Moulders Lane

Profanity and publishing

A piece on the writing standards that seem to characterize our current era from one of blogosphere’s ‘trio of Wodehouse fame’ (Ashok, Honoria, Noel, in case you didn’t know).

He’s sound on trains too.

The Traveller

Let’s talk about swearing in journalism. Once upon a time, there was none, at least not commonplace as it is now. For a swear word to reach print or, heaven forbid, the airwaves, it took long, anguished philosophical debate or monumental carelessness in the editorial process.

I remember as a cadet on the Courier-Mail in Brisbane a rolling argument through high levels and low about publishing a review of a small play called Norm and Ahmed by Alex Buzo, which included its controversial punchline. The play was one of Ozlit’s first forays that I can remember into the fraught topic of race relations. Its dramatic height came with either Norm or Ahmed (it hardly matters which) advising the other to go fornicate, in the Big Word that was considered most shocking in the 1960s.

Maybe we published the review with the word in and maybe we didn’t. I don’t remember. The point here…

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A Wodehouse Conundrum

Sticking my head round the door one evening to wish the Aged P. ‘Goodnight’ before retiring, I found her watching an episode of the rather splendid BBC Jeeves and Wooster series, starring Hugh Laurie and Stephen Fry. To my increasing puzzlement I found it was an episode I’d never seen before, despite having the three series DVD box set which proclaims on its cover: ‘The Complete Jeeves and Wooster’.

Casting my mind back to when the series first came on television in the late Eighties/early Nineties, the first two of which I video-taped, leaping like a startled gazelle towards the ‘Pause’ button at intervals in an attempt to cut out the adverts, I seem to remember other differences too. The opening scenes of the very first television episode were much shorter than the box set, easily explained as putting back deleted footage, but there was an episode in the second series which hinged on the acquisition of a water spaniel, which isn’t on the box set; and neither is the episode of the Choir Boys’ Steeplechase which the Aged P. was watching.

Google can’t throw any light on the subject so I’m turning to the international world of Wodehouse.

– Why do the series’ shown on television differ from those available on the DVD box set?

– How many episodes are missing from the box set?

– How do I get hold of the missing episodes?

and, most importantly,

– Why are us Wodehouse fans being short changed in this way ??

Annoyed of Brinkley Court

 

Looking after One’s Wardrobe in January (1916) – Norma May Hanshew

This is a scan of a fascinating article in the January issue of the Girl’s Own Paper and Women’s Magazine for 1916 that describes how the woman of moderate means met the fashion demands of the time.

A synopsis of the full issue with scans of some of the other articles can be found here. Read the rest of this entry »

The Girl’s Own Paper – Jan 1916 (part three)

Jan GOP

Part Two

All scanned material copyright The Lutterworth Press.

The household section at the back of each issue of The Girl’s Own Paper and Woman’s Magazine, to me one of the most fascinating parts, begins in January 1916 with an article entitled Dishes for the January Parties – How to obtain good Effects from Simple Means by Kate Radnor. This describes recipes suitable for ‘a small friendly evening gathering or young people’s party supper’ that are ‘more effective than heavy joints of meat or stiff uncut poultry’. There’s some interesting social points intermingled with the recipes: supper is always served cold, which means no vegetables (?) but if Christmas pudding is served ‘(and it is quite correct to do so)’ – an amusing example of etiquette as social division rather than etiquette as courteous good manners – this must be hot. Cream is thinner in winter, cooking is done on fires and involves extremely long cooking times, and everything has to be left until the next day to set. Particular dishes, or even the whole supper, are often ordered in from a confectioners to save trouble. The point of the article is that these often don’t taste any better than home produced but are ‘superior in style and effect’, something which can easily be imitated.

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The Editor’s Page – The Girl’s Own Paper (January 1916)

This is a scan of The Editor’s Page in the Girl’s Own Paper and Women’s Magazine of the early twentieth century, and part of my project looking at women’s experiences of the First World War, during this centenary year, through the eyes of the Girl’s Own Paper and Women’s Magazine for 1916.

Flora Klickmann’s points, in this page from the January issue, are just as valid a hundred years later: that we, ourselves, are the British Nation, that it is not a separate abstract thing for which we have no responsibility; that increased general prosperity and leisure is proving our undoing and that we are forgetting higher ideals and duties; and that there is an increasing viewpoint that money forgives all sins; in many respects the article could easily have been written for our own times.

A rather fascinating sidelight is thrown on the perceived division of responsibility in the period: it is women who ‘make or mar the social fabric’ while men are responsible for the virtue of business and political systems.

A coda calling for knitters to provide much needed hospital wash cloths highlights the unprecedented nature of a war of this scale in the dependence on amateur assistance by the authorities.

A synopsis of the full issue with scans of some of the other articles can be found here. Read the rest of this entry »

Mobilising Women Workers – How the War is Demanding the Services of all and how Each One can Assist (Jan 1916)

As part of my project looking at women’s experiences of the First World War, during this centenary year, through the eyes of the Girl’s Own Paper and Women’s Magazine for 1916 – this is a scan of an interesting article in the January issue that describes the growing realisation of the role that women will have to play as the Great War progresses.

A synopsis of the full issue with scans of some of the other articles can be found here.

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Sketching in Hertfordshire (Jan 1916) – Maude Angell

This is a scan of an interesting article in the January issue of the Girl’s Own Paper and Women’s Magazine for 1916, describing a sketching holiday in Wheathampstead, then a rural district of Hertfordshire despite being just 25 miles from London.

A synopsis of the full issue with scans of some of the other articles can be found here

More illustrations of Wheathampstead houses can be found in the article on women war workers.

Read the rest of this entry »

The Girl’s Own Paper – Jan 1916 (part two)

Jan GOPPart One

The middle section of the January issue has just one short story with the rest articles on hobbies, topics of interest for the 1916 woman and an exhortation for female assistance with the War.

Sketching in Hertfordshire – The Little Bits by the Way written and illustrated by Maude Angell is an account of a sketching holiday, with tips on landscape work, by the G.O.P’s writer on all things Art. What’s particularly interesting is that the olde-worlde village of Wheathampstead she describes is only 25 miles from King’s Cross, which gives you some idea of how surprisingly little London spread in 1916. As I very much doubt the buildings she drew still exist, the full article may be of interest to local historians.

Mobilising Women Workers – How the War is Demanding the Services of all and how Each One can Assist is another fascinating article that pinpoints developments in the War and its effect on ordinary people. The Government is belatedly waking up to the fact that the male workers in commerce and industry, needed in the army, are going to have to be somehow replaced if the economy is to be kept going and that women could be useful here. (But don’t get any ideas, it’s just for the duration.)

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The Barrier to Intimacy by Alice Miller (1915)

This is a fun and surprisingly modern short story that I found when looking up the background for the serial in the January issue of the Girl’s Own Paper and Woman’s Magazine for 1916.  There’s a distinctly Wodehousian tone in the dilemma of the two characters – in the light of which the placement of the particular prayers at the footer seems a little misjudged.

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Securing a Pension – An Important Matter for the Wage-Earning Girl of To-Day (Jan 1916)

This is a scan of an interesting article from the Girl’s Own Paper and Women’s Magazine for January 1916, which throws a light on women’s financial position during the early twentieth century, particularly as a result of the Great (First World) War.  A synopsis of the whole issue with scans of other articles can be found here.

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