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.

Pt. III

Time Traveling With R.E. Prindle

GWMReynolds

Sources:

Reynolds, G.W.M: The Necromancer, forward by Dick Collins, Valancourt Press

http://www.victorianlondon.org/mysteries/mysteries-00-introduction.htm

 

When it comes to time traveling the Gothic and Romantic periods are my favorites. The study of origins is my favorite. One is astonished in Reading Reynolds and Dickens how little things have changed, the same personality types with all the same dodges, the same terms, the same ideas just dressed differently from the twenty-first century. Of course in this early stage of current developments, manners and methods were really crude, now they’ve become merely rude. Much of the change experienced in the present is only because of introduction of technological innovations. All of the innovations seem to be regressive in social effects. Superficial perhaps. By the time of the Industrial Revolution, blindsided by the coming of the railroads and their attendant infra-structure, society was totally mentally and also physically disorganized and had to adjust as rapidly as possible even as further developments crowded time swiftly along. It took decades to realize the nature of electricity which made its appearance at this time. Photography which captured the images of the time.

George Stephens knew not what he had done when he put steam engines on the rails. The joint stock company essentially arose from the railroads, giving birth to vast new streams of financial criminality. Steamships and the Marconi telegraph drew North America closer together and expanded opportunity.

Reynolds and Dickens certainly seized the new financial crimes as important elements of their stories. Dicken laments the displacement of the stage coach and its social structure as a whole major part of English civilization melted away as the snows of yesteryear.

The period of the Regency Bucks of the Romantic period and the new Men of the World or Man About Town captured Reynolds imagination. His Mysteries of the Court of London captures the spirt of the Regency Buck while the Mysteries of London chronicles the adventures of the Man of the World or the Man About Town. Although written in reverse order he apparently considered his two masterpieces as one unit. And what a magnificent achievement.

When he began Mysteries of London in 1844, he was only a young thirty, ending the story when thirty-four. During that period mind and skill developed exponentially, so as he began Mysteries of the Court of London, which would take eight years to write he moved into the years of his peak powers. Well were they exhibited. Court of London is amazing. Those eight years were astonishing years.

Thus, in these twelve volumes (of my editions) Reynolds seems to have captured the dark side of England. While apparently a true representation there were many others who wrote from a different viewpoint. One of the finest was R.S. Surtees (Richard Smith) who wrote great sporting novels centered on his hero Jorrocks and fox hunting. Surtee’s novels too are accurate portrayals of the Regency Buck but of rural England and not London. George Borrow’s curious novels, especially The Bible In Spain, are interesting although mostly concerned with the gypsies in England. The great Romanticists Byron and Shelley and their interpreter Thomas Love Peacock. Who can possibly ignore the great recorder of Vanity Fair, William Makepeace Thackery. The amazing career of the inventor of the historical novel, Walter Scott. Scott in his magnificent effusion literary skill influenced a couple of generation at least to 1850 both in England and the Continent. Both Sue and Dumas acknowledged their debt to the great Walter Scott. There were other Penny Dreadful writers, perhaps more narrow in scope, such as James Malcolm Rymer and his two great works Varney The Vampire and Sweeney Todd, William Harrison Ainsworth, Bulyer Lytton, a major influence of Reynolds and others. There is literary wealth to equal the gold mines of the Witwatersrand, too precious to be forgotten.

While famous in his time Reynolds’ fame was of a disreputable kind. He himself was disreputable and he wrote Penny Dreadfuls.

Victorian scholar Lee Jackson writes of general opinion of Penny Dreadfuls. He quotes a James Greenwood from his 1869 complaint against the literature, The Seven Curses of London.

Quote:

Is it because it stands to reason that all such coarse and vulgar trash finds its level amongst the coarse and vulgar, and could gain no footing above its own elevation? It may stand to reason, but unfortunately it is the unreasonable fact that this same pen poison finds customers at heights above its natural low and foul waterline almost inconceivable. How otherwise is it accountable that at least a quarter of million of these penny numbers are sold weekly? How is it that in quiet suburban neighbourhoods far removed from the stews of London, and the pernicious atmosphere they engender; in serene and peaceful semi-country towns where genteel boarding schools flourish, there may almost invariably be found some small shopkeeper who accommodatingly receives consignments of “Blue-skin,” and the “Mysteries of London,” and unobtrusively supplies his well-dressed little customer with these full-flavoured articles? Granted, my dear sir, that your young jack, or my twelve years old Robert… and so on.

Unquote.

Undoubtedly young Bob and Jack received an eyeful and a magnificent addition to their education.

So these Penny Dreadfuls, like the Dime novels of slightly later US, the comic books beginning in the 1930s, sci-fi movies and stories in the fifties and horror of all horrors, the Rock and Roll explosion that was seen as soul destroying missiles to be suppressed. Along the scale of decades the nineteen fifties are overlooked for the exciting years they were.

Were Penny Dreadfuls soul destroying? Well, a little over a hundred years later society degenerated from Mysteries of London to the totally soul destroying Tales From The Crypt comic books. A definite downward spiral there. But, how is it that the soul destroying Mysteries of London passed from vulgar filth to valuable literary virtue?

In point of fact, even as fiction, the Mysteries is accurate reportage of conditions in London of the time. Reynolds might have been of questionable morality himself, Mysteries reads as though he had personally experienced the incidents (literary skill perhaps,).   His portrayals are of what he considered ‘men of the world.’ Indeed, he desperately wanted to be known as ‘a man of the world.’ And that ‘man of the world’ seems to be a ‘gentlemanly’, or at least an aspirant to gentlelimaness, criminal. George Montague Greenwood schemes to separate rich men from their money by devious financial schemes. And he and his kind are successful. Was Reynolds one of these schemers? Certainly his knowledge of their ways would indicate that he associated with them. Amongst the Chartists, a political group, with which he was involved, he earned a reputation for promoting financial schemes for which he was rejected. Was his mind not then conditioned to such schemes? It would seem that he used false bankruptcies to advance his own financial affairs.

Reynolds very likely paraded the ‘Man of the World’ notion in his life or because it was so prominent in his novels that Dickens, who certainly bore Reynolds no goodwill, with justice, may very likely have been referring to him in this passage from The Old Curiosity Shop:

Quote:

‘He, he!’ simpered Brass, who in his deep debasement really seemed to have changed sexes with his sister, and to have made over to her any spark of manliness he might have possessed. ‘You think so, Sarah, you think so perhaps; but you would have acted quite differently, my good fellow. You will not have forgotten that it was a maxim of Foxey—our revered father, gentlemen—Always suspect everyone. That’s the maxim to go through life with.’–…

With deference to the latter opinion of Mr. Brass, and more particularly to the authority of his Great Ancestor, it may be doubted with humility whether the leveling principle laid down to the latter gentleman, and acted on by his descendant, is always a prudent one, or attended by practice with the desired results. This beyond question a bold and presumptuous doubt, in as much as many distinguished characters called men of the world, longheaded customers, knowing dogs, shrewd fellows, and their like have made, and do daily make, this axiom their star and compass. Still the doubt may be greatly insinuated. And in illustration it may be observed that if Mr. Brass, not being over-suspicious, had without prying and listening, had not been in such a might hurry to anticipate her (which he would not have been, but for his distrust and jealously.) he would probably have found himself much better off in the end. That it will always happen that these men of the world, who go through it in armor, defend themselves from quite as much good as evil, to say nothing of the inconvenience and absurdity of mounting guard with a microscope at all times, and of wearing a coat of mail on the most innocent occasions.

Unquote.

I would not consider the lawyer Brass of Dickens’ story a man of the world nor as I perceive Reynolds using the term. So long as one retires from the world to some extent that rescues oneself from many of the hazards of the world, but as nearly everyone must move about in the world I would prefer a very close attention, and if that attention slopped over into paranoia so be it, to who is doing what.

Reynolds very brilliantly portrays the hazards of fixtures and forces that may be operating to one’s detriment in the background. Indeed, if Richard Markham had been more of a man of the world and less naïve he would have avoided the snares that landed him in prison. Thus Reynolds’ trusting characters are always being blindsided.

Sometimes one’s projected villainies that are foiled save one from a greater danger. Reynolds very cleverly does this in the case of George Montague and Eliza Sydney. Eliza has been unwittingly mired into a scheme by her mentor, Mr. Stephens. Stephens has employed George Montague, alias of Eugene Markham, to bear false witness in the situation. A day or so before its realization Montague and Eliza who have become close, Eliza in love with him, during a horrid storm later at night, offers Montague a room to save him walking home as cabs are no longer available. Gorgeous woman of the swelling ivory orbs, Montague works himself into a fever entering her room with evil intent. Eliza awakens, is horrified at the thought of what Montague was contemplating and breaks relations off completely then and there. She is not a woman of the world.

This means he can no longer serve as Stephens accomplice. Stephens replaces him with the shifty lawyer, Mac Chizzle. Meanwhile, the police who had a spy system reviewing the mail working from a Black Room in which they open letters have opened and read a letter by Stephens detailing the scheme and the date of execution. The authorities are alerted. Stephens, Mac Chizzle and Sydney are arrested as Stephens would have been if he had maintained strict morality and not thought to rape Eliza. Thus his evil intents saved him from being caught in the police snare.

An excellent detail that shows off Reynolds’ brilliance and is something that the more basic Dickens could never have conceived and executed.

Ramifications from this incident in the first hundred pages will be continued throughout twenty-four hundred additional pages.

So, we have a huge record of virtue and vice as outlined in Part II of Time Travel. Add the concern with virtue and vice to that of the concept of man of the world and you have the core of Reynolds’ concerns. Now, how did Reynolds learn all the details that make his work interesting. After all he was now only thirty years old and seems to have the experience and knowledge of a much more mature man. He gives us at least a partial answer in this passage from his Mysteries.

Eugene Markham alias George Montague now becomes Greenwood, the moniker, George Montague having been worn out and no longer useful. Greenwood wishes to employ the criminal Tom the Cracksman, or burglar, for a crime. They are negotiating:

Quote:

“What the natur’ of the service?” demanded the Cracksman, darting a keen and penetrating glance at Greenwood.

“A highway robbery,” cooly answered this individual.

“Well, that’s plain enow,” said the Cracksman. “But first tell me how you came to know of me, and where I was to be seen because how can I tell but what this is all a plant of yours to get me in trouble?”

“I will answer you candidly and fairly. A few years ago, when I first entered into London life, I determined to make myself acquainted with all the ways of the metropolis, high or low, virtuous or vicious. I disguised myself on several occasions in very mean clothes, and visited all the flash houses and patter cribs- amongst others, the boozing ken in Great Saffron Hill. There you were pointed out to me; and your skill, your audacity, and your extraordinary luck in eluding the police, were vouched by the landlord of the place in no measured terms…”

“…the landlord’s a fool to talk so free; how did he know you wasn’t a trap in disguise?”

“Because I told him that my object was merely to see life in all its shapes and I was then so very young I could scarcely have been considered dangerous. However, I have occasionally indulged in such rambles, even today…”

Unquote.

Now, looking freely at what is known of Reynolds’ history, his father being a naval Captain, he was stationed on the British island of Guernsey next to France until Reynolds was eight, then was moved to Canterbury in Kent where he attended a school in its proximity. Then at fourteen in 1828 he was placed at the military academy at Sandhurst, which according to his scenario he left to flee to France at the age of sixteen in 1830. Perhaps this has something to do with so many of his heroines being sixteen. You have to pay attention to his very precise dates in his stories. Most of the biographical details I’m using come from the two Dick Collins’ articles noted under the title of the this essay.

Collins disputes the 12,000 pound inheritance of 1830 but I find it difficult to believe that a sixteen year old kid would have attempted to be an ex-pat in France without a sixpence in his pocket. Perhaps from his early experience in Guernsey he could handle the French language. I doubt if French was on the curriculum of Sandhurst. Collins points out that during the Napoleonic wars Reynold’s father captained a frigate and took several prizes. The proceeds from the prizes were parceled out in shares to officers and crew. It is not unlikely that the captain’s share might have added up to twenty thousand pounds, or more, to Capt. Reynolds’ estate, which have escaped Collins’ attention. Certainly the Reynolds family was not living hand to mouth. Reynold’s says specifically that he received the inheritance from his father. I have no difficulty believing that his father left his son twelve thousand pounds. His mother died in March of 1830 when he was fifteen thus he would have come under the jurisdiction of his active guardian Duncan McArthur. So McArthur would have been in charge of the family finances. He would have had to pay Reynolds way from those funds. It appears probable that Reynolds got into some kind of trouble at Sandhurst, possibly inducted into a gambling crowd, so that he left Sandhurst, removed by his friends, so the phrase has it. That happened in July of 1830 just as the revolution in France occurred. Now adrift with no direction it seems likely that he would have petitioned McArthur for his inheritance and with it leave for France where he stayed for six or seven years until his money was gone. He was probably a prey to the sharpers he depicts so well while learning their ways. Of course, the above may be just one solution to the Mysteries of G.W.M Reynolds.

At any rate as Reynolds returned to England in 1837 at the young age of twenty-three he had no familiarity with the metropolis having formerly lived in Kent at Canterbury which is why the area figures so prominently in his stories. Twenty-three is one of ages, along with sixteen, that recur frequently in his writings. So, beginning in 1837 at the age of twenty-three Reynolds began familiarizing himself with London high and low, East End and West End. A great and daunting adventure.

Now, Reynolds had met and married his wife Susannah Pierson in Paris. She was English but Collins can find few details about her except that Reynolds met her in prison, whatever that means, either as a visitor or an inmate. She may also have been married before at fourteen making her Reynolds her second husband at the age of either late sixteen or early seventeen. That occurred in in 1835 when Reynolds was twenty-one. The marriage was one of those made in heaven as they were happily married until she died.

A sixteen year old showing up in France with twelve thousand pounds must have attracted every sharper, or man of the world, in Paris, thus Reynolds’ education began. He knows whereof he speaks.

This learning curve must have been painful and arduous requiring a strong mind to survive and overcome. If he had twelve thousand pounds when he arrived in France he left without any. Twelve thousand pounds was a lot of money to go through in six years. He, therefore, arrived in England without any of the ready. He had to find his way out of the hole, what with a wife and offspring arriving frequently.

How autobiographical is the Mysteries? I think highly but it requires a lot of imagination and interpretation, and then you can’t be certain. It would appear that the two brothers Eugene and Richard Markham represent the two halves of a split personality. Richard is the naïve young sport who left England for France and came back as a variation of Eugene, this also plays into the de Sadian dichotomy of Justine and Juliette, virtue and vice. Thus viewing each half separately one arrives at the whole.

In the story Richard survives while Eugene/GeorgeMontague/Greenwood is killed off by an aggrieved victim. Thus virtue triumphs over vice reversing de Sade’s reverse understanding of life. That was in 1848. Does that mean that Reynolds lived the rest of his life in Richard’s shoes? Not as late as 1850 it doesn’t. According to his Chartist friends he was still full of questionable financial schemes.

Those schemes may very well have resembled the schemes of his characters and possible his alter ego Montague/Greenwood. If so, his alter ego was a much more successful schemer than he was. According to Dick Collins, who seems knowledgeable, but never gives the sources of his information, Reynolds was arrested in France and imprisoned in France for playing with loaded dice in Calais. The man certainly outlined the tricks of doctoring dice in the Mysteries, even with illustrations. Collins says that he met Susannah Pierson in prison in France. Whether that means that a very young Susannah was a visitor or a prisoner Collins doesn’t make clear. If she had been convicted of some malfeasance, then both she and Reynolds were partners in skirting the law.

Collins even makes a not implausible accusation that Reynolds was arrested for stealing jewels in order to pay his bill at Long’s Hotel in Bond Street. Reynolds’ has long passages that take place in Long’s Hotel in his novel Grace Darling or The Heroine of Fern Islands. His character Slapman Twill may have been his alter ego in this incident. At any rate Mr. Twill is arrested at Long’s restaurant for non-payment of bills and goes to King’s Bench prison much as Collins says Reynolds did.

And then Reynolds files for bankruptcy three times apparently having learned to take advantage of bankruptcy laws. He has the proprietor of the Dark House public house gloat that the bankruptcy laws were great as he had filed and was doing very nicely.

Thus as Reynolds roamed the lower and higher reaches of society he definitely lived in the lower until later in life. Even then he was probably not accepted in society because of his prison time as Richard Markham has a very difficult time living down his prison stay even though he was a dupe and innocent of the charges. Collins has him living in the lowest area of London, the Borough, at one time as well as other terrible locations.

One imagines Reynolds prowling the streets of these poverty stricken areas examining each and every side street until he became thoroughly familiar with the streets. This is especially evident in the Courts of London which can be very terrifying. Streets, buildings and inhabitants, Reynolds knew them all. He provides an accurate portrait of all aspects of London as it then existed.

I would like to close part III with an aside, that of the great plan of Reynolds’ novels, because all the novels seem to have a resemblance to Balzac’s Human Comedy. I am just sketchy here as I familiarize myself with Reynolds’ vast corpus. Reynold’s himself said the Mysteries of London and Court of London were one vast story. If so, then it appears that rather than two parts of the continuum there are three written out of order. Mysteries of London is actually Part three and it was written first. Mysteries of the Court of London is the second part written after both the first and last parts. Reynolds undertook to write The Mysteries of Old London or Days of Hogarth which portrays mid-eighteenth century London previous to the birth of George IV in the last two years of Mysteries of London.

The Court of London chronicles the doings of George IV during the Regency when Reynolds appears to have hated him for whatever reason. George IV died in 1830 just as Mysteries of London begins. Reynolds who was sixteen with George IV died then had actual memories of him as king.

So, between the three novels, Old London while not as long as the other two is not that short either, we have one long semi-historical novel of a hundred some years. Mysteries of London and Court of London are said to contain four and a half million words with perhaps a hundred-fifty to two hundred thousand for Old London so unraveling the mind of Reynolds which I believe is a worthy pursuit is a mighty project especially with all the side novels of further explication thrown in.

I doubt if I will be equal to the task but I hope my analysis is not an unworthy effort.

 

Part IV of Time Traveling with R.E. Prindle follows in which I will examine primarily the early novels Alfred de Rosann and Grace Darling and perhaps Master Timothy’s Bookcase

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

G.W.M Reynolds On Vice And Virtue

by

R.E. Prindle

GWMReynolds

This essay will concentrate on the novels, Robert Macaire or, The French Bandit In England, The Mysteries Of London, Faust, and Wagner, The Wehr Wolf. Their respective dates were 1840, 1844-48, 1845-46 and 1846-47. As can be seen the latter two novels are encompassed by the dates of The Mysteries Of London and they must be related to the greater novel- two side excursions, so to speak.

We know that Reynolds went out on his own in a foreign country at the age of sixteen, going immediately to take up residence in France with a fair sized sum of money in his pocket inherited from his father as he hints in his novel Faust; then in 1833 at the age of nineteen he inherited a bit more through his mother. He was a natural scholar so that he studied extensively in many fields including literature and history. For such a young man, twenty-five and twenty-six in 1839-40 he writes with an astonishing, indeed, unbelievable maturity and knowledge both experientially and from study. Apart from being fictionalized his history seems to be accurate.

He is especially interested in vice and virtue in humanity. The configurations of his interest were formed by his reading of the Marquis de Sade; he read and internalized de Sade’s novels Justine, Juliette and Philosophy of the Boudoir. While de Sade, from whom the term Sadism is derived, is probably known by name only to most. I append here a short biography so that the reader knows how I understand him. De Sade was born in 1740 and died in 1814, the year Reynolds was born so we may assume that de Sade was still something of a sensation when Reynolds hit Paris in 1830.

De Sade’s fame as the source of the term Sadism was well earned although somewhat stale in the 21st century as films and novels have far surpassed his exploits. There is no longer anything to astonish in his novels. His problems began when his parents denied him marriage to the woman of his choice thus causing an extreme reaction. His reaction was so extreme and notorious, causing his parents such grief, that they had him imprisoned where he began writing his novels. Released by the French Revolution, which was crazier than himself, he functioned well. Napoleon, not so tolerant, had him committed to the famous insane asylum of Charenton. This aided immeasurably in making him a cult figure which he remains to this day.

He committed his grief to two most read novels, Justine and Juliette. He posited as a universal reality that a life of virtue led to unhappiness, pain and failure as characterized by Justine; and a life of libertinage and self-indulgence characterized by Juliette led to happiness and self-fulfillment.

When Reynolds read de Sade’s novels between 1830 and 1837 isn’t known. My guess is that he read them sooner than later and the antitheses between virtue and vice worked in him as he began writing.

Eugene Sue

Author of Mysteres de Paris and The Wandering Jew

An echo of Justine and Juliette can be found in the Mysteries of London. Reynolds transposes the sexes and has two male brothers Eugene and Richard Markham as protagonists. They are associated with two trees. (The symbolism of the two trees isn’t yet clear to me.) A financial disaster hits the Markham family leaving it and them destitute. Eugene, following the path of Juliette’s example opts for a life of crime to repair his fortunes while Richard decides to pursue virtue. They are to meet by the trees twenty years on to compare results.

This gives Reynolds the means to display his knowledge of vice and virtue. He certainly seems to know the ways of criminality. This investigation is continued in the first two novels written in conjunction with Mysteries titled Faust and Wagner the Wehrwolf. The first of his crime novels was Alfred de Rosann, quite astonishing as a novice novel, I will deal with it later, followed by Grace Darling, the Heroine of the Ferne Islands and the Robert Macaire or the French Bandit In England. After a hiatus of two years from 1842 to 1844 when he wrote nothing Mysteries began.   Faust and Wagner were written in succession.

The third of his crime novels was Robert Macaire or the French Bandit In England.

One imagines that Reynolds first heard of the famous French bandit at the theater either in 1833 or ’35 or perhaps he saw both. Macaire was a famous French highwayman, but as Reynolds has Macaire tell his sidekick Bertrand, times were changing and the place of the highwayman was becoming as obsolete as buggy whips would in the twentieth century. Thus while Macaire was involved in stagecoach situations his milieu was shifting to swindling and financial crimes. The future was clear. Reynolds has his ear to the ground.

Published in 1840 Macaire was his third effort following Pickwick Abroad. By this novel he has pretty well learned his craft although his powers will grow exponentially by Mysteries. Macaire is tightly plotted and well written with every evidence of Reynold’s powerful mind. It shows little evidence of de Sade, clear evidence, even borrowing, from Frederic Soulie. Soulie was a French writer of ghastly crime/horror fiction who was, at least, an early model for Reynolds.

As in Mysteries of the Court of London an inspiring incident carried throughout the story ends it. The novel involves an enmity between the practitioner of virtue, Charles Stanmore, and the follower of vice, Robert Macaire. Close to the plots of de Sade’s Justine and Juliette.

The novel opens with Macaire in France holding up a stage containing Stanmore and killing two people while sadistically tying Stanmore to one of the large wheels. If the horse hadn’t remained still as Stanmore remarks he would surely have been killed by the revolving wheel. A sadistic crime in itself.

Papers taken from Stanmore tell of a banker in England who looks ripe for the plucking so Macaire and Bertrand head for England. It is not clear how these two desperadoes pass themselves off as businessmen, especially the clownish Bertrand but they do and Pocklington, the English businessmen invites them in, indeed, ask them to take up residence while in London. He has a beauteous sixteen year old niece, Maria, who falls head over heels for the forty some year old Macaire. As she is to inherit a large fortune Macaire plays the swain.

It so happens that Stanmore also has his eyes on Maria so he develops an inveterate hatred of his rival not realizing that the French bandit and Macaire are the same. Now, it also happens that Stanmore’s father had disappeared on a journey to Lyons in France where he was to establish a new business five years previously. He had waylaid by Macaire, robbed and murdered in a town thirty some miles from Paris on the way to Lyons as will appear later in the story. Macaire was acting as a member of an organized ring of criminals to which he still belongs being one of the leaders.

After mentioning that Macaire is posing as the financial agent named LeBeau who he learns is now on his way to London the two bandits determine to kill him before he arrives to prevent his ruining their plans. Using old skills they waylay his stage on his way to London, brutally drag him from the stage and stab him to death. These two are thoroughly evil men. This is important because while Reynolds is contrasting virtue and vice, he also holds that virtue and vice are equally mixed in a person so that after a life of vice, Macaire will very improbably turn to a life of virtue. But, Reynolds believes he can and it’s his story.

Stanmore becomes suspicious of Macaire and more especially Bertrand so he returns to France to investigate them. His findings lead him to an inn in the town in which his father was murdered. He is directed to the out of the way inn in which the murder occurred. The innkeeper intends to kill Stanmore for his money, but the latter overhears the plot being discussed and in the ensuing struggle kills the innkeeper. Questioning the innkeeper’s wife about his father she points out the place in the inn where Stanhope’s father’s body was immured. Concentrating on opening the wall Stanhope fails to notice that the wife has set the building on fire and fled.

The wife runs for some woods where Stanmore overtakes her. Then borrowing an incident from Frederic Soulie (pronounced Souliay) he ties the woman to a tree while he goes back to main road and inn and forgets her in the rush of events. By the time he gets back to her she is dead, half eaten by varmints.

Macaire has to return to France to account for Lebeau’s absence. Macaire gets into financial schemes and is recognized by the police and arrested. He would have been a goner except for his criminal network. Having pulled off a couple successful escapades Macaire does the necessary repairing to the gang’s den to distribute their share of the booty. This gets an immediate reward when his confederates help him escape from two different prisons.

This brings up the question of Reynolds’ own relationship to the law. Reynolds provides such exact descriptions of various prisons, police quarters, court affairs and prison customs that one wonders how he obtained his knowledge and familiarity. As a newspaperman he would have perhaps entered the various criminal retreats but that doesn’t seem a satisfactory explanation. Dick Collins, an eminent researcher of Reynolds and the period of Penny Dreadfuls gives Reynolds a questionable character.

Collins seems to have ransacked official sources for his information but fails to reference them. In addition to cheating at dice, that rather indicates that Reynolds was one of the shifty hangers on in Paris that he mentions in Pickwick Abroad.

Collins says: Quote: It is alleged- on poor evidence- that Reynolds stayed at the expensive Long’s Hotel in Bond Street and was arrested for trying to steal jewelry to pay the bill.

Unquote.

And there were a series of bankruptcies. One in France in which he was arrested in Calais trying to flee. Then in England in 1939 he spent six months in the Queens Bench Prison for unpaid debt. After becoming a leader in the Chartist movement he displeased the leadership because of unnamed financial schemes. So, let us say that Reynolds was probably flexible in his attitude toward strict probity. One does get that feeling.

One wonders then, was Reynolds personally aware of these criminal hangouts; did he actually mingle with them? His knowledge seems too precise for sheer invention. Also he seems too complimentary of the gendarmes who he says have absolute integrity and are the only upright characters in his novels. Was he trying to stay on their good side just in case?

In any event his descriptions of the prisons from which Macaire escapes are described in minute detail. Having once been caught in the meshes of the French police Macaire seems doomed to remain there as the police are hot on his trail after his last escape.

Now, at the inn at which Macaire had murdered his father, a beautiful young orphan girl, Blanche de Longville, had been placed there by Macaire who for some reason had been made her guardian. She had captured Stanmore’s heart, making him forget Maria, and resulting in a marriage. They were living in a posh area in Paris.

Macaire, quite desperate to escape finds his way to Stanmore and Blache’s mansion to throw himself on her mercy after maltreating through her teen years, expecting what that mercy might be wasn’t clear. Stanmore returns home to find police combing the area and Macaire, his arch enemy, in his wife’s boudoir. However Blanche manages to placate him explaining that if Macaire escapes the police and finds his way to Switzerland he is going to change his ways and end his days as the archetypal French bandit.

So, this Macaire, who had robbed him, possibly condemned him to death by tying him to the carriage wheel, actually murdered and robbed his father, beat him out for the love of the delectable Maria and other crimes too numerous to mention as well as heading up organized crime in France, throws himself on the mercy of Stanmore.

Well, love conquers all, doesn’t it? Rather than offend his wife, Blanche, Stanmore forgives all, gives Macaire traveling money, lets him out the back door and directs the police in the opposite direction, and sententiously pats himself on the back for redeeming a hardened criminal. Reynolds has Macaire living out his days living quietly in Switzerland and that redeems his murders and crimes, for you see good and evil are equally mixed in men. No one is totally bad.

His next novel, Master Timothy’s Bookcase concluded his first period and after a two year hiatus when, one presumes, Reynolds was recharging his batteries, perhaps searching for a more successful approach, organizing himself for the grand charge he began his magnum opus The Mysteries of London, that was a great compendium of crime. He was in fact inspired by Eugene Sue’s Mysteres de Paris but Mysteries of London doesn’t reflect much derivation from that work, however, this was apparently because he couldn’t fit much of it into his story.

Wonderful details preyed on his imagination so that at the same time he was writing Mysteries he also wrote two longish novels, Faust in 1845-46 and Wagner the Wehr Wolf in 1846-48.

Faust is rather an extraordinary novel. Here his inspiration was derived from the European myth of the man who sold his soul to Satan. He combines this story with the story of the German criminal organization called the Holy Vehm. As an adjunct to all he gives an exciting account of the Borgias, Pope Alexander VI, Caesar and Lucretia, or Lucreza as he spells it, Borgia. An amazing novel.

In this novel Reynolds extends his field from France and England to encompass Central Europe—Germany, Austria, Carniola and Italy. Eventually he will draw a circle from England into the Mediterranean touching the Africa of Homer’s Lotus Eaters, through the Dardanelles to Mingrelia or ancient Colchis where the Golden Fleece was kept through the Crimea thus encircling historic Europe. Interesting conception.

Whether he visited these parts during his period in France isn’t clear and his details are fairly sketchy although fairly sharp for Italy. Carniola is an Alpine province of Austria along with Styria and Corinthia. Reynolds probably chose this province for a couple of reasons, the first because as no one had probably heard of it, it was therefore exotic and secondly because a ferocious sexual pervert who lived there in a castle as recorded by de Sade in his novel Juliette. This guy was so incredible that even de Sade hastened away.

Murder, crime and gore in profusion, Reynolds seems in a frenzy to outdo de Sade, Frederic Soulie and Eugene Sue combined and a fine job he does of it too.

Eugene Sue in his magnificent Wandering Jew, that great Armageddon, as his story unfolds the great march of Cholera out of the East that advances at the rate of thirty miles a day closes in on the Paris of 1830 and its revolution of that year. Sue knew how to erase millions of people at a time. What a story, and it goes on for over a thousand pages. Now, if Reynolds did reach Paris in 1830 he must have witnessed the devastation caused by the Cholera epidemic or, at the very least, its aftermath which would have been a topic of conversation. If as Collins suspects he arrived in 1833 he still would have heard stories of the great Cholera terror. If the hints in Reynolds novel, Grace Darling, are correct he places the time of that novel in 1833 so he might likely have still been in England at that time. His descriptions of the Revolution of 1830 in Alfred de Rosann are so sketchy that he may not have arrived in France in 1830 on the heels of the action as he claims.

In Faust he replicates the Cholera epidemic of Sue when Faust orders Satan to create an immense bubonic plague in Vienna and Europe that like the Cholera epidemic rises in the East and rolls over Europe. Thus the spectre derived from Sue’s Rodin makes its appearance in Reynolds. Further both the Cholera and bubonic plague are accurate history. Reynolds’ Faust takes place from 1480 through the first decade of the sixteenth century. Reynolds is very careful with his dates so that events actually occurred in the years he indicates. The bubonic plague he mentions occurred between 1500 and 1503. Interestingly he doesn’t blame fleas from rats in Genoa but, like the Cholera, has it arrive from the East. Current theories indicate that that may have been the case. The first plague of mid-fourteenth century swept through Europe so quickly that there must have been another source than ship rats. In the first place no crew would have been immune to the flea bites hence the Med would have been filled with ghost ships while the spread would have been slower and the diffusion more easily traced. Reynolds always appears to have read and thought deeply.

Faust is essentially a historical novel so that the eruption of Vesuvius in 1485 is accurate but the accuracy of the description of the actual eruption must be fictional. The eruption was however a major one.

So also Reynolds account of the Borgias is historically accurate allowing for description and motives to be interpretations. The villains of Sue’s Wandering Jew are the religious sect of the Jesuits, Reynolds replaces them with the German organization of the Holy Vehm whose description is accurate given a little novelistic license. What we have here, then, in this story is a magnificent contrast between virtue and vice, good and evil. The contrasts are carried out on many levels. The Vehm operates as a government within the government just as the Jesuits were a church within the church. In this case the Austrian government is upright but the Holy Vehm is not. Faust once he has sold his soul to Satan is the representative of a blend of virtue and vice with vice having the upper hand. Faust as the story develops is guilty through his machinations of the deaths of millions. As the representative of vice Faust’s counterpart is Otto Pianella who represents undivided virtue. Faust’s wife represents virtue, or Justine, while Faust’s mistress, Ida, Otto’s sister, represents Juliette or vice. Of course, she is as nothing compared to the mighty Lucreza Borgia, the scariest woman who ever lived.

Reynolds while considered a feminist is, actually, a realist. In general, he deplores the manner in which women are treated but he isn’t so silly as to believe all women are above reproach, thus one has a variety of female types. Lucreza Borgia in the novel is a willful completely evil woman while Nisida in the next novel, Wagner the Wehr Wolf is a ‘strong’ woman but a blend of good and evil.   Thus, Reynolds avoids the sappy feminist sentiment of the present.

He was perhaps overawed b Lucreza’s ruthless exercising of her will so that there is no good mixed with her evil. Lucreza was not going to go to Switzerland and while away her time after the Borgias’ power was destroyed.

Mortally offended by de Sade’s dictum that vile living always succeeds on this Earth while virtue always leads to unhappiness, in this novel practicing virtue succeeds while vice fails. Perhaps in Sue’s breathtaking Armageddon in which all the characters but one are immolated, Reynolds changes the end so that each virtuous character lives happily in the end while all the vicious characters die or end unhappily.

The Holy Vehm is destroyed, Ida checks out early, the Borgias seemingly on the way to success are thwarted, first their power is broken, then as fugitives Caesar Borgia after a number of failures is killed in an ignominious battle in Spain while Lucreza suffers a horrible death at the hands of her husband on the island of Lissa belonging to the Duke of Ferrara near Venice. This is one of the most terrifying depictions in the novel. Disregarding Lucreza’s terrible reputation the Duke of Ferrara espouses her with the assumption that she will reform her wicked ways, that is, give up vice.

Apparently, she has until Otto Pianella and his family are marooned on the way back to Vienna by snowstorms in the Julian Alps of Carniola. They put up on Lissa which comes to Lucreza’s attention. She arrests Otto and places him in the Iron Coffin. I won’t replicate the entire story that Reynolds makes as suspenseful as possible, but the Iron Coffin is a large room made of iron shaped like a giant coffin. The walls are moveable and gradually compress down to the size of an actual coffin in which the victim is entombed, where he gradually dies of starvation and dehydration.

As Otto’s situation grows dire Satan appears offering him the Faustian deal. No, no, says Otto, never, never, I put my faith in a higher power. So, in a choice between vice or virtue Otto remains true to God, or virtue. Well, one of Lucreza’s retinue finks to the Duke who is outraged that Lucreza has violated her oath so, at the last moment he releases Otto, justifying Otto’s trust in God, while condemning Lucreza to what would have been Otto’s fate. Thus, the terrible end of the truly vicious Lucreza Borgia.

Now, we are down to Faust himself. Faust had driven a lousy bargain with Satan receiving only twenty-six years of seeming prosperity and unlimited power. Now both hands of the clock, or clysidra, clocks hadn’t been invented yet, are pointing straight up. Remembering Reynolds’ description of the 1485 eruption of Vesuvius Satan takes Faust to the edge of the boiling caldera and after a lengthy triumph and lecture Satan pushes Faust in.

De Sade is repudiated, the results of Justine’s and Juliette’s lives are reversed and Reynolds triumphs over the Marquis de Sade.

While the main novel, The Mysteries Of London, raged on in its contests of virtue and vice, Reynolds began another rather lengthy novel he titled Wagner the Wehr Wolf.

And why not? While good and certainly interesting it doesn’t quite toe the mark made by Faust. Faust was well above the average while Wagner is closer to average but still with all of Reynolds’ inventiveness.

Too few people die and Nisida the villainess is a pale reflection of Lucreza Borgia, but still no slouch as a ‘strong’ woman. Nor is there a Jesuit Order or the Holy Vehm, just a highly organized criminal gang that is terrorizing Florence Italy. Reynolds may have lifted that idea from Dumas’ Count of Monte Christo and the gang in the Italian catacombs. The main story takes place in Florence but changes location to more exotic places including Constatinople, name not yet changed to Istanbul, and Sicily.

Reynolds’ geography embraces a rather large area from England, France, Central Europe, the Balkans, Italy to just off the coast of Africa to include the Greek Islands, Western Anatolia and Mingrelia on the East Coast of the Black Sea, formerly the Colchis of the Argonauts then turning west to the Crimea following in the tracks of the Argonauts and that pretty well encompasses the parameters of historical Europe. One wonders how Reynolds is writing all these novels, maintaining a growing family, keeping up on his reading and accumulating fairly detailed historical studies and he wrote several historical novels, Faust being one.

The adoption of a fantastic Werewolf story seems strange, but then, James Malcolm Rymer, his contemporary Penny Dreadful author was scoring big with his novel Varney The Vampire and would soon after write the classic story of Sweeney Todd, the Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Sweeney Todd, a hit musical fifty years ago was the barber who turned his customers into sausages and sold them to another set of customers. Who would believe cannibalism in nineteenth century England?

Varney the Vampire, an incredibly long novel must have nudged Reynolds’ interest in that supernatural direction so he chose to explore another of the great medieval myths or legends of Medieval Europe, that of the Wehr Wolf. So, really, this era produced the subject matter for the next hundred and fifty years or so, Frankenstein, Faust, Varney the Vampire, Sweeney Todd and Werewolves and organized crime. The Curse of the Mummy would come later.

Wagner has a highly organized criminal gang that is central to the story maintaining its connection to the main frame of Mysteries of London. It is a true underworld inhabiting caverns deep into the earth. Whether meant intentionally or not by Reynolds its lower levels rest next to the lower levels of the Catholic nunnery that has an extensive underground. The doings in the nunnery in its underworld are as criminal as those of the criminals only a few feet awaythrough the rock. The two worlds are blended when the crime world is attacked, and the walls accidentally broken through and down. Thus, both the criminal underworld and the equally criminal nunnery were destroyed.

Reynold’s religious interests are intriguing. At this time in his life Reynolds was thirty-two. The Mysteries had solved his financial problems to this moment so his mental comfort zone was probably elevated. He had every reason to believe he could continue his success although the success of his future blockbuster, Mysteries of the Court of London might have astonished even him. At any rate he was relieved of youthful anxieties; he was successfully launched.

How he developed, or found time to develop his religious ideas isn’t obvious to me. Collins alleges that he did write a book of biblical criticism in 1833 when he was only 19 years old and would have had to have been in London at that time. At this point he has the North European abhorrence of the Catholic Church although an apparent strong belief in the existence of God or a deity, however, that could have been a front so as not to offend the reading public. His attitude toward the Moslem world seems to be a tolerant affection. Wagner makes a visit to then Constantinople, now Istanbul, a mere twenty-five years after the Christian capital fell to the Moslems. He forms connections and in order to free Florence from the dominion of the criminal gang he marches a Moslem army to Florence to do it. I must say I read that episode with a certain amount incredulousness.

One imagines that his fantasy was that he could unite the two worlds. The novel was placed in the years following 1516, a mere twenty-four years after the Moorish expulsion from Spain and the completion of the Reconquista. The Moslem slave raids probably hadn’t begun and from this time to 1830 when the French annexed Algeria and wiped out the Corsairs, the Moslem predations on the Mediterranean coast was constant. Eugene Sue’s The knight of Malta is a good representation of the situation and reads as well as Reynolds.

Sue, as Reynolds, was entranced with Byron’s epic poem The Corsair; the sentiments seem to coincide with their own. Indeed, The Knight of Malta can be read as Byron’s poem in novelized form. The opening lines of Byron establish the mental state:

Quote:

O’er the glad waters of the dark blue sea,

Our thoughts as boundless, and our souls as free,

Far as the breeze can bear, the billows foam,

Survey our empire, and behold our home!

These are our realms, no limits to their sway—

Our flag the scepter all who meet obey.

Ours the wild life in tumult still to range

From toil to rest, and joy in every change.

Unquote.

To a large extent The Corsair forms a part of the mental equipment of all these early Victorian authors.

In addition to Christian and Moslem concerns one considers his evaluation of the Jews as an independent nation living in and on its host; this is difficult because Westerners have been indoctrinated and conditioned to believe that Jews are innocent victims. They are not, not in Hellenic times, not in Roman times and not in Medieval times and certainly not now. During early Christian times they were given the greatest boon that could be imagined: the monopoly of loaning money at interest. Christians, the Catholic Church, laid its congregation at the feet of the Jews to be exploited.

Do not believe that the Jews became money lenders because they were forced to. They have always been money changers. They did so on the porches of the temple where Jesus overturned their tables as sacrilegious. As usurers, even the simplest mind could easily figure out that the entire money supply must inevitably be in their hands. Nor did they loan on reasonable terms but at expropriatory rates of forty or fifty percent for a single day. The West was impoverished so that in Florence first, a State pawn shop was instituted to save both the State and its people financial grief. Other cities followed Florence’s example.

Thus Reynolds introduces us to the Jewish money lender, Issachar. Now, both Reynolds and Dickens had had their run in with Jewish damage controlmen. Dickens was disciplined over his Jewish character in Oliver Twist, Fagin. Reynolds had been dressed down for some remarks in Grace Darling.

Jewish emancipation from the rule of the Catholic Church had begun in France by Napoleon after 1800, by 1840 it was working its way through Central Europe. The Jews qua Jews didn’t become powerful until after Napoleon’s defeat and Nathan Rothchild’s capture of the English currency in 1815. As a result of England’s victory the Rothschilds were in the early stages of consolidating their power. Naturally one of the first steps was controlling the press and publishing, at that time the only effective means of disseminating information. By the time of Wagner Disraeli had published most of his novels and was becoming a power in the State. Both Dickens and Reynolds had heeded their chastening, Dickens submissively and Reynolds with his usual cheek.

Issachar is portrayed as the archetypal Yiddish money changer living in dirty squalid quarters but above the physical portrayal of the usual Jewish caricature he is lauded as the long suffering noble victim, a man of virtue unfairly maligned and Jews so for millennia. Thus Reynolds has fulfilled his obligation to laud the Jews. He describes Issachar as a man of integrity however Issachar is the biggest cheat and crook alive. Nisida’s mother had pawned the family diamonds with Issachar, however, Issachar without hesitation steals the diamonds replacing them with paste. The father being something of an expert immediately discovers the imposture. Issachar justifies himself in some unsatisfactory way and Reynolds blithely goes on about the long suffering Jews.

It is generally thought therefore that Reynolds was genuinely sympathetic to the Jews. I’m not sure that’s true. I think he was just doing to wise thing so he could go on publishing.

For story continuation, we have Wagner, a ninety year old man, living deep in the Black Forest of Germany with his beauteous grand-daughter. Reynolds is very keen on sixteen year old beauties. They abound in his stories. According to Dick Collins Reynolds married his wife Susannah when she was seventeen. Collins says Reynolds may have been her second husband, she having already been taken to wife at 14.

Clara, Wagner’s granddaughter and main support, disappeared one day no one knew where. Wagner is unable to support himself and about to expire when a demon appears offering to restore him to youth. This a much better deal than Satan offered Faust in the previous novel. All Wagner has to do is spend one day a month as a wolf. He knows the day because his fate is based on the lunar calendar. The contract ends when Wagner fails to honor it. As can easily be seen this, on the face of it is good deal, what makes it a great deal is Wagner also gets a substantial guaranteed annual income. Wagner may be old but he is no fool; he signs the deal.

Now a sprout of forty with cash in hand Wagner need no longer skulk about the woods of the Black Forest where all things strange happen. Anyone who is up with German stories of this period knows there are so many desperadoes haunting these woods that they are no place for a fun loving young Wehr Wolf. Wagner hies himself to Florence, Italy where the climate agrees with his clothes.

There he runs into his granddaughter Clara. It wasn’t easy to pass himself off to her as his grandfather but like any young guy of independent means Wagner is a smooth talker.

He then finds some digs and runs into Nisida, the daughter of a Lord who, in fact, turns out to be the reason that Clara disappeared from the Black Forest. He has persuaded the virtuous and beautiful Clara to abandon her virtue and become his secluded mistress. Daughter Nisida learns this determining to kill Clara and therein hangs the tale.

Reynolds throws in the description of some of Wagners transformations which are exciting and well done. On his monthly rampage Wagner merely tears through the countryside like a tornado.

The other part of interest is at the end when Wagner establishes contact with the Rosicrucian Order in Sicily. This perhaps establishes Reynolds’ own religious position. He is a Rosicrucian. He is said to have been a Deist so that fits. I rather accept that Rosicrucianism was his faith. Having studied the religion somewhat I consider myself a Rosicrucian also if one needs a label. And we all do.

Between 1844-48 then Reynolds has launched his career successfully with his Mysteries of London, worked through his French period and examined a major legend of Germany and Central Europe.

In Part III I will deal with Dickens early output in relation to Reynolds.