Part X, Time Traveling With R.E. Prindle

A Review

Geo. W.M. Reynolds’ The Necromancer

by

R.E. Prindle

Reynolds’ writing system was such that he could write each installment of the Mysteries of the Court of London in seven hours leaving the rest of the week open. Thus he had a seven hour work week leaving time to do a myriad other things including writing other books. He says his mind was bursting with ideas. He had a powerful compartmentalized mind so that he could keep two or three novels going at the same time so that in the year of 1851 he wrote his installments for the Court of London and The Seamstress, Pope Joan, Kenneth and the Necromancer, the last two extending into 1852. We are going to examine here his very fine novel, The Necromancer, or perhaps one might rename it the Magician.

If as seems evident that every novelist is writing his own life whether consciously or unconsciously, it is also true that the novelist reflects his own time. Ostensibly the Necromancer takes place in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries but I think we can abstract a story about what was happening currently in his day. This will require much background work.

As is uppermost in every twenty-first century White mind the question of is the author in any way anti-Semitic, non, Feminist, a racist, and as it is expressed a Homophobe. We are going to explain the Necromancer as an explanation of Semitism in the England of Reynolds and ignore the other bete noirs. You have been forewarned.

Whether you consider Semites, that is Jews, as a religion, a nation, a people or whatever they are an economic, political and social force working solely for Jewish interests to the exclusion of all others. Jews consider themselves a nation and a people. The period from 1814 through the nineteenth century saw the rise of the Jewish people as the pre-eminent people of Great Britain. The rise was especially prominent from 1815 to 1860, the period most important of Reynolds novelist life.

It is not possible that he didn’t note the situation and if he didn’t mention it directly, which he doesn’t, then there must be a reason. Why would he have to resort to a parable such as The Necromancer? The answer was that even at that time there were penalties to writing ethnographical studies such as Reynolds’ that did not show Jews to critical advantage.

If one found it necessary to include Jewish characters they must be portrayed in the most benevolent light. Reynolds does mention Jewish characters but in a peculiar way. He lauds them as long suffering, unfairly victimized as a people but then he invariably displays them as what are called anti-Semitic stereotypes. Thus the pawn broker in Wagner, the Wehr Wolf.

He is depicted as a totally inoffensive person, obsequious to the extreme as a persecuted member of the bedeviled people. After these laudatory comments Reynolds then pictures a character bearing all the so-called Semitic tropes. He changes the stones on the pawned diamonds to paste, which Reynolds justifies by his peoples ages long persecution, as well as other criminal acts. It would seem that Reynolds knew the score.

The odd thing, since Jewish activity was at a height is that Reynolds makes no reference to Jewish economic or banking activities. Let us do a brief survey of where matters stood at the time. In 1815 Nathan Rothschild seized control of English currency and the Bank of England.

To explain:

A famous European and Jewish canard is that of father Mayer Amschel Rothschild and his five arrows, that is, his five sons. They were dispatched to European capitals to form a powerful network covering the continent and England. Nathan Rothschild was sent to Manchester to engage in the booming textile industry. Nathan was no businessman and could not succeed in textiles. He therefore turned to crime becoming a smuggler which would turn out to fortuitously make his fortune.

In 1806 Napoleon was conquering the German States, moving in on the Margrave of Hesse-Cassel. The Margrave was fabulously wealthy. He wanted to conceal his wealth from Napoleon who was more than eager to appropriate it. The Margrave then employed his Court Jew, Mayer Amschel Rothshild, to conceal it. Mayer sent a substantial portion of it to Nathan who by this time was floundering around as a banker. The money immediately established Nathan as a financial force. At that time the British were engaging Napoleon in the Iberian Peninsular War. Wellington the British general in the Peninsula needed cash desperately but the usually inventive English didn’t know of a secure way to get the money to him. Nathan was then used to transport the money. Using his, by this time, well developed smuggling skills in conjunction with his brother arrow, James, in Paris, they delivered the mail.

This was known to the French authorities as Fouche, the very clever Minister of Police, was aware of exactly how it had been done. The method is well demonstrated in the German Movie, The Rothschilds. So Nathan and his fellow Jews scored a bundle on that caper.

Nathan’s most outstanding feat that brought England to its knees was his capture of the currency after Napoleon’s defeat at Waterloo. He spread the rumor that Napoleon had won Waterloo causing a stupendous sell off that drove prices far down. While others sold Nathan bought. Then his special couriers raced to London to carry news of the English, or allied, victory. Prices bounced back but by then using the fabulous wealth of the Margrave of Hesse Nathan owned huge amounts of securities that he sold at magnificent profit thus securing the base of the Rothschild dynasty, still going strong eight generations on.

To report this astonishing feat in history tends to mitigate the reaction of the Brits when they learned how they had been diddled out of the ruling of their country for Rothschild had pulled an astonishing cheat. Reynolds who was very well informed across the board must have known this but was constrained from portraying it for fear of Jewish retaliation which even was formidable.

We are now moving to the 1840s and Nathan who had passed was succeeded by Lionel Rothschild as the scion of the family. A most formidable and dangerous antagonist.

At this time young Benjamin Disraeli (1804-81) was attempting to establish himself as a literary wizard before entering politics. He had already written many novels when in 1844 he wrote Coningsby, Sybil in 1845 and Tancred in 1847. In Coningsby he laid bare the Jewish influence in European affairs when he wrote that the world was actually governed by different people behind the scenes than the public imagined. Thus he led the reading public to believe that the apparent rulers were mere operatives of others, that is, the Jews.

These three political novels made more of a stir than his earlier romances had so that it seems reasonable that Disraeli, Coningsby at least, had been read by Reynolds by 1851. In Coningsby Disreali lauds his Jewish mastermind as the most astounding human being since Adam. The character was based on the real life Right Honourable Lionel Freiherr Rothschild. (1808-1879) Named Sidonia in the novel.

Lionel, Lion-el means Lion of the Lord or God, what we might say, Defender of the Faith in Christian terms.

The Jews since Nathan had owned the State of England but they as a different religion from the Anglicans suffered political and religious disabilities. It was Lionel’s mission to remove them in which mission he was successful.

In 1847 he was the first Jew to be elected to Parliament. This was success but it would also have absorbed Lionel as just another member. He wanted more. He in essence did not want to be absorbed as an English member of the House of Commons but as an autonomous Jew. To be sworn in he had to take an oath of Christian formulation. This he refused to do wishing to be sworn in as a Jew.

In order to accommodate him this would have required a changing of the rules with long term consequences. Accordingly Lord Russell introduced a Jewish Disabilities Act to change the rules. In 1849 when the Act failed the German-Jewish Baron Lionel Rothschild resigned his seat. But still determined he won a bye election to keep his campaign going. Returning he still refused to swear on the New Testament demanding the Jewish or Old Testament. The oath still required him to say: ‘Upon the true faith of a Christian.’ He refused to do so on the grounds that Christianity was not the true faith, Judaism was. Once again he was compelled to resign his seat.

In 1852 he tried to bull his way through but once again was denied. Finally in 1858 Lionel Rothschild forced through the oath changes. Refusing to be bareheaded as required by English custom he demanded to wear his yarmulke or skull cap and instead of saying ‘on the true faith of a Christian’ he was allowed to say ‘so help me Jehovah.’

Thus he became the first Jewish member of the House of Commons but the first Jew in the House rather than an English member of the Jewish faith. Thus in this long battle to be seated Lionel changed the nature of the country into a country of Englishmen and nearly autonomous Jews. Already in control of English currency the Jews would now aspire to political power while moving freely through society ostensibly equal but actually superior having all English rights as well as autonomous Jewish rights that were denied the English.

Thus Disraeli’s astonishing Sidonia/Lionel cleared the way for Disraeli to serve in the Commons but also to become the Prime Minister; the intermediary between the English people and their Sovereign.

These activities were not carried on in a vacuum or beneath the observance of interested parties of which Reynolds was one. While he was only observing the struggle up to 1851-52 when he wrote the Necromancer the writing was on the wall. No doubt Reynolds had read Disraeli’s Coningsby and had watched Lionel Rothschild’s maneuvering. Being a novelist it was easy for him to shadow forth the denouement that occurred in 1858.

My reading of the Necromancer reflects Reynolds’ version of what was happening. Thus his protagonist Lionel Danvers is Lionel Rothschild. As an historical novelist he then creates a fictional history of the Danvers/Rothschild story. He combines the five arrows into one. As was commonly thought at the time the Jews were Satanic thus Danvers had sold his soul to Satan for a period of a hundred fifty years so and with the due date imminent it was necessary for Danvers to honor his commitment to Satan to redeem his soul.

Danvers existed under several names and guises as he was able to shape shift to any age at any time. Thus at various periods he was the middle aged Walter, a mature Lionel Danvers and a boyish Reginald or Conrad.

Even though he had sold his soul to the devil, Satan had given him an escape clause in that if he could find six virgins who would do anything for him, even die, he would take those six souls in exchange for Danvers’. For some reason I always read Danvers in the French form of D’enfer. Thus Danvers becomes The Lion Of the Lord of Hell. Whether correct or not it certainly fits.

Now, Lionel Danvers to use that name of his existence, had all the wealth of Europe at his command. While ostensibly an English Lord he spent all his time on the continent where he had the greatest concentrations of wealth in addition to his very large holdings in England. For him money had no other meaning than to buy power in whatever form it took by any means necessary.

In his Walter incarnation, his first, as the clearest example, Walter shows up in Genoa where he befriends the scion of the Landini trading family. He then bestows, not as a loan but for safe keeping interest free, an incredible fortune that Landini can use without any restrictions for his own benefit on the condition that whenever Danvers appears the Landinis are to return his money in full on demand or they become his slaves.

Naturally the Landinis being astute traders enjoy enormous success for several generations. Even though Danvers has never returned they still maintain his fortune. Each successor has been made aware of his obligation so that not only the trust is available ready to honor at any time but also interest. However suddenly the worst fortune descends on them and all their deals begin to sour, whole argosies are lost at sea. Danvers chooses this moment to return and demand his money. The demand can’t be honored.

But, the Landinis have a beautiful virgin daughter, Bianca. Danvers courts her, wins her heart and they set a date to be married. In the meantime, as debtors to Danvers, the Landinis have become his slaves. They are ordered to go to London and start a jewelry house, which they do.

Before leaving the marriage is arranged between Walter and Bianca. Before the marriage Danvers carries Bianca off to no one knows where. They both just vanish. Bianca becomes the first of the virgins sacrificed to Satan by Danvers. But, of course, the details that can be revealed here are mysteries to the reader.

Bianca had been abducted to Danvers ruined castle on the Isle of Wight. In the secret chamber where Danvers murders the women a score card is on the wall in fiery letters, thus Bianca becomes virgin soul #1, five more to go.

As the story opens Lionel Danvers is sacrificing his fifth, Clara Manners.

One of the deepest mysteries in this astonishingly deep book is the problem of Musidora Sinclair who Lionel has selected as his sixth victim. He seems to have had a singular attachment to the girl. Musidora had been a charming girl but at the age of seventeen she became of a very icy temperament unmoved by anyone or anything. As it turns out Lionel had attempted to lead her to his secret chamber, she lived on the Isle of Wight, but she got cold feet on the way to the chamber and fled. This event turned her heart cold. Now, after having despatched Clara Manners he decides to try again to make Musidora his final victim.

I take Musidora to mean Golden Song or music. Whether right or wrong, she is.

Lionel now has a problem because Musidora won’t allow him near her. Fortunately Lionel has a plan B. He will impersonate King Henry VIII, during whose reign the story takes place at this point, and wed her. Unfortunately her beauty overwhelms him and he impregnates her (another mystery) thus destroying her virginity. Even Lionel Danvers was not so stupid that he didn’t know that it was impossible to diddle Satan.

For Reynolds the story of the impersonation of Henry III is the central point of the story. Between Nathan and Lionel Rothschild a shadow government had been forming in England. While Queen Victoria was the apparent ruler at this time the actual rulers were, as Disraeli had written, other than the seeming rulers. Lionel lived till 1879 when he died at the age of seventy.

Granting that Disraeli was accurate then whatever power the shadow rulers had at the time, their power has gone on increasing to the present day when Evelyn Rothschild wields the power behind the throne. Prior to the Communist Revolution of 1917 Rasputin was deemed the power behind the Russian throne. He was also thought to be conspiring with the Germans. As it happened Rasputin had a Jewish secretary and we must suppose that the secretary had ties to other Jewish revolutionaries so that he was able to pass information to them much as Dreyfus had done in France in the 1890s.

In all probability the German agents Rasputin was thought to be conspiring with was actually being done by his Jewish secretary. The secretary would have been very intimate with Rasputin and would have had strong control over what information Rasputin received while having access to all or most of Rasputin’s info and plans. Thus Through Rasputin the Jews would have been able to influence the Czarina and through the Czarina the Czar.

In the US during the same period, the Wall Street speculator Bernard Baruch would become the actual co-president of Woodrow Wilson free to issue commands on his own authority subject only to correction by Wilson himself and he and Wilson were of like minds. So, at the crucial time of the Revolution both Russia and the US were subject to Jewish discipline.

Be that as it may, is it any coincidence that Lionel Danvers and Lionel Rothschild bore the same Christian name? I think not. Reynolds is trying to tell us something. So Lionel Danvers having circulated rumors that he was dead or on the continent set about to realize his lust on the body of Musidora Sinclair while posing as Henry VIII.

It will be remembered that at this time Henry was seeking a divorce from his Spanish wife Catherine, but it had not yet been achieved. Danvers has to fool Musidora into believing he, impersonating Henry, had succeeded in obtaining that divorce. First Danvers has to lure Musidora from her retreat on the Isle of Wight. He has a relative couple of Musidora living in the royal city of Greenwich invite Musidora to come for and extended visit to their castle. Then he finds a probable excuse for Henry to be a guest of the Earl and Countess Grantham, Musidora’s relatives.

There is some hint that Danvers magically transformed himself into a duplicate form of Henry. I don’t think that was necessary. At this point in history but few people would have seen Henry. So, all that Danvers would have had to have done is bought some clothes royalty would have worn and developed the persona. Of course Musidora knew Danvers well as a young girl and ought to have been able to identify his voice. But, this is Reynolds’ story and the disguise was complete although their was some uncertainty accepting face values.

Nevertheless Henry/Danvers showered Musidora with expensive gifts including a set of very expensive diamonds. It will be remembered that the Landinis from Genoa had been running a jewelry shop in London for about a hundred years.

Eventually, with continued prodding from the Granthams, who were completely fooled, Danvers/Henry break Musidora down and she agrees to marry the faux monarch. However suspicions remain and the strictest safeguards are taken. Musidora demands to see the papal bull nullifying Henry’s marriage to Catherine which matter was not resolved at the time.

Danvers has one forged. As three papal seals are needed Danvers obtains authentic seals.

As a political operative he has suborned numerous members of Henry’s household putting them on the payroll and so has one obtain seals from an authentic papal communication. The officiating priest is fooled and really has no choice but to marry Musidora and Danvers/Henry. Danvers cannot allow Musidora to circulate or talk about her marriage so he swears her to secrecy about the whole affair.

Nevertheless Henry learns of the fraud and swears his informers to secrecy because he doesn’t want the public to know that a shadow King Henry is loose in the kingdom. Reynolds here is describing the actual political condition in England that a second monarch is running the kingdom by secretive measures. This answers to Disraeli’s claim that others than the seeming rulers are directing affairs.

In fact Disraeli himself will become Prime Minister and facetiously and destructively make Victoria the Empress of India. Disraeli was ostensibly a Christian having changed from Judaism to Anglican at the age of thirteen. Thirteen is when a Jewish lad takes his Bar Mitzvah becoming a young man with a man’s prerogatives. It is very likely the change to Anglicanism was deceitfully made with political motives in mind. Disraeli became a Jew disguised as a Christian.

While there may be some objectors to my analysis one should note that Sir Piers Dunhaven the father of the second female victim had once had an extensive property in Cumberland but he had lost most of his property to usury. As Christians were forbidden usury it follows that Jews using their monopoly in usury had stripped Sir Piers of his property. There are subtle hints such as this to Lionel Danvers nationality.

What we have here then is an allegory of the subjection of England by the Jews according to Reynolds. On that level this is the shadow meaning of the novel.

On another level this is a near perfect Gothic novel. One is reminded of The Mysteries of Udolpho by Mrs. Radcliffe. As he was an old admirer of Mrs. Radcliffe I’m sure that Reynolds had Udolpho in mind as he wrote this. The story is also first class mystery and would beat out Willkie Collins for longest mystery story. And, Reynolds keeps the mystery going to the very end. Who could have guessed that Marian Bradley, Danvers last possible chance to beat the devil was his and Musidora’s daughter? Didn’t see that one coming did we?

The story is plotted out perfectly.   When we are shown the glowing signboard with the illuminated names and the blank spaces we have to wonder. That was the first mystery and the finest first mystery explained. This list of victims also gave Reynolds his opportunity to tell six tales and he loves to tell those tales.

Then there is the mystery of Danvers and where he gets his inexhaustible supply of money. His fortunes, not just a fortune but fortunes, come from over all Europe and England. An historical question often asked is how do Jews when expropriated and expelled out of one locality show up in a new one and immediately, as it seems, regain their wealth. The solution to that one is easy—usury. Aware that they may be expelled on short notice they kept jewels and portable wealth sewn into garments so that they could leave on amoment’s notice to resurface as wealthy elsewhere.

The Catholic Church and its opinion on money making money, that is usury, which is the objection to loaning on interest, penalized its own adherents and enfranchised the Jews who it politically disenfranchised. Interest in those days wasn’t six or seven percent either. Usury laws only came into existence much later. In those days interest was as much as fifty percent compounded daily or more so you can see how the money lenders, Jews, cornered the money supply wherever they were. The Danvers unlimited, renewed wealth must have come from usury, that is, legalized theft.

And Danvers applied his wealth artfully. The ruse of entrusting money to someone to be reclaimed whenever on no notice is a sure way to entrap the party. Reynolds was no dummy when it came to understanding ruses and ploys. He studied hard. The ploy that the Marquis of Leveson used to entrap Venetia Trelawney was classic.

The Marquis wanted sex from Venetia that she didn’t want to give. Not unlike Danvers, Leveson had unlimited funds that he didn’t mind losing so long as he obtained his desire. So he presented Venetia with a magnificent string of pearls. He told her he would redeem one or all at a time at a thousand pounds each on demand and with the last pearl she was his. Venetia then accepted what she thought was a guarantee that she would never be in want and never have to succumb.

However the wily Marquis set a series of matters in motion to compel Venetia to redeem the pearls. Borrowing from Eugene Sue’s Wandering Jew he has accomplices debauch the formerly steady husband of Venetia so that he turns to dissipation and gambling thus having to be bailed out frequently. Venetia soon has to bed the Marquis. The mysteries are usually tragic stories if you compassionate with the characters.

In this novel, while none of the characters has the memorability of the Resurrection Man from Mysteries of London, the whole ensemble of characters all work well together to create a memorable story.

The Necromancer is one of series of Satanic novels that Reynolds wrote from 1847 to 52. The first being Wagner the Wehr Wolf, 1846-47, Faust in 1847, The Bronze Statue in 1849-50 and then the Necromancer in 1851-52. Each is a beat the devil attempt on the part of the protagonist. Satan is a tough customer and none succeed.

The end of Danvers is a classic much exploited in novels and movies. Lionel (Walter, Reginald and Conrad) has lived for a hundred fifty years. When his attempt on the sixth maiden fails and Satan comes to receive his due, Danvers shrivels from a handsome young man into a withered old man bursts into flames and disappears.

I don’t know whether Reynolds was the first to use this dodge or not, but it becomes a classic dodge thereafter.

The estimable critic Dick Collins considers the Necromancer to be his favorite Reynolds. While I have now read twenty-five volumes of Reynolds I can’t place the volume ahead of the massive novels of The Mysteries of London, The Mysteries of the Court of London, nor, for that matter, The Mysteries of Old London. The last has a special place in my esteem; yet, as I have said, The Necromancer as a super-natural Gothic novel I think it may be near perfection. I’m sure that Mrs. Radcliffe would have been pleased with George’s effort.

Par XI of Time Travels With R.E Prindle follows.

Pt. IX: Time Traveling With R.E. Prindle

by

R.E. Prindle

 GWMReynolds

George W.M. Reynolds

Now that in parts six, seven and eight we have an adequate time line of Reynolds’ career we can get down into the substance of his major works, Mysteries of London and Mysteries of the Court of London. For those not aware of the extent of his corpus, it is immense with about all of it written concurrently with his two major novels.

For instance, in the four years from 1844 to 1848 when the four series of Mysteries of London were written, George also wrote Faust: A Romance of the Secret Tribunals in 1847; Wagner, the Wehrwolf in 1846-47; The Mysteries of Old London: Days of Hogarth in 1847-48 and The Coral Island or, The Hereditary Curse in 1848 as he ended Mysteries of London and began Mysteries of the Court at the same time. All of these are significant works are of some length.

Also, in 1846, he began to publish his magazine, The Reynolds Miscellany which he edited. While I have not received the copies yet, Gyan Publishers of India offers ten volumes of the Miscellany in five volumes of about eight hundred pages each. I will browse them when they arrive.

Altogether this seems to be a heavy writing load, an impossible load. Yet when one examines Reynolds’ working methods and his careful time management it may have been easily done by him given his large mind. Certainly the load from 1844 to 1848 was, for him, light. He was responsible for turning in eight double column pages, minus illustrations a week.

George_IV_

George IV In Full Regalia

As his mind could apparently be rigidly compartmentalized; as he is said to have written very fast, then his actual work period turning out eight thousand words could be easily done in, say, six hours. He had to keep his whole story in mind for each sequent but, as I imagine, as he turned in an installment his mind, or part of it, immediately began plotting out the next installment so that when his next deadline approached he had the eight thousand words ready and could just spill them out. So, his whole work week by which he sustained his whole extensive family was only six hours long.

The rest of the seven days could be devoted to family matters, exploring the metropolis and reading. George read and studied. His Greek mythology was correct and extensive, and he drops classical references regularly. Oddly he makes few Biblical references. He very obviously was familiar with the British, French and German literature of the day. He was definitely literate in English and French and probably could read German. He takes his inspiration from where he can get it. Could there be any coincidence that the William Harrison Ainsworth depiction of the Gypsy camp in Rookwood is reflected in Reynolds’ passages of Gypsy camps in Mysteries of London? I think not.

As I am discovering, not many people are aware of W.H. Ainsworth. He seems to be virtually unknown, but then, so does Reynolds. Ainsworth was a very successful and influential author of the day turning out perhaps more books than Reynolds while being a major influence on Reynolds. Very good books, too, well worth reading.

While I had read Ainsworth’s name being frequently mentioned I had never read him until just recently. I was fortunate to pick up various sets of novelists of this period at an online auction for next to nothing. Ainsworth was one of the sets. While the books were nearly free, about a dollar each, the shipping from Topeka Kansas was horrendous. So, while I have some reading of the period, I can now immerse myself.

By the way, I have been familiar with the French writers for some time and more recently the German authors while an ardent admirer of ETA Hoffman for a couple decades. While it is clear that George read French with ease, it seems probable that he could wade through German texts also. So, what he did with a full week’s time is of interest.

Obviously, one thing, was how to become his own publisher. In 1846 only two years into Mysteries of London he obviously understood enough about publishing to launch his successful Miscellany at which time he began his ancillary novels to fill its pages. The first issue began with his Wagner, the Wehr Wolf. Undoubtedly the other three novels also appeared in its pages. I will find out soon.

Now, the two major works are immense. I have now read each twice. The first time I caught the most exciting highlights. The second time I penetrated the depth but the stories are so long and diverse a third and fourth reading would be necessary to organize all the characters and incidents. Actually both works are several novels in one. The stories are braided in such a way that that one story branches out replaced by another related story then rejoining further downstream. Each story could be abstracted and edited into a complete novel with certain characters interchangeably distributed throughout. Thus the story in the first series of Mysteries of the Court of Tim Meagles and Lady Diana Lade is completed and finished with Tim and Diana eased out of the rest of the novel.

Beau Brummel

The Beau w/Cravat

The question in that instance is who was Tim Meagles in real life. I believe he was none other than the Beau himself, Beau Brummell. As Mysteries of the Court is a story of the Regency of George VI and as the Beau had the same relationship with the Prince as Meagles, the two must be related as no other than the Beau had so close a relationship with the Regent.

As my authority for the history of Beau Brummell I use the biography of Capt. Jesse, titled Beau Brummell. The Capt. Published in 1844 and he is speaking first hand while having had an acquaintance with Beau in his exile in France. My edition is from a set called Beaux and Belles of England published probably in the 1890s by the Grolier Society of London, a veritable treasure trove of biographies of the era.

The Beau, a Dandy and Beau, is an example of a social species with a long history in England and indeed probably going back in the annals of time to the transformation of the human species from the anthropoids. It is certain that there were cavemen who wore their pelts better than others and perhaps bathed more regularly. The advent of Mr. Gillette being well in the future. The Beau himself was fastidious, apparently unlike his contemporaries as his fastidiousness is mentioned as exceptional. Make your own judgment.

Brummel who was named George as apparently were half the male members of England at the time, was the son of a wealthy merchant thus inheriting thirty thousand pounds on his father’s death or however long it took to get out chancery. Beau, surveying the social scene determined that the only society worth having was that of the aristocrats. Having money but no title he did not qualify for their company so the Beau became the Beau, the trendsetter of male fashion and thus gained acceptability.

He also developed into a master snob and as such rose to prominence or, at least, notoriety. His notoriety attracted the attention of the Prince, that is, George IV, later the Regent and then the King in his own right. There is a remarkable resemblance between the two. I post pictures. From these it appears that the two might almost have had the same father. At any rate, Prince and Beau become bonded, much like Meagles and the Prince. Remember that George IV in his own persona is the main character in the story. The Prince then resided in his mansion, Carlton House, on Pall Mall. Let me interject that there is an excellent survey of the Capital titled London by Charles Knight in six lengthy volumes, Cambridge University Press, containing wonderful historical essays on most of the locations mentioned by George- that is, Reynolds. The six volumes were originally issued in parts ending in 1844, One can sharpen one’s understanding.

But, George- that is Brummel- was terribly irked by his inferior position to George- that is the Prince and so he became demeaning and superior, ridiculing George IV in conversations with others so that the Prince, George, became infuriated and broke off relations with George, the Beau. The crowning touch came when he and a fellow ran into the Prince while walking. The Prince studiously ignored the Beau addressing only his friend causing Brummell to caustically remark: Who’s your fat friend? Well, come now. Completely in disfavor now the Beau deteriorated and as a relatively young man was forced into exile in Calais, France. This previous history is all that concerns us in his characterization in Tim Meagle.

Meagles’ story was written a while after Dumas’ very famous The Three Musketeers was published. The Three Musketeers is a fabulous myth. A wonderful creation of the equally fabulous Alexander Dumas. In Meagles and his companion Lady Diana Lade it appears that Reynolds is trying to create a myth to equal the Musketeers and female character, Milady. Indeed, there are such similarities that Reynolds may have considered himself a rival to the great Frenchman.

Read what Andre Maurois has to say in his biography of the three Dumas titled The Titans of 1957, pp. 182-83:

Never in the whole course of French literature has there been anything comparable to Dumas’s output between the years 1845 and 1855. Novels from eight to ten volumes showered down without a break on the newspapers and bookshops. The whole history of France was passed in review. The Three Musketeers was followed by Twenty Years After and that by Vicomte de Bragelone, another trilogy- Chicot the Jester (La Reine Margot), La dame de Monsoreau and The Forty-Five Guardsmen.

Simultaneously with these, Dumas was busy narrating the decline and fall of the French monarchy—The Diamond Necklace…Le Chevalier de Maison Rouge, Memoires of a Physician…Ange Pitou and La Comtesse de Charny. From early on he had planned to annex the whole of history to his romantic domain. “There is no end to what I want to do,” he said. ‘I long for the impossible. How am I to achieve what I have in mind? By working as no one has ever worked before, by pruning life of all its details; by doing without sleep…’ This programme accounts for the five or six hundred volumes which so astonish the reader…. No one has read all Dumas.

Compare Reynolds and his output from 1844 to 1859. He too wished to write the history of all Europe. When Maurois mentions the five or six hundred volumes he means, I imagine, parts. Thus if Reynolds is broken into parts he can account for three or four hundred volumes. The eight or ten volumes of Mysteries of the Court of London can be broken down to eight or ten complete novels all interrelated. Truly the period from about 1840 to 1880 is the height of British and European literature.

Reynolds changes the character of Meagles from Brummell’s own. The Beau according to Capt. Jesse was quite effeminate. Indeed, he never married and apparently had no female lovers. Meagles and Lady Lade seem to have had a platonic relationship until her husband died. They extorted a Marquisate from George III and then as the Beau had disappeared from England they disappear from The Mysteries of the Court.

Indeed, the Beau must have been trying to inveigle his friend, George IV, into making him a Marquis or ennoblement of some kind. Had Brummel been ennobled then he would have been entitled to associate with the aristocracy instead of being a hanger on.

Lady Lade throughout her and Meagles’ episodes dresses in men’s clothing so that she and Meagles appear as two men to the unobservant. As her name Diana indicates she represents the virgin huntress Artemis in Greek mythology or Diana in the Latin; the female archetype of the Piscean Age in Northern Europe. Reynolds repeatedly refers to her as the Huntress and other attributes of Diana, Tim must therefore be meant to be the male archetype of Pisces in Reynolds’ mind, not as the Redeemer but perhaps as the Trickster.

Just as the Beau longs for a title so does Tim. While the Beau retreated ungratified Tim and Lady Diana Lade obtain their Marquisate by criminal or blackmail means. Without going into details here, Tim and Diana have knowledge that would compromise the reputation of the Georgian House. Using this knowledge then they criminally extort their Marquisate from George III.

To some extent then, Mysteries of the Court is a roman a clef. How many of the other novels in the Mysteries of the Court collection may reference actual histories remains to be addressed.

The main theme is a condemnation of the Regent, George IV. Reynolds detests him as well as the whole aristocracy to the maximum. But, how much of that detestation is sheer envy. How much of himself did Reynolds put into Meagles/Brummell? Reynolds himself has the appearance of a Dandy or Beau and Ainsworth definitely was one. He is so vehement one has to wonder about his accuracy. Is this a fictional history of reality or mere raving. It is apparently reasonably accurate. Capt. Jesse who wrote of Beau Brummell while a stalwart member of his class condemns George IV for, as he puts it, teaching the aristocracy to live beyond their incomes, squandering their great wealth frivolously while living the lives of Libertines.

Reynolds then has the spirit of the times correct and while he may perhaps exaggerate he is not false. He himself believes he is writing fictionalized history; that is, fleshing out the fact with probable detailing.

Thus, in what might be termed the fifth and sixth series of the extended Mysteries of London and the Court, although these two series are not related to the first four, the fifth series concerns itself with the years around 1795 leading to the marriage of George IV with the Princess Caroline. The key point being his previous secret marriage to Mrs. Fitzherbert.

Reynolds does not tackle his main theme directly but embeds it in a series of stories, or novellas, or novels, peripheral to it while creating a sociological portrait of the times making George’s character confirmed by external events.

Mrs. Fitzherbert had ruled Carlton House and the Prince, as George then was, before the Regency, and enjoyed great privileges. The crisis came when George’s father, demanded that George marry the German Princess Caroline of Hanover, Germany who was something of a rustic. That meant he had to put away Mrs. Fitzherbert whom he found compatible and take up with Caroline who he detested.

He tolerated her long enough to create an heir, the Princess Charlotte and then made Caroline’s life miserable so that she exiled herself to the Continent. In Reynolds’ story, sixth series, she is living in Switzerland twenty years later. As this is 1815 Napoleon has just returned from his exile on Elba to Paris.

Reynolds is a clear writer and as his title indicates he is essentially writing a mystery he reveals clues only as necessary. The sixth series, then, titled Venetia Trelawney tells of Mrs. Fitzherbert’s attempt to regain her position at court through a surrogate, Venetia.

We are not permitted to know this until at the conclusion of the series of book five. Apart from all the subsidiary stories the main burden of the sixth series is George IV’s machinations to injure his wife, Caroline. He attempts to portray her as dissolute and morally corrupt for consorting with her equerry, Bergami. he was a fine figure of a man.

To achieve this goal the Prince, now Regent, goes to great lengths in a more or less improbable scheme. A Mrs. Owen has four lovely daughters who, following the Prince’s instructions, she is turning into courtesans and mistresses of duplicity. The youngest, Mary, refuses the training but the other three go to Geneva to be ladies in waiting for Caroline. There by subterfuge they make it appear that Caroline and Bergami are having an affair. Needless to say the scheme is baffled through the agency of Mrs. Fitzherbert.

That’s the general plan but of course much excitement is created by circumambient subplots that are braided into the main story. Many interesting characters are created. Larry Sampson, the Bow Street detective and his adversary the Hangman, Daniel Coffin. Coffin comes close to being as interesting as the Resurrection Man of the first two series of the Mysteries of London. Doctor Death of the third and fourth series doesn’t come close to the above two as a villain. Coffin is more related to the eighteenth century criminal master mind Johnathan Wild or Conan Doyle’s fictional Moriarty.

Of the six series the third and fourth are the weakest although having brilliant moments and a very good temptress, Laura Lorne. That will be dealt with separately. Having discussed the main story of The Mysteries Of London is the first eight parts of Time Travels there is no need to do so here.

When George closed off the second series of The Mysteries of the Court he said that he was through with George IV but that his head was bursting with ideas for a new series. Now a mystery ensues.

My edition of Mysteries of the Court was published by the Francis F. Burton Ethnographical Society in Boston and an Oxford Society in England in twenty volumes c. 1900 under the general title The Works of George W.M. Reynolds. By works is meant twenty volumes of The Mysteries of the Court of London, that’s all. Thus, the set is divided into four units of five volumes. The first five deal with the coming marriage to Caroline, the second five to Venetia Trelawney and the plot against Caroline. Then a third set issued under Reynolds’ name with his picture on the title page under the title, Lady Saxondale’s Crimes, while the fourth division of five volumes is called The Fortunes of the Ashtons. Thus, if the last two divisions are authentic the total work would be ten thousand pages. However there is no mention of the latter two series by any Reynolds scholar. Neither the Oxford Society nor the Burton Ethnographical Society give any indication of the provenance of the latter two series.

Richard F. Burton is the famous Victorian explorer, most notably in the search for the source of the Nile, and being the first European to penetrate into Mecca. He translated the entire Arabian Nights in seventeen volumes. So he became among the first ethnographers. The Oxford Society was also an ethnographical society. Little can be found on either on the internet.

Burton established his Society in 1843 splitting off from a predecessor. One wonders if Reynolds, ever curious, associated himself with the Burton Society and perhaps its predecessor. His Mysteries of the Court of London may be construed as an ethnographical study. I certainly read it as such. Possibly the Oxford and Burton Societies found the Mysteries of the Court so suitable that they commissioned writers to write the two additional series.

It might be possible that Reynolds commissioned the two series but there appears to be no earlier record of them at this tim, indeed, no record but their publication in the Works of George W.M. Reynolds. There is a story worth investigating in the American publishing house, T.B. Peterson. They were responsible for the publication of several novels written by their stable of authors under Reynold’s name. There is information on T.B. Peterson on the internet.

The firm was located in Philadelphia. They had a huge catalog what literature is in the Penny Dreadful style including a large selection of titles from writers like W.H. Ainsworth, Bulwer Lytton and, of course George W.M. Reynolds. They published a two volume edition under the title of The Mysteries of the Court of London. I have no idea whether it included the whole of the two series or a condensed version. They published twenty, perhaps more titles written by their authors under Reynolds’ name, including Ciprina or, The Secrets of the Picture Gallery.

This volume has actually been issued by the British Library as an authentic Reynolds. Possibly T.B. Peterson is unknown to them. Lord Saxondale, who was apparently a little less criminal than his wife Lady Saxondale, Count Christobal, and Lucrizia Mirano, Edgar Montrose or, the Mysterious Penitent, the Ruined Gangster. Peterson really liked The Necromancer while that title was also published by a New York firm.

Anent the Necromancer. I am of the opinion that this book was also not written by Reynolds, or possibly with a collaborator, even though it was published in his Miscellany in 1851. The style isn’t his, the vocabulary isn’t his while in my reading I had the feeling that the book was written by a woman. The detailing just seemed feminine. I think it probable that Reynolds was following in the footsteps of his model Alexander Dumas. Dumas collaborated with Auguste Maquet and others although the books were always issued as Dumas alone.

Perhaps in this case, Peterson called the Necromancer, the Mysteries of the Court of Henry VIII, Reynolds roughed out the story while employing someone else to do the actual writing. At any rate, I do not believe he was the writer or perhaps the sole writer.

Needless to say, Reynolds received no economic benefit because the US did not honor English copyright laws. Nor could Reynolds do anything about the counterfeits written under his name.

So, then, the question is from whence came the final two series and at what date were they written? And perhaps, why? Certainly they were commissioned. Having never read them I am unqualified to speculate but, perhaps, someone might know and be willing to share their knowledge?

Reynolds began the two works in 1844 and so far as we know finished them in 1856. Eighteen fifty-six was three short years before Darwin changed the world by issuing The Origin of Species and making evolution a household word.

By 1856 when the last word of the Mysteries was written Reynolds was already living in the Brave New England whether he knew it or not, and I suspect that he did know. Being wide awake was a new term at the time but I suspect that Reynolds was wide awake. The very face of England was changing as well as tunnels under the Thames. The tunnel probably cost several times what a bridge would have cost and have been more useful.

While writing mysteries of the Court Reynolds turned out twenty other volumes many of great length. Perhaps in the mode of Dumas he was making the maximum use of his time working long and sleeping little. Or, perhaps, as he was accused by Dickens, of employing other writers. Reynolds denies it.

Around him a new crop of novelists were rising, each having become aware of different times and formed by different social conditions. I suspect that although Reynolds remained a best seller throughout the century he became a little old fashioned. Certainly his newspaper kept his name alive and before the public. His politics would always have been ‘avant garde’ although by the turn of the century most of the Chartist demands had been met. The triumph of the Revolution still lay ahead a few years.

Part X  a review of The Necromancer follows.

Reynolds_Miscellany_v1_n1

Pt. VIII: Time Traveling With R.E. Prindle

by

R.E. Prindle

A Dialogue Between George Reynolds and John Dicks with asides from R.E. Prindle.

GWMReynolds

Let us imagine George Reynolds and John Dicks sitting over lunch and a nice glass of Lafite, as George spelled it, reminiscing in early 1860 about the good old days. At this point in time George had ended, or was about to, his novelistic career. He would now devote himself to journalistic matters with his very successful newspaper and magazine. John Dicks who began his association with George in late 1847 had run a tight printing shop always keeping up with developments in printing. An employee of George at this time he will soon be made a full partner and go on to an illustrious later career of publishing cheap literary editions for the masses.

Merely getting by back in ’47 they are now well-to-do men with money in the bank and more rolling in with every publication. They have every reason to think well of themselves.

John asks George how he came up with the idea or the first two Mysteries of London series about the Markham Brothers and the astonishing Resurrection Man.

 

George: That’s kind of an interesting story John. As you know my last couple of books, damn good books too, had flopped. My whole early career was kind of a waste. My apprenticeship one might call it. Personally I thought the Steam Packet and Master Timothy’s Bookcase were great, but, the fickle public, you know…

There I was approaching thirty supporting my family with odd jobs, looking desperately into the future with great fear, a failure without an idea, when George Stiff approached me and said he had a novel idea, serial, that he was calling the Mysteries of London, same general notion as Eugene Sue’s Mysteries of Paris. There was also another Mysteres de Londres by this other French fellow by the name of Paul Feval who had actually published his Mysteres de Londres that was alright. I had this notion of two brothers who chose different paths in life, Richard Markham, virtue, and his brother Eugene, vice.

John: Did that have anything to do with Ainsworth’s two brothers in Rookwood?

George: I remembered that and then there’s Cain and Able of course and Romulus and Remus of Rome but, more importantly I could never get De Sade’s two novels Justine and Juliette out of my mind with De Sade’s notions about the rewards of virtue and vice. So, I changed the sexes to men and reversed the roles and made virtuous Richard more successful than vicious Eugene. I think I’m right too.

John: Did Eugene have any reference to Sue, his first name?

Eugene Sue

Author of Mysteres de Paris and The Wandering Jew

George: Probably. A little joke. I leaned pretty heavily on Sue during my career. A lot more from his Wandering Jew than The Mysteres de Paris, and then his later work. Sue just died you know, young man. Worked himself to death. Terrific prolific writer. I borrowed a lot but don’t lets talk about that.

John: I hadn’t heard about Sue’s death. Interesting fellow. You didn’t by any chance use him as a model for the Marquis of Holmesford in the second series of Mysteries of London by any chance did you George?

George: You got that, did you John?

John: I know your devious mind, George. I remembered how fascinated you were that Sue kept a harem of women of many different nationalities and races in his castle. Then when Holmesford did the same thing I did associate the two. Of course you made Holmesford an old man for your literary purposes but the similarities were there.

George: The truth is stranger than fiction, John but fiction makes it more interesting. Do you know that many of those women were actually Sue’s slave girls? He owned them.

John: No, I didn’t know that. Most of them were white women, how could he own those? Where did he buy them?

George: Slavery hasn’t disappeared John, it’s true that we English outlawed the African slave trade back in ’02 or whenever but slavery is still going strong in America and the Brazils and the middle East. That fellow Livingston reports that the barbaric Arab slave trade from East Africa to the Middle East is tremendous.

The Ottomans control the Balkans and parts of the Caucasus so that slave marts selling whites is still Strong. Samuel Baker, the fellow that is organizing his African expedition actually bought his wife in Hungary at a slave mart in Budapest. Wonderful story. So, there were many sources for Sue to buy his women. Of course, I put in a sly joke with Holmesford in which, rather than die in bed, he struggles to his feet to stagger to the arms of his favorite and dies on her capacious bosom.

Everyone takes a negative view of it when it’s supposed to be a tender moment if humorous. Good way to die don’t you think John? Hated to see Sue die, there goes my inspiration. Dumas’ still alive but my intuition tells me he’s finished. Boy, what productively, exhausted his brain. I’m learning how that feels.

John: You mean the inspiration of the Mysteries series with Sue?

George: No. That was Stiff. Right before my nose but I couldn’t see it. Once I got into it though and finished with George IV, I borrowed his stuff for things like Joseph Wilmot, Mary Price and that sort of thing, his Matilda, or The Misfortunes Of Virtue for instance. You can see the de Sade reference. Sue plotted out the stories for me, I mean I used them, something like Maquet did for Dumas. And then I rewrote them according to my own sensibilities.

Back to Stiff. Nobody had any idea of how astonishingly successful the Mysteries would be. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to do it, but Stiff promised a five quid note a week and always came through. Two hundred sixty quid a year. This seemed like a good deal to me for only a few thousand words a week. Coupled with what I could make on the side. I had a of words in me and they were free to me. Of course, as I came to realize I was making him a heck of a lot more than I was getting. The end result was that he bought himself a damn good income and lifestyle for next to nothing. Look how we’re living.

By the time I got into the second series though, I began to think that there’s something wrong here. If my writing could make their fortunes, my writing could do a lot better for me, I thought.

In ’46 then, still under contract for Mysteries, I began my Reynold’s Miscellany that has been fairly successful as you know. Somehow that brought us together. I realized your genius from the beginning—no, no, I’m serious John, no need for false modesty with me, your integrity, the whole works. So, when the second series was coming to the end, and the expiration of my contract, I had worked up the general outline for the George IV fifth and sixth series so were we’re ready to go as soon as I turned in my last clip to Stiff and refused to sign a new contract.

John: They weren’t too happy with that, were they?

George: I should think not. Of course, I had foolishly talked about the George IV series, so they thought they were going to have that too. That would have put them on Easy Street with me getting five pounds a week. They owned the rights to the Mysteries of London, lock, stock and copyright. Owned the title. If Stiff could have found a writer the Mysteries might have gone on forever.

Finding another writer wasn’t that easy. They should have come to terms with me and shared the income more equitably but, as they said, a contract is a contract. They apparently didn’t understand that contracts are written with a fixed term. They got lucky with me but although I think Tom Miller who they signed next is a fine person and a very adequate writer neither he nor Blanchard who succeeded him understood the audience. I, in association with you John, continued the success.

John: Stiff and Vickers came unglued then in ’48 and forced you into bankruptcy proceedings?

George: Damn ‘em. That was more Vickers who lost a lot of printing business so the clod uses my name to try to make up for my loss. Attacked the Miscellany, putting out a vile rag called the Reynolds something or other because he had some obscure typesetter with the name of Reynolds. Got his though. I know how they got me into that bankruptcy mess. I only owed two thousand and by ’48 that was nothing what with the Miscellany and the beginning of George IV. We were already bringing in that much each month. Vickers was just being vicious, humiliated me and got nothing out of it. Hope the villain is happy and rots in hell.

But that was then and this is now. Look where Vickers is at and look where we’re at.

John: I think your politics had something to do with that too, George. Remember what year that was? ’48? Ring any bells?

George: (laughing immoderately) I thought that Revolution of ’48 was the real thing; an ’89 that worked. Was I ever wrong. Marx put that manifesto out in ’47, alerting the reactionaries as to what was coming and were they ever ready for us. We were all riddled with spies. Put the government is a tizzie though. A little better leadership and it might have been done. I wasn’t keen on the Communist stuff though. Our Chartist idea was the best. No violence.

John: I was always of the opinion that revolutions mean violence. Anyway, they smashed the revolution and the revolutionaries scattered like leaves in the wind. Hope the Americans know what to do with them because they got a lot and the worst of them.

I always wondered, George, to change the subject a bit, of all your characters which was your favorite?

George: The Resurrection Man of course. Boy, did he really come from the depths of my subconscious. Terrified myself more than he did my readers. You know something though, John? I think I had stumbled on to something but I didn’t know what to do with it.

John: What might that have been?

George: Remember Larry Sampson the leading detective of the Bow Street Runners? And the hangman, Daniel Coffin?

John: Yes. That was strong, very effective. But…?

George: Better than strong, John. I don’t know if you’ve read this American Edgar Allen Poe, he’s dead now, tragic story, collapsed and died on the streets of Baltimore. Tragic death, tragic. Great artist. He wrote a story called The Murders In The Rue Morgue. Wonderful imaginative tale. He has an intellectual sort of detective, C. August Dupin. Initials spell CAD. Good joke, what? Poe was very intellectual keen on acumen. He thought he was a genius, probably was. Dupin solves the crime in the Rue Morgue, an impossible closed door mystery, sitting in his armchair. Acumen you see. I appreciated the acumen but I thought a true detective would keep records and biographies and with the information would be able to lead him more quickly and accurately to probable perpetrators. Thus, I introduced Lawrence ‘Larry’ Sampson of the Metropolitan Police, chief of the Bow Street Runners.

John: Your old friend Paul Feval has written a book, John Devil, in which he introduces a master detective from Scotland Yard by the name of Gregory Temple. Have you read that?

George: No, not yet. Have you read any of Feval’s Black Coat series? The crime network he portrays reminds me of our Johnathan Wild who had criminal London pretty well organized in the last century. Wild in turn reminds of Vidocq, the head of the Paris Surete. Francois Vidocq, who died a couple years ago by the way. Vidocq was a nasty criminal and obviously the greatest of con men. Imagine hiring a master criminal to be he head of police! There was a scandal. Just like Wild he was amazingly able to recover stolen goods without having to arrest a thief? Same routine Wild was running. The thieves stole and got a commission from the money Wild received for returning the stolen merchandise.

 

Prindle: Reynolds was of course right that the detective novel would become, or perhaps, was already becoming at the time he wrote a new genre. For the origin of the detective story most people nominate Poe and then trace it through a series of French writers leading up to Emile Gaboriau who has supposed to have been the inspiration for Conan Doyle’s great Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson. From there it was off to the races.

Reynolds seems to have been overlooked as an early source. I’m sure that Doyle would have read Mysteries of the Court and have noted Sampson. Doyle used both acumen and a thorough record system. It can’t be proven, of course, but Reynolds was a staple for nineteenth century proto-pulp fiction, especially before the adventure novel of the Rider Haggard type and the detective stories of Conan Doyle and his epigone.

Certainly, during Doyle’s boyhood and youth Reynolds would have been essential reading along with W.H. Ainsworth, Bulwer Lytton and James Malcom Rymer. These writers were very popular throughout the nineteenth century while becoming passe at the beginning of WWI. They were old fashioned and didn’t fit into the post-war world. Thus they dropped out of literary history, if the Penny Dreadful, pulp writers, were ever a part of it. Back to George and John.

 

George: Speaking of criminals, that reminds me of those criminal Americans who respect no writer’s rights. It’s bad enough that they pirate my own works but they have the audacity to hire writers and then publish their stuff under my own name.

John: (laughing) You must be very popular in the United State.

George: I should hope so and maybe you laugh. Maybe I could sue over appropriating my name but I don’t think there’s a chance of success.

It’s not just a book either, listen to these titles: Ciprina or, the Secrets of the Picture Gallery, Lord Saxondale, Count Christoval, Lucrigia Marano, The Child of Waterloo or, the Horrors of the Battle Field. And there are more. I must be an entire industry over there. There might be dozens more under my name. People must think I’m a super-man, turning out not only my own works but these other people under my name. My god, don’t they have sense of decency? What’s a poor writer to do?

John: Speaking of that, I’m thinking of beginning a series called Dicks’ English Novels. I’ll have twenty or so of your novels plus your favorites by Dickens, Ainsworth, Bulwer-Lytton along with your favorites Notre Dame de Paris and Dumas’ Queen Margot. All your major influences except Byron. What do you think?

George: Any money in it?

John: Should be. All of it’s still popular and we’ll get it out at prices that will shock the industry.

George: Interesting. That sounds very good John and I’m sure that it will be a great success. We’ve worked together for ten years or more now, and a very successful partnership it’s been. Now that I’m about finished as a novelist and going to work for the newspaper perhaps with your plans we should make our relationship a full partnership. Does that sound feasible to you John?

John: Very satisfactory George. It would make me proud. Together I think we can make John Dicks the most successful publishing house in England while educating those the most that afford it the least. We can change the face of England and make it a better place. I want to get the prices down as low as possible. Without the paper tax we should be able to cut costs.

George: If you get the type any smaller John and keep our readership you may obtain both goals. I don’t know how those type setters can set such small type.

John: Quite a skill, I can assure you. I’d like to be able to invent a type setting machine where there are keys for the alphabet and punctuation marks so that the type setter can punch keys and the letters fall into place.

George: I’m sure someone is working on it. The steam press itself is a modern miracle. It would be impossible to get out the tens of thousands of papers and books we get out every week without them.

John: Yes. We’d be making a lot less money than we are now anyway. Quite a machine. By the way, George, I’ve got a suggestion.

George: Yes…

John: Well, as you know the government’s pretty unhappy with the Miscellany.

George: Yes…

John: It think we could get rid of some pressure by discontinuing it.

George: (unhappy but aware of the problem) Discontinuing the Reynolds Miscellany?

John: Not exactly getting rid of it but changing the name anyway. I’ve got an idea for a magazine I’d call Bow Bells. We could fold the Miscellany into it, under my editorship. It would be the same program but a little less…uh…er…aggressive, to keep the hounds off us. Doesn’t have to be done right now but something to think about, maybe. I’d really like to do it George. They haven’t forgotten ’48. That still rankles them.

George: How would that affect the newspaper?

John: Not at all, not at all.   That would continue under your editorship and I would edit the combined Bow Bells and Miscellany. Just a thought. We can keep it in the back our minds I’ve got some newer writers in mind.

George: Hmm, newer writers. I know your concern, John, and it is something to consider. I’ll consider it. I am getting pretty tired and fourteen years of turning out a zillion words a week has taken its toll. My brain doesn’t have the elasticity and vitality that it used to have. You see, I know how Dumas feels. Things don’t come as easily anymore. That would be a load off me. Let me think about it.

John: Let me say that I really admire your energy George. The ten years or so I’ve been working with you have been amazing. I wish we had The Mysteries of London from Stiff and Vickers. What a catalog that would make; Mysteries of London and Mysteries of the Court. I’d even throw in Mysteries of Old London, the Days of Hogarth. Underappreciated but it has one of the greatest tales I have ever read. My land, what an outstanding three works.

George: Oh, flattery…flattery. Keep it up. (laughing)

John: Just the truth, George, just the truth.

Part IX of Time Traveling With R.E Prindle continues.

WWII: The Greatest Crime Of The Ages

by

R.E. Prindle

German Must Perish! and The War Goal of World Plutocracy by Theodore Kaufman and Wolfgang Dieverge, reprint of the two 1941 editions by Ostara Publications, no date.

The history of the Second World War of 1939-45 is not as the orthodox version describes. That history has been molded and shaped to conform with the desires of some interested parties. In other words, it has been falsified. The skewed history is more than merely one of interpretation. Whole swaths of incidents have been suppressed, obscured or forced into a false narrative. While your attention has been directed to a certain narrative, the real story lies exposed like geological strata.

I offer concrete undeniable facts to bring your attention to what was really going on. The demonstration will focus on a book published in 1941 by one Theodore Nathan Kaufman. Kaufman was an operative of the American Jewish Committee, the AJC. For those not familiar with the AJC it is the directing governmental body of Jews in the United States. It is essentially an espionage unit spying on the American people dedicated to rooting out what they are pleased to call ‘anti-Semites.’ They were also behind the effort to lead the United States into the war with Germany. Their whole goal was to destroy Germany physically and to commit the genocide of 80 million Germans.

I know you are shocked and in total belief that 80 million people could be murdered but you shouldn’t be. After all, the Chinese autocrat Mao Ze Dong murdered thirty million or more of his fellow Chinese and the world said nothing. Not that much of stretch from 30 to 80 million.

Consider the facts: In 1933 the AJC executive, lawyer Samuel Untermyer declared irrevocable hatred of the Germans and war on the Germans. Then began a whole series of boycotts and sanctions against Germany from the United States, a nominally neutral country by law. This was done by its newly elected Democratic president Franklin Delano Roosevelt, FDR. FDR as he is familiarly known was in the pocket of the Jewish governing body, the American Jewish Committee.

There were six key nations fighting this proposed war: England, Russia, France, Germany, the United States and the Jewish Nation, the last spread out through Europe and the Americas. The Jewish Nation was very carefully screened so that there would be minimal appearance of their maximum role. They made themselves appear innocent victims while they stoked the fires of war.

We should be clear: there was no chance that Germany could win the war and this was against the combined might of the Soviet Union in the East and the United States to Germany’s West. Zero chance and this was recognized by the warmakers at the time.

We now get to Theodore Kaufman. Remember as he was writing his screed it was acknowledged that Germany could not win the war. At the time Germany Must Perish, Kaufman’s book, was published England, France and the USSR were one block. Germany Must Perish was published in March of 1941 before Germany had invaded the USSR and nine months before the US declared war on Germany. So neither the US or USSR was at war with Germany of the time of publication. Yet Kaufman was calling for the extermination of the Germany. By whom then?

The agitation for US entry was conducted by England, Roosevelt and the American Jewish people. England because it could not defend itself after being the first people to declare war on Germany in 1939. England, because the country could not defend itself needed the US to fight the war for them. England had neither the men nor the resources to even think of getting into the war on its own.

The Jewish Nation because the Jews wanted the whole German nation exterminated. Kaufman explains:

Today’s war is not a war against Hitler. Nor is it a war against the Nazis. It is a war of peoples against peoples…. This war is being waged by the German people. It is they who are responsible. It is they who must be made to pay for the war.

Remember that in 1933 the Jews declared war on Germany with no response from Germany.

So then, who is this Theodore Nathan Kaufman?

He was an AJC operative. He is portrayed in the US as an insignificant shopkeeper from the Jewish colony of Newark, New Jersey. A mere voice in the wilderness, perhaps a crazy Jewish prophet. But, as a crazy Jewish prophet he publishes from the remote Newark Jewish colony a screed like Germany Must Perish calling for their total erasure from the Earth. This book was not ignored, instead it was given maximum countrywide attention. No such crank would have had access to the President of the United States but Kaufman did, no penniless shop keeper from Newark can launch a multi-million dollar campaign to publicize his book. That just doesn’t happen. He was a member of the AJC and the AJC was spending millions and millions on espionage, publishing books by the score while Jewish attorneys were filing lawsuits on every side.

Now, these deeds, these books, these acts have at the very least been disregarded or obscured, if it were possible to erase such a public campaign all evidence would have been scrubbed. But, Kaufman and his book are inescapable evidence, not only fact, but concrete evidence of the activities of this Jewish Nation to draw the US and its resources into their, not the US’s, but their fight against the German people. The war was between the Jewish Nation and the German Nation with the Jews as the aggressors.

The American People had no dog in this war but the Jewish People as Kaufman said, did. What dog did Roosevelt have in the fight? Why was he anxious to sacrifice the lives of tens of thousands of men in the prime of their lives? Why was he so willing to strip America of its tremendous resources to badger a country that was no threat to the US? Forget all that today Europe, tomorrow the world stuff. Even if the Germans fancied it, had they conquered the whole of Europe including the Soviet Union, they would have been exhausted and unable to keep what they had. That’s right, the Germans would never have been a threat to the US.

The Soviet Union unaided and without immense US supplies would have defeated Germany, it might have taken longer but as Stalin knew when he declared: God is on the side of the big battalions. Germany could not have won the war. FDR certainly knew this. Why was he subservient to the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics? No contradiction there. Because he was a socialist if not a Communist. His old World War I master, Woodrow Wilson was a socialist. FDR’s administration was a continuation of Wilson’s. FDR even faked the League of Nation under the name of the United Nations through thus completing Wilson’s heritage.

Ah, I hear voices saying, you can’t genocide eighty million people. The AJC and Kaufman thought you could. It was simple. You’ve heard of Eugenics haven’t you? Of course you have. Kaufman’s plan was simple. You simply sterilize all Germans of child bearing age and children. As Kaufman said, who was probably frightened by the word castration, sterilization doesn’t mean castration. Sterilization for men is a simple operation, a little more complex for women. I see no reason to examine the techniques of such a plan but if you have seen pictures of Germany bombed flat, Germans carving dwellings out the ruins, ‘honorable allied soldiers’, American soldiers, turning German women into prostitutes with Hershey bars, you will realize how easy it would have been. The plan only lacked will and it became within an ace of happening. By Americans.

The Jews of course were ready. The hitch came when Americans, less the Jews, were horrified at the notion. The plan had the tentative backing of FDR and it was only his death on the eve of the end of the war that blocked the plan.

If we remember Kaufman’s book was published in 1941 before Germany had invaded the Soviet Union or the US had entered the war. Kaufman’s was a pre-emptive plan. Thus the representatives of the Jewish Nation had the system of genocide in place, Total War, before the Final Solution of the German Jewish problem was put into effect.

The Germans naturally were aware of Kaufman’s book shortly after publication, so it follows that the Final Solution was a variant of what Kaufman called the Total Solution of the Jewish Nation’s German problem. Therefore, much of the Final Solution is mitigated by the Total Solution.

As to whether the whole Jewish People was responsible, Kaufman said that this was a war between peoples—the Jewish Nation versus the German Nation. The Jews initiated its Total War, the desired end of which would be the total extermination, genocide, of the German People, that is a holocaust. So, how can the German People be found guilty of attempting the genocide of the Jewish People except as an act of self-defense? The slaughter was of course terrible, but so was the murderous war against Germany. And that war was conducted with the full overwhelming power of the USSR and the USA against them. Fleets of nightly bombers from the West and relentless artillery barrages from the East. Germany had no chance of winning such a war; its doom was clear.

In March-April of 1941, then, the Germans learned of the Jewish menace. They were horrified. Copyright laws prevented the book from being published in Germany. For whatever reason the law abiding Germans honored the copyright law. The Germans were sticklers for the law and thus observed it refusing to print the book and alerting the German People of this threat from the Jewish People. This side of story has never been told.

However, the Germans did print reviews of the book using extensive quotations which were ‘legal’ under copyright laws. A pamphlet was published by the German government titled The War Goal of World Plutocracy by one Wolfgang Diewerge.

What Dieverge called the World Plutocracy meant the Jewish led coalition against Germany. The title failed to indicate the urgency of the real issue, that of the declared war of the Jewish Nation against the German Nation. Perhaps the Germans meant to implicate England, the US and Russia as well as the Jews which was a mistake. Four nations were involved but only three countries.

There is more than one legal system with its laws and customs involved here. On has the English and American variations of the Common Law, Soviet law, German law and Jewish law. Today all countries are using a variant of Jewish law. Under Jewish law the defendant is considered guilty and can only mitigate the charges. Thus we have the situation in the US today of the Judeo-Liberal party that alleges that the accused is guilty, or he or she wouldn’t be accused would they? Thus, the crime can only be resolved by accepting the guilt of being ‘wrong’ and accepting the judgment of the Party. Bear in mind that in this so-called democracy the Jewish-Liberal party isn’t even the majority. They are a minority that has appropriated the government regardless of who is president. Thus, it is false to think we live in a democracy when we live in a Jewish flavored theocracy.

2.

Given that the Jews can manage the writing of history and the dissemination on knowledge and control discussion of the narrative it should come as no surprise that the German side of the story is suppressed. The narrative is cast in the form of The Children Of Light vs. The Children Of Darkness. All right then resides with the former and all fault with the latter.

As it is clear that the Jews first broached the notion of genocide when they were managing the overwhelming power of the US and USSR it follows that to avoid a German holocaust that the Germans were justified in a pre-emptive Jewish holocaust. Both holocausts were to be managed in a scientific manner. Thus, the Germans have no more cause for guilt than the Jews.

As might be supposed, since the plan for German genocide was trumpeted loudly throughout America, free copies were sent to influential people, Time-Magazine gave an approving review, newspapers nationwide disseminated the plan in an approving manner. It should have been one of those things read with incredulity.

At the time the America First Committee was lobbying very actively, very actively, to prevent the US from entering another European war. The American public was decidedly against any involvement in the war. In March of ’41 a war with Japan seemed a remote possibility. Roosevelt touted democracy and freedom yet he disregarded the vast majority and put US soldiers on the front lines both in the Pacific and the Atlantic.

And then we have a Jewish appeal for a German holocaust. Without the US having yet no sinews of war, no will to war, what were the Jews thinking in making such a strange proclamation? As Charles Lindbergh pointed out in his Des Moines speech, the Jews were finagling the US into a criminal war against Germany. Forget any notion of a good war.

The Germans quickly obtained copies of the book or pamphlet that had been distributed to millions in the US with a copy sent free to every influential American. The Germans were aghast. Had the death of eighty million people ever been proclaimed before? By a nation that refused to call itself that publicly? Pretending to be Englishmen, Frenchmen, Russians, Americans, whatever. The disguise was total and the danger was real.

The Jewish government presented Kaufman as an anonymous loner, something like Lee Harvey Oswald who may have fired at President Kennedy. But was he? He was no fanatic rejected by World Jewry, no insane creature, but rather a leading and widely known Jewish figure in the United States.

The Germans published their answer to Kaufman in a pamphlet by Wolfgang Diewerge titled The War Goal of World Plutocracy. He did a little research and came up with this:

The Jewish president Kaufman is no anonymous loner, no fanatic rejected by World Jewry, no insane creature but rather a leader and widely-known Jewish figure in the United States.

Diewerge then says that Kaufman was a member of Roosevelt’s Brain Trust. I’ve never read that before but then one can’t be sure that orthodox histories are ‘definitive.’ Diewerge goes on:

He belongs to Roosevelt’s so-called “Brain Trust”, the staff of intellectuals and political advisors to the American President. This circle provides the material for the hateful speeches against National Socialist Germany that President Roosevelt like to give…

The half-Jewish mayor (mother was Jewish) of New York, La Guardia, along with Roosevelt’s close confidante and friend, Bernard Baruch (“the unofficial president of the USA) also belongs to this group, which maintains closest ties to the leading men of the Soviet Union.

Baruch wasn’t so much a confidante and friend of FDR as a Grey Eminence giving direction to FDR. As the war progressed and Kaufman’s proposal was tentatively accepted by Roosevelt, Kaufman’s plan was adapted by Secretary of the Treasury, the Jew Henry Morgenthau Jr. who did bill himself co-president with FDR. Thus while Baruch was actually co-president with Woodrow Wilson during WWI, Morgenthau filled that role with Roosevelt.

Diewerge goes on:

The book Germany Must Perish is the background music to the major policy deception that the leaders of the world plutocracy, President Roosevelt and his business partner in international warmongering, Winston Churchill, have launched to support their ally, Stalin.

That was an accurate description. Stalin, by the way, was the brilliant mastermind pulling the strings of Churchill, Roosevelt and, actually, Hitler. All three were duped by Stalin.

While Roosevelt preached Total War against the ‘aggressor nations’, unconditional surrender, while the US was neutral after a fashion, Diewerge gives the German side of who the aggressors were:

A digression is in order here. Who declared war on 3 September 1939? England and France used the local conflict over Dantzig and the Corridor, where justice was indisputedly on the side of Germany, to declare war on Germany and thus cause a world conflagration.

This was true. Germany saw itself as rectifying the injuries it endured by the one-sided Treaty of Versailles. It was also true as Diewerge was right when he next records:

And the United States has been trying to “get into the business” for months with repeated provocations. It prays daily for another “Lusitania” and regrets the case of the “Athenia” German attentiveness ruined their finely spun plans.

So, who were the aggressor nations? First in order is the Jewish Nation with its proclaimed war of peoples. Second was Stalin and the Third International, then Churchill and England and tied with Churchill was Roosevelt. The Versailles Treaty that was designed by England and France in 1918 guaranteed another war in twenty years as was recognized at the time and as it happened.

Now, as to the Jewish desire to exterminate the Germans, consider how the war was fought: there were actually two operations going on at the same time. One was the war of land battles fought with armies and one was merely a series of bombing raids to destroy German cities, that is Germany, bomb it out of existence and bombing civilians to kill racial Germans. In other words, aerial genocide.

During the war only the Anglo-American group had heavy bombers; the others had only tactical support bombers to support the ground troops. The English developed the Landcaster with the capability of carrying twenty-thousand pound bombs along with incendiaries. The Americans provided huge fleets of the smaller B-17s and then the bigger B-29s. In a one of a kind situation that won’t be seen again the huge flotillas of these behemoths dropping long strings of bombs, you’ve seen this in movies, with no other purpose than killing civilian Germans and destroying Germany.

The crowning achievement was Churchill’s decision to bomb the city of Dresden which at that time was packed with German people, women and children, displaced by the war. Purely murderous. There was no war industry there and not a single anti-aircraft gun. Flotillas of bombers flying over low unloading everything from ten ton blockbusters to scads of incendiaries creating a fire storm. This was purely a raid against unarmed civilians. A holocaust pure and simple. And if one horror wasn’t enough, they came back the next day to bomb the ruins.

As will be remembered, Kaufman and the AJC said that this was a war against a people- the Jews vs. the Germans. Certainly the terrific bombing campaigns leveling German cities and killing millions was no less a crime than the Germans killing their avowed Jewish enemies in extermination camps like Auschwitz. One might say tit for tat. Also remember that the English was the aggressor, declaring war first. Also, the bombing began long before the death camps were put into operation so one cannot say that the camps were not retaliatory.

Dresden was not like the end of horrors for the Germans but merely the beginning. While the English and Americas were bombing the hell out of the civilians, the Eastern front against the Germans had been collapsing in an orderly fashion but tens of thousands of German troops had been captured and were never seen alive again. They died in the Gulags where the camp commandants were with one exception were Jewish.

Once again, the fate of the German immigrants in Russia had little or nothing to do with the war. Prior to the unification of the Germans under Bismarck, the Russian Czars had invited German colonists to settle in the Ukraine and the Volga Delta. Always orderly and industrious the Germans prospered farming the Ukraine making that underpopulated desert bloom. The contrast between the Jewish, the Russian and the German farmers was sharp and distinct. Germans quickly moved to prominence in the government.

Then, when Germany consolidated all the petty principalities that the West found amusing, into a unified State, and began functioning on modern Western methods they became a threat being more capable than the English and French, while the Czars began to view their German citizens although thoroughly Russified as a potential Fifth Column and persecuted them. Thus German hatred began to grow. Disabilities were placed on the Ukrainian and Volga Germans. They were discriminated against. When the Soviets replaced the Russians and Stalin replaced Lenin, the former minister of minorities collected the Volga Germans en masse and sent them to Siberia for extermination. Thus, combined against the Germans in WWII were the Soviets in the East and Americans in the West and the Jewish Nation distributed throughout in influential, directing positions. If you think the Germans could not see what was going on you should question your analytical abilities. Actually, Germany was fighting for survival.

As the Soviet armies breached the German border, the ever clever Stalin who had thought this moment out thoroughly drove the civilian German population before him. This horrific rout is described as a population transfer by orthodox historians. One must question their analytical abilities. The East Germans then murdered and raped by the advance troops were driven pell mell westward in the depths of winter.

The entire East German population of twelve to fifteen million people were displaced in a moment, driven West. Such intense and concentrated suffering had never been seen in the world and this includes the child’s play of Auschwitz.

The Soviet armies consisted of primitives who had never seen a wrist watch before and were entranced. They had never tasted real wine. They had never had their way with beautiful White women. Now they tortured and raped to their hearts’ content. Women were gang raped like the flotillas that bombed Dresden. You have to be heartless not to understand and sympathize. Auschwitz? Phooey!

In the dead of winter, ill clad and ill fed, at risk every moment these millions upon millions of wretched people fled just in advance of the total destruction of their destination. They arrived in Berlin just in time for the most fearful artillery bombardment ever. The Soviets made up for their lack of bombers with terrific and devastating artillery bombardments. Now remember, the Soviets had only been enabled with these abilities because Roosevelt stripped America of its resources and was supplying Russia with the sinews of war. Thus the Americans. In effect, were giving it to the Germans both East and West, materially.

Berlin was completely destroyed blown into bits of rubble. That anyone survived this terrible onslaught both from the air and from the land is a miracle

Now, I was brought up to believe that American soldiers where saints who though brave were never brutal. And I believed what I had been told. I didn’t question the propaganda. And then, my elders made a mistake- they taught me how to read. And I resent how terribly I was misled.

The Americans were hardly less brutal than the Soviets under the direction of Dwight David Eisenhower.

Kaufman said that the war had nothing to do with Hitler but that it was a war between the Jewish and German peoples. As such the shooting war ended in 1945; the war of the Jewish people on the German people didn’t.

The Americans and Soviets drove the Germans down but now the Jewish people wanted to finish the job, enforce their plan. As the Anglo-American and Soviet troops entered Germany for the Jews then, don’t forget Dresden, the horrible truth of the extermination camps was revealed. The Jews were appalled and now in power over the Germans could get on with exterminating them. But there was a hitch, Roosevelt died.

In the US the Kaufman Plan had morphed into the Morgenthau Plan of the Secretary of State, Henry Morgenthau Jr. Roosevelt would have carried out the plan except that he passed in April of ’45 a month before the shooting war ended. His replacement, Vice President Harry S. Truman was completely ignorant of the plans of the FDR cabal. Truman entered office with no knowledge of the State of the Union. Even though FDR was sitting with his feet dangling in the grave he didn’t think it expedient to inform his obvious successor of the state of affairs. Did he think that his cabal was so evil that Truman would be repulsed? Let me put it this way, Truman was repulsed when he learned what was going on. Among other things on his mind was his discovery of the Manhattan Project and its Atom Bomb. Blindsided by Rooseveltian politics.

However Truman was not so sympathetic to Jewish machinations as FDR had been. Thus their power was broken. As members of what might be called FDR’s shadow government they faded away. Samuel Rosenman, perhaps the closest to FDR no longer had any place in DC. Sidney Hillman was gone. Henry Morgenthau himself tendered his resignation unable to work with Truman. Truman gladly accepted it. The tyranny of FDR fairly quickly evaporated. A weight was lifted from the American people. Don’t think there wasn’t rejoicing either.

While Truman was being quickly briefed on the actual state of affairs, the mopping up operations in German continued more or less according to the Kaufman/Morgenthau Plan. The Supreme Commander in Europe was Dwight D. Eisenhower. His advisor and confidant was Bernard Baruch, a man who wanted to be the greatest Jew of all time, and who was, indeed, a very large ranking member of the Jewish World Government.

As mentioned, he had actually been co-president with Woodrow Wilson during what could now be called WWI. He had meddled with Republican politics during the interim of 1921-33 and came into power again with the Roosevelt Administration in 1933. Diewerge described him as co-president with FDR which is not exactly true but may have seemed so to outside observers. The relationship was more adversarial, but face to face Baruch was able to intimidate FDR.

Dwight Eisenhower had been disciple of Baruch’s for twenty-five years. Eisenhower considered him the wisest man alive. There was a tremendous furor at the time as to how to treat the Germans. The Jewish faction wanted to dismember the German State completely parceling out the German territories to the surrounding countries. The dividing of Germany into Allied administrative units perpetually occupied was decided upon. The German people were to be kept impoverished and starved to death with no relief.

Eisenhower had under his control several German armies. Although the shooting war was over and there was absolutely no chance of Germany conducting any resistance these men were not released nor, were they treated humanely according the Geneva conventions. Eisenhower mean to destroy as many as he could. Remember that Bernard Baruch had direct connections to him and wanted to further the murder of the Germans. Hence Eisenhower unilaterally declassified them as soldiers and reclassified them as enemy combatants who were not covered by the Geneva Conventions. The men were crowded together in open fields with no covering and no amenities, ill clothed and ill fed. Civilians were forbidden on pain of death for comforting them in anyway. Women trying to pass food through the barbed wire were shot down without compunction.

Nor did this criminal conduct end quickly but was continued until 1950 when the Americans, England and France realized that they needed a buffer state between themselves and the Soviet Union. And so, the war in the West came to its grudging end. The Soviets were much more brutal, so much so that there was a continuing drain from the East German Sector of the USSR as Germans fled to the West necessitating the building of the Berlin wall.

As may easily be seen the orthodox version, the academic version, of the period is so distorted as to be a fantasy of the reality. The root of the war as per Kaufman’s plan was the Jewish Nation’s hatred of the German Nation. That hatred went back many centuries and was fully developed. Having essentially captured the US, England and USSR governments the Jewish Nation was able to direct their energies toward a Total Solution of their German Problem which was the total genocide of the German people. WWII was the greatest crime ever perpetrated.

All this has been obscured and ignored and hidden if not nearly erased. The world is so conditioned to view the period from the Jewish point of view that they find the truth incomprehensible. To expose that truth is to expose one’s self to many hazards. Many such people now have permanent homes in prisons. Laws in nearly all countries have been passed to make even the objective discussion of the period a criminal offence, France and Germany being the worst offenders with England close behind. They must protect their narrative at all costs.

And so, nearly a hundred years after the war goes on unabated. Circumstances have changed but the situation hasn’t.

Pt. VII: Time Traveling With R.E. Prindle

by

R.E. Prindle

GWMReynolds

Would to God your horizon may broaden every day.

The people who bind themselves to systems are those who are unable to encompass the whole truth and try to catch it by the tail; as system is like the tail of truth, but truth is like a lizard, it leaves its tail in your fingers and runs away knowing full well that it will grow a new tail in a twinkling.

Ilya Turgenev as quoted by

Daniel Boorstin

The doctrine that correlates imply one another, that the father cannot be thought of without thinking of a child and that there can be no consciousness of a superior without consciousness of an inferior—has for one of its common examples the necessary connexion between the conception of whole and part. Beyond the primary truth that no idea of a part can be framed without a nascent idea of some whole to which it belongs, there is the secondary truth that there can be no correct idea of a part without a correct idea of the correlative whole. There are several ways in which inadequate knowledge of the one involves inadequate knowledge of the other.

Herbert Spencer

The Principles of Ethics

To understand a serious author like Reynolds it is necessary to place him in his context. Reynolds’ interest seems to be all Europe in its widest breadth and length and depth. By depth I mean its timeline. Ancient literatures line out what they consider their maximum territory. Thus the Greek story of the Argonautica travels East along the North of Anatolia to Armenia. Armenia then seems to be the dispersal point of Hellenes or Greeks. The line then runs West across the South coast of present day Russia, up the Danube into the Alps, beyond which the Hyperboreans live, and down the Adriatic side of the Balkans, the heel of Italy, across the Mediterranean to Include Libya and back around Crete to Greece proper. Something is being said.

The Novels of Reynolds do exactly the same thing including Armenia. His home base of England and London reflecting his personal history. His timelines slip up and down if less recognizably to the casual observer. The key topic running through the novels is the relationship of men to women. The big issue is that of Libertinage- specifically as codified by the Marquis de Sade.

While I have yet to find a reference to Dashwood’s Hell Fire Club the activities of the Regent, George IV epitomize the philosophy of the Hell Fire clubs in their motto, Do What Thou Wilt. It should be noted that these clubs and the philosophy predate the Marquis de Sade.

George_IV_

George IV In Full Regalia

The antecedents of the Hell Fire Clubs lead to the Jeffrey Epstein club of the twenty-first century as it is descended from the Hell Fire clubs of eighteenth century England. In Hollywood of mid-twentieth century the actor Errol Flynn led such a club there.

The problem rises much earlier than the Catholic Church with its rather strange sexual practices but by the fifteenth century the challenge to the Church’s sex notions was becoming acute. Hence societies such as the Free Spirits arose. Thus, bands of Free Spirits burst into nunneries and dragged the nuns out in a furious mode, raping them and demanding that they engage in free sex with any man at any time.

The later Anabaptists had very similar attitudes toward sex while the Libertines of the eighteenth century down to the current times are of the same opinion. Women’s Liberation is all about altering their sexual attitudes toward free sex. The gathering place for Libertines for centuries has been Bohemia. Hence the expression ‘marriage a la Boheme,’ which is to say a ‘union of hearts’ only. There is no commitment on the man’s part except convenience. The well-kept secret of Women’s Liberation is that women are encouraged to engage in free sex with any man at any time. This is what Women’s Lib is all about.

Reynolds attacks that problem directly usually falling, I think on the side of Libertinism.

As all experienced Time Travelers know, in our lifetimes as we inch along from year to year we are actually travelling through time. Today, myself at eighty-two, I have seen so many impossible changes as to be incredible. Mores between 1948 when I became aware and 2020 where I am today have changed by 180 degrees. What was true in 1948 no longer applies. Change after change. Whole industries have disappeared and new ones risen. The once ubiquitous savings and loan industry was completely looted and discarded, disappearing in the 1980s. That crime is still incredible to me.

The immense travel industry inaugurated by the Boeing 707 in 1959 has become so ubiquitous while being daily increased by the billions of Asians that tourist destinations can no longer handle the crowds. Sites are being destroyed by tramping feet of the hordes of gawkers. Whole cities contained in giant cruise ships are delivered to tourist spots in a single hour. In the not too distant future visitor permits will have to be issued limiting the number of tourists to specific time spots.

So with Reynolds in his time. By 1859 when his novelistic career essentially terminates it was a different England from 1844 when he successfully launched himself as a novelist. Eighteen forty-four was a significantly different England than the Regency period and kingship of George IV. And in 1859 when Darwin’s Origin of Species was issued changes began to come too rapidly to be absorbed and diffused before new changes made the previous changes obsolete. The rate of change was commemorated by Washington Irving in his story of Rip Van Winkle. In 1903 the Wright Brothers completed the impossible dream by lifting off in a heavier than air craft.

The very changes rapidly occurring may have brought Reynolds’ career to the end by 1858-60. His novels would no longer have represented contemporary life. It is perhaps no coincidence that his last few novels dipped into the historical past.

He continued his newspaper work until his death and, indeed, his newspaper survived him by almost a century, longer that his novels did. I have vague memories of being encouraged to read the paper to prevent its going out of business when I was in San Francisco in the 1960s. But, what could that have meant to me? I had no idea of its significance.

Beau Brummel

The Beau w/Cravat

In 1848 Reynolds began his magnum opus, The Mysteries of the Court of London, attacking the British monarchy. This book, or two series of books, is actually a historical novel built around George IV. The first series takes place in 1794-95 and the second series during the Regency in 1814-1, thus actually a historical novel. In 1820 George’s father, George III, died; George took the throne and would die ten years later in 1830.

George Reynolds was born in 1814 while spending six of his first eight years on the island of Guernsey. He may never have heard of George IV until 1822 when he returned to England. How much he may have thought of George IV in the next eight years from eight to the age of sixteen it couldn’t have been much. Certainly not enough to give him his bone deep hatred of the Prince that he displays in the Court of London, in which George is the central figure.

Related to George is the aristocracy that Reynolds also hated, hated to the point of slander and defamation. His ire went far deeper than mere exposure. From 1848 to 1856 over which time the massive five thousand page novel was written there were a large number of people still alive that had lived through the Regency and kingship of George IV. The Regency began in 1811 when George’s father was declared mentally incompetent to rule.

Memories of others differ substantially from the George that Reynolds portrays. For instance a Capt. Jessie in his 1844 biography of George ‘Beau’ Brummel, an intimate of the Regent, says that ‘in spite of the opinion retailed by a modern novelist, that “in the zenith of his popularity and personal advantages he seemed positively vulgar by the side of the Count d’ Artois,” was allowed by his greatest admirers to be the most distinguished looking man of the day.’

I have no doubt that Capt. Jessie was referring to Reynolds as the modern novelist. Compare Reynolds’ opinion by this painting of George in his prime and Reynolds’ opinion seems highly prejudiced. True George became obese as he sped his course but in his prime he seems to have been quite the beau.

In his antipathy to the monarchical system Reynolds was all but beating a dead horse. By the time he began his effective career in 1844, Victoria, who he despises as a mere girl, was queen and the monarchy had been neutered becoming a mere symbol as all effective power passed to the House of Commons. So, his actually scurrilous biographical novel of George IV in the Mysteries of the Court of London merely commemorated his life.

Of course in 1848-52 of the First Series of Court perhaps the state of the monarchy wasn’t that clear but England cherished the institution so that the French system wasn’t to occur in England even though Reynolds wished it. Even the nobility were never physically endangered but as the role of Commons dominated it the House of Lords was reduced to a mere debating society. And, while the Reform Act of 1832 imprinted society’s growing understanding of the consequences of the Industrial Revolution it wasn’t fast enough for the revolutionaries with their pie in the sky utopian notions. The first really effective and successful attempt to ameliorate the conditions of unskilled labor would occur in 1914 when Henry Ford in the US courageously tackled the problem offering a living wage to the unskilled lumpenproletariat along with sanitary working conditions.

Responding to the successfully met revolution of 1848, never try the same joke three times running. In response in 1851 England presented the world with its Crystal Palace Exhibition of all the technological and scientific wonders achieved by scientists and industrialists which were going far to ameliorate the living conditions of the hoi polloi while increasing wealth.
Reynolds sniffs at the Exhibition in vol. I of the second series of Court of London, not exactly wishing the Prince Albert ill in his enterprise but snidely nevertheless. He knew its import.

Change was in the air and while not so rapid as the twentieth and twenty-first centuries as Reynolds was busy blasting the monarchy and aristocracy of 1795 to 1820 the world was moving forward and slipping beneath his feet. This was surely epitomized by Exhibition of 1851. Surely Reynolds visited the Exhibition more than one time and one wonders how it affected him. While one can pinpoint when changes occurred it is more difficult to understand how and when those changes were diffused among the whole population. There were certainly early adapters even then but as a novelist it is difficult to dwell on them before they had time to affect the mores of the civilization. One can’t be too far ahead of one’s readership.

On the other hand Reynolds’ responded immediately to the Crimean War of 1853-56 with his novel Omar of 1855-56, but then the war was easy to understand.

Technologically Reynolds does introduce mentions of the railroad and telegraphy. He marvels at the wonder of electricity which he understood as an actual fluid. Most astonishing to him was the introduction of the steamship or packets as they were called. These amazing ships were the product of the mind of an engineer by the name of Isambard Kingdom Brunel. Reynolds wrote his penultimate novel of his first period about the ships titled The Steam Packet.

Who was Isambard Brunel and what was his importance? The writer of the Wikipedia article says this:

Isambard Kingdom Brunel; 1806-1859, was an English mechanical and civil engineer who is considered “one of the most ingenious and prolific figures in engineering history”, “one of the 19th-century engineering giants”, and “ one of the greatest figures of the Industrial Revolution, [who] changed the face of the English landscape with his groundbreaking designs and ingenious constructions”. Brunel built dockyards, the Great Western Railway, a series of steamships including the first propeller-driven transatlantic steamship, and numerous important bridges and tunnels. His designs revolutionized public transport and modern engineering.

So, in 1859 when Brunel died he left a different England behind. In 1839 he built the first transatlantic steamship, The Great Western. It was a metal reinforced wooden vessel driven with paddle wheels and sails. It was to that point the most magnificent ship ever built. It must have fired Reynolds’ imagination. He set to work a year later in 1840 producing his novel The Steam Packet. There were of course smaller steamships or packets plying the European trade. Reynolds produced an enthusiastic encomium of the vast numbers of ships gathered in the Thames Pool. A regular timewarp of the doomed sail and upcoming steamship laying side by side. Standing on London Bridge and watching this inspiring theme he imagined a trip down the Thames visiting the Cinq Ports of Kent, and the French Channel ports. He created an imaginary club called the Luminaries, a bunch of enlightened illuminated fellows to charter a ship. In 1865 Reynolds tried to make such a voyage a reality. On his company’s annual outing he tried to charter a steamer to take his employees to Herne Bay in Kent but he was unable to find a ship to charter, probably for political reasons.

As the Wikipedia article indicates Brunel spent the twenty years between 1839 and 1859 building ships and railroads. In 1853 he built the SS Great Britain an all metal ship that was the first driven by a screw and no paddle wheels. In 1859 as he died he built the Great Eastern. Eighteen fifty-nine was also the year that Reynolds essentially ended his novelistic career. Perhaps he was wise as time had passed him by, there wasn’t much nasty he could say about the girl Queen Elizabeth while politics had entered a new era in which his literary attitude was not quite relevant.

A part of the July Revolution in France in 1830 that had a profound effect on England seems to have passed him by. Napoleon in the 1790s had emancipated the Jews who then began their political rise as a nation. It is a mistake not to consider the Jews a nation with national aspirations, distributed throughout Europe, working in concert to their own agenda. Thus in 1830 the Jews were politically potent in all countries.

Now, for centuries, since 1492 and the expulsion from Spain the Moslems of the Mediterranean littoral had been plundering the Southern coasts of Europe both robbing, destroying localities and carrying off Europeans to enslave them in Algeria and other places. Europeans had not acted to stop this but in 1830 France did, destroying the corsair power and annexing Algeria as a French colony, actually considering it a department of France.

The Jews had always been a subordinated nation in Algeria. But, as an important figure of the July Revolution the Jewish lawyer, Adolphe Cremieux, inserted a clause making the Jews of Algeria French citizens so that they catapulted to power over their former masters, the Moslems. This would have consequences. Of course France had colonies to the South of the Sahara and now to administer the Sahara they created that immortal band of misfits, The French Foreign Legion. Thus the North African desert area was opened to Europeans and the English. The English took to the desert like ducks to water, no pun intended. The Sahara became one of Europe’s playgrounds. Dangerous but fun.

Within short order series of novels placing Englishmen in the desert began to pour out including Ouida’s famous Under Two Flags, Robert Hitchins great Garden Of Allah, Mrs. Hull, and P.C. Wren. The twentieth century would see Algiers fill with English drug addicts and homosexuals. Very amazing. At one moment the Moslems were raiding Europe and the next France had its foot on their necks. In a twinkling so it appears.

Amazing. Adolphe Cremieux would go on to figure importantly in the Revolution of 1848 and the resistance to Napoleon III, behind the Paris Commune of 1871 and be instrumental in the writing of Maurice Joly’s Dialogue in Hell Between Machiavelli and Montesquieu that was supposed to be the matrix for the Protocols of the Elders of Zion written in Vienna in 1897 during the Zionist convention. The Protocols had no importance until 1917 when they were promoted as a defensive measure to discredit critics of Jewish participation in the 1917 Revolution. But few could see the consequences of what was so deeply concealed in the annexation of Algeria by a seemingly insignificant people. But, if you look closely….

I hesitate to introduce this next section because I’m sure you have never heard of it and hence you probably may find it too far fetched. You’ll be skeptical. Nevertheless there are subterranean streams. I’m sure that you have heard of the psychologist Carl Jung’s notion of the collective unconscious. I am not a believer in the notion but still life’s situations present themselves to all peoples and are interpreted by them. At the same once the problems are denominated they are thought of and examined down through the generations until they become the common property of initiates and/or investigators. The zodiac is one of those things, for instance. The zodiac which was merely an ancient timekeeping device to keep track of where you were between Dec. 21st-25th of one year and the next. Stonehenge for instance was very probably a representation of the Zodiac denoting the various key points of the year.

A great mythology was built up about those key points. For instance Castor and Pollux, Helen and Clytemnestra are legends of the solstices and equinoxes. Castor is the winter solstice and Pollux the summer. Helen the spring equinox and Clytemnestra the autumn. Hence Helen is the beautiful spring and Clytemnestra is the obnoxious precursor of winter.

The ancient religions had the motto: As above, so below. As there was a twelve month Zodiacal calendar on Earth so there must be a twelve month celestial calendar above. Thus, the Zodiac was translated to the sky. Just as the terrestrial Zodiac denoted the weather conditions prevalent during each month so, once the Great Year was discovered so weather conditions were apportioned to the Great Year. The Great year was caused when the Plane of the Ecliptic came into existence and a cycle of 25,900 years ensued.

Each Age was therefore 2000 some years long. I’m sure you know the signs of the Zodiac. The transitions from Age to Age were always fraught with terrific consequences because the ancients believed in the Zodiac. Now, the year O of the Christian calendar was also the transition from the Age of Aries to the Age of Pisces.

To properly understand the mass suicide of the Jews on the mountain fortress of Masada one has to understand that a new Age was beginning and those Jews sincerely believed that if they died they would be revived in a matter of days. Obviously it was a mistaken belief. Jesus was talking about immediate results not those of a far distant Age.

The symbol for Pisces was the two fish connected by an umbilical cord while swimming in opposite directions. Carl Jung sat and pondered this long and hard. He was a student of this submerged consciousness that he called the Collective Unconscious. He then noted that about the year 1000 AD the archetypes for the Age began to change. While Christ remained the male archetype, the female archetype, the fish swimming in the opposite direction assumed prominence over the male archetype. Thus, in the Catholic Church the Virgin Mary, the Great Mother, became the focus of worship over that of Christ. However, inr the North of Europe, the Nordics rejected the Great Mother as the female archetype choosing rather to adopt that of, in the Greek world, Artemis, who was called Diana in the Roman dispensation. Thus while the archetypes were Mary/Jesus in the South of Europe, in the North they became Jesus and Artemis-Diana. Artemis was known as the Mistress of the Animals, the huntress, the virgin goddess. She transcended Jesus. The last thousand years then have been dominated by the female archetype of the Age of Pisces. We are now on the cusp of the Age of Aquarius hence the archetypes will change appropriate to that Age. The Green Man will be the male archetype; I’m not aware of the who the female archetype will be.

So, the initiates are aware of this and George W.M. Reynolds was an Illuminated initiate. He knew about Diana, hence in the two Mysteries stories if you are reading attentively, you will notice the prominence of the name Diana. It is most prominent in the story of Lady Diana Lade and Tim Meagles in the Court of London. I am not an initiate or Illuminated in the religious sense, I am merely an independent historical scholar. I come by my understanding through study.

You may want a couple illustrations that demonstrate my point. They are readily available in plain sight. For those of you who are familiar with the Arthurian Cycle you will remember the story of Vivian or Nemue and Merlin the Magician. Merlin can be designated Jesus/Merlin and Vivian, Vivian/Diana. In the cycle that was written about mid-Age you will recall that Merlin was the wisest man of all and he was associated with Blaise to whom he related his adventures to compose for posterity. Merlin as a male represents the first half of the Age when the male was dominant. Thus the young and beauteous Vivian makes up to the doddering old Merlin and flatters his masculine drive. She wheedles his magical secrets from him then turning on the charm, placing his head in her lap, as it were, she wheedles the great secret from him which he knew better than to tell her but…love, love, love.

Having the secret she then says the magic words and imprisons Merlin in the earth, Mother Earth, the feminine, that is. He’s still there, obviously. Thus Diana assumed prominence as the female archetype of Pisces in the North.

Now, here’s where it gets kind of spooky. About the turn of twentieth century as the Age of Aquarius got nearer, rumblings began to appear premonitory of the transition. Then, in 1920 an Englishwoman by the name of Mrs. Hull published her novel, The Sheik. The same Sheik that made Rudolf Valentino famous. In this novel the huntress, as Diana was called, who had been brought up as a boy by her father, was visiting the English watering hole in the desert, Biskra, in Algeria. There was a railway from the coast about 115 miles long to Biskra which is on the verge of the Sahara. We now have Diana coupled with the English fascination with the desert.

That fascination may perhaps be best described by the Saharan explorer Byron Khun De Prorok in his Mysterious Sahara. Mrs. Hull who had actually been in Algeria makes an attempt. In her story Diana is the haughty male despising huntress who is about to make a crossing of the desert from Biskra to Oran unescorted. The Sheik, ostensibly an Arab and a Moslem sees her about town and decides to abduct her, which to make a longer story short, he does. Now, he has to tame Diana, this is interesting, he rapes her night after night until her spirit is broken. In the course of the story she assumes the subordinate role to the male. This is a strange story. Naturally the Sheik turns out to be not Arab but half English and half Portuguese more or less giving the English a claim to the Sahara but creating a weird relationship between England and the Moslems that now appears to be manifesting itself in reverse. If Mrs. Hull was an initiate and that isn’t unlikely then possibly she is, or was, preparing the way for the coming Aquarian Age when a new female archetype will be needed. That’s about as far as my researches have taken me so far. It will be noted however that in Reynold’s story Lady Diana Lade, who wears men’s clothes and is repeatedly denominated the huntress marries Tim Meagles who has become a Marquis, hence noble and a fitting mate for the princessly Diana. One may compare that with Mrs. Hull’s story.

As I say, this tremendous story runs underground like the above ground Nile. However the traditions of the Zodiac are transmitted, they are being transmitted.

But, back to Reynolds and his story of the Steam Packet and its place in his corpus. The story was written and published in ten parts at one shilling each before the last novel of his first period Master Timothy’s Bookcase which was published in 1942. The edition I have, reissued by Gyan Press of India, is all ten parts bound and published together originally in 1844 with an ad for Master Timothy on the back cover. Each of the installments was priced at one shilling, twelve pence. Master Timothy was advertised by the publisher W. Emans for sixteen shillings. Apparently the public rejected Reynolds at very high prices compared to a penny. Perhaps Reynolds despaired of success after both titles failed. The advertisement for Master Timothy sounds like a plea to the reader. Very interesting, I reproduce it here.

“We have frequently had occasion to speak favourably of the writing of this author; and we see no reason in the work before us for changing that opinion. Part I. of ‘Master Timothy’s Bookcase’ contains forty pages of letter-press and two beautiful steel engravings, and is sold at the usual price of one shilling. At that rate it is decidedly one of the cheapest works of the day; and its intrinsic merits will doubtless aid not a little in procuring for it an adequate share of the public patronage. The design of the tale is singular; the hero, Sir Edmund Mortimer, becomes possessed of a magic bookcase, which reveals to him all the secrets and mysteries of human life. The chief aim of Mr. Reynolds in this work seems to be to involve his hero in a series of doubts and mystifications; and when his curiosity and suspense are worked up to the highest pitch, he appeals to the book-case, and the truth is immediately made apparent. That which as first sight appeared virtuous, turns out to be vicious; seeming injustice proves to be justice; and every thing turns out in a contrary manner from what either the hero or the reader of the tale anticipate. We are told in the Preface that ‘one of the principal aims of the author, is to illustrate the truth of the ancient aphorism that we should never trust to appearances.’ The interest of the reader is most acutely excited; and he must lay down the first Part with a wish to become acquainted with the next. We perceive by the Preface, that in the course of forthcoming Parts the story of Madame Lafarge and the historical subject of the Man with the Iron Mask are to form episodes in the tale. The plot is ingenious and original; for, although, from the title, the reader might imagine that it is an imitation of ‘Master Humphrey’s Clock,’ we can vouch that no similitude of design is apparent in the tale before us.” –Dispatch, July 4th, 1841.

The reader would certainly be justified in thinking that the title refers to Dickens’ Master Humphrey and as the book ends with a story about Mr. Pickwick it would seem he was justified. Perhaps Reynolds did despair as both The Steam Packet and Master Timothy seem to lean on Dickens for a sense of direction. He seems to be a parasite of Dickens.

To move ahead a bit to 1844 when Reynolds began Mysteries of London for the publishers Stiff and Vickers. At the end of the Second Series of Mysteries of London in 1848 Stiff and Vickers say that they own The Mysteries of London and imply that Reynolds can no longer use the title. Indeed, they found another writer, Miller, to write, I assume, for hire to continue the series.

One wonders then whether Stiff and Vickers didn’t approach Reynolds to write a Mysteries of London in imitation of Eugene Sue’s Mysteries of Paris. Another Frenchman, Paul Favel, had also published his novel Mysteries of London in 1843 which, judging only from a few excerpts, the book has never been translated, it is similar in concept to that of Reynolds. It is possible that Stiff and Vickers seized on the idea and recruited Reynolds to write the story to which occasion Reynolds supremely rose.

In any event The Steam Packet is written much in the Dickens style although as usual much superior to Dickens’ execution. The story has a tristesse about it as though Reynolds’ first period is ending with a feeling of failure. In fact, he seems to have made small impression at this point in his career.

Reynolds reverts to a Dickens motif of a club and its leader not dissimilar to the Pickwick Club. This is the Club of Luminaries led be a Mr. Pifpaf. Not exactly an endearing name, not quite as good as Pickwick. As in Pickwick Abroad the Club organizes an outing on a Steam Packet that probably was a novel concept at the time and in accordance with Reynolds interest in The Great Western. In this case the trip is down the Thames from the Pool, past Margate and the Cinq Ports to a tour of the French ports with its various adventures comically told. It’s not bad. It is a very good effort of Reynolds that probably deserved better acceptance except for that fatal association with another man’s work. Dickens is always on your mind.

Still, I see it as a Sentimental Journey as Reynolds more or less recaps his life to this point.   Consider this passage from page 75. He has just been criticizing Margate in Kent as a place where they roll up the sidewalks at five. Then this lovely passage:

Still—in despite of all that I have just written—I love Margate well. I am deeply attached to that part of Kent in which the Cinque Ports are situated; for I myself first drew breath of life in one of them. There are some men who regard love for one’s native place as a kind of fanaticism;–mind how you speak before them of the village where your eyes first held light—of your attachment to the very earth—to the atmosphere—to the village bell—or to the gently murmur of the passing stream;–all this is an impenetrable mystery to their cold egotist souls: in such hearts Self is the dominant power—such men love naught but themselves. They possess not a single generous association: listening to them you might believe that they exist without having ever submitted to the weakness of infancy—that they are secure from tomb.

Delicious is the privilege of enjoying the remembrance of a spot upon the earth where all our delightful dreams are assembled, our youthful loves and our parting hour! Delicious is it to picture a happy life in the little white cottage, sheltered with rosy tiles, as did Rousseau! There are you known by the very trees that grace the hamlet: that crowing cock that announced your birth—that wooden cross looked on while you received the name of Christian—that heavenly star rose through the ethereal arc to protect your life—the old church portals have creaked a kindly welcome to your repeated presence. There alone are you at home and beside your family;–there rests your father, there sleeps your mother;–there you were a helpless babe; and thither will you return in old age! Oh! spurn not that patriotism which is circumscribed to one’s native place,–it is patriotism still; for he who can love the humble village which saw his birth, possesses that sacred fervor which prompted Decius and Curtius how to die! Oh! even as my hand traces these words, I feel myself carried back to the days of infancy—and I rove with light and buoyant step once again amongst my native valleys. And so it is with the old man, too: though many years have glided by, and time has touched him with its silvery hand—though the roses of spring be faded, and the merry song of youthfulness be hushed; yet over these does memory linger, and draw from the remembrance a fragrance redolent of the gathered flower.

I think that sort of sentimentalism pervades Reynolds writing and gives it much of its interest. My life circumstances prevent me from sharing the view but Reynolds experience is as mine should have been and which I miss having been prevented to see.

When the steam packet lands at Dunkirk it is as though Reynolds is conducting a tour of his stay in France which he found equally as wonderful as his childhood even though he experienced some rough times. He seems fully conversant with Dunkirk and nearby St. Omer although the necessities of fiction prevent it from becoming a travelogue.

Reynolds was always quite observant of place and people as he shows in his excellent portrait of Calais. It sounds as if he had returned for a visit as he compares the present fallen state with the bustling past. At one time Calais was the only point of entrance into France from England while at the time he is writing other ports have assumed importance and Calais has become a shadow of itself with all institutions in decline. He himself claimed to have spoken with George ‘Beau’ Brummel when he first arrived in 1831. The Beau was the prime credit exile at the time. At that time all English visitors landed at Calais. There his old acquaintances saw the decaying Brummel and were dunned by him for loans that he could never repay. His was a sad story as he began his long decline dying a few years later a tattered remain of his former glory.

The Steam Packet was a much better book than I expected. It has multiple charms. Not least of the charms is that Reynolds is describing the French Channel ports as they appear to have actually existed at the moment while comparing them to the recent past. One is led to believe that Reynolds visited them just prior to writing. In a very interesting manner he interjects one of his long tales, as he calls them, short stories as a later period might, that ultimately leads to the career of the Seeress Mlle. Lenormand.

Mlle Lenormand was a real person and was alive at the time of writing dying in 1843. She was a very famous Seeress dating back to the time of the Revolution. She was probably a topic of conversation in Reynolds’ circles. I would hesitate to call a seeress such as Mlle. Lenormand fraudulent except that she and all Seers and Seeresses lay claim to have supernatural powers. The good have acute vision and highly developed acumen. They are able to look at what is happening, compare it with the past, and make fairly accurate prognostications of the future. Thus before the Revolution Mlle. Lenormand was able to accurately project the course of the Revolution gaining her reputation. Thus she was assumed to have supernatural powers so that she would have had to have worn the mantle to protect her reputation.

In order to succeed she had to have a system to collect information wide and deep then present her findings in a mysterious manner. She must have been at the height of her fame in 1840-41 when Reynolds wrote the Steam Packet.

By 1841 many societal things were happening that tended toward the encouragement of the supernatural. The Spiritual movement was beginning that would persist through the century finally becoming the Society for Psychic Research. Table turning and rappings were to become the rage. Mesmerism or Hypnotism as it became controversy was simmering along merrily in which Reynolds was heavily involved along with Franz Gall’s phrenology that was taken quite seriously at the time, the study of physiognomy is frequently referred to by Reynolds. And then there was the misunderstood phenomenon of electricity shrouded in the mystical, that Reynolds believed to be an actual fluid. And the telegraph, my Lord, messages could be sent hundreds of miles instantaneously. This was quite a mindblower at the time. By the twenty-first century you could transmit your own picture to anyplace in the world instantaneously. Perhaps then as now it wasn’t easy to determine what was real and what wasn’t. Today you address a black column and instead of saying abracadabra, you say Alexa and all kinds of improbable, seemingly impossible, things can occur. So, what isn’t possible? Perhaps then as now it wasn’t that easy to determine what was real and what wasn’t.

At any rate, in this atmosphere, Reynolds chose to expose the methods, or some of them, of Mlle. Lenormand. It is questionable how effective the Steam Packet was in discrediting her, nevertheless it’s the intent that counts. One wonders if she heard of it.

I think that one can couple The Steam Packet with Master Timothy’s Bookcase. They are both highly emulative of Dickens. Reynolds wouldn’t shake off the influence of Dickens until he began the Mysteries. Astonishingly Reynolds was only twenty-six years old when he wrote Steam Packet and it is an involved and intricate story with very good characterizations.

Reynolds first attempt, The Youthful Impostor was first written when he was only eighteen, that would have been in 1832, and published in 1835 when he was twenty-one. Reynolds rewrote it as The Parricide. As Reynolds describes that work in the advertisement:

This work has been completely remodeled, incorporating with it almost the whole of the episode involving the adventures of Sophia Maxwell and the Tale, in its new—reshaped—improved form, and Is now issued to the public under the more appropriate title of “The Parricide”

And that is dated 1847. So he has been reborn as a success and thus brings forward what he considered an important work under his own imprint. It appears that the four series of the Mysteries of London remained the property of Stiff and Vickers as I have found no evidence to this point that the series was ever republished by Dicks.

There is some mystery concerning the Court of London that putatively exists as four series also. The Oxford Society in England and the Burton Ethnographical Society of Boston USA published a twenty volume ‘Works’ of G. W. M. Reynolds that includes the first two series undoubtedly written by Reynolds but then continues on with a five volume work titled The Crimes of Lady Saxondale and a fourth five volume series titled The Fortunes of the Ashtons.

I have no idea where the third and fourth series came from but Reynolds could not have written them while they were available in 1900 when the Oxford and Burton sets were published. It is physically impossible that Reynolds could have written the two continuations while the style of writing is quite different from his.

Today, times and mores have changed, 1840-56 is 170 years or so in the past. Even the Oxford and Burton editions are well over a hundred years old, one hundred and seventy years of eventful history, two centuries almost, and millions of books. The mentality of the current age cannot elate to the changes the human mind has gone through so any thoughts of a revival, any such hopes, are futile. As Stendhal dedicated his great novel, The Charterhouse of Parma to the ‘the happy few’, so only the happy few will appreciate this fantastic author. I am happy to be one of them.

 

Next: Part VIII, Into The Mysteries.

Daughter of Babylon

September 29, 2019

My answers to you posts are not appearing at this end.  Are they at yours?  I didn’t delete your comment it was deleted by WordPress.

Global Warming

September 26, 2019

DOB, couldn’t get posted to comments.

Global Warming.

Ah, what fools these mortals be, Daughter of Babylon. They haven’t the sense to listen to what hundred thousand year old ancestors have to say about so-called global warming. Don’t they have an extreme example of global warming occurring every year? Don’t temperatures drop in the deep pit of winter that begins every annual year? And doesn’t terrifying global warming occur every year as temperatures soar into the terrifying heat of summer? Every year don’t temperatures plunge to seventy degrees below zero and swing to maybe a hundred and thirty above six months later? A terrifying two hundred degree swing every six months? Ah, I tremble each December 21st and offer gifts to the deity to save my soul.

Ah, our hundred thousand years old ancestors were much smarter than we give them credit for, they studied the heavens and learned to read the wisdom of the stars. They created the first mandala, the first calendar, a colored circle of sand to record the phenomena. They already knew of the tremendously long cycle of twenty-six thousand years in which the annual cycle was replicated in the Great Year of the stars.

Slowly because of the Plane of the Ecliptic, which remained a mystery to them, the North Pole swung around from Polaris to Vega, a distance of 180 degrees and as it did the planet passed from Summer to Autumn just as it did in the annual cycle and when the Pole reached Vega a deep cold Winter rested on the whole planet as great polar ice caps crept down the Northern Hemisphere, great flowing ice rivers flowed down the mountain sides.

Ou sont les neiges d’ antan?

They melted because the earth received the welcoming warmth of Spring.

They began to melt and then earth made those terrifying disastrous wings from cold through Spring to the current Summer of the Great Year. Yea, verily, the answer is in the stars. Look up, ye muckrakers of the earth. Look up and see the truth; fear no more. The Summer is here, enjoy it!

Make the necessary adjustments and fear nothing. You will never be cold again in anyone’s lifetime.

    

 

 

Part VI: Time Traveling With R.E. Prindle

G.W.M. Reynolds: Building A Publishing Empire

by

R.E. Prindle

 

George W.M. Reynolds is an interesting story, almost epic actually. No biography is currently extant. His history must be patched together by certain fragmentary sketches and assembled based on those autobiographical details from his novels in addition to fragmentary researches and solid facts that provide hints to interpret the novels.

As to parentage: His father was George Reynolds, a naval officer during the Napoleonic wars. His dates: 1762-1822. During those Napoleonic wars in 1802 he was commissioned a Captain and given command of the Tribune, a 36 gun frigate with which he was able to capture what researcher Dick Collins says, were several prizes. The proceeds from those prizes were distributed in shares to the officers and crew. Collins gives no idea of the richness of those prizes but we must presume that he received, possibly, ten to twenty thousand pounds overall and possibly more. This is important as when his son assumed his inheritance in 1830 it is possible that he received twelve thousand pounds. Thus, it would likely have come from the proceeds of these prizes.

Prize money would have been in addition to his wages and whatever emoluments that might have amounted to three hundred pounds or more per annum. If Reynolds’ father had invested his prize money and lived on other earnings it would make his having twelve thousand pounds not unreasonable. This is important because the size of GWM’s inheritance is disputed. Dick Collins, for instance, seeks to diminish it to near nothing. Guy Dicks places it at seven thousand. Without any other assurance than the prizes I accept the figure of twelve thousand, if for no other reason than Reynolds was too affluent in France than for there being little or no inheritance.

On his mother’s side, Caroline Frances Dowers, 1789-1830, her father was a Purser Dowers, Purser is his Christian name, who was the commandant of the Royal Naval Hospital in Walmer, Kent. Caroline and George were married in 1813. George W.M. was born a year later in Sandwich, Kent but that location doesn’t figure in his writings while Walmer and Deal, two neighboring towns where Dowers and his guardian Duncan McArthur lived, have prominent places as well as Canterbury with a nod to Ashford.

GWM had a brother, Edward, born in 1816 with whom he was associated through life, serving with the publishing company George created. Shortly after in 1816 his father was stationed on the island of Guernsey where GWM spent the next six years. Guernsey will figure in his novels. It was probably there, next to France, speaking a French dialect that his affection for France arose.

In 1822, the family returned to Kent in Canterbury where his father died soon after. His mother at that time was thirty-three, a young and probably attractive woman. She was appointed guardian of her sons. As a backup guardian a great friend of her husband’s, the surgeon Duncan McArthur of Walmer, 1772-1850 accepted the responsibility on her death in March of 1830 at the very young age of forty-two. Thus, Reynolds was an orphan at fifteen. His being an orphan is important in his writings. George was eight years old when his father died, and fifteen when his mother passed. Excluding his two years of infancy his life had been divided evenly between Guernsey and Kent. Orphaned at eight when is father died and then left parentless after another eight years his childhood must have had a profound effect on his psychology.

In 1828 he had been placed in the Sandhurst Military Academy in Berkshire. Neither Sandhurst nor Berkshire have a prominent place in his novels. His total experience in Kent then takes place from 1822 to 1828 and those years were apparently the most formative years of his life for which he appears to have had a great affection. He was sent to school at Ashford, Kent, a relatively large town equidistant from Canterbury and Walmer-Deal. Whatever happened in Walmer-Deal then happened between 1822 and 1828 but left an indelible impression on him.

In those years George must have associated in Walmer with Duncan McArthur and possibly his grand-father Purser Dowers. George is fixated on these years and these towns plus Canterbury. Walmer especially is connected to his character of the Resurrection Man, Anthony Tidkins, in the First Series of The Mysteries of London. At that time body stealers from graveyards, known as resurrection men were supplying corpses to physicians for dissection in the advancement of science. Dick Collins speculates that Duncan McArthur, a surgeon, bought bodies. In the novel Tony Tidkins was born in Walmer and supplied bodies to ‘the surgeon of Walmer.’ Thus, Duncan McArthur.

This is quite possible if not probable. Reynolds seems quite familiar with doctors and their scientific experiments. The Mysteries of London were written in two series. For some reason Collins thinks that the Second Series was never written but it is readily available today. It comes in two volumes totaling sixteen hundred pages. It doesn’t appear to be well known. However in Volume III, that is, First Series, Vols. I and II and Second Series, Vols. III and IV, Reynolds describes some offices of ‘the foremost surgeon in England’, a Dr. Lascelles that he leased from a cadaverous, hideous criminal Benjamin Bones, also known as Old Death. Old Death was not a resurrection man but looks like he had been resurrected.

There are many alter-egos of Reynolds in the Mysteries and one in Vol. III is the highwayman, Thomas Rainford or Tom Rain as he was known. He is in Old Death’s crummy old house in which Dr. Lascelles, the foremost doctor in England rents rooms. Rainford enters these rooms to find pickled body parts, lifelike casts of human heads and such. Lascelles is a phrenologist in interest. One, then, is led to ask, did Dr. Duncan McArthur also have such a collection and was an eight to fourteen year old G.W.M. Reynolds introduced into such a gruesome environment by his guardian. Where else could he have witnessed such scenes and attributed them to Walmer. The influence in the novels is extensive.

At fourteen then he was entered into the military academy. What happened between he and his guardian after the mother died while he was a few months short of sixteen isn’t clear. It is hard to believe that Reynolds with his literary bent wasn’t restless in a military environment while being exposed at fourteen to that, to me, repulsive environment was negative. It was probably there that he had his first experiences with gambling and drinking.

He wrangled his way out of Sandhurst in September of 1830. One imagines that McArthur and Dowers resisted this but as military men they probably thought they had to give the young fellow his head. He demanded his inheritance then and there which he must have received but with great reluctance. Whether his brother also had an inheritance isn’t clear but as his brother joined George in France he may have brought a fresh supply of money.

As important as 1822-28 were to Reynolds development, the years in France from 1831-36 were equally important. There is no clear account of what happened in those years, only what may be gleaned from his writings and some facts Dick Collins has collected.

What is clear is that the most significant occurrence was that Reynolds was illuminated almost upon landing in France. Reynolds says that he became a Liberal at Sandhurst, by which he means, that among the sons of the aristocracy as an inferior he developed a deep resentment for that faction of society. In France his illumination codified that resentment into a program.

Illumination may be a new concept to many readers but the term and concept arose from the dissolution of the Medieval Order and the rise of the scientific consciousness promoted by astronomers and alchemists. It became apparent to many that the old order was no longer suited to emerging social exigencies as condensed into the 1789 Revolutionary slogan Liberty, Equality, Fraternity. Its key components were the elimination of monarchy, the aristocracy, that is the privileges of birth, and the rejection of established religion and priestcraft and certain sexual revisions.

In its evolution in the sixteenth century it took the form of the Rosicrucian Order and Rosicrucianism remained the backbone of Illumination down probably to the present. The Illuminati sect of Rosicrucianism appropriated the word. Thus Reynolds appears to have been initiated into the Rosicrucian Order. At least, in his novel the Wehrwolf he has his hero Wagner leave the Island of the Lotus Eaters in his novel to go to Sicily in which the venerable head of the Rosicrucian Order existed as a 164 year old man with whom he had a long interview, or, as I read it, he was initiated or illuminated. This chicanery was common during the eighteenth century and the formation of Freemasonry that incorporates all these legends.

Most famous in the Revolutionary days were Cagliostro, otherwise Joseph Balsamo and the Count de St. Germain, alchemists and magicians. Alexander Dumas has a wonderful interpretation of the career of Cagliostro in his novel Joseph Balsamo. You may be sure Reynolds read it. Of course, such men as these were not what they claimed to be but society was credulous and many took them at their word. After all, with that great European legend or myth of the Wandering Jew sightings of him were common as there were many Jewish poseurs. They wandered and announced themselves and were credited as such. Cagliostro and St. Germain were actually a significant part of the Revolution.

Another impostor of sorts was Adam Weishaupt who appropriated illuminism to form the Illuminati. That group is now passed off as legendary for whatever reasons the Left has, but they did exist and were a key part of the Revolution as Jacobins. Nobody denies the Jacobins.

One must remember that the revolutionary and Napoleonic years were from 1789 to 1815 and Reynolds was born in 1814. He was an ardent follower of Napoleon considering him the greatest man of history. Joseph Balsamo (Cagliostro) and the Comte de St. Germain were still living legends while Reynolds was in Paris. Dumas was writing amazing stories about Cagliostro and the Revolutionary period concurrently with Reynolds’ novels. The French writers he would have been familiar with in the 1830s were all imbrued with the events of 1789-1815. This period was one of most breathtaking events in the history of Europe.

More or less as an aside these first fifty years of the nineteenth century were the formative years from which the succeeding two hundred years have evolved. A work still treasured by the cognoscenti was published in 1841, Charles Mackay’s Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds containing long essays on John Law and the Mississippi Bubble as well as that amazing phenomenon The South Sea Bubble. W.H. Ainsworth wrote a wonderful novel describing the South Sea Bubble. I don’t think there’s any doubt that Reynolds’ read it as he has numerous examples of bubble companies and frauds in his pages. In the early nineteenth century the Frenchman Gustave Le Bon would add his magnificent psychological study the Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind that Freud would incorporate into his Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego thus forming the basis of mind control today.

In addition the Regency Period and Reign of George IV were part of his living memories. When he arrived in France very late in 1830, the year George IV died, really 1831 the Revolution of 1830 had just taken place in July 1830- the July Revolution- that removed Charles X and placed Louis Phillipe on the throne. Almost from enthronement the Revolution of 1848 was being planned and a mere eighteen years later took place ending the monarchy in France permanently. Reynolds himself was working toward 1848 probably from the day his shoes hit French soil.

Reynolds was an enthusiastic supporter of the July Revolution and cheered wildly at the displacement of the aristocracy. In his estimation it placed the French high above the English who retained both monarch and aristocracy. He despised the English nobility. That attitude would have been a common one of course but, I believe it likely that Reynolds humiliating experiences at Sandhurst cemented that hatred in his mind.

Sandhurst would have been full of the sons of the aristocracy who would have demeaned mere commoners. Nor would he have had the money to keep up with them.

What drove him to France isn’t clear but those five years were to be the most influential of his life. Reconstructing those five years is not easy although some key events can be dated.

A sixteen year old striking out on his own in a foreign country with inadequate language skills is daring while if he had what to a sixteen year old was an enormous sum of twelve thousand pounds in his pockets sharpers and sponges would have spotted him immediately.

There is a passage in Vol. II of The Mysteries Of The Court Of London that might explain his situation. A sixteen year old orphan girl, the beauteous Carmilla, actually Rose Foster has been cleaned out of her inheritance by sharpers.

Another home! Alas! Alas! ‘tis much more easily said that done; and the orphan felt that it was so, and her heart, as it were, came up into her throat as she reflected that the only true home which she had ever enjoyed had been swallowed up in the grave of her parents.

O God! robbery is bad, forger is vile, rape is atrocious, and murder is abhorrent; but to ill-treat an orphan, to be merciless toward the poor being from whom death has borne away the fond mother and the doting father, never to send them back again, oh, this is abhorrent also, and the wretch who has no pity for the orphan is capable of robbery and forgery and rape and murder.

There is a cri de couer, a hysterical wringing of hands. We can’t reconstruct exactly what happened after Reynolds’ beloved mother died orphaning him completely. What his relationship with his new guardian was we don’t know, but, just as Carmilla was easy prey for the criminals who took advantage of her youth and innocence, it is more than likely that something similar happened to Reynolds in France.

Thus it cannot be accidental that his account of his first adventures in France should have been recreated in his continuation of Dicken’s Pickwick Papers, Pickwick Abroad. It is a novel full of sharpers and spongers preying on Pickwick who may have been a variant of the prosperous Reynolds. This novel is an interesting account of English ex-pats in Paris.

In the post-Napoleonic years there was such an influx of English people into Paris for extended stays that the Meurice Hotel was created to accommodate them by creating as English an atmosphere in France as possible. It would be almost the same as the Jewish and Italian colonies in New York City c. 1900. It is in the atmosphere of the Meurice that Reynolds places his version of Mr. Pickwick for the duration of that famous character’s stay in France.

It is there that Pickwick is surrounded by sharpers and sponges and plain thieves. One wonders how Reynolds saw himself in that mélange. Perhaps with his twelve thousand pounds he is Mr. Pickwick himself though certainly not as a sponge although one gathers the impression that Reynolds was somewhat addicted to sharp practices. Perhaps his first year or two were spent Pickwick fashion. Quite high living for a sixteen year old. Remember though as Mortimer from Master Timothy’s Bookcase returns to England Mortimer philosophizes whether a young man can be a Man of the World. Perhaps that can be interpreted that he had tried and failed in France.

In these five years in France of rapid intellectual development at no time could he have let the grass grow under his feet. He obviously worked in a vast amount of reading. One should keep in mind that in 1839 in England he compiled a book, The Modern Literature Of France, a book of excerpts with prefaces. It is certain that he read and was deeply influenced by Victor Hugo’s Notre Dame De Paris, or the Hunchback of Notre Dame in common parlance. The book was published in the year of his arrival in 1831. He carried the memory of its pages in mind from that time forward. He read the Marquis de Sades’ Justine, and Juliette, and the Philosophy of the Boudoir and was deeply influenced by those books. His rather racy sexual descriptions probably derive therefrom. He praises the apparently horror novelist, Frederic Soulie (not translated into English yet) while making use of his techniques in his own novels.

Paris must have been wildly active while he was resident. Survivors of the 1789 revolution would have been sixty or seventy years old, filled with stories. Reynolds endorsed the crimes of the French Revolution. The Bohemia immortalized by Henry Burger in his 1859 novel would have been in rapid development thus combining the political, art and literary scenes. Balzac, Sue and Dumas as well as lesser light were all writing in the shadow of the Revolution and Napoleonic years. That Reynolds showed interest in the art scene is evidenced by his chapter in Mysteries of the Court of London. Thus his brain was swarming with images and innumerable scenes copped from the French novelists.

Connected to all would have been the process of illumination, the formation of Reynold’s Weltanschauung and his uniting with the Zeitgeist. I have been unable to identify a reference to the Freemasons but the mystic cult of Rosicrucianism seems to have attracted his attention, hence illumination. Reynolds was a very prominent Liberal, touting Liberalism, hence illumination constantly. A Liberalism almost current with that of the twenty-first century. He was true blue.

After three years in France he made his first novel attempt: The Youthful Impostor. I haven’t read that as yet but the title perhaps indicates his feelings about himself. He was probably premature in taking on the trappings of The Man of the World that he so much wanted to be.

He began a bookstore at about this time while attempting to found an Anglo-French newspaper. One can only conclude that they were unsuccessful and left France a year later as a bankrupt. But not before he married Susannah Frances Pierson at the British Embassy. In Volume IV of the Mysteries of London Charles Hatfield and Perdita Hardinge were married at the British Embassy in November. Was this a reenactment of his and Susannah’s marriage? As he seems a little gushy about the event his and Susannah’s marriage at the Embassy must have made a significant impression on him.

In 1836 his French adventure ended as he went broke, returning to England with wife and new son in tow. He was only twenty-two and had lived a lifetime or two in France. The years from 1837-44 seems to have been a period of struggling to re-orient himself. After all having been under the impression that he was rich in 1831 to have gone smash in 1836 and then having to find a way to wealth again must have taken some courage. During 1842-44 he seems to have realized that his early efforts were getting him nowhere so was searching for a new direction. 1844-48 is an expression of that reorientation that ended in the Revolution of 1848 and the elimination of the French monarchy at last.

Even though only twenty-two in 1836 it would seem that some interest in his abilities adhered to him from his French journalistic activities because on his return he found ready employment as the editor of the Monthly Magazine then tottering, and which he revived.

The English loved to sojourn in Paris. In the brief period of peace in 1802 as Venetia Murray records in her An Elegant Madness when the English rushed to France. Then after the final defeat of Napoleon in 1815 the love affair with France recovered. Indeed, much to Reynolds’ chagrin the English offered Louis Philippe sanctuary in England after 1848. As mentioned the Meurice Hotel was established to cater to English tastes.

As magazine editor in Paris Reynolds published Thackeray’s first appearance in print so it is probable the he had established some sort of reputation that was honored on his return. Reynolds then began publication of Pickwick Abroad in the Monthly’s pages. While usually considered a plagiarism Reynolds’ explains his position clearly:

The founder of the ‘Pickwick club’ which now exists no longer had violated the promise he had sometime since made to himself and voluntarily deviated from that tranquil mode of life it was his intention to adopt when his first biographer, ‘Boz’ took leave of him.

So, as Reynolds apparently saw it, if the first biographer abandon’s a biography a second biographer may legitimately write a continuation. Remember that the club no longer existed so it was Mr. Pickwick himself. A fine line perhaps but Pickwick Abroad is not about the club. Indeed, the grand epic of the Greeks was written by several hands of which Homer’s was just one. There were several continuations written for Chretien De Troye’s Grail story. Not everyone agreed with the notion but Pickwick Abroad was a success giving Reynolds a literary reputation, of sorts, in England.

None of the following six efforts leading to 1842 created much of a fuss. During that time, however, Reynold’s was exploring all of the highways and byways of London and he may have devoted much of his time during his two missing years to that endeavor as well as doing extensive reading. He was certainly well read and aware of scientific, technological and societal developments. It seems clear to me that he had read the psychological literature of his time and knew how to apply it accurately. He apparently visited many insane asylums in both France and England as the interiors of the various asylums seem to be accurately portrayed. He was aware of Dr. Pinel who liberalized the handling of the insane in France. All of this interest in matters combined with his illumination gives an extraordinary depth to his writing making the most of intense experiences giving them almost a visual reality.

While writing Vol IV of the Second Series, the Revolution of 1848 occurred about 40% of the way through in February of that year. Reynolds broke off his narrative to celebrate the event and encourage the Chartists to do the same in England. As he was in the process of writing about his heroine, Laura Mortimer, he has her begin her course in illumination as taught by her music teacher beginning with the Marseillaise and some poems by Victor Hugo. Hugo was a monster influence on Reynolds. Cross fertilization was apparently widespread.

Reynolds, once again taking inspiration from Dickens for the last volume of his early period, Master Timothy’s Bookcase, he then remained unpublished from 42-44. Looking again to France, Reynolds read the early installments of the great Eugene Sue’s Mysteries of Paris. Receiving this inspiration his thoughts fell into place and he began to write the magnificent First Series of The Mysteries Of London.

At this point I wish to cautiously introduce a work that appeared simultaneously with Reynolds and Sue, Paul Feval’s own version of The Mysteries of London. While virtually unknown in the US today Feval was a magnificent crime writer inking the stories of the Black Coats. Being aFrenchman his take on haunts that both he and Reynolds were aware are yet quite different but equally as terrifying as Reynold’s.

The First Series of Mysteries of London quickly set Reynold’s on his feet and he was in a position to look forward to building a publishing empire and regaining the dreams of his youth.

The First Series ended in 1846 and it was that year that he established his weekly newspaper the Reynolds Miscellany. The First Series had been stunningly successful, selling in the tens of thousands per week so that perhaps giddy with success he thought his name so familiar and respected the magazine would sell by itself. On the other hand, it was a dream coming true. The first issue began with his novel Wagner The Wehrwolf. The story itself may have been patterned on the success of James Rymer’s Varney the Vampire of recent issue. If so, the story worked, the magazine was a success and continued to large sales for several years before being folded into John Dick’s Bow Bells.

At this time, 1846-48, Reynolds was also getting increasingly involved in the politics that led up to the February Revolution and the Trafalgar demonstration of that April. This shows in his erratic writing of the Second Series. While having high points such as story of Perdita Hardinge the Second Series is a low point in his production. In getting involved in the Miscellany and the Revolution it is clear that he was taking on too much.

A sea change took place in his career when he formed an alliance with the printer John Dicks in 1847. Dicks would remain his printer for the rest of his career being made a full partner in 1854.

Make no mistake, Reynolds great success depended on his relationship with Dicks. Without a relationship such as this, carrying much of the burden, great success is impossible.

He was now able to free himself from his association with Stiff and Vickers who published The Mysteries of London. They appear to have regarded Reynolds’ writing as for hire and kept the copyrights as theirs. This departure does not appear to have been amicable. Stiff tried to undermine the Reynold’s Miscellany while Reynold’s believed that his 1848 bankruptcy was engineered by Stiff in spite. Nevertheless the groundwork for a remarkable publishing empire was being laid.

Nearly all the information on Dicks I take from his grandson Guy Dicks’ and his book The John Dicks Press, self-published in 2005 and reprinted in 2016.

As an amusing aside if you google Guy Dicks what comes up is a series of articles on men’s penises. Guy Dicks doesn’t get a mention.

Guy’s grandfather John was born four years after Reynolds in 1818. He served a fairly long apprenticeship with specialty publishers before joining Reynolds. His most interesting was with the Chinese dictionary compiler Robert Morrison. He came to Reynolds as an expert printer and innovative publisher. He and Reynolds were on the same wavelength although I don’t know whether Dicks was illuminated or not.

Although Dicks was an employee of Reynolds until 1864 when he was made a partner in that year the two men worked working even more expanded the empire. In addition to Reynolds’ novels and the Reynolds Miscellany they created the Reynolds News paper that survived for well over a hundred years. As their business grew and as technological innovations improved publishing methods the firm kept up, changing with the innovations adding huge steam presses that turned out thousands of impressions an hour.

Between the two of them they tried to be model employers much in the style of the twentieth centuries Henry Ford.

Those developments were in the future, in 1846-7 it is clear that Reynolds was writing weekly installments in a rush while trying to establish a publishing empire of his own. His mental energy must have been enormous and his ability to organize his time phenomenal. Let us never forget that he had a wife and large and growing family.

While the Second Series, especially Volume IV, suffers from all this activity, in 1847 he wrote a complete novel of several thousand words titled Faust: A Romance of the Secret Tribunals that is well plotted and tightly written. It also displays a fair amount of historical knowledge and research. This must have been in the second half of 1847 as in 1846-47 he was turning out Wagner the Wehrwolf which is interesting and exciting but a lower quality than Faust. At the same he was writing these three novels there are reference in the Second Series indicating that he was organizing his thoughts to begin the phenomenal Mysteries of the Court of London.

His mental capacity was phenomenal, his mind was so compartmentalized that he could be working on four separate extensive novels while editing the Reynolds Miscellany during 1846 and part of 1847. His wife Susannah must have been managing the family finances while bringing up a troop of noisy children, and also, it might be added attempting novels also. Her novel Gretna Green appeared at this time.

He began his magnum opus, The Mysteries of the Court of London in 1848 and from then on, he was on solid ground with Dicks backing him up in the founding and development of his publishing empire.

While the humiliations Reynolds suffered as a sixteen year old striking out on his own had been extremely painful to him providing wretched memories, with the rise of his empire he redeemed those years and mistakes. When he died he left an estate of nearly thirty thousand pounds thus putting him up in the class of those aristocrats he despised so much. Alls well that ends well, eh George

Part V

Time Traveling With R.E. Prindle

by

R.E. Prindle

 

Dead White Men

I dreamt I saw Joe Hill

Just as alive as you and me.

‘Oh, but Joe you’re dead,’ says I,

‘I never died said he…

‘I never died…

‘I never…’

 

Mankind longs for immortality. A life beyond death. Some believe that they pass on their genes to offspring that is a species of immortality. It may be believed that corporeal immortality in any form is an impossibility. However when corporeal existence ends there is a hope that one’s name and fame may live on in remembrance. In this pursuit many have been successful, embalmed in the history books or literature. Thus in the early twenty-first century Julius Caesar is a name known to all. King Tut is a name well known though his name has survived only because his tomb had been successfully hidden and was only discovered in the twentieth century, 1922.

As discussed in Part IV, literary fame can be long lasting. Homer is still a best seller in the twenty-first century three thousand years after his death. His works are freshly translated in nearly every decade. Thomas Mallory’s King Arthur is a steady seller six hundred years after having been published; the great Edward Gibbon’s Decline and Fall Of The Roman Empire is a very steady seller two hundred and thirty years after his demise. Of course, Shakespeare. All of these men are alive and well intellectually millennia and centuries after leaving the planet. They never died….

There is another we have not mentioned by the name of Francis Rabelais and his once immensely influential book, Gargantua and Pantagruel. Once banned by the Catholic Church as obscene, and it truly is, the book became a sort of bible to large numbers of Europeans. Rabelais is perhaps most remembered as the man who introduced the phrase ‘Do as thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.’ A very attractive law to a large number of people.

The law was adopted by the people who are known as Libertines. The most famous Libertines of all were the Englishmen who established the Hell Fire Club of Medmenham Abbey. Discontinued in the 1760s it continued a movement begun in 1719 in a short lived club that ended in 1721. The famed author Tobias Smollett mentions a house he visited where impious practices were celebrated in his 1748 novel Roderick Random.

The key law in these clubs or gatherings was do what thou wilt. The motto was popular and practiced from that time on. For our purposes G.W.M. Reynolds records the attitude although strangely he makes no reference to Rabelais, Gargantua and Pantagruel or Hell Fire Clubs although he does refer frequently to Libertinism; most probably because of his familiarity with the writings of the Marquis de Sade.

Reynolds was accused of being a pornographer and it can be substantiated by the strain of Libertinism that haunts his writing. Consider this from the Second Series of Mysteries of London Vol III:

And now his sacrilegious hands drew aside the snow-white dress which covered the sleeping lady’s bosom. And the treasures of that gently-heaving breast were exposed to his view. But not a sensual thought was thereby excited in his mind; cold and passionless, he surveyed the beauteous spectacle only as a sculptor might measure the proportions of a marble Venus or Diana the huntress.

And not a trace of cancer was there: no unseemly mark, nor mole, nor scar nor wound disfigured the glowing orbs that, rising from a broad and ample chest, swelled laterally over the upper part of the arm.

I say, visualize that. …swelling laterally over the upper part of the arms…. This woman was endowed. The gentleman doing the surveying was a physician although the physician had entered the room and closed the door and the woman had been drugged. Fairly exciting, isn’t it?

So many of Reynolds’ characters are Libertines, and it may be assumed that Libertines were quite numerous in London societies and while not expressed their motto was certainly: Do what thou wilt.

Continuing on from Part IV of Time Traveling then, let us consider the Reynolds approach in his monumental Mysteries of London.

He divides society into only two classes: the rich and the poor. The rich go broke, usually by gambling or bad investments. The poor, in that stratified society are hopeless. There doesn’t seem to be a middle class although there are the fabulously wealthy merchants struggling for an entry into the aristocracy. Generally however it is the aristocrats who are rich but there doesn’t seem to be any means for their making money, they just spend it. The poor are the poor, and we mean destitute, usually driven to criminality though sheer desperation or they were trained to criminality from youth.

Thus, as the story opens the Markham Brothers Eugene and Richard are going their separate ways. Eugene is choosing to follow vice and Richard to practice virtue. The main story then will trace the careers of these two men. But there are numerous side stories.

Perhaps the central character of the story is a criminal by the name of Anthony Tidkins otherwise known as the Resurrection Man. He seems to have a real hold on Reynolds imagination. At one time resurrection men were the scourge of England. The most famous of the kind were two Scotsmen named Burke and Hare. In the interests of science resurrection men robbed graves of the recently dead to sell to physicians who dissected them in the interest of advancing scientific knowledge. In the case of Burke and Hare they didn’t always wait for victims to die natural deaths. The occupation of resurrection men was a horrible one while anxious relatives did their utmost to protect their loved ones graves.

Reynolds is quite taken with his character. Indeed, Tidkins is involved in the lives of nearly all the characters, he is the thread that holds the story together. He is really a horrid person but as Reynolds believed that no person could be wholly bad he provides a lengthy biography of Tidkins in which he explains that Tidkins began life inherently good but all circumstances conspired to make him bad leaving no way out but to become criminal and embrace it thoroughly . His father before him was a resurrectionist and hence Tony was inducted into his father’s business. He was born into the outlaw life. No one wanted him around as a child and he was denied any opportunity to practice virtue. He was intelligent and orderly in his thinking so he made himself a master criminal while being a born leader. He brings to mind the Kray brothers of 1960s England.

One wonders why he had such a fascination for Reynolds. One turns to the limited biography of Reynolds provided by Dick Collins. Reynolds came from Kent in the South East of England. His life in Kent runs all through his stories. Reynolds father was a captain in the Navy. He was stationed on the island of Guernsey during Reynolds early years, then he moved to Kent so that Reynolds was familiar with the towns of Walmer and Deal and the shire capital, Canterbury. Much of Master Timothy’s Bookcase centered around the Canterbury area.

As we know, Reynolds was born in 1814 while his father died in 1822 when his son was eight. His mother died eight years later when the lad was fifteen. She died in March. He was an orphan then at fifteen. He had been placed in Sandhurst Military Academy at the age of fourteen presumably at the instigation of the man who would become his guardian, his father’s close friend, a physician by the name of Duncan McArthur thus giving George William McArthur Reynolds his third name. Collins says:

A curious link arises between McArthur and Reynolds’ best creation Anthony Tidkins, the Resurrection Man. Tidkins was born in Walmer, and among his first body snatches is one done for the ‘surgeon of Walmer.’ In real life this was of course Duncan McArthur. Since the latter was still very much alive when this episode was published in 1845 GWMR was accusing his guardian of complicity in grave stealing. Certainly, as Trefor Thomas has said, the grave-robbing scenes in Mysteries are among the most memorable in literature, are very realistic and seem to owe a lot to someone’s personal experience. Since most surgeons of the day used illicitly obtained corpses, at one time or another, this someone was surely Duncan McArthur.

Conjectural perhaps, but probably accurate. Physicians show up in the stories as at least semi-reprehensible people. Reynolds frequently refers to physicians with preserved body parts, even heads.   Physicians might likely keep examples of diseased organs or heads for later examination. If McArthur did and Reynolds had seen them that might account for their regular appearance in his stories.

In any event McArthur’s practice was in Walmer and Tidkins came from Walmer and sold bodies to the physician of Walmer. What Reynolds may or may not have witnessed is open to conjecture but there is one scene, most terrifyingly presented in mysteries that would point to a terrifying experience in young Reynolds life and that may have been at the sensitive period in his life called puberty.

Richard Markham (a probable alter ego for Reynolds) and the Resurrection man may have tangled and an intense mutual antipathy occurs. Richard tries to track the elusive Resurrection man down to turn him in to the police. In the first instance, hot on the pursuit of Tidkins, Tony lures him down the mazy dark streets at the witching hour, lures him into his house where Richard is captured and thrown into a dark hole under the house from which he escapes. Once free a terror seizes his mind, he wants to get far away from that Resurrection Man. He begins running at top speed which pace he keeps up for hours and miles and miles. Finally stopping, one imagines to catch his breath, he has no idea where he is. A policeman conveniently appears who tells him: ‘Why, you’re in Walmer.’ There is a Walmer district in Ealing, London so there seems to be a psychological connection in Reynolds’ mind between the Resurrection Man and Walmer, Kent so Collins is probably right in his conjecture that George did witness some dealings between Duncan McArthur and a grave robber. Perhaps as the physician in the story was with the Resurrection Man when they raised the flooring in the church to retrieve a female body a young Reynolds was present. Collins also states that there is a lot of autobiography in Mysteries.

Collins purportedly was also preparing an annotated edition of the Mysteries but it hasn’t appeared as yet. Waiting, waiting.

Shortly after this scene Richard Markham successfully leads the police to Tony’s house. The police rush in but in the confusion Tony drops into his dungeon where he has mined the house. Lighting the fuse he escapes through a concealed exit just before the house is blown sky high. Richard hadn’t yet entered the house so he too escapes. At this point everyone believes that Tony Tidkins is dead but Richard is uneasy.

Was Reynolds then trying to exorcise a terrible memory in this sequence. Did he think he could escape the memory by killing the Resurrection Man in his mind. He must have realized he hadn’t as Tidkins escaped to rise again.

Reynolds is famous for creating incidents that aren’t resolved until the end of the story. One of these, in more strands than one, involves the Resurrection Man. Early in the story Tony and Cranky Jem are in custody. Tony turns informer on Cranky Jem whereby Jem gets transported and Tony goes free. A word on transportation. Transportation is being exiled to imprisonment in Australia. I always thought that it merely meant being sent out of the country but not so and the prison conditions in Australia were abominable. There was no mercy and the worst of the prisons was Norfolk Island. The most horrible story I’ve read about Norfolk Island was in Paul Feval’s John Devil. Painful to read. It is also not improbable that Feval based his account on Reynold’s, as well as Jules Verne in his In Search Of The Castaways.

And transportation at this stage in history was a very unpleasant affair. Jem is sent to Australia where he is assigned to some logging camp on the Macquarie River. Conditions are terrible and the food worse. Cranky Jem escapes and after being recaptured and subjected to the worst conditions of Norfolk Island he escapes again to return to England and vengeance.

The description of his situation is so realistic that I believe that Jules Verne appropriated the episode of the logging camp on the Macquarie in his novel In Search of the Castaways. In fact Feval may have been influenced by it as his novel John Devil was written in 1862.

Now, these episodes of eight pages each were sold for a penny each week. Penny sounds cheap but one remembers that pennies were cast also in half-penny and quarter-penny coins as well as the Mite which was one eighth of a penny. I don’t know if you could buy anything with a mite but a farthing could be spent. As noted, at least half the population was illiterate and another percentage barely literate so that market was closed except that enterprising fellows saw an opportunity and formed reading groups in which they read the weekly issue to the illiterates. I have no idea what the readers charged whether a farthing or ha’penny or what but Reynolds was creating a livelihood for readers and that would go on for twelve years.

The readers became entertainment to be looked forward to each week. That meant that each eight page episode had to end as a cliffhanger or on some interesting note. Reynolds needed so many characters intertwined to keep the customers returning each week. One method was to portray groups of commanding interest and mystery such as the Gypsies.

Here Reynolds has done his research and has a plausible explanation of the origin of the nation. This discussion of the Gypsies allows him to develop transient characters and include old standbys in novel locations. Thus Cranky Jem on his return fearful of being recognized joins a Gypsy band. Jem accompanies the Gypsies to their palace in the Holy Land. The criminal area of St. Giles of London was known as the Holy Land. He has been searching for Tidkins but, even though he knows all his haunts, he hasn’t been able to find him as Tony is laying low.

Chance however brings him to the Gypsie Palace where he is recognized by Jem who leaps on him and stabs him in the breast. The wound is very serious but not fatal. The Gypsies take Tony with them where over a period of a few months he recovers.

Richard Markham and the rest believe him dead until he is spotted again in the East End. Cranky Jem then dogs Tony through the streets finally locating his secret residence. By this time Jem has settled down a lot, has rejected his criminal ways and makes his living selling ship models. He is no longer quite so furious and violent as to attempting murder but there are hundreds and hundreds of pages to go before Tony gets his due. Tony’s fabulous criminal career has many incidents left.

Let us leave Tony and his adventures for now. Early on Reynolds introduces a character, a very good one too, he calls the Old Hag who lives on Globe Lane. She lives criminally as a procuress of young girls for prostitution for the aristocracy but is not thoroughly hardened. Reynolds refers to the story of the top courtesan of the Regency Era, Harriette Wilson. She was a familiar of the Regency Bucks, Beau Brummel and that lot. She is the woman who approached the Duke of Wellington, with whom she had been intimate, with the offer that for two hundred pounds she would edit him out of her memoirs. Many men had paid but the Duke famously told her ‘Publish and be damned.’

Her work is hundreds of pages long and, personally, I found it pretty boring stuff. As many of the people, including herself, were alive in the forties, perhaps that made her work more racy. Her book, along with other sources gave Reynolds necessary info to work with.

So, the Old Hag was a procuress, she found pretty girls to be mistresses for these Libertines, Rakes and old reprobates. This involves her with one of the story’s heroines, Ellen Monro who is involved with Richard Markham. Her father was the man who lost Richard’s fortune. The Old Hag plays a major role in the story until she is murdered by the Resurrection Man.

Tony finally meets his end as Reynolds draws his story to a close in one of the more thrilling adventures of the story.   Like all the adventures it is hundreds of pages long beginning way back when interrupted by other peoples’ adventures and years pass before the climax occurs.

Reynolds vision of society has two classes, the rich and the poor. The criminal element is part of the poor and the criminals are only criminals because they’re poor which doesn’t explain why the rich may behave as criminals. Somewhere between the criminals and the ‘pure’ honest folk is a class called Men of the World or Men About Town. These are usually Libertines and men of easy conscience who take the world as they find it and essentially do as they wilt.

Curiously Reynolds want to be considered a man of the world. He embraced the idea, for instance, of bankruptcy as a financial tool rather than something to be avoided. While he inveighs against gambling, in his youth according to Dick Collins he was arrested for playing with loaded dice in the city of Calais and taken back to Paris where Collins believes he was convicted and did time. If so, my guess would be that he was incarcerated in the Bicetre prison and insane asylum about which he writes familiarly.

Insane asylums figure prominently in his work, while he was aware of the Frenchman Pinel who pioneered humane treatment of the insane. I would imagine that life was so tough during this period that insanity was a fairly prominent condition, certainly among women who were seriously mistreated, abused and left with no recourse. Pinel worked in the early nineteenth century but real progress in understanding mental disorders wasn’t made until the 1860s when another Frenchman, Jean Martin Charcot, the father of modern psychology, of the Salpetriere Women’s Asylum in Paris, employed hypnotism in treating the women he treated who had endured terrific psychological abuse so that hysterical insanity was their only refuge. Once in the Salpetriere the doctors frequently continued the abuse.

While as a man of the world Reynolds seems to know a great deal about criminality and the world of the desperate poor he doesn’t seem to have much real experience with the world of Fashion or of the aristocracy. As seriously as he attacked them there was no reason for them to associate with him.

So, in this novel his two principle characters other than Tidkins are from a father who was a successful merchant who amassed a fairly large fortune and lived in a large house in the Holloway area in the North of London. The house seems to be isolated from all other habitations. Stephen Knight in his book points out that Holloway neither then nor now was a particularly desirable part of town. Its meaning in the novel he thinks was that you could see all of London spread out before you.

So, back to the beginning. As I said, I consider the Resurrection Man as the principle character, however, the story is rich with memorable characters. Next to Tony Tidkins the central character is the rather insipid Richard Markham, a man so pure and good he seems to have been born yesterday. He is virtue incarnate, which is, of course, the point. He is not only willing but eager to forgive even the direst injury.

Per the Marquis de Sade and Reynolds the question is does a life of Vice lead to unhappiness or does a life of Virtue. De Sade came down on the side of Vice as leading to happiness and Virtue to poverty and shame. But no matter how seeming the success of the vicious life and no matter how rocky the road of Virtue Reynolds says, Virtue in the end will prove the happiest and most successful.

Richard’s brother Eugene who becomes George Montague and then George Greenwood chose a life of Vice, that is a swindling man of the world. His early adventures bring him great success. While Richard is plagued with troubles and almost destroyed. His father’s old financial manager named Monro, at an age when he should have known better, makes a bad financial decision (is bilked by an adventurer) he then compounds the losses by frantically chasing other bad deals. While Eugene/George Montague is going from success to success by dubious Man of the World type ventures, confidence games, Richard begins life broke except for his mansion and two hundred pounds a year. His misfortune is compounded when he is drawn into a criminal situation and receives a two year sentence in prison even though he is innocent.

As an ex-con then his reputation is severely compromised which leads to a few unpleasant results. Remember that Reynolds is writing for the illiterate and barely literate so he has to gear his story to their verbal capabilities while attempting to find a place in literary society. His vocabulary is quite extensive while he tosses off the obscure seldom used word or two.

His language surely was above the understanding of the illiterates attending the readings. Thus the reader probably extended the time of reading with explanations.

Reynolds acknowledges the issue when among others Richard’s Butler misuses nearly his whole vocabulary by trying to sound literate. It is good comic relief and probably represented the actual situation of the listeners. Yet, they loved Reynolds. Still, the question is, what did they understand? How did they hear what they heard?

Reynolds, as I say, acknowledges his listeners turning Richard’s story into a rag to riches fairy tale in which he even marries the Princess and become the heir apparent, a Prince. He always leaves ample latitude for the listeners or readers to imagine that those fairy tales might come true for them.

Thus among the vicissitudes and turbulence a very large part of the novel is the ridiculous tale of how Richard, an ex-con becomes an actual Prince of the fairy kingdom of Castelcicala just North of Naples and South of the Papal States. But, back to the slums and the Resurrection Man.

Now, all these characters relate to each other in some way and their tales are actually fair sized novels when considered individually. Significantly each novel takes a couple years to work out so the audience is kept in suspense for a very long time. At the various readings it would be necessary to reprise the story to that point so that Tony Tidkins might probably have become a real man to the listeners, he had his place in all of the tales, and a significant place. These readings may almost have become seances while the listeners sat in the semi-darkness of oil lamps. Reynolds hypnotizes and jollies his listeners along often speaking directly to them through the reader’s voice.

Perhaps the Resurrection Man’s crowning achievement was his relationship with Adeline Enfield later Lady Ravensworth.

As this tale, or novel even, begins Adeline and Lydia Hutchinson are teachers at an elite boarding school. Adeline is an aristocrat and Lydia is not. Hence Lydia has to respect Adeline. Naturally they are very young and outstandingly beautiful.   Either Reynolds was a wild flatterer or he somehow moved in a world of only the most beautiful women. He would have been the man to hang out with. By the way the term to hang out was a current phase at the time, nothing new about it. Lydia is pure in mind and body while Adeline may be described as fast. Adeline then sets out to corrupt Lydia and makes her her partner in libidinous activities.

As they are subjected to a rigid discipline at the school their affairs have to be done on the sly. Adeline plays the role of a procuress. One of many of Reynolds female characters who recruit women for prostitution. Or frails, as Reynolds politely has it.

She and Lydia step out at night to meet Captain Cholmondely, pronounced Chumley and written as such in this review and Lord Dunstable, a couple of army officers. Adeline goes with Chumley and Dunstable is given the task of deflowering and corrupting Lydia. Being a Lord it may be expected that he overawed Lydia. The two men are Libertines, Rakes or Men on the Town. Dunstable having no luck in seducing Lydia, drugs her. Once deflowered she is easy to manage. So Lydia becomes a frail or lost woman.

The upshot is that Adeline becomes pregnant, which condition she successfully conceals until the actual birth of the child. Women had skills in those days. The baby is stillborn. Adeline conceals the baby in Lydia’s luggage then finks on Lydia who is thought to have been the mother. Apparently what should have been marked changes in either Lydia or Adeline went unnoticed. But then Adeline was an aristocrat and immune to censure.

Lydia fired from her job has a long relationship with Lord Dunstable which ends when he and Captain Chumley’s regiment is sent to Europe. Lydia rapidly goes downhill becoming a street walker and finally destitute and wrecked physically wandering the winter streets in thin rags. As she trudged wearily a flush rosy cheeked Adeline is being escorted from a private club to a coach by her gallant. Lydia accosts her asking for a sovereign to keep the cold at bay. Adeline cuts her dead.

Hatred of Adeline enters Lydia’s soul.

Moving ahead a few hundred pages and several months of readings Lydia is rescued from her life of shame by kind people and rehabilitated then sent out to be a lady’s maid. Adeline, now Lady Ravensworth, requires a new maid and as luck would have it Lydia Hutchinson is sent for the position.

Her hatred of Adeline has scorched her soul for a few years and now fate has placed Adeline in her power. Where is the Resurrection Man you say? He’s in the wings waiting to come on stage. Lydia, of course, know the history of Adeline’s malfeasance and threatens to expose her unless Adeline becomes her slave for a year. Thus Adeline falls under Lydia’s discipline which she can’t endure. She learns of Anthony Tidkins, disguises herself and visits him in his den. She commissions Tidkins to murder Lydia. He does, in Adeline’s presence and boudoir thus placing Adeline in his power. Lydia is strangled and disposed of in a pond on the premises. To give credit to the claim that Lydia absconded Adeline throws her jewellery box in after Lydia. Thus when Tidkins hears that the jewels were missing he quickly puts two and two together. He goes diving for the box. Without the added weight Lydia floats to the surface. Discovered she is given a burial above the lake’s marge.

Cut to the Baron of Ravensworth’s younger brother, a Mr. Vernon, who has been a reprobate while living as an ex-pat in the Middle East for some time. He is in financial trouble needing to inherit the estate to bail himself out. Murder seems the best course but it must look natural. Therefore Young Vernon had sent the Baron tobacco that had been treated with an undetectable poison that was only activated when lighted. So as the Baron deteriorated even though the tobacco was chemically tested it appeared normal. Reynold’s will use the undetectable poison dodge again in Mysteries of the Court of London. In that novel it is known as the Heir’s Friend.

However the Baron marries Adeline and at this point in the story as the Baron is wasting away she is pregnant. If she bears a son Young Vernon’s hopes of succession will be blown away forever. Therefore, he has to devise a plan to murder the child if a son. Who is recommended as the man for the job? Who else? The Resurrection Man.

The Baron dies, a son is born, Tidkins to the rescue. He has a rather elaborate plan that fails, failing as improbably as the plan, so everything falls apart. Adeline departs for the Continent with her son. Now there is much business as they would say on the stage that keeps the reader spell bound.

Reynolds is superb at this sort of business. A bare outline such as this does no justice to Reynolds story telling abilities. The man’s skill is outstanding. I can’t think of anyone comparable in English literature with the exception of Walter Scott and then that is of a much different quality but even the qualitative difference may be in favor of Reynolds. Amongst the French only Dumas, a consummate master, may equal or exceed Reynolds. Eugene Sue, as great as he is, is a notch or two below Reynolds although Reynolds plundered Sue much more than in the Mysteries of Paris and the Wandering Jew. Sue has more novels after these two, prodigious productions, and he died in 1857 at only fifty-four years of age.

Amongst the great English writers after Scott none can compare to Reynolds. Anthony Trollope another prolific guy with forty-seven novels to his credit, two excellent series, The Barchester novels and the Palliser Set is merely a pleasant writer. Interestingly Trollope was only four years younger than Reynolds, born in 1818, and began writing in the forties. Strangely, while Reynolds is lost in the past, Trollope seems to be part of a different reality and of the future. His six Palliser novels, at a length of four thousand pages or so might very possibly have been inspired by Reynolds multi-volume novels. His are genteel novels in which his characters are proper. While Reynolds penetrates deeply into the English character from which the future of England over the next hundred and fifty years could be extenuated, prefiguring in his way the Profumo scandal of the nineteen sixties and the race situation. His criminal world and his association with the money world could easily be seen in comparison with the Kray Brothers and their penetration of polite society. Their today scarcely mentioned criminal activities involving Lord Boothby and his ilk somewhat resemble those of the Resurrection Man.

I think it noteworthy that that period was drawn to a close only after Ronnie Kray used physical violence against Boothby that the police were allowed to, or ordered to, smash the Kray gang. It was all fun for the Boothby crowd until Ronnie Kray manhandled Boothby allowing him to see the dangers of their association.

Reynolds would have been quite at home writing that situation and it would have been as long as three thousand pages and better than the reality. Trollope one feels would have smoothed the situation over so that the crimes were only minor peccadilloes although a few people regretfully went to prison. But then Trollope was socially acceptable and Reynolds was not. So with Reynolds we have two different nations but different than those of Benjamin D’ Israeli novels.

Pardon the digression.

As I was saying, Young Vernon in order to eliminate his older brother had sent a large box of tobacco tainted with a debilitating poison thus in order to make the death look natural his brother was wasting away.   The Baron had long been a bachelor so Young Vernon would have been his heir but the Baron had married Adeline and she was again pregnant. If the child was a girl, no problem but if a boy Young Vernon was out in the cold without an overcoat.

If a son, it had to be put away. But how? Seeking a reference Vernon was directed to who else? The Resurrection Man. Tony was the man with devious plans and he has a humdinger for the child. As I say, this is a bare outline, you have to read Reynolds. The plan fails and Adeline takes her boy and leaves for an extended stay in France.

If you remember Cranky Jem, his inveterate hatred for Tony drove him on. He has spied on Tidkins, found his crib, and observed him carefully. Tony has a dungeon at his place in which he imprisons victims and where he stores his cash. While he was busy in the Ravensworth affair Jem broke into his house and explored the dungeon. On Tony’s return he notices things have been disturbed but, as yet, Jem hasn’t robbed him.

As this is an involved story involving many characters from the opening pages of the novel a couple of the Men about Town inveigle a young wastrel to use the mansion of Ravensworth in Adeline’s absence to impress the wastrel’s people by claiming the mansion as his own. As the group is enjoying themselves Adeline chooses the moment to return from France. In her absence Tony has been using Ravensworth as his hideout as he is too hot to return to his crib in London. He’s been selling off the odd picture and knickknack to finance his stay. Adeline notices missing items, asks the aged housekeepers what happened. They hadn’t noticed anything for Tony was staying in the large mansion parts of which they had no reason to visit. Tony reveals himself and takes Adeline captive.

In the interim Lydia Hutchinson resting in her grave had been exposed during a high water and her hand sticking out of the mud is noticed. The body is dug up and deposited in the kitchen. Now, remember that Tony and Adeline were partners in Lydia’s murder. To impress Adeline with her criminal guilt so that she can’t go to the police Tony takes her into the kitchen and shows her the reeking and decayed body. Already seriously overwrought Adeline shrieks and falls down dead.

Tony Tidkins, the Resurrection Man, puts his hand to his chin and soliloquizes : I think I’ve gone too far this time. The funniest line in a serious novel.

Tony quits the scene returning to his crib. Jem has been busy. Tony notices the disturbances in his house and hurries down to the dungeon to grab the cash and flee to America. Remember the Statue of Liberty: ‘send us the wretched refuse of your teeming shore?’ Look out America, Tony wants to reverence that great Statue.

But, he won’t get to. Jem has stolen his stash. As Tony is trying to guess who has taken the money his lamp illuminates an inscription at his feet- Crankey Jem has been here. And he still was. He suddenly confronts Tony and hustles him into a cell locking him in. Tony is prepared; he has mined the cell with a bomb. Pipe bomb. He threatens to blow the dungeon, himself and Cranky Jem sky high. Jem says go ahead making no attempt to flee. Tony lights the fuse but in the damp cellar the powder is too damp to create a real explosion. Rather than blow the building sky high it frazzles into a small explosion blinding the Resurrection Man. The Devil, Tony gets his due. Jem sneers at him and as Reynolds says disappears from sight. He was never seen again but he undoubtedly took Tony’s stash and left for the refuge of criminals, The United States of America.

And so that strand of the novel ends. There are numerous other strands left to resolve. This first series of the Mysteries was a monumental achievement second only to GWM’s The Mysteries Of The Court Of London which is even greater. Reynolds also wrote a second series in two volumes that formed the two series lasting for four years.

As the second series was ending in 1848 he began the even longer Mysteries Of The Court Of London. That story is a sort of historical novel concerning the period of the regency of the future George IV.

As Reynolds was writing the second series of Mysteries of London, in 1847-48 he also wrote a substantial novel, worthy of comment- The Mysteries Of Old London: Days of Hogarth. I will tackle that in a future Time Travel. Reynold had taken on further responsibility by beginning his magazine Reynolds Miscellany in 1846, while writing the Second Series and engaging in a bankruptcy trial so, while an excellent book, better than the Second Series it still shows a lack of attention that denies making it the equal of the First Series.

Thus, in sequence the historical period of the three novels is Mysteries Of Old London, 1723-50, Mysteries Of The Court Of London 1795-1820 and Mysteries Of London, 1731—48, and the date of the Revolution of 1848. If you want to read them in sequence it is no small task, this is their order and a reading is well worth it.

Part VI:  Building An Empire follows.

Pt. IV

Time Traveling With R.E. Prindle

by

R.E. Prindle

The Past Is Always Present

 GWMReynolds

While we are concentrating on the early mid-nineteenth century it may be worthwhile to travel back to a few earlier periods of interest. In addition to Time, Place is equally important. As there are limitations to the human mind to be all inclusive I limit my travels to Greater Europe and the US. If one had the great universal mind of the god Zeus one might be able to include all times and places but the information could hardly be presented in a coherent, comprehensive manner to a reading public and that public could not ingest and digest such massive amounts of information. Forgetting begins the moment the impression begins.

Even an author like Reynolds with only forty some really long books has probably never been read in his entirety nor is it likely he should for a well rounded education. I will attempt it but at my age completion is unlikely.

Speaking of Zeus, perhaps the most important book ever written is Homer’s Iliad which recounted the great struggle between East and West, the Patriarchy and the Matriarchy during the years circa 1200 BC that finally was reduced to written form c. 800-600 BC. Proto-scientific it catalogued all the personality types and their characteristics. In the sense of as above, so below it fused seamlessly the celestial and terrestrial worlds. The supernatural and natural in a comprehensive rationalistic manner. Homer, to whom the work is accredited while not having the universal mind of Zeus came as close as any human will. As a single work it will never be topped.

Moving back toward mid-nineteenth century, the end of the eighteenth, a marvelous piece of time travel by the great, the immortal Edward Gibbon is the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire that runs through fifteen hundred years of the spectacular and unbelievable crimes and follies of humanity, but true. Together with the Iliad of Homer the two works present an incomparable view of the human situation. Indeed, Zeus threw Folly our of heaven for making a fool of his Great Universal Mind.

These two works are the greatest of the Time Travelers but sometimes one, a reader, finds he has landed in a period with a guide who forms a complete personal rapport. Such was the case with me when I entered the world of the Frenchman, the Duc de Roquelaure. The Duc lived during the time of Louis XIV in the seventeenth century. His memoirs were unknown in the English speaking world until 1895. The secret memoirs were kept secret from England and America to that date.

The Duc speaks to me though person to person. He transports me back to that amazing time.

Going even further back there is an amazing time capsule called Huon of Bordeaux. What an adventure this is. Huon is trapped in a world conflict between the terrestrial Charlemagne, the Christian God and Oberon of the Faerie Kingdom. Part of the Chansons de Geste of Charlemagne it captures the feel of the struggle between the worldly kingdom of Charlemagne, the Faerie Kingdom of Arthur and the Pope in Rome. The author lives in a multiplicity of supernatural and natural worlds. He posits a contest between the Catholic God and Oberon, King of the Faeries. One can almost believe God and Oberon are real, of course, Charlemagne was.

The Chansons de Geste were written at the same time the fantastic fairy stories of Arthur were. Between the two they create a whole new universe that is provides an intimate connection to the world of Homer and through both and woven through both worlds that of Christianity. And that of course leads us up to the nineteenth century universe of George W.M. Reynolds.

Reynolds does not have the universal mind of Zeus but then who does? Reynolds at his peak from 1844 to 1856 or 58 was Herculean.

Reynolds began his career floundering around trying to find his method and style. He always considered himself an educator. He called one of his magazines The Political Instructor. In the epilogue to the Mysteries of London in his own signed voice he rather peevishly responds to the criticism of his writing ‘sensational literature’ rather than moral or instructive. I quote:

‘Tis done: VIRTUE is rewarded—VICE has received its punishment.

Said we not, in the very opening of this work, that from London branched off two roads, leading to two points totally distinct the one from the other?

Have we not shown how one winds its torturous way through all the noisome dens of crime, chicanery, dissipation and voluptuousness; and how the other meanders through treacherous rocks, and wearisome acclivities, but having on the way-side the resting places of rectitude and virtue?

The triumph of virtue over vice is very important to Reynolds. While in France he had read the novels of the Marquis de Sade in which de Sade posits the superiority of vice over virtue. The notion mortally offended Reynolds and so he seeks to refute de Sade in novels at least as long as Justine or Juliette.

He goes on in self-justification:

Have we not taught in fine how the example and the philanthropy of one good man can “save more souls and redeem more sinners than all the Bishops that ever wore lawn sleeves?”

Quite obviously Reynolds considers himself one of those good men, indeed, a very priest among them. And further more:

And if, in addition to considerations of this nature, we may presume that so long as we are able to afford entertainment, our labors will be rewarded by the approval of the immense audience to whom we address ourselves, –we may with confidence invite attention to a “SECOND SERIES of “THE MYSTERIES OF LONDON.”

So, in other words, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet and if you are not part of ‘the immense audience’ you don’t count. And justly so as the second series would be The Mysteries of the Court of London that doubled down on the original. In the second series he would continue his explanations, the odd fact, criminal argot. His researches that appear fairly extensive are always informative and enlightening. For instance his history of the catacombs of Paris was entirely new to me. It turns out that there is an extensive necropolis under Paris containing the bones of six million or more souls. At one time the cemeteries of Paris became so overcrowded that the bodies, buried in stacks, one on top of the other were dug up and the bones removed in organized piles in these catacombs.

In fact, cemeteries seem to be a major interest of Reynolds as he conducts a tour of London’s burial grounds led by his character The Resurrection Man. But that doesn’t concern us here.

Before Reynolds found his way beginning in 1844 he wrote a total of eight books that by 1842 when he took a hiatus of two years were leading nowhere. Apart from sparks of genius flying from these volumes they are not seminal works although exhibiting many high points of interest.

His continuation of Dickens’ Pickwick Papers, Pickwick Abroad, has already been discussed while it is perhaps the most worthy of his early oeuvre followed closely by Master Timothy’s Bookcase. His novel The Steam Packet of 1840 is not readily available nor the Modern Literature of France, 1839. Robert Macaire, of 1839, has already been discussed while Alfred de Rosann or The Adventures of a French Gentleman, 1838, and Grace Darling or The Heroine of the Ferne Islands, 1839 remain.

Reynold seems unable to generate a novel without a model on which to base his work. Thus, as we know, he used Charles Dickens and in Alfred de Rosann he piggybacked on Bulwer Lytton’s first novel Pelham or The Adventures of a Gentleman. Bulwer Lytton as a novelist does not move me. Pelham apparently launched him but I find it a very amateurish first effort. Difficult reading.

With his Grace Darling Reynolds is piggy backing on the fame of one Grace Darling or The Heroine of the Fern Islands as the novel barely uses the story of her fame as a prop. Now spelled Farne Islands and perhaps pronounced that way in Reynolds’ day, the story alerted me to the identity of such an island group. The Farnes are a group of small islands off the coast of East Anglia. I had never noticed them on my maps or heard of them before.

At any rate a big storm arose in the days of the paddle wheel steamships or ‘packets’ as they were known then and one of them became disabled and thrown on the rocks guarding one of the islands. Grace and her father braved the waves rowing out to rescue the passengers. On an apparent slow news day this event was made big news and Grace became a temporary celebrity. Reynolds takes advantage of it in an attempt to sell his book.

I shouldn’t say temporary because in the early twenty-first century there were half a dozen or more books available to the reading public that celebrated this celebrated rescue by Grace and her aged father. But Grace’s story appears to be a mere bid for a few sales as it contributes nothing to the novel. Reynolds should have been ashamed of himself. Maybe he was.

Otherwise in a disjointed novel I found several charms that made for an enjoyable read before the disappointing ending. The novels protagonist, the humorous Slapwell Twill, might possibly be based on Reynolds himself.

The novel was written after a stay on the Queen’s Bench prison by Reynolds in 1837-38. As Dick Collins mentions that Reynolds may have been committed for trying to steal jewelery to pay his bill at Long’s Hotel that may have been the reason he was in prison. While it is true that he was involved in a bankruptcy at this time bankruptcies didn’t involve imprisonment. In fact, Reynolds who may have used bankruptcies as a tool to avoid paying debts without injury speaks rapturously about it or has a character do so in The Mysteries of London. His imprisonment may therefore have been the result of a failed theft and a complaint from Long’s.

At any rate Slapwell Twill suffered the same fate while he seems to have had plenty of money in prison as he was an aristocrat while serving. It is clear that he was familiar with the inside of prisons both in France and England. In addition he toured all these establishments so his descriptions are very accurate. He often seems to be reporting with additional fictional fillups.

The main story involves the seduction and abandonment of Eliza Richards. She was impregnated by her seducer and abandoned.   Not unreasonably she has a deep hatred of him that can only be satisfied by his death. Unable as a woman to encompass this she marries a man on condition that he find and kill her seducer, Henry Hunter.

Reynolds of course as a sociologist portrays as many types of women as he can. While he is very sympathetic to the plight of women he is no ideologist and portrays both good and bad women. But woman as woman is indispensable to him. In Mysteries of London he says:

…he learnt that woman possesses attractions far—far more witching, more permanent, and more endearing than all the boons that nature ever bestowed on their countenances or their forms.

Such an attitude may explain why he and Susanna had such a satisfying marriage. Still Reynolds is no slave to feminism or its more ridiculous attitudes. Women had positive and negative attributes the same as men.

Eliza becomes bad even evil in her hatred and distress. Thus, she meets her future husband Sommerville who she marries on condition that he avenge her by murdering her seducer, known as Mr. Stanley. He is difficult to find because Stanley had been an alias while his real name was Henry Hunter.

So incident rolls along until Sommerville and Eliza find Stanley/Hunter and Sommerville challenges him to a duel which he wins, wounds Stanley but doesn’t kill him. Eliza is unsatisfied she wants Stanley/Hunter dead.

As the novel is titled Grace Darling Reynolds has to work her in somewhere. That somewhere was in the Fern Islands where the whole outfit is improbably aboard the Forfarshire as it lands on the rocks. While on the island Hunter arrives and Eliza demands that Sommerville fight another duel with him and this time Sommerville kills Stanley/Hunter. There was only one hitch; Sommerville also receives his death wound. So Eliza drove her husband, who had inherited a fortune making them rich to his death, negating the revenge on her seducer. One is reminded of Paris and Helen.

Thus Reynolds shows another side of woman: too weak to revenge themselves they induce a man to sacrifice himself for them. I think it is the absence of the doctrinaire that makes Reynolds interesting. He has strong and consistent opinions that are based on reason and sociologically sound.

The last of the early group of novels and the last of the group I will consider here is Master Timothy’s Bookcase. I think it fair to say that the early novels did little to establish Reynold’s reputation. The most successful of the early batch, Pickwick Abroad, probably hurt his reputation as much as it helped as it was considered a plagiarism rather than a continuation. Adapting Bulwer-Lytton’s Pelham in Alfred Rosann led nowhere. However, let me say, that except for some obvious faults his early books have merit. The description of the prison at Brest was worth the read. Sociologically valuable.

Grace Darling apart from touches was laughable but fun. So, by 1842 Reynolds was obviously at his wits end and the only role model he could come up with was another stab at Dickens. Dickens himself appears to have had few novel ideas so he began a magazine called Master Humphrey’s Clock which was a collection of short stories held together by a very loose narrative something after the manner of ETA Hoffman and his Serapion Brethren.

I’m no Dickens fan so I have a fairly low opinion of his early output although those novels were rapturously received. His reputation far exceeded his talent but he was riding a wave. His magazine faltered after a couple issues, most likely because of its ridiculous three pence price, until The Old Curiosity Shop emerged from its pages. My first reading was recent at eighty years of age and I didn’t find it very impressive. At the time it was another great success for him and is still highly regarded.

So, seeking a model, Reynolds plagiarized Dicken’s idea once again composing Master Timothy’s Bookcase. Two thirds is French based while the last third takes place in England as Reynolds had returned to England himself while he also ended the Bookcase with another continuation of Pickwick apparently having run out of inspiration. As Reynolds was also familiar with German literature as well as French and English one wonders whether he too was influenced by ETA Hoffman’s masterful Serapion Brotherhood collection of stories.

The French part of Bookcase is superb. A collection of short stories with a tight narrative continuation. I highly recommend it. The book definitely presages Reynolds’ finest work.

It probably disappeared with but moderate success at best. Reynold’s ran out of inspiration so for two years from 1842 to 1844 he was infertile. Amazingly after following up The Old Curiosity Shop with Barnaby Rudge Dickens ran out of novelistic ideas putting out only a series of long short stort stories or novellas until Dombey and Son.

The question is then what was Reynolds doing during those two years that he wasn’t writing. There are hints in the earlier novels that the idea central to the Mysteries Of London of the two brothers and the two trees representing them was gestating in his mind but he had no framework to base his story on. He had during his time in France read the Marquis de Sade’s novels Justine and Juliette in which de Sade contrasts whether a life of virtue or vice leads to greater happiness coming down in favor or vice. Reynolds was offended by this conclusion and Mysteries of London is written in refutation of de Sade’s notion.

The important question here is what was Reynolds doing during his writing hiatus between 1842-44? As of 1842 at the age of twenty eight, a very important age, he may very well have been considered a failed novelist and one who plagiarized freely. Two years later in 1844 at the age of thirty his situation was precarious. It was a do or die point in his life.

On one level one must believe that he was reading furiously. He, at that time, was familiar with English, German and French literature. He had a concept of British and European history. Certainly he must have been surveying the scene, analyzing the periodic literature situation to come up with a sure fire or hit story to make his fortune.  In looking at the previous few years it was quite clear that the penny serialization story could be made profitable if a good story line could be continued for several years.

The problem with that was getting a good deal with the publisher who had the whip hand. Even Dickens’ Pickwick Papers was not a solo effort. Publisher, illustrator with Dickens as writer worked out the novel in concert so Dickens probably received a slim return from serialization profits; the publisher undoubtedly getting the lion’s share. This literary scene can be compared with the music record scene of the mid twentieth century.

Certainly Reynolds had connections in the business. I imagine Reynolds was working for a way to realize his concept of the two brothers, good and evil. He was trying to work out a method of presenting it. Then, when the Frenchman Eugene Sue began the serialization of the Mysteries of Paris, that monumental long work, in 1843 the entire plot line of his own Mysteries of London was laid out before him. Of a sudden the means of telling the story of two brothers became clear in his mind. Using Sue’s solution for the story he was able to write with incredible coherence for forty eight straight months, four years. Two hundred four instalments. Within a year the story was selling thirty thousand copies a week, edging up toward fifty thousand. You should let those figures sink in. They’re phenomenal. At the time the population of England was something over twenty million with more than eleven million illiterates. Fifty thousand weekly copies was market penetration. It blew Reynolds’ mind. In the postscript to Mysteries of London, speaking in his own voice Reynolds says this about that:

…we may presume that so long a we are able to afford entertainment, our labours will be rewarded by the approval of the immense audience to whom we address ourselves—we may with confidence invite attention to a SECOND SERIES OF THE MYSTERIES OF LONDON.

In other words it worked so well the first time we’re going to do it again and make it twice as long. Further his confidence was justified by the results. Now, fifty thousands of pennies a week at twenty pennies to the pound equates to two thousand five hundred pounds a week. We are now talking big money. Profits might amount to somewhere between a thousand to perhaps fifteen hundred pounds a week. I haven’t read anywhere what deal he had cut with his publisher on the first series. It isn’t clear what he was paid or on what schedule. As in the record business of the twentieth century the publishers or manufacturers were very reluctant to pay royalties at all and if they did pay it was only after a very long delay and sometimes you had to sue to get paid. Thus Reynolds may have believed he was cheated, and I can almost guarantee that he was, so he was reluctant to repeat the process with the second series.

At any rate with the vision of satisfying the entertainment needs of an immense public before him Reynolds elected to strike out on his own being his own publisher while employing the printer John Dicks to manufacture the parts. On the title page of the books it says explicitly: Printed for the Publisher by John Dicks. Dicks therefore contracted to print the books for a fee. He had no rights. In the early sixties when Reynolds gave up novel writing he sold the copyrights to Dicks, thus rewarding him for loyal service. One wonders what Dicks paid: thirty of fifty thousand pounds?

Stephen Knight in his G.W.M. Reynolds And His Fiction posits that he had a falling out with George Stiff his first publisher because of an abrasive personality. I have nothing to say on that score but Reynolds would have been foolish not to have struck out on his own unless he could cut his own deal with Stiff which he could not do. Manufacturers tend to consider writers and performers their personal property, something like owning a gold mine.

A comparable twentieth century situation is afforded by the relationship between the Beatles and their company EMI/Capitol Records, EMI being the English publisher and Capitol being the American. As non-entities the Beatles had been signed to miniscule royalties as was the custom with record companies. Like Reynolds the Beatles then became a massive seller representing perhaps fifty percent or more of EMI/Capitol’s sales. A tremendous battle ensued in which the contract was voided. In the new contract the Beatles acquired a much larger royalty and the establishment of their own record label distributed by EMI/Capitol.

The two companies could not afford to lose the revenue the Beatles provided. I’m certain that Stiff refused to cut Reynolds a new deal and Reynolds went out on his own. Thus while he must have been very prosperous during the twelve Mysteries of London and other novels years, when the second series, The Mysteries of the Court of London, began he must have been earning at minimum two thousand pounds a month, probably more or say twenty to thirty thousand pounds a year. The gap between the rich and the poor, with which he was so concerned, remained the same but it was more rewarding for George William McArthur Reynolds.

So, as if 1844 Reynolds had mastered the format. As the record people used to say in the age of vinyl, he was in the groove, groovy.

 

Part V of Time Traveling with R.E. Prindle begins the review of the First Series of the Mysteries of London.