Collecting Nudist Literature

Nudist magazine GermanFound in the December 1935 issue of The Collector’s Miscellany is this extract from Nudelife, a magazine devoted to Naturism.

To the astonishing number of hobbies, quaint, varied, cheap, expensive, voluminous or requiring very little space of time, already practised by countless numbers of all ranks, sexes, ages and colour throughout the whole world, may be added this new one—thanks to nudism—that of collecting nudist magazines, either for pride of possession, or scientific, art or educational adjuncts. The field is a new one, and provided a spice of novelty, not to say thrills or even risk, inasmuch very many foreign publications, particularly German, have been prohibited or suppressed. To collect these latter publications is no crime, but they must be kept private and for the purposes above mentioned to be absolutely on the safe side. The number of German magazines have been many and varied and of comparatively short duration except in the case of an outstanding two or three. They are marked chiefly for their frank portrayal of free-body culture between the sexes in the open fields or nudist camps, with a few indoor nude studies sandwiched in between, in the matter of half-tone illustrations, which are noted for their beauty of form, relation to natural surroundings, valued instruction in sex hygiene, the value of sunlight in health . The word obscene has crept in with regard to these magazines, which are displayed for sale or are sold for a purpose other than as necessary adjuncts to the culture of science, art or specific education. In this case it would be most advisable to earmark the collection under one or more of these headings and mark strictly private and personal. In our case they become included in our Nudelife dossier for the relativity of the movement. Some other nudist countries, or better still, some other countries having a nudist movement within its confines, have at one or two publications which will eventually be more accessible and obtainable perhaps than was the case of Germany, for collectors.

So here we have a justification, on the grounds of their educational or scientific value,  for collecting what, in a recent Jot, R. Edynbry argues are merely obscene “ art “ magazines, fit only for the stupid and ignorant. Despite the fact that the anonymous author of this piece emphasises the legality of collecting nudist magazines, the whole defence is set about with cautions and suggestions as to how such material might be kept away from the prying eyes of the censor. [R.M.Healey]   

A right hanky-spanky ad, and no mistake !

harriss-slap-up-shop-advert-001Discovered in that garden of visual delights, The Saturday Book (1960 ) is this quite extraordinary advert concocted by a working man’s outfitter by the name of Harris sometime in the mid nineteenth century. The copy is almost entirely composed of contemporary slang and cant terms. Harris’s three shops were all in central London   locations, which might suggest that some of the colloquialisms were Cockney rhyming slang, or at least slang that was restricted to the capital and its environs. A few of the terms have survived to this day ( ’ slap up ‘, is excellent, as in slap up meal; ‘no-go’, as in not accepted ; cords, for corduroys; ‘grabbed the chance’; ‘out and out ‘; ‘tick’ for credit; ‘crib’ for home; ‘swag’ for booty), while others have been lost for ever. Who the hell are Tea Kettle Purgers and Head Robbers? What was the Swan Stream and the ‘Melton Mowbray style ‘? Something to do with fox hunting, perhaps? Are ‘Trotter Cases’ shoes?

Some items of clothing advertised are self-explanatory ( moleskins, doeskins ),but others must be hunted down. I almost gave up on ‘broady’ until I found it online as meaning broadcloth. My reprinted Dictionary of Buckish Slang, University Wit and Pickpocket Eloquence (1811) was slightly more useful. The word ‘Quid ‘, meaning a a sovereign, dates from around 1688; to a Regency buck, however, it was a guinea, as was a ‘canary’ ; a ‘bob’ was a shilling and a ‘kick’ was a sixpence, though pluralised it meant breeches or trousers, as did kicksies. But the Slang Dictionary made no mention of Mud Pipes, Box Cloths, Plushes, Pilots, and Upper Benjamins. Perhaps these were of Victorian or purely Cockney origin. [RR]

 

Homo — the periodical (1901)

Homo magazine cover 001Found on the front cover of the Boston- published bibelot The Cornhill Booklet of July 1901 is this advert for ‘HOMO, A Periodical for Men and the Women who look over their shoulders’. The advert tells us that the magazine was issued once a month at one dollar for the twelve numbers of the year and that the address in all cases was HOMO, BEVERLY, NEW JERSEY.

That’s it. The advert tells us nothing about the nature of this new venture—whether it was literary or otherwise—or who the contributors might be. The Net is quiet on the subject too, apart from informing us that the magazine lasted no more than a year, which speaks volumes, one supposes. So here’s a challenge to all in the Jotosphere. Would anyone who has seen a HOMO please report back to JOT 101 HQ with a full description of it?  [The word did not have pejorative overtones at this stage, Partridge in his Dictionary of the Underworld dates its use as ‘homosexual’ from 1937.]  RR

 

Llewelyn Powys—a typescript of his letters

Llewellyn Powys picIn an undated ( but probably late 1980s ) catalogue numbered ‘25’ from the American dealer David J Holmes are some genuine literary treasures and possibly some bargains. Letters from Henry James, A. E. Housman, W. S. Gilbert, and Lewis Carroll, together with manuscripts from Washington Irving and Vita Sackville West stand out. But at a mere $1,500 the undoubted bargain on offer is the typescript created by Alyse Gregory, wife of the writer Llewelyn Powys, of some of his letters, 1900 – 38.

The letters begin when Powys was at Sherborne School and end a few months before his death in 1939 at the age of 55 from complications resulting from a stomach ulcer. As Holmes remarks, the typescript is a unique resource, since many of the letters were destroyed after the author’s death. However, his wife only selected the ones she considered worth publishing, which is a shame. The correspondents included his brother, the acclaimed novelist John Cowper Powys, A. R. Powys, Philippa Powys, Gertrude Powys and H. Rivers Pollock, a barrister, and show how avidly he followed the burgeoning literary career of his brother and also how his tuberculosis was a constant worry. For instance, in September 1915 he declared:

‘I am happy, yes, I am happy, but do not think if my health remains to me I will work always…God—-but my sickness is persistent –it eats away at me always. I am surely doomed. I am as good as dead already…’ Continue reading

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

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

Spoof/ Nonsense handbill

IMG_1532Found at the Ephemera Society fair– this spoof April Fool’s day handbill/ poster. It probably dates from the late 19th century. It is in the tradition of British nonsense that goes back past Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll and was carried on with J.B. Morton’s ‘Beachcomber’, The Goons, Monty Python, Bonzo Dog, John Lennon and Professor Stanley Unwin and The Mighty Boosh. There is a West Derby Road in Liverpool. The reference to the young woman’s dress being composed of ‘spare ribs of pork’ is reminiscent of a costume recently worn on stage by the the singer Lady Gaga…

Missing from the neighbourhood of Black Rock Street, West Derby Road, about the first of April last, a short, middle-sized, and very tall young woman… had on when last seen a fashionable dress, composed of spare ribs of Pork with sage and onion trimmings; a double-breasted bonnet with Rattlesnake feathers – on her neck Dick’s hat-band that went nine times round and wouldn’t tie; a Chignon made of Shandy Gaff; Cast Iron stockings; Papier Mache drawers; Jack the Giant killer’s seven leagued boots, recently repaired, with holes in the soles; wears the Roman fall in the protuberance of the breast; must be recognised by her lovely piebald eyes, turned up Grecian nose, and a dew drop at the end of it, with savoury duck lips; has a splendid Carriage but no Horses; is supposed to have gone in search of the “Man in the Moon,” and will be known by looking two ways at once on Sunday’s; generally walks on her hands for the sake of cooling her heels, and always taking one step forward and one back, laments that she’s stationary in the world. Has been subjected to brutal treatment by her parents, having been born without father or mother, and wears mourning for a brother that never was in existence, being a son of her uncle Polly’s!

BY TELEGRAM. – When last seen was carrying a Satchel made of Boiled Cabbage, and was in a fearful state of exasperation, having too much of her own way in everything.

N.B. – She lives in Nim Nam Street, and is a Pan Mug Weaver.

The Land Girl

IMG_1510Found at the London 2016 May Ephemera Fair – an issue of this magazine – THE LAND GIRL. (NO. 7. VOLUME 2, OCTOBER 1941.) This was issued by the Women’s Land Army The first article  is an encouraging piece aimed at the new Land Girl, who possibly for the first time, will be meeting other girls from far flung parts of Britain and  the British Commonwealth.

On Being Strange.

At this time of year many members of the Land Army are working far from their  homes. In particular, girls who are threshing and potato lifting have come long distances, and many others have undertaken particular jobs in counties they have never visited before.

This offers a grand opportunity to break down prejudices which have survived from the times (little more than a hundred years ago) when it took many days of laborious travel to traverse this island and the vast majority of people never left their own county throughout their lives. But prejudice dies hard, and in many counties people who have lived in them for less than ten years are still called “foreigners.”

It is the right spirit which makes girls volunteer to go where they are most needed – once they have got there it is very important that they should stay, for they are needed, and a failure to stick it out means a great deal of trouble and wasted time and money, neither of which can be afforded nowadays. Home-sickness is almost inevitable, but it does not last, and a determination to be interested in new places and different people will help it to pass quickly. Continue reading

A Norfolk Dr Frankenstein ?

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Discovered on a stall in Portobello Road is this fascinating auction poster of 1815 announcing the forthcoming sale of household furniture and effects that once belonged to a bankrupt called T. Hunter. Research in Norfolk County Record Office produced nothing about Mr Hunter, although I was luckier with Robert Cruso, who was a prominent King’s Lynn auctioneer at this time. Indeed his name is preserved in the present firm of valuers and surveyors, Cruso and Wilkin of King’s Lynn, which was established in 1756 and now claims to be one of the oldest auction houses in the UK.

However, the auctioneer and his unusual name aren’t the only features that stand out in this poster. Some of items listed for sale are unusual, to say the least. Among the usual mirrors, chests of drawers and pictures can be found a ‘compound universal microscope in mahogany case complete’, a ‘full size double barrel Air Pump’, and most intriguing of all, an ‘Electrifying Machine’. These items prompt the questions; who exactly was T. Hunter, and what was he was doing with these scientific instruments?

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Wodehouse a la Proust

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Marcel Proust on air guitar

Going through a large collection of modern Christmas cards sent to a well connected literary figure, looking for bankable names. It’s not easy because most are signed ‘John & Susan’ etc., so you have to recognise the handwriting or find a clue. Sometimes a book is mentioned or the address is given –  e.g ’Vladimir and Vera, Montreux’ (I wish!)  There are many different styles, from tiny cheap cards with robins, to elaborate, large, arty and expensive cards. Many are from charities, either bought or received for free, some are hand made, some have original photos on the front, some large classy ones from members of the House of Lords, some with round-robin annual newsletters or long catch-up messages… This one is from someone (’Noripoll’) who appears to send out a parody every year. It’s ‘Wodehouse a la Proust’, next time we will post his ‘Proust a la Wodehouse’:

Wodehouse a la Proust

Life Sentence

When Jeeves, on the morning following that reunion with Augustus Fick-Nottle, Esq., at the Drones, proffered me a phial containing one of his special life-restorers, memories came flooding back of the long journey down country lanes to Totleigh Towers during which not only the corn shimmered but Jeeves, in his inimitable manner, shimmered too, black against the black Tarmacadam, as we approached the village close to the Towers, a company, nay a caravan, of gourmet penitents come to entreat the incomparable Anatole, my aunt Dahlia’s chef, not to abscond to the kitchen of Sir Watkyn Bassett; all of us barefooted behind out slowly moving limousines, and one of us, Catsmeat Potter-Pirbright, Esq., on his actual knees (as was not, for him, unusual), in desperate dedication to our mission, while I, wretched Bertram, scion of the Wooster line, who had twice filched Sir Watkyn’s silver cow creamer, under pressure to complicate the plot and provoke frolicsome incidents on tops of wardrobes and up and down ladders propped against the walls of ancient, country mansions, had vividly become aware, my heart throbbing violently all the while, of a refracted light from the late evening sun gleaming upon the brass fitments of an upturned policeman’s helmet, suspended by Agustus, on Totleigh church’s simple, slender spire, from which Anatole’s unsurpassable sauce vinaigrette flowed, lava-like, down the steeple, on to the battlemented tower, thence via gargoyle (one notably resembling Sir Watkyn himself), via pipe and conduit, just clearing the clerestory but developing a tendency to ooze into the nave through a fissure, yet signifying all the while, to those who put their trust in the power of Jeeves, that the great chef would return to my aunt Dahlia’s, once the final drop of precious liquid had dribbled over a flying buttress to reach, not only its elemental origin as it were, but to come, at last, to a full stop.

John Rylands on the art of the bookplate

Rylands letter 001Bookplates have been out of fashion for many decades, but throughout most the nineteenth century up to the early twentieth century, bibliophiles spent good money commissioning artists to design these very personal items. The bookplate craze reached a sort of height in the Edwardian period and the following unpublished two letters from the lawyer, antiquarian and businessman, (1846 –  23) dates from this era. The addressee is J.A. Twemlow (1867 – 1954), a medieval historian and archivist who became an authority on the early history of Liverpool.

Highfields,

Bidston Road,

Birkenhead,

7th Feb: 1911

Dear Mr Twemlow,

Thank you for the book-plates of Prof & Mrs Barnard. Of course they are far above the average of armorial plates & I hesitate to criticise them; however I will truthfully express my thoughts.

                                 All the lettering of Prof. Barnard’s plate rather displeases my eye, being quite modern. I should have liked more mantlet; but that is merely a matter of taste, for the present mantlet follows some excellent examples.

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Stewards at the Coronation of King George VI & Queen Elizabeth 1937

Found - a mimeographed 4 page typed set of instructions for stewards at the royal ceremony. It reveals the amount of detail and planning that goes into these occasions. It was found slipped into a book on George VI and must have belonged to a former steward. The mention at the end of fatigue and strain for this voluntary job is interesting. Stewards had to be at the stands at 5 a.m. wearing (in most cases) morning dress or uniform. Some were required even earlier. Still, refreshments came from Mecca Cafes Ltd (to be paid for by guests and stewards) and there were cigarettes, chocolates and sandwiches circulated by workers bearing trays. A phone service had also been specially installed...

The Coronation of Their Majesties King George VI.
and Queen Elizabeth.
Wednesday, 12th May, 1937

Instructions to Stewards.

1. Stand Stewards.

Each stand will be under the control of a Stand Steward, whose name will be indicated on the Steward’s pass. Stewards will report to the Stand Steward on arrival, will accept orders from him without reservation and will remain on duty until permission to leave is given by him.

2. Time of Attendance.

Stewards will be required to be at their stand, the number of which is indicated on the back of the pass, not later than 5 a.m. and should make themselves conversant with the general traffic facilities in order to ensure their attendance by this time. A certain number of Stewards on each stand may be required by the Stand Steward to be present at an earlier hour.

It is anticipated that in spite of the later hour of arrival which has been prescribed by the Police for seatholders, a large number will present themselves at the stands at a very early hour, and in order that congestion by seatholders and members of the public at the entrances to stands may be avoided it is considered necessary to arrange for Stewards to be present at that time indicated.

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Cafe Bizarre – Beatnik club

Found- a rare piece of Beatnik ephemera, a card from New York's Cafe Bizarre with the phone numbers and name of Rick Allmen who started the club in 1957. The Cafe Bizarre was one of the better known clubs to capitalise on the beatnik phenomenon, and the venue for many counterculture poets and musicians of the period. Musitron Records even recorded an album of Beat festivities at Cafe Bizarre in the late '50s. (In the post-beatnik-era Andy Warhol discovered The Velvet Underground there.) Another band who played there was the Lovin' Spoonful who described the place as a 'little dump' (1965 -post its Beatnik Glory).They played 3 gigs a night and were paid with tuna fish sandwiches, ice cream and occasionally peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. More can be found at Rock and Roll Roadmaps.

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A rare souvenir of London’s Great Wheel

The Great Wheel, which was built for the Empire of India exhibition at Earl’s Court in 1895, and was the ‘London Eye’ of its time, is pretty well documented. Postcards showing various aspects of it can be had quite easily, as can medallions, which were struck periodically throughout its career, right up to 1907, when it was demolished. But what we have here is something quite rare—on a number of levels. Firstly, it is a large photographic image of the wheel—four times the size of a postcard—which was mounted on board and sold –presumably to be framed and hung—by the famous  commercial printers of posters, stamps and banknotes, Waterlow and Sons Ltd. And there on the lower right hand corner is the signature of the Wheel’s ‘constructor ‘ Walter B Basset ‘, which may be original, but could equally be a facsimile. Lastly, we can date the photograph because it depicts the Wheel looming above the temporary constructions in painted wood and ironwork—some especially imported from India-- that comprised the Exhibition, which was the brainchild of Imre Kiralfy, a producer of burlesques and spectacles.

Interestingly, in the background can be glimpsed  the warehouses that stored the forage for the horses that transported goods of London largest department store, Whiteleys, while in the bottom left hand foreground can be seen a very early example of an elaborate electric floodlighting system for the Exhibition. If the signature is a facsimile then this mounted photograph could well have been a bit of opportunistic merchandising by Basset, who remains a very significant figure in the history of the amusement industry. Born Walter Basset Williams in 1864, the scion of an ancient Devon family, whose seat was Watermouth Castle, he entered the Royal Navy but left in 1882, possibly due to ill health, and instead took up engineering with the well established Maudslay Sons and Field, which specialised in steam-power. Here he did well and by the age of just 27 had become managing director. In 1894, inspired by the pioneering example in Chicago, he begun to build his first steam-powered Ferris Wheel at Earl’s Court, which when completed stood 300 feet high and contained 30 carriages, each of which could carry 30 passengers. It was an immediate success, but its popularity waned over the following years and in 1907 it was dismantled and the metal sold for scrap to the same company which 46 years later was to buy the Skylon at the Festival of Britain and produce cigarette cases from the scrap metal.

While the Wheel was still operating, however, Basset built other Ferris Wheels at Blackpool and Paris, but neither were a financial success, and when Maudslay went bankrupt in 1899, he set up his own business, The Basset Nut and Screw Company, in Belgium. In the end the destruction of his prized project at Earl’s Court may have been the last straw for a man in poor health, for in May 1907 he died, aged just 43, at the family home in Devon.  Thankfully, the Vienna Riesenrad survived its creator and is now one of the city’s greatest attractions—it featured in the films ‘The Third Man’ and ‘The Living Daylights’.

[R.M.Healey]
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Francine Saigon parodist of Francoise Sagan

Found  - a Keystone file photo from March 9th 1963 of 16 year old  novelist Felicity Moxton. Her book Bonsoir Maitresse: a novel (Pavilion Publications, London 1963) was a parody of Francoise Sagan's bestselling 1954 novel Bonjour Tristesse. It is quite rare but looks like this (the design very much like Francoise Sagan's French paperbacks):-

The back of the press photo reads:

Only 16 years old… is the young English writer Felicity Moxton and in a short time her first book will be to get in all book-shops. Felicity is the daughter of a writer in London. Her first book has the title 'Bonsoir Maitresse' and her pseudonym is 'Francine Saigon'. Everybody can see by this title and this name, that Felicity thought to the famous French author Francoise Sagan and her book 'Bonjour Tristesse'. Felicity told a newspaper, that she wanted to make a joke about the books of Francoise Sagan. Let us see, what Felicity had to write!

There are fake reviews at the rear 'Sagan, beware' (Paris Snatch) and 'Proceeds entrancingly from one triviality to another.' (Figarifico). The fictitious former works by Francine Saigon are noted as -Un Certain Sneer, Aimez-vous Hams? and *Marvellous New Ages. The blurb reads:

What is a mistress? How does a mistress begin? How does a mistress end? Exploring this theme, Francine Saigon's new novel tells the story of a young girl's relationship with a father who is more faithful to his old mistress than his successive wives.

Written in the inimitable style which is so familiar to Saigon devotees, 'Bonsoir Maitresse' will linger in the reader's heart long after the covers are closed.

* Les Merveilleux Nuages

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A rare British Museum Library ticket

There are plenty of biographical anecdotes concerning the experiences of writers using the facilities of the old British Museum Library —from Washington Irving through Karl Marx up to David Lodge and beyond. When the famous round Reading Room was built many incorporated into their fiction memories of studying there. However, we have little idea today of the process by which books were ordered in the very early years of the Library.

So when an actual ordering slip from this period turns up —and one signed by a well known author—it is a rare event. Surely such ephemera are scarcer even than Shillibeer omnibus tickets and must rank among other celebrity souvenirs, such as non-presented cheques signed by Hollywood film stars and the like.

This particular ordering slip was made out by the poet Thomas Campbell (1777 – 1844), whose Pleasures of Hope  was a minor success in 1799, and who remained a well known, though hardly revered, figure of the Romantic period. The book he ordered was The History of Edward the Second by Sir Francis Hubert, which first appeared in 1629. We know the book was asked for on August 23rd , but with no year date present we must examine the style of the vestigial remnant of the printed part of the form and guess that the order was made sometime between 1803, when Campbell settled in London, and 1819, when he brought out his Specimens of the British Poets.

If the order was made before 1810 it would be interesting to know if Campbell had problems obtaining a ticket to the Museum, or whether his celebrity as an author removed any barriers to entry. After this date the ticket system was abolished, which made it much easier to access the Library, although readers often had to wait for many hours, sometimes days, for their books to arrive. [RMH]

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E. M. Forster, the Rajah and his tutor

Most people who know E.M.Forster’s Passage to India (1924) also know that the background research for the novel was undertaken while the author worked as private secretary to the Maharajah of Dewas, senior, who ruled a tiny State in north central India. In 1953, many years after the novel appeared, and sixteen years after the Maharajah had died, Forster published as The Hill of Devi  recollections of his time in  what he called ‘ the oddest corner of the world outside Alice in Wonderland’.

Forster had first met the young ruler, who bore the rather cumbersome cognomen of  Sir Tukoji Rao III, in 1912 , while he was the guest of the high-flying administrator  Malcolm Darling, who had himself arrived in India in 1904.  ‘His Highness’, or H.H., as the Rajah styled himself, was then just in his early twenties, having succeeded his father in 1900 at the tender age of twelve. In 1906 Darling was appointed his tutor and mentor, and in October 31st, 1907 the two men, together with the usual retinue, including possibly the Rajah’s beloved brother, embarked on what might today be called a ‘ fact -finding ’ tour of ’ All-India’ and Burma , which is briefly mentioned by Forster in his book. Various members of the party were responsible for taking snaps of the sights along the way. The Rajah himself can be seen in many of the photos, and Darling features in at least one. The camera used seems to have been a Kodak, which had become popular early in the 1890s—and it is this photographic record, mounted in a Kodak album, with brief identifying captions by the Rajah, that has recently come to light in a provincial auction house in the UK.

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The Folk Revival, Skiffle and Protest Songs of the early 1960s

Found in the Haining archive - part of a typed article, possibly never published, by the writer and folklorist Leslie Shepard. He was particularly interested in street literature and broadsides and this piece is inspired by what he saw as a revival of broadside literature which came with a renewed interest in folk music in the early 1960s, also the time of Skiffle…

Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group with Nancy Whiskey*
Twentieth Century Ballads - Leslie Shepard. The Arts in Society

At the dawn of the twentieth century even the broadsides had disappeared, while the countryman had little to sing about. In a more material age people read prose newspapers instead of the verse broadsides and studied practical affairs instead of a romantic past. Both traditional and printed pieces became museum relics, of interest to scholars, country parsons and antiquarians rather than to a modern world - until the folk song revival of barely ten years ago.

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Anonymous book donor revealed

Found in a collection of ephemera this intriguing typed letter from the long vanished New York bookshop Tessaro's. The shop was in Maiden Lane which appears to have been a kind of bookseller's row. The address later housed a rare bookshop called Sabin's. Tessaro's was formerly called Rohde and Haskins who had dabbled in publishing at the dawn of the 20th century.

The letter deals with a request for the identity of the anonymous donor of a book from the recipient - a nurse (presumably) at The General Hospital at Fox Hills.  The shop decided ('we'll take a chance') to reveal the donor's identity. Significantly he was a soldier, as Fox Hills was a very large Army hospital dealing at that time with WW1 casualties. There the story ends. It would be nice to add 'and reader she married him.' The bookshop as go-between must be uncommon and in our cautious times it might not reveal the donor, or possibly send on the request to the donor for permission…

Dear Madam 
Acknowledging receipt of your note of 28th July we would say we do not know that the sender of the book desired it to be known who sent it, but we'll take a chance and say to you, in confidence, that it was mailed to you on the order of Lieut. G.C. Anderson.
Yours very truly,
TESSARO'S

Fox Hill Nursing Staff (1921) from
Advance Archive Photos (many thanks)
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Library Lists

A piece of pre-Amazonian technology for ordering books from libraries, a rare, ephemeral survival probably from the 1930s...  An attractive little booklet with a carbon at the rear for keeping duplicates of 'library lists'. Inside are the following instructions--

These lists are made up from Literary Supplements, Publishers Lists of new books, reviews and books recommended by friends.

The list is torn out at perforation and sent to Library.

 The carbon copy is retained as a check on the books received.

 The carbon copy also becomes a useful record of books read, books to be recommended to friends, and a reminder of the works of Authors you have read. 

The booklet (about 40 pages) was part of something called the Terston Series and probably dates from around 1930.They also produced books off ready made bookplates and bookmarks…