The three sisters were born in Budapest: Adila in 1886, Hortense Emilia in 1887, and Jelly in 1893. However, excavating other people's childhoods means also disturbing one's own. Adila was born in Andrassy Street, a mile and a half long and fifty yards wide, centre of Budapest's Belgravia, tented across in summer by the odour of robinia blossom in the gardens. In nineteenth-century Budapest chaperons shadowed each step, look and gesture of young ladies at balls, in trams, in drawing rooms with young men. Lack of traffic rules in that Budapest made the crossing of a street a peril to a small girl, at whom horses seemed to rush viciously from all sides at once. One place where electric trams were not allowed was St Margaret's Isle in the middle of the Danube, summer playground of Budapest for rambling, bathing, eating pastries.