Morganians by now know and appreciate Professor Jacqueline Thibault Schaefer from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee. A fine article by her appears on the "Discussions" page; and now she has kindly sent us her collection of, mostly Continental, articles and doctoral theses on Charles Morgan -- a treasure-cave. A brief bibliography of them appears also on the "Discussions" page; we hope it will help those who would like to study CM's reception and reputation in French- and German-speaking countries. There are a very few English items, including a snarky piece by J.B. Priestley in the New Statesman and an intelligent "Revaluation" by one David E. Painting from 1970, which we hope to reproduce here soon. Many thanks to Jacqueline!
Fellow-Morganian Paul Morgan (no relation, as far as he knows) bought a copy of CLM’s play The Flashing Stream in a used-book shop and found, when he came home, among its pages an autograph letter from the author to one Anne. It was dated September 3rd, 1938 and thanked “Anne” for having written to him a letter that arrived just before the first night of the play, “when I needed such a letter badly.”
A quick look at the selection CLM’s correspondents in Eiluned Lewis’s Selected Letters turned up Anne Fremantle, to whom the Lewis book reprints three letters. She was a most interesting woman, a writer, journalist, a Catholic convert and (after WW II) emigré to America, where she became a well-known New York hostess. She knew Auden, Evelyn Waugh and many other writers. In 1938 she wrote for The Times, and had recently returned from covering the 1936 theatre festival in Moscow.
One may assume, though one cannot prove, that Paul Morgan’s copy of The Flashing Stream was Anne Fremantle’s own copy. The letter gives a touching insight into CLM’s own feelings on the opening night of his play – he who had covered so many premieres of others’. We thank Paul for letting us reproduce it: you will find it on the “Gallery” page- click on the thumbnails.
Morganians will be pleased to know that Nigel Jackson's The Seed That Falls is now available from Amazon Books at an extraordinarily reasonable price.
Morgan's poetry has not received much attention beyond the charming edition Peter Holland prepared for Scarthin Books a few years ago. However, in the same bookseller's catalogue mentioned in my last post there was a copy of The Poetry Review of 1946, with an article on "The Poetry of Charles Morgan". This was too good to let it escape, so it was sent for and, when arrived, scanned. You will find it on the "DIscussion" page of this website. Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to find out anything by Aneurin Rhys, its author; if anyone knows anything about this Welsh Morganian from 1945, please let us know.
Leafing through a London bookseller's catalogue recently, I was surprised to see a copy of the Review of Reviews from 1924, with CLM listed among the authors in the issue. His contribution, to my great surprise, was an open letter to the Prince of Wales (the later Edward VIII who abdicated and became the Duke of Windsor). Young Charles Morgan, then still a virtually unknown writer, had been (as he reminds HRH) in naval training at Osborne and Dartmouth with the Prince, which may explain his boldness in writing the letter. In it he takes Edward to task for his reckless horsemanship, which has already resulted in eight accidents, some serious, in three years. Morgan reminds the Prince that he is not a private individual and that his health is a national, indeed an imperial, asset. We have put the article -- with a couple of fine photos -- on the "Works" page of this website.
Morganians following this site have come to know the tireless energy and perceptive analyses of Nigel Jackson from Melbourne, Australia. Nigel has now combined and revised these in a book, The Seed That Falls, which is being published even as this is being written. It will shortly be available to customers outside Australia via Amazon and the Book Depository: we will make details available as soon possible. We need scarcely say that this will be the first book-length study of Morgan's works in English since Henry Charles Duffin's in 1959.
Meanwhile, we will share with you our sneak peek at the handsome cover of Nigel's book:
We have been extremely fortunate to obtain the permission of Jacqueline Thibault Schaefer, afriend of this site and a lifetime Morganian, to publish her 1979 paper on two medieval myths in Sparkenbroke. Please turn to the "Discussions" page for the full text. Enjoy!
Some Morganians may be familiar with CM's genuinely beautiful handwriting. To remind them, and to introduce others, we have posted in the "Life" section of the Gallery page a brief letter of CM's to a lady who had asked to borrow the manuscript of a talk he had given. Our thanks to Graham Shipley of the University of Leicester, who found the letter in a book he had bought.
One Morganian wrote to me the other day suggesting that fund-raising for the Archive might be helped by the publication of some of CLM's works as e-books. And today, visiting the odd and supposedly "automatically generated" CLM Facebook page, I found that Gutenberg Books have in fact now published his first novel, hard-to-find The Gunroom, as a Free e-Book. This means it can be downloaded in various formats, including Kindle, without cost. An excellent initiative! The URL is here: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/52591.
Roger Kuin, stumbling webmaster and lifelong admirer of Morgan's writing.