured and vanishes.
Generally, you love simple, quality meals. Scrambled eggs with bacon or
sausage, and plenty of good strong coffee is suitable for breakfast,
lunch, dinner or late supper. [LALD 3, DAF 10]. The champagne you
typically wash such meals down with will make it clear you enjoy such
meals for their taste, not their thrift [OHMSS 8, CR 14]. (At New York's
Plaza Hotel, Felix Leiter could always get the chef to prepare your
favourite egg dish -CC.)
Eggs Benedict in a mousseline sauce [TMWTGG 7] or eggs en cocotte [G 12]
are special variations, but always depicted by you as just solid old-
fashioned egg dishes.
When time is short, order a stack of ham sandwiches with plenty of
mustard to satisfy your desire for strong tastes and sensations [G 7].
Otherwise, dinner may bring grilled sole [OHMSS 2], escalope of veal
[FRWL 25], a steak with french fries [LALD 15] or a simple plate of cold
roast beef and potato salad [OHMSS 2]
When abroad, you know and devour the ordinary simple food of that region:
Cold langoustine in France [CR 6], tagliatelle verde in Italy [FYEO 4],
or stone crabs and melted butter in the states [G 2].
You are contemptuous of restaurants which boast of "specialities du chef"
which are seldom more than poor cuts of meat hidden under wine or cream
sauces [OHMSS 2]. You have a keen eye for the quality of food and have
been known to point out to the waiter that you have been served the fly
walk of the pate and demand a fresh slice.
Scorn tea whenever it is offered, decrying it as a "flat, soft, time-
wasting opium of the masses."
Daily intake is about a half bottle of spirits. You are never drunk in
public, but you may have to act the part if mission circumstances warrant
[M 6-7]. You primarily drink hard liquor, though there are wines that
appeal to you.
You drink it occasionally; In Geneva, a Löwenbräu; in the states, a
Miller's High Life, a couple of Red Stripes in Jamaica and as many as
four steins of local brew in Munich if you find yourself with an ex-
Luftwafffe pilot. But eschew English beer; It, like cider, belongs in
pubs and 007 does not.
Bourbon is preferred: Old Grand Dad [LALD 10], I.W. Harper's [OHMSS 4],
Walker's deluxe [TMWTGG 7] or Jack Daniel's [OHMSS 23]. Have the entire
bottle brought, served on a tray with a bowl of ice and a tumbler. You
prepare the drink as follows:
Half fill the glass with ice and add three fingers of whiskey. Swill it
around to cool it and break it down with the ice. Drink it down in two
long draughts, feeling its friendly bite at the back of your throat and
in your stomach. Refill the glass, this time with more ice than before
and take it slower. A good opportunity to reflect on your current
assignment [TMWTGG 7].
Bourbon on the rocks is good with a steak [LALD 15]. If you wish, you may
dilute the drink with soda [DN 14]. Branch water is nice, at least when
in the USA [DAF 17].
For long car journeys and outdoor missions, fill your flask with three
qaurters bourbon and one quarter coffee [FYEO 2].
Irish whiskey is tolerable if yor find yourself killing some time, say,
at Shannon Airport and wish to imbibe a Gaelic coffee: Hot black coffee,
sugar and a large measure of whiskey are transferred to a wine glass and
served with chilled double cream floated on top. You know how to prepare
this expertly [DAF 6].
Rye whiskey is acceptable, if it is Canadian Club [DN 7].
Scotch is palatable, if its Dimple Haig served up with a splash of soda
Beefeater [TMWTGG 8] or Gordon's [FYEO 4] only. Enjoyed with plenty of
Angostura bitters or with tonic and fresh lime [G 10]. Gin is also a
component of some of your favorite cocktails, but overall plays a small
role in your universe compared to Vodka.
Russian only. Stolichnaya is fine, but you seize upon pre-war Wolfschmidt
from Riga, though you haven't run across a bottle in years [M 5].
Drink vodka neat and ice-cold as an accompaniment to caviar and smoked
salmon. It should be served in a small crystal carafe nestled in a bowl
of crushed ice [CR 8, M 5]
To impress with your knowledge of true vodka savvy, first sprinkle a few
grains of black pepper in the drink. Explain that the grains absorb the
fusel oils and other impurities as they sink to the bottom of the glass.
The Russians taught you this trick in Moscow, and you just got to like
the taste [M 5].
In hot weather, you enjoy a vodka tonic with a dash of bitters [T 11].
You seldom drink Brandy, typically as a finale to a memorable French
dinner [G 12]. But you also regard it as a medicinal drink for certain
emergenceis and ordeals.
With soda and a couple of Phensic tabs, it makes a useful hangover remedy
[T 1]. Mixed with ginger ale, it serves to ward off the effects of
lengthy flights [OHMSS 8]. You once had a nasty episode in a health
clinic traction machine when a Portugese-Oriental Count with links to the
Red Lightning Tong tried to put a "lengthy" end to you. After that
ordeal, a brandy on the rocks was most restorative [T 4].
You enjoy the following, always knowing how they are prepared, but seldom
doing the mixing yourself:
Dissolve a level teaspoon of castor sugar in the minimum quantity of
boiling water. Add three dashes of Angostura bitters, a squeeze of fresh
orange juice and a large measure of bourbon. Mix. Pour on to ice cubes in
short tumbler. Stir . Garnish with slice of orange and a Maraschino
cherry [T 14].
Made with vodka, medium dry [Something like four measures of vodka to one
of dry vermouth] with a twist of lemon peel [DN 14]. Shaken, not stirred.
The Vesper: The nearest thing you have to a "signature "cocktail. The
bartender will need some instruction on this one:
Three measures of Gordon's gin, once measure of vodka and a half measure
of dry vermouth as shaken in a together until ice-cold. Serve in a deep
champagne goblet with the ubiquitous large thin slice of lemon peel [CR
You may need to explain that when on the job, you never have more than
one drink before dinner. But you do like that one to be large and very
strong and very cold and very well made. You hate small portions of
anything, particularly when they taste bad.
(Since the war is long over, you no longer need to mention that bit of
puffery that the drink would be better made with grain-based vodka rather
than potato-based. It will have been made with grain alcohol; Potato-
based vodka, the equivalent of bath tub gin, would no longer show up on
either side of the erstwhile Iron curtain -- even if it were still
One third gin, one third Campari and one third Cinzano. Shake with ice
and strain into a cocktail glass or stir and serve on the rocks in a
tumbler with a slice of lemon and a swizzle stick [FYEO 4].
A mix of Campari and Cinzano with a large slice of lemon peel and soda
[FYEO 1]. The least offensive of the musical comedy drinks served in
Continental cafes. For the soda, stipulate Perrier. You know expensive
soda water is the easiest way to improve a poor drink.
You enjoy all the well-known cellars: Clicquot [CR 14], Dom Perignon [M
5], Krug [OHMSS 3], Pommery [G 2] and Taittinger [OHMMS 2]. Its best to
go for a vintage about ten years old.
Champagne is a drink that inspires you to dine. Order either $250 worth
of Beluga caviar [T 15] Explain to your companion that anything less than
this amount would be a mere spoonful [T 5]. Ask the waiter to bring
plenty of toast points, adding aside that "The trouble always is not how
to get enough caviar, but how to get enough toast with it. [CR 8]. After
such a repast, your companion may remark how an expensive a repast it is,
to which you reply "Nonsense. Its only a good plain wholesome meal."
Otherwise, underline the simplicity of true elgance with a meal of
scrambled eggs [CR 14]. And scorn the usual highbrow sneer laid at pink
champagne; Clicquot rose is a nice choice [FYEO 1, T 15].
Should a champagne á l'orange made with fresh juice appeal to you at
lunch time, similarly show your disregard for snobbery by pouring
benzedrine powder into your Dom Perignon [M 5]. You always take your
benzedrine in powdered form; Inhaler's, you notice, are strictly the
accessories of sadists from the East [CR 11].
Not your specialty, by any stretch. But a ten year old claret from any
reliable house will suit a meal of roast partridge [OHMSS 2]. A well-iced
pint of rose d'Anjou will complement the sole meuniere [G 12] and a
bottle of the rawest cheapest chianti available is just the thing with
spaghetti bolognese [T 4-5], particulary if you have just endured a
health cure at Shrublands and need to replenish yourself before a much
needed session of lovemaking.
You may order a glass of ten year old Calvado [OHMSS 2] or, following the
lady's lead, a Stinger made with equal parts white creme de menthe and
brandy, shaken with crushed ice and strained into a glass [DAF 9].
Clothes and Accessories
White matte silk dress, diamond earrings and bracelet.
Black velvet, simple diamond necklace.
Charcoal black grosgrain, bright blue cameo brooch.
Grey soie sauvage dress, gold straw hat.
Silk shirt, charcoal skirt, Cartier watch.
Short-skirted frock, tight at bust and hips.
Out and About:
Short-sleeved shirt, Gondolier's hat.
Striped cotton shirt, medium-length skirt.
Heavy silk shirt, pleated short skirt.
Leather belt with knife in sheath at right hip.
Triangle of cotton at crotch, thong round waist.
Black bra and silk briefs.
Tight black lace pants.
Black velvet ribbon, bedsheet.
Ideally you need to be a blonde.
Don't dye your hair unless you're meticulous about it.
Dark-brown, blue-black and black hair is also permissible.
Avoid a coiffure. A Bond girl's hair should look untidy, even for evening
Or, arrange it in a bell, but never fuss with it
Blue or grey eyes, a small nose, and a rather wide mouth.
Go easy on the lipstick. Avoid powder and rouge.
A light tan is permissible.
Your fingernails must be short and unpainted.
Breasts should be fine, beautiful & firm, thrusting, vee'd, etc.
If your breasts are none of the above, don't worsen the situation with
For scent, prescribed varieties include Guerlain's 'Ode', Caron's
'Muguet', Balmain's 'Vent Vert' and Chanel No. 5.
Food, Drink, and Smokes
Choose lavishly; Caviar, wild strawberries, etc.
Know how to make mayonnaise, and sauce bearnaise.
You think a Bloody Mary is a soft drink.
Smoke without affectation.
Master the harpoon-gun underwater.
Diving, for either rare shells or awabi.
Figure skating. Don't overdo it.
Triumph TR 3 convertible.
Battered Peugeot 403.
Lancia Flaminia Zagato Spyder.
Sound tough and tender by turns, as here:
"I love to the hilt and I hate to the hilt."
"I hoped I would one day kiss a man like that."
"It'd take more than Crabmeat Ravigotte to get me into bed with a man."
"You look kind of, kind of dangerous."
"Take off those clothes. Make love to me."
"I wouldn't love you if you weren't a pirate."
Gaze at your 007 with a touch of ironical disinterest.
Nonchalantly draw your forearms together so the valley between your
Cultivate a gay, to-hell-with-you face that will obviously become animal
Always make it clear you wouldn't be an insipid slave.
Dr. John Dee - The Original 007
In the 16th century the English were at war with the Spanish. Queen
Elizabeth I needed information about her enemies for the empire she was
starting to build. And she needed a spy to get it. Dr John Dee, a
philosopher, alchemist and mathematician was introduced to her, and
became her most trusted and brilliant advisor. He was the man who
inspired Shakespeare to create the character of Prospero from The
Tempest, and the inspiration for Ian Flemings James Bond...
Queen Elizabeth I was an ambitious monarch who wished to see her country
grow in influence. Spain, however, was the most powerful country in the
world. The Spanish already had colonies in America and ruled the seas.
And the country that ruled the seas ruled the world. For England to
prosper, Elizabeth first of all had to get rid of the Spanish.
But she needed information about her enemies. She wanted to know what
their plans were and what strategies they would use. A network of
espionage emerged. English informers in Europe and in the New World would
be her spies. Dr John Dee was to lead this new secret service.
He was born in 1557 by the River Thames in the village of Mortlake, now
in West London. Dee was a brilliant scholar, indeed a genius. After
studying philosophy and maths at Cambridge University, he went on to
develop sea navigation on mathematic principles. He created maps of the
most important routes to the new colonies. He was a man with many
interests. His library at Mortlake was the greatest of its day,
containing 4,000 books (the library at Cambridge University contained
John Dee was also an alchemist. Alchemy was regarded as a science in
those days. Alchemists believed that by studying the material world, the
real truths of the spiritual world would be revealed. Dee, like all
alchemists, believed that base metals like lead could be turned into
gold. His experiments in this subject became famous among the rich and
fashionable of the day. He was a friend of Englands most famous sailor,
Sir Francis Drake, and the man that brought tobacco and potatoes to
Europe, Sir Walter Raleigh.
But Dee was famous outside England, too. When visiting Queen Elizabeth in
1580, Count Adalbert Laski of Poland was so impressed by Dee that he
invited him back to his home in Cracow. From there he travelled to
Prague. The Czech capital was believed to be the centre of Catholic plots
and intrigue against the Protestants. Was John Dee there to send back
information to Elizabeth concerning the intentions of the Catholic
powers, such as Spain?
Spain was at the height of its power in the late 16th century. Its only
rival was England. If the Spanish could destroy the Elizabethan navy,
then the seas would be safe for their ships. King Philip II of Spain
thought that the Protestant English were heretics, and he personally
hated Elizabeth. The final showdown between the two countries occurred in
May 1588 when King Philip sent 125 of his best ships to attack his
enemies in the English Channel.
When the Spanish ships approached the coast of southern England, Dee
suggested waiting before attacking. He had correctly predicted that
terrible storms would destroy the mighty Spanish fleet, therefore it
would be best to keep the English ships at bay. Afterwards, most of the
Spanish ships were lost or damaged, and the rest were attacked. The
English ships easily disposed of their enemy. What little remained of the
Spanish Armada, as historians call it, tried to escape by sailing through
the Channel into the North Sea and thence around the British Isles over
Scotland and by Ireland. But they sailed into more storms, and violent
seas crashed into them. Many Spanish sailors were shipwrecked in Scotland
and along the west coast of Ireland.
Some believed that it was the alchemist Dr John Dee who put a spell on
the Spanish and sent the huge waves crashing down on their ships. It is
more likely, however, that because he knew about meteorology, he had
anticipated the storm scientifically. By skill, luck or magic the world
was now safer for the British to build their Empire. Dr John Dee,
scientist, or maybe magician, was crucial to the victory. It was Dees
finest patriotic moment!
It is this episode in Dees life in particular that is said to have
inspired William Shakespeare to write The Tempest (Burza) and base the
character of Prospero on the Elizabethan genius.
Dee travelled constantly. On a visit to the University of Louvain in
Belgium, he smuggled back new astrological instruments and two globes of
the known world, the latest in navigation technology. When on a mission
for Her Majesty, the communiqués to his sovereign were signed with a
secret code. It told her that the letter was from him and no one else:
For your eyes only...
The two circles symbolise John Dees own eyes as the eyes of Queen
Elizabeth. The 7 is the alchemists lucky number. It was when the author
of the Bond novels, Ian Fleming, was reading a biography of Dee that he
came upon the 007 figures. This was perfect for his character. This is
what signified that Bond was licensed to kill.
Sir John Dee killed nobody, though. But like James Bond, Dee seems to
have been popular with the ladies. Unlike Bond, however, he married
twice, in fact. His first wife died only a year after their marriage in
1557. Strangely, no mention of this woman, or the marriage to her, was
ever made in Dees diaries. And even more strangely, on the day of her
death Dee was seen entertaining Queen Elizabeth at his home in Mortlake,
as if nothing had happened. Suspicious? He later married one of Queen
Elizabeths top servants, Jane Frommond. No children came from either
Today Dee is remembered as an important man in English history. He was
partly responsible for the growth of the British Empire and contributed
much to scientific study. But towards the end of his life he was
forgotten by most of his friends. In Elizabethan England, science and
magic were seen as the same thing. But the occult was taboo, and
throughout his life Dee had suffered accusations of sorcery and
witchcraft from time to time. Still, there is no doubt about John Dees
ubiquitous influence during the Elizabethan age.
After Elizabeth died and James I came to the throne, however, Dees ideas
on magic were no longer appreciated. King Jamess attitude towards the
occult was the opposite of Elizabeths, and Dees influence faded. He died
in 1608, impoverished and alone.
Nevertheless, thanks to Ian Fleming, the popularity of James Bond has
ensured that a new audience will become acquainted with Dr John Dee, one
of Englands first ever spies and Britains original 007.
Everyone knows that Commander James Bond has the designation 007 and is a
member of the elite Double 0 section. This gives him a "licence to kill",
although it has never been made clear precisely what these means,
especially since in the novels it is made clear that Bond had to kill
twice in order to become a Double 0 agent. However, whatever it means,
the Double 0 agents exist and Bond is not the only one of them.
Fleming's third novel, "Moonraker", makes clear that there are only three
Double 0 agents. Bond is the most senior of the three. The others are 008
(named as Bill who is resting in Berlin) and 0011 (who has been missing
in Singapore for two months). The three men share an office and a
secretary, in the form of Loelia Ponsonby (who was later replaced by Mary
008 is mentioned again in "Goldfinger" when it is suggested that he would
replace Bond in investigating Goldfinger if 007 is killed. However, over
the course of Fleming's novels there is some change in the personnel of
the Double 0 section. In "Thunderball" 009 is made acting head of the
section while Bond is on sick leave in Shrublands, while in "On Her
Majesty's Secret Service" there is a reference to 006 who is an ex-Royal
The writers who have carried on the Bond novels after Fleming have also
made use of other Double 0 agents. "Colonel Sun" features Stuart Thomas,
a Welshman who used to be 005 until an eye defect forced his retirement
and who is now head of Station G (Greece). He reappears in "The Facts of
Death". Also in "The Facts of Death" M chooses to have Bond investigate
the death of her lover rather than 004. 0012 is then given as the
designation of the agent killed trying to retrieve Sir Robert King's
money in Raymond Benson's novelisation of The World Is Not Enough.
In contrast to the novels, the Bond movies have made extensive use of
Double 0 agents. The following is a list of all of those to have appeared
or been mentioned.
002: Bill Fairbanks, who was killed by Francisco Scaramanga whilst in the
arms of a bellydancer in Beirut in 1969. (The Man With the Golden Gun.) A
later 002 took part in the exercise attack on Gibraltar. (The Living
Daylights. Played by Glyn Baker. The designation 002 is never mentioned
on screen during the film, but is given in the credits.)
003: Killed in Siberia while carrying a microchip which was smuggled out
of a Soviet factory. The microchip is inside a locket, together with a
photograph which implies that he has a wife and child. (A View To A Kill.
Only appears as a corpse which is not credited).
004: Murdered by a supposed KGB assassin during an exercise on Gibraltar.
(The Living Daylights. Played by Frederick Warder).
006: Alec Trevelyan. Believed killed by Russian Colonel Ourumov during an
attack on the Arkhangel chemical warfare facility in the late 80s.
However, he later reappeared as head of the Janus organisation.
(Goldeneye. Played by Sean Bean).
007: Cdr James Bond. Need I say more?
008: Agent with whom M threatens to replace Bond in investigating
Goldfinger when he thinks that Bond may turn it into a personal vendetta
to avenge the murder of Jill Masterson. When it appears that Goldfinger
is going to kill him with a strategically placed laser beam, Bond
mentions that 008 will then take over. (Goldfinger; doesn't actually
appear). 008 appears to be M's favourite back-up agent; M later threatens
to recall him from Hong Kong to undertake the assassination of General
Pushkin when Bond appears unwilling. 008 doesn't know Pushkin and
"follows orders, not instincts".(The Living Daylights; again doesn't
009: Killed by Mishka and Grishka, the knife-throwing twins, in East
Berlin, making a spectacular entrance to the British Embassy dressed as a
clown and carrying a Fabergé egg. (Octopussy. Played by Andy Bradford). A
subsequent 009 was employed by M following a request for help from Sir
Robert King following the kidnapping of his daughter. 009 was sent to
kill Renard, the terrorist responsible. The result of the mission was
that Renard remained alive, but with 009's bullet lodged in his skull.
(Mentioned in The World Is Not Enough).
In addition, Thunderball features a meeting in the MI6 conference room
attended by every Double 0 agent in Europe. There are nine chairs, of
which Bond sits in the seventh from the right. This appears to imply that
there are nine Double 0 agents at this point (although I'm not sure how
this fits in with Moneypenny's Europe reference). We don't get a clear
view of most of the other people sat in the chairs, but we see that one
is bearded (perhaps 006 since he is sat to the left of Bond) and another
is apparently a woman but it is not obvious which one. A similar meeting
occurs in The World Is Not Enough following a bomb blast at MI6
headquarters and the death of Sir Robert King. A group of people are
briefed, including Bond. Raymond Benson's novelisation mentions that this
is a group of Double 0 agents, although this is not confirmed on screen.
It is interesting to note that The Living Daylights takes the record for
the most interest in Double 0 agents (apart from the Thunderball scene
mentioned above) with three agents appearing (including Bond) and another
mentioned. It was also one of three consecutive films in the 80s featured
the death of a Double 0 agent near the start as a plot point (Octopussy,
A View To A Kill and The Living Daylights).
by Denise Noe
The very name of Mata Hari has become synonymous with spying, espionage,
intrigue, and sensuality.
The woman who adopted this name was born Margaretha Zelle on August 7,
1876 in Leeuwarden, Holland. She was the second child of Adam Zelle and
his wife Antje van der Meulen and was the only girl in a family of four
boys. M’greet was the nickname her family gave her.
In a family and society known for fair-skinned, blonde, blue-eyed folk,
the pretty M’greet was noticeable for her thick black hair, black eyes,
and easily tanned olive complexion. Neighbors thought she had either
Jewish or Javanese blood. The latter was suggested because Java was a
part of the Dutch East Indies.
Adam Zelle had a successful hat business in an era when virtually no man
would be seen in public without a hat. He kept his family in comfortable
circumstances and seemed to especially enjoy indulging his vivacious and
lovely daughter. She would someday recall that her father seemed to
regard her as “an orchid among buttercups.”
For her sixth birthday, her father gave her a most special present: a
miniature carriage to which two goats were harnessed. Manually skilled,
Papa Zelle had made the carriage, which would seat four passengers. Young
M’greet knew how to drive a carriage because she had often taken the
reins of her father’s jitney so she was delighted to show off her present
and pick up her friends in it.
A young Margaretha Zelle
In many ways, M’greet showed a flair for the dramatic early on. She
loved wearing flamboyant clothes to school and regaling pals with stories
of her exalted origins. “I was born of illustrious ancestors,” she would
claim. “My cradle stood in Caminghastate.” The Caminghastate was a
mansion in Leeuwarden in which an authentically noble family resided.
M’greet sometimes told them she lived in a castle. Although her friends
suspected her stories were fantasy, she was still a popular person.
Teachers liked her too for M’greet was a bright child who showed herself
especially quick with languages.
Disaster struck the family when M’greet was thirteen years old. Adam
Zelle went bankrupt as a result of a series of misguided speculations on
the stock market. After selling off their nice furniture, the family
moved from its spacious home in one of the better parts of the city to a
tiny, shabby house in a poor section. Adam told them he was going to
Amsterdam to try his luck there and left Antje to look after four
children by herself.
Antje was not up to the task. She soon became deeply depressed, then
physically ill. She died when M’greet was fifteen years old. Although
she was a “daddy’s girl,” M’greet had also been quite close to her mother
and took her death very hard.
Adam Zelle came home for the funeral but did not repossess his young.
Instead, he distributed them among those relatives who could be persuaded
to take in an impoverished and orphaned young person. M’greet went to
her godfather’s house in the small town of Sneek. By this time, M’greet
had attained her full height of five-feet-ten inches tall and towered
over other females. Indeed, she was taller than the average Dutch man at
the time and this was considered a distinct disadvantage in gaining
The godfather, Heer Visser, suggested that M’greet try to get training as
a kindergarten teacher. M’greet took the hint. She knew she was not
really wanted in the Visser household and did not enjoy being the object
of dutiful charity. She was soon on her way to the town of Leyde to a
school for future teachers run by Heer Wybrandus Haanstra.
The school emphasized that teachers were to be disciplinarians with their
small, rambunctious charges. The softhearted M’greet did not like to
bring switches down on the palms of little kids and was thought unsuited
for the work for which she was training.
She had another major problem and that was the proprietor of the place,
fat Heer Wybrandus Haanstra. He was infatuated with M’greet and the
lonely girl appeared to reciprocate his feelings, at least partially.
Their romance caused public consternation that erupted into a scandal.
Ironically, the focus of disapproval was not the older male who made
advances but the relatively powerless female who was the object of them.
Thus, M’greet was forced to leave the school in disgrace.
The bewildered M’greet sought refuge with her uncle, Heer Taconis, in The
Hague. In Heer Taconis’ home she did domestic chores and ran errands and
generally tried to make herself useful for the family that had been good
enough to take her in. She was soon eighteen and thinking of matrimony.
She had two major disadvantages in attracting men. The first was her
height since most men, and then as now, want a woman who is shorter than
they are. The second was that she had very small breasts in a culture
that idealized the hourglass figure. She learned to disguise her mammary
shortcomings by putting stockings into the fronts of her undergarments.
However, M’greet was unquestionably pretty, had a certain exotic look
about her, possessed grace and style and so was found attractive by many