Still aware of some supernatural occurrences, she embarked on an act that saddened her family when they learned of it after her death: she decided to destroy her priceless collection of oriental treasures. A bequest from an aunt by marriage, they were “graven images” that had to be burned by fire, according to the second commandment. Retrieving the five suitcases from London, she filled two garden incinerators with more than 40 artefacts, itemised in a handwritten list titled “The burning of some idols (11 August 1981)”, and set fire to them. These included Chinese silk robes, carved Chinese letter seals and other artefacts of marble, terracotta, porcelain, plaster, mother of pearl, ivory, wood and stone, from China, Korea, Japan, Africa, Greece, Bali and Persia. She smashed and hammered at the Tang and Sung figures until she got the remnants down to “dog-biscuit size”.
“Rosemary Tonks, the lost poet” at