Remember the song The White Cliffs of Dover?
This was a beloved American pop song heard everywhere during and after World War II, even into the nineteen-fifties. Did you know that the song was inspired by The White Cliffs, a novel-in-verse published in nineteen forty? That story was written by Macculloch Hall’s own poet-laureate, Alice Duer Miller.
Alice Duer married Henry Wise Miller, a great-great grandson of Louisa and George Macculloch raised in Macculloch Hall. Her book, The White Cliffs told a story of an American woman’s growing love for England during and after World War I. The lyrical story served as a rallying call for America to enter World War II, ending with the memorable lines,
But in a world where England is finished and dead,
I do not wish to live.
Life Magazine published The White Cliffs in full, as the first poem ever so honoured. It was such a hit with the public that it was read on the radio by reigning actors Lynne Fontanne and Alfred Lunt. The broadcast was a sensation. There were so may calls for it to be repeated that Lunt and Fontanne gave an equally unprecedented repeat performance shortly afterwards.