ACROSS THE POND: An American Gentleman In Victorian London


ACROSS THE POND: An American Gentleman In Victorian London

R. D. BLUMENFELD    Book Number: 85690    Product format: Paperback

Here are extracts from the Daily Express Editor's Diaries ranging from 1887 to 1914 and the outbreak of World War One. He begins with a wonderful day spent for Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee celebrations. "I spent most of last night wandering through the streets to observe the decorations and preliminary illuminations. The gas-lit streets looked brilliant...I thought the German Crown Prince (Emperor Frederick), in his silver helmet and shining cuirass, the most striking in the procession." Blumenfeld was witness to some of the most exciting, intriguing and controversial moments in London's Victorian scene. Here is his unique look at life, events and people through the eyes of an American like an early Alastair Cooke. From having tea with H. G. Wells to befriending Rudyard Kipling and interviewing Winston Churchill, he rubbed shoulders with some of the biggest names of his day. Buffalo Bill Cody is showing his Wild West at Earls Court and living in rooms at 86, Regents Street, over Hope Brothers' shop, and there he finds himself embarrassed by an overwhelming mass of flowers that come hourly from hosts of female admirers. Blumenfeld is asked to dine and sleep tonight at the house of Mr William Saunders MP, Chairman of the Central News. He lives near Croydon. Rather an erratic old gentleman. Ordering suits which seems an extravagance, eating snails and moules, the purser has introduced me to a new drink called 'Martini Cocktail' which he enjoys aboard a French ship and endures terrible channel crossings. 1892 saw unusual scenes in town after Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race and the Trocadero and Tivoli music halls were jammed with rollicking semi-riotous mobs of students. Lord Salisbury had no qualms about the election, Mrs Williamson edits Onlooker, a society gossip paper, a telephone message from Oscar Hammerstein 'The American Opera House builder', poor old Sims Reeves is dead at last, buying a couple of aquatints of London by Boys, tipping a hansom cabman half a sovereign instead of a sixpence, seeing the completed plans for the new processional road in the Mall, Mrs Pankhurst's violent suffragists continue to make themselves objectionable, Beerbohm Tree told him he had a searing sudden memory loss at a play the evening before and news that the Thames Steamers are to be scrapped. Names, gossip, news in fascinating snippets, beautifully written. 192pp in paperback.
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ISBN 9781445644264
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