Archive for November, 2019

Cumulative Book Index, 1931 #1

24 November 2019

Subtitle: A World List of Books in the English Language, Vol XXXIV, May 1931, Number 5. To be used with April Number (Compiled to April 22nd).

I’m not entirely sure how this works, but it seems to be a list of books published in 1930 and 1931 of which the publishers of this guide have been notified. There is a brief list at the start of Recent English Publications issued in countries other than Great Britain, Canada and the United States – Australia, China, France, Germany, India (the largest section), Italy, Jamaica, Netherlands, South Africa and Switzerland. The publishers of the guide seem to be American. Books are listed several times, by author, title and subject.

Here is the first batch of books I have noted:

Advanced problems of the fiction writer. Gallishaw, John. (On Archive.Org.)

American history in masque and wig. Price, O. This seems to have been a book of plays for schools by Olive Price.

Around the world with a tired business man. Thompson, R. There’s a short extract from the book in this theatre programme (PDF, page 13), where the author is describing his examination of a Chinese woman’s bound feet. It’s not a particularly pleasant example of Orientalism and male abuse of power.

Compulsory repatriation of prostitutes (Association for moral and social hygiene). This was the English association. there was evidently a lot of discussion at the time about whether foreign women working as prostitutes should be expelled from the country. This League of Nations report from 1932 covers some of the debate. See page 3: “the great majority of women’s international associations had declared themselves opposed to the expulsion of foreign prostitutes, [and] had made strenuous efforts to obtain the ratification of the 1923 Convention for the Suppression of Obscene Publications, [and] were everywhere urging that licensed houses should be closed, and were taking steps to induce Governments to introduce women police where such did not as yet exist”. Where “necessitous women and girls” are repatriated, women’s associations want better support to be in place after repatriation.

Autobiography of an engineer. Emmet, W. There is a short biography of him by Willis Whitney from 1942.

Bachelor girls. Starr, Richard. Haven’t been able to find anything online about him. There is a copy on eBay for £98.

Back to your knitting. Goodman, Jules. This was apparently a one-act “mystery farce”.

Animosities: with drawings by the author. Bacon, Peggy. Wikipedia describes her as a “printmaker, illustrator, painter and writer … known for her humorous and ironic etchings and drawings”.

Old songs and balladry for girl scouts. Edgar, M. Marjorie Edgar was a folk song collector: some details here. Probably needs a Wiki article.

House desirable: a handbook for those who wish to acquire homes that charm. Barron, PA. Can’t find anything about this one.

Draw animals! Best Maurgard, Adolfo. Wikipedia.

Journey in England. Binder, Frank. This has been republished recently and looks interesting. There’s an article about Binder here. I like his daughter’s comment: “He’d be pleased that the novel had finally been published, but he’d probably criticise the way it’s been edited.” There are some extracts from A Journey in England here.

Training the emotions, controlling fear (Boston School Committee). Nothing online about this.

President’s daughter. Britton, Nan. Wikipedia (article needs work and referencing). This is a non-fiction book about the relationship the author had with American president Warren Harding, with whom she had a daughter.

Polly’s shop. Brown, Edna Adelaide. This is on Archive.org and looks interesting. There is a brief biography here. Also probably needs a wiki article.

One of the weird things – which probably shouldn’t be weird – is reading through it and there being lots of authors one doesn’t know, and then coming upon someone one does, like Sayers or Buchan (John, not his sister) or Jowett.

Spinach recipes in the newspapers, 1929

5 November 2019

Post #3 about the 639 mentions of spinach in the newspapers in 1929: Recipes.

It is used as a food dye – for instance, in making sugar eggs for Easter (icing sugar and egg white), or dying hard-boiled eggs. “This vegetable extract is now obtainable among the range of culinary colourings stocked by the high-class grocer, and many uses will be found for it by the enterprising housewife.” (Yorkshire Evening Post, 27th March.)

Spinach is recommended as part of a nursery menu. The same article suggests preparing cabbage for children: chop raw cabbage finely, pass it through a sieve, add some raw minced beef, salt and tomato ketchup. “Give it a pretty name, such as “Fairy Cabbage,” and it will be a “goer”.” (Britannia and Eve, 1st February.) Another article mentions “the small person who will dissolve in tears at the prospect of spinach” (Derby Daily Telegraph, 5th September).

Recipes That Are Different: “Spinach balls are appetising and can be made with little trouble. Cook three pounds of spinach in very little water, drain well, and chop up. Add 2 oz. butter, 2 oz. grated cheese, 2 oz. grated onion, a teacupful of breadcrumbs and a beaten egg. Season with salt and pepper and leave for a few minutes. Then form into balls, roll up in egg and breadcrumbs, and fry in deep fat. Drain well and serve with roast beef or grilled steak.” (Aberdeen Press and Journal, 20th September)

Bean cutlets are suggested for a meatless meal (served with spinach); the article notes that “a piece of uncooked macaroni can be pushed in one end to resemble the bone” (Daily Herald, 12th March).

The Liverpool Echo, after giving an unexceptional recipe for spinach soup, then gives one for onion sandwiches. You fry the onions, dip stale bread in milk and fry the bread, then make hot sandwiches, “a cheap and savoury dish”. (18th May)

Spinach soup is sometimes served “with a half-egg in each plate” (Aberdeen Press and Journal, 25th June.)

The Taunton Courier has a recipe for Spring Salad: cook spinach, add butter, lemon juice, onion juice, salt and paprika. Press it into moulds and leave until cool. Turn out and serve on lettuce leaves, with tomatoes, a hard-boiled egg, some sweet mixed pickles and French dressing. (12 June)

“Spinach Ices are made by mixing some spinach puree (spinach cooked till tender and passed through a sieve) with a plain custard, adding some whipped cream and a little green colouring matter and freezing in a block. Cut into slices and serve garnished with lettuce or watercress.” (Dundee Evening Telegraph, 8th August)

Miscellaneous information about spinach in newspapers in 1929

4 November 2019

This is post #2 of a set of 3 about spinach in 1929 – looking at the 639 references to spinach in the newspapers.

It is referred to as “the most health-giving vegetable” and “the tonic vegetable”. “It has been called the broom of the stomach.” (Northern Whig, 6th March, repeated elsewhere.) “Full of iron, makes rich new blood, and puts colour into pale faces.” (Aberdeen Journal, 22nd March.) “Carrots and spinach are rich in iron, and these two vegetables should be taken freely if the hair is lacking in vitality.” (Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser, “Rejuvenating Faded Hair”, 25th May.) The Western Mail calls it “that valuable but somewhat neglected vegetable spinach … in its preserved form it is the richest food in Vitamin A” (27th June). It “has a wonderfully purifying effect on the whole system, and any girl suffering from a bad complexion can clear it if by magic by eating lot of spinach” (Daily Herald, 20th July.)

Much information about growing it. There are apparently two types, true spinach and perpetual spinach or spinach-beet. Also, “How rarely does one see the New Zealand spinach, a delicious summer vegetable.” (Surrey Mirror, 3rd May, and repeated elsewhere, in “Vegetables You May Not Know” – there are only three, the others being maize or sugar corn and the bush marrow.) There are also references to “the round-seeded spinach” (Cheltenham Chronicle, 29th June). The Daily Herald believes that this year’s spinach tastes too strong, perhaps because of the dry weather, and should be cooked with more water than usual (20th July).

In June, the Western Mail reported “Spinach also has been dear, costing as much as 9d. and 9d. a pound during the worst time a few weeks ago. Now it is down to its usual price.” (8th June.) Other papers report it as 6d a pound (Birmingham Daily Gazette, 13th June), 4d (Nottingham Evening Post, 14th June) and in one case 2s a pound (Biggleswade Chronicle, 14th June).

There are some references to spinach being donated to institutions. The list of donations in kind to Bristol General Hospital includes spinach and cabbages from Mrs. Ruding Davey. Miss Maylove gives tinfoil, and Lady Mary Miles, “two very large iced cakes for the Sisters”. (Western Daily Press, 25th May)

“Cabbage and spinach, which should be prolific and good at this time of the year, are prohibitive in price, and in many districts unobtainable” (The Scotsman, 23th September).

The Gloucestershire Echo remembers an old “popular test” for a sense of humour. “If you laughed at the story of the young man who put spinach on his head at dinner, and who apologised by saying “I thought it was salad,” you had a sense of humour.” (30th September )

The School of Art and Technology in Dover held its annual ball with the theme of Nursery Rhymes: food included “curds and whey, tarts, pies, gammon and spinach, and such like nursery victuals”. The prize for Most Original Costume went to the Misses Prescott, who went as Three Wise Men of Gotham. (Dover Express, 11th January.)

There is a humorous anecdote about an actor who asked his landlady in South Shields to prepare a special meal for his friends. He provided the vegetables, but “spinach, as it afterwards appeared, was not in the landlady’s “repertory”. She put it in vases to garnish the festive board!” (Hastings and St Leonards Observer, 16th February.) The Penrith Observer has a story about a maid who complained about “a place where she had had to do all sorts of fancy cooking. and when asked what she considered fancy cooking, she gave spinach as an example”. (16th July)

Spinach is listed as one of the most popular Canned Foods. (Whitstable Times and Herne Bay Herald, 2nd March.)

The Bath Chronicle and Weekly Gazette says that we owe spinach to Flemish immigrants in the 17thc. (10th August) The poem I quoted yesterday disagrees.

Spinach is included in a list of “Problems for Prof. Einstein”: “What became of balloon trousers? Why do people run up escalators? What is the idea of spinach?” (Sporting Times, 27th April)

The Hull Daily Mail reports that during May 79 packets of spinach brought into the port were found to be unfit. (11th July)

Poems about spinach in the newspapers, 1929

3 November 2019

I searched in the online British Newspaper Archive for mentions of spinach in 1929.

Excluding advertisements and duplicates – there is a lot of copying between local papers – and also excluding reports of vegetable prices (farming prices), I make it 639 mentions of spinach. This is post #1 about spinach in 1929.

In April, Tomfool’s column in the Daily Herald has a poem called “The Golden Market”, about a “West Country Market Town / Beyond the Malvern Hills”. It says that the people coming to market brought daffodils, so that

The darker and the paler green
Of spinach and savoy
Lay with gold bunches set between
Their ranks, of April’s joy.

(Daily Herald, 10 April)

There is another poem in the Liverpool Echo:

Some talk of new potatoes,
And some of early peas,
Of spinach and tomatoes,
And suchlike veg. as these.
But of all the garden produce,
The best that one can buy
Is the Cornish broc-broc-broc-broc,
The Cornish broccoli.
“An Evening Standard correspondent’s effort, to be sung to the tune of The British Grenadiers.” (17th May.)

As it is called The Baldwin Brocoleers, I suspect there is a political joke I am not getting. The Essex Newsman (18th May) has the same verse, and mentions that “Mr. Baldwin seems to enjoy the broccoli joke as much as anyone”.

The Homes of our Vegetables

Potatoes came from far Virginia:
Parsley was sent us from Sardinia;
French beans, low growing on the earth,
To distant India trace their birth;
But scarlet runners, gay and tall,
That climb upon your garden wall
A cheerful sight to all around —
In South America were found.
The onion travelled here from Spain;
The leek from Switzerland we gain,
Garlic from Sicily obtain.
Spinach in far Syria grows:
Two hundred years or more
Brazil the artichoke sent o’er.
And Southern Europe’s seacoast shore
Beetroot on us bestows.
When ‘Lizabeth was reigning here,
Peas came from Holland and were dear.
The South of Europe lays its claim
To beans, but some from Egypt came.
The radishes, both thin and stout,
Natives of China are, no doubt;
But turnips, carrots, and sea kale,
With celery, so crisp and pale,
Are products of oar own fair land,
And cabbages, a godly tribe,
Which abler pens might well describe.
Are also ours, I understand.

(Brechin Advertiser, 3rd September)