31 October 2012


The childing autumn, angry winter, change
Their wonted liveries, and the mazed world,
By their increase, now knows not which is which.
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Act II, sc.i

An occasional sonnet:

On this All Hallows Eve, I leave you with a work in progress, a painting I have lately revisited:

West Hampstead Nocturne.
Acrylic on canvas, 2012.

27 October 2012


When every theatre has been replaced by 100 cinemas, When every musical instrument has been replaced by 100 gramaphones, when every horse has been replaced by 100 cheap motor cars, when electrical ingenuity has made it possible for every child to hear its bed-time stories through a wireless receiver attached to both ears, when applied science has done everything possible with the materials on this earth to make life as interesting as possible, it will not be surprising if the population of the entire civilized world rapidly follows the fate of the Melanesians. You will see that the death of Marie Lloyd has had a depressing effect, and that I am quite incapable of taking any interest in any literary events in England in the last two months, if any have taken place.
T. S. Eliot, The Dial, December 1922

Ninety years ago this month, Marie Lloyd, ‘Queen of the Music Hall’, was laid to rest in (West) Hampstead Cemetery at the age of fifty-two. Her grave is still festooned with colourful floral tributes.

T. S. Eliot, who devoted his ‘London Letter’ of December 1922 to Marie Lloyd’s passing, was a former resident of West Hampstead. After his marriage to Vivienne Haigh-Wood in 1915, he lived for a year or two with his in-laws at 3 Compayne Gardens, a house he described as rather gloomy, with long dark corridors and imposing iron gates, and a stout garden wall.

Photo by EP

Photo: State Library of Victoria,
Among those who sent wreaths to Marie’s funeral were the ventriloquist Arthur Prince, whom you may remember as the subject of my first Graveyard Ditty, and the Edwardian stage stars Fred Terry and Julia Neilson. All three are buried in West Hampstead, not far from Marie’s grave.

Neilson and Terry, circa 1907

Coming soon: a special Halloween blog!

West Hampstead Cemetery at sunset.
Photo by EP

21 October 2012


As you may have noticed, Edward’s blog has been rechristened, at least for the time being, Petherbridge’s Fortnightly Post. As preparations for My Perfect Mind intensify, it has become difficult to maintain a weekly posting, but stay tuned for a veritable feast of words, images and film in the weeks and months ahead.

Many of you are no doubt aware that Edward is an honorary Book Fox on the popular bibliophile site Vulpes Libris. Last week the Foxes celebrated their fifth anniversary and, as part of the celebrations, Edward contributed an essay of appreciation – an essay that touches upon Albert Camus, The Waste Land, Shostakovich and Spinal Tap! The link to this can be found over on his News blog.

Last but certainly not least, you will also find on the News blog the full list of dates and venues for the tour and London premiere of My Perfect Mind, Edward and Paul Hunter’s unique two-man version of Shakespeare’s King Lear.

A new blog will appear next weekend. In the meantime, a little sneak preview from of our West Hampstead volume – a street party that truly made a splash!

Photo by EP

10 October 2012


Sic transit gloria mundi,
How doth the busy bee,
Dum vivimus vivamus –
I stay mine enemy!
Emily Dickinson, 1852 

City of London School at Blackfriars, photographed from the Millennium
Bridge. Herbert Asquith, whose uncle lived at West Hampstead and had
charge of his education, attended the school as a day-scholar from 1864.
Photo by EP

09 October 2012


Then there went such a great concourse of people by water, that the small number of watermen remaining at home [the majority being employed in the Spanish war] were not able to carry them, by reason of the court, the tearms, the players, and other employments. So that we were inforccd and encouraged, hoping that this golden stirring world would have lasted ever, to take and entertaine men and boyes, which boyes are grown men, and keepers of houses; so that the number of watermen, and those that live and are maintained by them, and by the only labour of the oare and scull, betwixt the bridge of Windsor and Gravesend, cannot be fewer than forty thousand; the cause of the greater halfe of which multitude hath bene the players playing on the Bankside; for I have known three companies, besides the bear-baiting, at once there; to wit, the Globe, the Rose, and the Swan.
John Taylor , The Water Poet, 1613-14

Part II to follow very soon. Meanwhile a taster:

Photo by EP