Welcome to our blog!

It's better than a bat in the eye with a burnt stick!

This blog makes liberal use of AB's journals, letters, travel notes, and other sources.

And make sure to visit The Arnold Bennett Society for expert information and comment on all aspects of the life and work of AB.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Lost in Venice

Saturday, September 4th., Venice

I had an appointment with Alf Mason (A.E.W. Mason) at Florian's at 11.30.

Alfred Edward Woodley Mason was a British author and politician. He is best remembered for his 1902 novel The Four Feathers. 

Whilst at Florian's yesterday there was a band playing Wagner on a marvellous temporary bandstand in the centre of the Piazza. Sudden shower of rain. Terrasses emptied in a moment and colonnades crammed. The band seemed to have been dissolved away by the rain. It was all very wonderful.

Previously I had seen Dulac and Miss Beauclerk - she wrote the "Green Pavilion" (or some such title - I forget).

Helen Beauclerk by George Lambert
The British writer Helen de Vere Beauclerk (1892–1969) was born Helen Mary Dorothea Bellingham. Her father, a major in the army, died in India a year after her birth, and she was adopted by a close family friend, Major Ferdinand de Vere Beauclerk. She studied at the Paris Conservatoire, and for a short time earned her living teaching music and accompanying on the piano. She returned to England at the outbreak of the First World War. She became a close friend of the artist Edmund Dulac and, after he separated from his wife, lived with him from 1924 until his death in 1953. Dulac frequently used her as a model for his illustrations, and illustrated her two novels, The green lacquer pavilion (1926) and The love of the foolish angel (1929). She also wrote Mountain and the tree(1935) and Shadows on the wall (1941) and translated into English work by Colette. She was tall and slender with a long neck, and dressed simply and elegantly. 

I met them yesterday, and I went and sat for a bit at Dulac's table, where I was to meet and did meet, Dulac.

Edmund Dulac (born Edmond Dulac, October 22, 1882 – May 25, 1953) was a French book illustrator. Born in Toulouse, France, he began his career by studying law at the University of Toulouse. He also studied art, switching to it full time after he became bored with law, and having won prizes at the Ecole des Beaux Arts
In London, the 22-year old Frenchman was commissioned by the publisher J.M. Dent to illustrate Jane Eyre. He then began an association with the Leicester Gallery and Hodder & Stoughton. Books produced under this arrangement by Dulac include Stories from The Arabian Nights (1907) with 50 colour images; an edition of William Shakespeare's The Tempest (1908) with 40 colour illustrations; The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam (1909) with 20 colour images; The Sleeping Beauty and Other Fairy Tales (1910); Stories from Hans Christian Andersen (1911); The Bells and Other Poems by Edgar Allan Poe (1912) with 28 colour images and many monotone illustrations; and Princess Badoura (1913). Dulac became a naturalized British Citizen on 17 February 1912. During World War I he contributed to relief books, including King Albert's Book (1914), Princess Mary's Gift Book, and, unusually, his own Edmund Dulac's Picture-Book for the French Red Cross (1915) including 20 colour images. After the war, the not-deluxe edition illustrated book became a rarity and Dulac's career in this field was over. His career continued in other areas however, including newspaper caricatures (especially at The Outlook), portraiture, theatre costume and set design, bookplates, chocolate boxes, medals, and various graphics (especially for The Mercury Theatre, Notting Hill Gate). He designed postage stamps for Great Britain, including the postage stamp issued to commemorate the Coronation of King George VI
He and Miss B. seem to be much together!

Alfred and I went off in his gondola to see the Accademia. A fine gondola all black and goldwith the funny extra furniture of a chair to match. Very comfortable. I was rather disappointed with my first view of the Accademia. The pictures seemed to be too exclusively Venetian, and I could not see Titian's "Assunta". We stayed there till exhaustion set in, and then went by small canals to Ristorante Bonvecchiato for lunch. Picturesque and good.

Bonvecchiato restaurant, Venice
Then we walked and got lost, until suddenly I found a street I knew close to this hotel (Hotel Commercio). But I could not have found my way back to Bonvecchiato, though it could not be more than a third of a mile off.
Saw Mrs Lindsay in the Florian colonnade and she reintroduced me to Lady C., who wanted me to exert myself to get the O.M. for George Moore. She said that Balfour was favourable but would never actually do anything to help anyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment