Ronald Harwood      
   

Autobiography

       
 
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      I knew only one person in London. Lionel Bowman met me off the boat train at Waterloo Station around noon on Friday 21 December 1951, in perfect English winter weather, cold and dark grey. Rising that morning before dawn I stood glued to the rail of the Edinburgh Castle to see England loom out of the dank mist. The moment I set foot on the quay at Southampton I dropped to my knees and kissed the ground, believing I was at the start of my journey but, in truth, my real journey had begun in a small village in Lithuania and in Stepney, in an unpredictable confluence of persecution, hardship and the search for refuge. Sometimes I feel as though I am a representative of all those who went before me, especially my father, who did not have the opportunities that were offered to me. This is not fanciful or sentimental but real. I cannot be precise about the moment I formulated a command to myself which was never to forget the distance I have travelled.