Sunday, May 29, 2016

Diary briefs

Unpublished Dalí diary sold in Paris - Sotheby’s, The Guardian

The diaries of Vivienne Westwood - The Bookseller

Napoleonic Wars diary found in Hobart - ABC News

The Berlin Diary of Roger Casement 1914-1916 - Merrion Press, Irish News

Falklands veteran returns Argentine diary - Folkestone Herald

Norwegian’s Nazi camp diary - Vanderbilt University Press, Amazon

Alfred Rosenberg’s lost diary - HarperCollins, The Telegraph, Israeli National News

WWI diary of Kiwi journalist -

Suffragette diary sold at auction - Plymouth Auctions (Lot 128), The Plymouth Herald

WWII diaries of Soviet children -

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Inside Stalin’s Russia

Sir Reader Bullard, a British career diplomat whose final posting was as Ambassador in Tehran, died 40 years ago today. He served as Consul-General in Moscow and Leningrad in the 1930s, quietly observing, and recording in his diary, Stalin’s regime become increasingly more repressive. He published an autobiography in his lifetime, but the diary of his Russia period remained unpublished until edited by his son, Julian, and brought out by Day Books in 2000.

Bullard was born in 1885 in London, the son of a tally clerk. After grammar school, a brief period as a pupil teacher and two years at Queen’s College, Cambridge, he joined the Levant consular service of the Foreign Office in 1906. He started his career in Constantinople, first in the consulate-general and then in the embassy as a student interpreter. Subsequently, he was stationed at Basra, Mesopotamia, and later accompanied Sir Percy Fox on two missions to Tehran. After time in Britain, he returned to Iraq in May 1920 as military governor of Baghdad, with the rank of major.

Bullard spent two years back in London with the new Middle East department of the Colonial Office, set up by the colonial secretary, Winston Churchill. He married Miriam Smith in 1921, with whom he had five children. He went on to serve as Consul in Jeddah (1923-25), Athens, (1925-28), and Addis Ababa (1928). He was then appointed Consul-General in Moscow (1930), and in Leningrad (1931-34). After the Soviet Union, Bullard also took postings in Rabat and, eventually, as Ambassador in Tehran from 1939 to 1946. He was knighted in 1936.

After retiring from the diplomatic service, Bullard became Director of the Institute of Commonwealth Studies in Oxford, and a member of the governing body of School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He wrote Britain and the Middle East (Hutchinson, 1951) and his autobiography The Camels Must Go (Faber, 1961). E. C. Hodgkin (ODNB, log-in required) gives this assessment of the man: ‘But it was for his personality that Bullard was chiefly remembered. He was a humble man. Short and stocky, with a craggy face and deep set eyes, he gave an immediate impression of rock-like solidity. A tireless worker, deeply conscious of his country’s past and of the highest standards she had the right to demand from her servants, he was no less conscientious in his attention to detail.’ He died on 24 May 1976. A little further information is available from Wikipedia or St Anthony’s College website.

While in Russia, Bullard kept a fairly detailed diary of his day-to-day doings. These were edited by his son and daughter-in-law, Julian and Margaret Bullard, and published by Day Books in 2000: Inside Stalin’s Russia: The Diaries of Reader Bullard 1930-934. The publisher says the diaries ‘paint an unforgettable picture of Russia, its politics and people, in the critical years when Stalin was tightening his grip on power.’ In a foreword, Douglas Hurd (Foreign Secretary 1989-1995) observes that Bullard’s ‘laid-back style is particularly suited to the business of exploring and experiencing the Soviet system. Bullard did not come to Moscow with any prejudice against that system, if anything the reverse; but his natural shrewdness prevented him from being deceived. There are no denunciations of the cruelty which he began to find around him, just the straightforward record of the facts.’ A review of the book can be found at The Guardian.

Here are several extracts.

21 December 1930
‘The bag brought a pair of new skates which I have had screwed on to a pair of old boots. I went on the ice for the first time since 1914 (at Erzerum). I only fell over twice, but I can’t recover the one simple trick I had learned - the outside edge on the right foot.

The Chef de Protocol of the Diplomatic Corps is one Florinsky. It is said that his father was shot by the Reds and he never raised a finger. Asked how he could work with Bolsheviks after this, Florinsky is said to have asked if one’s father was run over by a tram should one cease to ride on trams?

A few evenings ago I went up to talk to Pott, and thinking that I might overlap his dessert I put a slab of chocolate (with almonds and raisins) into my pocket. I found Walker there and two Russian ballet- dancers. Pott and Walker danced with them to the sound of a gramophone, but I’m not sure that I wasn’t the feature of the evening, for I produced my chocolate, and the girls fell on it like dogs on a bone.

Last night Walker gave a party and invited the two ballet girls. The two girls greeted me with cries of ‘the chocolate grandpa!’ so if I had had any illusions about my value to the party they would have been dispelled.’

13 September 1932
‘Our messenger brought me a handbill which had been distributed to all the flats in his building. It orders each resident to collect six bottles, half a kilo of rags, half a kilo of bones, half a kilo of paper, three-quarters of a kilo of rubber, six kilos of old iron and one kilo of non-ferrous metal (brass, copper, etc.) and to hand them in. Quite impossible. Any scraps of old iron have been given in long ago. Paper is so short that the co-operatives give theirs customers fresh fish without paper. As for rubber - for a long time it has been impossible to buy a pair of galoshes unless you hand in an old pair.’

27 October 1932
‘The three maids report that all their clothes are falling to pieces and have put in an enormous list of things they want - at least enormous for this place where material is so short. There is not a yard of any material to be had.

Soermus, the Soviet violinist who visits England and combines his concerts with propaganda, is in some difficulty with his passport. Under the latest regulations, when a Soviet citizen returns from abroad his passport is taken from him, and if he wants to go abroad again he must apply for a new passport, and before it is granted he has to pass first a chistka, or purge, to find out exactly where the applicant has been and what he has done, and then an examination by a trio of communists. Mrs Soermus says her husband lives with his head in a musical cloud and notices nothing.

Woodhead has returned from another visit to the paper-mill. Two OGPU men who travelled part of the way with him had chickens and all sorts of things in their luggage. ‘The new bourgeoisie!’ one of them said to Woodhead. The mill, which ought to have begun operating two years ago, began in September and is making five tons of paper a day instead of forty-five tons. Woodhead attended an eight-hour meeting of about thirty men, only two of whom were engineers, the others were ‘Red’ directors, workmen etc. Woodhead refused to take any part in the discussion, which he described as worthless. To engage in the discussion would have been to admit that all these untrained people had a right to give an opinion on highly technical questions.’

The Diary Junction

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Jerzyk’s tragic story

‘In town there was a poster confirming the shooting of ten people. If by the 4th of the month the bandits aren’t handed in they will shoot the next ten hostages to set an example.’ This is the 11-year-old Jerzy Feliks Urman (known as Jerzyk) writing in his diary in late 1943. He was in hiding with his parents in Drohobycz, then part of the Soviet Ukraine occupied by the Nazis, and it would be little more than a week before he committed suicide. Shearsman Books has just published a fresh version of the boy’s short diary and supporting documents, as translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones and edited by Anthony Rudolf.

Jerzyk was born in 1932 in Stanisławów (then part of Poland, now Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine), a town with a population of 50,000, more than forty per cent of whom were Jews. The Soviets invaded Poland’s eastern territories in September 1939, but then, with Germany’s declaration of war against the Soviet Union in June 1941, Stanisławów found itself in an area overrun by the Nazis. Moreover, the local population seemed particularly willing to collaborate against the Jews and the Poles. Thousands of Jews were murdered that winter in Stanisławów, and a ghetto was established. Atrocities continued into the following year, with many more thousands of Jews being deported to Bełżec, the first of the Nazi extermination camps.

One day, in mid-1942, Jerzyk returned home and told his parents, Izydor and Sophie, about having witnessed a child caught smuggling food into the ghetto, and about how the child’s eye had been gouged out by a German with a red-hot wire. Thereafter, Jerzyk insisted on being allowed to carry a cyanide pill (available at a price on the black market); and the family agreed they would not be tortured and deported - they would survive together or die together. By March 1943, Jerzyk, his parents and two other family members were in hiding in 
Drohobycz, 100km or so northeast of their home town. In November that year, the local militia (German collaborators, but not the Gestapo) came to the house, and assaulted Izydor. Jerzyk fearing the worst, took his cyanide pill. The militia were so shocked by the child’s death they left, without even reporting the parents, who went on to survive the war.

Anthony Rudolf, an author, poet and literary critic, was researching his own family background when he came across the story of Jerzyk, his second cousin once removed. Rudolf
 located (in Yad Vashem, the World Holocaust Remembrance Center in Jerusalem) a transcription of a diary Jerzyk had kept for two months before his death; and he also had regular contact with Izydor and Sophie. He even made ‘pilgrimages’ to Stanisławów and Drohobycz. In explaining how he became involved with Jerzyk’s story, Rudolf explains that he was already writing about Holocaust survivors and had become ‘obsessed with the territory’. In 1991, Menard Press published Rudolf’s I’m not even a grown-up: The diary of Jerzy Feliks Urman.

A quarter of century later, Rudolf has revisited his second cousin’s story with Jerzyk: Diaries, Texts and Testimonies of the Urman Family, published by Shearsman Books. Jerzyk’s diary remains the centrepiece, freshly translated by Antonia Lloyd-Jones from the original manuscript, but Rudolf supplies supporting documents (all translated by Lloyd-Jones) to enrich Jerzyk’s story, aiming to give it a place in the historiography of the war against the Jews. These include a distraught diary kept by Sophie after her son’s death, and a 1964 interview with Izydor.

In this new book, Rudolf provides a thoroughly researched and rigourously annotated account of Jerzyk’s tragic story. But, here and there, the reader is also aware of how important this story is to him personally. He now owns the Jerzyk manuscript (acquired from Sophie) and writes about how it is ‘a precious family heirloom which will end up in Yad Vashem one day’. And he does not shy away from mentioning how his ongoing enquiries created tension between Jerzyk’s parents: while Izydor found the subject too traumatic and forbade his wife from discussing it with Rudolf, she herself would meet him secretly.

Rudolf explains,
 in the introduction to the 2016 edition, his motives for doggedly pursuing the fine detail of Jerzyk’s story: ‘I regard the keeping of Jerzyk’s diary and the manner of his death as acts of resistance, resistance of the noblest and most tragic kind. Although Jerzyk was precocious, clear-sighted, and sharp-witted, the diary is not a work of literature. Nor is it even the work of a future writer [. . .] unlike, for example, the diary of Anne Frank. It is, however, a document of considerable interest beyond the heart-rending fact of its existence. It is an intelligent child’s truthful account of experiences and states such as threat and rumour, nervous energy and fear, pain and insight. He kept the diary, he said, because he wanted people afterwards to know what happened.’

Finally, here are three extracts, the first two from Jerzyk’s diary and the third from his mother’s diary.

3 November 1943
‘[. . .] In town there was a poster confirming the shooting of ten people. If by the 4th of the month the bandits aren’t handed in they will shoot the next ten hostages to set an example. Marysia said the ten shot already were all Ukrainian. There were 2 Poles but the [Polish] Committee liberated them.’

5 November 1943
‘ ‘Don’t leave any dinner for me because I have a meeting with a lady [in town].’ But later, after a longish time, Hela came back really furious because she had gone [in vain] to watch the executions and because she’d been told that today they were going to shoot a Ukrainian priest and 6 women. She hadn’t even finished dinner when Marysia [said]: ‘Come on now or you won’t see anything. We must secure a place in the first row if we want to see anything.’

Hela stopped eating at once. She dressed hurriedly and left. She was out of the house for a long time, a few hours later she came back. She entered the room without saying hello, and said nothing. We made a point of not asking her anything. In the end she couldn’t keep her mouth shut and betrayed to us that the executions were postponed until tomorrow. Genia told her they were shooting people for hiding Jews. [. . .]’

13 January 1944
‘My one and only Son! Two months have passed since that terrible day when evil people caused your death. Here I am writing that word, though I still can’t believe it. Sometimes it feels as if you’re just absent for a while, and sometimes I try to convince myself that we’ve hidden you in a safe place, to protect you from the degradation and atrocities of this incredible war until it’s over. Surely since the world began, there can never have been such a terrible disaster, devised by Satanic minds. Dear Son, Mother Earth has proved extremely merciful. She clasps everyone to her bosom, rich and poor alike, the poorest and the richest, people of any denomination and nationality, and is not governed by the cruel laws invented by our assassins, which hold that only people of ar [Aryan] origin are allowed to walk on her surface, whatever their worth of ability, to render service to to anyone else in life. My dear Son, now you’ve gone to another mother, surely more worthy of such a treasure than I, who failed to protect you. I envy her for hiding so many children in her bosom, but my little Kitten, you were all I had, and now I’m on my own. I no longer visit you twice a day [he was buried in the garden] as I used to, because I’m afraid to attract the attention of the klemp [dimwit]. I only say ‘Good morning’, and ‘Good night’, once, on Fridays before bed. Every time Daddy has tears in his eyes, because he’s reminded of home and all the happy times we spent together. Who could have foreseen that we were destined for such terrible homelessness, and that such a painful blow lay ahead of us! I’m perfectly aware that we’re not the only ones, but for us that’s poor consolation.’

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Hammers inside my head

’Saw the name Morecambe & Wise on the front of the theatre - first time on Broadway. Mind you, it won’t be there for long. We do the show tomorrow, so it will be taken down tomorrow night.’ This is Eric Morecambe, one half of the famous Morecambe and Wise comedy double act, writing in a (rather banal) diary he kept for a couple of years at the end of the 1960s. Today marks the 90 anniversary of his birth.

John Eric Bartholomew was born on 14 May 1926 in Morecambe, Lancashire, to working class parents. His mother encouraged him to leave school aged 13 to work as a child performer. By winning talent contests, he earned a place in a touring show, Youth Takes a Bow, in which Ernest Wiseman was also a comic prodigy. The two became close friends, and began to develop a double act, which became a regular feature in the show. During the last years of the Second World War, Wiseman joined the merchant navy, while Bartholomew was conscripted, in mid-1944, to become a so-called Bevin Boy and work in a coal mine in Accrington, though he was discharged as unfit after a year or so.

Bartholomew got together again with Wiseman once he was released from the merchant navy,  and in 1947 they joined Lord George Sanger’s variety circus, soon billing themselves as Morecambe (after his birth place) and Wise. In 1952 Morecambe married Joan Bartlett, a dancer and daughter of a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps. They had two children, and also adopted a third child. In 1954, Morecambe and Wise’s first television series, Running Wild, was not a great success, and for the next few years they continued stage performances, with much touring, including a half year in Australia. They were also regulars on television variety shows. In 1961, the television broadcaster ATV launched The Morecambe and Wise Show, written by Sid Green and Dick Hills, which ran until 1968, establishing the duo as comedy celebrities. During the same period, they appeared several times on the Ed Sullivan show in New York, attracting huge audiences.

In 1968, Morecambe had a heart attack, and took six months off work to recuperate, returning to the stage with Wise the following summer. The couple moved their television work to the BBC, with Eddie Braben as their writer, and stayed until 1978 - producing the now-legendary Christmas shows - before switching to Thames Television in 1978. Morecambe had a second heart attack in 1979, followed by a bypass operation. Though he continued with the double act, making a series of shows for Thames between 1980 and 1983, he started branching out, playing other roles and writing more. He died of a third heart attack in 1984. Further information is available from Wikipedia, Chortle, or the old Morecambe website.

For a couple of years, between 1967 and early 1969, Morecambe kept a diary. This was first published by HarperCollins in 2005 - the last chapters in William Cook’s Eric Morecambe Unseen, sub-titled The Lost Diaries Jokes and Photographs, but essentially a pictorial biography. Cook gives a very brief introduction to the diary. ‘A lot of Eric’s observations,’ he says, ‘are fairly matter of fact, but the more intimate entries cast fresh light on his work, while the descriptive passages read like a dry run for his future fiction. And although the private voice is a good deal graver and reflective than his public persona, the same impish sense of fun remains.’ Here are several examples from the diaries as published in Cook’s book.

6 January 1968
‘Waldorf Astoria, New York. Today is a hard day. Two or three run throughs at the theatre, now called the Ed Sullivan Theatre, on Broadway. Then a quick lunch and a music run in the afternoon. Saw the name Morecambe & Wise on the front of the theatre - first time on Broadway. Mind you, it won’t be there for long. We do the show tomorrow, so it will be taken down tomorrow night. Got back to the hotel and the phone is flashing. It’s Fred Harris, an Englishman who works in New York for the Grade Delfont office. We stayed in the Waldorf for drinks as it was too cold to go out. We got slowly pissed, then went and had a bowl of soup downstairs in the cafe. This would be 12.30am. I then said, ‘Goodnight.’ He didn’t speak, got a cab and went home. I went back to my furnace of a room and fell asleep. I didn’t even switch on the TV.’

7 January 1968
‘Waldorf Astoria, New York, It’s thick snow outside. It’s thick hammers inside my head. However it’s show time this morning - got to get down to the Sullivan Theatre for 9.15am. Now to try and be funny at that time in the morning - believe me, there’s no such time. But it’s got to be done. This trip the weather has been really cold - fifteen below. I hope the plane will take off tomorrow. It could have cleared by then. Ern and I do the Sullivan again tonight. We will do the Marvo & Dolores [spoof magic act] bit. All the crew think it’s very funny. I think it will die, but I have been wrong before. We rehearse and hang about the theatre all day. Fred comes round before the show. The show is over, they say it’s gone well. I’m not happy about it nor is the Boy Wonder [Ernie], but they are - so much so, Ed asks us out to dinner with him that night. We go to Danny’s Hideaway on Lexington and have a very informal and most enjoyable evening. Bed around 12am.’

8 January 1968
‘Waldorf Astoria, New York. Well, I’m going back home tonight - back to the 35,000 feet up again bit and this time I’m not sorry. It’s 29 degrees below freezing, and that to me is cold. I’m going tonight on the ten o’clock flight from New York, but this time it’s BOAC. I’ve checked out of the hotel and took all my cases to the Essex House. Taxi at 7.15, airport at eight VIP room 8.30, 9.15 not drunk but happy. Great. Thirty five thousand feet up again, on the way home. Did the Sullivan last night and did well - maybe the best we have done. In a few moments the pilot has asked me to go up front while we are landing. This should be a thrill.’

16 January 1968
‘Today I went to the Delfont Grade office in Regent Street to meet Ernie and Billy Marsh. We had a long chat about future deals. I mentioned a tax saving scheme to Ernie and was rather surprised that he seemed quite interested, as since we have been married we have kept everything separate, and now Ernie is so close with information I never know what he is doing. All he does is secret! The idea is that we should both take out a policy on each other for £4,000 pa for ten years and after the ten years are up, for the next five years we are paid back at so much a year. At the end of the five years we will get £72,000 each - that of course is with profits. The beauty of it is that the £4,000 pa comes out of our different companies. If it comes out of the profits you are not taxed on the £4,000 at all. The only time you are taxed is when you start earning on the five yearly payments and by then we will have retired and will not be in the same earning capacity as we are now, so the tax will be less than now. I left the thought with the Boy Wonder, and I’ll wait to hear from him regards it, although I don’t think he will want to come across. Also if one of us dies, the other gets it, and Ern doesn’t look too well. It’s all a matter of pushing the money I’m earning now into the future.

Had lunch with Leslie Grade at Dickins & Jones. Very interesting as Leslie, who is a very shrewd man, had one or two propositions to offer - but with Leslie you have to think everything over for two or three days. Then you end up with the answer, which is nearly always, ‘Well, where does Leslie’s share come in?’ But it’s in there somewhere!’

18 January 1968
‘Today I was asked to become President of Kimpton Players. It sounds like a football team, but it’s a group of amateur actors and actresses who do local shows for charity. It should be quite interesting. They are doing an old time music hall show in a few weeks time, so I’ll be getting a party together and going along. Ern and I had a meeting with our writers, Sid Green and Dick Hills, at Roger Hancock’s office. We went to talk over a film idea for this coming summer. After a few drinks, conversation loosened up and Sid and Dick came out with the idea of doing a film about gypsies, where Ern and I are something to do with the council, and we have the job of moving them on, off the land that they are on. Although they had a few good situations within the film I could see Ern was not too happy about it, and I must admit I wasn’t jumping for joy. It’s a good idea, but it’s an idea anyone could do. It’s not pure Morecambe & Wise. Over lunch I happened to mention an offbeat idea I had for a film, which all thought funny. At that point Sid said that if that was the type of film we were thinking in terms of, he was all for it. So it looks as if we may after all be doing a type of film that we are all keen to do. The boys went off to write it up. We meet again next week.’

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Severed heads drinking Coke

Happy birthday Eleanor Coppola, 80 today. Although her film director husband, Francis Ford Coppola is better known, Eleanor has made a career for herself directing films about films. But it was a diary she kept while Francis was filming Apocalypse Now, and later published, which set her on the course of documenting the art of movie making.

Eleanor Jessie Neil was born on 4 May 1936 in Los Angeles. Her father, a political cartoonist, died when she was 10, and her mother brought her up in Sunset Beach, 30 miles south of LA. After graduating in applied design from the University of California, Eleanor met Francis Ford Coppola while working as an assistant art director during the filming of Dementia 13 in 1962. They married in Las Vegas the following year. Their three children, Sofia, Roman and Gian-Carlo have followed them into the film industry. Eleanor, herself, has directed and/or been the cinematographer on several documentaries about the making of films. Otherwise, among her other activities, she helps manage the family winery in California, and has designed for a dance company in San Francisco. She also developed an art project, Circle of Memory ‘to inspire visitors to recall and commemorate children who are missing or dead.’ Further biographical information can be found at Wikipedia or the Note on the road website.

While Eleanor Coppola’s husband was working on Apocalypse Now, in the 1970s, with a shooting schedule in the Philippines, she kept extensive diary-like notes. These were published in 1979 by Simon & Schuster and simply called Notes, although subsequent editions were called Notes on the Making of Apocalypse Now. This book, in turn, led to a film, co-directed by Eleanor Coppola, Hearts of Darkness: A Filmmaker’s Apocalypse. Irene and Alan Taylor, authors of the anthology, The Assassin’s Cloak, say the diary is ‘an extraordinary record not only of making a movie but of the emotional and physical prices extracted from all who participated in it.’ Later, she published Notes on a Life, in a similar style, but with a much broader focus on her world. Further information and and extracts from Notes on the Making of Apocalypse Now can be found at SF Gate, Los Angeles Times, and The Independent.

In her book, Coppola explains that she went with her husband and their three children to the Philippines in March 1976, where they rented a large house in Manila for the five-month scheduled shooting of Apocalypse Now. The film was conceived as an action/adventure structured on Joseph Conrad’s novel Heart of Darkness, but rather than Africa in the 1800s, the film was set on a river in Vietnam during the late sixties. The story concerns a Captain Willard who is given an assignment to go on a classified mission up a river in Vietnam, cross into Cambodia and assassinate Colonel Kurtz, a Green Beret colonel who has apparently gone insane and is conducting the war by his own rules. When Willard finally arrives at his destination, he has been changed by the experience of making the journey. Coppola concludes her introduction by saying: ‘Many of the people who worked on the film were also changed.’ Here are several extracts from Notes.

24 June 1976
‘Napa. Yesterday Mike and Arlene saw two hours of rushes, and when they called to ask us if we would like anything from the city, Arlene said she thought the acting was kind of tentative. Francis went into a tailspin. He felt totally defeated. He has spent $7 million, and months of grueling production, and they didn’t say, “Hey, you’ve got some fantastic stuff there.” He really got into a black depression. As I see it, Francis has ninety hours of film, and no chunk can give you an idea of what fifteen minutes’ worth of moments he is going to select from it. What you finally see on the screen does not give the slightest clue of what was left out. For someone to just look at an arbitrary piece is meaningless. Francis felt hopeless and scared. We slept outside on the lawn. It was a beautiful night, so clear with stars. Francis tossed and turned most of the night, having nightmares. We woke up at dawn; there was a crescent of new moon rising near the horizon in the pinkish light. Francis said he had had a dream about how to finish the script, but now that he was awake it wasn’t really any good. Francis talked to Brando on the phone yesterday.’

15 October 1976
‘Thirty-eight takes, and Francis said it was never the way he wanted it. The people who were playing the severed heads sat in their boxes, buried in the ground, from eight in the morning till six at night. All day they were there in the hot sun, with smoke blowing on them. Between takes they were covered with umbrellas. They got out for lunch, but the rest of the time they were there in place.

During one take, Dennis Hopper backed up and stepped right at a girl’s cheek and collapsed part of the container she was in, nearly stepping on her face. The mud on both sides of the dolly track was deep and people kept slipping. Dennis and Fred Forrest both fell during takes. The sound man had someone hold on to his belt in the back and stabilize him as he followed the actors, so that he wouldn’t fall with the boom.

It was one of those days where the dry ice mist, or the orange smoke, or the performance, or the light, or something just never came together for a take that Francis was satisfied with.

At one point I was sitting there looking around. The severed heads were drinking Cokes. The Ifugao children were putting chunks of dry ice in film cans and making the lids pop off. Some Ifugao girls were picking lice out of each other’s hair. One girl had a wrapped skirt, bare breasts and pink plastic hair rollers. A man sitting down in his loincloth held up the fringed ends neatly so they wouldn’t get in the mud. The man with the boa constrictor was giving it a drink of water. Alex was talking about the fake blood . . . “It’s thirty-five dollars a gallon and they’re really using a lot today.” Special effects ran out of orange smoke and had to use red. My favorite old Ifugao priest wasn’t in costume today; he had on a loincloth and beige print, nylon jersey sport shirt. He came up close to the steps to take a look at the fake severed heads. They say his tribe were headhunters as recently as five years ago. Angelo had a tuna sandwich he was passing around, and people were saying, “You know how long its been since I had a tuna sandwich?” ’

17 October 1976
‘Pagsanjan. I shot an interview with Dennis Hopper. One of the things he said that interested me the most was that he thought filmmaking was in the same phase of development that art was during the cathedral-building period. When they built those great cathedrals in Europe, they employed stonemasons, engineers, fresco painters, etc., and created the work through the combined talents of many. By the nineteenth century, art evolved to the point where the major work of the day was being done by individual artists working alone at an easel. Dennis was making the point that now film-making involves the talents of many departments and perhaps eventually major films will be made by one person with a video port-a-pack.’

4 November 1978
‘Napa. Yesterday I went with Francis to a screening of the last half of the film to see some changes he was working on with the editors. I hadn’t seen any footage since June. There is no question in my mind, beyond all my personal feelings and connections, it is an extraordinary work. It feels like Francis’s level of desperation and fear is shrinking. The lawyers and United Artists are starting to talk more optimistically about the financial situation. There is still more work to do in the final sequence at Kurtz Compound, but each cut seems to improve, get closer.’

The Diary Junction

Monday, May 2, 2016

Breaking superstitious pictures

‘We brake down 28 superstitious Pictures; and took up 11 popish Inscriptions in Brass; and gave order for digging up the Steps, and taking of 2 Crosses of the Steeple of the Church, and one of the Chancel, in all 4.’ This is from the unique diary of William Dowsing, baptised 420 years ago today. He was a farmer by occupation, but for a short period when middle aged, during the Civil War, he took on the job of destroying ‘all monuments of superstition and idolatry’ in parts of East Anglia, as dictated by an August 1643 Parliamentary Ordnance.

Although there is some uncertainty about the place of his birth, it seems Dowsing was baptised in Laxfield, Suffolk, on 2 May 1596, the son of a yeoman farmer. It is likely he studied at grammar school because he knew Latin and Greek. He was married twice, having ten children by his first wife, Thamar. He was a working farmer, and was very religious, a puritan, establishing a large library of religious books. According to John Morril’s entry for Dowsing in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (log-in required), he was ‘a grave, earnest, godly man who appears to have held no public office or sought any public notice over his seventy-two years of life, except for an explosive period of fifteen months at the height of the civil wars’.

Dowsing was middle-aged when appointed, by Edward Montagu, the Earl of Manchester, to be provost marshal of the armies of the eastern association. This appointment, Morril explains, was more the result of Dowsing’s puritan zeal than any experience for the job. He helped with supplies for the army and the care of prisoners of war. But, in December 1643, he surrendered that role in order to carry out the Parliamentary Ordinance which stated that ‘all monuments of superstition and idolatry should be removed and abolished’. He, personally, supervised the ‘cleansing’ of many churches in Cambridgeshire, and, in conjunction with deputies, many in Suffolk too. He visited over 250 churches in the two counties, ensuring the destruction of stained glass windows, alter rails, angels, crucifixes on roofs, etc. However, with the fall of Montagu from power, in late 1644, Dowsing, too, laid down his commission. He returned to farming, being troubled in later life by disputes between the children from his two marriages. He died in 1668.

Dowsing is remembered today solely because he documented, in a unique way, his work destroying the ornamentation in hundreds of churches. His original manuscripts have long since been lost, and there are complicated histories for various copies - hand copied and published - made of those manuscripts. These histories, along with all the surviving parts of Dowsing’s journals and much context and many notes, have been gathered together in a modern edition, edited by Trevor Cooper, and published by Boydell & Brewer Ltd in 2001 as The Journal of William Dowsing - Iconoclasm in East Anglia During the English Civil War. Parts of this are available to view at Googlebooks. A substantial review of the book can be found at Michigan State University’s H-Net.

Although material from Dowsing’s manuscripts had found its way into other publications, the first book dedicated to his journal was published in Woodbridge in 1786 as The Journal of William Dowsing, of Stratford, Parliamentary Visitor, appointed under a warrant from the Earl of Manchester, for demolishing the superstitious pictures and ornaments of Churches, &c. within the County of Suffolk, in the years 1643-1644. A later edition, edited by Evelyn White, published by Pawsey & Hayes in 1885, is available at Internet Archive (and is the source of the following extracts)

23 January 1643
’14. DUNSTALL, JAN. the 23rd. We brake down 60 superstitious Pictures; and broke in pieces the Rails; and gave order to pull down the Steps.’

24 January 1643
’15. ALDBOROUGH, JAN. the 24th. We gave order for taking down 20 Cherubims, and 38 Pictures; which their Lecturer Mr. Swayn (a godly man) undertook, and their Captain Mr. Johnson.’

25 January 1643
’16. ORFORD, JAN. the 25th. We brake down 28 superstitious Pictures; and took up 11 popish Inscriptions in Brass; and gave order for digging up the Steps, and taking of 2 Crosses of the Steeple of the Church, and one of the Chancel, in all 4.

17. SNAPE, JAN. the 25th. We brake down 4 popish Pictures; and took up 4 Inscriptions of Brass, of ora pro nobis, &c.

18. STANSTED, JAN. the 25th. We brake down 6 superstitious Pictures; and took up a popish Inscription in Brass.’

26 January 1643
’19. SAXMUNDHAM, JAN. the 26th. We took up 2 superstitious Inscriptions in Brass.

20. KELSHALL, JAN. the 26th. We brake down 6 superstitious Pictures; and took up 12 popish Inscriptions in Brass; and gave order to levell the Chancel, and taking down a Cross.

21. CARLETON, JAN. the 26th. We brake down 10 superstitious Pictures; and took up 6 popish Inscriptions in Brass; and gave order to levell the Chancel.

22. FARNHAM, JAN, the 26th. We took up a popish Inscription in Brass.

23. STRATFORD. We brake down 6 superstitious Pictures.

24. WICKHAM, JAN the 26th. We brake down 15 popish Pictures of Angels and Sts; and gave order for taking 2 Crosses; one on the Steeple, & the 2nd on the Church.

25. SUDBURNE, JAN. the 26th. We brake down 6 Pictures, and gave order for the taking down of a Cross on the Steeple; and the Steps to be levelled.’

A fuller set of Dowsing’s diary entries can be read freely online at a website created in parallel with, and to promote, Trevor Cooper’s The Journal of William Dowsing. The online version offers all the journal entries but very few of the many extras offered by the book itself (see its contents here).

The Diary Junction

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Of Napoleon, and a turtle

Sir Neil Campbell, a British army officer who rose to become a colonial governor, was born 240 years ago today. He is largely remembered for a detailed and informative diary he kept while in charge of Napoleon Bonaparte during his exile on the island of Elba. That diary, first published in 1869, is the only extant diary left by Campbell, however a biographical memoir by his nephew, mentions another journal, and provides a single extract from it, about the capturing of a turtle at sea.

Campbell was born on 1 May 1776. His father was described as a ‘Highland gentleman of ancient lineage, and fair landed estate’. After being nurtured in his ‘wild ancestral home’, he began his army career by joining the 6th West India Regiment in 1797. After three years service in West Indies, he returned to England and was promoted to lieutenant, and then to major. He returned to the West Indies, to Jamaica, in 1807, and then, after a sojourn in England for health reasons, journeyed again to the West Indies in 1808, this time being appointed Deputy-Adjutant-General to the Forces in the Windward and Leeward Islands. He was present at the captures, from the French, of Martinique and Guadeloupe.

During the Peninsular War, Campbell was appointed colonel of the 16th Portuguese infantry, but in 1814, he was severely wounded at Fère-Champenoise in France. Later, the same year he was chosen to accompany Napoleon from Fontainebleau to Elba (where he had been exiled under the terms of the Treaty of Fontainebleau) with express orders
 from the British Foreign Secretary, Lord Castlereigh, that he was in no way to act as his jailer, but rather to allow the ex French emperor to take control of the island as a sovereign prince. Although, Campbell’s instructions also implied that he should not remain in Elba longer than necessary, he did promise to stay, at Napoleon’s request, until the termination of the congress of Vienna (which aimed to provide a long-term peace plan for Europe). It is thought that his presence on the island put the English naval captains off their guard, and thus enabled Napoleon to escape rather easily.

Campbell went on to serve at the battle of Waterloo, and during the occupation of France, from 1815 to 1818, he commanded the Hanseatic Legion, consisting of 3,000 volunteers. In 1825, he was appointed major-general, applied for a staff appointment, and was given the governorship of Sierra Leone, reaching the colony in May 1826. The following year, however, he died of a fever. Further information is available online from Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900 or The Napoleon Series.

Campbell is largely remembered today because of a diary he kept while in charge of the force escorting Napoleon to exile on Elba, and while remaining with him there - until his escape. The diary - published in 1869 by John Murray and freely available at Internet Archive - is titled: Napoleon at Fontainebleau and Elba being A Journal of Occurrences in 1814-1815 with Notes of Conversations by the late Major-General Sir Neil Campbell C. B. With a Memoir of the Life and Services of that Officer, By his Nephew Archibald Neil Campbell Maclachlan M. A.. The book, as the title implies, contains a biographical memoir about Campbell, rather formally written, as well as the journal kept by Campbell himself for a year from April 1814 to March 1815. The latter, in particular, is a valuable first hand account of Napoleon during his exile on Elba.

According to Ravenhall Books, which brought out a modern edition of Campbell’s diary in 2004: ‘It records events as Napoleon builds an empire in miniature on Elba and it keeps an eye on the coming and going of agents and would-be assassins. Frank and enlightening it also reveals much about the personality of Napoleon and of the tensions and subterfuge within the exiled community as Napoleon devises and implements his plans for an escape.’ Here are several extracts from the original 1869 publication.

5 May 1814
‘From daylight to breakfast at 10 P.M. Napoleon was on foot, inspecting the castles, storehouses, and magazines.

At 2 P.M.. he went into the interior on horseback, a distance of two leagues, and examined various country-houses.’

6 May 1814
‘At 7 A.M. he crossed the harbour in Captain Usher’s boat, proceeded on horseback across the island to Rio, and examined the mines, then ascended a number of hills and mountain-tops upon which there are ruins. After a ‘Te Deum’ in a chapel, we had breakfast. On our return we re-embarked in Captain Usher’s boat, but, instead of returning direct. Napoleon visited the watering place, the height opposite the citadel on which he proposes to establish a sea-battery, and a rock at the mouth of the harbour on which he also thinks of placing a tower.

In talking at dinner of his intention to take possession of a small island without inhabitants, which is about ten miles off the coast of Elba, Napoleon said, ‘Toute l’Europe dira que j’ai fait une conquête déjà.” He laughed at this.

Already he has all his plans in agitation; such as to convey water from the mountains to the city, to prepare a country-house, a house in Porto Ferrajo for himself, and another for the Princess Pauline, a stable for 150 horses, a lazaretto for vessels to perform quarantine, a depot for the salt, and another for the nets belonging to the fishery of the tunny.’

7 May 1814
‘From 5 to 10 A.M. Napoleon visited other parts of the town and fortifications on foot, then embarked in boats, and visited the different storehouses round the harbour.

In making the excursions into the country, yesterday and the day before, he was accompanied by a dozen officers. A captain of gendarmes and one of his Fourriers de Palais always rode in front; and, on two occasions, a sergeant’s party of gendarmes-à-pied went on about an English mile before.

On taking our places in the boat, some of us, following Bertrand’s example, kept off our hats; on which he told us to put them on, adding, ‘Nous sommes ici ensemble en soldat!’

The fishery of the tunny is carried on by the richest inhabitant of the island. This person, by his own industry, has, out of a state of extreme poverty, amassed a fortune. He employs a great proportion of the poor, and has much influence. The removal of the stores by Napoleon to a very inferior building, merely for the convenience of his horses, is likely to cause disgust; but this shows how little Napoleon permits reflection to check his desires.’

8 May 1814
‘Before landing from the frigate, Napoleon requested that a party of fifty marines might accompany him to remain on shore. This intention was afterwards changed; and one officer of marines and two sergeants, to act as orderlies, together with a lieutenant of the navy, were sent.

One of the sergeants, selected by himself, sleeps outside the door of his bedchamber, upon a mattrass, with his clothes on, and a sword at his side. A valet de chambre occupies another mattrass at the same place. If he lies down during the day, the sergeant is called to remain in the antechamber.’

22 May 1814
‘Napoleon told me that he had taken Malta by a coup de main; that the inhabitants were so intimidated ‘par le nom de ces républicains, mangeurs d’hommes,’ that they all took refuge within the fortifications, with cattle and every living animal in the island. This created so much confusion and dismay, that they were incapable of opposition.

He requested me to write to the consul at Algiers, to secure the respect due to his flag, agreeably to the treaty.’

23 May 1814
‘I have received a letter from the Admiral, dated Genoa, May 19, in which he states that he had sent transports to Savona for the Guards of Napoleon. He expects to be off this place in a few days, on his voyage to Sicily, with Lord William Bentinck on board. I shall take that opportunity of waiting upon them, to give every information in my power, and to obtain the advantage of their counsel.’

26 May 1814
‘This morning, at 6 A.M., Napoleon went quite unexpectedly on board of the French frigate ‘Dryade,’ and the crew hailed him with cries of ‘Vive l’Empereur!’ This, I am told, placed the captain in a very awkward situation. It was not a visit to the captain personally, for he had anchored on the preceding afternoon, and then Napoleon declined seeing him, when he waited upon him, until the following morning at 10 a.m. So that it was certainly done to try the disposition of the Navy, and to keep up a recollection of him in France.

Napoleon also visited the British frigate ‘Undaunted,’ and made a speech to the crew. He thanked them for the good-will with which they had performed their duties during the voyage, said that he felt himself under obligations to them for the period he had been on board, which he had passed so happily, and that he wished them every success and happiness. He sent them, in the course of the day, 1,000 bottles of wine and 1,000 dollars, and presented Captain Usher with a box containing his portrait set in diamonds. Napoleon speaks most gratefully to everyone of the facilities which have been granted to him by the British Government; and to myself personally he constantly expresses the sense he entertains of the superior qualities which the British nation possesses over every other.

Five British transports arrived here this morning from Savona, with about 750 volunteers of Napoleon’s Guards, his horses, and baggage.

To-day I informed General Bertrand that, in case either Napoleon himself or others might ascribe any underhand motive to my remaining here, I was ready to quit the island at once, should such be his wish; that I had only remained after the other Commissioners in order to procure for him those facilities which he had requested, through me, from the British Admiral.

After repeating my conversation to Napoleon, General Bertrand was directed to assure me that my remaining with him after the departure of the other Commissioners was indispensable for his protection and security, in obedience to Lord Castlereagh’s instructions; that even after the arrival of his troops and baggage, there was another article of the treaty not fulfilled, although guaranteed by the Allied Sovereigns, and the execution of which depended entirely upon His Britannic Majesty’s ships in the Mediterranean, viz. the security of his flag against insult from the powers of Barbary; that it would be necessary for me to communicate with the Consul at Algiers and the Admiral, as soon as possible, for that object. I requested that he would address the application to me in writing, and stated that I would prolong my stay in the hope of receiving further instructions from Lord Castlereagh, not having heard from his lordship since I left Fontainebleau.’

13 March 1815
‘About one in the morning a person with a lanthorn entered my room very silently, and told me that the prefect requested to see me immediately. In order to avoid all noise and observation, he led me by a back way, and through a stable, into the house. I found the Count in a state of extreme dismay, and occupied with his secretary. I sincerely participated in his feelings on hearing from him the intelligence he had just received from Aix and Valence, viz., that Napoleon had entered Grenoble upon the 7th at 8 p.m., and that General Marchand, with the staff and most of the officers, had retired. It may be inferred from this that the rest and the private soldiers have betrayed their duty.

This state of affairs is so serious, that I determined to go off immediately to Nice, in order to convey the earliest intimation of these melancholy circumstances to Lord William Bentinck at Genoa. I shall also report to him my observation as to the bad disposition of the troops at Antibes, and the little reliance that can be placed upon the regular army, so that he may prepare for the worst.

No actual disposition has been made by the Piedmontese for the passage of the long bridge over the Var, which separates them from Antibes.

Set off from Draguignan at 3 A.M., and arrived at Nice at 5 P.M. At 10 P.M. went on board of H.M.S. ‘Partridge’ at Villa Franca, but it blew so hard that she could not with safety attempt to beat out.

Lord Sunderland has arrived from Marseilles. There it is universally believed that  the English had favoured Napoleon’s return, and the people are furious against us.  the same idea also prevails everywhere in the South of France and in Piedmont. A newspaper of Turin, just arrived at Nice, states positively this to be the case!’

14 March 1815
‘Sailed out of Villa Franca at 6 A.M., and arrived at Genoa at 8 P.M.’

15 March 1815
‘Wrote Lord Burgbersh with news from Draguignan of the 13th inst., and mentioned a report of Napoleon having entered Lyons.

Madame Mère, as I am informed, states that Napoleon had three deputations from France before he consented to quit Elba.’

18 March 1815
‘H.M.S. ‘Aboukir’ sailed for Leghorn.’

19 March 1815
‘H.M.S. ‘Partridge’ left Genoa for Leghorn and Sicily.’

20 March 1815
‘Left Genoa. During the night robbed of my watch and between fifty and sixty guineas by brigands near Novi.’

21 March 1815
‘4 P.M. at Milan.’

22 March 1815
‘7 A.M. Domo d’Ossola. 7 P.M. Left the Simplon.’

23 March 1815
‘11 A.M. Sion. Carriage-wheel broke. 8 P.M. Vevay.’

24 March 1815
‘Midday, Morat. Overtook Mr. Perry, the courier, who had left Genoa the morning before me.’

25 March 1815
‘11 A.M. Basle. 7 P.M. Fribourg.’

26 March 1815
‘2 P.M. Rastadt. 5 P.M. Carlsruhe.’

27 March 1815
‘3 A.M. Manheim. Passed the Rhine.’

28 March 1815
‘10 A.M. Lisère; passed the Moselle in a flat.

4 P.M. Treves. At midnight, Luxembourg. Stopped four hours to pass through the fortress.’

29 March 1815
‘4 A.M. Left Luxembourg.’

30 March 1815
‘6 P.M. Brussels. Remained three hours.’

31 March 1815
‘6 P.M. Ostend. Sailed at 8 P.M. in H. M. brig ‘Rosario,’ Captain Peak.’

1 April 1815 [Last entry in published diary.]
‘9 A.M. Landed at Deal, and at 9 P.M. arrived in London. Next day had interviews with Lord Castlereagh, and with H. R. H. the Prince Regent at Carlton House.’

It is worth noting that in the biographical memoir section of the book, there is mention of another journal kept by Campbell during his journey to the Windward and Leeward Islands in 1808. Here is what the memoir says about that journal, including an extract from it (although I can find no further information about this journal anywhere else).

‘A Journal kept by him during the voyage, and illustrated by plans and drawings, relates the usual incidents on board a troopship of that period, sailing from Woolwich to Barbadoes, and passing by Porto Santo, Madeira, and Teneriffe. The ‘Creole’ mounted twelve six-pounders and two nine-pounders; had a crew of twenty-four men, including master and mate; and carried, besides Lieutenant-Colonel Campbell and his servant, a detachment of Artillery, consisting of five officers and forty-six men. At the Downs she joined company with 150 sail, many of them transports destined for Spain; but soon after, weighing anchor from thence, the convoy was caught by a tremendous gale, which effectually dispersed it, and blew over several of the vessels - the ‘Creole’ among them - to the French coast near Boulogne, though with no ultimate loss. On November 2nd, off Lymington, a detachment of Foreign Artillery, consisting of one sergeant and twenty-sis men, was taken in.

On the 4th the ‘Creole’ passed through a fleet of light transports beating up Channel. ‘These are probably,’ Colonel Campbell notes, ‘the ships returning from France, after landing the French troops agreeably to the Convention of Cintra.’ ‘On the 18th, the day being a dead calm, the boat was lowered to pursue a turtle, which was spied 800 yards from the ship. Two hands rowed, I took the helm, and the master sat in the bow of the boat ready to seize him. As he seemed to be asleep upon the surface of the water, we approached him with as little noise as possible. When the boat almost touched him, the mate suddenly grasped him by one of his fore-fins, and tossed him into the boat. The exploit being witnessed from the ship, we were welcomed by a loud cheer in exultation of our success. The appearance of the ship with all its sails set, indolently bending from one side to another, her deck and sides crowded with men, the sea clear and smooth as glass, and the delightful warmth of the day, were truly beautiful and cheering to our spirits. There was no small anxiety to view the prize - sailors and soldiers, women and children, all crowding about us to satisfy their curiosity. The turtle was laid on his back upon the deck, to the joy of every one. In course of the evening we made three attempts after other turtle, but none of them succeeded. They were not asleep, and, when we approached within a few yards, lifted up their heads, surveyed us, and disappeared.’

The Diary Junction