Simone Weil, faithfiil to her principles, scarcely ever spoke to me about herself, her childhood, her family or even her political or social activities. She said in a letter to me that friendship ‘is not really pure unless it is so to speak surrounded on all sides by a compact envelope of indifference which preserves a distance’ (Letter IV). Deep as was her friendship, she strove to keep it impersonal It may be useful, all the same, to recall briefly the main features of a biography already known to many of my readers. Simone Weil was born in Paris on 3rd February 1909. She received no religious education: ‘I was brought up by my parents and my brother in complete agnosticism,’ she wrote to me (Letter VI). Yet one could almost say that her outlook was Christian from the start. ‘I might say that I was born, I grew up and I always remained within the Christian inspiration’ (Letter IV).