From My Library

[This section is still being worked on as I move to the new platform, and not all the items have been posted yet. November 17, 2014]

On this page, I intend to introduce readers to of some of the more interesting items in my library. ‘Waugh, Ambler & Byron‘ was a post that started on October 1, 2009.

One of the most prized items is H. L. Mencken’s ‘A Book of Burlesques‘ , published in 1916. This item includes the very important Chapter XV as an end-paper, and is called ‘A Genealogical Chart of the Uplift‘. It depicts Mencken’s classification of all the various types of nonsense that were enjoying some kind of popularity at the time (as well as reflecting clearly some of Mencken’s prejudices.). Ever since discovering this chart, I have been puzzled that it has not enjoyed greater publicity, and find it intriguing to compare the fads of 1916 with those of today. A few years ago, I wrote to Mencken’s publisher, Alfred A. Knopf, which holds the copyright, suggesting that it re-print this Chart as a poster.

I received no acknowledgment of my letter, let alone a reply, so I reproduce this Chart, so that more people may enjoy this example of Mencken’s insight and wit.

Fans of Osbert Lancaster may remember his fond portrait of his mother, Clare, in ‘With An Eye To The Future’. Clare, who was widowed when her husband was killed at the Somme in that same year, 1916, was a redoubtable figure. In his biography of Osbert Lancaster, Richard Boston describes her thus: ‘She was a New Woman, a Shavian and a supporter of Votes for Woman. She liked painting, theatre, ballet and travel. She was also keenly interested in such subjects as the Hidden Wisdom, spiritualism, faith-healing, Rosicrucianism, the Perfect Oneness, the prophet Ezekiel, Rudolf Steiner, the Great Pyramid, St John of Patmos, the Lost Ten Scribes, the Second Coming, the Astral Plane and Armageddon (which she firmly declared was not the First World War).’ A true child of the Uplift!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *