Dear Reader

Dear Reader #193

Dear Reader,

Sunshine: The Golden Age of Hollywood, Book Two

Summer, 1939 and my character Sunshine finds herself on holiday in Hollywood. She also finds herself in a movie, The Immelmann Turn, a film about stunt pilots, wing walkers and daredevils. Naturally, she decides that she’d like to have a go…

At the age of twenty, Clara Bow was already a movie veteran. Her thirty-second movie was My Lady of Whims, a silent comedy released on June 25, 1926. Clara played the lead, Prudence Severn.

The skintight, transparent dress Clara wore during the party sequence caused a sensation. The Cedar Rapids Tribune said that the dress made “the eyes of every flapper bulge.”

This would not be the last time Clara caused a sensation, on and off screen.

Picturegoer, December 3, 1932

This is a lovely piece about Clara Bow because it appears to have been written by Clara herself. She was promoting her ‘comeback’ movie, Call Her Savage. Although melodramatic in places, Call Her Savage is a decent film. Clara didn’t enjoy making talkies, but she had the natural talent to be a success in them.

This record from 1939 features Roy Edwards, future husband of my relative Joan Howe. Joan was a beautiful person in every sense. Roy was living, with his parents, at the New House public house. He worked in the local limestone quarry – the Howes had close associations with the quarry – and served as an auxiliary fireman.

The indenture signed by my 4 x great grandfather James Brereton. As an apprentice cutler for seven years, James agreed to obey his master, William Vandenbergh. By the terms of his indenture, James could not gamble, go to the theatre or a public house, play cards or dice, marry or fornicate.

My 4 x great grandfather James Brereton qualified as a cutler in 1814. Unable to establish a business in London, he took to the road as a tinker, making and repairing pots and pans. Various documents also describe James as a metal beater and a gold beater.

On 17 May 1818 James married Ann Lowcock in Martock, Somerset. In nineteen years James and Ann produced six children, a child born approximately every three years, whereas the standard for the time was a child born every two years. Their sixth child, Fanny, was my 3 x great grandmother. Sadly, James did not live to see Fanny’s birth. He died in the summer of 1837 while Fanny was born on 19 November 1837.

In 1933, Virgina Cherrill featured in five movies: Fast Workers, The Nuisance, He Couldn’t Take It, Charlie Chan’s Greatest Case, and Ladies Must Love. None of these movies excited moviegoers or film critics.

However, Virginia was exciting Cary Grant, who seemed keen on marriage. Virginia, married at nineteen and divorced at twenty appeared more reticent, as this newspaper report from November 13, 1933 suggests.

Latest results from the Last Sixteen of our Mastodon movie poll.

Lawrence of Arabia 57% v 43% Sunset Boulevard

Casablanca 92% v 8% The Grapes of Wrath

Singin’ in the Rain 61% v 39% To Kill a Mockingbird

Double Indemnity 46% v 54% The Wizard of Oz

Duck Soup 25% v 75% Rear Window


Dr Strangelove 57% v 43% 2001: A Space Odyssey

Citizen Kane 62% v 38% The Wizard of Oz

Operation Zigzag, book one in my Eve’s War Heroines of SOE series, has returned to #1 on the Amazon genre charts. Many thanks to everyone who has made this possible.

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 38 occasions.

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