In this blog, I’ll explain what I’m doing, where I’ve got to, and any news of progress or otherwise I have to impart. This is the section to which I hope you’ll respond with advice and assistance. In particular, I could do with some help with pseudonyms (you’ll see that in March 2014, I have managed to get behind the moniker ‘Pibwob’, and in June behind ‘Little Billee’ and in August behind H.C.M.) … If you or a member of previous generations are or were competition entrants, I’d be glad to hear from you. I would be interested in photographs and biographies – the idea is that the wrangling that goes on in the blog will eventually be set in shale in the relevant pages. If you have suggestions for further sections of the web-site, they’ll also be welcome. When you first look at the web-site, there won’t be much on it. Watch the space …
Here are a couple of mysteries. Why does Elizabeth Bibesco say that it is unusual for ‘Gordon Daviot’ (the alternative pseudonym of ‘Josephine Tey’) to miss a competition, implying ‘he’ i.e. Tey is a regular, in 1933, when ‘he’ only appears once, in 1930 (does anyone know if Tey had other pseudonyms)? Who was Dorothy Avery, the judge in early 1933 (I’m completely stumped)? Why does Seacape seem to vanish and reappear as Black Gnat?
The 1932 and 1933 honours boards are now complete.
One new feature contains extracts from The Saturday Review before and after Gerald Barry left it to found The Week-end Review.There is also an article on the takeover. You can find them under History.
Another new feature: I have managed to obtain about half the copies of the WR at a knockdown price (they turn out to be the former property of the WR’s business correspondent), and this makes it much easier to use some invaluable source material. Many competitors wrote to the WR (not just about competitions); I therefore know (for instance) that Mariamne was a librarian. In due course I will try to beef up the more accessible individual biographies. One that I am starting to expand is that of William Bliss, who was competing right up to his accidental death in his 80s.
To search for an individual competition, type the digit and A i.e. 1A into any tag search: so Competition no. 1 (actually they used Roman numerals for the first two years) will come up when you search on 1A. (It doesn’t seem to like 0001, but I’m working on the tagging.) The blog gives the results. Early competitions are listed on The Competitions page. You can link back and forth, although I have left completing this task for later at the moment.
As with all blogs, the entries will be the most recent, first. However, I’m going to make this one a ‘sticky’, so that it stays at the top. Remember that this is a work in progress!