Sunday, 17 September 2017

Random Cutting - Poet Robert Service dies (1958)

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I'm not a great lover of poetry, but when, many years ago, I read the opening lines of The Shooting of Dan McGrew I was hooked on Robert Service –

A bunch of the boys were whooping it up in the Malamute saloon;
The kid that handles the music-box was hitting a rag-time tune;
Back of the bar, in a solo game, sat Dangerous Dan McGrew,
And watching his luck was his light-o'-love, the lady that’s known as Lou.

My other favourite is ‘The Cremation of Sam McGee’  which begins –

There are strange things done in the midnight sun
By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
I cremated Sam McGee.

Sunday, 3 September 2017

Random Cutting - What London is Reading (1958)

Reblogged from my newspaper collection blog (

Evening Standard dated Tuesday September 9th 1958

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The top 6 best selling books of the week included Boris Pasternak, Nevile Shute and H E Bates.

Either we were better read in those days or there was very little choice. Certainly no Jamie Oliver cook-books or ghost written ‘celebrity’ memoirs.

I was a mere 12 years-old at the time and hadn't progressed beyond The Eagle comic.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Random Cutting - Rudolph Valentino Dead (1926)

Reblogged from my newspaper collection blog                                     (

Daily Mirror dated Tuesday August 24th 1926

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Rudolph Valentino was born Rodolfo Alfonzo Raffaello Pierre Filibert Guglielmi di Valentina d'Antonguolla in 1895 of French/Italian parentage and was brought up in Italy. He moved to the USA in 1913 and appeared in his first film in 1914. From then until 1921 he turned up as an extra, or un-credited or under a variety of variations of his name in about 20 films, but in 1921 he stared in ‘The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse’ and his career as a one of the most popular Silent era stars was off and running. Unfortunately, particularly for his many many female fans, it came to a sudden end in 1926 when he died as a result of complications after an appendix operation.   

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Pola Negri, who claimed to be engaged to Valentino at the time of his death, was born in Poland and died at the age of 90 in 1987. Her film career spanned from 1914 to 1964 but she made very few films after the coming of Sound. In her most popular silent films she was a strong rival to Theda Bara as the leading ‘Vamp’ of the time.

Sunday, 6 August 2017

Random Cutting - Obituary for author Joseph Conrad (1924)

Reblogged from my newspaper collection blog (

Cutting dated 23rd August 1924

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Joseph Conrad was born Józef Teodor Konrad Korzeniowski in 1857 in the Ukraine, and was raised and educated in Poland before a sea-faring career in the French and British merchant navies. He settled in England and wrote short stories and novels like Lord Jim, Heart of Darkness and The Secret Agent, which combined his experiences all over the World with an interest in moral conflict and the dark side of human nature. In his time he was regarded as one of England great writers but is now best remembered as the author of the novella (Heart of Darkness) on which the film 'Apocalypse Now' was based. He died in Canterbury on 3rd August 1924.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Random Cutting - Basil Rathbone dies (1967)

Reblogged from my newspaper collection blog (

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Benedict Cumberbatch was not the first to portrayed Sherlock Holmes as a contemporary sleuth. The Basil Rathbone series of Holmes movies (Dressed to Kill, Terror by Night,  Pursuit to Algiers, The Woman in Green etc) were set in the 1940's when they were made. 

Born in South Africa but brought up in England, Philip St. John Basil Rathbone died on 21st July 1967 at the age of 75 and is remembered not only for Holmes but as a character actor in several horror films and the dastardly villain in Errol Flynn's version of Robin Hood.

Sunday, 16 July 2017

Random Cutting - Top books (2000)

Reblogged from my newspaper collection blog (

International Express dated August 8th-14th 2000 

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There are fewer celebrity biographies and cookbooks in this list than these days, although the dreaded Jamie Oliver does appear (twice!). 

Nice to see Kathy Reichs, James Lee Burke and Thomas Harris representing the Crime writers and Bill Bryson the travel writers, even if ‘Down Under’ was, in my humble opinion, his least interesting travel book.

Sunday, 2 July 2017

Random Cutting - Two famous writers missing (1940)

Reblogged from my newspaper collection blog (

Sunday Express dated Sunday June 23rd 1940

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Somerset Maugham had lived on the French Riviera since 1926 but when the Nazi’s invaded France he sought refuge on a coal barge. It took him 20 harrowing days to get to England. After a short recovery he moved to the USA for the rest of the War.

Mary Borden was an American author and a quick look at Amazon shows only one book currently in print - The Forbidden Zone: A Nurse's Impressions of the First World War. In both World Wars she ran volunteer Ambulance services in combat zones. She died in 1968.