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w._clark_russel_at_home [2015/02/18 19:30]
kimnjensen
w._clark_russel_at_home [2015/02/18 20:39]
kimnjensen
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 Right in front, just stirred into choppy sunlit waves by a mild June breeze, lay that stretch of water, famous in sea literature, "The Downs"​. Away to the right, in the haze of distance, stood out the bold point of the south foreland, and under its shadow the quaint little town of Deal. To the left is the North Sea, covered with shipping of all description and from every part of the world, heading for or sailing from the mouth of the river Thames. Across "The Downs",​ but giving no signs of their existence, are the Goodwin sands, forming a sort of chamber of horrors of the deep. Luggers and full-rigged ships, steam yachts and great ocean liners, rowboats and men-of-war, all pass, as if in review, from morning till night, and when darkness comes down the lights of a hundred vessels are seen, with now and then the fierce glare of a lighthouse og lightship. Such is the sight from the garden of W. Clark Russell, most famous of modern sea novelists, on the island of Thanet, Kent, England. To the left of you as you look seaward is Broadstairs,​ and to the right Ramsgate. Right in front, just stirred into choppy sunlit waves by a mild June breeze, lay that stretch of water, famous in sea literature, "The Downs"​. Away to the right, in the haze of distance, stood out the bold point of the south foreland, and under its shadow the quaint little town of Deal. To the left is the North Sea, covered with shipping of all description and from every part of the world, heading for or sailing from the mouth of the river Thames. Across "The Downs",​ but giving no signs of their existence, are the Goodwin sands, forming a sort of chamber of horrors of the deep. Luggers and full-rigged ships, steam yachts and great ocean liners, rowboats and men-of-war, all pass, as if in review, from morning till night, and when darkness comes down the lights of a hundred vessels are seen, with now and then the fierce glare of a lighthouse og lightship. Such is the sight from the garden of W. Clark Russell, most famous of modern sea novelists, on the island of Thanet, Kent, England. To the left of you as you look seaward is Broadstairs,​ and to the right Ramsgate.
  
-W. Clark Russell - portrait from Tioga County Record"​I consider this a very beautiful view," said Mr Russell as he sat down on a garden chair.+{{ :​wiki:​images:​wcr_from_tioga_county_record-1887_july_22.jpg?​240 nolink|W. Clark Russell - portrait from Tioga County Record}} 
 +"I consider this a very beautiful view," said MrRussell as he sat down on a garden chair.
  
 A well-kept lawn sloped down to the edge of the cliff, at the foot of which the waves rippled and splashed. A well-kept lawn sloped down to the edge of the cliff, at the foot of which the waves rippled and splashed.
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 "​During these business attempts I had made very good use of my odd time by studying Latin and reading up. So when I left the Stock Exchange I took apartments at Red Hill, and there wrote my first novel, '​Life'​s Masquerade'​."​ "​During these business attempts I had made very good use of my odd time by studying Latin and reading up. So when I left the Stock Exchange I took apartments at Red Hill, and there wrote my first novel, '​Life'​s Masquerade'​."​
  
-"What first turned your mind to writing?"​+>"What first turned your mind to writing?"​
  
 "The idea first struck me off Cape Horn. I had a little difference with the captain, and consequently was living down below on bread and water. Of course there was nothing to do down there but pass the time as best I could, and I managed to get a copy of 'Lalla Rookh',​ and began reading it. As I read I thought there was nothing to keep me from writing poetry if I tried. So right there I began and wrote what I called poetry, but which happily if now lost. ' Lalla Rookh' is hardly the sort of book one would expect to turn a person'​s mind to story writing, but it started me." "The idea first struck me off Cape Horn. I had a little difference with the captain, and consequently was living down below on bread and water. Of course there was nothing to do down there but pass the time as best I could, and I managed to get a copy of 'Lalla Rookh',​ and began reading it. As I read I thought there was nothing to keep me from writing poetry if I tried. So right there I began and wrote what I called poetry, but which happily if now lost. ' Lalla Rookh' is hardly the sort of book one would expect to turn a person'​s mind to story writing, but it started me."
  
-"At the time I wrote '​Life'​s Masquerade'​ Chas. H. Wood, son of Mrs. Wood, the novelist, had a little publishing office in Lavingstock street, Covent Garden. He offered me £50 for the work, got it, and I am very sure much regretted his deal. After that I went to Deal and there wrote a five act tragedy in blank verse entitled 'Fra Angelo'​. This I sent to Walter Montgomery, the actor, to see if he would bring it out at some London theatre. He thought it splendid, took the Haymarket Theatre in the very height of the dog days, when all London was out of town, produced it, and not very long afterwards shot himself while insane. It fell very flat, as flat as a five act blank verse tragedy in hot weather can fall."W. Clark Russell'​s wife -portrait from the Tioga County Record+"At the time I wrote '​Life'​s Masquerade'​ Chas. H. Wood, son of Mrs. Wood, the novelist, had a little publishing office in Lavingstock street, Covent Garden. He offered me £50 for the work, got it, and I am very sure much regretted his deal. After that I went to Deal and there wrote a five act tragedy in blank verse entitled 'Fra Angelo'​. This I sent to Walter Montgomery, the actor, to see if he would bring it out at some London theatre. He thought it splendid, took the Haymarket Theatre in the very height of the dog days, when all London was out of town, produced it, and not very long afterwards shot himself while insane. It fell very flat, as flat as a five act blank verse tragedy in hot weather can fall."
  
 +{{:​wiki:​images:​wcr-wife_from_from_tioga_county_record-1887_july_22.jpg?​177 nolink |W. Clark Russell'​s wife -portrait from the Tioga County Record}}
 The first night the play was produced a rather funny thing happened. I, of course, had one of the best boxes in the house, so that I could watch the effect of the play on the audience. The next box to mine was occupied by an elderly gentleman and two young ladies. When the play was going on these folks kept up a constant chatter, varied now and then with a titter, that particularly annoyed me. I wanted them to admire the play. At length I reached the limit of my patience, and, rising in my box, I first riveted the old gent with my gaze and then said sternly: '​Order,​ sir, order. I want to hear the play, sir.' The old gentleman was immensely surprised and very shortly afterwards I was too. When the curtain went down there were cries for the author, and I arose, proudly and bowed my very best. I managed to steal a glance at the old gent as much as to say: 'Now, sir, you see whom you have been disturbing.'​ Well, you can imagine my surprise whe a few minutes afterwards I was told that the old man was none other than John Holdsworth, the famous dramatic critic of the Times."​ The first night the play was produced a rather funny thing happened. I, of course, had one of the best boxes in the house, so that I could watch the effect of the play on the audience. The next box to mine was occupied by an elderly gentleman and two young ladies. When the play was going on these folks kept up a constant chatter, varied now and then with a titter, that particularly annoyed me. I wanted them to admire the play. At length I reached the limit of my patience, and, rising in my box, I first riveted the old gent with my gaze and then said sternly: '​Order,​ sir, order. I want to hear the play, sir.' The old gentleman was immensely surprised and very shortly afterwards I was too. When the curtain went down there were cries for the author, and I arose, proudly and bowed my very best. I managed to steal a glance at the old gent as much as to say: 'Now, sir, you see whom you have been disturbing.'​ Well, you can imagine my surprise whe a few minutes afterwards I was told that the old man was none other than John Holdsworth, the famous dramatic critic of the Times."​
  
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 W. Clark Russell, when writing miscellaneous articles for the Telegraph, does not use his real name, but signs himself "A Seafarer."​ His short articles under this name are exceedingly readable, and through the columns of the Telegraph command a very wide circulation. A number of this sort of sketches have been republished in book form. W. Clark Russell, when writing miscellaneous articles for the Telegraph, does not use his real name, but signs himself "A Seafarer."​ His short articles under this name are exceedingly readable, and through the columns of the Telegraph command a very wide circulation. A number of this sort of sketches have been republished in book form.
  
-"How long does it usually take you to write a story?"​+>"How long does it usually take you to write a story?"​
  
 "That entirely depends on my health. 'The Wreck of the Grosvenor'​ was completed in three months. 'The Sailor'​s Sweetheart'​ occupied me four months. Of course my health was good. In ill-health the '​Golden Hope' took me a year to write. I rather think the '​Golden Hope' has the best plot of any of my novels. You know I do not depend very much on plots. My books are more like and elaborate log book than anything else." "That entirely depends on my health. 'The Wreck of the Grosvenor'​ was completed in three months. 'The Sailor'​s Sweetheart'​ occupied me four months. Of course my health was good. In ill-health the '​Golden Hope' took me a year to write. I rather think the '​Golden Hope' has the best plot of any of my novels. You know I do not depend very much on plots. My books are more like and elaborate log book than anything else."
  
-"What part of your wrting ​do you consider the best?"+>"What part of your writing ​do you consider the best?"
  
 "Well, that's a very curious question to ask me of my own books. Let me see. I rather think that the description of the collision in '​Jack'​s Courtship'​ is about as good as anything I have written, and the '​Voyage to St. Paul'​s'​ I also like, but it may not occur to the readers that way." "Well, that's a very curious question to ask me of my own books. Let me see. I rather think that the description of the collision in '​Jack'​s Courtship'​ is about as good as anything I have written, and the '​Voyage to St. Paul'​s'​ I also like, but it may not occur to the readers that way."
  
-"Your books has a very large sale in America, I suppose you know, mr. Russell."​+>"Your books has a very large sale in America, I suppose you know, mr. Russell."​
  
-"So I have been told repeatedly. But other than from heresay I don't know very much about that. When it is known that I do not get at penny from the sale of my books in America it can be believed that I take very little interest in the sale over there. I was rather amused the other day on receiving a copy of 'Lady Maud' from America marked 'sith edition'​. Nowthat, I suppose, means that the book has been quite a success over there. Well, I did not know it was published in America, although I supposed it very likely would be, as the others had been before. The copyright law that is such a bane to all authors on both sides of the Atlantic affects me very severely, if I may believe the reports of the sale of my books in America."​+"So I have been told repeatedly. But other than from heresay I don't know very much about that. When it is known that I do not get at penny from the sale of my books in America it can be believed that I take very little interest in the sale over there. I was rather amused the other day on receiving a copy of 'Lady Maud' from America marked 'sixth edition'​. Nowthat, I suppose, means that the book has been quite a success over there. Well, I did not know it was published in America, although I supposed it very likely would be, as the others had been before. The copyright law that is such a bane to all authors on both sides of the Atlantic affects me very severely, if I may believe the reports of the sale of my books in America."​
  
 "'​The Frozen Pirate',​ which my agent is soon to publish, is an exception. I always got paid for the advance sheets sent to newspapers. When I speak of not receiving anything for my stories from America I refer to the book form of the stories, not to the newspapers that buy advanced rights. You have not read 'The Frozen Pirate'​ yet I suppose? Well, I think it rather good." "'​The Frozen Pirate',​ which my agent is soon to publish, is an exception. I always got paid for the advance sheets sent to newspapers. When I speak of not receiving anything for my stories from America I refer to the book form of the stories, not to the newspapers that buy advanced rights. You have not read 'The Frozen Pirate'​ yet I suppose? Well, I think it rather good."
  
-"Have you many stories in hand ?"+>"Have you many stories in hand ?"
  
 "The only stories unpublished are 'The Frozen Pirate',​ soon to be brought out, and "The Death Ship', which will be published next February. I took at trip to the Cape to get material for the 'Death Ship'. It is to be my version of the phantom ship, and I think I have a rather original rendering of the old story but it is not yet open for public examination."​ "The only stories unpublished are 'The Frozen Pirate',​ soon to be brought out, and "The Death Ship', which will be published next February. I took at trip to the Cape to get material for the 'Death Ship'. It is to be my version of the phantom ship, and I think I have a rather original rendering of the old story but it is not yet open for public examination."​
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 "What I have tried to teach in my works is that there are no more unromantic fellows in the world than sailors. Sailors are the most unnautical men in the world. They don't sing sea songs and hitch their trousers, and talk with an 'aye, aye'. When at sea Jack sings 'The Last Rose of Summer',​ and 'Wait Till the Clouds Roll By', and 'Two Lovely Black Eyes', and all sorts of land songs they can. They leave the rollicking sea songs to the fellows on the concert hall platforms. Give him a sea song and he'll smell it, and drop it. He wants none of it. I will never forget being accosted by a gentleman who had quite a reputation in his district for singing sea songs. He said, 'Mr. Russell, you've been at see, haven'​t you?' I said I had. 'Well now, mr. Russell,'​ said he, '​I'​ve been requested to sing //Tom Tough// at a concert to-morrow evening, and I'd like to know what I am to do when I come to the part where they work the capstan. Do the sailors when they are singing //Tom Tough// push or pull the capstan bar?' I had a very great notion to tell him that sailors always pull; but as he asked me in good faith, I told him right."​ "What I have tried to teach in my works is that there are no more unromantic fellows in the world than sailors. Sailors are the most unnautical men in the world. They don't sing sea songs and hitch their trousers, and talk with an 'aye, aye'. When at sea Jack sings 'The Last Rose of Summer',​ and 'Wait Till the Clouds Roll By', and 'Two Lovely Black Eyes', and all sorts of land songs they can. They leave the rollicking sea songs to the fellows on the concert hall platforms. Give him a sea song and he'll smell it, and drop it. He wants none of it. I will never forget being accosted by a gentleman who had quite a reputation in his district for singing sea songs. He said, 'Mr. Russell, you've been at see, haven'​t you?' I said I had. 'Well now, mr. Russell,'​ said he, '​I'​ve been requested to sing //Tom Tough// at a concert to-morrow evening, and I'd like to know what I am to do when I come to the part where they work the capstan. Do the sailors when they are singing //Tom Tough// push or pull the capstan bar?' I had a very great notion to tell him that sailors always pull; but as he asked me in good faith, I told him right."​
  
-"Now the majority of sailors do not either push or pull on anything but a drinking bar, unless there is a great big mate with at belaying pin standing near to stimulate them. When on shore they do everything to keep away from the sea and its association. They talk knowingly of lawn tennis - that is, the better class of them - and cricket, and try to make out that they never saw salt water. In fact, it is only the monkey that eats its own tail. Literary men, of course, are an exception. They always like to talk of literature."​+"Now the majority of sailors do not either push or pull on anything but a drinking bar, unless there is a great big mate with belaying pin standing near to stimulate them. When on shore they do everything to keep away from the sea and its association. They talk knowingly of lawn tennis - that is, the better class of them - and cricket, and try to make out that they never saw salt water. In fact, it is only the monkey that eats its own tail. Literary men, of course, are an exception. They always like to talk of literature."​
  
-"Do you expect to visit America soon?"+>"Do you expect to visit America soon?"
  
 "I would very much like to visit America, but have no idea when I will be able to do so. I have received a great many kind invitations from Americans. I believe the American people think more of my writings than the English do. Did you know I was born in America? Well, I was. I was born in New York and spent the first eighteen months of my existence there. Strange to say, although I have been in nearly every portion of the globe, I have never since seen New York. But I hope some day to take a long trip through America."​ "I would very much like to visit America, but have no idea when I will be able to do so. I have received a great many kind invitations from Americans. I believe the American people think more of my writings than the English do. Did you know I was born in America? Well, I was. I was born in New York and spent the first eighteen months of my existence there. Strange to say, although I have been in nearly every portion of the globe, I have never since seen New York. But I hope some day to take a long trip through America."​
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