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26 March 2021
This is Rockwell's 'The Homecoming' 1945. We cannot begin to imagine how Dorothy Canfield Fisher felt about this painting – delighted of course at all the soldiers coming home. But desperate about her own son James 'Jimmy' Fisher. The fact that he was a war hero is small comfort for a mother, although he was extraordinarily brave and unselfish and that would have been some consolation for her. Read about Dr Jimmy as he liked to be known here and even watch the film made about the heroic raid to rescue 500 American prisoners, it's called The Great Raid. Nowhere though will you see a mention of the fact that Dr Fisher's mother was one of America's best-known novelists. Except here at Find a Grave where there is a poignant picture of Jimmy standing godfather to a baby he delivered just a few days before he died in the raid and the site gives the names of his parents. But here, in this lengthy description of the extraordinarily successful and heroic raid, there is no mention of Jimmy Fisher. We are remembering him and his mother. (His parents, btw, sponsored two Filipino medical students to come to America to study, and they sponsored a medical facility in the village near where the raid happened. When we publish The Deepening Stream this autumn Persephone readers will have an even fuller picture of this admirable and brilliant woman: the novel describes the Fishers going to France in 1915 in order to help their French friends; 'Jimmy' would have been 2 and he was 5 when he and his elder sister came back to Vermont. He had a quarter century of life before he was killed in January 1945.)
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