Clennell Wilkinson has set a more manageable competition: 17A is to be a parody of Herrick, writing about ‘Julia’s Eyebrow, on seeing it Newly-Pluckt’. 17B needs a bit of research – three meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) as prepared by Robinson Crusoe, based on the evidence given in the novel …
Eyebrow-plucking has a long and evolving history, but in 1930, pencil thin eyebrows were in, and this is presumably the source of the idea. As an idea, here’s Fay Wray, shortly to become famous for her role in King Kong:
Whenas my Julia browless goes
Her eyes so boldly do disclose
Their fire, that all my being glows.
And when, in painted symmetry,
That deadly drawn-out bow I see,
Oh! how its shaft transfixeth me!
Thus burned by fire and pierced by dart,
That natural, this framed by Art,
I yield my singed, stricken heart.
Fair hairs, beneath whose golden shade
My Julia’s eyes looked out,
And with a glance me captive made
And compassed me about;
I see you gone,
And I, methinks, would fain bemoan
The impious deed
Which Julia’s fancy hath decreed.
But when I gaze on Julia’s face
And see her lips that smile
And welcome me with winning grace
To come to Cherry Isle;
Then, then my heart
Is so constrain’d in every part
That, nothing loth,
It must commend what Julia doth.
Competition 17B has asked for menus for a three-course Christmas meal to be prepared by Robinson Crusoe, based on the evidence of the novel. It’s this last requirement that might make us pause. Nevertheless, as the report shows, Wilkinson was impressed (the reference to Walter de la Mare concerns the publication in 1930 of an anthology of material for children drawn from a wide range of literary sources, illustrated by Rex Whistler, and called Desert Islands. It contained several footnotes).
The second prize goes to another new winner to hide behind initials: M.L.
Here is Majolica‘s studious winner – a lot of work for a guinea!
And here is the second prize from M.L.
It’s very difficult to imagine the work that has gone into these two – enough research for a decent thesis on Crusoe and food, perhaps to be entitled Crusoe: Man and Menu, and attracting hefty grants to travel to the Pacific. Hmm. Not a bad idea.