Leonard in Hydra

The Guardian has a nice excerpt on how Cohen’s days in Hydra formed him. As with most artistic circles of the time, the good stuff is about who is boinking who.

On Hydra, Johnston took a pen to the fresh manuscripts that young Leonard brought him, and taught him the value of fierce editing. It was he who encouraged Cohen to play his first concert of his own material. Johnston’s former colleague from his war reporting days, photojournalist James Burke, was living in Athens and is responsible for recording the event with his Leica. Burke took 1,573 photographs of the colony that year, commissioned by LIFE magazine for a feature that never appeared.

From the body language in those pictures, it is hard to dismiss the idea that Charmian and Leonard might have become lovers. It’s something I discussed with Jason Johnston, who was born on the island and is the only survivor of the family. As his father was impotent from TB medication and his mother, still in her 30s, such a ravishing beauty, it was something he’d wondered himself.

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