NABOKV-L post 0007217, Wed, 4 Dec 2002 09:26:33 -0800

Subject
Fw: =- Pale Fire -=- All Hail King Zog! -=
Date
Body
----- Original Message -----
From: "Andrew Brown" <as-brown@comcast.net>
> ---------------- Message requiring your approval (293
lines) ------------------
> Man, this just gets better and better!
>
>
>
>
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "D. Barton Johnson" <chtodel@cox.net>
> To: <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
> Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2002 4:10 PM
> Subject: Fw: =- Pale Fire -=- All Hail King Zog! -=
>
>
> > ----- Original Message -----
> > From: "Thomas Bolt -- b0sh0tmalt" <bolt@tbolt.com>
> > To: "Vladimir Nabokov Forum" <NABOKV-L@LISTSERV.UCSB.EDU>
> > Sent: Tuesday, December 03, 2002 11:18 AM
> > Subject: =- Pale Fire -=- All Hail King Zog! -=
> > > ===============================
> > > PALE FIRE:
> > > All hail King Zog !
> > > ===============================
> > >
> > >
> > > A Source for Charles Kinbote
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > Palace intrigues.
> > > A "reader of Shakespeare."
> > > Assassination attempts.
> > > A bearded Royal Guard.
> > > Crown jewels.
> > > A middle-aged "bachelor king"--a manly dandy.
> > > A powerful red car (wedding gift from Hitler).
> > > A country bent sinister by both Fascists and Communists.
> > > A series of fantastic escapes.
> > > An exiled king, making the best of life in America.
> > > A queen's villa on the French Riviera....
> > >
> > >
> > > I learned about this real-life
> > > Kinbote recently when less-than-ideal
> > > insomnia found me reading THE LIFE
> > > OF IAN FLEMING. Fleming, then a Naval
> > > Reserve officer, is overseeing the
> > > last-minute escape from France of
> > > various VIPs as German tanks roll in:
> > >
> > > "From time to time German bombers came, but nothing stopped the
> > > evacuation, and by dusk nearly all the refugees were away. Then
> > > came a coup de théâtre. The last boat was nearly filled when
> > > motor-horns were heard in the distance; and over the
> > > cobblestones rolled a cavalcade of enormous motor cars carrying
> > > King Zog of Albania, his family, and mountains of luggage,
> > > including the crown jewels of Albania. Somehow Fleming managed
> > > to get the royal party safely off...."
> > >
> > > --John Pearson, 1966, Jonathan Cape, London, page 105
> > >
> > >
> > > Which led me to this riot of parallels
> > > in the very first place I looked:
> > >
> > >
> > > King Zog in America (1951)
> > >
> > > Ahmed Bey Zogu, born in 1895, battled innumerable Balkan
> > > adversaries to consolidate control of his country after the
> > > First World War, became President in 1925, and declared himself
> > > King Zog I in 1928. For his coronation, he ordered an outfit
> > > that included rose-colored breeches, gold spurs, and a gold
> > > crown weighing seven and five-eighths pounds.
> > >
> > > Zog's preoccupation once he was on the throne was how to stay
> > > alive. In 1931, he barely escaped assassination at the hands of
> > > two gunmen as he was leaving a performance of "Pagliacci" at the
> > > Vienna Opera House. His mother kept watch over the royal kitchen
> > > to make sure his food was not being poisoned. A virtual recluse
> > > in his capital city, Tirana, which in any case had neither night
> > > clubs nor theatres, Zog did little except play poker and smoke
> > > as many as a hundred and fifty perfumed cigarettes a day.
> > > Understandably, perhaps, shaking Europe's royal family trees for
> > > a queen yielded Zog no fruit. But his four sisters, each of them
> > > a division commander in the Albanian army and none of them
> > > married themselves, helped in the search, and he eventually
> > > found a penniless half-American, half-Hungarian countess,
> > > Geraldine Apponyi, who had been selling postcards in the
> > > Budapest National Museum for forty-five dollars a month. Her
> > > photograph captured Zog's heart, and they were married in 1938.
> > >
> > > A year later, Italy invaded Albania, routing its thirteen
> > > thousand troops and two airplanes within forty-eight hours.
> > > Having fled to England with his family and a hefty portion of
> > > his country's gold, Zog watched from afar as Mussolini's
> > > Fascists and then Enver Hoxha's Communists took over his
> > > kingdom. Zog was formally deposed in absentia in 1946. Having
> > > temporarily moved to Egypt, he became friends with King Farouk
> > > while he pondered the serious question of where an ex-monarch
> > > could live.
> > >
> > > He found the answer, he thought, during a 1951 tour of the
> > > United States: Knollwood, a sixty-room granite mansion that had
> > > been built on Long Island's North Shore in 1907. Zog bought it
> > > for $102,800 (not for "a bucket of diamonds and rubies," as some
> > > stories claimed at the time). Italian Renaissance in style,
> > > Knollwood boasted tall Ionic columns and a winding main stairway
> > > of Caen marble. Massive stone steps led down to vast reaches of
> > > landscaping, with gardens and reflecting pools. English ivy
> > > covered parts of wide terraces and also hung from marble
> > > fountains and urns. "A man must have a place to lay his head,"
> > > the Times commented, "and if Zog feels he must have sixty rooms
> > > to do it in, that is his business."
> > >
> > > Zog, it was announced, intended to turn Knollwood into his
> > > kingdom in exile. In its grounds would live Albanian subjects,
> > > working the land as his tenants. North Shore society, delighted
> > > at the prospect of royalty in its back yard, was soon flocking
> > > to Knollwood. At its gates, visitors were greeted by a bearded
> > > member of the Royal Guard: he would kiss their hands and turn
> > > them away.
> > >
> > > Alas, Zog wanted to settle into the mansion with his entire
> > > court, of a hundred and fifteen, but the immigration authorities
> > > would allow him to bring only twenty into the country. Attempts
> > > to bribe the State Department failed, and in 1952 he was forced
> > > to pay $2,914 in taxes to save his property, having been unable
> > > to convince Nassau County that as a monarch he had sovereign
> > > immunity from such trifles. In 1955, he sold Knollwood, which
> > > had meanwhile suffered eight thousand dollars' worth of damage
> > > from vandals. The vandals thereupon converged on the estate in
> > > earnest, ripping it apart in search of treasure that was rumored
> > > to be buried in its grounds. The mansion was later demolished,
> > > and Zog spent his last days in a nearly empty villa on the
> > > French Riviera, with Queen Geraldine doing the housework. He
> > > died in 1961.
> > >
> > > Excerpted from Muttontown's King, The New Yorker, pp. 33 & 34,
> > > September 11, 1989
> > >
> > > http://www.frosina.org/infobits/kingzog.shtml
> > >
> > >
> > > =-=-=-=-=
> > >
> > > His queen died only last month:
> > >
> > >
> > > 'White rose' blossomed in exile
> > > November 14 2002
> > >
> > > Queen Geraldine of Albania King's consort 1915-2002
> > >
> > > Her Majesty Queen Geraldine of the Albanians, who has died aged
> > > 87, was the wife of King Zog, the ruler of Albania for the two
> > > decades before World War II.
> > >
> > > As Countess Geraldine Apponyi, before her marriage to the
> > > 42-year-old bachelor king in 1938, she was one of Europe's great
> > > aristocratic beauties, sometimes referred to as "the white rose
> > > of Hungary".
> > >
> > > At 22, she became the second-youngest queen in the world; only
> > > King Farouk of Egypt's consort, Queen Farida, was younger.
> > >
> > > But in 1939, after only 388 days as Queen on Albanian soil, she
> > > and King Zog were forced to flee the country as Mussolini's
> > > forces overran it. They lived the rest of their lives in exile.
> > >
> > > Geraldine Apponyi was born in Budapest, a daughter of the
> > > Hungarian nobleman Count Gyula Apponyi de Nagy-Appony and his
> > > wife Gladys, daughter of John H. Stewart, the American consul at
> > > Antwerp.
> > >
> > > Geraldine's parents had met in Paris in 1912, at a dinner party
> > > at the Austro-Hungarian embassy, and were married in 1914. Her
> > > paternal grandfather, Count Ludwig Apponyi, was grand marshal of
> > > the Hapsburg court in Budapest.
> > >
> > > After the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian empire at the end of
> > > World War I, the Apponyis left Hungary and went to Switzerland.
> > > They returned to Hungary in 1921 but, after Count Gyula's death
> > > in 1924, Gladys Apponyi decided to take her three children -
> > > Geraldine, Virginia and Gyula - to live near her widowed mother
> > > at Menton, in the south of France.
> > >
> > > But when Gladys then remarried - to a French army officer - the
> > > Apponyi family insisted that the girls be returned to Hungary.
> > > She agreed, and they were sent to board at the Sacred Heart
> > > school at Pressbaum, near Vienna, spending the holidays with
> > > their grandmother and aunts and uncles at the family's country
> > > estate.
> > > When Geraldine was 16 her grandmother died, and thereafter she
> > > and Virginia spent most of their holidays at Zebegny with their
> > > go-ahead aunt Countess Fanny Karolyi. In the mornings at
> > > Zebegny, the girls learnt shorthand and typing.
> > >
> > > At 17, staying at the Karolyi Palace in Budapest, Geraldine came
> > > out at a ball given by the Hungarian monarchists; one of several
> > > photographs taken of Geraldine at that ball would fix the
> > > direction of her life.
> > >
> > > Some years later she received, out of the blue, a letter from
> > > one of King Zog's six sisters inviting her to stay in Albania.
> > > Anxious to find a European bride (and one without a past), King
> > > Zog had sent his sisters to Vienna and Budapest to search for a
> > > suitable candidate. They had sent back to Tirana copies of the
> > > photographs taken of Geraldine at the ball.
> > >
> > > King Zog's trusty General Cyczy visited Geraldine and the
> > > Apponyis in Budapest to confirm the invitation, and Geraldine's
> > > friend, Countess Katherine Teleki, was sent to Tirana to thank
> > > the king and to "have a good look around".
> > >
> > > Subsequently, Geraldine wrote to accept the invitation and, just
> > > after Christmas 1937, she set off. The visit was a success; King
> > > Zog proposed marriage on New Year's Day and, after a decent
> > > interval, on January 10 Geraldine accepted. Her guardian, Count
> > > Charles Apponyi, gave his consent and Geraldine was given the
> > > rank of Princess of Albania.
> > >
> > > The marriage - a civil ceremony (King Zog was a Muslim, his
> > > bride a Roman Catholic) - took place in the spring of 1938.
> > > Geraldine wore a pearl and diamante wedding dress - which the
> > > king had ordered from Worth, in Paris - and orange blossom in
> > > her hair. She had six bridesmaids, and the wedding cake, which
> > > she cut with her husband's sabre, was three metres wide.
> > >
> > > The wedding presents included a phaeton and four Lipizzaner
> > > horses from Admiral Horthy, the Regent of Hungary, and a scarlet
> > > supercharged Mercedes from Adolf Hitler. King Victor Emmanuel of
> > > Italy sent a bronze equestrian statue of a dragoon; Mussolini
> > > sent some copper vases.
> > >
> > > When the Italians invaded Albania in April 1939, the king and
> > > queen fled with the infant Prince Leka - who spent only three
> > > days after his birth in Albania - via Greece to England. The
> > > puppet government announced that the crown of Albania had passed
> > > to King Victor Emmanuel of Italy.
> > >
> > > After a prolonged odyssey through Europe - Greece, Turkey,
> > > Romania, Poland, the Baltic states, Sweden, Belgium and France -
> > > the king, queen and prince arrived at the Ritz Hotel in London
> > > in 1940 with an entourage of 30, including the King's six
> > > sisters. They would remain in England for the duration of the
> > > war, moving from the Ritz to Parmoor House, a country house they
> > > rented in the Chilterns.
> > >
> > > When Auberon Herbert (son of that enthusiast for Albania,
> > > diplomat and MP Aubrey Herbert) paid them a visit in
> > > Buckinghamshire, it seemed to him that King Zog - once described
> > > by Aubrey Herbert as "a reader of Shakespeare and a fine
> > > fighting man" - did "nothing but nurse his majesty and take tiny
> > > Parisian walks".
> > >
> > > After the war, once it was clear that they would be unable to
> > > return to Albania, they moved to Egypt, at the invitation of
> > > King Farouk, where they were joined by other exiled European
> > > royalty to whom Farouk was ready to grant refuge.
> > >
> > > After Nasser toppled Farouk and the latter departed from Egypt
> > > in 1952 - Queen Geraldine watched Farouk board his yacht at
> > > Alexandria through binoculars - King Zog, whose health was
> > > failing, moved his family and entourage to France.
> > >
> > > After nearly a decade of declining health, King Zog died in
> > > hospital in Paris in April 1961; by the time of his death he had
> > > survived 55 assassination attempts.
> > >
> > > Queen Geraldine subsequently lived in Spain and South Africa,
> > > before returning to Albania at the invitation of 40 members of
> > > parliament this year. She is survived by her son Leka, who in
> > > exile was proclaimed king of the Albanians by the Albanian
> > > National Assembly, in Paris, after his father's death.
> > >
> > > --Telegraph, London
> > >
> > >
> > > ===========================
> > >
> > > ZOG comes after ZEMBLA in index-order...
> > > a last ghost-entry?
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > ~ Tom
> > >
> > >
> > >
> > > PS
> > > If there are any Albanians on the
> > > List, I would love to hear more.
> > >
>