Showing posts from August, 2017

Jan Gordon: "I Dreamt That I Dwelt in Marble Halls" and the connection with James Joyce

Sometimes it's fun to just follow connections and see where they lead. Jan and Cora Gordon wrote in  The London Roundabout (1933 ): " You try whistling Tosti's Good-bye or I dreamt that I dwelt in marble halls , and see what happens. You'll get thrown out on the pavement. " The "unlucky" song (to the superstitious) they mention is from the Gipsy Girl's Dream in an 1843 opera, " Bohemian Girl ," composed by Michael William Balfe with libretto by Alfred Bunn . I dreamt that I dwelt in marble halls , With vassals and serfs at my side, And of all who assembled within those walls, That I was the hope and the pride. I had riches too great to count, could boast Of a high ancestral name; But I also dreamt, which pleased me most, That you lov'd me still the same... That you lov'd me, you lov'd me still the same, That you lov'd me, you lov'd me still the same. This verse is the same one perf

Jan and Cora Gordon in Germany 1930

Browsing old 1931 copies of Britannia & Eve, looking for articles by my grandmother (nom de plume  Catherine Ives ), I came across an article by Jan and Cora Gordon on " The German Girl and her Grandmother ." The account relates to a 1930 trip to Germany by the Gordons and shows that not all of their European excursions resulted in a " Two Vagabonds " book. They were travelling by the "wandering wardrobe" so vividly described in their book " Three Lands on Three Wheels " (1932), which received mixed reviews . The story begins with " Chugging through a little German town on our old motorbike, we became aware that something was taking our attention from the five-hundred-year-old tower and the overgrown cross-beamed houses with seven stories in their attics. An enormous face printed on the cover of the weekly illustrated Bl├Ątterling was being displayed everywhere ." The face belonged to " a hurdle jumper who had leapt into