.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

...a sweatshop of moxie

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Lord Berners

My favourite Lord Berners anecdote, admittedly a Solomonic choice, is the story of Lord Berners sending the redoubtable Queen Mary a copy of his roman à clef, "The Girls of Radcliff Hall". The name in itself is a pun on the unforgettably masculine authoress of the lesbisch anthem, The Well of Loneliness, Radclyffe "Call me, John" Hall.

I'm not sure what he must've enjoyed more -- the mere fact of sending this naughty inside-joke book to the old Queen, or the fact that she, taking the maxim "the politeness of kings" to her bosom, sent him a note in grateful thanks, telling him how much she had enjoyed it. *

The other day, my cousin Reggie sends me a feverish email saying that he happened to find a copy of this very book (well not THAT very book, since that one is allegedly in the Royal Archives, but a sister-copy) in a dilapidated booksellers in North London, and that he was sending it on to me with every speed. Huzzah!

It will go nicely next to my first edition Die Buddenbrooks, and autographed copy of Machiavelli's The Prince. Autographed by me, but the point stands.

*Actually, my favourite anecdote of Lord Berners has to do with the social-lioness, Sybil Colefax. She was especially gaga over royalty, and knowing this all too well, Lord Berners devised a cruel plan -- he would send her an anonymous hand-written note notifying her that the Prince of Wales had specifically asked to meet her, and to please come round at 7 P.M. for cocktails at address smudged, neighbourhood illegible.

It was said Lady Colefax spent the night going up and down Mayfair, in the vain hopes she might chance on the party by inspired luck.



  • You have scored one of the rarest of modern privately printed 1st editions. Most copies were bought up and destroyed by Cecil Beaton.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at Sat Mar 26, 04:31:00 am GMT-5  

  • So I heard via the recent Lord Berners bio.

    However, since I haven't received said copy from my dear old cousin Reg, I'll believe it when I see it. ;)


    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Mar 28, 12:17:00 am GMT-5  

Post a Comment

Who linked Here:

Create a Link

<< Home


Advertise on blogs
British Expat Blog Directory.