Narrative Transport. The official Michael Pryor website.
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  • May24th

    Oh, how I love history. And books. And books from history.empire

    Here’s a real gem: the contents of the 1911 edition of The Empire Annual for Girls, which should tell you a thing or two from the title alone.

     

    THE CHRISTMAS CHILD — MRS G. DE HORNE VAIZEY

    The story of a happy thought, a strange discovery, and a deed of love

    ANNA — MRS MACQUOID

    A girl’s adventure for a father’s sake

    TO GIRLS OF THE EMPIRE — MRS CREIGHTON

    Words of encouragement and stimulus to the daughters of the Nation Read More | Comments

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  • August28th

    I’ve been promising this for a while. It’s one of the things I stumbled across in my researching. How I love serendipity.

    La Gazette du Bon Ton was essentially what we’d call today a fashion/lifestyle magazine. It was published in Paris from 1912 to 1925, and offered a limpid glimpse of the world of the upper class French, with utmost style, taste and refinement. The most distinctive aspect was the illustrations, which were splendidly rich and elegant. Noted illustrators and artists featured their works in the pages of this journal, people such as Bernard Boutet de Monvel, Georges Lepape, Georges Barbier and Pierre Brissaud and their depictions of the fashions from the most haute of haute couture houses is the last word in chic. The incidental detail in these illustrations are a goldmine for a writer, too, with furniture, transport and architecture providing a backdrop for some of the most attractive gowns and suits imaginable.

    I’m gradually putting together a selection of some of the best of these illustrations. Here’s the first selection, with more to come in future. Click on each thumbnail for the full file.

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  • November15th

    I can see many things

    Hesketh Hesketh-Prichard

    One of the best (and most unexpected things) about being a writer in this interconnected world is that I’m in touch with people who are interested in books, reading and writing, and they live all over the place. When it becomes known that I have various research needs, these clever individuals come to the rescue, often pointing me toward the remarkable, the extraordinary and the outlandish – just the sort of thing I revel in.

    I’ve mentioned fellow bibliophile Stephen Bresnehan before, and he was the one who brought the imperiously named Hesketh Hesketh-Prichard to my attention. After some investigation, I’ve come to the conclusion that HHP was one of those people that would be difficult to make up. On the other hand, his life was so rich, so varied, so remarkable that it’s a lesson for a writer in how much goes into the making of a person.

    HHP was one of those Edwardian fellows who could have stepped out of the pages of Kipling. To know that he wrote Sniping in France as a guide to those chaps in the trenches who were going about it in entirely the long way is an insight into the man. The book is a sometimes startling look at other days and other ways, with an admiring foreward by General Lord Horne of Stirkoke, who begins with: ‘It may fairly be claimed that when hostilities ceased on November nth, 1918, we had outplayed Germany at all points of the game.’ Read More | Comments

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