About FHB

Her First Grandchild would be 100 Today

August 11, 2016


One of Frances’s greatest joys was being a grandmother. She was called “Nanda”, a name that her daughter-in-law also used when she became a grandmother, as my kids today lovingly refer to my mother too, as Nanda.

Frances’s first grandchild, her only surviving son Vivian’s daughter, Verity Burnett AKA my Granny, was born 100 years ago today.

After Verity was born, she wrote to Elizabeth Jordan, editor or Harper’s Magazine:

“Great Heaven! I have not yet told you that I have a granddaughter-which seems to have been born by magic-so quietly and beautifully it appeared-and so wonderfully radiant is the lovely little mother. I have now the relationship of Fairy Godmother. The Fairy Godmother will pale by comparison.”  

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Here is Frances with young Verity in her garden in Plandome, New York

She was an amazing Nanda to Verity and her sister Dorinda. She wrote in a letter to Elizabeth Jordan,

“Vivian brought the children up in the car and they rushed out into the rain, dancing and shrieking with joy because Nanda was going to play with them. I am Nanda, you know, and I am considered desperately fascinating.”

Even though Frances continued to travel, she was always writing to her Verity, here writing her a little poem from Bermuda where she loved to spend the winters.

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My mother says that Verity was also a wonderful writer, sending letters to friends and family that were 8-12 pages in length. But, Verity stated that the pressure of being FHB’s grandchild kept her away from the pen professionally.

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Happy 100th Birthday Granny!

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That’s me in the front left with the Dorthy Hamill haircut that when not curled just right made me look like one of my brothers Tad or Matt above. To the right of Granny is my cousin Grace, who I looked up BIG TIME.

You were fun and feisty,

as imagine Frances taught you to be.

You were a lover of gardens, animals, and fashion too, just like Frances. I can still see you in those Way-Too-Cool to Be a Grandmother jeans printed with flowers on them holding your beloved dog Cricket, waving to me from the dock on Nantucket(which my kids now call Nanda-tucket).


Love and Miss You Terribly,

Your Grand-Daughter, Keri