Dear Reader

Dear Reader #158

Dear Reader,

Delighted to say that my books are now available in twelve languages. Here’s my latest, the Dutch version of Operation Broadsword, Eve’s War Heroines of SOE book three, my 112th translation 🙂

Continuing my research into Eva Marie Saint’s ancestry using public records. I’m looking to answer two questions: was Eva’s talent the result of nurture, or nature? And why am I drawn to her as an actress? Can I find the answers to these questions in her roots?

John Merle Saint. Picture courtesy of Eva Marie Saint.

I’ve discovered that John Merle Saint was Eva Marie’s father and that he served in World War One. Today’s record is a US World War One Draft Registration Card. This card provides the following information:

John Merle Saint
RaceCaucasian (White)
Marital StatusSingle
Birth Date13 Oct 1891
Birth PlaceIowa
Residence Date1917-1918
Street Address354 So. Highland
Residence PlacePittsburgh, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, USA
Draft Board06
Physical BuildSlender
Hair ColorBrown
Eye ColorBrown

So, John Merle Saint was born in Iowa, another good lead, one which should enable me to locate his parents. This record also led me to other World War One records that featured John, including his burial record. John was buried, on 18 July 1965, at Bala Cynwyd, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania. This name strongly suggests that the region was developed by Welsh settlers, so does that mean that Eva Marie has Welsh roots? More research required.


Profit and Loss, Series 1, Episodes 12 & 13 of The Rockford Files is a two-parter. Written by John Thomas James and Stephen J. Cannell this is the strongest Rockford story to date. If you are new to the series, start with this one.

Profit and Loss contains a great storyline with sparkling dialogue. James Garner is having a ball with this story; his comic timing is perfect while his casual asides are sublime. Also, some social commentary about business corruption adds depth to the story.

There’s a great running joke about the trash dispenser, plus Beth and Becker make an appearance. If the writers could have included Angel, this would have been the perfect Rockford episode. As it is, it comes very close.

The answer machine message is brilliant too: (Slightly manic voice) “Hey, Jimmy – this here’s Teeter Skerritt. Remember me? From the Army. I’m stuck here in town. How ‘bout I come over and bunk with you, buddy?”

Ned Beatty, who co-starred in Profit and Loss. 📸 Wikipedia.

My latest article for the Seaside News appears on page 34 of the magazine.

Henry VIII’s Dissolution of the Monasteries in effect closed London’s hospitals because most hospitals at that time were run by the Church.

Henry VIII’s successors re-founded some of these hospitals, although their purpose differed from the hospitals of today. In the seventeenth century hospitals served the poor and destitute; they were places of shelter rather than centres of medical treatment.

Some hospitals specialised. For example, St Mary Bethlehem, pictured, was established for ‘lunatic people’ while St Thomas’ in Southwalk was established for the ‘sick and aged’. 

People of means were expected to pay for their upkeep. However, many hospitals provided the poor with bedding, clothes, food and three pints of ale a day.

Mel Charles was born on 14 May 1935. The brother of the legendary John Charles, Mel was a versatile player. He played as a centre-half, centre-forward and wing-half.

In 1952, Mel turned professional with his local club, Swansea Town. After seven years at the Second Division club, he secured a lucrative move to First Division Arsenal. However, injury blighted his period at the Gunners and, in February 1962, he joined Cardiff City, enjoying a three-year spell with the club. In total, Mel scored 122 goals in 401 league and cup matches.

At international level, Mel represented Wales on 31 occasions, scoring six goals. He captained Wales and was a member of his country’s 1958 World Cup squad. He also represented Wales in the British Home Championship over eight seasons.

In the BHC, Mel scored four goals in a 4 – 0 win over Northern Ireland, becoming only the third Welshman to score four goals in an international game.

One other remarkable fact about Mel: throughout his illustrious career he was never booked or sent off.

Mel Charles 📸

Clara Bow was born into a family of alcoholics and psychologically damaged people. Abuse, in all its ugly forms, was common. Clara’s family needed help, but in New York in 1905 few people, and certainly not the authorities, were prepared to offer a helping hand.

Clara’s neighbourhood was a network of slums and brothels, populated by the likes of ‘Submarine’ Mary – her name speaks for itself. House fires were common. Cholera, diphtheria, scarlet fever, smallpox and tuberculosis were rife. Violence was a way of life. 

During the summer heatwave of 1905, the New York infant mortality rate was estimated at eighty percent. Clara’s parents, Robert and Sarah, were convinced that she would die, so they didn’t even bother obtaining a birth certificate.

To understand Clara’s later choices in life, you need to understand where she came from: a hellhole where love was just a four-letter word. 

Welcome to the world, Clara Bow. 

Next week, news about my new project, Tula, plus background information.

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

For Authors

#1 for value with 565,000 readers, The Fussy Librarian has helped my books to reach #1 on 32 occasions.

A special offer from my publisher and the Fussy Librarian.

Don’t forget to use the code goylake20 to claim your discount 🙂

2 replies on “Dear Reader #158”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.