Dear Reader #165

Hannah Howe

Dear Reader,

Coming soon, our new magazine, The Golden Age of Hollywood, available from all leading Internet outlets. Here’s a preview of the cover.

Clara Bow’s fourth movie wasThe Daring YearsakaThe Folly of Youth. The movie was produced in New York during the first half of 1923 and released on September 15, 1923.

The Daring Yearswas adapted from a photoplay by Richard Ellison. Clara was listed fourth on the bill, as ‘John’s Sweetheart, Mary’. Unfortunately, this movie is regarded as lost.

A silent melodrama,The Daring Yearsfeatures a love triangle and a man wrongly accused of murder. The man, John Browning, is strapped into an electric chair when a lightning bolt (!) and Clara Bow save the day.

The premise forThe Daring Years,an accidental shooting,is sound, but maybe the movie could have done without the lightning bolt.

After the completion of

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Dear Reader #164

Hannah Howe

Dear Reader,

Clara Bow’s third movie wasEnemies of Women, produced in December 1922 through to January 1923. The movie was premiered in New York on March 31, 1923 and went on general release from September 2, 1923.

Enemies of Womenwas produced by William Randolph Hearst’s Cosmopolitan Pictures. A silent romantic drama, the movie starred Lionel Barrymore and Alma Rubens. Clara featured as an uncredited dancing girl.

This movie was made during a significant period in Clara’s life. Her mother, Sarah, had just been released from an asylum, although she was far from physically and mentally well. At home, Sarah lapsed into a catatonic state. On New Year’s Eve, she was readmitted to the asylum. She died there on January 5, 1923.

Later, Clara recalled that period of her life. “In the picture, I danced on a table. All the time I hadda be laughin’, rompin’, displayin’ joy…

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Dear Reader #163

Hannah Howe

Dear Reader,

Clara Bow’s second movie wasDown to the Sea in Ships,asilent romantic drama about a whaling family living in a Quaker community. The movie, made during the summer of 1922 when Clara was seventeen, was premiered on September 25, 1922 and went on general release from March 4, 1923.

Clara plays Dot Morgan who, as a baby, is found floating near the shore on a raft made of branches. Dot is a mischievous, rebellious child who wants to be a whaler when she grows up, an ambition frowned upon by her community. So, we have Clara as a tomboy rebel: perfect casting.

Clara Bow as Dot Morgan

Dressed as a boy, Dot stows-away on a ship. She is attacked by a crew member, and rescued by her friend, Jimmie, a cabin boy. The ship returns to port and the main romantic thread of the story, which…

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Dear Reader #161

Hannah Howe

Dear Reader,

Some exciting news about Tula. The eBook version is now available to pre-order for the special price of £/$ 0.99. We’ll be doing a major promotional blitz on publication, and after that the price will go up. So, don’t delay, pre-order today 🙂

Chapters 16 – 19 of Tula. To enter an acting competition, Tula needs photographs of herself, but she can’t afford a professional photographer. Her father arranges a card game, and a con, to raise funds for the photographs.

📸“I’ve Got Him Hooked!”, Colleen Moore, fishing, 1921. Taken by Frank B. Howe (no relation).

From the Lima News, Ohio, October 1928, Clara Bow in The Fleet’s In, a silent comedy. Clara played Trixie Deane, a ‘taxi dancer’. The movie was shot in San Pedro and San Francisco, June 18 – July 16, 1928, and released on September 15, 1928. Most 1920s movies were shot in a…

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Dear Reader #160

Hannah Howe

Dear Reader,

Fonts can suggest an atmosphere and sense of time. With Tula, my novel about an actress, I’m looking to invoke the 1920s, so I’m experimenting with Snell Roundhand and American Typewriter.

Brooklyn Bridge is a location in chapter two of Tula. She goes there to deliver a parcel for her father and notices a cameraman filming. While she’s engrossed in the filming, someone steals the parcel.

At the time of its opening, on May 24, 1883, Brooklyn Bridge was the longest suspension bridge in the world with a span of 1,595.5 feet.

🖼Chromolithography of the “Great East River Suspension Bridge” by Currier and Ives, 1883.

Was Clara Bow a good actress? On a human level, this question is irrelevant – Clara dragged herself out of abject poverty and pursued her dream; that’s all that matters. On an artistic level, it would be nice to answer the question, so…

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Dear Reader #159

Hannah Howe

Dear Reader,

I’ve completed the basic outline for Tula, my novel about an actress finding fame in the 1920s, and losing her mind in the process. Sixty-eight chapters. I’ve written the prologue and chapter one. The prologue is Tula’s asylum admission form, with her doctor’s notes.

The form and notes are based on 1920s asylum records, and a record from my family archive – a Victorian aunt spent a number of years in an asylum. My youngest son, who hopes to become a psychologist, helped with my research. He also named the doctor, Dr Brooks.

Continuing my research into Eva Marie Saint’s ancestry using public records. I’m looking to answer two questions: was Eva’s talent the result of nurture, or nature? And why am I drawn to her as an actress? Can I find the answers to these questions in her roots?

I’ve traced the Saint family back to the…

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Dear Reader #158

Hannah Howe

Dear Reader,

Delighted to say that my books are now available in twelve languages. Here’s my latest, the Dutch version of Operation Broadsword, Eve’s War Heroines of SOE book three, my 112th translation 🙂

Continuing my research into Eva Marie Saint’s ancestry using public records. I’m looking to answer two questions: was Eva’s talent the result of nurture, or nature? And why am I drawn to her as an actress? Can I find the answers to these questions in her roots?

John Merle Saint. Picture courtesy of Eva Marie Saint.

I’ve discovered that John Merle Saint was Eva Marie’s father and that he served in World War One. Today’s record is a US World War One Draft Registration Card. This card provides the following information:

John Merle Saint
RaceCaucasian (White)
Marital StatusSingle
Birth Date13 Oct 1891
Birth PlaceIowa
Residence Date1917-1918
Street Address354 So. Highland

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Dear Reader #157

Hannah Howe

Dear Reader,

I’m excited to introduce a new project, Tula, a novel set in the 1920s. Tula is an actress who has climbed from the gutter to become a major star in Hollywood. However, as the story opens, she is in an asylum. How did she get there?

Tula believes that the recent death of her father triggered her emotional collapse. However, as she chronicles the first twenty-four years of her life, she discovers the true trigger for her breakdown.

This story might sound dark, but light arrives in the shape of Tula’s determination to escape from poverty, and her strength in facing up to and overcoming her emotional problems.

Continuing my research into Eva Marie Saint’s ancestry using public records. I’m looking to answer two questions: was Eva’s talent the result of nurture, or nature? And why am I drawn to her as an actress? Can I find the…

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Dear Reader #156

Hannah Howe

Dear Reader,

Are actresses/writers/etc born or made? Where does their talent come from? To answer this question, I intend to trace the ancestry of creative people born in the first quarter of the twentieth century, to see if their ancestors displayed any creative traits.

I’m starting with my favourite actress, Eva Marie Saint. Eva Marie Saint first came to my attention in the movie ‘36 Hours’, where she co-starred with my favourite actor, James Garner. After that, I enjoyed her classic performances in movies such as On The Waterfront and North by Northwest.

Eva Marie Saint’s acting career is well documented. For this project, I’m interested in the period before she was famous, and in her ancestors’ roots. Where was she born? Where did her ancestors come from? What trades did they follow? Time to search the records…

I’ve found Eva in the 1940 United States Federal Census. This is…

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Dear Reader #155

Hannah Howe

Dear Reader,

“Comic book characters never grow old, evergreen heroes whose stories are told.” – Bernie Taupin. It seems to me that every actor has a ‘perfect’ moment, a moment you remember forever. Eva Marie Saint was 98 recently, but I’ll always think of her as 35 in North By Northwest.

My latest article for the Seaside News appears on page 34 of the magazine.

The River Thames was, of course, central to London’s development. The dockyards and shipbuilding thrived, and both industries employed a number of my ancestors. Two of London’s most important dockyards were Deptford and Woolwich, with their strategic positions on the Thames.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries corruption in the dockyards was rife. Clerks and labourers were badly paid. Consequently, they cheated the system by falsifying records and siphoning-off goods. Samuel Pepys tried to combat the corruption by introducing new systems of record-keeping, to no…

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