GHOSTS OF THE VORTEX XII: Emilienne
Can't sing a note, not even the Marseillaise — oh, I'll give it a go when occasion demands — but I did have the X-Factor they were looking for. Once the press got hold of it I was an overnight sensation: the ‘Heroine of Loos’, a new Joan of Arc. Golden salons, cocked hats, bemedalled generals and the public square, as the ballyhoo broke over me. At seventeen I was that month's face-of-the-war, mounting the ‘Staircase of Heroes’ to the Panthéon, blazing my brief comet of a season. Sold an exclusive to Le Petit Parisien and got locked in some chateau to homespin thoughts for the nation. My reason for telling you? I'm not even writing this.