SPECIAL FEATURE: Part 2. Sherlock Holmes and Friend … the varying degrees of personifying!

ITS HAS A GOOD CHANCE: SILVER BLAZE LIKES THE LOOK OF SHERLOCK HOLMES AND AGREES WITH HIM.

Sidney Paget received only a nod in John Dickenson’s authorised biography of Holmes creator Conan Doyle. Yet, it is believed, the Doyle’s character of Sherlock Holmes, thanks to Paget, did much to fix him in the public mind.

FRANK MORRIS

Sidney Paget was educated at a private city school, studied the antiques at the British Museum for two years, then went to Heatherley’s School of Art in Norman Street, London, to study painting, and the Royal Academy.

When he was eighteen years old, Paget exhibited two pictures at the Royal Academy School. He then took a studio and began painting portraits and small pictures, and illustrations – chiefly on war subjects of Egypt and the Sudan – for books, magazines and newspapers; among them The Illustrated London News, Graphic and Sphere.

At twenty-one, Paget entered the Royal Academy. Over the next six years, he carried off several important prizes: a bronze medal in the prestigious Armitage Award; in 1884, for an historical painting in which he tied with the gold medallist.

He also won prizes with the illustrations for A Scandal in Bohemia, the first Sherlock Holmes story which appeared in the seventh edition of The Strand in July, 1891.

FICTIOUS EVENTS

An interesting feature of the Holmes stories is that their verisimilitude is heightened by the careful dating of the fictitious events: but these dates do not relate to the date of publication. The Scandal in Bohemia, for example, is dated as taking place between May 20 to May, 22, 1887. But the story was published in July 1891.

Another similar case was the Holmes story The Resident Patient, which was also illustrated by Paget, covered the period October 6 to October 7, 1886, but was not published in The Strand until 1893.

When the hand-written manuscripts of the first two Holmes stories, The Scandal in Bohemia and The Red-Headed League, The Strand’s literary editor, Greenhough Smith described the occasion as “a gift from Heaven”.

Smith who, according to Pound, had “a dry, sparing smile and clinically detached manner that suggested recondite inner sources, recalled forty years later that he “at once realised that here was the greatest short writer since Edgar Allan Poe.”

IT HAPPENED AT A RECITAL

The famous Holmes physiognomy was inspired by the profile of one of Paget’s two artist brothers, Walter. The cast of his brother’s features instantly “crystallised” Holmes in his mind. In 1954, Paget’s daughter, Winifred, wrote a memoir for John O’London’s Weekly, in which she recalled “the charm and nostalgia” of her father’s association with Sherlock Holmes.

She wrote that when her Uncle Walter was walking to his seat at a London recital, a woman in the audience exclaimed, “Why, there’s Sherlock Holmes!”

Julian Symonds, noted crime writer and Sherlock Holmes-watcher, said “in 1897 Conon Doyle wrote the play called Sherlock Holmes and sent it to the famous actor-manager Beerbohm Tree. It was sold eventually by the author’s agent to the American actor William Gillette.

“(Gillette) assembled the drawings of Holmes made by the artist, Sidney Paget, so remarkably that the first sight of him took Conan Doyle’s breath away!”

<< Frank Morris and Frank G. Greenop wrote the storyline in 1974 (?). Frank Morris wrote the article in 2001. Remained unpublished until this edition of Grand Years.

Next month: There is no record of the exact time Paget and Doyle met. But Paget thinks is has something to do with Royalty.

Pictures: Relaxing. Holmes in a blue bathrobe and smoking his pipe. Deep thinker! Now, listen here! Watson gets an earful of a tricky case he is working on.


BLOOD PRESSURE: MARIA VENUTI ON THE UNEXPECTED JOURNEY.

EXCLUSIVE! MARIA VENUTI’S UNEXPECTED JOURNEY FOR A SINGER THAT IS WELL-TRAVELLED

Adapted by FRANK MORRIS

The life of both Maria Venuti and her daughter, Bianca, changed in an instant. Late in 2016, Maria suffered a major stroke. Not only is Bianca sharing their journey, she has also followed in her mother’s footsteps by signing up as an Ambassador for the Stroke Foundation. Bianca spoke about her new role.

Tell us about your experience of stroke?

Maria Venuti, my amazing mum, had a major haemorrhagic stroke resulting in significant bleeding in her brain a little over six months ago. Even though mum had experienced brief periods of high blood pressure, it was much unexpected and a huge shock.

It was one of those mornings where I just thought I would pop in and see mum; but she rang me in a panic. Talking with her on the phone, I could hear in her voice how distressed she was; and within five minutes she was unconscious. The ambulance was called and I think in the back of my mind I was hoping it wasn’t a stroke. But, realistically, I knew it would be.

All of a sudden I was thinking: well, I hope it isn’t a bad stroke. And, of course, it was one of the worst kinds. It quickly became all about survival.

How did your life change in that moment?

(Our) lives were turned upside down. Recovery and rehad has been a slow process. Mum needs round-the-clock care and a long and challenging rehabilitation process. She is making great progress, though, and I’m proud of how far she has come. Luckily, she is still in that beautiful, vibrant soul Australia knows so well.

How do you keep your mum motivated in her rehabilitation?

(Laughing). We have a star system. It’s like your back in primary school! For every milestone achieved, she gets a gold star to celebrate. Like when she got out of intensive care: when, for the first time, she said a word, for the first time she could speak my name. There are still plenty of gold stars ahead, so we just celebrate each win on the journey.

It’s caused a big change in your life hasn’t it?

Taking care of mum is now a huge part of my everyday life. I know there are many Australians going through the same journey. It’s still very difficult, but things are getting better every week. Mum is indeed very loved. Mum and I are a family of two. She is my best friend, I am her best friend. Post the stroke, I feel very blessed and comforted to be able to spend every day with my wonderful mum – although it can be very challenging.

Her spirit is still there, which is the important thing, but it’s a challenge. Because she loves to talk and sing, these are things she can’t do that well at the moment.

<< Stroke Matters, Winter 2017.

Frank Morris comment: Bianca signed up as an Ambassador for the Stoke Foundation’s major public campaign – Australia’s Biggest Blood Pressure Check.

Pictures: Special friends. The Studio 10 presenters get to discuss with Bianca (left) her role with her mother, Maria Venuti, dealing with a stroke. Never alone. Her spirit is still there, said Bianca.

PETROV AFFAIR: AT 2SM, GARY O’CALLAGHAN (FAR RIGHT), WITH A CROWD OF ONLOOKERS GATHERED AROUND, INTERVIEWS EVDOKIA PETROV AT MASCOT AIRPORT ON APRIL 19, 1954.

VALE: RADIO LEGEND AND KING OF COMEDY DEAD

FRANK MORRIS

Gary O’Callaghan, the “king” of breakfast announcers, a true legend, died at 83. He was a bloke who spoke about anything and everything. O’Callaghan worked for 2UE from the mid-1950s until 2003. When he left, he did other broadcasting in and around the country regions.

He introduced alter ego Sammy Sparrow to the show for a series of fast repartee and generations of school kids loved to listen.

A highlight of O’Callaghan’s career was being able to interview Mrs Evdokia Petrov, of the Petrov Affair, on his wind-up tape recorder in 1954.

Jerry Lewis, the slap-stick comedian, actor, film-maker, screenwriter and humanitarian, who rose to fame in the 1950s, died age 91. The coroner said his death was through heart failure.

Picture: One and only: Gary O’Callaghan at his favourite radio station, 2UE, in 1978.


THE PRESS SAYS! THE AMERICAN SENTINEL BROADCAST THE LATEST NEWS ON THE NORTH RUSSIAN FRONT.

THE GREAT WAR: FINAL! SERVICE IN NORTH RUSSIA – TWO AUSSIES WIN THE VICTORIA CROSS                                                 

MAX BALL - Adapted by Frank Morris

Arthur Percy Sullivan was born in Crystal Brook, South Australia, and enlisted in the AIF in Port Pirie on April 27, 1918. Sullivan was aged 21. He arrived in Britain in September 1918 and commenced training in the artillery; but was still in training when peace was declared; so he was not sent to France.

As 133033 in the British Army, Sullivan was also assigned to the 45th Bn Royal Fusiliers. A successful offensive action against the Red Army along the banks of the river Dvina (flowing south-east of Arkhangel), reached its end point at the village of Komichka; and the British force found itself at risk of being encircled by the Red forces.

At the hamlet of Sluda, the British force found themselves cut off by of Russian sailors (from river gunboats) and were forced to withdraw through a swamp, walking on planks. Lieutenant Charles Lennox-Gordon, (real title Lord Strettington), who was 20 years old, was hit in the chest by a bullet. Corporal Sullivan plunged into the swamp and passed him up to others still on the planks.

A SPLENDID TURN OF HEROISM

Three more fusiliers were hit and Sullivan helped them in a similar way. The citation records, “Without hesitation, under intense fire, Corporal Sullivan jumped into the river and rescued all four, bringing them out singly.” And, “It was a splendid example of heroism as all ranks were on the point of exhaustion, and the enemy less than 100 yards distant.”

Sullivan sail from England before he had been presented with his VC and returned to his previous employer, the National Bank. In 1937, he was the manager of the Bank’s branch in Casino, NSW and was selected to be a member of the Australian Coronation Contingent to attend to coronation of King George V1 in May 1937.
He accepted, but to do so had to re-enlist in the Australian Army; this time, as all members of the contingent, he had to be a gunner.

RUN DOWN BY A CYCLIST

The members of the Contingent received many invitations to many of the reunions and receptions. On April 9, 1937, returning from a reception, Sullivan stepped off a footpath into the path of a cyclist and was downed. He was rushed to hospital and found dead on arrival from a fractured skull.

The body of Arthur Sullivan VC was taken to Wellington Barracks to lay in state, with medal and plumed slouch hat. His funeral was attended by General Birdwood and a dozen British VC winners; a band of the Grenadier Guards led the funeral procession.

When the Australian Coronation Contingent marched in the coronation parade, the Australians deliberately left a gap in their ranks. In North Russia eight Australians also received the Distinguished Conduct Medal, five won the Military Medal; and three won bars to the Military Medal that they had won in the AIF.

During a recent visit to the Australian War Memorial, I was pleased to see that Samuel Pearse VC and Arthur Sullivan VC have their place in the Hall of Valour with the other 97 Australian recipients.

<< By Max Ball who based it on a “little-known chapter of Australia’s military history.” Camaraderie Magazine, No 2, 2016.

Picture: Two Aussies.  Samuel Pearse, Victoria Cross – “His magnificent and utter disregard for personal safety won for him the admiration of the troops … Corporal Arthur Sullivan, Victoria Cross – “With hesitation … under intense fire, Corporal Sullivan jumped  into the river … and rescued all four, bring them out singly.”

Next month: Captain Albert Jacka helped forge the spirit of the Anzacs. Two parts. By John McNamee, editor of the newspaper Go55s. Read it or view it on www.go55s.com.au

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 25 August 17

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