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Paxo Diana

by | 26th, September 2006

“THE Delights of Wisdom Concerning Conjugial Love – After Which Follows the Pleasures of Insanity Concerning Scortatory Love” (1768). Have you read it?

You may know it by its original title: Deliciae sapientiae de amore conjugiali; post quas sequuntur voluptates insaniae de amore scortatorio?

The title alone is a cracking read. And within the book, you can learn about “how the understanding and will of man and wife may be conjoined by marriage into one – a conjunction resulting in eternal states of innocence, peace and happiness”.

You can buy a copy of it from the bookshop of The [Emanuel] Swedenborg Society. “Come in and have a cup of coffee while you browse our friendly bookstore in Bloomsbury,” says the society website. “Here, at the Bookshop you’ll find the only full collection of the works of Emanuel Swedenborg, one of the greatest minds of the 18th Century.”

Or if coffee is not your thing, you can snap up the copy of the book once owned by the late Princess Margaret. It’s being sold at auction. The work deals with courtship, betrothal, jealousy, temptation, disaffection, sensuality, prudence, and courtesy. And, as the Times reports, “defloration,” and “fornication”.

It’s high-mined yet accessible read. And had Princess Margaret thrown open her library to her family, it might have been read by Princes Diana.

But, as Jeremy Paxman is happy to tell us, and Mail readers, after an extensive private education, just about the only qualification Diana possessed was a “certificate for the best-kept-something-or-other”.

We would suggest the prize was for best–kept secret. But secrets are not Diana’s thing. It seems that anyone who ever met Diana is keen to shout about it in a book. So here’s Jeremy Paxman, the thinking man’s Chris Tarrant (Paxman ask the Questions on TV’s University Challenge and pulls faces as if he knows all the answers).

Paxo, as he is known, has written a book called On Royalty – or to give its longer Swedenborgian title, On The Regalia, Or The First Principles Of Royal Things, Being New Attempts Toward A Philosophical Explanation Of The Elementary.

In it, Paxman writes of his meeting with Diana. And, as is the way of such things, Paxman details the outfit Diana wore at their luncheon – “a pale-blue two-piece suit and was much taller than I had expected”.

They then talked:
Diana: Jeremy, so nice of you to come.
Jeremy observes that her voice is “as smooth as cream”.
Diana: Just the two of us. Can you cope?
“A thousand male fantasies flashed through my mind”
Paxo: I’ll try.

And so to the conversation. Diana says that an American airliner that had crashed off the cost of Long Island had “definitely been hit by a missile – that’s what my source says.”

Paxo says Kensington Palace, the venue for the chat, is like a prison.
Diana: No, more like an upmarket Coronation Street. As we go out, you’ll see all the curtains twitching.

But sometimes Diana nips out in disguise (“jeans and baseball cap”). The newspaper vendor will say: “What you been up to now, Di?”

Diana: “But they’re terrifically friendly, and if someone starts bothering me I just go into W.H, Smith’s, and the staff there are very nice, and they hide me.”

Paxman observes: “It didn’t sound much of a life, but she seemed reconciled to it. A year later she was dead.”

Or hiding among the Swedenborg section at Smiths, dreaming of conjugial love…



Posted: 26th, September 2006 | In: Royal Family Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink