Read My Pins

I recently bought Madeleine Albright’s book ‘Read My Pins’, I saw it advertised on a site selling vintage jewellery, I had gone browsing in one of my many moments of writers block. I purchased the book, primarily for the pictures, there aren’t many books devoted exclusively to brooches. But as I began to read I found there was rather more to the book than I had first imagined. I didn’t know that the former Secretary of State was an avid brooch or should I say pin collector. And used her pins too as diplomatic tools – sending messages and warnings to various Heads of State, Governments and Regimes during her career as a diplomat. There are personal stories attached to many of Madeleine’s pins. The widow of the Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin gave her a gold ‘dove’ which she wore when paying her respects to the victims of genocide in Rwanda in 1997. Her love of pins was such that on her sixty fifth birthday her staff at the White House bought her sixty five – each costing less than $3.

The book also has snippets of fascinating history. And there are lots and lots of photographs of brooches. I was tickled pink to spot a few brooches very similar to ones I have in my own modest collection.

Perhaps I will think more carefully sometimes about which brooches I buy and wear.