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Two epilogues

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Abstract

Many of the facts or facets of what one may call the professional life of Charles Ledger have been outlined by himself or commented upon by others in his lifetime. Hardly any information, however, has come to us to describe him as a person or to throw light on his character or his relationships with others and with the members of his own family in particular. Was Ledger choleric or calm, inquisitive or superficial, given to moods or of a reflexive temperament, reliable or unreliable, boisterous or modest, affectionate or cold? There is very little in the notes or letters that remain that would made possible any justifiable judgement. We do not even know for sure whether he had three daughters or four; he did not leave any clue to indicate when and in what circumstances, soon after the year spent at Laguna Bianca, he learned of the death of his first wife and of what caused it. Several times Ledger mentions his friends Manuel, Poli (Cabrera), Santiago, and a few others. Hardly ever does he mention his father or his brother George, except for matters directly connected with his own work; he never refers to the other members of his family in England or in Australia, and says not a single word on his wife’s family at Tacna. Of Candelaria we know only that he married her; that when he was in financial need in northern Argentina with the alpacas she sent him the silver dollars that Manuel carried bundled in his hair; and that later he was a widower. Of his second wife Charlotte we know that she accompanied him across the Andes from Tacna to Cachi: but this was in some ways related to his work. And yet, judging from his letters and the remaining fragments of his diary, he was a prolific writer.

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© Gabriele Gramiccia 1988

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