Bogus AntiStrats: Leslie Howard

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Tom Reedy

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Mar 29, 2004, 2:11:58 PM3/29/04
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The British film actor Leslie Howard is yet another bogus "Oxfordian" touted
by the Shakespeare Fellowship on its "Honor Roll of Skeptics." The
Fellowship site quotes the lines Howard recited in a 1941 British World War
II propaganda film, *Pimpernel Smith*, as proof of his Oxfordian sympathies.

The script was written by Anatole de Grunwald, Roland Pertwee and Ian
Dalrymple, although his daughter said scenes were rewritten, sometimes on
the set (*A Quite Remarkable Father*, 279).

Contrary to claims by some Oxfordians, Howard did not finance the picture,
although as producer he arranged the financing and cast the characters. He
was erratic, disorganized and not punctual on the set, which caused it to go
over schedule and over budget (QRF 279-80).

"He was anxious to get the film started, mainly because it had a
contemporary theme, but partly to provide some money to keep his family. One
year without earning money and with his American assets frozen by the
British Treasury had left him uncomfortably poor" (QRF 276).

In one scene in the movie, Howard's character, Professor Horatio Smith,
holds up Looney's book and says to a Nazi officer who believes Shakespeare
was German, "I've been reading a book that proves conclusively that
Shakespeare wasn't really Shakespeare at all, he was the Earl of Oxford."
Later in the scene he says, "The Earl of Oxford was a very bright
Elizabethan light, but this book will tell he was a good deal more than
that."

In another scene, he holds up a skull he has found in a cave and quotes
Hamlet, "Alas poor Yorick ." and then turns to a German and says, "The Earl
of Oxford wrote that."

A booklet written by Charles Boyle and distributed by the Oxenford Press,
*To Catch the Conscience of the King*, makes the same claim, and from what I
can figure out, the Fellowship is following Boyle's lead. Boyle quotes the
same dialogue from the movie as evidence of Howard's belief in Oxford as
Shakespeare, and then he comments:

"The insertion of so bold a promotion for a rival Shakespeare was not rare
in British cinema - it was unheard of. One simply didn't do such things. He'
d really gone beyond the pale."

Boyle then suggests that the movie dialogue embarrassed Howard's friends and
relatives. "All his friends looked the other way. Both his son and daughter
in their books on him omit all reference to this heretical idea their father
had got hold of. But there it is, repeated twice, in a film conceived,
produced and directed by Leslie Howard."

And that is the entire corpus of evidence that Leslie Howard believed that
the Earl of Oxford wrote Shakespeare.

The claims are totally fabricated, whether by Boyle (an excretable scholar
judging by the booklet) or someone else, I don't know. During his lifetime,
Howard never once mentioned Oxford as the true author of Shakespeare's
works, nor did he ever promote the idea. He never mentioned making a movie
about Oxford to anyone.

The film, which Dr. Roger Stritmatter calls "one of the great achievements
in Anglo-American cinema" on the Shakespeare Fellowship Forum, was dismissed
as 'just an amusing piece of hokum' by Howard himself (*Halliwell's Film and
Video Guide*). Stritmatter also claims that the film "apparently inspired
Raoul Wallenberg;" "apparently" because Stritmatter has no more evidence of
that claim than he does for Howard.

Stritmatter also claims Howard was "one of the two leading Shakespearean
actors of his day," a comment that leads me to suspect that Stritmatter is
just as ignorant of early 20th Century stage history as he is of Elizabethan
authorship.

Howard was considered to be an Anglo-American film actor who did not take
many professional risks. His acting abilities were recognized, however, and
in 1935 critic John Mason Brown suggested in a review published in the New
York Evening Post, that " . . . it leaves one wondering why a man who ought
to make an interesting Hamlet . . . should have elected to be so
unadventurous as an actor."

The suggestion excited Howard's ambition to play Shakespeare, despite the
lack of any classical training, (Trivial Fond Records, 127), even though
Howard knew his limitations. "Unfortunately, it has been put about that I am
the great English Shakespeare expert, which God knows I'm not," Howard said
in a letter dated spring 1943. "I think I shall come clean and admit it
all."

In 1933, Howard appeared on the London stage as William Shakespeare in a
play, *This Side Idolatry* by Talbot Jennings. The title was taken from Ben
Jonson's tribute to Shakespeare: "I loved the man and do honor his memory-on
this side idolatry . . ." Boyle mentions this role in his booklet (8), but
for some reason does not take it as evidence that Howard believed
Shakespeare was the Stratford playwright.

An advertisement for Boyle's booklet at the Shakespeare Fellowship
Bookshelf, http://www.shakespearefellowship.org/bookshelf_Light.htm, claims
that Howard "was also a dedicated advocate of the Oxfordian case, shot down
by Nazi anti-aircraft fire before he could realize his dream of making a
film about Oxford." Howard's supposed dream is not mentioned in the booklet.

As a matter of fact, a newspaper article by C.A. LeJeune in the second
section of the New York Times June 27, 1943, outlined Howard's plans that
would never come to fruition.

BEGIN QUOTATION
We have sometimes wondered what Howard would have done had he come back
safely from that trip. Contrary to rumour, he was not planning to make
"Christopher Columbus," either in Spain or anywhere at all. . . . Some time
last Autumn the script was given to Mr. Howard to read. He was ill at the
time, and took no avid interest in it. So far as we can ascertain, his
attitude had not changed at the time of the ill-fated London trip.
[. . . . ]
We had a long talk with Howard the day before he left for Lisbon. He was in
a strange mood. He was over-tired. He had had troubles and minor illnesses
during the winter. He had just turned 50, and was acutely aware of it. He
had lately grown interested in spiritualism. He talked constantly of youth
and youth's right to leadership.
He had practically finished the supervision of his current film, the nursing
story called "The Lamp Still Burns." Beyond directing a couple of love
scenes between Stewart Grainger and Rosamund John, Howard had taken little
active share in the production, leaving the details to Maurice Elvey, the
director on the floor. His future plans were vague. He had writers working
on various projects. One was the story of the Liberty Ship One Thousand and
One, built in the Rockies and sailing in convoy to Murmansk. Another was an
epic of the RAF. A third was a historical subject about the
seventeenth-century architect of St. Paul's Cathedral, Sir Christopher Wren.
He had never really abandoned the idea of screening "Hamlet" exactly as he
played it on the [stage and he was] planning a new adventure for Professor
Pimpernel Smith.
END QUOTATION

Another review of the booklet at
http://www.shakespeare-oxford.com/oxenford.htm says Howard was "perhaps the
most devoted and certainly the most skilled promoter of the Oxfordian
theory." Howard's supposed promotion of the Oxfordian cause is not mentioned
in the booklet, not anywhere else in print as far as I have been able to
tell.

In an e-mail responding to a query dated Jan. 7, 2004, Lynn Dougherty, who
hosts the Web site, Lynn's Classic Movie Favorites
(http://www.lynnpdesign.com/classicmovies), told me, ". . . in my opinion,
the person who believes that about Howard, couldn't really know emphatically
that he is right, so I'm skeptical."

In another e-mail dated Nov. 29, 2003, responding to the same question, Jan
Pick, who runs the Web site for Howard's actor nephew, Alan Howard, said,
"In my opinion, basing the views of an actor on those of a character in a
film - however closely associated he was with it - is very dangerous. In
interviews about 'Hamlet' and 'Romeo and Juliet' he always talks of
Shakespeare as Shakespeare! The argument was also put forward in the same
film that Shakespeare was German - I take it the Earl of Oxford school don't
propose that as an equally viable theory or belief of the actor playing the
German who expressed it!"

These two individuals have researched Howard's life, and if he had said
anything along the lines of believing Oxford was Shakespeare, they would
know about it.

In a charming and entertaining piece written for Stage Magazine, Howard
muses about trying to find the way to play Prince Hamlet and imagines a
conversation between himself and Shakespeare:

BEGIN QUOTATION:

No, for myself, in order to find a way of approach to the problem, I have
gone to Shakespeare as one man of the theatre to another. I have tried to
understand the methods of his craftsmanship and the conditions under which
he worked. I have been governed by a spirit of reasonable humility, but not
of slavish reverence. I have had the nerve to consider the two of us as
co-workers in a theatrical enterprise and have tried to forget that my
partner is separated from me by over three hundred years of time and ringing
fame. In this light I have had the following conversation with him:

Me: You see, Will, times have changed.
Will: Not as much as you think.
Me: I mean, after all, you did write for the Elizabethan theatre.
Will: I wrote for the theatre.
Me: I beg your pardon. But a great many of your allusions are contemporary.
They would be understood only by your Elizabethan audience.
Will: You over-rate them. Most of the time they didn't know what I was
talking about.
Me: Even so, a play like Hamlet, though Danish, has a political background
which is Elizabethan English.
Will: Are you reproaching me with writing a play about a country of which I
could ascertain little? Too late. Bacon was before you. [Note: Does he mean
Jonson? TR]
Me: Good heavens, no. Frankly, Will your anachronisms don't worry me at
all-or any of your admirers, I venture to say.
Will: Good. They never worried me, I assure you.
Me: I only mean that much of Hamlet would be a mystery to a modern audience
because of contemporary allusions with which your audience would be
perfectly familiar.
Will: You repeat yourself so much. What do you propose to do about it?
Me: We have to resort to a certain amount of cutting.
Will: You want me to cut those parts of Hamlet which mystify the audience?
Me: (falling into the trap) Yes.
Will: Will there be much left?
Me: Within reason, Will. The mysteries if Hamlet are its greatest
attractions.
Will: You're informing me? I have cause to be thankful for the riddles of
Hamlet. It's not the best play I ever wrote.
Me: (shocked) Oh, Will!
Will: Or rather it's not the best play I ever re-wrote. Would you care to
hear how I got the assignment?
Me: (breathless) Go on.
Will: Burbage had bought an old play of Kyd's. It was a terrific affair-full
of treasons, incest, killings and poisonings. Burbage had a great time
acting it-he went at it with a will and the groundlings loved it. It was the
talk of the town. Then, one day, Burbage had an attack of good taste. He
said to me: 'That old Hamlet play is beginning to nauseate me. Take it and
polish it up, Will-give it a touch of philosophy, humour and poetry (but don
't injure the melodrama. You could do it in a couple of weeks and we'll put
it on for Christmas.'
Me: A couple of weeks. Good God!
Will: Oh, we worked fast in those days. I didn't care for the assignment,
but how could I refuse?
Me: You had a contract.
Will: Exactly. 'Twas ever thus. So I went to work on it and suddenly got
interested in the thing.
Me: You certainly did.
Will: It got in my blood. I worked for months on it. Burbage was livid at
the delay-but I was obstinate. I said I had difficulty getting a treatment.
And it was a frightful muddle-an outrageous plot, full of unexplainable
loose-ends, inconsistencies and absurdities. I eliminated as many as I could
and left the rest to dramatic license. It was a long time before I finished
it and Burbage was very irritated, he said I'd been carried away and had
overdone the whole thing. It was too highbrow and ignored the groundlings
altogether. I compromised and put back some of the killings and some of the
early gags, and so it was produced. I think I improved the play but Burbage
never really liked it.
Me: God, what a fool!
Will: I wouldn't say that. An actor, and a good actor of a certain type . .
.

. . . This will serve to show, in a facetious way, perhaps, an attempt to
understand the workings of the Elizabethan theatre, that institution which
sheltered and nurtured the tremendous mind of Shakespeare. These were the
hard-working men of the theatre running a show factory. To get the limited
public in at all was a problem and competition was keen. A constant change
of bill was necessary and so a very large repertory was required. It was in
many ways like a Hollywood film studio. The playwrights worked like
screen-writers. There was rarely time for original plots and any old story
had to be doctored up and made into a play. And made appealing to an
audience nine-tenths composed of people who cold neither read not write-and
the one-tenth probably the best minds of the age. And out of this hectic
muddle came the miracle that is Hamlet.

END QUOTATION
(Reprinted on pages 134-36 of Trivial Fond Records, a compilation of Howard'
s writings along with commentary by his son.)

Now this, of course, is an imaginary conversation. But I venture to say that
an imaginary conversation Leslie Howard wrote has a much better chance of
reflecting his true attitude that an imaginary conversation he didn't write,
but just recited as a paid actor. Howard obviously believed that Shakespeare
was an actor and playwright who worked with Burbage.

Finally, we have the testimony of Ian Colvin, who claim to have made an
exhaustive perusal of Howard's private and public letters and comments while
writing *Flight 777*, a narrative of the crash that took Howard's life.

On page 136, Colvin describes the book Howard studied for his talks on
Hamlet. The most satisfactory edition for Howard was that edited by J. Frank
Dover of Cambridge.

"It was a cheap, paper-covered edition, with a reproduction of Shakespeare's
head from the First Folio. It had a short preface, acceptable to those who
believe, as Leslie did, that William Shakespeare and nobody else was the
author of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. He took out a pencil and began to mark
his lines in the margin (F777, 136).

So once again, it becomes obvious that antiStratfordians will do anything,
up to and including pure fabrication, in order to gain supporters, be they
ever so fictional.

TR


LynnE

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Mar 29, 2004, 3:04:37 PM3/29/04
to

"Tom Reedy" <reed...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:2y_9c.5770$Dv2....@newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net...

> The British film actor Leslie Howard is yet another bogus "Oxfordian"
touted
> by the Shakespeare Fellowship on its "Honor Roll of Skeptics." The
> Fellowship site quotes the lines Howard recited in a 1941 British World
War
> II propaganda film, *Pimpernel Smith*, as proof of his Oxfordian
sympathies.
>
> The script was written by Anatole de Grunwald, Roland Pertwee and Ian
> Dalrymple, although his daughter said scenes were rewritten, sometimes on
> the set (*A Quite Remarkable Father*, 279).

This is actually very common, I've found from my experience as a "stage
mother." Often the words in the movie bear very little resemblance to the
words on the page. So by whom were the scenes rewritten, do you think?

>
> Contrary to claims by some Oxfordians, Howard did not finance the picture,
> although as producer he arranged the financing and cast the characters. He
> was erratic, disorganized and not punctual on the set, which caused it to
go
> over schedule and over budget (QRF 279-80).
>
> "He was anxious to get the film started, mainly because it had a
> contemporary theme, but partly to provide some money to keep his family.
One
> year without earning money and with his American assets frozen by the
> British Treasury had left him uncomfortably poor" (QRF 276).
>
> In one scene in the movie, Howard's character, Professor Horatio Smith,
> holds up Looney's book and says to a Nazi officer who believes Shakespeare
> was German, "I've been reading a book that proves conclusively that
> Shakespeare wasn't really Shakespeare at all, he was the Earl of Oxford."
> Later in the scene he says, "The Earl of Oxford was a very bright
> Elizabethan light, but this book will tell he was a good deal more than
> that."
>
> In another scene, he holds up a skull he has found in a cave and quotes
> Hamlet, "Alas poor Yorick ." and then turns to a German and says, "The
Earl
> of Oxford wrote that."

You have seen the movie, right, Tom? And having seen it, how do you explain
the very strong pro-Oxford statements in the film? If they're a joke, are
Smith's statements about the camps also a joke?

An EXCRETABLE scholar? Or do you mean EXECRABLE, you scholar, you. ;)

>
> The film, which Dr. Roger Stritmatter calls "one of the great achievements
> in Anglo-American cinema" on the Shakespeare Fellowship Forum, was
dismissed
> as 'just an amusing piece of hokum' by Howard himself (*Halliwell's Film
and
> Video Guide*). Stritmatter also claims that the film "apparently inspired
> Raoul Wallenberg;" "apparently" because Stritmatter has no more evidence
of
> that claim than he does for Howard.

Well, I don't know what evidence Roger has, but you might try doing a search
on Raoul Wallenberg and Leslie Howard. This was my first hit:
http://www.yadvashem.org.il/download/education/conf/Biro.pdf

And Lynne Dougherty is an expert on both Howard and Shakespeare? But even if
one assumes s/he is, using Lynn's reasoning, we couldn't know that "the
person who believes that about Oxford" is wrong, either, so I'm skeptical.


>
> In another e-mail dated Nov. 29, 2003, responding to the same question,
Jan
> Pick, who runs the Web site for Howard's actor nephew, Alan Howard, said,

Just as an aside, Alan Howard is a wonderful actor. I recently saw him in
_The Hollow Crown_. He must have been around six or seven when his uncle was
killed, so I doubt he's much of an expert on what LH believed. The person
who runs his web site? How does he even figure into the conversation?

> "In my opinion, basing the views of an actor on those of a character in a
> film - however closely associated he was with it - is very dangerous. In
> interviews about 'Hamlet' and 'Romeo and Juliet' he always talks of
> Shakespeare as Shakespeare! The argument was also put forward in the same
> film that Shakespeare was German - I take it the Earl of Oxford school
don't
> propose that as an equally viable theory or belief of the actor playing
the
> German who expressed it!"

Are we then also assuming that Howard (Leslie, that is) didn't really
believe what Professor Horatio Smith believed with regard to the
concentration camps? Or are we to accept that some of the beliefs in the fil
m belonged to Howard, but not others? The actor playing the German, by the
way, spoke lines designed to set up Howard's/Smith's introduction of the
Oxfordian theory. No one in his/her right mind would suggest that the actor
(who was not the producer or the lead) believed that Shakespeare was German.


>
> These two individuals have researched Howard's life, and if he had said
> anything along the lines of believing Oxford was Shakespeare, they would
> know about it.

Of course they wouldn't. No one knows what is said in private conversations.

>
> In a charming and entertaining piece written for Stage Magazine, Howard
> muses about trying to find the way to play Prince Hamlet and imagines a
> conversation between himself and Shakespeare:
>
>

snip in the interests of brevity. Also because I can't understand why you
would accept one "funny" conversation of Howard's but not another.

Fictional supporters? They must be the ones on the Fellowship site who sign
themselves Egg Cup and Tea Cosy.

Love,
LynnE
www.shakespearefellowship.org

>
> TR
>
>


Tom Reedy

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Mar 29, 2004, 5:57:30 PM3/29/04
to
"LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:rj%9c.2454$j57.3...@news20.bellglobal.com...

>
> "Tom Reedy" <reed...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
> news:2y_9c.5770$Dv2....@newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net...
> > The British film actor Leslie Howard is yet another bogus "Oxfordian"
> touted
> > by the Shakespeare Fellowship on its "Honor Roll of Skeptics." The
> > Fellowship site quotes the lines Howard recited in a 1941 British World
> War
> > II propaganda film, *Pimpernel Smith*, as proof of his Oxfordian
> sympathies.
> >
> > The script was written by Anatole de Grunwald, Roland Pertwee and Ian
> > Dalrymple, although his daughter said scenes were rewritten, sometimes
on
> > the set (*A Quite Remarkable Father*, 279).
>
> This is actually very common, I've found from my experience as a "stage
> mother." Often the words in the movie bear very little resemblance to the
> words on the page.

You're right, it is quite common. Sometimes the actors contribute, sometimes
the director, and sometimes the screenwriters.

> So by whom were the scenes rewritten, do you think?

You tell me, Lynne. It is your side that plays the guessing game and tries
to pass it off as fact.

Not yet. I have it on order.

> And having seen it, how do you explain
> the very strong pro-Oxford statements in the film? If they're a joke, are
> Smith's statements about the camps also a joke?

What "joke" are you referring to? I re-read my words and could not find any
reference to a joke.

I meant what I said. His scholarship is for shit.

>
> >
> > The film, which Dr. Roger Stritmatter calls "one of the great
achievements
> > in Anglo-American cinema" on the Shakespeare Fellowship Forum, was
> dismissed
> > as 'just an amusing piece of hokum' by Howard himself (*Halliwell's Film
> and
> > Video Guide*). Stritmatter also claims that the film "apparently
inspired
> > Raoul Wallenberg;" "apparently" because Stritmatter has no more evidence
> of
> > that claim than he does for Howard.
>
> Well, I don't know what evidence Roger has, but you might try doing a
search
> on Raoul Wallenberg and Leslie Howard. This was my first hit:
> http://www.yadvashem.org.il/download/education/conf/Biro.pdf

For some reason I can't open it. Could you copy and paste it?

No, she's an expert on old movies and old movie star memorabilia and gossip.

But even if
> one assumes s/he is, using Lynn's reasoning, we couldn't know that "the
> person who believes that about Oxford" is wrong, either, so I'm skeptical.

By your reasoning (which is common enough among antiStratfordians), any
speculation must be taken as ture as long as there is no conflicting
evidence (and of course, we know how you handle conflicting evidence, don't
we?).

> >
> > In another e-mail dated Nov. 29, 2003, responding to the same question,
> Jan
> > Pick, who runs the Web site for Howard's actor nephew, Alan Howard,
said,
>
> Just as an aside, Alan Howard is a wonderful actor. I recently saw him in
> _The Hollow Crown_. He must have been around six or seven when his uncle
was
> killed, so I doubt he's much of an expert on what LH believed.

I was trying to find someone who might know Leslie Howard's views on the
subject. Unlike you, I don't accept pure fabrication as truth just because
some antiStratfordian said it. Most families are more knowledgable about
their members than non-members, so I thought I would try to contact him to
see if he knew anything about his uncle's purported "beliefs."
Unfortunately, he did not answer my letter addressed in care of his agent.

The person
> who runs his web site? How does he even figure into the conversation?

Mr. Pick is quite knowledgable about the Howard family. I recommend his Web
site; it is very entertaining. I apologize for failing to procide the
address: http://www.alanhoward.org.uk/

>
> > "In my opinion, basing the views of an actor on those of a character in
a
> > film - however closely associated he was with it - is very dangerous. In
> > interviews about 'Hamlet' and 'Romeo and Juliet' he always talks of
> > Shakespeare as Shakespeare! The argument was also put forward in the
same
> > film that Shakespeare was German - I take it the Earl of Oxford school
> don't
> > propose that as an equally viable theory or belief of the actor playing
> the
> > German who expressed it!"
>
> Are we then also assuming that Howard (Leslie, that is) didn't really
> believe what Professor Horatio Smith believed with regard to the
> concentration camps? Or are we to accept that some of the beliefs in the
fil
> m belonged to Howard, but not others?

I'm beginning to think Oxfordians have more problems distinguishing truth
from fiction than I previously believed.

The actor playing the German, by the
> way, spoke lines designed to set up Howard's/Smith's introduction of the
> Oxfordian theory. No one in his/her right mind would suggest that the
actor
> (who was not the producer or the lead) believed that Shakespeare was
German.

And no one in his/her right mind would suggest that the actor who was the
producer or the lead believed that Shakespeare was Oxford based on a film
role.

> >
> > These two individuals have researched Howard's life, and if he had said
> > anything along the lines of believing Oxford was Shakespeare, they would
> > know about it.
>
> Of course they wouldn't.

If he ever made a public statement to that effect, they would know about it.

> No one knows what is said in private conversations.

Then how does Charles Boyle know?

>
> >
> > In a charming and entertaining piece written for Stage Magazine, Howard
> > muses about trying to find the way to play Prince Hamlet and imagines a
> > conversation between himself and Shakespeare:
> >
> >
> snip in the interests of brevity. Also because I can't understand why you
> would accept one "funny" conversation of Howard's but not another.

This "funny" conversation is a first-person essay about Shakespeare
published under Howard's by-line. Your so-called "proof" that Howard was an
Oxfordian is set in the middle of an obvious entertainment fiction for the
purposes of war propaganda.

Can you understand the difference?

I'm surprised you can't discern how loose your standards of evidence are.
But I guess that shouldn't be a surprise, since there's absolutely not one
jot of evidence that Oxford wrote Shakespeare.

The idea that Leslie Howard was an Oxfordian is a fiction. We are still
waiting for any evidence you have to the contrary.

If the Shakespeare Fellowship were truly concerned about honesty and
standards of scholarship, the Web master would remove any reference to
Howard as a "skeptic." But of course, we've seen the response to the same
type of evidence about Emerson, Dickens, and Welles, so I'm not holding my
breath.

TR

LynnE

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Mar 29, 2004, 6:39:56 PM3/29/04
to
Was just testing to see if I could get you to reply, Tom. I was afraid that
this fine piece of detective work on Leslie Howard might be your last post
to hlas. ;) Others are welcome to take up the fight with regard to
_Pimpernel Smith_. I've already posted many times on it.

I'm really sorry, but I can't seem to copy and paste from the website I
listed. I don't seem to be able to copy pdf files. If anyone else knows how,
perhaps they'll pass their knowledge on to me. The story of Raoul
Wallenberg, however, although interesting, wasn't initiated by Charles
Boyle, and really has nothing to do with Howard's views on Shakespeare.

And you really meant "an excretable scholar?" Now I'll wait for Dr. Webb or
others to say that the only excretable scholar they know is my dear
comrade-in-arms Paul Crowley (sorry, Paul). Excretive deleted.

Love,
LynnE


"Tom Reedy" <reed...@earthlink.net> wrote in message

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Neil Brennen

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Mar 29, 2004, 7:10:25 PM3/29/04
to

"LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:it2ac.13499$1A6.5...@news20.bellglobal.com...

Others are welcome to take up the fight with regard to
> _Pimpernel Smith_. I've already posted many times on it.

So when is the Fellowship website going to be corrected, Lynne? The
historical antiStrats are falling like ripe apples. You've lost Emerson,
Dickens, Wells, and now Howard...


Art Neuendorffer

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Mar 29, 2004, 7:48:34 PM3/29/04
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"LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote:

> I can't seem to copy and paste from the website I listed.
> I don't seem to be able to copy pdf files. If anyone else
> knows how, perhaps they'll pass their knowledge on to me.

You just have to tap on the "T" (text editing tool) button
and then use normal "Cntl C" "Cntl V" operations.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.yadvashem.org.il/download/education/conf/Biro.pdf

<<In the winter of l942, Raoul Wallenberg and his sister Nina attended a
private showing of the film Pimpernel Smith at the British Embassy in
Stockholm. The film was based on the novel by Hungarian-born Baroness Emoke
Orczy, in which the book's fictitious hero saved aristocrats from the
guillotine during the French Revolution. The film he saw that evening
featured the noted British actor Leslie Howard, who also directed it.
Pimpernel Smith was the story of an absent-minded professor who secretly
managed to save the Jews from the Nazis. The irony was that the real Leslie
Howard was born Laszlo Stainer, a Hungarian Jew. Raoul Wallenberg himself
became the Swedish Scarlet Pimpernel of World War II, saving tens of
thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazi stranglehold in Budapest in l944.
He is credited with rescuing as estimated l00,000 Jewish people, making him
the individual who saved the most Jewish lives during WWII.>>
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
Victor Laszlo = Laszlo STAINER?
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
<<My Lord, this other day your man STAINER told me that you sent for
AMYS, my man and, if he were absent, that Lyly should come unto you.
I sent AMYS, for he was in the way. And I think very strange that your
Lordship should enter into that course toward me whereby I must learn
that I knew not before, both of your opinion and goodwill towards me.
But I pray, my Lord, leave that course, for I mean not to be your
ward nor your child. I serve her Majesty, and I AM THAT I AM,>>

http://www3.telus.net/oxford/oxfordsletters1-44.html

BL Lansdowne 42[/39], ff. 97-8: Oxford to Burghley, [30 October 1584].
--------------------------------------------------------------------
Art Neuendorffer


LynnE

unread,
Mar 29, 2004, 8:20:26 PM3/29/04
to
Thanks a lot, Art. I've been trying to find that out how to do that for
ages. Live and learn.
L.


"Art Neuendorffer" <aneuendor...@comcast.net> wrote in message
news:B82dnc3RosU...@comcast.com...

Tom Reedy

unread,
Mar 29, 2004, 8:42:11 PM3/29/04
to
"LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:it2ac.13499$1A6.5...@news20.bellglobal.com...

> Was just testing to see if I could get you to reply, Tom. I was afraid
that
> this fine piece of detective work on Leslie Howard might be your last post
> to hlas. ;)

If it doesn't get any better than it has been for a while, I may very well
take a long walk off the HLAS pier.

> Others are welcome to take up the fight with regard to
> _Pimpernel Smith_. I've already posted many times on it.

You have? So did you ever post any evidence he was an Oxfordian?

>
> I'm really sorry, but I can't seem to copy and paste from the website I
> listed. I don't seem to be able to copy pdf files. If anyone else knows
how,
> perhaps they'll pass their knowledge on to me.

Art posted it. Not knowing the context, if he did indeed attend a private
showing of the film, it may have inspired him.

The story of Raoul
> Wallenberg, however, although interesting, wasn't initiated by Charles
> Boyle, and really has nothing to do with Howard's views on Shakespeare.
>
> And you really meant "an excretable scholar?"

No, it was a (Freudian?) slip. I'm an excrable speller. I couldn't resist
posting my reply, though.

TR

Art Neuendorffer

unread,
Mar 29, 2004, 9:13:26 PM3/29/04
to
>>> "LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote

>>> > An EXCRETABLE scholar? Or do you mean EXECRABLE, you scholar, you. ;)

>> "Tom Reedy" <reed...@earthlink.net> wrote...

>>> I meant what I said. His scholarship is for shit.

> "LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote

> > And you really meant "an excretable scholar?"

"Tom Reedy" <reed...@earthlink.net> wrote...

> No, it was a (Freudian?) slip. I'm an excrable speller.

Ex-Scrabble speller?
--------------------------------------------------------
Execrable, a. [L. execrabilis, exsecrabilis: cf. F. ex['e]crable.] Deserving
to be execrated; accursed; damnable; detestable; abominable; as, an
execrable wretch.

Excreable, a. [L. excreabilis, exscreabilis, fr. exscreare.] Capable of
being discharged by spitting. [Obs.] --Swift

Exrable, a. [L. exorabilis: cf. F. exorable.] Capable of being moved by
entreaty; pitiful; tender. --Milton. .
--------------------------------------------------------
Execrate, v. t. [L. execratus, exsecratus, p. p. of execrare, exsecrare, to
execrate; ex out + sacer holy, sacred.] To denounce evil against, or to
imprecate evil upon; to curse; to protest against as unholy or detestable;
hence, to detest utterly; to abhor; to abominate.

Excreate, v. t. [L. excreare, exsreare; ex out + screare to hawk.] To spit
out; to discharge from the throat by hawking and spitting.
[Obs.] --Cockeram.

Excrete, v. t. [L. excretus, p. p. of excernere to sift out, discharge; ex
out + cernere to sift, separate.] To separate and throw off; to excrete
urine.
--------------------------------------------------------
Art Neuendorffer


Neil Brennen

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Mar 29, 2004, 9:19:39 PM3/29/04
to

"Tom Reedy" <reed...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:Tf4ac.6828$Dv2....@newsread2.news.pas.earthlink.net...

> "LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
> news:it2ac.13499$1A6.5...@news20.bellglobal.com...
> > Was just testing to see if I could get you to reply, Tom. I was afraid
> that
> > this fine piece of detective work on Leslie Howard might be your last
post
> > to hlas. ;)
>
> If it doesn't get any better than it has been for a while, I may very well
> take a long walk off the HLAS pier.

I'm not sure any of us are giving of our best lately. There's too much
Awfulship discussion of the Webb and Weir variety.


KQKnave

unread,
Mar 29, 2004, 11:11:57 PM3/29/04
to
In article <%O4ac.4651$NL4...@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net>, "Neil
Brennen" <chessno...@mindnospamspring.com> writes:

>
>I'm not sure any of us are giving of our best lately. There's too much
>Awfulship discussion of the Webb and Weir variety.
>

Well, I do my best to stir the pot but no one wants to comment
(other than Hollowskull).


See my demolition of Monsarrat's RES paper!
http://hometown.aol.com/kqknave/monsarr1.html

The Droeshout portrait is not unusual at all!
http://hometown.aol.com/kqknave/shakenbake.html

Agent Jim

Tom Veal

unread,
Mar 30, 2004, 12:19:39 AM3/30/04
to
"LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<it2ac.13499$1A6.5...@news20.bellglobal.com>...

> Was just testing to see if I could get you to reply, Tom. I was afraid that
> this fine piece of detective work on Leslie Howard might be your last post
> to hlas. ;) Others are welcome to take up the fight with regard to
> _Pimpernel Smith_. I've already posted many times on it.
>
> I'm really sorry, but I can't seem to copy and paste from the website I
> listed. I don't seem to be able to copy pdf files. If anyone else knows how,
> perhaps they'll pass their knowledge on to me. The story of Raoul
> Wallenberg, however, although interesting, wasn't initiated by Charles
> Boyle, and really has nothing to do with Howard's views on Shakespeare.

Here is what the article to which Lynn linked (Ruth Biro, "Raoul
Wallenberg - A Curriculum for K-12 Educators") says about Wallenberg
and Leslie Howard:

{Begin quotation}

Wallenberg had traveled widely during the decade of the l930's,
attending college in the United States, working in Haifa, Palestine,
and visiting Mexico, South Africa, France, Turkey, and other
countries. As the war escalated in the earlier l940's he increasingly
became aware of the destruction and the dislocation of the European
populace. In the winter of l942, Raoul Wallenberg and his sister Nina
attended a private showing of the film Pimpernel Smith at the British


Embassy in Stockholm. The film was based on the novel by
Hungarian-born Baroness Emoke Orczy, in which the book's fictitious
hero saved aristocrats from the guillotine during the French
Revolution. The film he saw that evening featured the noted British
actor Leslie Howard, who also directed it. Pimpernel Smith was the
story of an absent-minded professor who secretly managed to save the
Jews from the Nazis. The irony was that the real Leslie Howard was
born Laszlo Stainer, a Hungarian Jew. Raoul Wallenberg himself became
the Swedish Scarlet Pimpernel of World War II, saving tens of
thousands of Hungarian Jews from the Nazi stranglehold in Budapest in
l944.

{End quotation}

It's a bit of a stretch to go from seeing a movie to being inspired by
it, and the author doesn't suggest any such thing, though Dr.
Stritmatter is a much more, er, imaginative reader than most.

I haven't seen "Pimpernel Smith", but, if it follows Baroness Orczy's
plot, the hero does his best to look like a silly ass to the bad guys,
the better to disguise his role as a rescuer of victims of oppression.
Pretending to be fascinated by a delusion like Oxenfordianism would
neatly fit that persona.

LynnE

unread,
Mar 30, 2004, 12:48:54 AM3/30/04
to

"Tom Veal" <Tom...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
news:c87247a2.04032...@posting.google.com...

That was just the first mention I came across, Tom. I'm sure there are
others on the web. I first heard the story many years before I became an
Oxfordian. Here is an Amazon review:

"I first saw mention of "Pimpernel Smith" when I was reading about Raoul
Wallenberg, the man who rescued tens of thousands of Hungarian Jews during
the Holocaust. Apparently Wallenberg saw this movie a few years before he
undertook his mission, and was deeply moved by it. Judge for yourself if it
is reasonable to think that this philosophical fairy-tale inspired
Wallenberg's exceptional heroism and strength of spirit. When I saw it, I
did get the idealistic impression that this might be the case."

Of course, the Wallenberg/Howard story might be apocryphal, but it's not
Oxfordian apocrypha, and certainly nothing to do with Dr. Stritmatter.

>
> I haven't seen "Pimpernel Smith", but, if it follows Baroness Orczy's
> plot, the hero does his best to look like a silly ass to the bad guys,
> the better to disguise his role as a rescuer of victims of oppression.
> Pretending to be fascinated by a delusion like Oxenfordianism would
> neatly fit that persona.

I've seen the movie, but I haven't read the book. Is Smith an Oxfordian in
the book also? If not, why bother to introduce the theme at all, and
certainly, why introduce it without any kind of refutation later in the
movie? Surely Howard was clever enough to realise that portraying Oxford as
Shakespeare in the way Smith did might make people think that Howard himself
was an Oxfordian. ;)

Best wishes,
LynnE


Neil Brennen

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Mar 30, 2004, 4:59:02 AM3/30/04
to

"KQKnave" <kqk...@aol.com> wrote in message
news:20040329231157...@mb-m06.aol.com...

> In article <%O4ac.4651$NL4...@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net>, "Neil
> Brennen" <chessno...@mindnospamspring.com> writes:
>
> >
> >I'm not sure any of us are giving of our best lately. There's too much
> >Awfulship discussion of the Webb and Weir variety.
> >
>
> Well, I do my best to stir the pot but no one wants to comment
> (other than Hollowskull).

I think it's best to avoid posting on a subject when you don't know much
about it. I haven't read Vicker's book.


Neil Brennen

unread,
Mar 30, 2004, 6:12:05 AM3/30/04
to

"LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:8T7ac.3048$j57.4...@news20.bellglobal.com...

> > I haven't seen "Pimpernel Smith", but, if it follows Baroness Orczy's
> > plot, the hero does his best to look like a silly ass to the bad guys,
> > the better to disguise his role as a rescuer of victims of oppression.
> > Pretending to be fascinated by a delusion like Oxenfordianism would
> > neatly fit that persona.
>
> I've seen the movie, but I haven't read the book. Is Smith an Oxfordian in
> the book also? If not, why bother to introduce the theme at all, and
> certainly, why introduce it without any kind of refutation later in the
> movie?

Is it a "theme", Lynne, or merely a gag? It seems a bit of a stretch to call
two references to Oxford a "theme". Head lice is mentioned a number of times
in "High Windows"; is that a theme of the book? :-)

Surely Howard was clever enough to realise that portraying Oxford as
> Shakespeare in the way Smith did might make people think that Howard
himself
> was an Oxfordian. ;)

Perhaps Howard thought people would understand the difference between an
actor playing a role and.... never mind, it's useless to explain it to you.


Tom Veal

unread,
Mar 30, 2004, 8:19:28 AM3/30/04
to
"LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<8T7ac.3048$j57.4...@news20.bellglobal.com>...

> Of course, the Wallenberg/Howard story might be apocryphal, but it's not
> Oxfordian apocrypha, and certainly nothing to do with Dr. Stritmatter.
>

It also has nothing to do with who wrote Shakespeare, though I fully
expect the Shakespeare Fellowship Web site one day to proclaim that
Raoul Wallenberg was an anti-Stratfordian, just as it currently sees
encouragement for the cause in complaints about the commercialization
of Stratford-upon-Avon.


> >
> > I haven't seen "Pimpernel Smith", but, if it follows Baroness Orczy's
> > plot, the hero does his best to look like a silly ass to the bad guys,
> > the better to disguise his role as a rescuer of victims of oppression.
> > Pretending to be fascinated by a delusion like Oxenfordianism would
> > neatly fit that persona.
>
> I've seen the movie, but I haven't read the book. Is Smith an Oxfordian in
> the book also? If not, why bother to introduce the theme at all, and
> certainly, why introduce it without any kind of refutation later in the
> movie? Surely Howard was clever enough to realise that portraying Oxford as
> Shakespeare in the way Smith did might make people think that Howard himself
> was an Oxfordian. ;)
>

Baroness Orczy's book, "The Scarlet Pimpernel", is set in the time of
the French Revolution. The hero, Sir Percy Blakeney, is introduced
thus: "Sir Percy's coats were the talk of the town, his inanities were
quoted, his foolish laugh copied by the gilded youth at Almack's or
the Mall. Everyone knew that he was hopelessly stupid, but then that
was scarcely to be wondered at, seeing that all the Blakeneys for
generations had been notoriously dull. . . ."

If the movie follows the book in having its protagonist adopt the
cover of charming imbecility, Oxenfordianism is a nice touch - just
the sort of silly idea that movie audiences expect foolish academics
to adopt.

If I had to infer anything about Leslie Howard's own beliefs from what
(little) I know about "Pimpernel Smith", the most compelling
conclusion would be that he thought Oxenfordianism self-evidently
ridiculous and introduced it into the film for that reason.

LynnE

unread,
Mar 30, 2004, 9:10:48 AM3/30/04
to

"Neil Brennen" <chessno...@mindnospamspring.com> wrote in message
news:9Ccac.5453$yN6....@newsread2.news.atl.earthlink.net...

>
> "LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
> news:8T7ac.3048$j57.4...@news20.bellglobal.com...
> > > I haven't seen "Pimpernel Smith", but, if it follows Baroness Orczy's
> > > plot, the hero does his best to look like a silly ass to the bad guys,
> > > the better to disguise his role as a rescuer of victims of oppression.
> > > Pretending to be fascinated by a delusion like Oxenfordianism would
> > > neatly fit that persona.
> >
> > I've seen the movie, but I haven't read the book. Is Smith an Oxfordian
in
> > the book also? If not, why bother to introduce the theme at all, and
> > certainly, why introduce it without any kind of refutation later in the
> > movie?
>
> Is it a "theme", Lynne, or merely a gag? It seems a bit of a stretch to
call
> two references to Oxford a "theme". Head lice is mentioned a number of
times
> in "High Windows"; is that a theme of the book? :-)

I would say that it's a theme, Neil, although not the most important one.
There are far more than two references to Oxford/Shakespeare. But I'm sure
you've seen the film and know that.

>
> Surely Howard was clever enough to realise that portraying Oxford as
> > Shakespeare in the way Smith did might make people think that Howard
> himself
> > was an Oxfordian. ;)
>
> Perhaps Howard thought people would understand the difference between an
> actor playing a role and.... never mind, it's useless to explain it to
you.

Well, the truth is that the MAJORITY of people do not seem to understand the
difference between an actor playing a role and the actor himself. Ask any
actor who is well-known for playing a part and you'll find he gets greeted
on the street by his character's name. My son was in a series when he was
younger, and people thought he was the character he portrayed. I'll bet
Howard got called Ashley Wilkes all the time before he made Pimpernel
Smith, so he would know that people often confused an actor with the roles
he played. As such, bringing in the Oxfordian THEME was a risky thing to do.
And we know that he was the producer, so he had creative control of the
movie. He did this by choice. And at no point did he seem to ridicule
Oxford. He used the THEME to best the Nazi.

L.


>
>


LynnE

unread,
Mar 30, 2004, 9:20:41 AM3/30/04
to

"Tom Veal" <Tom...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
news:c87247a2.04033...@posting.google.com...

> "LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:<8T7ac.3048$j57.4...@news20.bellglobal.com>...
>
> > Of course, the Wallenberg/Howard story might be apocryphal, but it's not
> > Oxfordian apocrypha, and certainly nothing to do with Dr. Stritmatter.
> >
> It also has nothing to do with who wrote Shakespeare,

Isn't that what I was saying?

though I fully
> expect the Shakespeare Fellowship Web site one day to proclaim that
> Raoul Wallenberg was an anti-Stratfordian, just as it currently sees
> encouragement for the cause in complaints about the commercialization
> of Stratford-upon-Avon.

I doubt it.


> > >
> > > I haven't seen "Pimpernel Smith", but, if it follows Baroness Orczy's
> > > plot, the hero does his best to look like a silly ass to the bad guys,
> > > the better to disguise his role as a rescuer of victims of oppression.
> > > Pretending to be fascinated by a delusion like Oxenfordianism would
> > > neatly fit that persona.
> >
> > I've seen the movie, but I haven't read the book. Is Smith an Oxfordian
in
> > the book also? If not, why bother to introduce the theme at all, and
> > certainly, why introduce it without any kind of refutation later in the
> > movie? Surely Howard was clever enough to realise that portraying Oxford
as
> > Shakespeare in the way Smith did might make people think that Howard
himself
> > was an Oxfordian. ;)
> >
> Baroness Orczy's book, "The Scarlet Pimpernel", is set in the time of
> the French Revolution. The hero, Sir Percy Blakeney, is introduced
> thus: "Sir Percy's coats were the talk of the town, his inanities were
> quoted, his foolish laugh copied by the gilded youth at Almack's or
> the Mall. Everyone knew that he was hopelessly stupid, but then that
> was scarcely to be wondered at, seeing that all the Blakeneys for
> generations had been notoriously dull. . . ."

I'm sorry. I was yanking your chain a bit. It didn't come off too well,
maybe because I was writing in the middle of the night. No English child in
the 1950s could get away from _The Scarlet Pimpernel_ as it was a series on
tv. I also read the book in translation a couple of times.


>
> If the movie follows the book in having its protagonist adopt the
> cover of charming imbecility, Oxenfordianism is a nice touch - just
> the sort of silly idea that movie audiences expect foolish academics
> to adopt.
>
> If I had to infer anything about Leslie Howard's own beliefs from what
> (little) I know about "Pimpernel Smith", the most compelling
> conclusion would be that he thought Oxenfordianism self-evidently
> ridiculous and introduced it into the film for that reason.

I think you should watch the movie, Tom, with an open mind, before you make
judgements. You don't have to become an Oxfordian, but you should at least
see how Howard, in the movie, treats the Oxfordian issue. To my mind,
there's not even a glimmer of the ridiculous in it, especially as he is
besting the Nazi. It seems more a way of getting info across to the public.

Best wishes,
LynnE


Tom Reedy

unread,
Mar 30, 2004, 10:56:03 AM3/30/04
to
"LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:_mfac.41483$1A6.8...@news20.bellglobal.com...

>
> "Tom Veal" <Tom...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
> news:c87247a2.04033...@posting.google.com...
<snip>

> >
> > If I had to infer anything about Leslie Howard's own beliefs from what
> > (little) I know about "Pimpernel Smith", the most compelling
> > conclusion would be that he thought Oxenfordianism self-evidently
> > ridiculous and introduced it into the film for that reason.
>
> I think you should watch the movie, Tom, with an open mind, before you
make
> judgements. You don't have to become an Oxfordian, but you should at least
> see how Howard, in the movie, treats the Oxfordian issue. To my mind,
> there's not even a glimmer of the ridiculous in it, especially as he is
> besting the Nazi. It seems more a way of getting info across to the
public.
>
> Best wishes,
> LynnE

So you admit the movie dialog is your only evidence, Lynne? Because I
haven't seen any substantive rebuttals to my essay. But perhaps my server is
not delivering all the messages.

TR


Richard Nathan

unread,
Mar 30, 2004, 11:08:44 AM3/30/04
to
"LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<rj%9c.2454$j57.3...@news20.bellglobal.com>...

(snip)

> You have seen the movie, right, Tom? And having seen it, how do you explain
> the very strong pro-Oxford statements in the film? If they're a joke, are
> Smith's statements about the camps also a joke?


There are no arguments in favor of Oxford - merely statements that
Oxford is the author. And as has been pointed out, these statements
are only made to the Nazis. It's clear to me that Professor Smith is
attempting to convince the Nazis he is a harmless idiot.

Richard Nathan

unread,
Mar 30, 2004, 11:15:42 AM3/30/04
to
"LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<8T7ac.3048$j57.4...@news20.bellglobal.com>...

> "Tom Veal" <Tom...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
> news:c87247a2.04032...@posting.google.com...

(snip)

> >
> > I haven't seen "Pimpernel Smith", but, if it follows Baroness Orczy's
> > plot, the hero does his best to look like a silly ass to the bad guys,
> > the better to disguise his role as a rescuer of victims of oppression.
> > Pretending to be fascinated by a delusion like Oxenfordianism would
> > neatly fit that persona.
>
> I've seen the movie, but I haven't read the book. Is Smith an Oxfordian in
> the book also? If not, why bother to introduce the theme at all, and
> certainly, why introduce it without any kind of refutation later in the
> movie? Surely Howard was clever enough to realise that portraying Oxford as
> Shakespeare in the way Smith did might make people think that Howard himself
> was an Oxfordian. ;)
>
> Best wishes,
> LynnE

"Pimpernel Smith" was not adapted from a book, except to the extent
one could claim it was based on the novel "The Scarlet Pimpernel" by
Baroness Orczy. That is the book to which Tom Veal is referring. The
novel "The Scarlet Pimpernel" does not portray anyone as an Oxfordian
- but then, you might think it does.

LynnE

unread,
Mar 30, 2004, 11:31:34 AM3/30/04
to

"Richard Nathan" <richard...@att.net> wrote in message
news:fe178efa.04033...@posting.google.com...

I think I know that, Richard. I was joking. If you look carefully, you'll
see the wink. I wrote I'd seen the film but not read the book in response to
Tom's saying he'd read the book but not seen the film. I posted afterwards,
by way of clarification, that I'd read The Scarlet Pimpernel in translation.
We had to read it in school, many, many years ago, in French, and then
reread it prior to exams. Probably an attempt to teach us French history and
language at the same time. I believe it was called Le Mouron Rouge. We
nicknamed it Le Mouton Rouge (Red Sheep). It's sad, but I think today I
could barely manage to translate a sentence of it.

>The
> novel "The Scarlet Pimpernel" does not portray anyone as an Oxfordian
> - but then, you might think it does.

No need for cheap shots. ;)

Best wishes,
LynnE

Allan Rogg

unread,
Mar 30, 2004, 11:57:48 AM3/30/04
to
Tom...@ix.netcom.com (Tom Veal) wrote in message news:<c87247a2.04032...@posting.google.com>...

>
> I haven't seen "Pimpernel Smith", but, if it follows Baroness Orczy's
> plot, the hero does his best to look like a silly ass to the bad guys,
> the better to disguise his role as a rescuer of victims of oppression.
> Pretending to be fascinated by a delusion like Oxenfordianism would
> neatly fit that persona.

Precisely. Having seen the film, I would point out that, as in
Baroness Orczy's book, which was adapted "straight" for Howard's
earlier French-Revolution-era Scarlet Pimpernel film, the heroic
Pimpernel character adopts the cover identity of a foolish,
superficial twit in order to avoid detection. It is only when
Pimpernel Smith is posing as an idiot that he mentions Oxford's
putative authorship of the Shakespeare plays. If anything, Howard and
his collaborators are satirizing the Oxfordians.

Allan Rogg

LynnE

unread,
Mar 30, 2004, 11:46:48 AM3/30/04
to

"Tom Reedy" <reed...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:nMgac.8341$lt2....@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...

> "LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
> news:_mfac.41483$1A6.8...@news20.bellglobal.com...
> >
> > "Tom Veal" <Tom...@ix.netcom.com> wrote in message
> > news:c87247a2.04033...@posting.google.com...
> <snip>
>
> > >
> > > If I had to infer anything about Leslie Howard's own beliefs from what
> > > (little) I know about "Pimpernel Smith", the most compelling
> > > conclusion would be that he thought Oxenfordianism self-evidently
> > > ridiculous and introduced it into the film for that reason.
> >
> > I think you should watch the movie, Tom, with an open mind, before you
> make
> > judgements. You don't have to become an Oxfordian, but you should at
least
> > see how Howard, in the movie, treats the Oxfordian issue. To my mind,
> > there's not even a glimmer of the ridiculous in it, especially as he is
> > besting the Nazi. It seems more a way of getting info across to the
> public.
> >
> > Best wishes,
> > LynnE
>
> So you admit the movie dialog is your only evidence, Lynne?

Confidentially, Tom, and I certainly wouldn't mention this to anyone else, I
would say that's not as bad as arguing a case when you haven't seen the
material.

>Because I
> haven't seen any substantive rebuttals to my essay. But perhaps my server
is
> not delivering all the messages.

O, delicious irony. Well done. Actually, my server ISN'T delivering all the
messages. One of my own went missing, but I regret to say it wasn't one
where I gave further evidence. I believe that at the moment, the movie
dialogue, plus the Shakespearean theme in the movie, plus the tone in which
the dialogue is delivered, plus the fact that LH exerted creative control
over the movie, are the only bits of evidence the Oxfordians have, but as I
said, I'm not any kind of scholar, so I may be wrong.

Now I really must do some work.

L.


>
> TR
>
>


Art Neuendorffer

unread,
Mar 30, 2004, 12:49:37 PM3/30/04
to
> > "Tom Veal" <Tom...@ix.netcom.com> wrote :

> > > I haven't seen "Pimpernel Smith", but, if it follows Baroness Orczy's
> > > plot, the hero does his best to look like a silly ass to the bad guys,
> > > the better to disguise his role as a rescuer of victims of oppression.
> > > Pretending to be fascinated by a delusion like Oxenfordianism
> > > would neatly fit that persona.

> "LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote

> > I've seen the movie, but I haven't read the book.

> > Is Smith an Oxfordian in the book also?
> > If not, why bother to introduce the theme at all, and certainly,
> > why introduce it without any kind of refutation later in the movie?

"Neil Brennen" <chessno...@mindnospamspring.com> wrote

> Is it a "theme", Lynne, or merely a gag? It seems a bit of a stretch to
> call two references to Oxford a "theme". Head lice is mentioned a
> number of times in "High Windows"; is that a theme of the book? :-)

--------------------------------------------------------------
Lucy is lowsie, whatEVER befall it.
--------------------------------------------------------------
http://www.online-literature.com/irving/geoffrey_crayon/26/

_The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon_ by Washington Irving

When brought into the presence of Sir Thomas Lucy
[Shaksper's] treatment must have been galling and humiliating;
for it so wrought upon his spirit as to produce a rough pasquinade
which was affixed to the park gate at Charlecot.*

The following is the only stanza extant of this lampoon:

[A] parliament member, a justice of peace,
[A]t home a poor scarecrow, at London an asse,
If lowsie is Lucy, as some volke miscalle it,
Then Lucy is lowsie, whatEVER befall it.
He thinks himself great; Yet an asse in his state,
[W]e allow by his EARS but with asses to mate,
[I]f Lucy is lowsie, as some volke miscalle it,
[T]hen sing lowsie Lucy whatEVER befall it.
-----------------------------------------------------
GREAT CAESAR's EAR
-----------------------------------------------------
Julius Caesar Act 3, Scene 1

METELLUS CIMBER:
Is there no voice more worthy than my own
To sound more sweetly in GREAT CAESAR's EAR
For the repealing of my banish'd brother?
-----------------------------------------------------
Art Neuendorffer


Tom Reedy

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Mar 30, 2004, 1:52:56 PM3/30/04
to
"LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:Yvhac.4116$j57.4...@news20.bellglobal.com...
<snip>

> I believe that at the moment, the movie
> dialogue, plus the Shakespearean theme in the movie, plus the tone in
which
> the dialogue is delivered, plus the fact that LH exerted creative control
> over the movie, are the only bits of evidence the Oxfordians have, but as
I
> said, I'm not any kind of scholar, so I may be wrong.

I'm sure you're right that that's all the evidence antiStratfordians have
that Leslie Howard was an Oxfordian.

I've often wondered why antiStrats never research their myths -- probably
afraid of what they might find. The Charles Boyle booklet was published 11
years ago, and Oxfordians have blindly accepted his assertion without any
questions at all, nor have any of them gone to the trouble to determine if
Howard actually said anything about Oxford-as-Shakespeare in real life.

TR

LynnE

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Mar 30, 2004, 2:11:41 PM3/30/04
to

"Tom Reedy" <reed...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:cmjac.8483$lt2....@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...

Many of the Oxfordians are doing a great deal of research into all sorts of
things Shakespearean, Tom. I do know that someone is trying to find out if
LH said anything outside the movie (an outside narrative?), but have no idea
as yet whether he's found anything.

And again, I would suggest that if you're talking about others blindly
accepting assertions, you should at the very least see the movie for
yourself rather than relying on the opinions of others (most of whom don't
appear to have watched the film either). Even if you don't enjoy the
Oxfordian quotes, you will still find the viewing worthwhile. There are some
very interesting shots--a brilliant chiaroscuro--near the end of the movie,
when Smith is in a train.

L.

Tom Reedy

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Mar 30, 2004, 2:44:07 PM3/30/04
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"LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message
news:MDjac.47311$1A6.8...@news20.bellglobal.com...

As I said, I have the movie on order. I understand it is a very entertaining
film. However, I don't have to see every film ever made to believe that the
dialog in fictional entertainments does not reflect the personal beliefs of
the actors, the production crew, or the writers, especially if they made no
such supporting commentary in real life.

Do you consider that to be irrational or wrong? Because obviously you think
the opposite. You think that a few lines of dialog in a fictional
entertainment accurately reflect the true personal beliefs of Leslie Howard,
even though he never publicly -- or privately, for all we know -- said a
word during his lifetime that would make us think so.

Think about that.

TR

LynnE

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Mar 30, 2004, 3:22:55 PM3/30/04
to

"Tom Reedy" <reed...@earthlink.net> wrote in message
news:b6kac.8533$lt2....@newsread1.news.pas.earthlink.net...

Yes, Tom. I do believe it in this case to be wrong. I cannot see Howard
introducing Oxford as an object of ridicule because at the time Edward de
Vere as a candidate was hardly well known in England. LH would have done
much better to go with Bacon if he wanted to ridicule the authorship because
Bacon was the top (or at least best known) contender at the time. The lines
as delivered sound more of an advertisement for Oxford than anything else.
It's clear that Smith is besting the Nazi, not acting the fool when he
speaks about Shakespeare. He's being what we used to call in England a
"clever Dick." (No jokes, please.)

My characters say lots of things in my books that I never say in life.
Sometimes the opinions happen to be mine. One can usually tell by tone, and
by whether the characters are sympathetic or not. But when you come to think
of it, when we discuss LH and Pimpernel Smith, we're taking a look at the
authorship question in microcosm. Do artists put themselves in their work in
some way? When can one depend on that? Etc. You might be able to bring up a
couple of cases where the author appears not to, but I can name thousands of
cases where the author (and I must include LH here as at least partial
author, or at least, the person who had control over what appeared in the
film) does. We can't get away from ourselves.

L.

Tom Veal

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Mar 30, 2004, 4:07:38 PM3/30/04
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"LynnE" <lynnek...@sympatico.ca> wrote in message news:<_mfac.41483$1A6.8...@news20.bellglobal.com>...

> I think you should watch the movie, Tom, with an open mind, before you make
> judgements. You don't have to become an Oxfordian, but you should at least
> see how Howard, in the movie, treats the Oxfordian issue. To my mind,
> there's not even a glimmer of the ridiculous in it, especially as he is
> besting the Nazi. It seems more a way of getting info across to the public.
>

Should I ever happen to see "Pimpernel Smith", keeping an open mind
won't be difficult. It would, after all, do my side of the debate no
harm if Leslie Howard had been as nutty as Brame, Popova, Crowley,
Streitz and Stritmatter combined and cubed.

I wonder, though, whether your mind is entirely open on this point.
Tom Reedy has presented pretty clear proof that Mr. Howard believed
that William Shakespeare of Stratford wrote Shakespeare. Against it
dialogue in a movie is an extremely light counterweight. It's hard to
imagine that a real Oxenfordian would have been content to insert
those few mentions of Looney's theory as his sole declaration of
faith. Far more likely is that Howard (or whoever wrote those portions
of the script) had run across "Shakespeare Identified" and thought
that it would lend a nice touch to the characterization to make the
hero espouse an idea that no moviegoer could take seriously. Certainly
the bits of the script that you've quoted put forward no information
or arguments to advance the Oxenfordian cause. If Leslie Howard was
trying to send a message, he should have followed Samuel Goldwyn's
advice and used Western Union.

L Wood

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Mar 30, 2004, 4:58:49 PM3/30/04