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.

Friday, 10 January 2014

An error of omission

Tuesday, January 10th., Cadogan Square, London.

I received the big Funk & Wagnall's standard dictionary as a gift from F. & W., because I had boomed their smaller dictionary in the Evening Standard. On examining it, I found that whereas my name is in the smaller ed., (1922), it is not in the larger edition (1927 - but is it really 1927?). I felt hurt. I told Dorothy and her first remark was, eagerly: "And is Wells in both?" I pointed this thing out to F. & W.; but I am not sure if they will appreciate my humour.

Funk & Wagnalls was an American publisher known for its reference works, including A Standard Dictionary of the English Language (1st. ed. 1894), and the Funk & Wagnalls Standard Encyclopedia (25 volumes, 1st. ed. 1912).

We went to the Victoria Palace to see "The World's Master Juggler" - Salerno. He was good but not sublime. Arthur Prince was sublime. Not a bad evening. We came home by bus.

Adolph Behrend (1869 - 1946)) a.k.a. Salerno is known for several things: 

* He was one of the originators of the style known as “gentleman juggling”, in which the juggler wears a classy tuxedo and juggles ordinary household items. (A natural outgrowth of his origins. He began juggling his father’s woodworking tools in his shop back in Prussia as a teenager).
* He is also known as the creator of the “Salerno Ring”, a rig consisting of a pole balanced on the juggler’s head, with a ring at the top of it, in which a ball would be made to rotate. 
* He is the originator of the show-bizzy gimmick of throwing illuminated objects in the dark. (In this case, he devised electric torches with colored lights that actually changed color in mid-air).

Arthur Prince (1881-1948) was the first ventriloquist to do his act whilst drinking a glass of water. Starting in Wales, he made his London debut in 1902 and featured in the first Royal Command Performance in 1912. He also went on numerous international tours. When he died his dummy, Jim, was buried with him. His grieving widow joined them a year later.

I am now getting to the end of "Peter Simple". There is a wonderfully sly bit of social satire in this work; comic description of a negro religious meeting in Barbados, followed immediately by a comic letter from an Irish priest. The juxtaposition shows that there is nothing to choose between the nigger parson and the Irish priest.

Additionally for January 10th., see 'A man of opinion' -

Today I lunched with George Moore at 121 Ebury Street. Nice London house, with fine pictures. A marvellous Claude Monet and ditto Constable. I said "So you have two Manet's." He said "I am the only man in London who has two Manet's." Not true of course. The house was very neat and well kept; but in the nicely furnished embrasure on the half-landing, I saw a collection of hat boxes etc. hidden in a corner.

No comments:

Post a Comment