Sent in by a sharp-eyed jotter this aside on the slightly forgotten writer and belle-lettrist E.V. Lucas (not to be confused with E.V. Knox who was known as 'Evoe.')
|Portrait of E.V. Lucas by the Canadian artist J. Kerr-Lawson|
R .G .G. Price revealed some jaw dropping facts about E. V. Lucas (1868-1838) light essayist, biographer of Charles Lamb and lover of dogs, cricket and long country walks, in his excellent History of Punch (1957). On page 194 we find the following remarks on his fellow Punch stalwart:
'More than any other Punch man, he adopted a mask for his work…His literary personality was light, charming and kindly. He appeared as a lover of Georgian week-end cottage life, a bit of a scholar, a bit of a dog lover and a stalwart defender of what he considered the better human impulses. In private he was a cynical clubman, liking to entertain peers to sumptuous meals with champagne and brandy, very bitter about men and politics and the decadence of modern art. He was a great ‘trouncer ‘ of outspoken books and was rumoured to have the finest pornographic library in London….’
Eh ? Anodyne E.V., author of At the Shrine of St Charles and of Quaker stock, is ‘rumoured to have the finest pornographic library in London.’ Well, in 1957 Lucas had been dead for 19 years , which meant Price was safe from litigation, but some of his friends and fellow Punch men, might have objected. But they didn’t, as far as I know, and this rather astonishing slur (if you wish to call it that) remains unchallenged to this day.
Incidentally, what happened to Lucas’s curiosa ?