Adrienne is far the most interesting female character in this monumental trilogy, and there is great finesse in the author’s description of her development from a young girl into a mature woman. Her eyes are also a wonderful feature.

Banffy’s books chronicle the decline of the Hungarian aristocracy up to the eve of the First World War. It was a world he belonged to and he presents it to us with utter ease and quiet sadness, observing its multiple failures of leadership.

‘Adrienne, walking beside him, holding herself very straight with her wide-open, topaz-coloured eyes looking unwaveringly ahead of her as she walked.’

 

Source: Miklos Banffy, They Were Counted, trans. Patrick Thursfield and Katalin Banffy-Jelen (London: Arcadia Books, 1999 (1934)), p. 404

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