SPECIAL FEATURE: Sherlock Holmes and Friends – the varying degrees of personifying!

LISTEN QUIETLY: WHENEVER SHERLOCK HOLMES WAS DISCUSSING A CASE, YOU HAD TO TALK QUIETLY OTHERWISE YOU WOULD HAVE MISSED THE NUB OF THE STORY. HOLMES WOULD NOT REPEAT HIMSELF.

“Then he asked what I was reading. I was reading Sherlock Holmes. He adopted the voice of some elderly pedant who bids young people never to lay their Virgil aside. “My boy,” he said, “keep up your Holmes, don’t neglect your Holmes as you grow you older, so many young men do.” Desmond MacCarthy, journalist, critic and conversationalist in Bloomsbury Recalled by Quentin Bell.

FRANK MORRIS

Conan Doyle and Sherlock Holmes enthusiasts everywhere were fortunate that the editors of The Strand Magazine in England (1891-1950) and Collier’s Magazine in the United States (1888-1956) were able to leave behind such superb illustrations of Holmes as by Sidney Paget and Frederic Dorr Steele.

Paget, according to some Sherlock bibliophiles, was commissioned in error: the editors thought that they were commissioning his brother, Walter, who had made the drawings for H. Rider Haggard’s King Solomon’s Mines and She; also Robinson Crusoe and Treasure Island.

After Sidney’s death Walter did illustrate a single Holmes story, The Adventures of the Dying Detective, which appeared in The Strand, December 1913.

In 1891, when the first series of six Holmes stories were published under the collective title of The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes in The Strand, the author wrote to Alfred Harmsworth, the future Lord Northcliffe: “I agree with you that the illustrations are excellent. Sidney Paget is the name.”

PAGET WAS HIRED

Paget’s visualisation of Holmes was, opined Harmsworth, more explicit than the truncated description provided by the author. Doyle had originally seen Holmes with a thin razor-like face. “a great hawk’s-bill of a nose and two small eyes set close together.”

The art editor, W.J.K Boot, vice-president of the Royal Society of British Artists, whose services at The Strand spanned over 20 years, recognised the talent of Paget and brought the illustrator to the magazine.

There is no doubt that Paget’s drawings “did much to fix Holmes in the public mind,” writes Reginald Pound, a former editor of The Strand.

“Paget is only given a passing nod in John Dickerson Carr’s book. Carr was the authorised biographer of Conan Doyle,” says Pound. “Yet his idea of the appearance and style of Holmes was the model for many subsequent characterisations on stage and screen … each with varying degrees of fidelity, personified the Holmes of Paget’s imagination rather than Conan Doyle’s”.

Conan Doyle’s biographer, Hesketh Pearson, one of the best, says “It would be difficult to imagine a man less like this Holmes of print or picture. Incidentally, Holmes … was not as Doyle had pictured him.

DOYLE HAD NO RIVAL

”Sidney Paget, who did the first illustrations for The Strand took his younger brother, Walter, as a model.” But, originally, this outcome was not the way Doyle had seen him.

Pearson said that Paget “won the contest.” Holmes remains that of the popular fancy, reinforced by the detective’s impersonation on the stage and screen. There is no writer in English can capture and communicate the simple joy of physical energy and combat so infectiously as Doyle.

“Only Dumas can beat him at the game.

Of the Sherlock Holmes sagas, Pearson said. “They have a quality, at once amusing and exciting, peculiar to Doyle, and in which he alone has no rival.”

Born in London on October 4, 1860, Sidney Edward Paget was the fourth son of Robert Paget, a vestry clerk of the Old Government Board of Clerkenwell from 1856 to 1892. Paget senior also was said to be “a man of mature artistic tastes.”

At twenty-one Paget entered the Royal Academy.

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

Pictures: Paget won. Holmes did not look like anyone that Doyle had it mind. Holmesian view. Sherlock Holmes in the midst of doing a case-solving experiment; while Mr Watson looks on.


MM: A PUBLICITY SHOT OF MARILYN MONROE FOR THE FILM HOW TO MARRY A MILLIONAIRE.

SPECIAL FEATURE: MARILYN MONROE -- SHE WAS HOLLYWOOD’S MOST DESIREABLE WOMAN

“What good is it being Marilyn Monroe? Why can’t I be an ordinary woman? A woman who can have a family; I’d settle for just one.” Marilyn Monroe spoke these words a few months before she died.

FRANK MORRIS

Forty-eight years after her death Marilyn Monroe is still “big” business.

Scores of books have been written about her and thousands of items bearing her name – bedsheets, dolls, pillows and so on – have flooded the souvenir markets.

Monroe, who died of a drug overdose in August 1962, was allegedly having affairs with President John Kennedy and his brother, Bobby Kennedy.

But as far Kennedy was concerned he seemed oblivious to the risk. In his mind, sex and politics were not the same.

Seeing that Kennedy might be heading for the White House the mafia believed that it was a good idea in “getting a hook in him.” They even paid for his “personal” pleasure.

Meantime, while Bobby Kennedy was fighting the enemy JFK was sleeping with it. That was Kennedy right up until he was assassinated.

He didn’t realise it, but his gander was being primed.

MM WAS DESIRABLE

Ever since he was President, women used to appear and disappear like topsy.

After having lunch with FBI Chief, J. Edgar Hoover, Kennedy took Bobby aside and said: “Get rid of that bastard’s; he the biggest bore alive.”

Hoover had effectively warned him that “his life had become public interest.” JFK seemed to thrive on the danger. So far he was getting away with it.

After his “frustrating” affair with Judith Campbell he was “going at it” again with someone else; and the “someone else” was Hollywood’s most “desirable” woman, Marilyn Monroe.

One of the outstanding features about Marilyn was her seductiveness – she was a physically attractive looking creature.

But in the eyes of J. Edgar Hoover, Monroe was just as dangerous as Judith Campbell.

BRANDED A COMMUNIST

Documents recently released under the Freedom of Information Act revealed that the FBI thought Marilyn was a communist sympathiser.

She was in favour of civil rights, she married Arthur Miller and Miller had a background of being close to communism, and possibly been a member of the Communist Party himself. “She was certainly of the left,” said a spokesman.

President Kennedy, himself, was an uncompressing opponent of communist idealogues. Marilyn was branded a communist by the FBI, when she took a trip to Mexico in 1962.

“While there, she associated with a number of well-known American communists, including Frederick V. Steel, a longtime Maxist who had close links with other communists in Mexico.

“Here was an actress who gabbed too much to fully paid up communists about what she was learning, or thought she was learning, about US policy,” said a spokesman.

<< Adapted from several well-known books on MM life.

Pictures: Lady of the time. Marilyn Monroe as illustrated by Boris Chaliapin. Marilyn appeared in Time in May, 1956. Exclusive! Marilyn Monroe’s first cover appearance for Douglas Airview in January 1946.


MARILYN MONROE – 55 YEARS ON WHY SHE IS “BIG BUSINESS”

FRANK MORRIS

Marilyn Monroe died in 1962. But in popular culture the name of MM remained eminently high. Marilyn (Norma Jean Mortensen) was born in 1926; she starred in many popular movies including Men Prefer Blondes, Bus Stop, The Sleeping Prince and The Misfits.

Marilyn married Arthur Miller and Joe DiMaggio. After her death Miller penned After The Fall, a play about the marriage and suicide of “a neurotic actress.”

The writer says “he saw no irony in the line he wrote for her husband: “It’s not the money they take; it’s the dignity they destroy.” In her life and death Marilyn had been surrounded by a string of profiteers.

The writer: “She was on thousands of posters, T-shirts, toby jugs, plus much, much more; and she’s rehashed in dozens of books and reincarnated as Madonna.” It is simply called “the Marilyn industry.”

She died in her sleep from drug overdose. She’s immortal. Marilyn Monroe would have been 91. 

Here are some highlights from the World of Marilyn:

HER physical proportions (37-23-37) have become a vital statistic but had faced serious weight problem.

MARILYN received $50 in 1949 to pose nude for a calendar; the photographer sold it for $450; the company cleared around $750,000 on the deal.

ONE of Marilyn’s first modelling jobs was shooting a Valentine’s Day ad for a chocolate factory.

MARILYN was used as the model for Walt Disney’s animated character Tinker Bell.

<< Frank Morris; Marilyn Mania, The Australian Magazine; Hopwood, The Australian, Women’s Weekly.

Picture: Can I have your autograph, please. Marilyn Monroe at the premiere of How to Marry a Millionaire signs her moniker for a bunch of followers. The line goes back about several yards.


HOLD THERE! CAPTURE OF CAPTAIN THUNDERBOLT AT URALLA, NSW, BY CONSTABLE WALKER. THUNDERBOLT RESISTED AND WALKER FIRED THE DEADLY SHOT.

BUSHRANGING:  PART 3. WHERE THUNDERBOLT MET HIS DEATH

FRANK MORRIS

Tucked away between Sydney and Brisbane is Uralla, which is popularly known as Thunderbolt Country.

The only reason why is it referred to in this context in because the bushranger Fred Ward’s – Thunderbolt -- territory covered the entire New England region, even further afield. Armidale, 23km south-east, is his final resting place.

Ward’s grave is in the old Uralla Cemetery; and an impressive granite boulder, known as Thunderbolt’s Rock, a memorial to him, stands alongside the New England Highway. There’s also a plaque near the Uralla Council Chambers which commemorates Thunderbolt’s fatal encounter with one Constable Walker in May, 1870.

Uralla has other attractions to interest visitors.

THUNDERBOLT ESCAPED

There are more than 50 buildings in the district either registered or classified by the National Trust. There’s Rockhunters’ Rendezvous, a collection of the rich variety of precious gemstones and minerals found in the New England territory. And not forgetting Dangar’s Lookout, a natural haven for the multitude of birdlife.

The Diary, a daily feature that was on the back page of The Sydney Morning Herald,* says that the director of the local museum “may have the answer”. The original statement was that Thunderbolt escaped from Cockatoo Island and swan from the north side island with the help of his de facto wife Mary Ann Bugg.

Some recent Diary research had this say: it’s probable that a found key “may be the one that locked Thunderbolt away” says the director.

The director told the Armidale Express, “I went back to Cockatoo to have a closer look. One clearly saw the rusty vestiges of the iron grille door.” The cells were built in 1840 and buried in 1890. The cells were “totally forgotten” for nearly 120 years.

<< Part of this story was in Airlines Magazine; the rest of the story came in 2000. *The Sydney Morning Herald changed shape and was published as a tabloid in 2012.

Coming next September: The Johnny Gilbert story. Frank Morris provides a mystery story that you won’t believe.

Picture: Last Chance. Captain Thunderbolt, Fred Ward, gunned down by a police officer.


THE ORIGINAL! THIS IS THE ORIGINAL PISTOL THAT WAS  USED TO KILL CAPTAIN THUNDERBOLT. IT IS ON DISPLAY AT McCROSSINS MILL, URALLA, NSW.

BUSHRANGING: THE GUN THAT KILLED THUNDERBOLT

FRANK MORRIS

HANDS UP! The revolver used to kill Captain Thunderbolt has been acquired by the “tiny” museum at McCrossin’s Mill, at Uralla in northern inland NSW, reported a Fairfax newspaper.

The paper said that the pistol, an English-made Webley, was donated by the great-great grandchildren of John Gordon, who was given the gun a few days after Constable Alexander Binney Walker shot Thunderbolt near Uralla in 1870.

The real name for Thunderbolt was Frederick Wordsworth Ward. Thunderbolt famously escaped imprisonment on Cockatoo Island in 1863.


AN INTERVIEW: “PLAYING CHURCHILL HAS BEEN MY BIGGEST CHALLENGE. AND I’VE DONE IT!”, ROBERT HARDY.

1984 M0VIE: WINSTON CHURCHILL – PURSUE ANYTHING THROUGH TO THE END!

FRANK MORRIS

Robert Hardy was destined to play Winston Churchill. It was matter of time, really. But Hardy had a long career ahead of him.

In the 1978 TV series, the peppery Hardy geared up to play Siegfried Farnon, a country vet, in All Creatures Great and Small. It was my first real glimpse him as an actor. I was overly impressed.

Hardy played the versatile and flamboyant vet, especially among the rough-hewn farmers and their assorted animals, with consummate ease. He played that role until the end of the series in 1990.

Hardy played in all types of films dealing with well-known people and characters. Some he was brilliant, others he was strikingly good. In 1984, he saddled up to portray Winton Churchill.

WITHOUT IMITATING HIM

HIs point of portrayal was sound in every way.

Winton Churchill was considered by many to be one of Britain’s greatest prime ministers. He covered the war years throughout the 40s. He was an ideal war time leader. Churchill -- In the Wilderness Years -- was the story of his loss of office in 1929 to his triumphant return to power on the eve of World War 11. He resigned in 1945.

In 1951, after the war years gone, Churchill again became Prime Minister.

One reviewer noted this about Hardy’s portrayal of Churchill: “That Hardy somehow managed to get the feeling of Churchill across without actually imitating him.”

Hardy has died aged 91. He was born in 1925.

Picture: A great pair: Peter Davidson as Tristan and Robert Hardy as Siegfried in All Creatures Great and Good. Hardy played a versatile and flamboyant vet with consummate ease.

Posted in: Grand Years with Frank Morris at 18 August 17

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