Suzanne and Ainslie Embree

Suzanne and Ainslie Embree


Suzanne and Ainslie Embree (now deceased) invited my wife Pat and me for drinks before dinner in Collington’s dining room.  This is a favorite way to entertain at Collington – invite friends for dinner and everyone pays his/her own way.

There were several coincidences discovered during that evening.

  • Ainslie knew Karl August Wittfogel. Wittfogel had been the mentor of Joe Schiebel, Pat’s first husband.
  • Ainslie had edited a book with G. L. Ulman who had been a fellow student of Joe Schiebel at the University of Washington.
  • Suzanne and Ainslie had attended the funeral service at St. John the Divine in New York City for Gene Smith, a great friend and employee of mine at the Library of Congress offices in India, Indonesia and Egypt.

Suzanne Harpole Embree was recruited in 1942, during her senior year at Wellesley College, to serve as a cryptanalyst in the Navy WAVES code-breaking unit – a “Code Girl”.  These code girls were recruited by the US Army and Navy to help break enemy codes during World War II. Once in the nation’s capital, the Code Girls undertook the meticulous and highly skilled work of deciphering messages about enemy operations in the Atlantic and Pacific theaters of war.

embree ainslee

Ainslie was a Canadian Indologist and historian.  He was considered a leading scholar of modern Indian history and played a seminal role in the introduction of South Asian studies into U.S. college and secondary education curricula.