1. The View From Prindle’s Head


R.E. Prindle


Unintended Consequences 1


If one views life as a great adventure, the journey through which is a battle with adversity in which the challenge is to win those challenges and triumph over them, then one views life and history from a different point of view than religious pessimism. The whole point of the nineteenth century struggle to understand how the mind works was to free it to deal those challenges with a clear mind. By 1920 the foundation of the intellectual conditions had been formed.   They were and are not for the many but those whom the French writer Stendhal called ‘the happy few.’ Happy being a relative term.

As unrestricted immigration developed in nineteenth century America, Americans were woefully ignorant of immigration’ psychological conditions. Or, at least, those who weren’t were ignored. They firmly believed that having escaped ‘Europe’s teeming shores’ and passing by the Statue of Liberty to Ellises sacred isle with the first step on holy American soil, the immigrant shed his past, passed through a door and became the apex of humanity, an American with an American past.

Unfortunately, that was a fantasy, a dream. Rather the Italian remained an Italian, the Jew remained a Jew, the Chinaman remained a Chinaman, the Irish remained an Irisher although the characters of each were modified to meet the new environmental conditions. But those conditions were colored by their nation of origin. None overlapped on the others. An Italian remained an Italian, the Jew remained a Jew.

The Irish, who were the first to arrive, I forgot to mention them in my previous essay, brought their history of conflict with the English with them. They introduced themselves into an English culture and thus were enemies of the English, or what we call Americans. The Irish being technically grafted onto the American stem were then called Irish-Americans.

A great many spoke only Erse, with all that that implies, and not English. They landed in that hell hole, New York City, where they stoked the flames. After centuries of conflict in Ireland they were born to deal with conditions in New York City. Within a few years, very few, they had learned to use Tammany Hall to take control of the city displacing and subordinating the English inhabitants. And they kept control until Jimmy Walker failed to keep the colors flying in the 1930s and control passed to the Jews who still have it.

As I said, the Irish remained the Irish. In their vernacular they called the island of Ireland the Ould Sod and Manhattan, the New Island. They were the first to use the US as a sanctuary from which to conduct war against England in Ireland, the Ould Sod. The New Island. Two Irish territories. Danny Boy returned to Ireland to raise havoc. If the English arrested them they claimed to be American citizens, which they were, and were merely deported to return again.

In America, richer than ever they could have been on the green but sterile Ould Sod, they furthered that terrible conflict. In 1914 they were the only country of Europe, other than Switzerland, to remain neutral while interfering with the English as much as possible. From America, where they ran the shipyards at that time, they interfered with shipments of munitions to England. In 1916 they managed the notorious Black Tom explosion in Jersey City which was enormous that destroyed tens of millions of dollars worth of munitions destined for England. Read a billion dollars or more in today’s dollars.

They professed to love this country, which I’m sure they did, but it was an exclusively Irish country that they referred to and not the United States as a whole. A few years later, just before Ireland obtained independence in 1923 from an England exhausted by the war, Eamon de Valera, soon to be the Ireland’s first Prime Minister, was rapturously received on his visit to the New Island, Manhattan. No criticism was tolerated and he returned to Ireland bearing a few million dollars to further the cause.

So, to 1920 the Irish remained more Irish than American. They had recreated an Ireland on the Hudson.

They used their base in the US as a means to further their interests on the Ould Sod. While obeying American laws on the domestic level they yet maintained a dual citizenship in their own minds and actions. There was no Melting Pot as far as they were concerned.

Now, as a disclaimer, I have no animus against the Irish or any of the nationalities I will be dealing with. My main point is and will be that psychological realities were never acknowledged and have been historically rejected, that is, denied. Nor do I necessarily blame Americans for their ignorance, which is nevertheless palpable. The mind was only being liberated for the happy few and sound psychology could not be expected to be observed.

History, is however, history. That history has been either falsified or distorted to satisfy other psychological needs. It is time to rewrite history to portray the reality rather than the fantasy.

Continue to 6. Unintended Consequences part 2.

  1. The View From Prindle’s Head


R.E. Prindle

Strangers In A Strange Land


In this great storm of 1920, not too dissimilar from the great storm of 2020, the latter being its continuation, perhaps the most troublesome and the originator of America’s greatest sorrows was that of immigration. After a century of unlimited immigration in 1920 Europe lay devastated, the lives of Europeans were shattered, more especially in the East if that were possible. The United States of America in contrast seemed to lay untouched and pristine. The land of promise.

The folly of unrestricted immigration had long been resented by concerned Americans and now the land of promise looked even more promising to Europeans. Concerned Americans feared an inundation of Europeans. God only knew how many. The nation of Jewry planned to remove their entire populations of wretched refuse, to quote the Statue of Liberty, to these promising shores. Fearful of the reaction to a conspicuous inundation of Ellis Island, the ports of Corpus Christie and New Orleans had been prepped at great cost for their arrival. While the Jews pretend that no one knew or knows of this, concerned citizens trembled at the threat.

Fortunately, these ignorant Americans who couldn’t do the right thing had elected a President who could: Warren G. Harding. There is a great similarity between Warren G. Harding and his successor a hundred years later, Donald Trump. Both have understood the threats to America.

Harding quietly moved to outlaw the Communist Party, although the outlawry was rescinded by the powerful organized Communist’s fellow travelers and Pinkos. Still Harding was able to place restrictions on immigration that ended the threat of any mass invasion from Europe. This would stay in place until 1965. The Jews were forestalled and stymied.

So, for the first time since the 1870s the country was to get a respite from the burgeoning influx of strangers who were creating a very strange land. The mélange of cultures could scarcely be managed. In an effort to frame the controversy, the myth of the Melting Pot was created to abey the warring populations. The invasions had not been peaceful, conflicts had broken out everywhere. Thus in 1920 America was a land of huge colonies of various European nationals who had come over in multitudes. From 1870 to 1920 a third of the entire population of Jewry had invaded American cities like New York which had the largest single population of Jews in the world. Newark had a large colony that spawned their novelist, Philip Roth, who gives a good portrait of the mental state of Newark Jewry in his paranoid fantasy novel, The Plot Against America.

The Italians, or Sicilians, began arriving in numbers in the 1890s. Unable to sustain themselves in their native island, Sicilians for many decades migrated North in Europe during the summer months to supply labor, returning to their native isle in the Winter to rest and spend their money. With the arrival of the reliable steamship they extended their range to include Argentina, moving up through Brazil to Central America and finally discovering New York in the 1890s. they too came in the millions although they migrated back in the hundreds of thousands. Poles, Czechs, Scandavians had all come. Major parts of their peoples. Swedes nearly formed their own State in Minnesota. For a long time if you were from Minnesota you were sure to be taken as a Swede.

The Germans tried to form German countries in Texas and almost succeeded in St. Louis. The Poles took over in Hamtramck as a principality surrounded by Detroit. And of course the Jews in their millions formed colonies everywhere. Today Brooklyn is a Jewish colony with smaller colonies from New Jersey into the New York State hinterlands. New York, Newark, Chicago, everywhere.

The Jews were highly organized and managed by wealthy European families like the Rothschilds. The small number of Jews who arrived with the Forty-Eighters quickly established themselves, becoming wealthy enough to establish industries to supply the Eastern European Jews with jobs on arrival. These were tight organizations where English wasn’t needed as in their density Yiddish served.

The fabulous technological advances of the times greatly abetted their efforts. The sewing machine opened the needle trades to them at the propitious moment. Previous to the nineties clothing had been homemade. As the twentieth century emerged store bought clothing became the norm. All such clothing was the province of the Jews. While sweatshops have been thought American they were of Jewish origin. The German Jews exploited the Eastern Jews mercilessly.

By 1920, then, all these European colonies were spread over the land. All of them speaking their native tongues, speaking a kind of pidgin English. Accents abounded. The entertainment industry was practically founded on ethnic humor which lasted until about 1950. As I was growing up in Michigan I lived among accents that seemed to mysteriously disappear about 1950 when ethnic humor was banned from radio and TV.

Continue to 5. Unintended Consquences

  1. The View From Prindle’s Head


R.E. Prindle

Acquiring The Right Tools For The Job


In 1921 the decision was made to dishonorably and criminally manage the minds of the people of the United States while deceiving the electorate of their intentions. This would have been a formidable task with the psychological tools available to them. Prior to 1920 the only effective tool was print culture, books, magazines and most importantly newspapers. These were firmly under the control of the immigrant group of Jews. Thus they had control of the only tool in the toolbox. Control was not total but it was ruin to cross them.

Print is a relatively ineffective medium, it requires effort and the ability to read. While complete illiteracy was becoming rare, functional illiteracy was and is today commonplace. Fortunately for the conspirators, for there is no other name for them, a perfect storm of media was forming. Forms that required only hearing and seeing thus open to all.

Silent movies and phonograph records, as they were called at the time, to that point were in development hence imperfectly deployed while the culture reflected the early English settlers. However the twenties would introduce radio with its tremendous aural influence. When soundtracks were applied to movies the two media, radio and film, made propaganda a cinch; especially as methods were learned to coordinate the two. Competition between the media and the print culture was intense but print could not compete with sight and sound.

President Wilson under cover of the Great War had conditioned the populace to robot like obedience and would have gone further had not peace ensued. An unrelenting propaganda campaign, inform on your neighbor, even you family, readily molded the public mind. The old pre-immigration America was dead and gone.

America, formerly the land of plenty, was put on an artificial scarcity that made food supplies limited. While many of the restrictions were lifted after the war, peace did not follow. The Communist revolution of 1917 was directed to US shores where a large percentage of the immigrants were either Communists or Socialists with many, many of the old stock sympathetic if not active. Moscow immediately became the sentimental capital of their world. Loyalty was to the ideology and not the country. The populace was thus divided between Communist/Socialists and what they designated Capitalists. The division wasn’t that clean.

The Revolution then was activated in the US creating what the Reds, to use a single term, called The Great Red Scare. This was imagined to be an irresponsible resistance to the Revolution hence the Old Guard were what Hillary Clinton in the 2010s designated the Deplorables. As the twenties turned into the thirties the opposition was termed either Fascists or Nazis.

During the Red Scare the anti-Reds acted promptly and effectively to squelch the revolution. A. Mitchell Palmer, the Attorney General rounded up thousands and sent hundreds back to the now Soviet Union on what was called the Soviet Ark. His character has been assassinated by historians.

The famous bombing of Wall Street in 1919, when the Stock Exchange was nearly blown to bits could not have been the work of one man. A revolution had been brewing since the conspirators arrived on US shores in 1848. Thus the twenties ushered in an entirely new United States of America with the Reds contesting the Whites for control of the country. The turmoil rose to a nerve blasting level as planes, trains and autos altered the landscape of the country beyond recognition. And that was only the beginning. The American psyche was unsettled.

Television was functional in 1927 and was ready to go commercial by the end of the thirties, delayed by what became now the Second World War, it was commercially launched only after the war. The physical tools were thus in place and functioning, if not fully coordinated, and operating by 1950 when the big push became possible. At that time all the media were firmly under Jewish control.

Tools are only objects without means to use them, direct them to their purpose. Fortunately for the revolutionists, the conspirators, by the beginning of the 1920s the development of psychology had reached a highly effective state. The psychological tools were provided by the great steps discovered in the nineteenth century Europeans, then funneled through the mind of Sigmund Freud, the great synthesizer, in the twentieth century. He selected what he needed to achieve his goals.

His great synthesis was condensed in his essay Group Psychology and the Analysis of the Ego. By the twenties Freud had perfected his vision of hypnosis including mass hypnosis. At the same time drugs that would become popular after 1960 were discovered and perfected. I’m thinking mainly of Amphetamines here. A perfect vehicle, or hypnotic media, to reduce resistance to propaganda.

Hypnosis is not be taken lightly, it and memory are the basis of mind. Group psychology in Freud’s hands was essentially mass hypnosis by which is meant whole nations. He had worked out techniques to control entire populations. Usually Freud concealed his sources but for some reason he acknowledged his debt to the Frenchman Gustave Le Bon, an important figure at the time. As a great tribute he even reproduced long quotes. Very strange for Freud. Le Bon had written a book at the turn of the century entitled: The Crowd: A Study of the Popular Mind. Freud incorporated it into his Group Psychology in toto.

Public relations which arose as an industry in the nineteen teens came into its own post-war. Men like Ivy Lee and Edward Bernays took psychological findings and incorporated them into the field of advertising. Improved printing of colors made their refined methods exceptionally effective backed by radio and later television. Various magazines such as Life and Look consisted entirely of pictures.

Print combined with the new electronic media seized the mind of America. By the thirties and the advent of Roosevelt methods were refined that came to near perfection by 1960.



  1. The View From Prindle’s Head


R.E. Prindle

How We Got From There To Here


It was a little over a hundred years ago that the America of today was born. Our father was a man called Woodrow Wilson. A neurotic who should never have been president. He was rather shallow but with firmly held opinions. A Liberal. He established wartime Socialism in the United States during the Great War, otherwise christened WWI 30 years later after WWII was created.

As a Socialist he fixated on creating the League of Nations—EuroAmerican nations. He nearly killed himself trying to get the US involved in his fantasy. It was important because anytime individuals or organizations, such as countries, combine those with an agenda, will, and superior organization will dominate and succeed. Communist/Socialists were and are committed and organized and the rest aren’t, or, haven’t been to this time. So, in order to subvert American individualism and replace it with Socialist collectivism it was necessary for the US to join the League of Nations. Wilson found able and organized opposition in the Senate which was determined to thwart Wilson. They successfully did. Wilson had a disabling stroke and the League was discarded.

Socialists didn’t give up, they never do. They hoped to win the 1920 election and further Wilson’s campaign. They failed to do so. Their agenda was delayed for twelve years. To the Socialist mind the election of 1920 proved that the Common Man, the electorate, couldn’t be counted on to do ‘the right thing.’ The Socialist’s will, thus it had to be managed, controlled and molded to do their will.

Consequently in 1921, in the wake of their electoral loss they formed the Council On Foreign Relations. Not the Council To Realize The League Of Nations, as that wouldn’t pass muster, so Foreign Relations. Same thing. Twenty years or so later after another World War they created out of that panic a new League of Nations now called the United Nations, the UN. Sounds good like the US, doesn’t it? The United Nations was brought into existence unconstitutionally by fiat, this time there would be no debate, no vote. The will of the people was bypassed and we were saddled by the misguided monstrosity called the UN.

Now, people believe Wall Street is anti-Socialism. This is not true although you will not believe it. Wall Street rejects the economics of Socialism but loves the political organization. The ideal of the industrialists is the China of today where a very docile population, up to now anyway, where workers can be compelled to work non-stop making goods for the world without organizing into unions. Neither US or European workers would stand for this, always striking, sabotaging, or interfering with the production process. The Common Man couldn’t be counted on ‘to do the right thing.’ And assume the position.

So the Plutocrats, as they were called, J.P. Morgan, played both ends to reward their middle. They financed both attitudes trying to get Euroamerican workers to behave as Chinese workers. Finally they gave up, exported industry and manufacturing to China where Chinese laborers do not resist the right thing. They shut up and manufacture the goods. You will notice that there have never been labor interruptions in China.

However as China prospered and huge numbers became rich beyond any expectations the attitude began to change. Chinese workers became rebellious and wanted the freedoms Westerners appeared to have. China started to come apart. Drastic measures were required to bring them back under control. That meant essentially house arrest. Thus an artificial disaster called the Coronavirus was created. It worked so well in China—the trial run—that it has been exported to the US where after a few thousand cases and a mere several deaths, first staged in a large nursing home filled with sick old people with compromised immunity systems where, for all we know, seven or eight people die every month from age and disease anyway. Total panic ensued. The country was locked down. Every citizen was placed under, essentially, house arrest. No leg bracelets though.


Americans can now be counted on ‘doing the right thing.’ Or else be placed under house arrest. Collectivism triumphant and individualism destroyed. Took a while, but patience was needed. The US now the perfect Prison Nation. Everybody is in jail, prisons are superfluous and they are releasing all the cons. May not be the perfect system but there’s none better.

The View From Prindle’s Head


R.E. Prindle


Let’s look at what is really going here. This is the view from Prindle’s head. You may agree or not agree but if you comment and do not deal with issues rather than spewing hate rants, I will delete your rants. So be civil, be bold, be direct but don’t be rude. What has really happened with the virus is that Civilization has reached an impasse. It is no longer sustainable without some very serious adjustments. The time is now. The place is Earth.

Like it or not Civilization cannot advance further in this mode. Why? The simple answer is that there are too many people and too few resources. Water. There is not enough water to go around and it isn’t always in the right places. The population growth has to be stopped, the existing population has to be thinned. Don’t think this stupid virus scare is going to thin the population. For the governors of our eight billion people to shut down Civilization over perhaps 10K deaths among eight billion people indicates an hysteria the depth of which cannot be plumbed.

  1. It can’t.

Now, at nearly eight billion and beginning to collapse, at nine billion or ten billion a major ecological disaster will thin the population as you wouldn’t believe. Nature not only doesn’t care, Nature doesn’t even know what’s going on. Nature doesn’t exist. Nature is a human construct. The Universe, the Solar System, Earth operate on rules only dimly understand by man. The systems will do what they will do, they will evolve at their own pace, they will change without any concerns for your opinion. Learn to accept that.

As the Earth cannot sustain eight, nine or ten billion that means either the Earth will disintegrate or it will kill off the vermin, so to speak, infesting its surface. Now, the ruling elites recognize this. Up till now they haven’t wished to talk about it, leaving that to ‘nutcakes.’ Well, nutcakes, here comes the frosting.

We are talking about billions dying. The population in the not too distant future, perhaps lasting for a decade will so will be decreased by at least five billion people, perhaps more. That’s a lot of molding dead bodies because burial or any other means of disposal will be impossible. Diseases like you cannot conceive will be created by the rotting masses. The rat population will explode competing with humanity for existence. Perhaps the population will decrease leaving one or two billion before it stops. Then the planet will breathe a sigh of relief.

As there will be no way of disposing of billions of bodies people will be reminded of the horror as they try to salvage a way of life. Consumerism, that great bane of so many unhappy folks, will be a thing of the past. You’ll have to make and bake it yourself. Will that satisfy the unsatisfied? I’m not saying I’m the first to see it, I won’t because things are moving so fast but I would hate it, not saying you would love it, especially when what we have is gone then you will realize what you have lost.

But, you know, I like sitting on my behind writing stuff like this, doodling away at the absurd. I like buying not only what I need but what I want by just sitting at a computer and ordering and then have the stuff delivered to my door within a day or two. That’s convenience.  You anti-consumer people don’t like that? Yet you use it?

I like sitting at my computer and ordering wine directly from Bordeaux France, Napa Valley, Washington State, Idaho or Canada as improbable as the last two may seem. Hell, I can even order Trump wine from Virginia and have it delivered to my door almost before they get the wine in the bottle. You don’t like that? You say consumerism sucks? Smile when you say that damn you, smile as you slug your Corona beer from Mexico. Tequila from a cactus out in some Mexican desert.  Happy times are still here. For a while.

Now, I have been mentioning some of the consequences of excessive population for some years. The wear and tear on the planet of way too many giant aircraft in the skies, the incessant gobbling up of land for infrastructure for gigantic airports, monstrous train yards, endless parking lots for cars are mounting up so that life becomes unbearably noisy. I lay in bed in night blasted from sleep by trucks toiling up the freeway, I can hear the trains moving all night long eight to ten miles away. Jet planes roar overhead, choppers leisurely clatter over my roof. Is that right?

Of course I haven’t been alone in thinking and speaking out about this, it has all been projected and speculated for decades; H.G. Wells really dug into it, even Malthus back at the beginning of the nineteenth century predicted THE END. He just didn’t understand how inventive the mind of man could be. Of course there is food now for eight billion people and rising but the quality is much less than two hundred years ago and the quality of life has taken a hit also, disguised by this consumer world of plenty we see all around us. Prepare for the worst—but don’t panic.

The artificial virus panic we’re having now is advance notice of what will be coming down. I’m not the only one predicting that billions have to die. I’m not the one who realizes civilization is at an impasse. Have you noticed what the first thing was that they shut down? That’s right, travel. First they hit the cruise ships with the virus, Wuhan Central China, straight to the cruise ships. Then they were allowed to become test incubators for the virus. See how the virus functioned in a closed environment. It didn’t do well. In an ideal situation only about ten per cent became infected, then the matter was dropped.

Then they shut down air travel, just stopped it. Began downing the jets. Not a bad thing environmentally but a death thrust at modern civilization. Now the cry is ‘shelter in place,’ that is don’t leave your house. Death awaits you if you do. Panic? Wow, people are terrified.

Move your ass and you’ve got jail time. ‘We’re serious about this.’ a cop sternly threatens. Jail time just for leaving your house! Think of it! Jail time just for leaving your house. We’re the Soviets this bad? Heck, were the Nazis this bad?

So, Civilization has been stopped in its tracks. Education has been suspended. No schools, no colleges, no universities operating. Nobody knows what life will be like if and when the Big Virus Scare of 2020, the year of the McCarthy virus is brought to an end.

Don’t worry about money; we live in a cashless society. I haven’t seen money in years. I haven’t seen the source of my income credits. Just that every month new credits arrive at my financial institutions and then I ship credits out to the various outlets whose services I have used. All you have to do is find a source for credits, job or whatever, selling dope, burgling houses. Yeh. Burgling houses. Go ahead the cops don’t mind, they’re too busy citing people for not using their seat belts. You don’t think Civilization as we knew it has ended? Think again. Enough for now.

A Note And Aside On George W. M. Reynold’s Mysteries Of Old London: Days Of Hogarth


R.E. Prindle


While Old London isn’t as widely read as George’s two masterpieces it is a very interesting book. It is an historical examination of the eighteenth century period of Duke of Wharton and his Mohocks.

A comprehensive review will follow later, this note examines an interesting passage while other notes may follow. In a review of the whole, one frequently omits significant observations or ideas. In this quote that is very remarkable for its time (1848) Reynolds examines weaving in a manner that neither Dickens or Ainsworth could touch.

The quote occurs on page 14 of the British Library reprint while George is setting up his story. Chapter 5, The Two Apprentices.

It has been well said that man is the noblest work of God; but it is not equally easy to decide which is the noblest work of man. Though in contrast with the wondrous achievements of Almighty Power, the efforts of the human race are as nothing- though the most complicated, the most perfect results of mortal ingenuity are mean and contemptible when placed in comparison with the stupendous creations of the Divine Architect- nevertheless the earth is covered with monuments, which excite our astonishment and our admiration at the intelligence, the power, and the perseverance of man!

But of all the acts which in their application, constitute the distinctions between social and savage life- between a glorious civilization and an enduring barbarism- that of Weaving is decidedly one of the chief. For though the savage may affect the finery of shells and flowers- though he may study external adornment by means of natural products most pleasing in his sight- and though he may even conceal his nakedness with leaves, or defend himself from the cold by the hides of animals- yet is only in those portions of the globe where civilization has been the tutress of the human race, that comfortable clothing is known. And for this we are indebted to the LOOM which we may therefore look upon as at least one of the noblest works of Man!

How much of her prosperity,- how much of her greatness does England now owe to that achievement of human ingenuity! Amongst all the departments of National Industry, none is more ennobling in its tendency to commercial progress, than the art of weaving! Alas! That War should ever impose its barbarism in a way of the pursuit of Peace! For while Peace aspires to make our homes happy and increase our comforts, thus augmenting the enjoyments of life- War- hideous barbaric War- snatches our industrious mechanics from their looms, and our agricultural labourers from their plowshares, to place them in the ranks of armies or on the decks of fleets. And, what gain we from War after all? Glory- yes, plenty of glory; aye- and plenty of taxation also! For taxation is a vampire that loves to feast on the blood of a Nation’s heart, and to prey upon the vitals of an industrious population. It is an avaricious, grasping, griping fiend that places it finger on every morsel of food which enters into the mouth, on every article of clothing which covers the person, and on everything which is pleasant to behold, hear, taste, feel or smell! It interferes with our warmth- our light- our locomotion- the very paper which diffuses knowledge! It roams over the land to claim its share of the produce of our fields and our manufactures: and it awaits on the key of our seaports for the unlading of vessels bringing things from abroad. The moment that the industry or the intelligence of man originates something new, the fiend Taxation overshadows it with its loathsome bat like wing. It plunges it fang into the rich man’s dish and the poor man’s porringer: but the poor man suffers the more severely from this rapacious robber because he has but one porringer, whereas the rich man has many dishes. Oh! Insatiate is that Fiend; for he attends the deathbed when the will is made, and in the spiritual court when it is proven:- he has his share of the price paid for the very marble which covers the grave of the deceased-; and it is only there- in the grave- that the victim of Taxation can be taxed no more.

As the chapter is entitled The Two Apprentices and as they are apprentice weavers I suppose that touches off George’s tirades against war and taxation. His interpretation of the role of weaving in civilization manages to bring in a sort of evolutionary discussion of clothing. Just as a note of interest Thomas Carlyle’s Sartor Resartus appeared about this time, and that is a discussion of clothes so the popular imagination may have been drawn to the importance of clothes in these marvelous years of the Dandies, of which George was one, and the early years of discovery leading to the opening of the European mind.

George elsewhere brings up the arrival of the silk weaving on English shores as, as he says, forty thousand Huguenots exiled from France arrived in England and set up the industry.

The novels are full of interesting historical facts as George was a very well read guy.

A Personal Aside


I have now read nineteen titles of Reynolds’ novels. The major ones twice. The third and fourth series of Mysteries of London only once, all of the novels up to and including 1850. I own most of the rest. There is one novel that John Dicks lists titled Louisa, the Orphan, to which I can find no other reference.
Apparently George was really appreciated on the other side of the Atlantic in the US. Unable to get enough of George, publishers had writers write numerous titles under his name and this was being done into the1890s. I recently purchased a book titled the Countess of Lascelles or Self-Sacrifice, Part I, a sequel Bertram Vivian also in two parts published by Hurst and Company.

Here is a partial list of title, only a partial list, written and published in the US well into the eighties and nineties by a host of publishers: Caroline of Brunswick, Lord Saxondale, Count Christoval, Eustace Quentin, Banker’s Daughter, The Opera Dancer, Child of Waterloo, Robert Bruce, The Gypsy Chief, Wallace, Hero of Scotland, Isabella Vincent, Duke Of Marchmont, Life in Paris, Countess and the Page, Edgar Montrose, The Ruined Gamester, Clifford and the Actress, Queen Joanna, Ciprina or the Secrets of a Picture Gallery. I recently purchased a title called The Countess of Lascelles, a sequel to Bertram Vivian and which is followed by the two volumes of The Doom of the Burkers. Bertram, Lascelles and Burkers is a six volume series built around the same characters

This is very strange because George W. M. Reynolds was apparently very famous in his day in the US but has been totally forgotten in the history of American literature. How could this be? A firm, T.B. Peterson of Philadelphia published more that a dozen titles under Reynolds name some legit and some not. And that was in the 1880s. Another mystery to be investigated. Why is Reynolds’ popularity in US literature totally forgotten?

Now is the time for a little recapitulation.

The range of George’s interests and the seeming depth of his knowledge is quite astounding. One wonders what his sources were. I’ve mentioned many of his more obvious influences even doubling in some cases such as the Pickwick Papers as sources.

One title I have come across in six volumes is Charles Knight’s amazing title, London. I think it is pretty clear that Reynolds read the work. It was originally published serially then issued in book form when enough articles accrued to bind from 1841-1844. These were years when Reynolds wrote no novels although remaining active journalistically. I have the Cambridge University re-issue. I can do no better than to quote the Cambridge intro:

The publisher and writer Charles Knight (1794-1873) was apprenticed to his printing father but later became a journalist and the proprietor of various periodicals and magazines, which were driven by his concern for education of the poor. As an author, he published a variety of works, including The Old Printer and the Modern Press (also issued in the [Cambridge] Series. He claimed that this six volume work on the architecture and history of London, published between 1841 and 1844, was neither a history nor a survey of London, but looked at the Present through the Past and the Past through the Present. It relies on the skills of eminent artists to bring both the present and the past of London to life, and it is arranged thematically rather then chronologically or geographically. This is a fascinating account of what was the greatest city in the world.

The articles are by several different authors that lovingly describe the attributes of London past and present. George may have read the articles and then examined the sites himself in these four years in which he obviously absorbed much of the information he includes in his novels. Some details fascinated him. In Old London he mentions the Fleet Ditch which was uncovered in the 1720s.

The Fleet Ditch is what was once a stream that was turned into a muddy, foul ditch by the advance of civilization. It was later covered so that it flowed under the city itself. George mentions it here in Old London and then opens his The Mysteries of London with a description when Eliza Sydney was pitched into it by the criminals.

As fascinating as his stories are, acquiring background information then makes the stories more intelligible while opening vistas of what the deeper meanings of the works are. Fathoming the depths of Reynolds mind is important, getting the references. So while I began writing knowing little but the stories, I have worked to develop an understanding of what George saw and was describing.

The struggle or effort goes on. I am now about to begin reading the works of Reynolds mature years, those after 1850, while I have to reread The Mysteries of London, third reading, and The Mysteries of the Court of London, also third reading. It appears that the edition most people are reading of Mysteries of the Court is that published by the Oxford Society (of which there is no knowledge) in England and the Richard F. Burton Society in Boston, USA. It is an expurgated and partially revised edition. Apparently Reynolds was more racy and explicit in the original. In his The Parricide he gets really raunchy. Thus for the third reading I would like to obtain the original.

Just as Mysteries of London had a third and fourth series it is possible that John Dicks actually published a third and fourth series of Court of London. In five volumes each they were titled The Crimes of Lady Saxondale and The Fortunes of the Ashtons. Thus the Oxford edition of 1900 consists of twenty volumes containing all four series.

It seems apparent that the latter two series were not the product of Reynolds’ pen. They must have been written by others. It seems to me that Reynolds does the same thing as Charles Knight did, that is employ other writers to write according to his plan. Thus he might also have done as Alexander Dumas did and put his name on others writing. Certainly Court of London does not seem long enough to have taken eight years to publish it. The four series of The Mysteries of London are equally massive as the The Court of London and they took only four years to publish. The massive first two series must have been completed by 1846 leaving the shorter two series to finish the series by 1848 when Court began. Thus it is probable that Dicks went on publishing Saxondale and The Ashtons after Reynolds finished with George IV and the Regency. Reynolds says that he then abandoned George IV and the Monarchy years.

It seems to me that Reynolds does the same thing in relation to the Past and Present as Charles Knight did in his London and, indeed, that is the approach I am taking in my Time Traveling series.

Knight’s work in a way forms a template for Reynolds novels that in the main are historical combining the past and present. The current novel under consideration, The Mysteries of Old London pertain to the early eighteenth century just after the reign of Queen Anne and the beginning of the four Georges. More particularly does it involve the beginnings of the Hell Fire Clubs of the next hundred years from 1720-21. George specifically mentions that this story begins in 1721 and deals with the period of the historical Duke of Wharton and his Mohocks who terrorized the after dark streets of London during the period. Reynolds character Jem Ruffles certainly represents aspects of the Duke of Wharton as well, probably, of the arch criminal Johnathan Wild.

One of the studies of Charles Wright is of the locality of Spitalfields which was associated with weaving, silk weaving to be specific. The association began with the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 by order of Louis XIV by which the Huguenot sect was expelled. The Huguenots were Protestants who had evolved out of the Albigensian faiths of Provence and who were nearly exterminated in the thirteenth century. The Huguenots evolved from the earlier belief systems of the Albigensians and were in direct conflict with the Catholic Church. They were harder to deal with than the Albigensians and were constantly at war with Northern government of France. In the fifteenth century under Charles IX a truce was made with the Huguenots and their being invited to Paris to celebrate. This was a ruse and trick of Charles and the Huguenots were set upon by the Catholics and murdered in the celebrated St. Bartholomew’s Massacre. The remnant remained in their stronghold in Gascony in the South of France ruled by Henri of Bearn. Charles was murdered and replaced by his brother Henri III. At Henri III”s death he was succeed by Henri of Bearn, the Huguenot, who became Henri IV. He negotiated the Ediict of Nantes giving his Huguenots the protection of the crown. A little under a hundred years later the Edict was revoked by Louis XIV resulting in the displacement of their silk weaving industry to Spitalfields in London.

This history of the Huguenots was covered by Alexander Dumas in his novels of the Valois kings of France written in the mid forties that Reynolds would have read. Thus the mention of the Huguenots and Spitalfields in the quote from Old London. Reynolds repeatedly gives brief accounts of the various London districts such as Spitalfields following the Wright method of uniting the past and the present. Since his info is so similar to that of Wright one of his key readings must have been Charles Wright’s London.

Of course, Reynolds tramped the streets of all those districts he mentions and probably talked to old timers who may have remembered far back. As Wright lived to the 1870s one wonders whether Reynolds and he had any talks.

In the ending of the Oxford edition of the first two series of Court of London Reynolds says that he has tired of writing about George IV and chose not to follow him into his reign as monarch. He says he has other projects to follow. If those projects were Lady Saxondale and the Ashtons then he probably did hire other writers to compose the text according to his plan. Otherwise where the latter two series came from is a total mystery. The Mysteries of the Oxford Edition need clearing up.