Sabrina—Britain’s answer to Marilyn Monroe

sabrina-bluemurder-publicity

Sabrina on the set of ‘Blue Murder at St Trinians’ being sketched by Ronald Searle

Found in the Peter Haining Archive a small file on the now forgotten fifties British glamour model Sabrina, who in 1936 was born in Stockport as Norma Sykes. The nature of some of the contents of the file, which includes three large glossy prints of the scantily clad model in various provocative poses, suggests that Haining was one of the thousands of young ( and not so young) men who had fantasised about the bosomy blonde in her heyday, when she was compared to Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield. His curiosity may have prompted either by research for a possible book on Arthur Askey, in whose TV shows she had appeared, or by another clipping in the Archive—-a double-page spread in The Mail on Sunday for September 1st 2002.

In this article Sabrina, who following her unsuccessful bid for Hollywood stardom had settled for a life of leisure as the wife of a wealthy LA gynaecologist, only to lose most of it following her divorce, was tracked down by reporters to a seedy corner of Beverley Hills :  Continue reading

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The Book Bang of 1971

Book Bang 001Rescued from a pile of magazines is this programme of events for The Book Bang, which has been called ‘the first literary festival ‘. I doubt whether it was, but it was certainly a memorable event in 1971, and I seem to recall it being advertised widely in London. Held in, appropriately, the middle of Bedford Square, in the heart of Bloomsbury, between May 28 and June 11, it was organised by the National Book League under the direction of its Chairman, the former bookshop owner Martyn Goff.

The seed for this event had been planted in the mind of Goff in 1965, when he read a letter in an issue of The Bookseller from Desmond Briggs, of the publishers Anthony Blond, hoping that in the future a book fair might become a sort of circus and be held in candy-striped tents. When he was appointed Chairman of the NBL Goff knew that such an idea was feasible and he promptly went about preparing the ground by consulting experts and sponsors.

In his introduction Goff shows prescience in warning about the threat that ‘new media ‘posed to books:

‘Expansion of the number of hours and channels of television broadcasting: the arrival of video cassettes: microfilms and microfiches, to name but some of the competitors, will blot up hours and money that might otherwise have gone to books…’ Continue reading

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Literary Masterpieces

james-joyceLiterary Masterpieces

In the miscellany Medley from October 1936 appears this intriguing pronouncement:

‘ It has been found that literary masterpieces of the first rank have been produced most frequently by authors who were from the ages of 40 to 44 inclusive’

Dr Harvey Lehman

We thought we’d test out the good doctor’s theory using, among other sources, the excellent Annals of Literature (1961), which finishes at 1950.

We started with Charles Dickens (1812 – 70). In this five year period he published three memorable novels: Bleak House, Hard Times, and Little Dorrit. However, most critics regard Great Expectations (1860) as his ‘literary masterpiece. ‘

We then turned to George Eliot (1819 – 80). She was 40 when Adam Bede was published, 41 when The Mill on the Floss appeared, 42 when Silas Marner came out, and 43 when Romola hit the shelves. All wonderful novels, but most critics would class Middlemarch( 1871-72) as her ‘ masterpiece of the first rank’.

Next we looked at James Joyce( 1882 – 1941). Here we hit the mark. His Ulysses, undoubtably a ‘ masterpiece of the first rank ‘, appeared in 1922 ( though it was years in the making ). Joyce was 40 at the time. Continue reading

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Odd photos bought online 2

anne1Bought at eBay for the price of a latte (and muffin) -these 3 photos purporting to be of a British royal – Anne, Princess Royal. The left and right photos are indubitably her, the middle photo (printed on Fujifilm Crystal
Archive paper -as is the other colour shot) may not be. It shows a well dressed and striking young woman emerging from a Ford Thunderbird sometime in the (late?) 1960s in what looks like a field or orchard with other mostly pretty fancy American cars parked there. It has the feel of a Cindy Sherman performance  art photograph and if authentic must have been taken on a tour of America by Anne or while she was on holiday there.

 

The mouth (and nose) and assured demeanour certainly look like Anne. The provenance is good but such web purchases always have an element of doubt- certainly if it is Anne she is looking uncharacteristically  ‘cool’ and it is one of the ‘groovier’ moments of her young life. An online search revealed nothing conclusive especially when coupled with the words ‘Thunderbird.’
ann2

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Odd photos bought online 1

Bought for the price of a cup of tea at eBay – the infinite online flea market, a photo of a jumble sale*, in England and likely to date from the earlier part of the 1960s. It is stamped on the back Salisbury Journal with a phone number ‘Salisbury 6933.’ The women are mostly wearing rain bonnets probably  because it was raining outside and possibly because it might rain (a fairly good bet most of the year in England, especially Wiltshire) or it may have been a fashion. The younger woman to the left with a transparentjumble plastic bonnet would indicate recent rain and also dates the photo in the 1960s, the rest of the women could come from the 1950s if not earlier. The goods displayed on the table are fairly meagre– some very basic bookends, a thermos flask without its cup, a lamp without a shade, a glass fruit juicer, some glass and tin jelly moulds, a cut-glass vase and one slim book. Some sort of raffle or tombola was also being offered (‘every card wins a bottle’.) The woman in the middle is obviously a keen and seasoned jumble sale shopper- she has three objects she may be buying from a box (a ruler, a chopping board and a wool hat or tea-cosy) and three bags ready for stuffing with bargains. Possibly she is holding these objects in order to be able to see or deal with things further down in the box. The lady to her left is either a friend or someone waiting to dive in…The woman behind in hornrim specs anxiously waits her turn – it is probably the very beginning of the sale, the first rush. Jumble sales still go on with bargain hunters, also online traders sourcing their wares , and people trying to help out the charity that has organised the event.

  • A sale of a mixed collection of things that people no longer want, especially in order to make money for an organisation, usually a charity. UK and Australian usage. In USA and Canada they are known as rummage sales.

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Bookish mnemonics – the 5 D’s and the 4 R’s

bookridepile-1Someone once categorised the 5 reasons for selling books thus – Death, Divorce, Debt, Disinterest and Displacement (the “5 D’s”). The last refers to people moving houses, a very common reason. One could add ‘Disease’- we were once called to a house in Battersea where a man was selling every single book he possessed because he had become allergic to the paper in them. Dotage could also be added but this is usually covered by displacement…Duplication is another reason— for example, marriage can occasion the turfing out of a lot of duplicated books, especially when two great collections are amalgamated. We were privileged to be called to the Notting Hill mansion of Margaret Drabble and Michael Holroyd soon after their marriage. Divorce can be problematic in the division of books and occasionally lawyers become involved. In the days of CDs this was seldom a problem except one of clashes of taste.

In deciding which books to sell or get rid of the “4 R’s” mnemonic acronym can be of use.  Read, Revere, Reference, Riches. It is slightly  more contrived than the 5 D’s but is a very good test to use when slimming down a book collection. All bases are covered. Of each book ask the question:

Are you  going to Read or re-read it?

Do you love or Revere the book?

Could the book be of use (Reference)?

Is the book going to increase in value and eventually yield Riches?

If yes to any of the above -keep the book, if no to all -toss it.

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A War Cookery Book

Found – a publisher’s advertisement (T. Werner Laurie) for a book of cookery recipes for war zones. It was in D’Auvergne’s ABC Guide to the Great War (1914). The book itself is rare but a copy can be found at the invaluable archive.org. Its full title is: A War Cookery Book IMG_0007 for the Sick and Wounded : compiled from the cookery books by Mrs. Edwards, Miss May Little, etc., etc. (by Jessie M. Laurie.) It was aimed at ‘every nurse, whether Volunteer or Professional’ and has easy to prepare dishes for ‘Invalid and Convalescent Patients.’ Here is a selection of  egg dishes. Obviously alcohol was considered useful and it is assumed that herbs can be fairly easily procured (parsley and thyme).

BREAD AND MILK.-Take a thick slice of fairly
stale bread. Cut it into tiny squares, and after having
cut away the crusts put it into an enamel saucepan
with about 1 pint of milk; boil up very slowly. Sugar
or salt to taste.

EGGS BAKED IN TOMATOES.-Choose rather large
tomatoes of equal size, cut a piece off the top of the
tomatoes, scoop out the pulp carefully, sprinkle on a
little salt and pepper, break an egg into a cup and pour
it into the hollow of the tomato, place on a greased
baking tin and cook slowly until the egg is set, basting
with a little butter. Continue reading

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A bookseller meets T.E. Lawrence

IMG_0006Found among  the books in the working library of the actor Peter O’Toole (1932 – 2013)  his copy of Letters of T.E. Lawrence (Readers Union, 1941.) O’Toole had surprisingly few books on or by Lawrence considering that this  was probably his greatest role and the film that made him an international star. In the Reader’s Union edition was loosely inserted  a one page wartime broadsheet keeping members of the book club informed about new publications. It was from an address at Wray Common, Reigate. This broadsheet / flier was dated February 1941and  has a good piece (“T.E.”) on Lawrence by his friend and bookseller  K.W. Marshall.

I have more reason to feel grateful to T.E. Lawrence than most booksellers. When I was unemployed years ago, he loaned me Clouds Hill his Dorset cottage, where I stayed for just over three months. Later, my wife and I spent a honeymoon holiday there. On my first  visit I was in “possession” of the cottage, and Lawrence would ask permission to stay the night on the infrequent occasions that he managed to pay a visit. He was very proud of the cottage and spent some considerable effort and time in gradually planning a comfortable retreat for his retirement. Unfortunately, when he died he had not enjoyed Clouds Hill for as long a period as I had; and during his short term of possession he was harassed by news reporters. Continue reading

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Iona – a minor poet sings

IMG_1597Found – a copy of Ionica – a book of  verse by Eton master William Johnson Cory  – this edition published anonymously by George Allen in 1891. It has been bound in an expensive full leather binding with gilt decorated inner dentelles. The book was presented by minor poet Arthur C James* to one Iona F Robinson on whom he appears to have been very keen given the title of the book, its sumptuous binding and the poem he has written to her on the front endpaper. Ironically Johnson Cory, a fellow master at Eton, is known for the gay themes in some of his poems.

Jan 16th. To Iona F Robinson

Not from those violet isles of western Greece,

Nor from the statelier cities which of yore

Looked into sunset from the Aegean shore

O’er varied tracts of bay and Chersonese

Home of the muse whose grace shall never cease;

-But from that northern Island which upbore

Columbus’s cross our Britain to explore, Continue reading

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On Notes and Note Books

Notes and notebooks 001Now we are in the Digital Age, when as much data as we like can be stored in a note-book sized device made of plastic and metal, note-taking as a aid to memory is less important. As recent as fifteen years ago if we needed to record the gist of books, articles etc., we resorted to a note book made of paper and card which had to be small enough to be carried around in a pocket. In practice what we tended to do, however, was to write too much in too big a hand than was appropriate, thus making our notebook less efficient as a means of storing an accumulation of facts and opinions.

The solution, according to a self-published booklet of c 1934 entitled On Notes and Note Books by someone called David B. Muir of Dresden Road, Holloway, north London, was to accommodate more notes on literary material that interested us by reducing our hand to the size of newsprint, abbreviating words and compiling an index.

In Muir’s system of abbreviations a series of short straight or curved strokes above the missing letters, dots above and below, and other symbols for prefixes, would indicate the types of contractions intended. Discrete items of information would be separated by double or single vertical strokes. In the Index the keyword would be followed by a normal sized page number and a very small number, indicating the line. According to Muir, the secret to success with his system of note-taking lay in memorising these symbols plus any other symbols that the individual note-taker might care to use. Continue reading

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Two John Fothergill letters

IMG_1595Found – two signed handwritten letters from John Fothergill author of An Innkeeper’s Diary.  He was the proprietor of The Spreadeagle in Thame, the ‘inn’ he managed to make a cult destination during the 1920s and 30s. To quote travel blogger Ian Weightman:

‘In its heyday, The Spreadeagle near Oxford became a mecca for holiday makers, and the great and the good of the country. Many people booked to stay or dine there, purely because of Fothergill’s notoriety. But many others – including a “glitterati” of writers, actors, artists and heads of state – arrived as a result of the hotel’s widespread reputation as one of the best in the land… Fothergill was not only an illustrious innkeeper, but also an outstanding chef, connoisseur of wine, and an early campaigner for “Real Food”’.

The letters are to the writer Guy Chapman (author of the WW1 account A Passionate Prodigality and husband of Margaret Storm Jameson, English journalist and author.) They were associated with the writer’s organisation PEN – hence Fothergill asking for advice about republishing a gardening book he had written in 1927 (The Gardener’s Colour Book -now quite collectable.) The first letter is from the Spreadeagle and the second from his inn in Market Harborough which he ran from 1934 to 1952. Anybody writing a biography of Fothergill in the future would appreciate these letters, but when they are sold they tend to disappear – so following the original Jot mission we are recording them here. Continue reading

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Alien sightings in Pembrokeshire

 

Pembrokeshire UFOs 001A recent Jot about Alec Maclellan’s The Lost World of Agharti focussed on the links that one reader made between this work and the series of Seth books. But another reader, a certain J.S.A Lewis of Romsey, Hants, whose letter dated April 1986 can be found in the Haining archive, also tried to persuade Maclellan to consult a particular book. This was Ghosts of Wales by Peter Underwood, which he said confirmed Maclellan’s theory that UFOs came from his lost underground world rather than outer space.

Underwood’s story recounts ‘frightening and inexplicable ‘sightings in May and June 1977 and March 1978 of UFOs and alien figures at and near Ripperston Farm, west Pembrokeshire, the home of the Coombs family. Apparently, Mrs Coombs was driving home with three of her children when a bright light in the sky approached them with terrific speed and then, having shot over the car stopped, turned back and then followed alongside the vehicle. Mrs Coombs described the object to a reporter from Woman’s World:

‘ It was the same size and shape as a rugger ball but the colour was yellowish on top and silvery underneath, and beaming a sort of torch-like beam of light underneath it.’

The object kept pace with the car until it reached the lane up to the farm, when it rose and appeared to hover over the passengers. It was then that the car began to misbehave:

First the headlamps began to flicker and then they went out completely. The engine stopped, leaving the terrified occupants sitting in an immobile vehicle with the alien object hovering over them. The family managed to escape to their home where they found that the eldest boy who had been left there had also seen the strange object, which had sped towards the coast. Continue reading

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An Acrostic and an Alphabet

IMG_1590Found in Herbert Kynaston.  A Memoir. (Macmillan, 1912)  an acrostic for a bazaar to raise money for a home for ‘Friendless Girls’ (below). The book has the ownership signature of F.E. Balfour (1922). This is almost certainly  Ronald Edmond Balfour , who among other things, wrote a bibliography for E.M Forster’s 1934 book on Goldsworthy Lowes Dickinson. In World War 2 he was something of  a hero and there is much on him at the Monuments Men site. He had a huge book collection and went to Eton and King’s College Cambridge (hence the Forster connection.) Possibly inspired by Canon Kynaston’s acrostics (and double acrostics) he wrote out an alphabet at the end of the book. It is headlined ‘Camp Alphabet from the ECC of October 10th 1872.’ This is probably the Eton Cadet Corps, who are still in existence (David Cameron was a member- hence his fondness for The Jam’s Eton Rifles.)

A was an adjutant booted and spurred,

B was a bugle incessantly heard

C was the Colonel commanding the lot

D was the dog he would fain have shot

E is for earwigs esconced in one’s shirt

F the fleas, field- mice and frogs all alert.

G was the beard who so firmly behaved

H was H. Hobbs without mirror who shaved

I was inspection of blankets and store

J the smart jackets our officers wore

Continue reading

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Gillian Hills–Beat Girl

For someone brought up with the Beatles, it’s difficult to understand the attraction for teenagers of what came immediately before the Fab Four transformed pop music for ever. Here, for instance, is the back page Film Review promo for Beat Girlbeatgirl_poster a movie released in 1960 that purported to show ‘ squares ‘ what their ‘beatnik’ teenage sons and daughters were getting up to behind their backs. Starring the pop singer Adam Faith ( his film debut at the age of 18 ), horror star Christopher Lee, a young Oliver Reed and the fifteen year old bilingual starlet Gillian Hills, it was also the debut of John Barry, who went on to forge a glittering career in film music.

In 1960, most pop music fans were more interested in how teen idol Faith would cut it as an actor, than they were seeing ‘ the second Bardot ‘, as Roger Vadim hyped the fifteen year Hills, but looking back, it is odd that latter’s acting career never took off. Here was an actress, whose striking blonde beauty and obvious acting talent should have propelled her to greater things. In ‘Beat Girl’ Hills plays the ‘ bad girl ‘ Jennifer, the sulky-looking beatnik, who rejects the values of her respectable parents and lives for the kicks she gets out of dancing in night clubs and hanging out in milk bars. In the opening scenes of the film she is a pouting, free-spirited presence as she descends the stairs to the basement dance floor, where, seemingly oblivious to everything and everyone around her, she begins a freestyle dance routine. On her website ( which is worth a visit ) Hills describes the dance thus: ‘ my brain flipped, my feet followed and I was off’. As for her role as Jennifer, she saw it as a protest at her treatment by her Lycee in Paris, who expelled her for taking on a debut role in Vadim’s Les Liaisons Dangereux ‘.

 

‘I could vent my frustration, my disgust, the helplessness and despair, and the anger at what had happened to my life in the recent months.’

‘Beat Girl’ proved popular in Britain, but was banned in France. However, this did not prevent Hills from taking roles in a number of French films in the early sixties and from recording pop songs in French, including the annoyingly catchy ‘ Zou Bisou Bisou’ (1961), which was later used in ‘Mad Men’. But in Britain the film roles were small. She was a brunette in the cultish ‘Blow Up ‘(1966) and in ‘A Clockwork Orange’ she had a cameo. She also appeared occasionally on British TV.Gillian Hills pic

In 1975 Hills decided to stop making films and left for New York City to try her luck as a book and magazine illustrator. Judging from the artwork on her website, she appears to have genuine artistic talent too! At 72, Hills now lives in England with her husband Stewart Young, manager of AC/DC and Cyndi Lauper, among other artistes. [R.M.Healey]

 

 

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A warning for all collectors of manuscripts

Boerhaave picA snippet featured in the miscellany Medley dated October 1936 comes from ‘Ripley’ in the Sunday Express. It concerns the famous Dutch physician Dr Herman Boerhaave (1668 – 1738), ‘founder of clinical teaching’ and called by some ‘The father of physiology’:

“When he died his effects were sold by auction, and among his manuscripts was a sealed book for which there was a heated scramble. It was sold for £2,000 in gold, and when opened was found to contain all blank pages except one on which the doctor had written:

 “Keep your head cold —your feet warm, and you’ll make the best doctor poor “

I wonder if there are similar instances of bibliomaniacs fighting at auction for a particular sealed manuscript or printed book with annotations by an eminent, and perhaps controversial, person. Information welcome.

[R.M.Healey]

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Private Life of Henry Maitland – author’s copy

IMG_1579Found – the dedication copy of Morley Roberts  ‘roman a clef’  The Private Life of Henry Maitland– a fictionalised biography of George Gissing (Maitland.)  H.G.Wells, Clement Shorter, Edward Clodd and many others also turn up under disguised names. Although the book is fictional it gives a very good and authentic account of Gissing and his literary life and his circle. Loosely inserted is a note in MR’s hand giving the real names of many characters etc., The novel New Grub Street is here Paternoster Row. The book has a dedication in MR’s hand to the printed dedicatee – his late wife Alice daughter of the playwright Angiolo Robson Slous – ‘To my dear wife (14.9.11).’ She had died the year before the book’s publication.  A long signed note on the title page explains:

This book was actually dictated during a period of great tribulation and I found myself utterly unable to correct the proofs with any care. It is therefore full of faults most of which I hope where removed in the revised edition of 1923. Much of the value of this book, if it has any, is due to the fact of it’s downright truth and directness as it was done at a time when I was incapable of understanding that any could be disturbed by anything but some great disaster. Morley Roberts

The note in MR’s hand gives a comprehensive list of the disguised names. A handful  were already  known  and a few characters (e.g. George Meredith) are in the book under their real names. It would be impossible to imagine a better copy of the book, the only think lacking is the 104 year old dust- jacket. Continue reading

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Television in 1950- a prediction

Baird TV setPublished in the monthly miscellany Medley for September 1935 is this winning prediction from a competition run by The Manchester Guardian. It looks forward to what life might be like in 1950.

“ Last night the new tellie, ‘The Private Life of a Thwarted Ego’, started its run on the City Circuit. Pink One, the famous star of ‘Yes—Today and Hereafter’ and other colossal masterpieces, again shows she is the undisputed queen of Tele-Stereo-Appeal. Mr Malt Whimsy, her creator, has never painted her better. It is a long cry from her first appearance in those early crude ‘ Lunatic Lullabies ‘, but Miss Pink One has made the grade. As the pitiful but brave little Ego, caught in the Web of Circumstance, dazzled by the Lure of Gold, and finally falling by the Wayside, she was stupendous. By all means plug in to ‘Thwarted Ego, ’it’s the tellie of a generation!”

Several points here. Is this one of the earliest appearances of the word tellie, albeit spelt in a different way and used to describe a production to be viewed on a television receiver, rather than the receiver itself ? Also, what does the writer mean by the term ‘City Circuit ‘. Is this a channel ? Also, what opportunities would he or she have had in the UK, to view anything other than the experimental broadcasts put out around 1933/34 by the BBC late at night ? These generally lasted no more than ten minutes and consisted largely of fragments of drama and dances performed by a lady wearing a special photogenic costume. The fact that the writer could accurately predict the future success of a medium which was frequently derided as a flash in the pan at the time is impressive. This is almost as impressive as someone predicting the astonishing success of the Internet back in 1980. [R.M.Healey]

 

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I once met E.M. Forster

IMG_1569Found among the papers of the mathematician Norman Routledge (1928-2013) this affectionate memoir of E.M. Forster. Routledge  had known Forster in the 1950s when he was a Fellow at King’s College, Cambridge. He went on to become a distinguished  teacher of mathematics and was a close friend of Alan Turing, inheriting some of his books. The second half of his working  life was spent teaching maths at Eton. These notes were probably for a talk he gave to the boys there (mid 1960s) with a sound recording of Forster talking (probably this piece from YouTube) and some reading from his books. The notes are written on the back of the maths  homework of one Hope-Jones minor…

I wish I was going to tell you about a great hero- figure, spouting brilliant and amusing things, and combining an amazing literary  fertility (an earth-shaking novel every year) with great and noble deeds -what should they be? – fighting injustice and involved in passionate love affairs? But he is none of these.

He happens to have lived since the war in the college, Kings, where I was an undergraduate, and so one would occasionally meet him on social occasions. He’s rather non-descript in appearance – has a moustache and rather dowdy clothes and speaks very little but listens a lot. Very gentle eyes. Is greatly loved by all who know him– has indeed the air of always having been loved without having had to strive for it. Can be very amusing if he wishes, but you have to listen carefully– I’ve seen people quite fail to notice that he has been making fun of them. Continue reading

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I once met A.E. Coppard

icoppar001p1Found – a  handwritten  letter signed by E.V. Knox (‘Evoe’) to someone called Magniont asking for recollections of A.E. Coppard. This was almost certainly Dr Jean-Louis Magniont who translated Coppard into French. The letter is undated but mention of a recent BBC adaptation of Coppard’s stories dates it as 1969. ‘Evoe’ writes:

I will tell you all I can recollect about A.E. Coppard. But I fear that it is very little and perhaps not very helpful to you.

As you mentioned, I wrote a small episode, and he considerably longer one, for the Kidlington Pageant of 1931. Those were the days when pageants kept popping up everywhere. This one was arranged by Frank Evay, who lived at Shepton Manor where the pageant was held. He was a friend of mine and an eccentric. For instance, he collected tramps, gave them a meal and a the nights lodging in a barn and sent them on their way. He introduced me to A.E. Coppard whom he had first met, as he told me, when Coppard was collecting tickets at Oxford railway station.

I remember him as small, prosaic, and self-contained and perhaps determined not to be eccentric. Possibly that is an illusion of my own. I became at once a “fan.” Coppard, I think, was very little known at that time, for at a dinner of a literary club I told Desmond McCarthy, then perhaps our leading critic, that I thought that Coppard was our best English short story writer, and Desmond had not heard of him. He said however- ”Well we must try to read this Coppard of yours.”  Clearly he did. Continue reading

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Malayan secret society ritual

IMG_1560 (4)Found – a rare Malayan police manual Notes on secret societies (Caxton Press, Kuala Lumpur 1953) by one C. T. Dobree. It is more of an anthropological study than a detective’s manual with much emphasisis on the  initiation ceremonies of each society; there are also notes on secret methods of communication known only to society members. This what he writes on the Wah-Kee (aka ‘Chow Fah Chee Tow’  or ‘Sze Kor Long.’) The way of refusing a cigarette is interesting – ‘push back the cigarette with hand-palm facing inwards.’

Jargons and signs.

After initiations the new members to the brotherhood are taught the secret jargons and signs by which strangers to one another may identify themselves as being of the one brotherhood.

These are some of the jargons and signs in common use: –

Questions.

a) Where do you come from? – from Singapore. (This is because the Malayan Wah Kee started in Singapore).

b) What is your surname? – Either Sui (Water) or Loke (land), or Peng (Peace) or Onn (Tranquility). Continue reading

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