Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Partying with Royals in London (1930)

Lord Glenavy with his
 children Patrick and Biddy
This is a continuation of a jot from March 2014 featuring  a good letter, over 20 closely written pages found among some papers bought in Ireland.  Indiscreet, gossipy ('The Prince  of Wales was blotto..') from the inner circles of power and privilege in 1930 and like something out of Waugh's Vile Bodies. The recipient was Beatrice Elvery, Lady Glenavy (1881 - 1970). Irish artist and literary host, friend of Katherine Mansfield and friend of Shaw, Lawrence and Yeats. She modelled for Orpen and painted 'Éire' (1907) a landmark painting promoting the idea of an independent Irish state. The letter is from her husband Charles Henry Gordon Campbell, 2nd Baron Glenavy (1885–1963) politician and banker in England and Ireland. This is from the last two pages, the letter ends on a scrap of 'Irish Free State Delegation' paper.

I had to go to a party at  Buckingham Palace, they were much the same people as at Londonderry (an earlier party)   but Kipling and Barrie instead of Elinor Glyn and Mrs Stevens. Lady Jowitt was all over us to go to another cocktail party but I rather shrank from meeting Mary Hutchinson. I met Plucky's mother in law, Lady Melchett. The Prince of Wales is a wretched looking old-young man who would be quite insignificant if he hadn't large eyes of a brilliant blue. The Queen's bosom reaches form her chin to her pelvis and anyone talking to her has to stand about five feet away. The Duchess of York is quite simple and pleasant looking;  Winston Churchill remembered me and got into a conversation about the Xmas day I spent in his room at the Ministry of Munitions which attracted quite a crowd.

In the evening we had an official reception and a dance which was quite good fun. Tell Granny that Lord Amulree  (the new Minister of Air) flutters breeches (?) and a lot of MP's were asking for him…Lady Drogheda & her daughter were there (the latter a terrific beauty) dodging the cardinals and Bishops (in England RC clerics have enormous pot-bellies) because Lady D has been scandalised, divorced or something. Shaw couldn't come because he had been up late with *Einstein the night before…  I danced with Isabel MacDonald a couple of times -  a homely retiring sort of girl.

Towards the end I got off** with a terrific beaut who said she worked at the Slade ( I'm rather doubtful) + we were going to go on somewhere when Mrs McGilligan attacked me

An unpublished Titanic poem (May 1912)

Found among a lot of miscellaneous papers, some religious - this poem by one William Allen about the Titanic disaster. It is dated May 1912, one month after the tragedy. The name William Allen is associated with the Titanic because it was the name of the father of one of the survivors, Ada E. Hall. The family was from Hackney, London and Ada was emigrating to America (along with her brother in law the Reverend Bateman who drowned*). She is in the Encyclopedia Titanica and in a lengthy article on her in the  Baltimore Sun it states: "Nearer My God to Thee" was the last song Ada heard from the band that was playing on the deck of the RMS Titanic after she boarded a lifeboat and was lowered to the waters below." This hymn is mentioned in the poem and there are a few details that may have come from an eyewitness (i.e. his daughter) rather than from press reports. William Allen is a common name so none of this is conclusive. The poem is heartfelt, competent and deeply religious:

T'was the eve of the day of rest
That the mighty Leviathan
Ploughed her way through the ocean's
Sleeping breast.

List  to the throb of her stately tread
Mark her proportions
From anchor to lofty head
Its harmony sublime.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

I once met…Luise Rainer

Sad to hear of the death of the film star Luise Rainer at 104, but as we (often) say in England, she had  'a good innings'. I met her in the mid 1990s when she must have been in her late 80s. Myself and the esteemed rock musician and bookseller Martin Stone travelled to her villa in the Italian part of Swizerland to buy some of her books. I recall she picked us up at the station in a smart and powerful car and took us along  winding, perilous mountain roads at considerable speed. Something of a white knuckle ride. She was full of energy and amusing chat. She told us that life was not very social in this part of Switzerland. When she had arrived she gave two enormous parties for everybody interesting in the neighbourhood. She had done this before at other houses in her long life and usually after these events you just sat back and waited for invitations to come in and your social life was 'sorted.' Sadly, she did not hear a word from anyone, apparently this was not untypical of the Italian Swiss. Lots of old friends had come to stay however. She told us  of a 100 year old British peer who had stayed for a month or two. Because of his great age she had hired a local nurse to look after him and Luise was rather surprised that he later willed this nurse a large sum of money!  We saw some good books including several presentation copies (a first of House of Incest by Anais Nin signed and presented to one of her husbands comes to mind). She was considering a move to London and asked me about  prices in the Knightsbridge area. I am sure she found London a lot more fun than the Alps…

She was a great beauty in youth and this could be seen even in old age. Luise had some good art on the walls and some sculpture. I recall a Sonia Delaunay and a Marie Laurencin. I guess she must have moved shortly after. In February this year I tweeted a happy 104th birthday to her and mentioned our trip to see her near Lake Como. I was amazed to get this tweet back from her "..would love to see photos of that trip if you have any…?" Sadly we took no photos, this being slightly  before the smart phone era. R.I.P. Luise, a truly great star!

Martin Stone wrote in with this (I had forgotten entirely about the snake!) :

That trip to see her did seem to leave a strong impression,didn't it? Sitting on the terrace with the lake far below, she announced she was leaving to live in London."But why go from here?"one of us said,"this is paradise.""Oh,I've had enough of Paradise",she said,"now I'm ready for Hell".
Do you remember the snake in the basement that we refused to dispose of for her? I thought that might have blown the deal...I also remember several Egon Schiele paintings/drawings and a sensational medieval triptych spotlighted- I think you tried to buy them with the books,and she said "No,Sotheby's Geneva next month! " Great lady.

Monday, December 29, 2014

An Alice B Toklas memento (age 8)

Found - a rare piece of ephemera from the very earliest years of the life of the writer (and cook) Alice B.Toklas. A gilt edged and gold printed card, found in San Francisco from where her American family came. This is an invitation to her grandparent's 50th wedding anniversary at Kempen (Prussia) in Poland. Her grandfather was Simon Wolff Toklass born in  1814 in Kepno, Poznan, Wielkopolskie, Poland and her grandmother born a year later in the same town was Amalie Gnadenfeld. Their son, Ferdinand Toklass, born 1845 in Kepno was by 1880 living at 1880 922 O'Farrell St, San Francisco, California, USA and seems to have dropped one of the s's from his name. He had married one Emma Levinsky in the early 1870s and they had a son (Clarence) in 1872 and a daughter Alice Babette Toklas on 30 April 1877 in San Francisco. The father working for a relation, Max Toklas, as a bookkeeper at Brown & Co, clothing manufacturers of 24 Sansome St, San Francisco. The trip to Poland is mentioned in Linda Simon's well named The Biography of Alice B. Toklas (University of Nebraska 1991.)

Early in 1885, Emma and Ferdinand departed for New York with their eight-year-old daughter, en route to Poland for the Golden wedding anniversary of Ferdinand's parents…they landed in Hamburg…[and] went on to Kempen where the Toklas family was gathered for the celebration. Alice found her grandmother tall, elegant, and poised, and her grandfather quiet and gentle, despite family stories of his escapades in Paris uprisings in 1848.

Linda Simon writes of Alice's grandfather that '…after his escapades on the barricades he was forced home to Poland' where he painted and 'contented himself with excessive patriotic doggerel'- so writing was in the blood.

Healthy Clothes, Healthy Food

Found - in Benjamin Lust's Return to nature! The true natural method of healing and living and the true salvation of the soul (Naturopath, N.Y. 1904) this advertisement for healthy food and healthy clothes. It was reprinted in Children of the Sun (Nivaria Press, Ojai, 1998) with a cover from a Fidus illustration. Benedict Lust and his  fellow Naturopaths were advocates of healthy food (especially raw food) and healthy , porous 'reform' clothes, precursors to 'Aertex.'  The book advertised their health underwear as being 'made of the best Maco with Chinagrass ribs …the cheapest and most practical for adherents of the Just, Kneipp and other Natural Healing Methods. The Rippenkrepp Health-Underwear holds a great deal of air, offers the best protection for colds, does not lose its porosity, does not shrink in the wash, only the linen-threads come in contact with the skin, at the same time being much more durable than the real linen.' The full page advert reads:

for Jungborn Articles and Supplies. 

To meet the manifold wants and numerous desires of the public, I opened a "NATUROPATHIC HEALTH STORE" for "Jungborn Articles and Supplies. 
I shall endeavor to attend promptly to the wishes of my cus- 
tomers, and ask for confidence and support at such enterprise. 
My principle is to sell only HIGH GRADE ARTICLES of finest 
quality and at reasonable terms. These articles are especially recommended for the new, true and natural method of living by ADOLF JUST, Ilsenburg at the Hartz Mts., Germany.

"JUST'S POROUS UNDERWEAR AND GARMENTS:" Shirts for gentlemen, ladies and children; also porous material, bleached and unbleached, for Jungborn shirts. 
POROUS MATERIAL FOR OUTER GARMENTS (suits, capes, light coats, etc.); ready made capes for men and boys. I do highly recommend very durable, porous material for suits in all colors.

"HEALTH FOOT WEAR: Sandals, sandal shoes, air shoes, very fine but not striking so they are suitable to be worn in cities and on any occasion; porous Socks in fancy colors. 

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Bibliomaniac of the Boulevards 2

Jules Bollly (merci)
The five volume  auction catalogue of Boulard's vast collection showed up in auction at Christies New York in 2005. It made $5750. It does not appear to have ever left the book trade - possibly book dealers are almost the only collectors for them - and the exact same set is now on sale online at $20000. Christie's catalogue entry is below. It should be noted that Boulard was also a distinguished translator - the French Wikipedia list many of his  works (they put the size of his book collection at a mere 500,000.) He translated works from English (including much Dr. Johnson) Italian, German and Latin and also translated from French into German. During the revolutionary period publisher's note him as 'Citoyen Boulard.' Lawrence S. Thompson in his Notes on Bibliokleptomania, without much evidence, writes that Boulard "...had 'itchy fingers' whenever he saw a volume that could not be bought and excited the acquisitive instincts in him." Another interesting note of Thompson's is that '…when the collection was auctioned off in 1828-1833, it played havoc with the Paris market.' One wonders how long it took to recover and if such a thing could happen again in these less resilient times (for books) - if another Boulard style estate emerged out of Los Angeles or London with half a million good books the effect could be seismic…especially if, as happens, yet another collection emerged shortly after.   Nodier (that man again - note his mention of underbidding) gives this eyewitness account of the perils of bibliomania:

Boulard was once a scrupulous and fastidious bibliophile, before he amassed in his six-story house 600,000 volumes of every possible format, piled like the stones in Cyclopean walls! I remember that I was going about with him one day among these insecure obelisks (which had not been stabilised by our modern architectural science), when I chanced to ask with some curiosity after a certain item — a unique copy -which I had let go to him in a celebrated sale. M. Boulard looked at me fixedly, with that gracious and humorous air of good-fellowship which was characteristic of him, and, rapping with his gold-headed cane on one of the huge stacks (rudis indigestaque moles) , then on a second and third, said, "It's there — or there — or there." I shuddered to think that the unfortunate booklet might perhaps have disappeared for all time beneath 18,000 folios; but my concern did not make me forget my own safety. The gigantic stacks, their uncertain equilibrium shaken by the tappings of M. Boulard's cane, were swaying threateningly on their bases, the summits vibrating like the pinnacles of a Gothic cathedral at the sound of the bells or the impact of a storm. Dragging M. Boulard with me, I fled before Ossa could collapse upon Pelion. Even today, when I think how near I came to receiving the whole series of the Hollandist publications on my head from a height of twenty feet, I cannot recall the danger I was in without pious horror. It would be an abuse of the word to apply the name "library" to menacing mountains of books which have to be attacked with a miner's pick and held in place by stanchions!

Christies catalogue entry NY 2005:

BOULARD, Antoine-Marie-Henri (1754-1826) -- Catalogue des livres de la bibliothèque... Paris: Gaudefroy & Bleuet et al., 19 May 1828-1833.

Five volumes in three, 8o (199 x 123 mm). Early 20th-century half dark-red morocco (light rubbing to edges).

The extraordinary sale catalogue of an extraordinary library, and according to Hofer the largest library ever formed by an individual. At his death, he owned more than 300,000 volumes "of unequal value, but including veritable curiosities" (DBF). The dealers who organized the auction were faced with an almost impossible task; many volumes were simply discarded; "we are told that a hundred and fifty thousand volumes were set aside as not worth listing separately and were sold in bundles of thirty and forty books... Four volumes (of the Boulard Catalogue) contain French books, and a fifth contains books in other languages. The fact that the first volume lists some thirty thousand volumes of theology, law and science gives an idea of the collection" (Taylor). Richard Heber bought all the historical books. The five sales contained 17,000 lots, but many of these consisted of up to ten or twelve titles, all individually listed. The sales were catalogued by: L.F.A. Gaudefroy, J.A. Bleuet and J.F. Boisverd. The dispersal took 248 days. "Boulard's library was intended to be sold in 5 parts; part 5 sold a few months after part 1, beginning in November 1828, part 2 was sold in 1829, and part 3 in 1830; part 3 combines the losts originally intended to form parts 3 and 4 of the sale, and although a catalogue labeled 'part 4' was issued in 1833 it is in fact a supplement to the main series" (North). Boulard, Notaire au Châtelet, had a considerable reputation as author and collector under the Ancien Régime, but, for all his wealth, was not victimized during the Revolution, becoming "maire" of the XIth Arrondissement, and deputy under Napoleon. He was the literary executor of La Harpe, and made numerous translations from the English and German, being an excellent linguist.

This is the end of Jot's excursion into this not so gentle madness. The last word is with the amazing Charles Nodier (who may, or may not, have  killed a man for outbidding him at auction during one of his trips to Spain.)

The bibliophile appreciates the book; the bibliomaniac weighs or measures it. The bibliophile works with a magnifying glass, the bibliomaniac with a measuring-stick.
Some are known to compute the growth of their libraries in square metres. The harmless, deliciously enjoyable fever of the bibliophile becomes, in the bibliomaniac, an acute malady bordering on delirium. Once it has reached that fatal stage of paroxysm it loses all contact with the intelligence and resembles any other mania.

A Bibliomaniac of the Boulevards 1

Max Sander's article Bibliomania, freely available from Northwestern University School of Law Scholarly Commons, yielded the gripping tale of the murderous monk/ bookseller Don Vincente (see recent jots) . He talks of other crazed collectors including the English bibliomaniac Richard Heber who filled 8 houses with books, but for all his acquisitiveness was a discerning collector. The sale of his books took 184 days. The following collector, Boulard, was very much of a quantity man and may have accumulated more books than any individual in the history of the world - 800,000 by some accounts and half that by others… the sale of his books took 248 days.150,000 were sold as scrap. Sander writes:

The most amusing [case] has to do with the Frenchman, Antoine Marie Henri Boulard, who lived in Paris from 1754 to 1825. Here also, as in the Affaire Libri, we have a youthful prodigy of erudition and zeal for learning, for Boulard was gifted enough to be able to take over his father's law office when he was only eighteen. In 1803 he was elected a member of the Corps Legislatif, published works on history and linguistics, and since he was a rich man, established a school for teaching drawing to poor children. His passion for wild book buying made him

Friday, December 26, 2014

A Bibliomaniac Serial Killer 2

Charles Nodier
Last part of this thrill-packed  piece on murder, mayhem, obsession, vengeance and book collecting. Slight doubt is cast on this (incredible) event. The story has inspired a wealth of articles and books from Flaubert right up to Basbanes. However, in 1928 a book appeared in Spain written by bibliophile and author Ramon Miquel I Planas (1874-1950) seeking to rectify the story of Don Vincente and arguing that the anonymous article in  La Gazette des Tribunaux (Paris 1837which had informed the world of the murders had no basis in fact. **Planas argued that the article had been written by French occultist (Priory of Sion) author and librarian Charles Nodier, (1780-1844), most known for his influence on the French Romantics. He found that Don Vincente’s crime does not appear in any local newspapers of the time, that there was no monk by the name of Fra Vincentes at Poblet at the time of its closure, and that the local ‘colour’ does not ring true. Planas's theories have also been later disputed..but if Nodier was  the original author, it should be noted that it was rumoured that he had killed a man for outbidding him at auction during one of his trips to Spain.

The account, indeed, does have a slight air of legend about it - especially the part about each victim returning with alacrity  to the shop to report a missing leaf…booksellers will tell you that often  a missing page is not discovered for years. What does ring true is the murderous anger of the person outbid (almost as deadly as the ire of the person who has been relentlessly bid up to way beyond the price that they had intended to pay. Pace Nodier.) The fetish / obsession about uniqueness is also familiar in rare bookselling lore..The bookseller  'unwilling to part with all but the cheapest of his stock' and who keeps every good book he ever gets (or prices them so high that only a very rich madman would buy ) is also an all too familiar type in life and legend and one who is still with us online and in the cloud…

** This part is in the debt of the ARCA Crimes against Art blog where there are more info and links/ footnotes on the case.

A Bibliomaniac Serial Killer 1

Furs et Ordinaciones, Valencia 1482
This is an oft told tale of book madness and murder. It has elements that ring true and also mythic elements. It inspired the young Flaubert's 1838 novella Bibliomania. This version comes from the unrecorded scholar Max Sander's article Bibliomania,   freely available from Northwestern University School of Law Scholarly Commons. It was published in a criminal law journal in 1943. Sander, a 'scholar specialising  in bibliographical-iconographicaI research work' gave his address as The Huntington Hotel, Pasadena, California. See part two for an update and queries on this story...

...As a young man, Don Vincente was a monk in the Cisterciens cloister Poblet near Tarragona, and because of his passion for books he was made keeper of the cloister's valuable library. During a political disturbance of the time the cloister was pillaged, and there was good reason to believe that Don Vincente had been familiar with the plunderers. It was hinted that he had shown them the place where the cloister's gold and silver treasures were hidden, in order to secure precious books for himself. Be that as it may, he went to Barcelona and opened a bookshop with a remarkable stock of rare books, which was patronized by all collectors although he almost never sold a really important item.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Matthew Arnold letter - a football injury

Found tipped into the front of Poems of Matthew Arnold (London, 1853) an unpublished  handwritten signed letter from the poet to his French friend the writer and anglophile Edmond Schérer.


My dear Mr. Scherer

My boy slipped down and was trodden upon at football last March, and was very ill afterwards from some injury to the back. He got well, however, but when I wrote to you we had been disturbed by a sudden return of his pain.  We have taken him to Prescott Hewitt** a great surgeon, who says that he must lie in bed till the pain has entirely gone,  this upsets the arrangements of a small cottage, as we have to give our invalid the one spare room we have, that he may have more air  and  space than in his own little room.  So we are unable to receive any guests in the house while he is ill, and therefore I was obliged, to my very great regret, to put you off.  I fear it will be still a week before we cease to be a  hospital but – do let me know what you are doing and how long you stay in England.  I cannot easily give up the hope of seeing you here. At any rate I shall meet you at the Athenaeum, I trust;  for next week I begin inspecting*** again and shall be in London every day. I have so much to say to you and to hear from you. Most sincerely yours Matthew Arnold.

* Printed at head of notepaper. This was in the beautiful private landscaped park Painshill Park and Arnold rented the cottage from 1873 to 1888.

** In Dickens's Dictionary of London, by Charles Dickens , Jr., (1879) under 'Doctors' Prescott G. Hewitt is noted as Consulting Surgeon at the  Evelina Hospital for Sick Children (Southwark Bridge Road.)

***Matthew Arnold  was appointed, in April 1851, one of Her Majesty's Inspector of Schools, a job which he worked at until 1886. He once described it as 'drudgery.'

The Briar Rose -- exhibited August 1890

Found in a slim volume of verse from 1891 'printed for private circulation' - this poem about The Briar Rose - a series of 4 related paintings by the Pre-Raphaelite artist Edward Burne Jones. These were first exhibited at Agnew's Gallery in Bond Street, London in 1890. The paintings depict a moment in the story of Sleeping Beauty, the title of the series coming from the version presented by the Brothers Grimm in their collection of 1812. The book was called Thoughts by the Way / Sicily by S.A. Thompson Yates. He was the son of Henry Yates Thompson (1838 -1928) a wealthy British newspaper proprietor and collector of illuminated manuscripts. He was known as the Reverend S. A. Yates Thompson and was the brother of Henry Yates Thompson also a major book collector.

After seeing Mr Burne-Jones picture, 'The Briar Rose.' (August 1890)

Love comes at last with sad and serious face,
A pale, armed youth with sharpened sword in hand,
To pierce the briar-rose hedge, which can withstand
The arms of hate or lust. It is disgrace
To let such through. But, that true love's embrace
Should give all life again, the burly band 
Of sleeping sentinels will not demand
The watchword, as should guardians of the place.
Here all are sleeping. King and council sit, 

In years and wisdom ripe; next maidens
While busy with their housework. All, asleep,
Await the kiss of love, which, as is fit,
The warrior gives, yet sadly, half afraid
To rouse the loved one from her slumbers deep.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Margaret Mackenzies Tea Rooms in Florence

Found in a Tauchnitz edition of Barry Pain's Stories in Grey (Leipzig 1912) this bookmark advertising an English tea room in Florence at 5 Piazza Strozzi. It served 'Light Luncheons, Home Made Bread' with 'Best Teas on sale as used in Tea Room.' It also provided  English and American newspapers, a telephone and 'Writing Tables for use of customers' and may have flourished around 1920. The internet shows no trace of Miss Mackenzie's possibly short lived enterprise. Contemporary Baedeker's may mention it...The only clue is that the address was slightly later that of a publisher T de Marinis & Co who in 1925 published a book of  reproductions of illuminated manuscripts with English text. It was published jointly  with Bernard Quaritch of London. 

Christmas advice from 1932

The Perfect Christmas by Rose Henniker Heaton was a companion volume to the same author’s Perfect Hostess and Perfect Schoolgirl. Published in 1932 by the eighty something Australian-born widow of an illustrious Conservative MP, its distinctly barbed humour has hardly dated. In addition to the many jokes and riddles (one of which defeated Professor Einstein) are some handy hints. The following still has value today.

How to Ruin Christmas

Grumble at everything and everyone.
Moan at the mention of presents.
Scramble wildly at the last moment for people you dislike, rather than be left alone.
Do nothing for anyone, and expect everyone to wait on you.
Eat too much, and drink far too much. 
Spend too much, and grumble while spending it.
Spend too little, and grudge even that.
Leave everything to the last, and sit up until 4 a.m., tying up parcels, and decorating madly.
Start a family quarrel. 


What to do with Rubbish Christmas presents

Once again, Rose Henniker Heaton, our no nonsense Australian hostess from 1932, comes up with some timely suggestions as what we should do with that ghastly piece of raffia from the Village Craft Fair or that horrible vase from the High Street charity shop. Take it away Rose.

Never,  never, never give away as presents rubbish or monstrosities you have bought at bazaars.

“That will do for old Aunt Susan”, you say as you look loathingly at a plush handkerchief sachet; or, “The very thing for Uncle Albert “, as you seize a dust-catching newspaper stand.

The only thing to do with rubbish is:

(A) Put it in your Ideal Boiler
(B) Send it to a Jumble Sale
(C) Give it to the Rag and Bone Man on his next visit

Note.--if anyone sends you rubbish as a Christmas present, put it in the fire, and send a telegram of thanks. If that doesn’t make them feel ashamed, I don’t know what will:

Ex---“Thousand thanks for shell pincushion stuck on pill-box.”


Reply paid: “Gilded pinecones safely received; what are they for?”

Note---Present giving is not a question of money but of common-sense.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Interview with Robin Cook aka Derek Raymond

Found - loosely inserted in a copy of his novel A State of Denmark this typescript of an interview with Robin Cook aka Derek Raymond. At one point he says he is 60 which dates it at 1991. It does not appear to have been published. Many of the typos have been cleared up. It was probably transcribed from a tape recorded in a noisy pub with a break in a Chinese restaurant and back to the pub. Robin Cook, cult novelist and author of The Crust on Its Uppers was also known as Derek Raymond. He had to change his name as it was the same as the best selling author of schlock medical thrillers (Coma etc.,).

Dead man upright. Chap still walking around who really oughtnt to be.
Bit like your nameless policeman.
Yea, lots of policemmen like that esp the busted ones. All driving minicabs. What can you do after being a bent policeman? and you know London well what can you do next/
Dont do research with police. Had lunch once . Id rather do it from imagination. Better relations with French police. How to beat people up with a telephone book.
Known a lot of busted ones in my time, disciplinary reasons, sex casess, bisexual ones.
Back in West Hampstead. Been there a year until I finish the book.
Memoirs out next month
BBC series. Kenneth Trodd. Scriptwriter is a man called William Golding. The man in charge is Kenneth Trodd. First met him years agao back in 1962 when he wanted to make a film of Crust on its Uppers, used to have endless talks. He did singing tec with Dennis Potter. So its in as good hands as it could be. Three 50min episodes, they will draw on all 4 books.
Tom Bell, I thought of him.

Antonia Kelly World War 2 poet

Found - an album of poems among books and ephemera from the St. Clair Erskine family - sons of Lord Rosslyn (1869-1939) whose Calcot Park and Hunger Hill visitors book we covered recently. These were written by Antonia Mary Kelly (1920? - 1965) of Irish descent and the daughter of Admiral Sir John Donald Kelly. She married David Simon St. Clair-Erskine in 1948 and divorced him in 1958. They had one son. There is  a small amount information about her online, mostly garnered from gossip columns and peerage sites. In 1938 at the age of 18 she launched a warship (destroyer) called 'The Kelly' and she seems, on the evidence of these poems, to have worked at the Foreign Office during World War 2. There is a photo of her (below) on her wedding day in The Sketch 1948; she wore hyacinths in her hair, the best man was the Hon W.K. Davison and the priest was Father J. Bevan (indicating a Roman Catholic service) at the Brompton Oratory.

Her poems written between 1933 and 1947 are mostly highly competent, some are passionate love poems. Many are amusing or satirical and some quite worldly for a young woman of the time - at 16 she wrote these 'Lines Written during a Meagre & Modernist Dinner Party' :

Oh, You may have the chromium,
Glass tables and steel chairs, 
Drink cocktails & eat things off sticks
…I like the taste of old Claret
Rolling round my tongue,
I like to know when my dinner's served
By the note of a brazen gong..

The following poem has echoes of the war in the Balkans and concerns rivalry between the Special Operations Executive (SOE) and the Secret Intelligence Service (S.I.S) now known as M.I.6. Any more info on the life of this poet or a photo are welcome.

Ballade of an Unexpected Collaboration
Ref JIC. 1172/43

Hush!  Be it whispered in the inner ear-
A barque is nearing the Illyrian shore,
(But backwards so her course shall not be clear)
With darkling hull & deadened, muffled oar.
Softly the breeze plays o'er the Aegean sea:
Forgetting dog fights they have had of yore,
Quoting long excerpts from the code-book's lore,
T'is S.I.S. plays ball with S.O.E.

Cloaked well, & daggered, see they quit the barque;
Inspect the beach – ha! they have found a spoor!
It is a barefoot, an intriguer's mark :
Some double agent passed this way before! 
While one is warming up the T.N.T.
The other's wireless reports (C.4)
"We have arrived. No time just now for more,
For S.I.S. plays ball with S.O.E."

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Royal Charter wreck - the gold ring on the beach

This poem about the Royal Charter disaster is printed at the back of An  Authentic Account if the Wreck of the Royal Charter Sream Clipper on her passage from Australia to Liverpool , October 26th 1859 with an Interesting Additoion of Subsequent  Events and Incidents Written During a Residence at Moelfra, the Scene of the Catastrophe (Dublin 1860.) The poem was inspired by an account of the finding of a gold ring on the beach at Moelfra  'by one of the peasants living in the vicinity of the wreck.'  With help from the local vicar the ring was restored to the father of the drowned owner - a Mr. Corry Fowler of Dublin. The ring had been worn by his son in memory of his departed sister whose name was inscribed on it. The poem is by a niece.

 Lines on a Ring cast on shore five months after the wreck of the Royal Charter.

Five moons the raging sea retained,
Within its secret hold, 
This ring, the sad and sacred type 
Of mourning manifold.

This ring, that to a brother's love,
A sister's death declared, 
Returneth, crying from the deep – 
"Woe! Woe! He hath not spared!"

Oh ring of mourning, ring of Fate
In what unfathomed scene
Of horror  unexplor'd and dark
Hast thou mute witness been?

Friday, December 19, 2014

'Lines on the Loss of the Royal Charter'

At least 800 lives were lost in the seas around the shores of Britain in the violent storms on the night of 25-26 October 1859. 223 vessels were wrecked: the biggest disaster of all was the loss of the Royal Charter off the coast of Wales, in which almost 450 people died. The ship was returning from Australia and the passengers included many gold miners, some of who had struck it rich at the diggings in Australia and were carrying large sums of gold about their persons. A consignment of gold was also being carried as cargo; it was insured for over £300,000 - about half a billion pounds in todays money. Many of the passengers were killed by being dashed against the rocks by the waves rather than drowned. Others were said to have drowned, weighed down by the belts of gold they were wearing around their bodies. The survivors, 21 passengers and 18 crew members, were all men, with no women or children saved. This poem on one side of a small  card was probably sold for a halfpenny or farthing just after the disaster. The address 'Trafalgar, Neyland' is nearby in Milford Haven, Pembrokeshire. Of Maria Roberts nothing is known…

We also have a more accomplished poem about a gold ring washed up on the beach (to follow) but this poem was probably composed very shortly after the fateful night:

'Lines on the Loss of the Royal Charter.' Inscribed to Messrs Gibbs, Bright & Co., Liverpool

The mornings breeze came rushing o'er the bay,
Marshalling the sea-weed into proud array;
The towering billows, capped with shining foam
Like snow-clad summits on a Highland home.

The noble Charter – like a bird she flew;
Our sea-girt isle she made and kept in view;
Nearing the coast, from whence there came no sound,
But the high raging waves on ocean's bound.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Some curious changes in book titles

Found - an article by Ellery Queen -Some curious changes in book titles in the omnibus Carrousel for bibliophiles, a treasury of tales, narratives, songs, epigrams and sundry curious studies relating to a noble theme by William Targ (Duschnes, New York 1947.) The book is a late example of one of those bibiophilic tomes that were published in such numbers at the end of the 19th century (Love Affairs of a Bibliomaniac, Autolycus of the Book-Stalls, Shadows of the Old Booksellers, The Souls of Books, Book Song, Behind my Library Door, The Romance of Book Collecting etc., etc.,) and are now almost unknown. Queen's article is about changes of title of British editions of (mostly) detective fiction when published in America.

Thomas Burke. The Pleasantries of Old Quong (Constable 1931) became A Tea-Shop in Limehouse (Little Brown 1931)

W. W. Jacobs. Sea Urchins (Methuen 1899) became
More Cargoes (Copp, Clark 1899)

R.Austin Freeman. Dr. Thorndyke's Casebook (Hodder 1923) became The Blue Scarab (Dodd, Mead 1924)

Arthur Morrison The Green Eye of Goona (Eveleigh Nash, 1904) became The Green Diamond (Page, 1904)

J.S. Fletcher Paul Campenhaye: Specialist in Criminology (Ward, Lock 1918) became, 21 years later, The Clue of the Artificial Eye (Hillman-Curl 1939)

E.W. Hornung The Black Mask (Grant Richards 1901) became
Raffles:Further Adventures Of The Amateur Cracksman (Scribner's Sons, New York, 1901)

E. Phillips Oppenheim The Game of Liberty (Cassell 1915) became An Amiable Charlatan (Little, Brown 1916)

Baroness Orczy The Old Man in the Corner (Greening 1909) became The Man in the Corner (Dodd Mead 1909). A change of which Ellery Queen says "only a slight change…but to those  who cherish the memory of the first true armchair detective of detective literature that 'slight' change makes all the difference in the world."

Edgar Wallace The Mind of Mr J.G. Reeder (Hodder 1925) became The Murder Book of J.G. Reeder (Doubleday 1929)- another lamentable change according to EQ as  it emphasises sensationalism which is not actually in the book and a 'phase' of writing at which Wallace " was - surprisingly - inept."

Arthur B. Reeves The Black Mask (Eveleigh Nash 1912) was published, slightly  earlier, in America as The Silent Bullet (Dodd, Mead 1912)- demonstrating that British publishers were not immune to sensationalism.

'Waters' (William Russell) Recollections of a Detective Police Officer (Brown, 1856) rated by John Carter as 'the most important of the early yellowbacks' became in an America re-issue The Secret Detective: or One Night in a Gambling House.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Michael Holliday, British crooner

Snapshots of British 1950s Michael Holliday (1924 - 1963) found in a junk shop in Leiston, Suffolk. His version of the Burt Bacharach song 'The Story of My Life' reached number one in the British charts in 1958 and is still sung. His style of singing was influenced by that of Bing Crosby, who was his idol, he was even known as 'the British Bing Crosby'.

A biography with the punning title The Man Who Would Be Bing, written by Ken Crossland, was published in 2004. He is seen in these shots in happy times, enjoying the fruits of his success. Sadly he had an ongoing problem with stage fright, and had a mental breakdown in 1961. He died two years later, from a suspected drug overdose. Sic transit gloria mundi.

Monday, December 15, 2014

A call to the 'Revolution of the Spirit' by The Grand Duke of Russia

Found in Hartman's  International Directory of Psychic Science and Spiritualism  for 1931 this proclamation from Grand Duke Alexander Mikhailovich of Russia - then a refugee from the Russian revolution and staying at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in New York. He appears to have been giving lectures on spirituality and spiritualism in America.

 The book itself comes from a time when 'psychic science' was at its height and many famous names were involved. Among others the directory lists Oliver Lodge, C.K. Ogden, Count Louis Hamon ("Cheiro), Swami Yogananda, G.R.S Mead, Hannan Swaffer, Anna Wickham, Henri Bergson, Lady Jean Conan Doyle (with an address in Queen's Gardens W2 - her husband Arthur, very much a believer had died in 1930) Eric Dingwall, Earl Balfour etc.,




His Imperial Highness, Alexander, The Grand Duke of Russia

I have decided to write a few explanatory words to those of my friends who have heard and have shown more than a general interest in my ideas.

In my lectures I was bound by the request of my Manager to speak primarily about the experiences and incidents of my life and have only been able to insert in the history of it, my basic outlooks on human life. But in truth the only thing which interests me and the sole reason for my coming to America is to explain my deep convictions, which are the results of the lesson which my long eventful life has taught me.

I had in life everything which, according to the current idea, represents the greatest happiness. I had power, limitless means,

Sunday, December 14, 2014

This England


Found -- This England, a patriotic pamphlet from the late 1920s in the Golden Thoughts series. "A Pictorial Memento of the scenic loveliness that lies within the land which the King calls 'our own dear home' as described by the poet Allan Junior."

The four images on the cover show England as an island of lakes and seas - 'this island race.'  A jingoistic magazine of the same name has carried on publishing into this century. The title comes from Shakespeare's King Richard II: "This royal throne of kings, this sceptred isle... This blessed plot, this earth, this realm, this England."

Homosexuality and Its Cure (1936)

Sexology : The Magazine of Sex Science was a magazine founded by Hugo Gernsbach ('the father of Science Fiction') and seems to have flourished in the 1930s. It had many anatomical diagrams and articles about 'female inverts', pregnancy, infibulation, venereal disease etc. It probably sold well. This letter is in the 'Questions and Answers' column and has to be assumed to be typical of its time, regarding homosexuality as a sickness to be cured by determination and the love of a good woman. Autre temps, autre moeurs. What is slightly strange is that the 'doctor' providing the answer suggests physical violence if the other man persists in his attentions - 'beat him up.' Odd advice from a doctor. The reference to drink - 'you got drunk and became intimate' may refer to other matter in an abridged letter or simply be an assumption…again, curious.

Editor, Sexology.

 My pastor, a newly ordained priest, has advised me to present my case to you,  in the hope that you may be of help.  I am 25 years old and, for four years, have indulged in homosexual practices with a younger man. It began when I, who had given up studying for a clergyman, in the belief that it was not my vocation went with this young man to pique the girl with whom I had been keeping company.  He professed love for me; but, when we went to confession, we had the wrongful nature of our acts pointed out, and had to promise not to see each other again. It was much easier to promise this than to do this.  He protested love for me, and when he was ill, sent for me, and begged  me "not to let any girl get me."  But now he's keeping steady company with a girl, to drown suspicions people may have of us. I hate to give him up, though I know it is the right thing to do, so far as society and the church are concerned.  But I want to have a home of my own, a wife and children. Will I ever be a will to do this, in spite of years of the wrong kind of activities?  My pastor  says he believes that your answer, as a physician, will be valuable to me, as well as his, as a priest. He tells me "Suffer if you must, but be pure."  You can see how little it helps. Can this other man possibly make a success of marriage?

Friday, December 12, 2014

Pulp fiction art

This original artwork was one of three covers created for a number of 1940s pulp magazines published by a British company. The series was called the ‘Headline series’ because each story was built around a newspaper headline-- to be found sketchily depicted at the bottom left hand corner of each cover. The other two pieces of artwork were for Road to Nowhere and Road to Revenge—both stories by someone called Max Foster. There seem to have been at least 20 tales in this particular series.

In the ultimately futile three hundred year old debate that has raged regarding ‘high ‘ and ‘ low art’, such ‘ low’ art as these pulp fiction covers, is often derided for the poor quality of the  draughtsmanship, whereas the simple truth is that for pure draughtsmanship, as opposed to piercing originality or ‘ vision’, this art is often more impressive than that of many ‘ high’ artists. Next time you visit Tate Britain wander around the many rooms devoted to Turner and study the groups of figures that inhabit the foregrounds of his huge oil landscapes. You might be surprised at how inept our greatest painter could be at depicting the human figure.

Then return to the work of ‘low’ book illustrators and marvel at how well most of them could draw. [RMH]

Fat Mary’s brother, a royal sex scandal and a precedent created

As a follow-up to a very recent Jot on Princess Mary of Teck, whose biography was called The People’s Princess, here is a short letter from her brother, found amongst a pile of old letters acquired a few years ago.

 Prince Francis of Teck seems to have followed the age-old career path of minor royalty—public school, Sandhurst, and action abroad -- only this particular royal seems to have been a philanderer and gambler. He had an affair with the beautiful Ellen Constance, wife of the 3rd Earl of Kilmorey, and this together with his ruinous gambling got him sent to India. In the letter, dated March 20th 1893, written when Francis was a lieutenant in the 1st Royal Dragoons, he thanks someone called Mowbray for sending him an ‘ excellent photograph’ but regrets that due to an ‘ exam’ that he is obliged to take on the 4th May, he cannot accept an invitation to visit him. This exam may have been for the rank of captain, and though he probably failed it on this occasion, he was promoted the following year. After India he served in Egypt, and later saw action in the Boer War, eventually retiring in 1901 with the rank of major.

In 1910 Francis died suddenly at Balmoral of pneumonia, aged 39.When his will was read it was discovered to his family’s horror that he had bequeathed to his mistress Ellen the famous Cambridge emeralds, which were part of the family jewels. It was then left to his sister, now Queen Mary, to have this will sealed, thus creating a legal precedent. Previously, royal wills could be publicly examined. The Queen also  negotiated to buy back the emeralds, reportedly paying £10,000 ( around £600,000 today ) for them. Mary then wore them at the coronation of her husband in 1911.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Early Books on Television: 1926 – 1939

British techies will boast that the origins of television can be traced to a room above a shop in Hastings ( blue plaque ) where John Logie Baird constructed the first TV receiver—generating moving images on a mechanical principle. Americans, however, will argue that their man, a certain C. Francis Jenkins, who was also involved in cinema technology, was doing almost the same thing six months earlier in 1923. Unfortunately, neither of these pioneers can be said to have invented the television that we tune into today. Most of the credit for that probably belongs to Philo Farnsworth, the farmer’s son from Utah who in 1927, aged 21, produced the first electronic image. So, whatever way you look at it, the Americans invented television, just as they invented rock music.

Most of the collected works on early TV appeared before 1930. The first book on TV alone was Alfred Dinsdale’s well-known Television, or Seeing by Wireless (1926). A book that although not uncommon is sometimes seen at prices into 5 figures. The second significant work, which appeared a year later is Television for the Home by Ronald Tiltman, whose frontispiece show the author being televised by John Logie Baird himself. If you hanker for a Dinsdale and can’t afford his Seeing by Wireless you could target a copy or a run ( if you can find one ) of his genuinely rare Television Journal (6d a month), whose July 1929 cover rather hopefully looks ahead to a time when the family might gather around the box of light on a winter evening--an extraordinary image for 1929, when radio was still in its infancy and TV broadcasting was several years away.

The more common Book of Practical Television (1935) by G. V. Dowding, an electrical engineer, is a pretty comprehensive technical exposition of 320 pages and many fascinating illustrations, which compares the mechanical

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Nixon at the BBC (Face to Face)

Found among the papers of Hugh Burnett,producer of the Face to Face series of television interviews with John Freeman shown between 1959 and 1962, this amusing slightly tongue-in-cheek memo to BBC friends sent out well after the event in 1973. The show was and is (6 set DVD available) memorable for the probing style of its charismatic interviewer John Freeman (more than once causing interviewees to break down..) and also for the importance and variety of its guests. They included Lord Birkett, Bertrand Russell,Dame Edith Sitwell, Lord Boothby, Nubar Gulbenkian, Adlai Stevenson, John Huston, Carl Jung, King Hussein of Jordan, Tony Hancock, Henry Moore, Dr Hastings Banda, Augustus John, Sir Ray Welensky, Stirling Moss, Evelyn Waugh, Gilbert Harding, General von Senger und Etterlin, Lord Reith, Simone Signoret, Victor Gollancz, Adam Faith,Otto Klemperer, Dr Martin Luther King Jr, Jomo Kenyatta, Sir Compton Mackenzie, John Osborne, Cecil Beaton, Danny Blanchflower and, of course, Richard Nixon, then (1959) the Vice-President…


The secret service agent who came to Lime Grove before the Vice President's visit was short, wore a snap-brimmed hat and coat with the collar turned up.  His main preoccupation appeared to be assassins in the Art School overlooking the hospitality room. His immortal lines were: "Did you say a drink Mr Burnett?  I don't think that's a very good idea. A drink might impair his workability."  

Monday, December 8, 2014

The People's Princess

The phrase 'the people's princess'  was not made up by Alastair Campbell for the famous Blair soundbite on the day Diana died but, rather, recycled… This 1984 book found in a box of slow-selling royalty books shows the original 'People's Princess' - Princess Mary Adelaide, Duchess of Teck (1833- 1897). She was not quite as good-looking as Diana (indeed she was also known as 'Fat Mary') but like Diana she had a knack for popularity. She was also one of the first Royals to patronise a wide range of charities. She is the current Queen's great grandmother. Elizabeth II seems to have thrown off the Hanoverian look…(although Lucian Freud's small portrait has some suggestions of it.)

An interesting piece of tiara trivia… the lavish two tiered tiara that was created for Princess Mary has made its way down the family via the Queen Mother to the Duchess of Cornwall (i.e. Camilla). It has been modified but  was originally a 'diamond diadem' featuring three wild roses separated by 20 crescent shapes and was assembled from various jewels Princess Mary inherited from her aunt, Princess Mary, Duchess of Gloucester.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Charles Pearson & James Watt association

Discovered in 1998 on a market stall off Brick Lane is this copy of the exceedingly rare Substance of a Address by Charles Pearson at a Public Meeting (1844). The book is scarce enough (none on Abebooks, nor likely to be in the near future), but my copy also bears an inscription from the author to James Watt, son of the famous Scottish engineer.

Watt (1769 – 1848) who, like his father, was an engineer, but was also a radical political activist in the turbulent 1790s, has his own Wikipedia entry, but there is no mention in it of Pearson. Nevertheless, the two men had much in common. While in France Watt’s support for the French revolutionaries and his friendship with Joseph Priestley, got him condemned in the British Parliament and he remained in self-imposed exile until he felt it was safe to return home. A generation younger, Pearson, as the radical Solicitor for the City of London, was the champion of parliamentary reform who defended radicals in court. He also was in favour of the disestablishment of the Church of England, opposed the system of packed juries and fought commercial monopolies in London. A year after his Substance on an Address appeared, he published a pamphlet which called for an atmospheric railway that would follow the ancient Fleet ditch to Farringdon. This was rejected and I seem to remember that Punch had great fun with the idea. Other railway schemes supported by Pearson were also rejected, but at last in 1854 the Royal Commission accepted a proposal to build an underground railway, using the ‘cut and cover ‘method, from Praed Street to Farringdon. Work began in 1860 and within three years the new line was completed. The world now had its first underground railway. Unfortunately, Pearson had died while the work was still in progress and he never got to ride on the first train.

It would be nice to think that Watt, the consultant engineer behind the building of Fulton’s North River Steamboat of 1807, and the marine engineer who in 1817 was responsible for the first steamship to leave an English port, had something to do with Pearson’s atmospheric railway of 1845. It seems very possible, especially as Watt’s expertise was in steam power and pneumatics.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Arthur Augustus Tilley francophile and academic

Found in a copy of The Romantic Movement in French Literature - Traced By a Series of Texts (C.U.P. 1924) this obituary of A.A. Tilley by his co-author H.F. Stewart - also a distinguished Cambridge academic and francophile, but so far rather neglected on the web. It appeared in The Cambridge Review 6/3/1943. It is a model of its kind and gives a glimpse into a vanished world..


Arthur Augustus Tilley - December 1, 1851 - December 4, 1942.No one who visited Arthur Tilley in the evening of his long life but must have felt himself standing on hallowed ground, in the presence of a veteran who, having fulfilled his course, was quietly, serenely, awaiting his call. "Le vent de l'éternité le frappait au front." Not that there was anything pietistic about his conversation. He would speak with grave simplicity of things deep and high, and pass easily to current events upon which he commented with shrewdness and vigour, or to the sometimes affectionate, sometimes caustic, review of men and their doings in the past. And what a range, and how varied, his memory covered! He was the favourite nephew of Anthony Trollope, whom as a boy he adored and as a mature critic he greatly admired. He had known everyone worth knowing i the University for 70 years, and his recollections were sometimes starling. A propos of a picture card of the Puy de Dôme he said to me the last time I saw him, "I took Bradshaw up there; I shouldn't have done so if I had known his heart was bad."

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Simon Watson Taylor: surrealist, pataphysician & cabin steward

The death in 2005 at the age of 82 of aged hippy and anarchist Simon Watson Taylor went almost unnoticed in the Arts pages and it was left to his friend and former house-mate George Melly to supply an obituary in the Independent in which he pointed out the major contributions of the writer and translator of Alfred Jarry to the Surrealist and Pataphysics movements in Europe during the fifties and sixties. On a personal level, Melly also alluded to his friend’s ‘acid humour ‘, his delight in confronting and dispatching the pretensions of the bourgeoisie, and a determination to remain free of encumbrances. At one point in his early life we are told that he took a job as an airline cabin steward in order to travel the world.Indeed, among all his friends who had some way embraced aspects of the bourgeois life- style, Melly claimed that Watson Taylor stood out as a man ‘truly free’.

Some aspects of Watson Taylor early slant on life can be found in this short article that appeared in the Spring 1947 issue of Film Survey when its author was just 24. Ostensibly a 'dissertation' on the comic genius of Laurel and Hardy, whom he saw as subversive individualists battling albeit unsuccessfully against forces of a harsh reality in which authoritarian power rules, it is also a hymn of praise to the anti-bourgeois values of Surrealism and the power of dreams to create an alternative reality.

- The fact is that ‘reality’, as the dictionary conceives it, does not by any means  circumscribe the whole of our possible mental perceptions of existence ; there is also dream , chance, illusion, desire---and the ridiculous, the fantastic. Perhaps these latter are even more valid and certainly they are equally permissible, for ultimately we create our own reality (“ man creates God after his own image “)—the fantastic is real if we decree it so. We have no accomplices more inspiring in this plot to turn this world upside down than were Swift, Blake and Carroll. Today we cannot do better than allow Charles Chaplin, the Marx Brothers, and Laurel and Hardy to be the sometimes silent, but always lucid spokesmen of out discontent ---the ambassadors of the unprivileged...

Watson Taylor saw Laurel and Hardy

‘Come on, Daddy O.’

It was the first visit of Jazz legend Lionel Hampton to England and one of his gigs was seemingly at Hanley Town Hall in north Staffordshire, according to G. A. Roberts, who captured the occasion in an article that appeared in the December 1956 issue cum grado, the student magazine of what was soon to become Keele University.

Photo by William Gottlieb
According to Roberts, the band played one number without Hampton and when the great man was introduced to the audience there was a:

Deafening  roar from the audience, deafening noise from the band. A lean light grey suited  negro ran onto the stage acknowledging his reception. With a wealth of gesticulation, he stopped the band and then led them into another hectic number—loud, driving, swinging. We were away---from the beginning, Hampton’s tactics were clear ---he was going to produce such a dynamic, hypnotic, driving, compelling, metronomic beat that the audience would be goaded  into a frenzy of excitement and enthusiasm…but twice on the evening Hampton sacrificed sheer beat for artistry.
He used the vibroharp to produce sounds of real beauty which even the band could not drown ; caressing the instrument so that its strange tones filled the echoing hall. But then, as though ashamed of his lapse of taste, he returned to the repetition of fast mechanical tunes. The audience loved it…