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Showing posts from January, 2017

The Terre Haute Saturday Spectator 1925 on Jan and Cora Gordon's "Two Vagabonds in the Balkans"

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The Terre Haute Saturday Spectator (Saturday, June 27, 1925), Indiana carried the following brief account of "Two Vagabonds in the Balkans" by Jan and Cora Gordon, concluding with:
"It is a book to be given to everyone who thinks he has seen all of Europe when he has been to Paris, Rome and Stratford on Avon."




This book continued on from the first two travel books by the Gordons, both set in Spain. An overview of the "Two Vagabonds" series can be found here.

Jan Gordon: Disguise and Misdirection

Jan Gordon's novels and magazine articles are abundantly rich in more or less oblique references to actual historical events and real biographical details. These are usually disguised, however, by obscuring the identities of characters and places, changes in the timing of events and narrative adaptations and distortions of the events themselves.

Here are some examples.


1. Hidden identities:

a) Replacing the surname of a real historical character with the capitalised first letter of the surname followed by a dash, examples being "De M" for de Max, "M-" for Manuel and so on.

b) Occasionally using a different capitalised letter to that of the actual surname, presumably when Gordon felt a greater need to disguise the connection with the person in question. An example is the disguise of Andre Salmon as "K-", in this seemingly combining his characteristics with those of Francis Carco.

c) Use of nicknames, such as Ratapouf, Gruke, Harraden Scar, Praps, someti…

"Two Vagabonds in Spain is Delightful," Oakland Tribune 1923

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The Oakland Tribune of December 9th 1923 gives the following review to a newly published book by Jan and Cora Gordon:

"Two Vagabonds in Spain Is Delightful

There are nearly as many travelers as there are pairs of feet, but there are not two in a thousand who contrive to put into a record of their wanderings the very color and vividness of impression which place and people have left upon them. Jan and Cora Gordon, English artists, spent a summer and autumn in the hill towns of Eastern Spain, Murcia, Alicante and Verdolay. The story of that sojourn, illustrated with their own whimsical sketches and titles, "Two Vagabonds in Spain," is a delightful bit of writing.

The authors have crowded into their book the sights and sounds and smells, the simple people and their simple manners, the texture of hill and house-top and have given the telling a fine and breezy flavour."

This book was the start of the celebrated "Two Vagabonds in .." series produced by the Gordo…

A 1916 exhibition of sketches from Serbia by Jan and Cora Gordon

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Following their return from Serbia at the end of 2015, Jan and Cora Gordon wrote newspaper articles and their first book, "The Luck of Thirteen" (to positive reviews) and also exhibited sketches from their adventure. "The Standard" of March 13th 1916 (late morning edition, which cost one penny) contains a note about an exhibition of such sketches at Walker's Galleries, 118 New Bond-st., London.




One of the sketches had been worked up by Frédéric de Haenen into a full spread illustration in the Illustrated London News of December 25th 2015.