1. The View From Prindle’s Head


R.E. Prindle

Unintended Consequences 3 The Jews 1


The Irish and Italians ha their effect in changing Americans mores and its psyche but far outweighing these two and all others combined were the Jews. Tempered by thousands of years of opposing all of mankind their tools were honed and sharpened, when removed from a European milieu where they were known to a very naïve American milieu living its own fantasy while having lost contact with the Jews who were a very small part of the population until the last half of the century, the Americans were easy pickings.

So, to understand the situation one has to go back to the beginning of Judaism. Unlike other peoples the origin of the Jewish people can be pinpointed. The Jews themselves believe that they first came into existence four thousand years ago in Mesopotamia.   Prior to that time any ancestors, Terah is the only one that can be identified, were merely part of the Semitic population of Mesopotamia. That is any history of them begins with the conflict with their neighbors. Their origin as a people began when as a quarrelsome cult they were expelled from Mesopotamia in about 2000 BC. Thus their four thousand year history began. If it was anything like their expulsion from Egypt a thousand years later, they were born in blood.

We know exactly what the quarrel was about. I must here introduce terms that may be unfamiliar to you, at least their usage. The Mesopotamians had a history going back at least to the Age of Leo, that is nine thousand years before the Age of Aries, probably more. They were present at the Flood. As we are all aware there was an ice age preceding this warmer period we live in known as an Inter-Glacial Period. That is there have been at least three interglacial periods and hence three Glacial periods. Another ice age will follow this warm period.

Whether the Mesopotamians had memory traces of over a hundred thousand years or they hypothesized themselves they appear to have memories stretching back and this is recorded in surviving records. The Zodiac was already in existence at the time the Jews came into existence in 2000 BC. This is a controversial opinion because modern prejudices give no credence to Mesopotamian records. It is generally asserted that the Zodiac originated with the Greeks about 100 AD. Not possible.

The problem between the Jewish dissidents and the main body of the priesthood occurred on the cusp between the Ages of Taurus and Aries and the dispute as Josephus records was astrological or astronomical. Four thousand years ago astronomy and astrology were one. The Zodiac was timekeeper for the Astrological religion.

As the solar year was divided into twelve months so the Great Year had twelve divisions or Ages. This was based on the principle: as above, so below. The two worlds, heaven and earth were mirror images. The duration of the Great Year is approximately 26,000 solar years. Each Age is about 2200 solar years duration. Thus the Age of Taurus ended when the sun passed out Taurus into Aries. Each Age has its religious archetypes, that is it is ruled by a specific God and Goddess. The male archetype of Taurus was the god, Saturn, in Greek terms, Cronus. When the old god was replaced by the new god he was sent to Far Tartarus or on the way to the opposite post of the Zodiac. A new archetype came into existence for the New Age. Apparently Terah objected to this. He refused to accept the change in archetypes and insisted that Saturn, that is God, was eternal. That is undying. Thus there was in irreconcilable difference. Terah’s main follower, Abram, according to Josephus the greatest astronomer/astrologer of the Ages defeated the Mesopotamian sages in debate and they petulantly expelled the proto-Jews from the land.

There is a fairly substantial literature on both sides of this situation. As chance would have it the Priestly version was literally buried beneath the sands for thousands of years while the Jews perpetrated their vision on Western society. In the nineteenth century the cities began to be excavated, libraries were found and the difficult texts were translated, or many of them, thousands of tablets yet remain. The most fascinating of the texts was the Priestly myth of Gilgamesh, which in the Jewish version is the story of Cain and Abel. We will examine details of those two stories.

As the Jews, or what became the Jews, were a dissident cult within and part of the Semitic peoples in Mesopotamia at the beginning of the Age of Aries four thousand year ago, then they were immersed in the lore of that people being a part of it. It is odd that while the main body of the peoples understood the world to be uncreated and at the least hundreds of thousands of years old that these dissident Jews should have determined that the Earth had been created by Saturn a mere seventeen hundred years previously. The Priesthood must have considered the Jews to be insane to maintain such a false understanding.

While the Priesthood maintained on the best of evidence that the Flood had occurred in the Age of Leo, the Jews maintained that it had occurred perhaps in the middle of Taurus, two Ages later. Their trying to maintain that tradition must have driven the Priesthood nuts. The Jews could not be talked to. Most especially because this insane cult must have been multiplying fairly rapidly. They had to go.

This profound split in knowledge would have a profound effect on all subsequent Western history because, the intelligent position of the Priests was buried in history by the succeeding Age of Pisces. Thus the nutty notion of a world created in 3700 BC or thereabouts was enshrined in the Jewish bible which has survived to our times perverting the intelligence of the Europeaan mind well into the nineteenth century until the Priestly version became apparent to inquiring minds who were denounced by the Judaized majority as crazy dissidents reversing the ancient Mesopotamian positions. Very strange.

History might have taken a more enlightened turn if the Priestly understanding had prevailed rather than the nutty Jewish fable. Now let us compare how the Jews misinterpreted two stories, The Garden of Eden and the Great Flood. The Mesopotamian memories are history turned into myth while the Jewish versions are the purest sci-fi or fantasy take offs.

During the Ice Age when thousands of feet of ice were transferred from the ocean waters to land this lowered the sea levels by somewhere from 350 to 500 feet compared to today’ levels, depending on whose opinion you wish to accept. The Persian Gulf is very shallow so that it became exposed to form an immense fertile, temperate valley all the way to what are now the Straits of Hormuz. The highlands to the South in Arabia, now the most barren sands on Earth were teeming with population. Through the Valley ran the immense combined waters of the Tigris and Euphrates creating a veritable Eden. Highly civilized cities lined its shores including the legendary city of Dilmun.

Dilmun must be where Oannes, now known as John, according to the historical myth, arose from the waters as a very wise fish man. He bequeathed civilization to the ignorant highlanders who had existed on the former middle part of the Great River and which could then be seen only as two streams, the Tigris and Euphrates.

This must have occurred in the Age of Leo or perhaps the beginning of the Age of Cancer depending on how quickly the waters rose as the Earth warmed into the Spring of the Great Year. For the Mesopotamians the memory of the Great Valley was the Paradise that was lost beneath the Great Flood. Gilgamesh, when seeking the secret of eternal life was directed to return to the bottom of the Gulf where the wise keeper of the secret resided, perhaps in the ruins of Dilmun.

The proto-Jews coming from the exact same cultural base converted the Paradise of Dilmun into the Garden of Eden and put the preposterous sci-fi swordsman at the entrance to this Garden to deny access to the humans who had been expelled. Perhaps Adam was styled on Oannes. John certainly became a prominent name in Israel.

The inexplicable flood for which no rational explanation could be known based on that ancient knowledge was accounted for by the Jews as forty days of downpours and the opening the ocean vents

The fantasy of Noah and the Ark was created by the Jews to explain the survival of humanity as the waters, in their imaginations, rose to the mountain tops which in turn created the fantastic story of the Ark resting on Mt. Ararat. Fortunes have been spent by the deluded trying to find it. You can see the Priests shaking their heads.

Remember that the Jews were not a separate people from the Mesopotamians, there can be no Jewish race. The present Jews were Semites at that time. They came from the identical culture with the same historical traditions which they distorted for their own ends.

It is very easy to see Terah as an early Moses. Moses also was educated by priests but in the religion of Egypt, became a renegade and distorting some fantastic variations on the Egyptian religion was driven out of Egypt.

Proceed to Part 8, a continuation.

  1. The View From Prindle’s Head


R.E. Prindle

Unintended Consequences 2. The Italians


I’m now to deal with the Italian/Sicilians. After them, the Jews. Bear in mind that we are dealing with a psychological profile of peoples, these are Freudian group psychologies. A group is a number of people who share similar backgrounds and/or goals and mental characteristics. Gustave Le Bon’s study of the psychology of crowds was dealing with a group of people of dissimilar backgrounds and bound together by an event, or an idea, a panic or hysteria not different from the current corona virus hysteria in which the whole world has been stampeded much as cowboys got a herd in motion.

We are dealing here with national characters as evidenced by actions.

The Italian group is made up of dissimilar peoples and mentalities: Lombards, Venetians, Sicilians, Romans, Florentines etc. One large division is between the North and South as characterized by the Two Sicilies. Of the South and Lombardy of the North. Lombardy is named after the Lombard people, a German tribe, with a different history and mental organization from the Sicilians. Venetians obviously are different from the Lombards and Sicilians and so on.

Sicily named for the very ancient people, the Sicels, may possibly be considered aboriginal. When the Mediterranean flooded after the last ice age, the Sicels, by whatever name they may have been named were flushed from the Med Basin into the former highlands formed by their island. Or perhaps the Sicels already inhabited the highlands and received the Basin people as their first invaders of their highlands although they must have had relations with the Basin people. The Basin flooded during the Age of Leo thus eight to nine thousand years ago. At any rate the island was invaded by many peoples including in historical times the Greeks and Phoenicians, the Moslems and the Normans each leaving their imprint on the Sicilian character.

Out of all this chaos whatever original Sicels were left they took part in a melting pot, actions and reactions that formed the Sicilian character and the formation of the criminal organization called the Mafia.

As mentioned earlier the Sicilians, their country ravaged and depleted of resources began renting themselves out as unskilled laborers to Northern Europe during the summer months while returning to Sicily in the Winter when their services were no longer required. Then, as steamships reliably and quickly made Atlantic crossings safe they first travelled to Argentina, moving North and eventually, in the nineties, they discovered New York City.

They were seen by Americans with disapproval as Birds of Passage. That is as migrant laborers they arrived on these welcoming shores to make their bundle, then as in Europe, the returned to Sicily to bask in the Sun enjoying their leisure on their savings. While this was natural to them, Americans resented them because unlike immigrants they didn’t stay.

For every two that came one went back home, perhaps repeating the experience when he ran out of money. Those who stayed were almost all illiterates, being only grunt unskilled labor with which an expanding New York City abounded in opportunities. Like the other immigrants they clustered in colonies each forming a no go zone for all but their own nationality. New Yorkers called these colonies, neighborhoods and ghettoes. You nearly needed a passport to enter and pass through.

Of course they brought their native foods with them, enriching they said, the American palette. Of course the recipes were adapted for a universal appetite. Gradually American and Northern European dishes were replaced by various ethnic cuisines. These cuisines usually consisted of poverty foods.

Over time NYC would become a congeries of colonies each forming a no go zone for all but their own. The Sicilians also brought their well organized criminal Mafia with them that quickly adapted to American conditions. At first, they operated in their own colonies, but combining with the Jews who were familiar with European ways, thus American, were better adapted to move between their own and the general culture. They to some extent brought the Italian criminals out of their own colonies.

It is difficult to determine whether Jews or Italians brought organized crime to America. At first the criminals were involved in crimes of theft, prostitution and gambling. In 1920 an unprecedented opportunity to enrich them beyond their dreams was created with the introduction of Prohibition. The illegal liquor trade made the mobsters, both Jewish and Italian, day.

At the same time a gentleman named Mussolini was coming to power in a unified Italy and he assumed that the Sicilians in America were still Italian citizens. Merely Overseas Italians. His agents encouraged this belief in America. Thus the Sicilians became another dual citizenship people not unlike the Irish. Mussolini demanded a control over these Italians.

In the US all the peoples of Italy were known as Italians although most were Sicilians. I wouldn’t have known the difference until I was over twenty. As Mussolini thought of the Italian colonies as part of Italy at one time, he wanted to ship injured war veterans to New York for free treatment in US hospitals.

As of 1920 then, the Sicilians were in a primitive state of organization. They were tightly bound to colonies in which the remained until after WWII at which time their ties to Italy were broken and they became Italian-Americans.

Next I will deal with the most influential of the immigrant nations, the Jews. I expect this to be very controversial as the actual history differs greatly from the orthodox or official fables that we have been conditioned to believe. History is nevertheless history and it should be told as accurately as possible.

The history will also be only up to 1920 at this point.

Continue to 7. The View From Prindle’s Head, Unintended Consequences 3.


  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.

Part XIa

Time Traveling With R.E. Prindle


I have been having trouble finding a way into this chapter. Three efforts have been thrown aside; perhaps the fourth will succeed. I have been successful in finding a copy of The Youthful Impostor and added Vo. I of The Modern Literature of France. The latter is available under the title Georges Sand. A couple of quotes from those may possibly be a good lead in.

A preliminary quote is from David De Leon’s introduction to his translation of volume fifteen of Mystere’s du Peuple, Eugene Sue’s The Executioner’s Knife or Joan of Arc: A Tale of the Inquisition. De Leon:

Whether one will be satisfied with nothing but a scientific diagnosis in psychology, or a less ponderous and infinitely more lyric presentation of certain mental phenomena will do for him, whether the credit of history insists on strict chronology or whether he prizes in matters canonical the rigid presentation of dogma or a whether the tragic fruits of theocracy offer a more attractive starting point for his contemplation- whichever case may be (the career and novels of George Reynolds…) will gratify his intellectual cravings on all three heads.

Of course I have substituted Reynolds for De Leon’s quote of Sue. He pretty well covers the approach I am taking. The smooth or turbulent waters of a rolling river are what is meant by canonical waters, while the real history lies beneath the shining or muddy waters in the hidden river bed. With Reynolds it is necessary to penetrate the river’s surface and search beneath to understand the depth of Reynold’s thought.

Up to this time Reynolds has escaped the biographer’s pen. Fortunately for us Reynolds has left some pretty transparent clues in his writing making them fairly accessible auto-biography, more especially in the novels of his apprenticeship before embarking mid-stream as he began the fullness of his career with The Mysteries Of London. Two novels stand out in auto-biographical detail. The first is The Youthful Impostor first composed when he was eighteen in 1832 and edited before publication in 1835. The completely rewritten version of 1847 retitled The Parricide bears small relation to the first published version. The second work is his Modern Literature of France published in 1839 when he was twenty-five. The latter is non-fiction. In it he says in the introduction speaking directly to the reader p. XVII

The literature of France previous to the Revolution of 1830 resembled that of England at the present day; inasmuch as a moral lesson were taught through the medium of almost impossible fiction. Now the French author paints the truth in all its nudity; and this development of the secrets of Nature shocks the English reader, because he is not yet accustomed to so novel a style. To depict truth, in all its bearings, consistently with nature, is a difficult task; and he who attempts it muse occasionally exhibit deformities which disgust the timid mind. A glance at life in all its phases, cannot be attended with very satisfactory results; and while the age surveys much to please, it must also be prepared to view much that will be abhorrent to the virtuous imagination. The strict conventual usages of English society prevent the introduction of highly coloured pictures into works of fiction; and thus, in an English book which professes to be a history of man or of the world, the narrative is but half told. In France the whole tale is given at once; and the young men, and young females do not there enter upon life with minds so circumscribed and narrow that the work of initiation becomes an expensive and ruinous task. We do not become robbers because we read of thefts; nor does a female prove incontinent on account of her knowledge that such a failing exists. The pilot should be made aware of rocks and quicksands, that he may know how to avoid them; it is ridiculous to suffer him to roam on a vast ocean without having previously consulted the maps and charts which can alone warn him of peril. Such is the reasoning of French writers, who moreover carry their system to such a an extent, that they cannot hesitate to represent vice triumphant, and virtue leveled with the dust, for they assert that the former incredibly prospers, and the other languishes without support; whereas the English author points to a difficult moral in his fiction.

One might say that Reynolds plan of literature was formed in France while his five years there were the most significant and formative in his life. Whether he witnessed the three important days of the July Revolution that unseated Charles X is not important, what is important is that their import coalesced his own political outlook. Thus when he returned to England in 1836 it was in full revolutionary mode and remained so promoting the Revolution of 1848 by any and all means at his disposal. He directed his revolutionary effort toward ’48 by his involvement in the Chartist Movement in which he was ultimately successful. Coming from France where he believed that the July Revolution swept away ancient ways be violence, belief in violence offended the English agitators who believe evolutionary tactics the better approach. They belittled his contributions and diminished him personally. Notwithstanding his vision of Chartism triumphed changing English society and he should be rehabilitated and acknowledged as such.

Secondly the quote displays perfectly Reynolds’ literary ideals to present reality starkly as he saw it. I do not agree with many of his conclusions and in observing his usages do not necessarily endorse them in their entirety. Time has proven many of his observations fatuous and against human nature. To ignore them is to misunderstand his import. He is almost always going against the grain. Especially compared to Dickens and Ainsworth.

The French literature he discusses was prior to the effusion of the Forties, which was astonishing. In his critique he is referring to the theatrical or poetic works of Dumas and Victor Hugo. He apparently was an ardent theatre goer.

The tremendous events of the fifty years preceding 1830 were brought to a head in the July Revolution of France and the Reform Act of 1832 in England. The political and belated explosion in France in 1789 was only less significant compared to the Industrial Revolution of England and the subsequent economic reorganization. When the Napoleonic era ended modern society had been reorganized emerged complete.

Once again, Reynolds was keenly aware of changing customs and mores. This vision was held up starkly to him when he set foot in France shortly after the July Revolution. One should also note this was after the cholera epidemic of the same year. To quote him again: The +*-Modern Literature of France pp. XIII-XIV:

The literature of France since the July Revolution of 1830 is quite distinct from that under the fallen dynasty. A sudden impulse was given to the minds of men by the successful struggle for freedom which hurled the improvident Charles from his royal seat; and all aims—all views—and all interests underwent a vast change. Ages of progressive but peaceful reform couldn’t have accomplished so much, in reference to the opinions and tastes of a mighty nation, as those three days of revolution and civil war. The march of civilization was hurried over centuries; and as if France had suddenly leapt from an old into a new epoch without passing through the minutes, the hours, and the days which mark the lapse of time, she divested herself of the grotesque and gothic apparel, and assumed an attire which at first astounded and awed herself. And then men began to congratulate each other upon the change of garb; and now that they are accustomed to see and admire it, they look upon their rejected garments as characteristic of antiquity, and not as things that were in vogue only a few years since.

As a Chartist, other Chartists who were more evolutionarily minded disliked Reynolds because he was known for wanting drastic results by violent revolutionary means Reynolds retorts, p. XVI:

It is a matter of speculation whether the Reform Act (of 1832 in England) would have been even now (1839) conceded to the people of this country, if it had not been found necessary to keep pace as much as possible with the giant strides made by the French. Certainly a change has taken place in the literature of England since the passing of the Reform itself as well as that of France since the three days of July.

The change in literature in England was led by Edward Bulwer Lytton, William Harrison Ainsley, perhaps Charles Dickens, by Reynolds himself and quite probably writers like Pierce Egan and the Penny Blood and Dreadful writers as developments in printing and paper made ever cheaper editions possible making books of all qualities affordable to the rising literacy among the underclasses. Indeed by the 1850s, John Dicks, Reynolds printer and partner, would make available the complete Shakespeare for pennies. Of course, the type was so small they are virtually unreadable except to the most dedicated.

All of these writers were reformers, writing especially about the harsh penal laws.

The core attitudes of Reynolds remained unchanged from his introduction into France. It was in France that a very young eighteen year old wrote his first book, The Youthful Impostor.


Reynolds incorporates his entire life into his novels so this might be the right time to assemble a chronology of his life. For those who may have read my earlier chapters this account may seem familiar but it incorporates much new material, better organization and deeper thinking. Or so I think.

While George’s first novel, The Young Impostor was first composed in 1832 when he was eighteen the book was not to published until 1835 when he was twenty-one. There was some touching up for the 1835 version as he includes a chapter head quote from W. Harrison Ainsworth’s Rookwood that was only published in 1832 and couldn’t have been read for his original manuscript. He also chapter headed a quote from Bulwer-Lytton’s 1830 novel Paul Clifford. That novel was definitely an influence on The Youthful Impostor. The Youthful Impostor is highly autobiographical so we can form an almost biographical account of his early years. By the way the 1847 rewrite of the Impostor, The Parricide, bears almost no resemblance to the earlier version. It can read as an independent novel and not his best.

George was born July 20, 1814. His father, a naval post-Captain commanded a cruiser during the Napoleonic wars. Born in Sandwich, Kent of the Cinq Ports, the family was moved to the island of Guernsey when George was two. Six years later the family returned to Kent and its capital Canterbury. Reynolds has indelible memories of all this so references to his early life crop up frequently in his works.

Returning to 1822, at the age of eight he was saddened by the death of his father thus making him an orphan. Orphans figure prominently in his works. His mother died eight years later depriving him of both parents leaving him on his own at fifteen under the guardianship of his father’s best friend Duncan McArthur, hence George’s third name. He passed under that man’s guardianship after his father’s death. His mother was not his guardian.

His relationship with McArthur, if we judge from his writing, was not a happy one. There are other references but in 1854 writing in his novel, The Rye House Plot, which by the way is a superb novel, George had this to say about his guardian: Rye House Plot, p. 63,

This guardian of mine was a man of stern disposition; and I loved him not.

I think we can apply the quote to Duncan McArthur. He, himself, was an old Navy man, a surgeon. From the age of eight to sometime at the age of thirteen George attended a school in Ashford, a few miles from Canterbury which were happy years for him as he idolized his schoolmaster. Then, as George styles it, at the tender age of thirteen he

was placed in the Sandhurst Military Academy in Berkshire. Thirteen would indeed had been tender to have been thrown in with older boys of sixteen or eighteen and even young men heading into their twenties. Tom Brown’s School Days at Rugby by Thomas Hughes at roughly this time shows how difficult George’s situation probably was. He was impoverished while probably the majority of the cadets were from titled families having plenty of money. So from thirteen to sixteen when George was either removed or removed himself the years must have been unpleasant. The Youthful Impostor covers those years.

George’s mother died in March of 1830 when he was fifteen. He left the academy shortly after his sixteenth birthday in September. He left for France at the end of 1830, a greenhorn of sixteen. A sitting duck for sharpers one might say.

The question then is how much money did he have. Dick Collins think nothing but I think he had to have much more so I accept his statement to the adjudicator at his 1848 bankruptcy hearing when George told him that he had had seven thousand pounds. Where did they come from?

In The Rye House plot he discusses such an issue like this. His character General Oliphant is speaking. “Eighteen years ago, when I was a youth under twenty, I embarked with my uncle, Mr. Oliphant, on board a vessel bound for a Spanish port where he had some mercantile business to transact, he being engaged in commercial enterprises. Mr. Oliphant was my +

guardian, my parents having died when I was very young. I must observe that Mr. Oliphant being a man of reserved and stern disposition had kept me in the most perfect state of ignorance as to my own affairs; and although I had reason to believe that my parents had left some little property, which I should inherit on obtaining my majority, I had not the smallest conception of what amount or value it might be or what nature it was nor where situated or deposited.

As it turned out the inheritance was a couple thousand pounds payable at twenty-one. This coincides with Dick Collins researches in George’s finances. So, I think we can believe that George is describing his own situation in the above quote. While it is generally thought that George inherited twelve thousand pounds when his mother died, we can I think dismiss the account. Where, then, did George get seven thousand pounds. If The Young Impostor is as autobiographical as I think it is then George was involved in a substantial swindle and fled England in somewhat of a hurry at the end of 1830.

George does not often write about his military life but he does in YI and the Rye House Plot. The cadets were given a fair amount of liberty and traveled from the barracks to London frequently. This was George’s first acquaintance with London and it was overwhelming.

In Chapter VI of the Parricide a rewrite of The YI Reynolds quotes this verse:

Houses, churches, mix’d together

Streets unpleasant in all weather,

Prisons, palaces contiguous,

Gaudy things enough to tempt you

Showy outsides, insides empty,

Baubles, trades, mechanic arts,

Coaches, wheelbarrows, and carts,

-This is London! How do ye like it?

Sometime then at thirteen and fourteen he had his first introduction to the Big City in company with other cadets on the town. Breathtaking and terrifying. And that was my impression of London too. I’m sure he was stunned by his first vision as I was a hundred seventy years later.

He frequently mentions the Hounslow barracks. Highwaymen infested the highways from Hounslow to London and also in the vicinity of Bagshot.

Reynolds with little money in his pocket traveled from Sandhurst to London and back many times apparently following at times through Bagshot and Hounslow.

Now, as a young cadet, he has himself returning from London late one night when he is accosted by two highwaymen. Naturally he had little money and was being harassed accordingly when a third party appeared who dispersed the robbers and rescued him. It would seem apparent that as the robbers worked in parties of three that the third party also a robber who intervened for another reason. Reynolds names him as Arnold. Having read the story and reviewing it, it should be apparent that Arnold thought he had found a use for the young cadet and he and, actually the other two, were contemplating some large scale swindle but needed a naïve young man to complete the ensemble as bait. George may very probably have been that young man.

Reynolds has James, his character, and Arnold dupe a Jewish usurer named Mr. Nathanial. The amount George mentions was seven thousand pounds. This may be a coincidence or it may be where his seven thousand pounds came from when he absconded to France at the end of 1830.

It may have been at this time that Long’s Hotel became familiar to the young orphan. Long’s was apparently London’s most luxurious hotel at the time. Reynolds is almost breathless when he mentions the name. Long’s figures prominently in his pre 1844 works. Most often with criminal acts. And indeed, Reynold’s is familiar with endless hotel scams.

According to Collins there is some question as to young George’s integrity and George himself from time to time mentions that he has redeemed his youthful crimes, while swindles are frequently performed in his novels. That’s not proof of course but such a swindle would have provided the seven thousand pounds he said he had plus an incentive to leave England just ahead of the Bow Street Runners. At any rate we know that he showed up in France at the end of 1830 and we’ll take his word that he had seven thousand pounds.

If George was associated with this ‘Arnold’ who was part of the criminal underworld he must have been inducted into that society in some capacity. In that capacity he would have learned something of criminal ways of which he seems to be fairly familiar and according to Collins he did do some prison time while he went through a bankruptcy just before returning to England from France.

If I am correct, then George benefited by his and ‘Arnold’s’ swindle and absconded to France. Collins also records that he was arrested in Calais for playing with loaded dice. In Mysteries of London, first series, George gives a detailed description with diagrams of how to load dice. Of course, that may have been taken from a manual.

So, at the beginning of 1831 George landed in France where he would remain until 1836. From Calais he went straight to Paris where he remained either residing at Meurice’s Hotel or hanging around the

environs as may be indicated by his book of Pickwick Abroad. When he married he resided in different places as Collins’ research accords.

Evidence indicates that he did explore areas of France. At one point he laments never have been to Belgium, the closest he came was four miles from the border. Since one can only write about what is stored in one’s mind and one’s experience it follows that Reynolds must have been at the places he writes about or had read about them. As he frequently writes about Italy one does question his presence there. In his book Wagner, the Wehr Wolf his descriptions of Florence don’t seem to ring true so he may be working from from written accounts or pure imagination although his descriptions do resonate with the Italian period in Dumas’ The Count of Monte Cristo. Otherwise he may have traveled about quite a bit.

As a green, but initiated, sixteen year old in 1831, perhaps with money, he would have been prey to various spongers and swindlers. It is difficult to envision a sixteen year old boy brazening his way through a foreign capital but he very obviously did for five years. One imagines his first six months must have been intense orientation. Yet he says that he completed The YI in 1832 and had been able to obtain a copy of Bulwer-Lytton’s Paul Clifford, read it and incorporated it in his first novel. We’re talking of a bit of a phenom here. He must have gravitated into journalistic and literary circles, possible theatrical, very quickly in his career, and he is merely a boy not attaining his majority until the year before he left France. I find this fairly astonishing.

He says he wrote The Young Impostor in 1832 so he must have been considering the story from his very landing in France if not before. As an eighteen year old It could only portray his experience up to that year. The novel itself in excellent and precocious for an eighteen year old; nor was it ignored. The copy I have is a reprint of an 1836 US edition published by E. L. Cary and A. Hart of Philadelphia. Thus within a year of its French publication it was published across the Atlantic. Why a Philadelphia company would appropriate an unproven title by an unknown author isn’t clear to me.

According to Collins within these two years he also met, courted and married his wife Susannah Pierson. (Collins say that Pierson is the correct spelling not Pearson.) She was apparently moving in literary circles as Collins describes her as a writer. She would later, in the 1850s, write a novel titled Gretna, which is available. Gretna refers to Gretna Green across the Scottish border where those wishing to elope repaired to. In 1745 a law was passed forbidding underage couples to marry without parental permission so that couples flew to Gretna Green for their nuptials. I was something like going to Las Vegas. It’s a good story.

In The YI A Pearson who was unmarried, while having a fairy like persona, not unlike Huon of Bordeaux, took him under his wing and instructed him in seedy practice. Whether he was related to Susannah isn’t known. So, by eighteen George was married and remained so until his wife died in 1854. He apparently never remarried.

According to all the references to books George makes in his writing he was reading voraciously. Here may be an appropriate time to discuss aspects of the literary situation in England and France during the thirties and forties.

The base for the writers in both England and France was the novels of Walter Scott and the Gothic novelists along with Byron. I would say that all the English and French writers were inspired by Scott. Scott died in 1832 at the young age of 61 thus missing the joy of seeing his influence on succeeding authors, except for William Harrison Ainsworth. Ainsworth who published his Rookwood in 1832. That book is almost an homage to Scott but lacks Scotts consummate style, complexity and depth. Ainsworth followed that up in 1835 with Crichton and then began an outburst of historical novels from 1839 with Jack Sheppard and a dozen more in quick succession through about 1845. At that time Reynolds was quiescent but he read all the titles and they influenced him greatly.

Of course Charles Dickens began his career in the late thirties and turned out a few titles in the forties. Dickens wasn’t that prolific but he made the most lasting impression of the novelists of the era. It is needless to say that he made his impression on Reynolds. George despised Dickens as a lightweight, and Dickens novels are lightweights. For me they are unreadable.

Lastly comes Edward Bulwer-Lytton. He was an important writer for his period and has survived into the present as an occultist. His novel The Coming Race is a must read for any esotericist. The idea of it seized H.G. Wells mind and he used it for his excellent novel The Food of the Gods. Bulwers’ Rienzi and The Last Days Of Pompei may still have a readership. He’s not a particularly good writer however. His opening line for Paul Clifford ‘It was a dark and stormy night’ for some reason is found hilarious by a certain type of reader. A contest is held each year to see if anyone can match this imagined terrible sentence. Reynolds uses it occasionally in his books. Bulwer maintained a fair reputation at least up to the 1950s while Reynolds was heavily influenced by him. And of course Byron. George even attempted ‘A Sequel To Don Juan’ but he was no Byron. He did get it published and it did find readers. Fortunately Byron was dead by that time and unable to the show the umbrage that Dickens did.

And then there are the magnificent French writers of the Forties and into the Fifties. The incomparable Alexander Dumas, pere inspired by Walter Scott began turning out his French historical novels in machine gun style, writing so fast that he had multiple serialized novels being published at one time. And what novels! Few novels can compare to The Three Musketeers or The Count of Monte Cristo. And, of course, Dumas is popular to this day.

At the same time Honore de Balzac was publishing his Human Comedy collection of novels. Strangely compelling, Balzac’s brain had an odd construction. Love him but I always wonder: Why am I reading this? Balzac too is read widely today. My favorite story in the novella The Girl With The Golden Eyes.

Victor Hugo, also widely read today, is not a favorite of mind. I will concede that Notre Dame de Paris – The Hunchback of Notre Dame in the US, is compelling and could possibly be a great book. The US title switches the focus of the book from the architectural edifice of Notre Dame to the character of Quasimodo, the Hunchback. The movies were essential to changing the emphasis from the edifice to the Hunchback. Les Miserables is an OK read but doesn’t impress me. Hugo was a Communist and in his novel 1793 actually advocates murdering all the Royalists because they would never accept the New Order. Don’t go away because you read that; it’s just my opinion.

And then we come to the incredible Eugene Sue. Not quite as prolific as Dumas but a non-stop writer. Not quite as concentrated as Dumas, his style is more diffuse but always interesting. His two key works, neither widely read today are The Mysteries of Paris and the Wandering Jew. Both are terrific books and very long. Both books were models for Reynolds Mysteries of Paris. The Wandering Jew may have resonated especially with him because it takes place in 1830, the year of the July Revolution and the cholera epidemic.

And now I am going to go out on a limb and suggest that another key influence might have been the American Edgar Allen Poe. While Poe didn’t have that many pages to his credit, he was a prolific writer of short stories and the short stories are amazing. Mind boggling. Inventive. Concentrated. They would be very difficult to top. They crossed the Atlantic quickly and were received with open arms in France and England. I may be reaching but I find evidences of Poe in his story of Grand Manoir in his Master Timothy’s Bookcase and we are going to look more closely at that shortly.

And, of course his mind is obsessed with the works of the Marquis de Sade. He must have read De Sade’s two great studies Justine and Juliette shortly after arriving in Paris. De Sade believed that following virtue would lead to an unhappy life while pursuing vice would lead to worldly success. The contrast of vice and virtue then informs almost all his works, but he wishes to reverse De Sade’s conclusions.

To really understand Reynold’s, one must be familiar with these authors. But he was so influenced by his wide reading that I’m sure these authors are just the tip of the iceberg.

In Pickwick Abroad George is familiar with all the sights of Paris. He must have at least visited all the prisons and insane asylums both in France and England. We get tours of many. Of course George was very interested in psychology. While Phrenology and Physiognomy may not be considered psychology, they are. Phrenology, an idea of the German, Franz Gall, was a crude attempt at brain anatomy and if risible today it was more because of the misuse by ununderstanding users than Gall’s idea itself that led to its discreditization. The notion was made on the right idea, different areas of the brain control different functions, it’s a moot point today but Gall deserves more credit that he gets, Reynolds entertains an interest in both ideas, especially physiognomy He was apparently a great reader of facial expressions.

Apropos of that, a very interesting novel is the novel Master Timothy’s bookcase published in 1840.


Master Timothy’s Bookcase is very serious and it is a major book. Interestingly the book begins in Kent, then follows Reynold’s career to Berkshire and London and then to France while ending with his return to England ending in the shire of Kent.

As Reynolds was only twenty-six in 1840 his mental acuity is actually astonishing. He had what one might call a four octave mind. Reynolds quite often resorts to supernatural or, perhaps, proto-scientific elements. In this book the hero Edmund Mortimer is the seventh son so-to-speak of a family founded six generation earlier. The ‘genius’ of the family appears to each member and offers them the approach to life that they think will make them contented and happy. They choose wealth, success et al. and all end up unhappy. Edmund Mortimer chooses Universal Knowledge. This choice, of course, reflects Reynolds ruling passion. George, himself, seeks Universal Knowledge and does a good job of it. However, even he at only twenty-six, he realizes that universal knowledge does not lead to happiness as knowing all displays mankind at its worst.

The more Mortimer, and we may assume Reynolds, learns about human nature, the more disgusted he becomes and regrets his choice. His peregrinations take him through several adventures and episodes.

The ‘Genius’ then gives Mortimer a supernatural bookcase that only he can see and is always with him. Whenever Mortimer is perplexed by a situation concerning the motivations or activities of the participants he he turns to the bookcase that provides him with a manuscript that explains the true situation all its manifestations he has only to ask. However, his bookcase cannot predict the future.

Mortimer’s uncanny ability to know the complete past history of people he has only just met will have consequences because he can produce no evidence as to how he acquired the knowledge. This becomes clear in the episode of the Marquis Delaroche. Without going into inessential details in this very clever story the Marquis neglects the wife of his dead brother whose fortune had been entrusted to him. Mortimer becomes acquainted with Athalie d’Estival, her name and confronts the Marquis Delaroche, to whom he is a complete stranger, attempting to shame him into supporting his sister-in-law.

The Marquis is old and the epitome of deviousness. When Mortimer butts into the Marquis’ life and proves to him that he has misappropriated his brother’s inheritance the Marquis sets Mortimer up. He opens his safe, leaving the door open, and gives Mortimer a casket containing his wealth refusing to give a proper written authorization for Mortimer to be in possession of the casket and expels Mortimer from his house. Immediately then, with his safe left open the Marquis commits suicide by slashing his throat. His servant accosts Mortimer leaving the house with the casket under his cloak and assumes the Mortimer stole it. The dead body is then discovered and circumstantial evidence indicates Mortimer to be both a murderer and thief.

Reynolds thoroughly dislikes the authority of circumstantial evidence, and with good reason, so this story gives him an opportunity to display its fallaciousness.

Because of his ability to know personal details of other people’s lives Mortimer’s friends consider him not only eccentric but insane. This is confirmed to the judge when he interrogates Mortimer. I will quote a passage because it indicates Reynolds brilliance and knowledge of psychology at only twenty-six years of age.

The Judge of Instruction commenced the usual system of catechizing; and for some time our hero replied with calmness and precision to the various question put to him. But at length, as those questions gradually touched more nearly on the dread event itself, he became confused- his ideas were no longer defined and distributed in their proper cells in his imagination, but were collected into one heterogeneous and unintelligible mass; and, yielding to the impulse of those sentiments which were uppermost in his mind, he commenced a long exculpatory harangue, the principle subject of which was his race. The Judge listened patiently for some time, and at length shrugged up his shoulders to imply his utter ignorance of the meaning of the prisoner’s speech. At length, exhausted by the long flow of verbiage in which he had indulged, Sir Edmund sank upon a seat, almost unconscious of what he had been saying and where he was.

That’s a pretty acute description of a state of mind. Reynolds was deeply interested in psychological studies. One must bear in mind that this period was the beginning of the great opening of the European mind. I doubt if there were many who could have reproduced that analysis. The description of the whole interview is masterful and that at only twenty-six.

In any event Mortimer was convicted of murder, declared insane, and committed to the Bicetre insanity wing. George was familiar with, at least, the outside of the building, this massive Bicetre structure housing criminals, the insane and others.

It seems obvious that George toured all these insane asylums and prisons. He was up on recent developments of the treatment of the insane. He was aware of Dr. Phillippe Pinel who had very recently begun the humane treatment of the mentally afflicted.

The people of the time were placed under unbearable distress and hardship, especially women. One reads of the women that Dr. Jean Martin Charcot at the Salpetriere of Paris in the 1860s, 70s and 80s treated and their mental sufferings were appalling. Their history of abuse was incredible. Nor were all asylums as enlightened as those of Drs. Pinel and Charcot and, remember, these were pioneers.

Whether George’s description of the Bicetre is accurate is beyond me to determine, he does however tell an interesting story of one of the inmates. The story sounds like it may have been true, but, read on: Mortimer has been declared guilty but insane. Committed to the Bicetre insane wing he domiciled with three other monomaniacs. The three stories are actual psychological evaluations of the inmates. The one the interests us most is the first. The story is a Frankenstein type.

The first was an old man of sixty-five with long grey hair flowing from the back part of his head, the crown and regions of the temples being completely bald. He was short in stature, stooping in gait, and possessed of a countenance eminently calculated to afford a high opinion of his intellectual powers, he was however a monomaniac of no uncommon description. Bred to the medical profession, he had given, when at an early age, the most unequivocal proofs of a vigorous and fertile imagination. He first obtained attention towards the singularity of his conceptions by disputing the rights of the Englishman, Dr. Harvey, to the honour of having first discovered the circulation of the blood. He maintained that Harvey merely revived the doctrine, and that it was known to the ancients. This opinion he founded upon the following passage in Plato: – “The heart is the centre or knot of the blood vessels, the spring or fountain of the blood, which is carried impetuously round; the blood is the food of the flesh; and for the process of nourishment the body is laid out in canals, which is like those drawn down through gardens, that the blood may be conveyed as from a fountain, to every part of the previous system.”

William Harvey published his treatise on the circulation of the blood in Frankfurt Germany in 1628. He did not come out of the blue as others were working on the same problem. Even he was assailed by skeptics and for a time lost reputation. I have no doubt that Harvey had read Plato and unless his memory was defective he probably retained an impression of Plato’s statements.

But to the point, Plato’s description is prescient. He understood the matter which he explained in literary, not scientific, terms so the imprisoned doctor was essentially right that Harvey could not claim to be the first to understand the role of the heart in the circulation of the blood. He was the first known physician to describe the issue completely in scientific detail or nearly completely.

The young physician was laughed at for venturing to contradict a popular belief, and was assailed by the English press for attempting to deprive an Englishman of the initiative honour of the discovery. He was looked upon as an enthusiast, and lost all the patronage he had first obtained by his abilities. Being possessed of a competency, he did not regret this circumstance in a pecuniary point of view; but his pride was deeply wounded, and he resolved to accomplish some great feat which should compel the world to accord him those laurels which had hitherto been refused. He was deeply skilled in the science of anatomy; and his intimate acquaintance with the human frame led him to fashion two beautiful anatomical bodies in wax. The one was a perfect representation of the form of man, with all the muscles and nerves laid bare; and the second; which took to pieces, was the image of a female in the last stages of gestation. These models were applauded as specimens of art, but obtained no praise as evidences of Anatomical skill. Again disappointed and disgusted at the coldness of a world that knew not how to appreciate the merits of his labours, the physician urged by the perpetual contemplation of his wax models and considering himself to be sufficiently practiced in the minutiae of the human frame by the manufacture of these representations of life, resolved in attempting a more sublime task. His elevated imagination aimed at nothing less than the fabrication of an animate being! For weeks- for months- for years in the solemn silence of a chamber fitted up for the purpose, and into which he never permitted a soul to enter, did the enthusiast study his project, without being fully aware of the way in which he should commence it. At length his intellect became so far affected by his strange meditations, that he felt convinced in his own mind that his experience could never be sufficient to encompass his lofty aim, unless he examined the fountains of life in the bosom of an expiring human being. Dead to all other feeling save the morbid one which urged him on to this study, he calmly resolved to choose some victim as a model for his projected work. He one night issued forth into the streets of Paris, in the midst of a horrible winter and accosted a young man whom, by his condition he supposed to be homeless and starving. He was right in his conjecture, and with kind words he enticed the unsuspecting mendicant home. He gave him food, and then caused him to imbibe a cup of generous wine, in which he had previously infused a powerful narcotic. The mendicant fell into a deep stupor; and the physician without a single sentiment of compunction hastened to perform his diabolical operation upon the lethargic victim. He bled him in the jugular vein; and, while the poor young man’s life was ebbing away, the anatomical speculator proceeded to hack away, with his unsparing knife, at those parts which he wished to lay open and examine at his own brutal leisure. In his hurry to accomplish his mysterious designs, he had forgotten to make fast the door to his study; and the curiosity of his old housekeeper led to the detection of his crime. The woman excited an alarm in the house; and his atrocious deed, with all its circumstances, was exposed. He was tried for the murder, and was condemned as a monomaniac to perpetual imprisonment in the Bicetre. At that time Mortimer became acquainted with this singular individual, he had been an inmate of the prison for upwards of thirty years, and never lost an opportunity of declaring that, if he were provided with the proper implements and materials, he would form a human being, far more complete, and less liable to organic derangement than man.

I consider that quote quite astounding writing and the template for numerous horror films in the twentieth century. One wonders if Reynolds had experienced this situation while he could not possibly have. His residence in France doesn’t leave time, however this story must be based on real events that he either read about or was told. Throughout his way to 1851 which is all I can attest to at this time Reynolds returns frequently to stories of physicians of which he seems to have intimate knowledge of his various descriptions. Of course, his namesake, Duncan McArthur was a physician and if Dick Collins was right did operate on cadavers as fresh as he could get. It is a small step from that to imagine a doctor working on live specimens but still the psychological description of the man in Bicetre is so complete and convincing that Reynolds was a very accomplished at the age of twenty-six.

He wrote circles around Bulwer-Lytton, Ainsworth and Dickens, his contemporaries while being far more accomplished than writers who followed him like Trollope and Willkie Collins as accomplished as these writers and their fellows were. They all must have been influenced by him to some degree.

Certainly Dickens and Ainsworth were, as he by them, but the quality of his mind is much deeper and more highly developed. Ainsworth who began an amazing sequence of historical novels in the early forties when Reynolds was quiescent tried to explore historical topics in a deep way but his mind was a little light, he takes a more academic style. A comparison between the two can be found in Reynolds 1854 novel The Rye House Plot.

Both Ainsworth and Dickens gravitated toward George’s style in their later works. Reading Ainsworth’s South Sea Bubble written in the 1860s is very close to his style.

George, of course was influenced by all three writers, among many, Bulwer-Lytton, Ainsworth and Dickens. Ainsworth who had a literary salon in the late forties and through the fifties excluded Reynolds from his coterie. He and Dickens were tight and getting Dickens and Reynolds into the same room would have been hazardous.

While Ainsworth’s Rookwood and Jack Sheppard were favorites of George and Dickens interestingly all three were in decline. The social conditions that had produced them had disappeared and a new crop of writers responding to new conditions replaced them. For my own tastes I prefer these Late Georgian to early Victorian authors to what followed.

There is a charm in the three and the sporting novels of R.S Surtees and Captain Marryat and the rest, William Makepeace Thackery, who can forget him, that is lacking as the epoch changed. Still we see a certain loss of innocence as advancing knowledge turned the world more serious and complex. The greatest of historians and histories, Edward Gibbons and the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire couldn’t have been written in the same way after Darwin’s Origin of Species. Maybe the big change occurred even earlier in Prince Albert’s Crystal Palace Exhibition of 1851. The exhibition of all those machines and advance screamed: Hello to the Brave New World, as brave or maybe even braver than Aldous Huxley’s. Exhibitions became the rage until the great Columbian Expo of Chicago crowned the whole movement. What could ever top that? Nothing. Fade to modernity.

To return to George Reynolds. As I say, it was almost a tragedy that Reynold’s titled Master Timothy’s Bookcase after Dickens’ Master Humphrey’s Clock. The Magic Lantern Of The World, the subtitle, would have been much better. The Bookcase is very readable both as a novel and as a collection of stories with a great deal of philosophical matter pertinent to understanding the mind of Reynolds himself. As Dick Collins say, there is much autobiographical material in the novels and Bookcase is full of it.

End of Part XIa, Part XIb follows.

Making Facts Fit The Narrative

A Review of Fareed Zakaria In Foreign Affairs


R.E. Prindle

Zakaria, Fareed: The New China Scare, Foreign Affairs, Jan-Feb 2020

Mr. Zakaria subtitles his screed: Why America Shouldn’t Panic About Its Latest Challenger, that is, China. My objection to Foreign Affairs, Mr. Zakaria and the whole Leftist-Liberal Establishment is that while professing to be far in advance than the Conservatives they cling to the whole post-WWII fantasy of American hegemony or supremacy. That time is gone. We are now living in a new Global era which is inter-locked economically while national sovereignty is taking a much diminished role.

Because of the shifting of whole national populations into the United States it is no longer possible, if it ever was, to speak of a unit called America. America was a dream of the past. Because of the extreme diversity of the US there is not one but several ethnic Americas. The Chinese themselves already have a significant presence in the US and are inundating our neighbor to the North, Canada. These domestic Chinese identify more with China than the US so it is not appropriate to speak of a China while disregarding its ex-pats in the rest of the world. It is more or a Chinese diaspora and has to be dealt with as such.

Mr. Zakaria is himself a Moslem and in speaking of his ‘chosen’ country he speaks of it as an other and not as his own. Thus in his subtitle he speaks that ‘America shouldn’t Panic.’ We, who have been born here, perhaps several generations ago, don’t recognize the China problem as panic, we recognize China as a competitor on the world stage that is seeking world dominance or, put another way, it wants to be the Top Country. China being 90 some percent of the same ethnic group, Han Chinese doesn’t have the identity problem that the US does. China does not cater to its minority peoples they dominate and subordinate them as with the Uigurs on its Eastern frontier. Nor are they polite; they round the Uigurs up, put them in concentration camps and ‘indoctrinate’ them out of their ways, which are Moslem, into Chinese ways. If Europe or the US would attempt that the world, including the Chinese, would put up a howl. Yet if the West wants to maintain its culture it must ‘indoctrinate’ its minorities as the Chinese do. Even the Hindus of India have belatedly become aware that their culture is under threat from the Moslems and repressive measures are being taken.

Let us be clear there is no China Scare in the US contrary to Mr. Zakarias assertion. We are dealing with the new Global situation on a calm rational basis.

By a New China Scare Mr. Zakaria does not mean to refer to a second China scare, he is referencing the defensive measures taken against the Communist threat after WWI and WWII. By ‘scare’ he means an irrational response to an imaginary threat. Thus he tries to force the facts to fit his narrative.

In point of fact there was a Communist threat that had to be quelled. After WWI the alert and astute Attorney General A. Mitchell Palmer rose to the occasion rounding the Communists up and actually deporting a few hundred to the Socialist Homeland, the Soviet Union. His efforts were compromised by the Domestic Reds in prominent positions.

After WWII HUAC rose to the occasion abetted by 1950 with the activities of the courageous Senator Joseph McCarthy who also were defeated by internal Communist forces, but the Communist momentum was derailed after both wars and forced to reorganize.

Now, Zakaria follows the official CIA line in which ignorant American fears dominate their actions. Thus they say that in both the aftermath of WWI and WWII there were no Communist threats and the effective responses to defuse those threats were merely panic attacks. While our great generals had won the wars and our brave American soldiers had outfought their terrible enemies immediately on arriving home they had panic attacks rather than recognizing enemy tactics. In WWI Mitchell Palmer who acted so magnificently has been defamed as a paranoid dodo.

After WWII Pres. Truman’s actions are characterized this way by Zakaria following the CFR playbook:

In February 1947, US President Harry Truman huddled with his most senior policy advisors, George Marshall, and Dean Acheson and a handful of Congressional leaders. The topic was the administration’s plan to aid the Greek government in the fight (scary response in Mr. Zakaria’s thought processes) against a Communist insurgency. Marshall and Acheson presented their case for the plan. Arthur Vandenberg, chair of the Senate Committee On Foreign Relations, listened closely and then offered his support with a caveat. “The only way you are going to get what you want,” he reportedly told the president, “is to make a speech and scare the hell out of the country.”

Now, one might say that Pres. Truman, acting in his capacity and duty as the President, presented his speech to alert the country to the threat of World Communist domination which was real and imminent at the time having been encouraged by the Communist sympathizer former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who Vice President Truman succeeded after having been purposely kept ignorant of the world situation even though Roosevelt was obviously a sick and dying man.

Zakaria says that Pres. Truman was not rational but an irrational scare tactician manipulating the country to get what he wanted. Zakaria could have co-written Howard Zinn’s trashy history. This is the way that the Left discredits by insinuation and defamatory characterization ignoring the facts.

Mr. Zakaria continues:

Over the next few months, Truman did just that. He turned the civil war in Greece into a test of the United States ability to confront international communism.

You see how Zakaria turns the situation from an internationally communist backed insurgency into a civil war, and instead of an international defense against the spread of communism into an ego test of the United States ability to confront international communism. Obviously Truman and the US was at fault and not Joseph Stalin and international communism. Thus we go from a communist insurgency to a civil war, to a ‘test’ against international communism. This says something as to why the CFR would allow such trash in their magazine.

Quote: (note the language)

Reflecting on Truman’s expansive rhetoric about aiding democracies anywhere, anytime, Acheson confessed in his memoirs that the administration had made an argument “clearer than truth.” Something similar is happening today in the American debate about China.


Not the negative characterization of the phrase ‘Truman’s expansive rhetoric about aiding democracies anytime, anywhere’ and Acheson ‘confessed.’ Did he really confess or merely state what might have been an obvious truth to him. And his ‘clearer than truth’ may be meant positively rather than negatively. It can possibly be read both ways but Zakaria make Acheson ‘confess’ which is negative. This is the Leftist way.

Perhaps English is Mr. Zakaria’s second language while Arabic is his first. Oh, I know, I know, even though Mr. Zakaria is a Moslem he is as ‘American’ as apple pie. He may even have been born here, right?

Mr. Zakaria says that similar to the ‘Red Scares’ is happening today in the American debate about China. Not true, there is nothing similar at all. This is a different time, different circumstances and a different grope for power. What Americans should panic about is Mr. Zakaria’s being given space to spin his anti-American vitriol. Would it be out of line to ask from which university Mr. Zakaria received his degree in history?