Tag Archives: Peter Haining

Seth speaks…

 

Agharti 1982Found in the Peter Haining Archive ( though how it got there is anybody’s guess) is a letter addressed to Alec McClelland, author of The Lost World of the Agharti from someone called John Hanning-Lee.

Bearing no year date ( but it must be dated after 1982, when The Lost World of Agharti appeared ) it urges McClelland to read Seth Speaks by the American psychic and author Jane Roberts (1929 – 84), who from 1964 received spirit messages from a male being called ‘ Seth’, whose pronouncements were later made the subject of a number of published works by Roberts collectively known as the ‘Seth material’. In his letter Hanning –Lee particularly focuses on the chapter in Seth Speaks devoted to the lost underground civilisation that predated Atlantis. Hanning-Lee describes the inhabitants and their civilisation thus:

‘They had blown up their own civilisation prior to that and the underground existence that followed was, of course, a reincarnational one. They excavated whole cities, by that I mean they excavated extensively so that their cities and communicating passages were entirely beneath the surface. The means of doing this was by means of sound vibrations where certain low notes sounded with power can cause a tunnel to form where there was solid earth. I suppose an analogy would be if you were to manipulate iron filings so that a path was formed through a mass of them placed on a sheet of paper and the paper tapped lightly. These ‘ caves ‘ they formed were, then, far more extensive than the ordinary idea of the word ‘cave’ and ran for miles, Their knowledge of the plates of the Earth’s crust and the science of earthquakes was almost certainly far superior to ours. Continue reading

Ian Fletcher

Victor Plarr cover

Found in the Peter Haining archive, an Independent obituary by Peter Mendez of the fin de siecle scholar Ian Fletcher (1920 – 88). As the obituarist remarks, Fletcher’s vertiginous rise in 1955 from humble book-stamper in Catford Public Library to University teacher was extraordinary and may be unique in the history of modern British academic life. Today, when the possession of a Ph D is obligatory for entry into academia, and when many with this qualification are either unemployed or in low-grade jobs, the idea that someone with no degree at all could be elevated to a lectureship in English Literature would be laughed out of court.

But this was Fletcher’s position in 1955. Not only did he lack a higher degree, but he had never attended a University. However, in compensation he became a prolific contributor to such neo-Romantic post-war magazines as Tambimuttu’s Poetry London, Peter Russell’s Nine and Wrey Gardiner’s Poetry Quarterly. In 1948 Tambimuttu published a volume of his poems entitled, Orisons. He also brought out an edition of Lionel Johnson’s Collected Poems in 1953. Fletcher’s passion for the aesthetic movement and the literature of the eighteen nineties had begun early. His book-hunting excursions in that golden age of the forties and early fifties, when rare titles could be had for under ten shillings, led him to assemble a large collection which became a valuable resource. At the same time his growing reputation as a poet and scholar attracted the attention of Professor D. J. Gordon of Reading University, who saw that the young librarian might be a valuable addition to his staff. And it soon became apparent that Gordon’s trust in him was well placed.

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Haining brought to task on the subject of Black Magic

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Found in the Peter Haining Archive, two letters that raise objections to the author’s views on Black Magic expressed in his Witchcraft and Black Magic (1971). Both emanate from distinctly offbeat sources. Here is the first letter. The second may feature in a later Jot.

The first letter ( dated only May 30th) was sent by someone called August Vironeem on behalf of ‘ the Directors ‘ of an American ‘Thelemic ‘ group ‘ described by Vironeem as an ‘ offshoot of Aleister Crowley’s ‘Initiatory lodge in England known as the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn ‘. Objecting to Haining’s section on Crowley as ‘ totally eroneous ‘, the writer goes on to repudiate ‘ with a high degree of certainty ‘ the Great Beast’s association with Black Magic:

'neither Crowley, not any of his disciples, partisans, sympathisers, nor modern day devotees do have, or have ever had, anything thing at all to do with black magic, ( and here , I must firmly state that Manson’s Solar Lodge of the O/T/O and other perversions do not bear upon Crolwey. Had he been alive today He’d have been nasueated by such groups.'

Vironeem ends by maintaining that although Crowley had his faults, he also had his ‘ moments of genius’; he then invites Haining to ‘take a quick look at’ Crowley’s ten volume set of The Equinox.

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Your present Jotter is not really qualified to comment on Crowley or his philosophy, but most of his apologists have strongly denied that their hero practiced Black Magic. Indeed, the Crowley Wikipedia entry tends to suggest that his cult of Thelema was a much more intellectually nuanced philosophy than his simple-minded critics would have us believe. To me as a tyro it seems to be a philosophy that centres on a world view of extreme individualism, containing aspects of anarchism, and showing the influence of William Blake.

It appears that someone with the name August Vironeem actually exists and very probably did have connections with Thelema. Today, in Wilshire Boulevard, Beverly Hills, lives August Vironeem, aged 65. According to the records, someone with this name was born in 1951 in New York. And as the present HQ of the International College of Thelema is in Sacramento, CA, it seems possible that our Mr Vironeem became an early follower of Crowley, then by his early twenties had moved to California to take a leading role in the‘ offshoot‘ of the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn that eventually ended up as the International College of Thelema. This is all speculation, but the facts are suggestive...[R.M.Healey]

Gabriel Fielding—a neglected British novelist

Gabriel_Fielding1Listing British novelists or poets who were also medics is a fun party game. Going right back to the eighteenth century one can think of Goldsmith and Smollett. From the nineteenth, I suppose Keats can be included, although without a degree in medicine, he can’t be classed as a physician. Thomas Lovell Beddoes is a less well known example, as is Samuel Warren, who ought to be better known, especially as his ground-breaking Passages from the Diary of a late Physician heavily influenced the Bronte sisters. Among the twentieth century poets there are a few, including Dannie Abse and Alex Comfort and I dare say one or two writers studied medicine, but never practised it. I don’t think Somerset Maugham did, apart from a stint in the Red Cross. And then there is Gabriel Fielding (1916 – 86).He certainly practised. In fact he was a GP and a prison doctor based in Maidstone for many years until literary fame allowed him to give up medicine and try his luck in America. With a mother who was a descendant of Henry Fielding, he certainly possessed the literary credentials to succeed, and indeed he did, but not so much in his native land, where he is still little known. The reputation of Alan Gabriel Barnsley (his real name) is well documented in a review dated April 6th 1963 from the Haining Archive. In it, John Horder, himself a doctor and writer, marks the publication of Fielding’s fourth novel, The Birthday King, which had just appeared in the States, with the statement that in America he was acknowledged as ‘ one of our leading novelists, along with Graham Greene, Muriel Spark and Iris Murdoch’. According to Horder, Gabriel’s obsession with ‘the darkness in man ‘ was present from the start. In his debut novel, Brotherly Love (1954), for instance, Fielding’s hero, David Blaydon, who is based on the author’s eldest brother George, gets pushed into the Church, becomes entangled in the lives of various women in his parish and eventually falls ‘a great height from a tree to be found dead by one of his brothers in one of the most horrifying scenes in fiction’. Continue reading

The 25 Favourite Sinatra Songs

Found among Peter Haining’s  papers a typed sheet, possibly from a 1980 newspaper article, listing the results of a poll of Frank Sinatra’s most loved songs. It is possible he was planning a book on Sinatra…

Frank_Sinatra_in_Till_the_Clouds_Roll_ByThe 25 Favourite Sinatra Songs

In 1980, Frank’s public relations firm, Solters and Roskin, conducted a poll to establish the singer’s most popular recordings. A total of 7600 fans from more than 11 counters were polled, and replies came from Britain, Canada, Australia, America, Japan, Brazil, France, Sweden, West Germany, Holland as well as various other place. In all 587 individual Sinatra titles were selected by fans, but the eventual winner proved to be a 25 years old recording, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin” with words and music by Cole Porter, released by Capitol in 1956! (Note; It has been suggested that the number 3 song on the list given as “Chicago” should, in fact, be “My Kind of Town”.)

The list, with dates of recording, is as follows:

1. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (January 26, 1956)

2. The Lady is a Tramp (November 26, 1956)

3. Chicago (August 13, 1957)

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Some tall tales

The veteran anthologist Peter Haining (1940-2007, pictured right) only managed to make a decent living by having a number of different projects on the boil at once. Although it has been estimated that he published around 200 books, not all of his ideas came to fruition. One that didn’t excite publishers was ‘Tall stories ---an anthology of boaster’s tales’, which he was hawking around in April 1991 as a potential Christmas book.

Haining’s introductory presentation to one publisher promised stories by ‘a veritable galaxy of star names ‘ in which ‘ fiction outweighed the fact ‘. Some of these stories would be presented by their authors as ’ ostensibly true ‘ while others would be ’ unashamedly fictitious’.

Some of the material that he intended to reproduce included Spike Milligan’s ‘Agent 008’, Lord Dunsany’s ‘The Electric King’, Baron Corvo’s ‘ How I was buried alive’, Charles Dickens’ ‘’The Wide-awake Club’, Tom Sharpe’s ‘ Disaster in the Deep Bed’, Fitz James O’ Brien’s ‘ How I achieved perpetual motion’, Stephen Leacock’s ‘ The iron man and the tin woman’, and G.K.Chesterton’s ‘ The Club of Queer Trades.’

I’d certainly publish a book which included those titles, but perhaps the titles were better than the stories.

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The Liberty League—a campaign against Bolshevism

This interesting cutting from the Haining archive tells some of the story of the short-lived Liberty League. Less than three years after the Russian Revolution had erupted, leading figures in public life, alarmed by the progress of its ideas in the West, got together to initiate a counter campaign that would challenge Bolshevism in the UK and throughout the empire. The new force for good was ‘The Liberty League’ and on 3rd March 1920 an open letter declaring its objectives and signed by H. Rider Haggard, Rudyard Kipling, Lord Sydenham, H. Bax-Ironside, John Hanbury Williams, Algernon Maudslay and  Lt –Col G Maitland- Edwards, was published in the Times. The signatories began by defining Bolshevism and its aims.

Bolshevism is the reverse of what mankind has built up of good by nearly two thousand years of effort. It is the Sermon of the Mount writ backward. It has led to bloodshed and torture, rapine and destruction. It repudiated God and would build its own throne upon the basest passions of mankind. There are some misguided people of righteous instincts in this country who believe in Bolshevism; there are others who have been influenced by secret funds. There are many who hope to fish in its bloodstained waters.

We, the undersigned, and those we represent, being assured that if it is allowed to conquer it will mean in the end the destruction  of individual rights, the family, the nation, and the whole British Commonwealth, together wit the handing over of all we hold sacred into the power of those who stand behind and perhaps have fashioned this monstrous organization...

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The Princess Alice paddle steamer disaster of 1878—-why was the death toll so high?

The late Peter Haining was one of many writers fascinated by the terrible events of the evening of 3rd September 1878, when the paddle steamer ‘Princess Alice’, laden with over 800 day trippers returning from an excursion to Margate, was rammed by the collier Bywell Castle close to North Woolwich. Over 630 men, women and children perished in the disaster, which remains the worst in the history of river navigation—not just in the UK, but in the world.

Hoping to publish a book on the subject, Peter Haining kept clippings both from the centenary coverage of the disaster in 1978 and from August 1989,when a much smaller vessel, the ‘Marchioness’, sank further upstream in the Thames. He also researched a similar Victorian sinking in 1875, when the’ Deutschland’ went down off the Kentish coast, carrying among its passengers,   five German  nuns--- a disaster which  prompted Gerard Manly Hopkins to compose his famous poem The Wreck of the Deutschland.

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Paul Renin ‘Sex’ (1928?)

1950s issue, Many
thanks John Fraser.

Here’s a bit of a puzzler. Coming from the archive of Peter Haining and bearing annotations by him, this is a photocopy of a blurb for a book 'in preparation' entitled Sex, which is described as 'Paul Renin’s Latest, Greatest and Most Courageous Novel !' Now here’s the thing. Such a novel by Paul Renin—the pseudonym of someone called Richard Goyne (1902 – 57), who also wrote crime novels—did not seemingly appear, according to Abebooks, until 1951.

The copies available on Abebooks are described as the first U. S. editions from the publisher Archer of a romance concerning a 'sixteen year old runaway Girl in the South Seas' . However, the blurb announcing the forthcoming appearance of Sex is clearly in a typeface of the 1920s, which Haining’s annotation identifies as dating from 1928. This, of course,  was the year in which Lady Chatterley’s Lover appeared, and the blurb writer seems keen to emphasise that Sex was, like Lawrence’s novel, a mould-breaking literary event.

What of the parents who—for reasons of “delicacy” or hectic pursuit of their own gay lives—allow their children to grow up in perilous ignorance?

What if those boys and girls who, so neglected, are lured from the fireside” by distant, seductive callings” to learn “romance“ and its moods for themselves in “the little corners of the city where night steals early and danger lingers always” ?

There are the human, poignant problems with which Paul Renin is most fitted to deal. In Sex he tells a daring and a wonderful story. Of romance, of passion, of weak lovers old and young. Of great emotions and greater need. In Sex PAUL RENIN SPEAKS OUT FEARLESSLY.

We have not examined a copy of the 1928 book, if indeed it was published in this year. If its publication was held back until 1951, it may have been because the censors –perhaps provoked by the blurb—took action to prevent its appearance.. [RR]

The 1928 issue may not have happened (i.e. the book was a 'ghost') - an extensive search through WorldCat, Copac and the might Karlsruhe database reveals no edition earlier than 1942. This was published by pulpmeister Gerald Swan who was discussed in an earlier jot on London's markets.

BeatGirl

Dail Ambler

A letter from the Peter Haining collection unsigned but certainly from Steve Holland, a fellow British pulp enthusiast who wrote a definitive book on the subject - The Mushroom Jungle and later a book on pulp writer Dail Ambler The Lady Holds a Gun! Both books can be bought at Amazon, the latter only as a Kindle download…Among many works written under pseudonyms Dail Ambler (a.k.a.Danny Spade) also wrote the screenplay for the cult film Beat Girl (1960) starring the amazing Gillian Hills.

Dear Peter,
 Many thanks for your letter, and for the offer of some Janson's on loan...
THE MUSHROOM JUNGLE: well, you've certainly come to the right person to ask, as this is the working title of my book on the fifties publishers! I dreamed up the title years ago when I started, a sort of play on The Asphalt Jungle, with mushrooms chucked in because of how these publishers seemed to pop up overnight. The bulk of the bibliography (which runs to 250 pages} is written, but I'm adding to it all the time…

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Pickpockets

Found in the Haining collection - this article from 1936 on pickpockets. The author Louis Mansfield has much advice,most still relevant. The bit about a 'dip's' long, tapering fingers may be fanciful but certainly it is not a profession for one with fat fingers...

PEARSON'S WEEKLY, May 30, 1936

THIS IS DERBY WEEK, SO

WATCH YOUR POCKETS!

Pickpockets will be busy among the crowds. It is their best time of the year. Louis C. S. Mansfield, detective and crime investigator, lets you into secrets of the "dip's" profession – and they have some good ones. You have been warned!

TAKE HIS ADVICE–

  I have worked against pickpockets for years. Here's my advice to you if you want to return home with your notecase.
  Be careful when you see men carrying, and not wearing, their overcoats, or holding newspapers which are open–not folded.
  Grab your wallet quickly if a stranger starts brushing paint or dust off your coat.
  If somebody hits you on the back and says "Sorry," look for a touch in front–because you won't feel it.

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An Address to the people of Suffolk on incendiary fires

Found in the Haining collection - a mid 19th century pamphlet An Address to the people of Suffolk on incendiary fires. No publisher, author, date or place of publication is given. WorldCat notes that there is a copy in the Goldsmiths'-Kress Library of Economic Literature, (no. 34328) and says the author was probably  Lord Thurlow - a Suffolk peer (Edward Hovell-Thurlow) and estimates a publication date of 1845. Evidently Suffolk was plagued by arson at this time. An impassioned plea, unashamedly patrician in tone, to stop this outbreak. It appears to be addressed mainly to farm workers and may have been spoken to a gathering and/or published in local newspapers. The account of the violent and seditious behaviour of people at the fires is fascinating and alarming...

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Cicely Mary Barker

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A Fairy Orchestra*

Found in the Peter Haining archives this long piece from 1995 about the great Flower Fairy illustrator Cicely Mary Barker. It is likely to be the fruit of research by PH's good friend the amazing W.O.G. 'Bill' Lofts. Cicely Mary Barker's beautiful illustrations are still much loved and have become something of an industry. She also produced some deeply religious illustrations which are also of very high quality.

CICELY MARY BARKER

Wander into almost any stationers', gift or book shop, and you will see them - on cards and calendars, notelets and writing pads, diaries and address books, pencil tins and wrapping paper - even on tins of tea and Wedgwood china collectors' plates! The Flower Fairies suddenly seem to be everywhere.

They never really went away, of course - since they first appeared over 70 years ago, they have continued to work their magic on generations of children and adults alike. If all at once they seem more popular than ever before, it is because 1995 marks the 100th anniversary of the birthday of their creator, Cicely Mary Barker. To celebrate the centenary in June, and hand-in-hand with a big marketing campaign, Warnes are due to publish the first ever study of the artist: “Cicely Mary Barker and her Art” by Jane Laing. This superbly produced book, lavishly illustrated with colour plates of the artist's work and family photographs, is an absolute "must" for any collector of Barker's work, and guaranteed to add to her ever-increasing circle of admirers world-wide.

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There Were No Asper Ladies by Eugene Ascher, Mitre Press, 1944

Post-war British pulps

Found - part of a letter to Peter Haining from W.O.G. ('Bill') Lofts about an intended book on post-war British pulps. Neither WorldCat or Copac show such a book among Lofts's oeuvre.The manuscript could possibly be among Haining's papers which we are still sifting through. Almost all  of the authors mentioned can be found at the Sf Encyclopaedia site but even there details can be quite scant. Some of these pulps are now quite valuable - There Were No Asper Ladies, for example, features an occult detective (Lucian Carolus) and is a full blown vampire novel.

Dear Peter,

Many thanks for your list of fifties books. An interesting little list as well. As I said, I'll return the favour at the top of the list and work my way down (so expect some jumping about!).

I don't; know anything about David Scott-Moncrieff, apart from the act that he had a second collection of horror stories. They were published in 1948 and 1949.

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Teddy Edward bears

Found among the boundless Peter Haining papers - this definitive piece about Teddy Edward bears:

TEDDY EDWARD

  Most people want to know how the Teddy Edward story began. The original teddy bear belonged to Sarah the then two-year-old daughter of Patrick and Mollie Matthews. Patrick Matthews, one time manager of Vogue Magazine Studios, had taken a photograph of Cecil Beaton's cat sitting in a flower bed and a framed enlargement was hanging in Sarah's bedroom. One day Mollie suggested that it might be a good idea to take photographs of several soft toys for children's nurseries - or even better do a book about Teddy Edward and his friends.

  The present Teddy Edward is not the original bear, who in the early days acted as Sarah's constant companion as well as photographic model ; like all well loved teddy bears the original teddy began to show signs of wear. And so a new bear was found but visually he didn't look exactly like the original Teddy Edward. So the two of them were taken off to the doll's hospital where Teddy Edward Mark 11 had his face lifted so that you couldn't tell the difference between the two of them. The original Teddy Edward is still much loved and lives in cosy retirement in Sarah's room.

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P.J.Proby

Who remembers P.J.Proby? He was that twenty something, good looking Texan, born James Marcus Smith, who with his jet black hair tied back an  energetic, gyrating act and hit single covers from West Side Story ( 'somewhere there’s  a place for us…) was the sensational new male vocal act in 1965---a sort of Elvis lookalike, but with a better voice, many thought, than the King of Rock himself. Then he split his pants, not once but twice, and was banned from the BBC and from just about every venue in the UK. By then he had a fleet of Rolls Royces a yacht and Lear Jet and homes in Beverley Hills and Chelsea, but nowhere to sing, at least in the UK, which had become his adopted home.

Frustrated, he still recorded the odd album, and once the split pants furore had died down, he took to the stage in various musicals.   Before too long, however, he had an alcohol problem and a failed marriage. The cars and properties were liquidated, but he continued to sing and act, most notably playing Elvis. But the drinking continued. Other marriages went under. His lowest point came in 1985, according to a cutting from a magazine  collected by Peter Haining, when he was snapped in his Bolton bedsit slumped on a sofa clutching a can of Special Brew—still just 47,but hardly recognisable as the sleek mid sixties sex symbol. By then he was reduced to gigs in northern clubs, but with a reputation as a ‘no show’. Haining seems to have been fascinated by the singer’s fall from grace, because he also archived a special Sunday Times Proby supplement of 1965, when the singer was at his height.

Amazingly, Proby refused entirely to go under, performing and recording as he needed to, proving his versatility by doing covers of two punk rock classics in the late eighties. The most astonishing departure must be his recording of Eliot’s Waste Land in 1999—perhaps not so remarkable when one considers that the Harvard educated poet grew up in St Louis, which is not  so too far away from Proby’s home town of Houston. By this time the singer had cleaned up his act and had settled in Evesham, Worcestershire (which he pronounced 'Woostershire' ), in a house surrounded by five acres, he having in a later interview confessed that he hated cities and was a country boy at heart. However, disaster struck in 2012, when the seventy-four year old was brought to court on a charge of benefit fraud. Indignant at the very notion, he defended himself, arguing that any benefits he received were due to him as someone who suffered from alcoholism and a disability sustained while playing American Football.

He was acquitted, though he afterwards confessed that the whole affair had forced him to downsize to a bungalow in the hamlet of Twyford, in prime apple growing country just north of Evesham, where he still lives, his garden peopled with totem poles and palms planted in large pots. This year Proby will be 77. He still belts out the old R & B classics and though, despite the prominent sideburns, he would now win no prizes as an Elvis lookalike, the voice, which back in 1965, was regarded by many in the know as one of the most powerful in pop, is undiminished. [R.R.]

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Quest for Jack Mann 2

This the second part of this quest by the great researcher Lofts from circa 1975…there is a piece on Mann at Wikipedia, giving his real name as Charles Henry Cannell and with more up to date information and an earlier birth date (1882). Last year a biography appeared The Shadow of Mr Vivian: The Life of E. Charles Vivian (1882-1947) by Peter Berresford Ellis.

On the Trail of the Mysterious "Jack Mann". By W. O. G. Lofts.

The mysterious "Jack Mann" seems to be in the news again of late, especially with the excellent news that Bookfinger have started to republish his novels. The first entitled 'Grey Shapes' being excellently revised by Lillian Carlin, a few issues of this magazine ago.

I use the expression 'mysterious' relating to "Jack Mann" in the sense, that it was only recent I was able to satisfy myself regarding his real identity. At least here in England his real name has been a matter of much conjecture for many years. He suddenly appeared in the world of fiction in 1933, when he wrote two novels for the publishers Wright and Brown. This firm who had offices in Farringdon Avenue, London, just off the mighty Fleet Street was run by two elderly gentlemen a Mr Wright and Mr Brown. Apart from their popular fiction books being sold cheaply to the public and libraries, the owners were also extremely popular with Sexton Blake pulp writers. These authors simply changed the name of Sexton Blake and his assistant Tinker to some other names, and their whole original Blake stories were published as 'new; to the unsuspecting public.

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Quest for Jack Mann 1

From the Tartarus site with thanks (1937)

Found among the papers of the writer Peter Haining, this piece (the first of two) by the writer and expert on popular fiction and juvenile literature W.O.G. Lofts. It is on the elusive writer of supernatural fiction Jack Mann (real name E.C.Vivian (but also known as Charles Henry Cannell, A.K. Walton, Sydney Barrie Lynd, Galbraith Nicholson and  Barry Lynd.) As Jack Mann his books are highly collectable and some of considerable value. Lofts starts off by tracing his daughter...

Report by W. O. G. Lofts  

Jack Mann, 

Report of Visit to Mrs. K. Ashton. Monday July 7th 1975.

Frank Vernon Lay and myself arrived at Mrs. Ashton's flat at 7pm sharp which is situated in a Mews off Beaumont Street, London. Mrs. Ashton was about 60 well groomed, and obviously well educated. Unfortunately the meeting on the whole was a great disappointment as we were not there more than 15 minutes. Mrs. A who was born during the First World War, knew nothing about E. C. V's  Hutchinson (publishing) activities. She had no copies or records of the magazines and was not very expert (in my opinion) of his stories. The majority of her family papers were destroyed during the last war. The facts gleaned that elucidated several things however were interesting.

Charles Henry Cannell, was his real name, and he was the son of a Norfolk farmer. He had a serious dispute with him early in life, and so changed it. His mother did not remarry, and he had no brothers or nephews, only two sisters whom he did not keep in contact with. He served in the Boer War, but she did not think in the Great War. In the last was he was an Air-Raid warden. An early writing venture was "Books for the Bairns' edited by William Stead (very juvenile material) and he also working in collaboration with the author J. D. Beresford - material not known. He wrote some Westerns for Ward Lock under the name of Barry Lynd., and also other material for 'Wind and Water' magazine. E. C. V. certainly and without question was JACK MANN, and he wrote the stories entirely by himself. His agent was not concerned in this and probably he (the agent) felt disgruntled and this was the reason why he was not interested to talk about it. Mrs Ashton could not throw any light on the large number of books that came on the market though curiously this was the same time she moved from London to North Wales. Its more than likely they were originally her own father's autographed copies (and from her mother's) and she did not want to admit it. She seemed to me vague in places (e.g. the nickname her father called her mother inscribed in books) but did promise to look through all the papers when she had time. We had a glass of sherry and then left!

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Scarecrow Verse

From the extensive archive of Peter Haining, this doggerel by an unknown writer and a snapshot of scarecrow with brolly... These are from a file of research material for his 1988 book The Scarecrow: Fact and Fable. The book has this sympathetic review at Amazon: 'Haining really did a great job with this under researched topic. He examines the Scarecrow from its beginnings to the modern day counterparts. What I liked the most was the strong attention given to the figure of the Scarecrow in Literature and Films. If Scarecrows interest you, then you will love this book.' It was an insubstantial file bulked out with a few copyright movie and television stills (Worzel Gummidge etc.,)

A farmer sat in his chair
When the day's work was done
Birds are taking my peas - said he
I'll scare them with my gun

His wife said "John your time you'll save
If you a scarecrow make
Your old brown coat with odds and ends
Will cause those birds to quake

Upstairs there is an old top hat
Gloves in the parlour drawer
Bean poles will make its arms and legs
For stuffing we'll use straw

A turnip from the old barn floor
Will make a splendid head
If stones are used for eyes and nose
We'll paint its mouth" she said

They set to work to make it up
It was a fearsome sight
It gave the birds for miles around
A very dreadful fright.