Archive for the ‘Literature’ Category


Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald (September 24, 1896 – December 21, 1940) was an American author of novels and short stories, whose works are the paradigmatic writings of the Jazz Age. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. Fitzgerald is considered a member of the "Lost Generation" of the 1920s. He finished four novels: This Side of Paradise, The Beautiful and Damned, The Great Gatsby (his most famous), and Tender Is the Night. A fifth, unfinished novel, The Love of the Last Tycoon, was published posthumously. Fitzgerald also wrote many short stories that treat themes of youth and promise along with age and despair.

Fitzgerald’s work has been adapted into films many times. His short story, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, was the basis for a 2008 film. Tender Is the Night was filmed in 1962, and made into a television miniseries in 1985. The Beautiful and Damned was filmed in 1922 and 2010. The Great Gatsby has been the basis for numerous films of the same name, spanning nearly 90 years: 1926, 1949, 1974, 2000, and 2013 adaptations. In addition, Fitzgerald’s own life from 1937 to 1940 was dramatized in 1958 in Beloved Infidel.

Clyde Jackson Browne (born October 9, 1948) is an American singer-songwriter and musician who has sold over 18 million albums in the United States. Coming to prominence in the 1970s, Browne has written and recorded songs such as "These Days", "The Pretender", "Running on Empty", "Lawyers in Love", "Doctor My Eyes", "Take It Easy", "For a Rocker", and "Somebody’s Baby". In 2004, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, as well as bestowed an Honorary Doctorate of Music by Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.

In 1971, Browne signed with his manager David Geffen‘s Asylum Records and released Jackson Browne (1972) produced and engineered by Richard Orshoff, which included the piano-driven "Doctor My Eyes", which entered the Top Ten in the US singles chart. "Rock Me on the Water", from the same album, also gained considerable radio airplay, while "Jamaica Say You Will" and "Song for Adam" (written about Saylor’s death) helped establish Browne’s reputation. Touring to promote the album, he shared the bill with Linda Ronstadt and Joni Mitchell.

His next album, For Everyman (1973) – while considered of high quality – was less successful than his debut album, although it still sold a million copies. The upbeat "Take It Easy", cowritten with The Eagles’ Glenn Frey, had already been a major success for that group, while his own recording of "These Days" reflected a sound representing Browne’s angst.

Texts from Wikipedia

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The Hollywood screen star Marilyn Monroe has divorced her husband, playwright Arthur Miller, after less than five years of marriage. The divorce was granted in Mexico, where a judge signed the decree. The grounds of divorce were listed as "incompatibility".

a12046_monroe_03It has been rumoured that the pair have had frequent quarrels over their differing lifestyles. Mr Miller has recently been working with his wife on her most recent film, The Misfits, based on a short story he wrote, although the pair were reported to be barely speaking on set. The film is due to be released this month.


The divorce was officially announced last November, and a spokesman at the time said they had already separated. Sources close to the couple said Arthur Miller had in fact left Miss Monroe for German-born photographer Inge Morath, whom he met on the set of The Misfits.

The couple married in 1956, five years after they first met. Marilyn Monroe converted to Judaism for her new husband, who rose to prominence with his play "Death of a Salesman" in 1949, which won the Pulitzer Prize.

a12046_monroe_01Soon after they were married, Arthur Miller told journalists: "Marilyn will only make one film in every 18 months or so, which will take her about eight weeks."When asked what she would do for the rest of the time, he replied, "She will be my wife. That’s a full-time job."

Risked career

Marilyn Monroe disagreed, and continued to pursue her film work to the full, travelling to England to shoot "The Prince and the Showgirl" with Laurence Olivier shortly after the wedding. However, she used her influence – and risked her own career – to help her husband after he was found guilty of contempt of Congress by the House Un-American Activities Committee for refusing to reveal the names of a literary group suspected of Communist sympathies.

Marilyn Monroe went with him to Washington to speak in his favour at the contempt hearings, and her intervention is widely thought to have contributed to the overturning of his conviction the following year.

Marilyn Monroe had been married twice before. Her first husband was Jimmy Dougherty, whom she married aged 16. The marriage did not survive her "discovery" and subsequent rise to fame. In 1954, she met and married baseball star Joe DiMaggio, but it was a tempestuous partnership and ended just nine months later.

In Context

Marilyn Monroe’s divorce was part of a decline which was marked by her erratic behaviour on set and persistent abuse of alcohol and drugs.  The Misfits was to be her last completed film. Soon after, in 1962, she also made her last major public appearance, singing "Happy Birthday" to President John F Kennedy at a televised party for him.

On 5 August 1962 she was found dead in her Los Angeles home, aged 36. Her death was officially attributed to suicide by drug overdose, but has been the subject of numerous conspiracy theories. She had been due to re-marry her second husband, baseball star Joe DiMaggio, three days later.

Arthur Miller married photographer Inge Morath a month after his divorce from Marilyn Monroe. He later wrote compassionately of Monroe in his autobiography, referring to his marriage to her as "the best of times, the worst of times".

He stayed with Inge Morath until her death in 2002. Arthur Miller died in 2005.

Text from BBC’s OnThisDay

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Old Spanish book cover from book No 50 in the series La Novela Moderna. English title “Those Who Stay At Home”. And in my eyes it seams like staying home was a rather smashing idea – Ted

Image found on AmericanShaft

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a1157_monroe - de dienes
Ever since I read about this publication I’ve wanted it and as I was out shopping for presents for my daughters and grandchildren today, there it was, at a reduced price. My heart made I jump, I grabbed it quickly, it was the only one left in the shop.

I didn’t bother to get it wrapped because I wanted to start reading it at once and for the last couple of hours I’ve done just that.  Sitting in my best easy chair with a cup of Darjeeling first flush Tiger Hill (my best tea) at my side, Loreena Mc Kennitt’s “A Mediterranean Odyssey” on the player and the mobile phone off, reading about de Dienes first meeting with Norma Jean in 1945. Magic, pure magic.

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Phyllis Dorothy James, known as P. D. James, was an English crime writer.
She rose to fame for her series of detective novels starring
police commander and poet Adam Dalgliesh.

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"The human mind delights in grand conceptions of supernatural beings. And the sea is precisely their best vehicle, the only medium through which these giants (against which terrestrial animals, such as elephants or rhinoceroses, are as nothing) can be produced or developed."

From “Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea” by Jules Verne

Text and image found at TurnOfTheCentury

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Images found at moika-palace

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a1013_refrigiator cooking

From the preface: To many people electric refrigeration is. still such a novelty that they scarcely realize the range of its possibilities. It is almost like having an Aladdin’s lamp and not knowing the right way to rub it. With a General Electric Refrigerator, simple recipes, easily prepared, produce delightful results. The refrigerator itself requires. no attention, not even oiling, and is surprisingly easy to keep clean.

The owning of such a refrigerator is a form of health and happiness insurance which every homemaker in America should have the privilege of enjoying. The information on the following pages is intended to make the use of this newest model as pleasant and valuable as possible. 

Most Of all, i hope that you will find real joy in creating new frozen combinations and finding new uses for your General Electric Refrigerator.

Should you be the lucky owner of a refrigerator don’t
hesitate to download the book by clicking this icon —>

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986_sloyd2From the book’s intro: The object of this book is to give an account of the theory and practical application of the "Nääs System" of manual training. Although the principles upon which this system has been founded are very fully explained in the two educational monographs of the New York College for the Training of Teachers, entitled "The Sloyd in the Service of the School," by Otto Salamon, and "Manual Training in Elementary Schools for Boys," by A. Sluys, a full exposition of the subject as taught in the Nääs Sloyd Seminarium, and as incorporated in the Swedish public schools, has not as yet appeared.

Just for the record sloyd, or slöyd as it is correctly spelled, is not a system but the Swedish word for things made by hand. For instance “hemslöyd” which covers anything made by hand at home, woodwork, weaving, knitting, sewing, you name it.

But apart from that the book is full of plans for classic woodwork projects – Ted

You can download the book in pdf format here –> pdf_thumb

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987_raisinsTed is in a book mood to day so here’s the second one for the day; the ”California Sun-Maid Raisins Recipe Book” from 1916. A richly illustrated advertising publication from the days when producers of food stuff knew how to drop the lure exactly right.

But forget that this is a advertising publication, the little book is full of delicious recipes for anyone with a taste for raisins – Ted

Click the thumb to download
the book in pdf format –->    



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Image credit: Getty Images

One of the subtlest and most surprising legacies of the First World War is its effect on our language. Not only were newly named weapons, equipment, and military tactics being developed almost continually during the War, but the rich mixture of soldiers’ dialects, accents, nationalities, languages, and even social backgrounds—particularly after the introduction of conscription in Great Britain in 1916—on the front line in Europe and North Africa produced an equally rich glossary of military slang.

Not all of these words and phrases have remained in use to this day, but here are 21 words and phrases that are rooted in First World War slang.

1. ARCHIE Apparently derived from an old music hall song called Archibald, Certainly Not!, Archie was a British military slang word for German anti-aircraft fire. Its use is credited to an RAF pilot, Vice-Marshall Amyas Borton, who apparently had a habit of singing the song’s defiant chorus—“Archibald, certainly not! / Get back to work at once, sir, like a shot!”—as he flew his airplane between the exploding German shells on the Western Front.

2. BASKET CASE While it tends to be used fairly light-heartedly today (usually describing someone who constantly makes stupid mistakes, or who crumbles under pressure), the original basket case is an unexpectedly gruesome reminder of just how bloody the War became. In its original context, a basket case was a soldier who had been so badly injured that he had to be carried from the battlefield in a barrow or basket, usually with the implication that he had lost all four of his limbs.

3. BLIGHTY Derived from vilayati, an Urdu word meaning "foreign," blighty is an old military nickname for Great Britain. It first emerged among British troops serving in India in the late 19th century, but didn’t really catch on until the First World War; the Oxford English Dictionary records only one use in print prior to 1914. A "blighty wound" or "blighty one" was an injury severe enough to warrant being sent home, the English equivalent of a German Heimatschuss, or “home-shot.” Self-inflicted blighty wounds were punishable by death, although there are no known reports of anyone being executed under the rule.

4. BLIMP As a military slang name for an airship, blimp dates back to 1916. No one is quite sure where the word comes from, although one popular theory claims that because blimps were non-rigid airships (i.e., they could be inflated and collapsed, unlike earlier rigid, wooden-framed airships), they would supposedly be listed on military inventories under the heading “Category B: Limp.” However, a more likely idea is that the name is onomatopoeic, and meant to imitate the sound that the taut skin or “envelope” of a fully inflated airship makes when flicked.

5. BOOBY-TRAP Booby-trap had been in use since the mid-19th century to refer to a fairly harmless prank or practical joke when it was taken up by troops during the First World War to describe an explosive device deliberately disguised as a harmless object. Calling it “one of the dirty tricks of war,” the English journalist Sir Philip Gibbs (1877-1962) ominously wrote in his day-by-day war memoir From Bapaume to Passchendaele (1918) that “the enemy left … slow-working fuses and ‘booby-traps’ to blow a man to bits or blind him for life if he touched a harmless looking stick or opened the lid of a box, or stumbled over an old boot.”

6. COOTIES As a nickname for body lice or head lice, cooties first appeared in trenches slang in 1915. It’s apparently derived from the coot, a species of waterfowl supposedly known for being infested with lice and other parasites.

7. CRUMP-HOLE Crump is an old English dialect word for a hard hit or blow that, after 1914, came to be used for the explosion of a heavy artillery shell. A crump-hole was the crater the shell left behind.

8. DAISY-CUTTER Before the War, a daisy-cutter had been a cricket ball or baseball pitched low so that it practically skims along the surface of the ground. The name was eventually taken up by troops to describe an artillery shell fitted with an impact fuse, meaning that it exploded on impact with the ground rather than in the air thereby causing the greatest amount of damage.

9. DINGBAT In the 19th century, dingbat was used much like thingummy [Ed. note: British term for "thingamajig"] or whatchamacallit as a general placeholder for something or someone whose real name you can’t recall. It came to be used of a clumsy or foolish person during the First World War, before being taken up by Australian and New Zealand troops in the phrase "to have the dingbats" or "to be dingbats," which meant shell-shocked, nervous, or mad.

10. DEKKO Like "blighty," dekko was another term adopted into English by British troops serving in 19th century India that gained a much larger audience during the First World War; the Oxford English Dictionary has no written record of the term between its first appearance in 1894 and 1917. Derived from a Hindi word of equivalent meaning, dekko was typically used in the phrase "to take a dekko," meaning "to have a look at something."

11. FLAP "To be in a flap," meaning "to be worried," dates from 1916. It was originally a naval expression derived from the restless flapping of birds, but quickly spread into everyday English during the First World War. The adjective unflappable, meaning unflustered or imperturbable, appeared in the 1950s.

12. IRON RATIONS The expression "iron rations" was used as early as the 1860s to describe a soldier’s dry emergency rations, which typically included a selection of hard, gritty provisions like rice, barley, bread, biscuits, salt, and bacon. During the First World War, however, the term came to be used as a nickname for shrapnel or shell-fire.

13. KIWI The UK declared war on August 4, 1914, and New Zealand joined immediately after. By August 29, New Zealand had successfully captured Samoa—only the second German territory to fall since the war began. Within months, New Zealand troops, alongside those from Australia, began to arrive in Europe. They quickly gained the nickname Kiwis, as an image of New Zealand’s national bird was featured on many of their military badges, emblems and insignias. Incredibly, some 100,444 total New Zealanders saw active service during the First World War—equivalent to 10 percent of the entire country’s population.

14. NAPOO English-speaking soldiers frequently found themselves serving alongside French-speaking soldiers in the First World War, often with little chance of one understanding the other. So when French soldiers would exclaim “il n’y a plus!" meaning “there’s no more!” the English soldiers quickly commandeered the expression and anglicised it as napoo, which they took to mean finished, dead, or completely destroyed.

15. OMMS-N-CHEVOOS English troops arriving in France in 1914 were unceremoniously loaded onto basic railway transport carriages marked with the French notice “Hommes: 40, Chevaux: 8” on their doors. The notice designated the carriage’s maximum occupancy (“40 men, 8 horses”), but for those English troops with no knowledge of French, the carriages themselves became known as omms-n-chevoos.

16. POGEY-BAIT Pogey-bait was candy, or a sweet snack of any kind, among American and Canadian troops. No one is quite sure where the term comes from, but the first part could be pogy, a nickname for the menhaden fish (i.e. literally “fish-bate”), or else pogue, a slang word for a non-combatant or weakly soldier.

17. SHELL-SHOCK Although the adjective shell-shocked has been traced back as far as 1898 (when it was first used slightly differently to mean “subjected to heavy fire”), the first true cases of shell-shock emerged during the First World War. The Oxford English Dictionary has since traced the earliest record back to an article in The British Medical Journal dated January 30, 1915: “Only one case of shell shock has come under my observation. A Belgian officer was the victim. A shell burst near him without inflicting any physical injury. He presented practically complete loss of sensation in the lower extremities and much loss of sensation.”

18. SOUVENIR Derived from the French for “memory” or “remembering,” souvenir has been used in English since the 18th century. However its use in military slang to refer to wounds, scars, shrapnel, and other permanent reminders of battle emerged during the First World War, and has since been traced back as far as 1915.

19. SPIKE-BOZZLED Spike was used during the First World War to mean “to render a gun unusable.” Spike-bozzled, or spike-boozled, came to mean "completely destroyed," and was usually used to describe airships and other aircraft rather than weaponry. Exactly what bozzled means in this context is unclear, but it’s probably somehow related to bamboozled in the sense of something being utterly confounded or stopped in its path.

20. STRAFE One of the German propagandists’ most famous World War I slogans was "Gott Strafe England!" or “God punish England," which was printed everywhere in Germany from newspaper advertisements to postage stamps. In response, Allied troops quickly adopted the word strafe into the English language after the outbreak of the War, and variously used it to refer to a heavy bombardment or attack, machine gun fire, or a severe reprimand.

21. ZIGZAG Zigzag has been used in English since the 18th century to describe an angular, meandering line or course but during the First World War came to be used as a euphemism for drunkenness, presumably referring to the zigzagging walk of a soldier who had had one too many.

Text from MentalFloss

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… there really was killer rabbits in the medieval ages 😮

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If you love books as a physical object, just imagine burying your nose between the pages of these beauties, massive atlases, photobooks, and tributes to the written word.

See the rest of the books HERE

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Beryl Markham (26 October 1902 – 3 August 1986) was a British-born Kenyan author, aviator, adventurer, and racehorse trainer. During the pioneer days of aviation, she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west. She is now primarily remembered as the author of the memoir West with the Night.

Record flight

Beryl Markham is often wrongly described as "the first person" to fly the Atlantic east to west in a solo non-stop flight, but that record belongs to Scottish pilot Jim Mollison, who attempted to fly from Dublin, Ireland, to New York City in 1932. Low visibility forced Mollison down in New Brunswick, Canada, but he was still able to claim the Atlantic east-to-west record (a westbound flight requires more endurance, fuel, and time than the eastward journey, because the craft must travel against the prevailing Atlantic winds). Markham was however, the first woman to complete this feat.

When Markham decided to take on the Atlantic crossing, no pilot had yet flown non-stop from Europe to New York, and no woman had made the westward flight solo, though several had died trying. Markham hoped to claim both records. On 4 September 1936, she took off from Abingdon, England. After a 20-hour flight, her Vega Gull, The Messenger, suffered fuel starvation due to icing of the fuel tank vents, and she crash-614_beryl2landed at Baleine Cove on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, Canada (her flight was, in all likelihood, almost identical in length to Mollison’s). In spite of falling short of her goal, Markham had become the first woman to cross the Atlantic east-to-west solo, and the first person to make it from England to North America non-stop from east to west. She was celebrated as an aviation pioneer.

Markham chronicled her many adventures in her memoir, West with the Night, published in 1942. Despite strong reviews in the press, the book sold modestly, and then quickly went out of print. After living for many years in the United States, Markham moved back to Kenya in 1952, becoming for a time the most successful horse trainer in the country.

Text from Wikipedia

In Context:
Hemingway wrote about Beryl Markham : "She has written so well, and marvellously well, that I was completely ashamed of myself as a writer. I felt that I was simply a carpenter with words, picking up whatever was furnished on the job and nailing them together and sometimes making an okay pig pen. But this girl, who is to my knowledge very unpleasant and we might even say a high-grade bitch, can write rings around all of us who consider ourselves as writers … it really is a bloody wonderful book." 

Text from FuckYeahHistoryCrushes

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I came across this on a blog to day:


I was rewatching Matilda the other day and got up to the point where she and Miss Honey meet for the first time in the classroom, and she mentions that her favorite author is Charles Dickens.

And, like, I always thought they namedropped him in order to make her sound intellectual, but it occurred to me really suddenly and violently that the reason she loves Dickens is because he writes about children who live in abusive systems and who’ve been orphaned or abandoned and she finds comfort and solidarity in it. Miss Honey’s reacts the way she does because Dickens is special to her, likely for the same exact reason. WOW DUH.


Text and image from Every Moment Red-letter

The person who wrote this doesn’t seem to realise that the film is based on the book “Matilda” by Roald Dahl and “they” weren’t namedropping or using Charles Dickens for any other reason than the fact that Dahl had done so in his book. And knowing his author-ship very well, I’ve read everything he wrote, I’m sure that he chose Dickens for exactly that reason.

It says on the top of my blog “I Pledge To Read The Printed Word” and I mean that. I read every day and there are obviously more people who should do so – Ted

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336_acThe most popular novelist in the world, Dame Agatha Christie, has died leaving rumours of a multi-million pound fortune and a final book waiting to be published. The British author, who sold an estimated 300 million books during her lifetime, had been in poor health for several years. She died at her home in Wallingford in Oxfordshire, aged 85.

Two London theatres dimmed their lights this evening – St Martin’s where her record-breaking "The Mousetrap" is now in its 24th year and the Savoy, where "Murder at the Vicarage" will have its 200th performance next week. Dame Agatha is believed to have left one last novel, as yet unpublished, featuring one of her most famous characters, the deceptively clever Miss Marple, as well as an autobiography.

Police search
During her lifetime, Dame Agatha published 83 books, including novels, romances written under the pseudonym of Mary Westmacott, short stories, poetry and the scripts for her plays. She married Colonel Archibald Christie in 1914. While he was away during the war she worked as a nurse at her local hospital in Torquay, where she learned about the poisons that later featured in so many of her crime novels.

336_hpDame Agatha established her name as a crime writer with her first detective book in 1920, The Mysterious Affair at Styles, in which she created her much-loved Belgian detective, Hercule Poirot. In December 1926 she sparked a police search when her car was found abandoned in a chalk pit at Newlands Corner on the Surrey Downs.

It emerged she and her husband had had a row. Several days later she turned up in a hotel in Harrogate booked in under the name of a woman who was revealed to be her husband’s mistress. She divorced and married again, well-known archaeologist Sir Max Mallowan, and divided her life between several country and town homes, archaeological digs and the regular production of one thriller a year.

She was made a Dame of the British Empire in 1971. Newspaper estimates of her fortune vary, but in the late 1950s she was reputed to be earning about £100,000 a year. The hugely successful play Mousetrap – first written as a radio sketch called Three Blind Mice for the 80th birthday of Queen Mary – is said to have made more than £3m. She gave the proceeds to her only grandson, Matthew Prichard.

She was known to be a shrewd businesswoman, anxious to avoid leaving too much of her personal fortune to the taxman. She once said: "I only write one book a year now, which is sufficient to give me a good income. If I wrote more, I’d enlarge the finances of the Inland Revenue who would spent it mostly on idiotic things." In 1955 she formed a company, Agatha Christie Ltd and to save its dividends from tax, she later sold 51% to Booker McConnell, a firm best known as sugar giants but also with other investments including authors’ copyrights.

In Context
Dame Agatha Christie’s will was published on 30 April 1976 and revealed she had left only £106,683, having managed to dispose of most of her wealth before she died. She left most of her property to her husband and daughter with a number of smaller bequests such as £500 to her gardener, £250 to her secretary and £200 to her garden manager.

Sleeping Murder, Miss Marple’s last case, was published after her death. Her autobiography was also published posthumously. Her legacy lives on in Torquay, Devon, where her daughter by her first marriage Rosalind Hicks lived until her death in 2004. Today there is a museum and a bronze bust of the author at the harbourside. Her only grandson, Matthew Pritchard, is chairman of Agatha Christie Ltd.

Text from BBC’s On This Day

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All posts material: “Sauce” and “Gentleman’s Relish” by Ronnie Barker – Hodder & Stoughton in 1977

The Girl On The Box Of Cigars


The girls of the East, and the girls of the West
Be they titled princesses, or chars –
I dote on them all; but the girl I love best is
The Girl on a box of cigars.

How elusive she is – she’s not seen in the street
You don’t find her in shops or bazaars –
My lifelong ambition is one day to meet
The Girl on a box of cigars.


I‘ve tried looking in restaurants, cafes, and such;
I’ve searched in bordellos and bars.
but l’ve never yet found one I like half as much
As the Girl on a box of cigars.

Oh that smile – angel-sweet! How those lips do entreat
Oh those eyes, how they shimmer like stars!
Is she copied from life? Is she somebody’s wife,
That Girl on the box of cigars?


She assumes many guises – an Indian maid,
Or a goddess, stepped down from a vase;
A huntress, a temptress, a mistress, a mate
That’s the Girl on a box of cigars!

On some far distant shores, behind bolted doors,
She is feasted and feted by Shahs;
Or in Austrian spas, in remote cable-cars,
By young mashers with Heidelberg scars;


Or by young Lochinvars who’ve come out of the West
Or Frenchmen with sly Ooh-la-las
Or Jolly Jack Tars with hair on their chest
Or magnificent mounted Hussars.

But no!-the Earth’s sphere can’t contain her, I fear
And her home must be Venus, or Mars.
What hope then, have I, of “giving the eye"
To the Girl on a box of cigars?


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196_lady_shatleyBookshops all over England have sold out of Penguin’s first run of the controversial novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover – a total of 200,000 copies – on the first day of publication. DH Lawrence’s sexually explicit novel was published in Italy in 1928 and in Paris the following year. It has been banned in the UK – until now.

Last month, after a dramatic and much-publicised trial, Penguin won the right to publish the book in its entirety. For those who can manage to find a copy, it is available in paperback for 3s 6d.

Rush to buy
London’s largest bookstore, W&G Foyle Ltd, said its 300 copies had gone in just 15 minutes and it had taken orders for 3,000 more copies. When the shop opened this morning there were 400 people – mostly men – waiting to buy the unexpurgated version of the book.

Hatchards in Piccadilly sold out in 40 minutes and also had hundreds of orders pending. Selfridges sold 250 copies in minutes. A spokesman told the Times newspaper, "It’s bedlam here. We could have sold 10,000 copies if we had had them."

Lady C, as it has become known, has also become a bestseller in the Midlands and the North where demand has been described as "terrific".

Novel on trial
The book tells of Lady Chatterley’s passionate affair with Mellors, the family gamekeeper, and details their erotic meetings.

 Last year the government introduced the Obscene Publications Act that said that any book considered obscene by some but that could be shown to have "redeeming social merit" might still published.


This prompted Penguin to print off and store 200,000 copies with the aim of completing a set of works by DH Lawrence to commemorate the 30th anniversary of his death this year. Penguin sent 12 copies to the Director of Public Prosecutions challenging him to prosecute, which he duly did.

The six-day trial at the Old Bailey began on 27 October and gripped the nation. The defence produced 35 witnesses, including bishops and leading literary figures, such as Dame Rebecca West, EM Forster and Richard Hoggart.

The prosecution was unable to make a substantial case against the novel and at one point prosecution counsel Mervyn Griffith-Jones shocked the jury by asking: "Is it a book you would wish your wife or servants to read?"

In Context
Within a year Lady Chatterley’s Lover had sold two million copies, outselling even the Bible. The famous trial of Lady Chatterley was not only a victory for Penguin but for all British publishers, as from then on it became much more difficult to prosecute on grounds of obscenity.

The likes of Mary Whitehouse and her National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association founded in 1964 turned their attention to violent and sexual scenes broadcast on television and in film. The Broadcasting Standards Council was set up in 1988 to monitor taste and decency.

In 1993 the BBC dramatised Lady Chatterley’s Lover in a film directed by Ken Russell although the more explicit scenes were toned down.

Text from BBCs On This Day

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It is first when you see the man in a setting like this that it dawns on you what at hilarious concept the stories about Tarzan really is. A grown man in a leopard boxer, still white as skimmed milk after a life in the African wilderness and with a haircut fresh from the barber. The fact that he chooses to wear the silly boxer and nothing else when in a more civilized surroundings does not make the stories any less hilarious – Ted

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117489_hm1US playwright Arthur Miller has been convicted of contempt of Congress. The conviction relates to an investigation last year by the House of Representatives’ Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) into a Communist conspiracy to misuse American passports. During the investigation 41-year-old Mr Miller, who is married to Hollywood movie star Marilyn Monroe, refused to reveal the names of alleged Communist writers with whom he had attended five or six meetings in New York in 1947.

He was said to be co-operative in all other aspects of the hearing but told the committee his conscience would not permit him to give the names of others and bring possible trouble to them.

‘Exposure for exposure’s sake’
The guilty verdict was announced in a 15-page "opinion" today by Federal Judge McLaughlin who presided over a six-day trial, which ended last week. During the trial Mr Miller’s counsel, Joseph Rauh, had claimed that the questions his client had refused to answer had no reasonable connection with a passports inquiry. He argued that the committee had simply wanted to expose the playwright and that "exposure for exposure’s sake" was illegal.


But Judge McLaughlin found that HUAC did have a valid legislative purpose in looking into the passport regulations and that Mr Miller had indeed experienced his own difficulties in obtaining a passport from the State Department. The trial was told by the government that Mr Miller had joined the Communist party in 1943 but this was denied by the defendant who said that to the best of his belief he had never been a party member. He did, however say that "there were two short periods – one in 1940 and one in 1947 – when I was sufficiently close to Communist Party activities so that someone might honestly have thought that I had become a member".

Mr Miller was not in court when the guilty verdict was announced. The maximum punishment for contempt of Congress is one year in jail, a fine of £357 or both. No date was fixed for sentencing but it is understood the case will automatically go to appeal. After the trial Mr Miller, who will remain on bail pending the next legal step, said through a spokesman: "I have no comment to make, nor has my wife." The case is now bound to call into question the whole system of Congressional inquiries and their impingement on individual rights.

In Context
The House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) was set up in 1938 to investigate fascists as well as communists within federal government. In 1947 it turned its attention to the arts. A group of writers, directors and actors known as the Hollywood Ten were subsequently convicted of contempt of Congress for refusing to answer questions about their political beliefs They were blacklisted by Hollywood and over the course of the next 10 years some 320 people were barred from work in the film studios over their alleged membership of the Communist party.

A few weeks after the Miller case, John Watkins won an appeal in the Supreme Court quashing a similar conviction. On 7 August 1958, after a two-year legal battle to clear his name, Washington’s Court of Appeals quashed Miller’s conviction for contempt of Congress. As more convictions of contempt were quashed by the courts of appeal, the committee’s influence declined and it was abolished in 1975.

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