[The following passage is from A Historian and His World, 1992, a biography of the British historian Christopher Dawson (1889-1970) by his daughter Christina Scott.]
In the summer of 1909, Christopher had met Valery Mills, then eighteen, at a party given by the Camerons in their house on Folly Bridge. It was no accident of fate that they had met, for Mr. Cameron had noticed Christopher gazing with admiration at a photograph of the daughter of a friend dressed as Joan of Arc for a pageant, and being an inveterate matchmaker, he was determined to arrange a meeting. When Christopher saw Valery and discovered that she was more beautiful in real life than in the photograph, he fell immediately and hopelessly in love. Four years later, when they became engaged to be married, he wrote to her, ‘I loved you before I knew you . . . .’ and this was true, because first he loved her photograph (of which he somehow obtained a copy) and then he loved her from the fleeting glimpse, the chance encounter or the short and formal conversation at an ‘At Home’ or tea party.
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