[PW] Two Questions About the Biography of Algernon Blackwood

d-lien University of Minnesota d-lien at umn.edu
Mon Feb 19 11:20:53 PST 2018

And I find that the play in question does involve the star fighting
with a warder (or killing one, anyway, which probably means


The Theater: A Monthly Review and Magazine /  May 1, 1890


        New drama. in four acts, written by Arthur Law.
First produced at the Shaftesbury Theatre, Saturday Evening, April 5, 1890.

Dick Venables turns up, in the midst of a hue and cry ; he has escaped
from Wildmoor, makes for Mrs. Lisle's, kills a warder who tries to
capture him, and creeps into the house.


Dennis Lien / d-lien at umn.edu

On Mon, Feb 19, 2018 at 1:11 PM, d-lien University of Minnesota
<d-lien at umn.edu> wrote:
> Great thanks to Katherine Harper for that clipping.  Mike had earlier
> considered the possibility that Blackwood's memory was at fault and
> that the work in question was actually the DARTMOOR play, but the
> clipping she supplied provided new information which makes that
> possibility much stronger.  Mike is now hoping to find either text of
> the DARTMOOR play or a review detailed enough to indicate if it
> includes a prison escape scene in which the lead character "grapples
> with a prison warder" (the latter being the bit part Blackwood
> recalled playing).
> Harvard has a typescript of DARTMOOR (under its variant title of DICK
> VENABLES) copy, but it doesn't seem to have been formally published
> anywhere (unless it's in a periodical or part of an anthology volume),
> though the British Library has a collection of works by the author
> (Arthur Law) which will be checked on.
> The game's afoot...
> Dennis Lien / d-lien at umn.edu
> On Sun, Feb 18, 2018 at 8:27 PM, Katherine Harper <kharper4 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Dennis, I can't attach a clipping to a list posting but will send one to
>> your personal e-mail. *Jim the Penman* seems to have been a perennial
>> favorite in vaudeville and small-town theaters from about 1877 to 1895,
>> with revivals in 1903 and 1908. A company from the original A. M. Palmer
>> Theater production toured with it for years in places including Johnstown,
>> New York in 1891. There was no mention of the cast in the notice that I
>> read, and certainly a player as prominent as Gilmour would have been
>> mentioned if he'd appeared. (Girard was too new in '91 to rate newsprint.)
>> However, Gilmour and Girard did tour together in 1892 with a production
>> called *Dartmoor* that the press agent or someone referred to as "in the
>> vein of *Jim the Penman*." The clipping I am sending you is from the Mount
>> Vernon *Argus* of December 23, 1892. Perhaps Blackwood was mis-remembering
>> that production.
>> Good luck with your/Mike's quest.
>> Best,
>> Kathy
>> Katherine Harper, Ph.D.
>> Provider of customized editing, writing, indexing, and research services
>> <http://www.kharpereditor.com>
>> * <https://www.linkedin.com/in/kharper4>*
>> On Sun, Feb 18, 2018 at 7:41 PM, GraceAnne Andreassi DeCandido <
>> graceanneladyhawk at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> This may or may not be helpful to you, but Yonkers and Mt Vernon are not
>>> "upstate New York" they are both towns that border New York City. I live on
>>> the northern edge of New York City in the Bronx, and Yonkers is just a few
>>> blocks from my house.
>>> GraceAnne DeCandido, retired
>>> GraceAnne Andreassi DeCandido in New York City
>>> ladyhawk at well.com graceanneladyhawk at gmail.com https://girasoleazzurra.com/
>>> "*The broken world waits in darkness for the light that is you*." -L.R.
>>> Knost
>>> On Sun, Feb 18, 2018 at 7:27 PM, d-lien University of Minnesota <
>>> d-lien at umn.edu> wrote:
>>> > My colleague Mike Ashley is updating his biography of Algernon Blackwood
>>> > and still has two problems he's been unable to resolve.  So, in case
>>> > anyone on Project Wombat can offer any suggestions, they involve:
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > (1) An English woman Blackwood met in Switzerland in 1918:
>>> >
>>> > We're after a woman born around 1838 or so, from a well-to-do
>>> > Yorkshire family with a well-known Yorkshire name.  Her
>>> > father had worked with Darwin, and the family had been acquainted
>>> > with several Victorian authors of note.  The woman south
>>> > had lived in Frankfurt-am-Main for at least thirty
>>> > years, married a German of Huguenot extraction, and had a
>>> > son and a daughter.  The initial of her married name (or
>>> > possibly of her husband's first name) was probably "J."
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > and (2) Blackwood's U.S. (bit part) stage career:
>>> >
>>> > Blackwood's EPISODES BEFORE THIRTY relates an anecdote where
>>> > Blackwood appeared in the stage play JIM THE PENMAN
>>> > (by Sir Charles Lawrence Young), where two other cast members
>>> > were J. H. Gilmour and Bettina Gerard.  Blackwood dates
>>> > this to the autumn of 1894 and says it was in upstate New York
>>> > (probably Yonkers or Mount Vernon).  But the date appears
>>> > from other evidence to be wrong (early 1893 seems most
>>> > probable).  Mike is trying to verify evidence of a
>>> > production of that play in upstate New York with Gilmour
>>> > and Gerard within that time frame.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > Any help, which I will pass along to Mike, will be much appreciated.
>>> >
>>> >
>>> > Dennis Lien / d-lien at umn.edu
>>> > _______________________________________________
>>> > Project Wombat - Project-wombat
>>> > list at project-wombat.org
>>> > http://www.project-wombat.org/
>>> >
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