Dear Reader

Dear Reader #181

Dear Reader,

In early September 2022, I started Tula, my novel set in the Golden Age of Hollywood. Today, 420 pages and 77,000 words later, I completed the story. Four months of editing to go before publication on July 1, 2023. If you are interested, here are the details

Clara Bow’s twentieth movie was The Scarlet West, an ambitious silent film about the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The movie was produced in the spring of 1925, with location shooting in Colorado, and released on July 26, 1925. Clara played Miriam. Sadly, no copies of the film survive.

A transcribed page from my 9 x great grandfather John Bevan’s journal. In 1704, after twenty-one years in Pennsylvania, along with his wife Barbara and their youngest daughter Barbara, he returned to his estate in Wales. Sadly, daughter Barbara died. John wrote of her: “Her innocence and sweet behaviour preached truth wherever she came.”

A life-long love.

A transcribed page from my 9 x great grandfather John Bevan’s journal, c1720. Here, he writes of his wife Barbara Aubrey’s passing. 

She was very careful and open-hearted to help the poor and the weak both amongst us and others. In her last sickness, she was sensible she was not likely to recover out of it and she was satisfied and contented therein to submit to the Lord’s will. Speaking to me, she said, “I take it as a great mercy that I am to go before thee, we are upward of 45 years married, and our love is rather more now towards each other than at the beginning.”


Died on this day, 19 February 1894, aged 41 my ancestor Hopkin Howe. Hopkin died due to an infection of his spinal cord.

In 1871, Hopkin left the family home in Glamorgan to live with a Welsh family in Stockton, Durham. There, he plied his trade as a blacksmith, serving the burgeoning railway industry.

On his return to Wales, Hopkin became a Methodist minister. In 1884, he married Elizabeth Jones. This event brought great joy and tragedy. Elizabeth gave birth to a daughter, Elizabeth May Gwendoline Howe, on 27 November 1885, but died in childbirth. Deprived of her mother, baby Elizabeth died in infancy. One can only imagine how these events tested Hopkin’s faith.

In December 1890. Hopkin married Sarah Ann Jones. When he died in 1894 he left Sarah Ann £119, the equivalent of a year’s wages. He left his Bible to his brother, my 2 x great grandfather, William Howe, a Methodist deacon. The Bible, with Welsh text and lavish illustrations captioned in English, is now in my possession. It’s a huge tome, and a treasured heirloom.

“As the ‘Brooklyn Bonfire’ Clara Bow blasted her way to fame. As the ‘It’ girl her name became synonymous with sex appeal the world over. Clara’s screen career became a succession of labels – all of them descriptive and not a few of them libellous.” – Dora Albert, c1933.

As ever, thank you for your interest and support.

Hannah xxx

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