Notes to Volume 5: 1960
4 January 1960
Political novel by Disraeli (1844).
Sybil, or The Two Nations: 1845 novel by Disraeli, expounding the plight of the working classes in England, published in the same year as Engels's The Condition of the Working Class in England.
Reynolds's Weekly Newspaper was founded by the radical journalist George William MacArthur Reynolds in 1850. It soon became a successful Sunday newspaper, especially in the North of England, with a radical working class approach combined with sensationalism. After various ownerships and titles it ceased publication in 1967, by when it was called The Sunday Citizen.
6 January 1960
Presumably the 1946 film directed by David Lean, with John Mills as Pip. No other film of the novel was released between 1946 and 1959.
1959 film directed by Val Guest, written by Wolf Mankowitz, music by Robert Farnon, a satire of the popular music industry.
The Owl of Minerva
RH-D published an English translation (by Norman Denny) of Gustav Regler's autobiography in 1959. It ran to 375 pages.
all his novels
Trollope wrote forty-seven novels.
the Ancient of Days
A scriptural allusion to God; cf. Daniel 7:9.
the wolf month
The Saxon name for January was Wulf-monath (wolf month): 'people are wont always in that month to be in more danger of being devoured by wolves than in any other.' (Verstegan)
Abbreviation of verbum sapienti sat est—a word is enough to a wise person.
9 January 1960
Christ Church gaudy
From Latin gaudium—joy: a college feast.
the huge hanging Epstein
The original plaster model of Epstein's last work, 'Christ in Majesty', was displayed in the north transept of St Paul's for the memorial service to the sculptor in November 1959, and remained there temporarily afterwards. It was 16½ feet high.
14 January 1960
walking delicately, like Agag
1 Samuel 15:32: 'And Agag came unto him delicately'.
can Spring etc
Shelley, 'Ode to the West Wind'.
Hamlet, Revenge … Stop Press
Published in 1937 and 1939 respectively.
A cow is a very good animal…
Boswell, Life of Johnson (1771 section). Correctly, 'in the field'.
Kaye's new film on current release was The Five Pennies.
'Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings' etc
And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?
'Fatherlike He tends and spares us!'
From the hymn, 'Praise, my soul, the King of Heaven' by H F Lyte (1793-1847).
Lady Angina Pectoris and Sir Rheumatoid Arthritis
'What a loss to the Stock Exchange is Sir Rheumatoid Arthritis, and is Lady Angina Pectoris to Mayfair.' Walter de la Mare in The National and English Review, Volumes 146-147 (1956), p 164.
Evening Standard … Daily Express
Newspapers owned by Lord Beaverbrook, the former a London local evening paper, the latter a right-wing, middle-market national.
16 January 1960
Term coined by Ian Nairn in The Architectural Review in 1955:
There will be no real distinction between town and country. Both will consist of a limbo of shacks, bogus rusticities, wire and aerodromes, set in some fir-poled fields... Upon this new Britain the Review bestows a name in the hope that it will stick.
Lament for a Maker and The Journeying Boy
Published in 1938 and 1949 respectively.
21 January 1960
Nineteenth century hunting song, with words by John Woodcock Graves; it begins:
D'ye ken John Peel with his coat so gay?
Humphrey Lyttelton later wrote:
…when the muscle-bound champion collapsed and died, my father was much affected. He cut out the photograph that appeared in the horse's obituary in the newspaper and framed it, keeping it on his study mantelpiece until the day he died.
The Rainbow Bridge
The Rainbow Bridge and Other Essays on Education (1959). A collection of twelve essays and addresses dating from 1930 to 1959. The rainbow bridge of the title comes from Norse mythology: it carried the deserving from earth to heaven.
the dead vast and middle of the winter
Hamlet 1:2: 'In the dead vast and middle of the night'.
If I pick up a skein and find it packthread, I do not expect on going further to find it silk
Boswell, Life of Johnson (1769 section):
But when I take up the end of a web, and find it packthread, I do not expect, by looking further, to find embroidery.
Carlyle's perfect picture of C.
Carlyle, The Life of John Sterling (1851) Ch 8:
Coleridge sat on the brow of Highgate Hill, in those years, looking down on London and its smoke-tumult, like a sage escaped from the inanity of life's battle; attracting towards him the thoughts of innumerable brave souls still engaged there. His express contributions to poetry, philosophy, or any specific province of human literature or enlightenment, had been small and sadly intermittent; but he had, especially among young inquiring men, a higher than literary, a kind of prophetic or magician character. He was thought to hold, he alone in England, the key of German and other Transcendentalisms; knew the sublime secret of believing by 'the reason' what 'the understanding' had been obliged to fling out as incredible; and could still, after Hume and Voltaire had done their best and worst with him, profess himself an orthodox Christian, and say and print to the Church of England, with its singular old rubrics and surplices at Allhallowtide, Esto perpetua. A sublime man; who, alone in those dark days, had saved his crown of spiritual manhood; escaping from the black materialisms, and revolutionary deluges, with 'God, Freedom, Immortality' still his: a king of men. The practical intellects of the world did not much heed him, or carelessly reckoned him a metaphysical dreamer: but to the rising spirits of the young generation he had this dusky sublime character; and sat there as a kind of Magus, girt in mystery and enigma; his Dodona oak-grove (Mr Gilman's house at Highgate) whispering strange things, uncertain whether oracles or jargon.
Glorious islets too I have seen rise out of the haze…
'Glorious islets, too, I have seen rise out of the haze; but they were few, and soon swallowed in the general element again. Balmy sunny islets, islets of the blest and the intelligible.'
23 January 1960
The production wasn't frightfully good…
Directed by Michael Benthall; the cast included Alec McCowen as Algernon, Barbara Jefford as Gwendolen, Judi Dench as Cecily, and Miles Malleson as Canon Chasuble.
In Congreve's The Way of the World.
Edith Evans played Cleopatra in three productions between 1925 and (aetat 59) 1947. The Manchester Guardian (3 December 1946) and The Times (21 December) gave her performance excellent notices; The Observer inclined to RH-D's view.
I see Diana's baby is safely christened, with Roger at the font
John Samuel Hood, christened at Chelsea Old Church on 21 January. Roger Fulford was one of five godparents
28 January 1960
he quotes it in Trivia and adds 'By jove, that's a stunt!'
Not in Trivia (1917) but in All Trivia (1933), p 81
reason to lament what man has made of man?
Wordsworth, 'Lines Written in Early Spring':
If this belief from heaven be sent,
30 January 1960
the film of Our Man in Havana
Carol Reed's film of Greene's novel, starring Alec Guinness, Noel Coward and Ralph Richardson.
A Moon for the Misbegotten
Directed by Clifford Williams, with Margaret Whiting and Michael Aldridge in the leading roles.
The first edition (June 1962) was priced at four guineas, equivalent of more than £60 at current values. The 2000 revised and expanded edition was priced at £35.
water, water everywhere
Coleridge, 'The Rime of the Ancient Mariner':
Water, water, every where,
4 February 1960
The Turn of the Screw
Short story by Henry James in which malevolent ghosts prey (or are imagined to prey) on two children.
Behold ye among the heathen, and regard, and wonder marvellously: for I will work a work in your days which ye will not believe, though it be told you.
capable de tout
Capable of anything
6 February 1960
Tragicomic novel by George Meredith (1879).
11 February 1960
Where, so to speak, was Bohun?
RH-D's footnote refers to Shaw's You Never Can Tell, Act IV, but I think a more likely source is Lord Chief Justice Crewe's observation on mutability (1625):
And yet Time hath his revolutions. There must be a period and an end of all temporal things, finis rerum, an end of names and dignities and whatsoever is terrene; and why not of De Vere? For where is Bohun; where is Mowbray; where is Mortimer; nay, which is more and most of all, where is Plantagenet? They are entombed in the urns and sepulchres of mortality.
Anatomy of a Murder
1959 courtroom drama, directed by Otto Preminger and written by Wendell Mayes. It starred James Stewart, George C Scott, Lee Remick and Ben Gazzara.
Magazine first published in 1862; merged with Harper's Bazaar in 1970.
Tranby Croft baccarat
Legal action (1891) in which the Prince of Wales was involved. The question was whether Sir William Gordon-Cumming had or had not cheated at baccarat.
14 February 1960
Foyle's Literary Lunch
Foyle's was, and is, a large bookshop in Charing Cross Road, London. In 1930 Christina Foyle (1911-1999) instituted a monthly lunch so that the book-buying public could mingle with writers. The lunches were held at the Dorchester and Grosvenor House hotels; as well as J B Priestley speakers included Kingsley Amis, Charles Chaplin, Charles de Gaulle, Philip Larkin, D H Lawrence, Harold Macmillan, Yehudi Menuhin, Haile Selassie, George Bernard Shaw, Edith Sitwell, Margaret Thatcher, Evelyn Waugh, and H G Wells.
18 February 1960
keeping your friendships in repair
Boswell, Life of Johnson (1755 section)
'If a man does not make new acquaintance as he advances through life, he will soon find himself left alone. A man, Sir, should keep his friendship in constant repair.'
The first batch of your old letters
This is the first mention in the published correspondence of GWL's returning RH-D's earlier letters. No explanation is given.
time's hurrying footsteps
Title of a poem by Dorothy Una Ratcliffe, published in the collection Over Hill, Over Dale (1956). I doubt if this was GWL's source, but I can find no other candidate.
the surly advance of decrepitude
Painting is a friend who makes no undue demands, excites no exhausting pursuits, keeps faithful pace with feeble steps, and holds her canvas as a screen between us and the envious eyes of Time and the surly advance of decrepitude.
the enclitic δέ
In ancient Greek, τε ('and') and δέ ('but') could be tacked on to the end of other words, cf –que in Latin.
Who was the scholar of Milton's day who was for some reason cut open after death, and his tummy was found to be half full of sand?
Lytton Strachey, New Republic, 26 December 1923, Vol. 37, Issue 473, p 115:
In the early years of the eighteenth century the life of learning was agitated, violent, and full of extremes. ... One sat, bent nearly double, surrounded by four circles of folios, living to edit Hesychius and confound Dr. Hody, and dying at the last with a stomach half full of sand.
whatever his paper was
In 1912 Bentley joined The Daily Telegraph, with which he remained for twenty-two years.
'I being judge'—in my opinion. (Ablative first person singular pronoun + ablative of iudex.)
20 February 1960
Don't come flying out of your chair like that, Mr Venus…
Dickens, Our Mutual Friend, Ch 7.
25 February 1960
dolce far niente
a man is not on oath in an obituary
Boswell, Life of Johnson (1775 section)
Southey, The Battle of Blenheim
It was a summer evening,
Meet we no angels, Pansie
Came, on a Sabbath noon, my sweet,
John Thomas … D H Lawrence
John Thomas is Mellors's name for his membrum virile in Lady Chatterley's Lover.
27 February 1960
Oh Chairman, my Chairman, The fearful task is done!
Walt Whitman, 'O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done'
Jack Simmons (or perhaps Simmonds)
Simmons is the correct form.
2 March 1960
annotations of startling indecency (blasphemy)
'There were several books on a shelf; one lay beside the tea-things open, and Utterson was amazed to find it a copy of a pious work, for which Jekyll had several times expressed a great esteem, annotated, in his own hand, with startling blasphemies.'
Sherlock Holmes's frequent adversary; despite Moriarty's best endeavours Holmes remains alive and finally Moriarty is killed.
M. Arnold's chilblained mittened musing
From Edith Sitwell, Alexander Pope (1930) 'Aberdeen granite tomb … with his chilblained, mittened musings'.
5 March 1960
wear my rue with a difference
Ophelia: There's fennel for you, and columbines; there's rue for you; and here's some for me; we may call it herb of grace o' Sundays. O! you must wear your rue with a difference.
10 March 1960
It was some ass of a saint who said that one of the chief pleasures of the saved would be watching the torments of the damned. But all the time?
Tertullian, De Spectaculis:
The greatest joy of Heaven is in watching the torments of the damned in Hell—a spectacle far more pleasing than any upon Earth.
(Tertullian (c. 160-225) was one of the 'fathers of the Church' but later joined the Montanists, a heretical sect, and so was never canonised)
the St Joan Epilogue
Set twenty five years after the events of the play; the characters appear to Charles VII in a dreamlike conversation.
12 March 1960
new life of Conrad by Jocelyn Baines
Joseph Conrad: A Critical Biography (1960)
17 March 1960
It isn't the pathetic that moves us…
Cocteau, A Call to Order (tr. Myers, 1936):
It is not pathetic messages that make us shed our best tears, but the miracle of a word in the right place.
great Panjandrum with the little round button at top
'From a rigmarole composed by Samuel Foote (1720-1777)' noted RH-D. It is so singular that it is here quoted in full:
So she went into the garden
The ringleader, Casey, nicknamed 'Skin-the-goat'…
There are several problems with this paragraph:
the new book on Kipling
Probably Rudyard Kipling by Rosemary Sutcliff.
19 March 1960
'whose dwelling is the light of setting suns'
Wordsworth, 'Tintern Abbey':
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Merlin Holland (1945–). In 2000 he was responsible for a new and expanded edition of RH-D's volume of Oscar Wilde's letters.
The Bishop of Oxford
Harry James Carpenter (1901-1993), Bishop of Oxford 1955-1970.
Two Way Stretch
Comedy directed by Robert Day. The cast included Peter Sellers, David Lodge, Bernard Cribbins, Wilfrid Hyde-White, Lionel Jeffries, Irene Handl and Liz Fraser.
23 March 1960
'fountain of sweet tears', or dancing with daffodils
Both Wordsworthian allusions: 'The Sparrow's Nest' and 'Daffodils'.
Dr Battie whose impersonation of Punch made an ill boy laugh so much…
John Doran, The History of Court Fools (1858):
But Battie could play the fool, even to better purpose by the sick bed, than the buffoon at his club. It is told of him that he had a young male patient whom obstinate quinsy threatened with almost instant suffocation. Battie had tried every remedy but his foolery, and at last he had recourse to that. Setting his wig wrong side before, twisting his face into a compound comic expression, and darting his head suddenly within the curtains, he cut such antics, poured forth such delicious folly, and was altogether so irresistible, that his patient, after gazing at him for a moment in stupefaction, burst into a fit of laughter which broke the imposthume, and rescued the sufferer from impending death.
Battle of the Sexes
Directed by Charles Crichton, based on James Thurber's story 'The Catbird Seat'. Starring Peter Sellers, Constance Cummings and Robert Morley.
Rugby Union trophy awarded to the winner of the annual Six Nations Championship match between England and Scotland.
26 March 1960
I'm All Right, Jack
Comedy about industrial relations, directed by John Boulting, starring Ian Carmichael and Peter Sellers.
Scheme for international study and professional development, introduced in 1959.
30 March 1960
John Keats who … wrote that when a great misfortune came to a man he felt inclined to congratulate him…
Letter to Benjamin Bailey, 22 November 1817:
The first thing that strikes me on hearing a misfortune having befallen another is this—'Well, it cannot be helped: he will have the pleasure of trying the resources of his spirit.'
2 April 1960
a frightful book about the Wolverhampton Wanderers football club.
All For the Wolves (1960), nominally by Stanley Cullis, manager of the club, 1948-68. Wolverhampton Wanderers won the 1960 F A Cup and were runners-up to Burnley in the 1959/60 League Championship.
6 April 1960
Croker took with his edition of Boswell
Macaulay's review of John Croker's new edition of Boswell's Life of Johnson appeared in September 1831 and begins:
This work has greatly disappointed us. Whatever faults we may have been prepared to find in it, we fully expected that it would be a valuable addition to English literature; that it would contain many curious facts, and many judicious remarks; that the style of the notes would be neat, clear, and precise; and that the typographical execution would be, as in new editions of classical works it ought to be, almost faultless. We are sorry to be obliged to say that the merits of Mr Croker's performance are on a par with those of a certain leg of mutton on which Dr Johnson dined, while travelling from London to Oxford, and which he, with characteristic energy, pronounced to be 'as bad as bad could be, ill fed, ill killed, ill kept, and ill dressed.' This edition is ill compiled, ill arranged, ill written, and ill printed.
Nothing in the work has astonished us so much as the ignorance or carelessness of Mr Croker with respect to facts and dates. Many of his blunders are such as we should be surprised to hear any well educated gentleman commit, even in conversation. The tomes absolutely swarm with misstatements into which the editor never would have fallen, if he had taken the slightest pains to investigate the truth of his assertions, or if he had even been well acquainted with the book on which he undertook to comment.
That Macaulay was not wholly unfair to Croker is illustrated by George Birkbeck Hill in his preface to his 1887 edition of Boswell:
I should be wanting in justice were I not to acknowledge that I owe much to the labours of Mr Croker. No one can know better than I do his great failings as an editor. His remarks and criticisms far too often deserve the contempt that Macaulay so liberally poured on them. Without being deeply versed in books, he was shallow in himself. Johnson's strong character was never known to him. Its breadth and length, and depth and height were far beyond his measure. With his writings even he shows few signs of being familiar. Boswell's genius, a genius which even to Lord Macaulay was foolishness, was altogether hidden from his dull eye. No one surely but a 'blockhead,' a 'barren rascal,' could with scissors and paste-pot have mangled the biography which of all others is the delight and the boast of the English-speaking world. He is careless in small matters, and his blunders are numerous…Yet he has added considerably to our knowledge of Johnson. He knew men who had intimately known both the hero and his biographer, and he gathered much that but for his care would have been lost for ever. He was diligent and successful in his search after Johnson's letters, of so many of which Boswell with all his persevering and pushing diligence had not been able to get a sight.
Gladstone on Ireland, and Dizzy on the Franchise
Neither Gladstone's measures in pursuance of his 'mission to pacify Ireland' nor Disraeli's reforms entitling far more men to vote than before were consistent with Carlyle's recorded views.
a diseased rosebud
Letter to Jack Carlyle, 24 July 1840.
a strange, lilting, lean old maid, not nearly such a bore as I expected
Letter to Jack Carlyle, 8 October 1846.
the portrait of an idiot who has taken glauber salts and lost his eyesight
Letter to his mother, 12 April 1851 (correctly '…that has taken…'). Glauber's salt—sodium sulphate—is a bitter tasting laxative.
Carlyle's opinion of G F Watts's portrait of him, now in the National Portrait Gallery: 'decidedly the most insufferable picture that has yet been made of me, a delirious looking mountebank full of violence, awkwardness, atrocity and stupidity.'
like a flayed horse
Letter to John Sterling, 4 August 1841.
with its stupid classic Acropolis and smashed pillars
Letter dated 12 October 1899.
Autobiographical novel by the painter John Bratby.
13 April 1960
Jan Crace … The Times … so far nothing has appeared
The obituary notice by GWL was published on 18 April, eleven days after the subject's death.
20 April 1960
waste their sweetness on the desert air
Thomas Gray, 'Elegy in a Country Churchyard' Stanza 14:
Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
minced collops, fricassee of fowl, ham and tongue, haddocks, herrings, frothed milk, bread pudding, and syllabubs made with port wine.
Boswell's Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides with Samuel Johnson, entry for 6 September 1773:
We had for supper a large dish of minced beef collops, a large dish of fricassee of fowl, I believe a dish called fried chicken or something like it, a dish of ham or tongue, some excellent haddocks, some herrings, a large bowl of rich milk frothed, as good a bread pudding as I ever tasted, full of raisins and lemon or orange peel, and sillabubs made with port wine and in sillabub glasses.
23 April 1960
wear their white for Eastertide
Loveliest of trees, the cherry now
30 April 1960
Passage to India
Dramatisation of E M Forster's novel by Santha Rama Rau, directed by Frank Hauser. Dr Aziz was played by Zia Mohyeddin.
4 May 1960
those dogs that after closely scrutinising the parts of shame…
Frederick the Great, XVI:
Thus, too, you will observe of dogs: two dogs, at meeting, run, first of all, to the shameful parts of the constitution; institute a strict examination, more or less satisfactory, in that department. That once settled, their interest in ulterior matters seems pretty much to die away, and they are ready to part again, as from a problem done.
Shelley's elegy on the death of Keats.
'Kubla Khan' as if it was Kennedy's gender-rules
Coleridge's poem as opposed to Benjamin Hall Kennedy's 'gender rhymes', mnemonics for students of Latin, e.g:
Substantives in do and go
the Cassius passage … 'controversy'
Julius Caesar 1:2:
The torrent roar'd, and we did buffet it
7 May 1960
cold boiled veal
Macaulay on Croker:
See whether I do not dust that lying varlet's jacket for him in the next number of the Blue and Yellow [The Edinburgh Review]. I detest him more than cold boiled veal.
a musical version of The Importance
Ernest In Love: music by Lee Pockriss, book and lyrics by Anne Croswell. Presented at the Gramercy Arts Theater, New York, 4 May 1960, and ran for 111 performances.
11 May 1960
whatever a sandboy may be
Sandboys were sellers of sand (for scouring etc). A writer in Appleton's Journal in 1872 remarked that the saying presumably arose because 'as sand-boys follow a very dry and dusty trade, they are traditionally believed to require a great deal of liquor to moisten their clay'.
Della Crusca or Dada
Schools of writing, the first of pretentious and rhetorically ornate poetry, the second of anarchic opposition to traditional culture.
the countless rumours about and against the poor young photographer
The rumours, not substantiated, were to the effect that the bridegroom's past life had not been uniformly heterosexual.
By those who look close to the ground dirt will be seen
Hesther Lynch Piozzi, Anecdotes of the late Samuel Johnson:
'By those who look close to the ground, dirt will be seen, sir,' was the lofty reply. 'I hope I see things from a greater distance.'
King Mark found Tristan
In Wagner's opera Tristan und Isolde.
the Oscar film in which J. Mason appears as Carson
The Trials of Oscar Wilde. See note for 5 June, below.
18 May 1960
the new life of Charles Kingsley.
R B Martin, The Dust of Combat: A Life of Charles Kingsley (1960)
Madam if I had thought so, I certainly should not have said so'.
Boswell, Life of Johnson (1781 section):
Miss Monckton … insisted that some of Sterne's writings were very pathetick. Johnson bluntly denied it. 'I am sure (said she,) they have affected me.' 'Why, (said Johnson, smiling, and rolling himself about,) that is, because, dearest, you're a dunce.' When she some time afterwards mentioned this to him, he said with equal truth and politeness; 'Madam, if I had thought so, I certainly should not have said it.'
Boswell … the mathematics lecturer
Boswell, Life of Johnson (1776 section):
I mentioned Mr Maclaurin's uneasiness on account of a degree of ridicule carelessly thrown on his deceased father, in Goldsmith's History of Animated Nature, in which that celebrated mathematician is represented as being subject to fits of yawning so violent as to render him incapable of proceeding in his lecture; a story altogether unfounded.
Goldsmith's version was:
Maclaurin was very subject to have his jaw dislocated; so that when he opened his mouth wider than ordinary, or when he yawned, he could not shut it again. In the midst of his harangues, therefore, if any of his pupils began to be tired of his lecture, he had only to gape or yawn, and the professor instantly caught the sympathetic affection; so that he thus continued to stand speechless, with his mouth wide open, till his servant, from the next room, was called in to set his jaw again.'
Tout passe, tout casse, tout lasse
Everything passes, everything breaks, everything wears out.
22 May 1960
A C Swinburne
'in the bill'
On the list of boys to be disciplined.
the American editor
Cecil Y Lang, whose six volume edition of Swinburne's letters appeared in 1959 and 1960.
25 May 1960
Pawn-power in Chess…
Despite GWL's scorn at least two of these (the first and last) were still in print in 2019.
30 May 1960
'Books that are not books'—not real books.
1 June 1960
Only yesterday three judges stigmatised the Daily Express and Daily Mail…
The Court of Appeal characterised both papers as 'vulgar and offensive' in their behaviour.
5 June 1960
'the real right thing'
Title of an 1899 short story by James.
Robert Morley Wilde film … the other film
The two films about Wilde that came out at the same time were:
Saintsbury's advice in preferring Madeira to port or sherry
George Saintsbury, Notes on a Cellar Book: 'I know of no other wine of its class that can beat Madeira when at its best.'
shades of the prison-house
Wordsworth, 'Intimations of Immortality':
Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
G.K.C. (was it?) wrote 'If you want to keep your dislike of someone alive be careful not to meet him'
Possibly Chesterton's Robert Browning, Ch 5: 'We all have a dark feeling of resistance towards people we have never met'.
16 June 1960
his old thrawn fellow-countryman
idly melodious, as bird on bough
Leigh Hunt, who lived close by, and delighted to sit talking with us (free, cheery, idly melodious as bird on bough).
18 June 1960
I'm still on Jeffrey, with Jane to come
Francis Jeffrey (1773-1850), subject of one of the sections of Carlyle's Reminiscences.
22 June 1960
Jeeves…no. 9 in hats
The Code of the Woosters, Ch 12
'You stand alone, Jeeves. What size hat do you take?'
the Bennett-Wells letters
Arnold Bennett and H G Wells: A Record of a Personal and a Literary Friendship, edited by Harris Wilson (1960)
that strikingly good play, revue, fantasy, pageant? of his somehow connected with Shrewsbury?
Paul Dehn's masque Call-Over was staged to mark the quatercentenary of Shrewsbury School in 1952.
a knot of little misses
Hesther Lynch Piozzi: Anecdotes of the late Samuel Johnson:
'One can scarcely help wishing, while one fondles a baby, that it may never live to become a man; for it is so probable that when he becomes a man, he should be sure to end in a scoundrel.' Girls were less displeasing to him; 'for as their temptations were fewer,' he said, 'their virtue in this life, and happiness in the next, were less improbable; and he loved,' he said, 'to see a knot of little misses dearly.'
26 June 1960
The Chocolate Soldier
1908 operetta based on Shaw's Arms and the Man; music by Oscar Straus; libretto by Rudolf Bernauer and Leopold Jacobson; English translation by Stanislaus Stange.
My Fair Lady
1956 musical based on Shaw's Pygmalion; book and lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner; music by Frederick Loewe.
29 June 1960
Companion of Honour. The Order of the Companions of Honour was founded by George V in 1917 to recognise outstanding achievements in the arts, science, politics, industry or religion. The order is limited to 65 members. It is less prestigious than the Order of Merit but is a more distinguished honour than that of Knight Bachelor.
Questioning is not the mode of conversation among gentlemen
Boswell, Life of Johnson (1776 section)
'no cakes or ale nor nothing pleasant'.
cf Sir Toby's Belch's, 'Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?' (Twelfth Night 2:3) but I cannot trace the variant quoted by GWL.
the Jepson story
The Laughing Fish
Correctly, corpus delicti ('body of crime')—the principle that before anyone can be convicted of committing a crime, it must be demonstrated that a crime has been committed.
Do coalmine disasters always hit you in the wind?
45 miners were killed in an explosion at Six Bells colliery near Abertillery in Wales on 28 June.
2 July 1960
in the shadow of the Atomic Pile
The nuclear power station now called Sellafield (previously Windscale and Calder Hall)
5 July 1960
The Ladies' Plate
The Ladies' Challenge Plate, rowing event at Henley Royal Regatta. Despite its name it is not for ladies, but for crews from academic institutions. In 1960, Eton College beat Jesus College, Cambridge in the final.
Edward VII was nicknamed 'Tum-Tum' because of his corpulence.
the anfractuosities of the human mind
Boswell, Life of Johnson, 1780 section:
Among the anfractuosities of the human mind, I know not if it may not be one, that there is a superstitious reluctance to sit for a picture.
9 July 1960
the new Michael Innes
The New Sonia Wayward (1960)
Tony Powell's latest
Casanova's Chinese Restaurant (1960)
the Peter Quennell book
The Sign of the Fish—a 'literary autobiography' discussing writers and their writings of the previous 30 years.
the Belgian Congo
Later known as Republic of the Congo, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zaire, and then again Democratic Republic of the Congo; scene of persistent civil strife and bloodshed since independence in 1960.
14 July 1960
'Ate by his side'
Gr. ἄτη: 'ruin, folly, delusion' personified as goddess of mischief and author of rash destructive deeds.
16 July 1960
By Terence Rattigan, directed by Glen Byam Shaw. It ran at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket from 12 May 1960 to 10 March 1962.
19 July 1960
The late Rev. P.A. Donaldson
Recte S A Donaldson—see biographies.
sow with the whole sack
According to Plutarch (De gloria Atheniensium), the poet Corinna advised the young Pindar to exercise restraint in his poems: 'One should sow with the hand, not with the whole sack.'
the John's people
St John's College, Cambridge, where Hulme read mathematics;
…the supposition that we still have the power of ingratiating ourselves with the fair sex.
Quoted in The European Magazine and London Review (January 1785) 'Johnsoniana'.
24 July 1960
The Taming of the Shrew
Directed by John Barton. Peter O'Toole played Petruchio to Dame Peggy's Katharina.
the Warburg Institute
Part of the University of London, whose purpose is to further the study those elements of European thought, literature, art and institutions that derive from the ancient world.
27 July 1960
I remember Cardus was on the mat
Cardus ventured to point out to Scott that 'from whence' was used by respected writers including Fielding. Scott replied, 'Mr Fielding would not use it twice in my paper.' (Neville Cardus, Autobiography, Hamish Hamilton, 1984 (orig. Collins, 1947) pp 112-113.)
Then I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills from whence cometh my help
Psalm 121:1. ('From whence' occurs in 24 other places in the Authorised Version, and 38 times in Shakespeare.)
30 July 1960
one of the joint heads of the Treasury
The joint heads of H M Treasury in 1960 were Sir Norman Brook and Sir Frank Lee. RH-D earlier (24 February 1957) described the former as 'a very nice man'.
Referring to an Eton boy who has not been awarded 'colours' for sporting achievement
3 August 1960
The Yellow Book
Quarterly literary periodical of the 1890s associated with aestheticism and decadence.
The gossip column of The Daily Express was known as the William Hickey column.
As quickly as possible.
10 August 1960
Yet another book…
Maude M Hawkins, A E Housman: Man behind a Mask (1958).
Moderations: the first public examination taken in certain faculties of the University of Oxford for the degree of BA.
Little-go: the popular name (later superseded at Oxford by 'smalls') for the first examination for the degree of BA, officially called 'Responsions' at Oxford and 'The Previous Examination' at Cambridge (discontinued in the 20th century).
It surely is not easy to be much wronger than that
A 1988 book about Housman said of Maude Hawkins, 'not only her general ignorance of the field but her almost supernatural inaccuracy stand in the way of success' (P G Naiditch, A E Housman at University College London p 28).
a sour leader in The Times
The leader began, 'The feeble failure of Oxford to resolve its notorious road problem would be merely ludicrous if it were not so serious', and talked of 'municipal myopia' and 'academic conspiratorial pedantry'.
13 August 1960
sale of Max's books etc
There were 383 items sold, at a total of £26,654. 'There were some remarkable prices paid,' reported The Times, 'not so much for books embellished in the author's own hand with examples of his own barbed stiletto wit, as for drafts and notes for uncompleted works or for the original drafts of those published.'
Merton … Max Room
Merton College, Oxford. Two rooms next to the college library are devoted to Beerbohm. Several of his cartoons of late 19th-century celebrities are on display.
was the splendid library of C.H. Wilkinson
The sale realised £33,737.
How many million words have we by now exchanged?
The published correspondence, edited and cut to an unknown degree by RH-D, amounts to a little under 350,000 words by this point.
Troilus and Cressida was directed by Peter Hall and John Barton. Denholm Elliott was Troilus, Max Adrian, Pandarus, Eric Porter, Ulysses, and Peter O'Toole, Thersites.
24 August 1960
'the nubbly bits'
Galsworthy, The Silver Spoon, Chapter 8.
peace perfect peace, with loved ones far away
From the hymn 'Peace, Perfect Peace', words by the Rt Rev Edward Henry Bickersteth:
Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
29 August 1960
eine der belebtesten Londoner Vorortstationen
one of the busiest London suburban stations.
30-31 August 1960
Abraham and Dives
Luke Ch 19, in which the poor man, Lazarus, goes to Abraham's bosom in heaven and the rich man, Dives, goes to hell.
My attitude to the daily paper is almost Balfourian.
Balfour's view, apropos of Churchill's extensive collection of press cuttings, was that reading the newspapers was like 'rummaging through a rubbish heap on the problematical chance of finding a cigar.' William Manchester, The Last Lion: Winston Spencer Churchill: Visions of Glory, 1874-1932 (1984), p 375
a young English girl getting a bronze medal for swimming
At the Olympic Games in Rome, Miss A Lonsborough won a gold medal for the 220 metres breaststroke, and Miss E Ferris won bronze in the springboard diving.
Lit. re-fishing: the practice of balancing the results of heats to ensure the fairest result, so that, e.g., the runner-up of one heat who had performed better than the winner of another heat would go forward to the next stage.
C. K. Ogden
Inventor and propagator of Basic English, an auxiliary international language of 850 words intended to cover everything necessary for day-to-day purposes.
much the same as those of Sin when she first saw her offspring Death
Paradise Lost, Book 2:
At last this odious offspring whom thou seest
It cries to Heaven, as the butler said about what was in Dr Jekyll's room.
Robert Louis Stevenson, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886), VIII: 'The Last Night':
'Changed? Well, yes, I think so,' said the butler. 'Have I been twenty years in this man's house, to be deceived about his voice? No, sir; master's made away with; he was made, away with eight days ago, when we heard him cry out upon the name of God; and who's in there instead of him, and why it stays there, is a thing that cries to Heaven, Mr Utterson!'
Leaves of Grass
By Walt Whitman.
5 September 1960
Fleet Street Kopje
Fleet Street was then the centre of national newspapers. Kopje—a South African term for a small hill—several such were redoubts in the Boer War.
The Hotel Cecil in the Strand in London, built in the 1890s and demolished in 1930. In its day, the largest hotel in Europe.
7 September 1960
no starting tear called for drying
Felicia Hemans, 'To resignation': 'Hush the sad murmur, dry the starting tear.'
the belly of a dead fish
Possibly August Strindberg, The Silver Lake: '…its white side like the belly of a dead fish.'
How right Thomas Hardy was…
Florence Hardy, Life of Thomas Hardy, II, 58:
To cry out in a passionate poem that (for instance) the Supreme Mover or Movers, the Prime Force or Forces, must be either limited in power, unknowing, or cruel—which is obvious enough, and has been for centuries—will cause them merely a shake of the head; but to put it in argumentative prose will make them sneer, or foam, and set all the literary contortionists jumping upon me, a harmless agnostic, as if I were a clamorous atheist, which in their crass illiteracy, they seem to think is the same thing.
Room at the Top
1957 novel by John Braine, adapted for the cinema in 1959. An early example of the 'kitchen-sink' genre.
1816 novel by Sir Walter Scott set in the reign of James VII (James II of England).
'grane', 'cess', 'tow' and 'marts'
The OED has no relevant entry for 'grane', and defines the other three as 'a land tax', 'a rope' and 'beef cattle' respectively.
Lit. 'living space'—Nazi doctrine purporting to justify German occupation of other people's territory.
The new Ngaio Marsh
False Scent (1960). Roderick Alleyn does indeed blow in.
10 September 1960
Third Empire drama. The Times said of it that it combines 'an opening of pure comedy with a dénouement of the sombrest drama.' It was played at the St James's Theatre in 1870 and regularly revived during the rest of the century.
14 September 1960
Name given in the University of Cambridge to the college parlour where the fellows meet after dinner, elsewhere called common-room.
the History of High Wycombe in two volumes—also an exciting looking volume called Solutions
The former is L J Ashford's The History of the Borough of High Wycombe from its Origins to 1880; The History of the Borough of High Wycombe from 1880 to the Present Day; Solutions remains unsolved.
cf Shelley's poem Ozymandias on the evanescence of human glory.
22 September 1960
finding my cheeks 'often bedewed with tears of thoughtful gratitude'
Southey, 'My days among the Dead are passed':
And while I understand and feel
he never made another run practically
This is something of a myth, propagated by Foley. In fact Alletson in his very next innings (against Gloucestershire at Bristol) scored 80, 60 of which came from 17 strokes in the last half-hour of the day. Then, in 1913—against Sussex again—69 out of 98 from 23 strokes; against Derbyshire, 88 in 60 minutes; against Leicestershire 63 in 25 minutes; and in the Yorkshire match at Dewsbury he hit three consecutive balls from Wilfred Rhodes for six apiece.
Ruddigore and The Mountebanks
Pearson (p. 135) described the libretto for Ruddigore as one of Gilbert's best, but was not quite so enthusiastic about The Mountebanks, whose libretto he called as good as any but the best Savoy pieces (p. 171).
25 September 1960
'an insensate step'
In a letter to Hugh Walpole, Henry James so described his agreement to contribute an article to the Times Literary Supplement in 1914. Quoted by RH-D in chapter eight of his Hugh Walpole.
28 September 1960
'and you cannot think how much it changed her appearance for the worse'
Swift, A Tale of a Tub:
Last week I saw a woman flayed, and you will hardly believe how much it altered her appearance for the worse.
in Rasselas, no doubt—that the scientists had much better busy themselves in discovering a cure for asthma rather than in learning how to fly.
In Chapter 6 of Rasselas, the hero unsuccessfully attempts to fly, but no such conclusion as set out by GWL is mentioned.
Vachell's Eton v. Harrow
In Chapter 12 of The Hill by Horace Annesley Vachell. The book is a story of school life at Harrow.
Macdonell's famous match in England, their England.
A G Macdonell's England, Their England (1933), a humorous novel giving a Scot's view of the English, is remembered for its description of a village cricket match which verges on farce.
Like General Alexander
Alexander eventually relented and allowed his (ghosted) memoirs to be published in 1962.
Kingsley Amis's last novel
Take A Girl Like You (1960).
Cantata by Sullivan with libretto by Joseph Bennett, based on the 1851 poem of the same name by Longfellow. During Sullivan's lifetime it was widely considered his greatest work of serious music; it was regularly programmed and a command performance was given for Queen Victoria. Overtaken by Elgar's oratorios, the work was neglected in the twentieth century.
1 October 1960
A sport or freak of nature.
5 October 1960
Do you remember your Clivus?
Clivus: Elementary Exercises in Latin Elegiac Verse, by A C Ainger, an Eton master. The book was published in 1878, with new editions issued until the sixth, in 1958.
The Eton and Harrow match of 1910. The Harrow team were generally expected to win, and opened their second innings needing only 55 to win, but were bowled out for 45, Robert Fowler of Eton taking eight for 23.
The Quashiboo Rangers. Author totally forgotten
9 October 1960
we will stay you with flagons
Song of Solomon, 2:5: 'Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples.' This may not mean what it seems to mean: instead of the AV's 'flagons' other translations offer raisins, flowers, dainties and grape-cakes.
13 October 1960
Pug Ismay's and Horrocks's books
Memoirs of two WW2 generals, The Memoirs of Lord Ismay and A Full Life.
runs down Monty in favour of the Auk
WW2 generals, Bernard Montgomery and Claude Auchinleck.
I made no more of it than Dr Johnson did of playing the flageolet
Boswell, Life of Johnson (footnotes):
…he had once bought a flageolet, though he had never made out a tune. 'Had I learnt to fiddle,' he said, 'I should have done nothing else.'
'Sir, his intellect is disordered'
Boswell, Life of Johnson (1777 section):
I mentioned to him a friend of mine who was formerly gloomy from low spirits, and much distressed by the fear of death, but was now uniformly placid, and contemplated his dissolution without any perturbation. 'Sir,' (said Johnson,) 'this is only a disordered imagination taking a different turn.'
27 October 1960
Strachey didn't know about it
Arnold was one of the 'Eminent Victorians' in Strachey's 1918 book.
The uncle in Clough's 'Dipsychus' described them very well.
'a sort of hobbadi-hoy cherub, too big to be innocent, and too simple for anything else'.
29 October 1960
I talked to Bernard Levin in the Old Bailey
Levin included a chapter on the Lady Chatterley trial in his first book, The Pendulum Years (1970).
2 November 1960
I don't think the prosecutor was very forceful
The prosecuting counsel, Mervyn Griffith-Jones, was not effectual, and was much mocked for asking the jury, 'Is it a book that you would even wish your wife or your servants to read?' Bernard Levin, in The Pendulum Years, slipped a cruelly appropriate and breathtakingly obscene cross-reference for Griffith-Jones into the index.
the same end which he had inflicted on the younger Despenser
Both were hanged, but Despenser was also drawn and quartered.
Martin Chuzzlewit, Ch. 34.
6 November 1960
So much the better.
The Playboy of the Western World
Dublin Theatre Festival production of J M Synge's play, transferred to the St Martin's Theatre in the West End of London. Siobhan McKenna led the cast, with Donal Donnelly as Christy Mahon.
round the ceinture
Chemin de fer de Petite Ceinture: circular line connecting Paris's railway termini, now disused.
16 November 1960
sub specie aeternitatis
Under the aspect of eternity, i.e. in its essential form.
The Pastoral Symphony
There are other Pastoral Symphonies, but this is assuredly Beethoven's (No 6).
Aunt Sybil … Jack Talbot
Sybil Lyttelton was a younger sister of GWL's father. Their sister Lavinia married into the Talbot family.
in the bill
On the list of boys to be disciplined.
segregationists of Louisiana
In the 1950s and early 60s there remained large areas in the USA where local white politicians and citizens were determined to keep black Americans as an underclass.
'sons of Belial flown with insolence and wine'
Paradise Lost, Book 1, 501/2.
The naked earth
GWL and C A Alington included Grenfell's poem 'Into Battle' in their Eton Poetry Book (1925).
With how sad steps
Astrophel and Stella, Sonnet 31: 'With how sad steps, O Moon, thou climb'st the skies !'
Fool said my Muse; look in thy heart and write
Astrophel and Stella, Sonnet 1: 'Fool, said my Muse to me, look in thy heart, and write.'
19 November 1960
Romeo and Juliet at the Old Vic
Directed by Franco Zeffirelli, with John Stride as Romeo, Judi Dench as Juliet, Alec McCowen as Mercutio and Peggy Mount as the Nurse. The Times also disapproved of Alec McCowen's verse speaking—and, indeed, of Judi Dench's and John Stride's. The Gala performance was to mark the tenth anniversary of the Old Vic's reopening after it was badly bombed in WW2. The Queen Mother and the Duchess of Kent (Princess Marina) were present.
'…she's much younger than me.'
Only three years younger. Princess Paul was born in 1903 and Princess Marina in 1906.
A humorous piece about the difficulty of sending baggage by bus from Athens to Delphi.
26 November 1960
D. Somervell's funeral
Lord Somervell died on 18 November. The funeral was at Ewelme church, Oxfordshire.
30 November 1960
Fish restaurant in St James's Street, founded in 1935 as the London outpost of Prunier's in the rue Duphot, Paris. On Madame Prunier's retirement in 1977 it closed, and a Japanese restaurant was opened on the site.
3 December 1960
Mahler's Second Symphony on the radio
Until the 1960s, performances of Mahler's symphonies were rare and noteworthy events. This broadcast performance (by BBC forces conducted by Lorin Maazel) followed a performance at the Royal Festival Hall.
Alban Berg's opera Wozzeck
Conducted by John Pritchard, with Geraint Evans as Wozzeck and Marie Collier as Marie.
7 December 1960
American university, located in New York.
14 December 1960
John Robinson, Bishop of Woolwich, was a witness for the defence in the Lady Chatterley trial.
17 December 1960
what about that Test Match in Australia!
In what Sir Donald Bradman described as 'the greatest Test Match of all time', the first Test between Australia and the West Indies ended in a tie—the first in the history of Test cricket.
26 December 1960
'useful and acceptable' presents
A reference to Joyce Grenfell's celebrated sketch in which an earnest Women's Institute lecturer demonstrates how to make 'useful and acceptable gifts', including boutonnières made of beechnut husks.