Friday, September 05, 2014

An improbably young Clement Freud

Clement Freud, who died in 2009, was Liberal MP for the Isle of Ely between 1973 and 1987.

This photograph shows him in 1950 with his fiancee June Flewett, who is better known under her stage name Jill Raymond.

She also has a remarkable claim to literary fame, as Nigel Farndale revealed in the Telegraph a few years ago.
In a yawning, book-lined drawing room in Marylebone, central London, I am left to browse a file of letters written during the war years by CS Lewis to "My dear June". The "June" referred to is Jill Freud, the now 78-year-old wife of Sir Clement, who has disappeared into the kitchen to make a pot of tea. 
In 1944, she was June Flewett, a London convent girl who had been evacuated to Lewis's house in Oxford to escape the Blitz. She was also the inspiration for Lucy Pevensie, the girl who walks through the wardrobe full of fur coats and into the snowflakes of Narnia. 
The premiere of Hollywood's £75million The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was held in London on Wednesday, and Lady Freud had been asked to attend. She had also been asked to fly to America for the premiere there but, as she says in a crisp voice: "I was sure children wouldn't want to be told that this old lady is Lucy."

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