The Trickster Prince

Matt Houlbrook: mobile historian; beard growing, head shaving; occasional cycling.

Eligible men are scarce, it seems (1924)

HE is desperate and SHE is reflective, in this Punch cartoon of 19 March 1924. Thanks to Lawrence Napper, film historian and aficionado of all things middlebrow and pop culture, … Continue reading

August 30, 2013 · Leave a comment

A nurse disappears and the journalists arrive at a Boulogne hotel (1927)

In the spring of 1927 the young nurse May Daniels disappeared while visiting Boulogne with a friend on a day trip from Brighton. Despite the best efforts of the French … Continue reading

August 29, 2013 · 3 Comments

Society Girl: International Spy: Author (1929)

Baroness Carla Jenssen shot to notoriety around the end of the 1920s with the publication of an autobiographical account of exploits in espionage and cosmopolitan High Society across the world. … Continue reading

August 28, 2013 · Leave a comment

Kitty Keys singing her heart out at the Anchor Cabaret (1926)

Kitty Keys sings her heart out in this remarkable film of the Anchor Cabaret in 1926. “No. 6” in the Pathé film company’s “London Clubs and Cabaret” series, this footage … Continue reading

August 27, 2013 · Leave a comment

Bermondsey turkish baths were “quite fabulous” (1927)

From the 1840s onwards, concerns surrounding the physical and moral condition of London’s poor impelled local authorities to construct public baths, in an attempt to and cleanse and civilize the … Continue reading

August 26, 2013 · 1 Comment

Down and out on London’s Embankment (n.d.)

Down and out on London’s Embankment, a pavement artist looks for help.

August 23, 2013 · Leave a comment

Writing in squares

In writing about Paris Lucas was thus working with an established grammar and set of clichés and stock motifs — to say nothing of established markets and expectations. All his … Continue reading

August 23, 2013 · Leave a comment