Competitions 82A and 82B: results

Humbert Wolfe wants a poem dealing with the Austrians having transported some stranded swallows across the Alps to Venice. One of the entrants, Rex Boundy, took a Wolfe poem as the basis for his entry, and ‘improved on it’ – Boundy appears to have been Australian, and perhaps in England for a decade, as he has had poems published in Pearson’s Magazine in 1922, and turns up in the compendious diary of Mrs. Mollie Walker, a doctor’s wife who travelled the world and who was in England in 1931 and 1932. D.C.R.Francombe sent in a Latin entry, which Wolfe thinks Barry should publish. But the winners are W.B., whose third verse Wolfe says he’d cut; and Marion Peacock, whose third verse Wolfe considers weak.

WR 81

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The B competition six titles of novels, with blurbs, and marks for pretentious silliness. Over a hundred people entered this competition, turning up all the following titles:

Maiden Into Flea, From Protoplasm to Puberty, The Missing Finger-Joint, Scalene Triangle, Bathsheba’s Boyfriend, Ye are to declare it, A Plumber In The Midst, Strong Silent Mannequin, Daisy on the Dole, Holly Pillows (‘the sex life of a laundress’), and others.

The winner is R. Barton, and the runner-up is the successful playwright John van Druten (1901-1957), who had a hit play, London Wall, running in the West End at the time (‘romantic entanglements in a firm of solicitors’!). He was best known for his adapted play ‘I Am A Camera’ in 1951, his version of Isherwood’s ‘Goodbye To Berlin’ which was in turn used as the basis for Cabaret.

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JohnVanDruten

John Van Druten

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