Home

Biography
Robert Buchanan by Harriett Jay
Additional Biographies
Reminiscences of Buchanan
The Last Months of Buchanan
Obituaries
Buchanan’s Funeral
Buchanan’s Grave
Robert Buchanan Timeline:
     Documents (census returns etc.)
     Robert Buchanan Snr.

Bibliography
Filmography
Buchanan’s Music
Editions
Chronological Bibliography

Poetry
Undertones
Idyls and Legends of Inverburn
London Poems
Ballad Stories of the Affections
North Coast
The Book of Orm
Napoleon Fallen
The Drama of Kings
Saint Abe and his Seven Wives
White Rose and Red
Balder the Beautiful
Ballads of Life, Love, and Humour
The Earthquake
The City of Dream
The Outcast
The Wandering Jew
     The Wandering Jew’ Controversy
The Devil’s Case
The Ballad of Mary the Mother
The New Rome
Collections
‘Faces on the Wall’
Poems from Other Sources
     The Glasgow Sentinel
Selected Poems
Alphabetical List of Poems on the Site

Plays
The Rath Boys
The Witchfinder
A Madcap Prince
Corinne
The Queen of Connaught
The Nine Days’ Queen
The Mormons
The Shadow of the Sword
Lucy Brandon
Storm-Beaten
Lady Clare
[Flowers of the Forest]
A Sailor and His Lass
Bachelors
Constance
Lottie
Agnes
Alone in London
Sophia
Fascination
The Blue Bells of Scotland
Partners
Joseph’s Sweetheart
That Doctor Cupid
Angelina!
The Old Home
A Man’s Shadow
Theodora
Man and the Woman
Clarissa
Miss Tomboy
The Bride of Love
Sweet Nancy
The English Rose
The Struggle for Life
The Sixth Commandment
Marmion
The Gifted Lady
The Trumpet Call
Squire Kate
The White Rose
The Lights of Home
The Black Domino
The Piper of Hamelin
The Charlatan
Dick Sheridan
A Society Butterfly
Lady Gladys
The Strange Adventures of Miss Brown
The Romance of the Shopwalker

The Wanderer from Venus
The Mariners of England
Two Little Maids from School
When Knights Were Bold
Short Plays
Other Plays
Buchanan in America
Poetry Readings

Fiction
Novels
A Hero In Spite Of Himself
The Moment After

Short Stories
‘My Aunt’s Christmas’
‘A Heart Struggle’
‘Lady Letitia’s Lilliput Hand’
‘A Roman Supper’
‘Poor Bonnithorne!’
‘The Heir’
‘Miss Birchington’s Love Story’
‘My Good Fairy’
‘A Dream; and a Deduction’
‘A Queer Theatrical Engagement’
‘The Peacocks’ Feathers’
‘Berinthia’
‘An Old Reckoning’

Essays
The Coming Terror
Donne the Metaphysician’
‘Society’s Looking-glass’
‘Poems About Babies’
‘Bridal Poetry’
‘Wintering at Étretat’
‘Étretat in the Bathing Season’
‘Immorality in Authorship’
‘George Heath, The Moorland Poet’
‘Mr. John Morley’s Essays’
‘The Fleshly School of Poetry’
‘On Mystic Realism’
‘Tennyson’s Charm’
‘Criticism as One of the Fine Arts’
‘Pity the Poor Drama!’
‘Prose and Verse’
’The Newest Thing in Journalism’
‘Fashionable Farces’
‘Charles Reade: a Personal Reminiscence’
The Stage of Today’
‘A Talk with George Eliot’
The Landlord-Shooters
Free Thought in America
Literary Bohemia
Dining with Trollope
‘Review of Ballads and Poems by Members of the Glasgow Ballad Club
Theatrical First Nights
‘W. E. Forster: a Personal Reminiscence’
Mr. Ruskin and Mr. Froude
‘A Note on Emile Zola’
‘On Descending into Hell’
The Modern Drama and Its Minor Critics
How Plays Are Made
‘The Drama in England’
‘How I Write My Plays’
The Muses in England
‘My First Book’
The Ethics of Play-Licensing
An Interesting Experiment
A Word on the Defunct Drama
Preface to The Truth about the Game Laws
‘The Voice of “The Hooligan”’

Reviews
Poetry
Fiction
Essays
Miscellaneous Works
Buchanan and the Magazines
Light

Letters
To Robert Browning
To Roden Noel
To Alfred Tennyson
To the Brothers Dalziel
To Augustin Daly
To Chatto & Windus
To George Bernard Shaw
To Alfred Russel Wallace
Letters from Collections
Published Letters
Random Letters
List of Locations of Buchanan’s Letters
Mary Buchanan’s Album

The Fleshly School Controversy
The Fleshly School of Poetry’
‘The Stealthy School of Criticism’
The ‘Fleshly School’ Pamphlet
Under The Microscope
Reviews of Rossetti’s Poems
Related Documents
The ‘Fleshly School’ in the Press
The ‘Fleshly School’ Libel Action
Buchanan’s Apology
Other Accounts of the Controversy
Critical Essays
A ‘Fleshly School’ Timeline

Buchanan and the Press
Interviews
Articles about Buchanan
Latter-Day Leaves
Letters to the Press

Buchanan and the Law
Lucy Brandon
Alone in London
Sophia
Lady Gladys
Heredity
The Charlatan
Buchanan’s Bankruptcy:
     Rudolph Blind
     R. Buchanan Snr.’s Bankruptcy
Dick Sheridan
Harriett Jay’s Bankruptcy
A Showman’s Courtship

The Critical Response
including Robert Buchanan, the Poet of Modern Revolt by A. Stodart-Walker

Harriett Jay
Biography
Bibliography
Book Reviews
Theatre Reviews
Short Stories
The Literary Ladies’ Dinner

Miscellanea
A Letter from Tennyson’s Brother
A Trip to Oban
‘Like a Giant Refreshed’
‘Art in England’ by Israel Zangwill
Buchananalia

Links

Site Diary
Diary Archives

Site Search

ROBERT WILLIAMS BUCHANAN (1841 - 1901)

Home
Biography
Bibliography

Poetry
Plays
Fiction

Essays
Reviews
Letters

The Fleshly School Controversy
Buchanan and the Press
Buchanan and the Law

The Critical Response
Harriett Jay
Miscellanea

Links
Site Diary
Site Search

SITE DIARY

 

27 August 2017

Another quick thank you to Judy Denison, who sent me a scanned copy of Buchanan’s letter to her great-grandfather, James Kennedy, mentioned in the last update, so that I could fill in the odd gaps. I’ve added the revised version to the Random Letters section and the page on James Kennedy, which also has a few more biographical items on James and his son, Robert Buchanan Kennedy, courtesy of Judy.

_____

4 July 2017

Rather a long gap there, sorry about that. One reason for the delay was that I’ve been trying to finish the (frankly pointless) task of putting all of Buchanan’s poetry online. Still haven’t got there yet, but I have managed to sort out the ‘Collected’ and ‘Selected’ Works. Since I’d begun the process, a number of years ago, of transcribing all of Buchanan’s single poetry books and putting them on the site, it seemed the best thing to do with the Collections, etc., was to just list the poems and add links to their original appearance in book form. This turned out not to be as easy as I thought. The three volume King edition of 1874 caused the most problems since Buchanan had revised a lot of the poems in that Collection. In 1882 Buchanan, with his new publisher, Chatto & Windus, brought out two Selections. Selected Poems contained mainly poems from Buchanan’s books, whereas the majority of the poems in Ballads of Life, Love, and Humour had only appeared in magazines before. It seemed to make sense to take the latter out of the ‘Collections’ section and add the book to the regular list. There are still inconsistencies - mainly due to my having added poems to the site in the past which in fact were reprints from these ‘Collections/Selections’ which I’m only adding now. So, a lot of the additional ‘London Poems’, which appeared in the 1884 Poetical Works, and which I’d added to the London Poems section of the site years ago, actually first appeared in book form in the 1874 Poetical Works. Likewise, several poems which were first published in the 1892 The Buchanan Ballads Old and New, were subsequently added to The New Rome of 1898. Rather than shifting everything around, I settled for just adding the links.

Although I know have the majority of Buchanan’s poetry on the site, there are still some omissions. Firstly, there are the odd poems published in magazines and newspapers, which never made it into a book, not even the two volume, 1901, Complete Poetical Works. I have a few more of these to add to the site, which I’ll do shortly, and then, after that it will be just a matter of seeing what comes my way. Secondly, there are Buchanan’s first two books of poetry, both published in Glasgow before he made his way to London. Although I occasionally have a look on abebooks, or ebay for Poems & Love Lyrics and Mary, and other Poems I doubt very much whether they’ll ever turn up - and at a price I can afford. So, it’s more a matter of waiting until one of the various book digitisation projects get round to them and sticks them on the Internet Archive, or the Hathi Trust, or Google. And thirdly there are three other books which contain Buchanan poems - the early collaboration with Charles Gibbon, Stormbeaten: or Christmas Eve at the “Old Anchor” Inn (which may cause the same problems as the Glasgow books), the late collection of short stories, Red and White Heather, which does contain a couple of poems (and is not a problem - I’m just waiting to add it all to the site, since I’ve already got most of Buchanan’s stories here), and finally, the most okkerd (awkward) of the lot, Wayside Posies. Buchanan edited Wayside Posies for the Dalziel Brothers and obviously wrote some of the poems himself, but since they are all anonymous, which ones are by Buchanan? At some point I will address the problem, but not yet.

So, for now, here are the following additions to the Poetry section of the site:

Ballads of Life, Love, and Humour

Collections

1. Poems (Boston: Roberts Brothers, 1866.)

2. The Poetical Works of Robert Buchanan (3 vols. London: Henry S. King & Co., 1874. Boston: James R. Osgood and Co., 1874.)
         Volume I: Ballads and Romances, Ballads and Poems of Life

         Volume II: Ballads and Poems of Life, Lyrical Poems etc.

         Volume III: Coruisken Sonnets, Book of Orm and Political Mystics

3. Selected Poems (London: Chatto & Windus, 1882.)

4. The Poetical Works of Robert Buchanan (London: Chatto & Windus, 1884.)

5. The Buchanan Ballads Old and New (London: John Haddon and Company, 1892.)

6. The Complete Poetical Works of Robert Buchanan (2 vols. London: Chatto & Windus, 1901.) Volume I is identical to the 1884 Poetical Works.

 

As well as the above I’ve also added more newspaper clippings etc. to the other sections (mainly the Plays of course) of the site, but there is one addition which I must mention. This only came in the other week, an email from Judy Denison of Colorado, which contained a transcript of a letter from Robert Buchanan to her great-grandfather, James Kennedy. I already had two poems by Kennedy on the site - one written after Buchanan left America in 1885, the other commemorating his death. These were in the relevant sections, but since I now had a letter, I thought I should bring them all together on one page. Especially since Judy informed me that her great-grandfather had named his only son, Robert Buchanan Kennedy. So, for the poems, the letter, and some biographical information, click below:

James Kennedy

I promise I won’t leave such a long gap next time, in fact I have to catch up on some more ‘Fleshly School’ material which turned up during my enforced stay in a 1930s movie serial (I could explain, but I won’t). Until then, here’s another photo of Harriett Jay I came across, from The Sketch (24 July, 1907 - p.18).

jaydog02

28 November 2016

The following have been added to the Poetry section:

Napoleon Fallen

The Drama of Kings

_____

 

14 September 2016

1. The following have been added to the Poetry section:

Undertones

White Rose and Red

Undertones was published by Moxon in 1863 and was Buchanan’s first book to be published after his move from Glasgow to London. In 1865 a second edition, extensively revised, was published by Strahan and this is the one which was subsequently reprinted by Chatto & Windus and included in the Collections of 1884 and 1901, so this is the edition I’ve put on the site. However, I have also added a couple of pages about the first edition of 1863, detailing the changes.

White Rose and Red was Buchanan’s second ‘American’ work, published anonymously in 1873.

2. Another of Buchanan’s diatribes against Ibsen and the New Drama is his review of Edmund Gosse’s translation of Hedda Gabler published in The Illustrated London News in January, 1891. This is the opening sentence:

‘Whatever else may be said of it, “Hedda Gabler” possesses one great claim to be read—it is the “funniest” book of the season.’

If you want to read more, it’s here:

The French Novelette as Norwegian Drama

3. A while back there was a letter from Buchanan to Gerald Massey for sale on ebay which I placed on the Random page of the Letters section. However, as I was searching the Gerald Massey site for mentions of Buchanan I came across a transcription of a letter from Buchanan to William Hepworth Dixon regarding the Scottish poet, James Macfarlan. It referred to a piece he’d written about the recently deceased Macfarlan which he wanted Dixon to publish in The Athenæum, so I tracked that down and it is available in the Letters to the Press section, along with the accompanying letter to Dixon. I have to thank Ian Petticrew (webmaster of the excellent Gerald Massey site) for letting me add the transcription of the letter and also David Shaw, who as part of the email discussion to find the whereabouts of the original letter, pointed me in the direction of UCLA which has quite a large collection of Buchanan’s letters, which I had completely missed when I was originally compiling the List of Locations of Buchanan’s Letters.

_____

 

16 June 2016

A few more additions to the site:

1. The British Library Newspaper Archive put the rest of the copies of Robert Buchanan Snr.’s newspaper, The Glasgow Sentinel online, so I’ve extended that section. Originally, the only copies relevant to Robert Buchanan (Jr.) were from 1858 and, as it turned out, that year was his most prolific for the paper, but I did come across some interesting items from 1856, 1857 and 1859. Perhaps the most interesting was Buchanan’s earliest contribution (at least the earliest I could find) to the paper, a poem entitled ‘On the Death of an Infant Sister’, which led to a search for the details of the only other child of the Buchanans - Margaret Anne - who was born on 24th March, 1853 and who died, seven weeks later on 11th May. I also came across The Glasgow Sentinel reviews of Buchanan’s first two books of poetry, Poems and Love Lyrics and Mary, and Other Poems.

Robert Buchanan and The Glasgow Sentinel

2. I finally came across a copy of Is Barabbas a Necessity? (on the HathiTrust site), Buchanan’s 1896 pamphlet explaining why he decided to become his own publisher:

Is Barabbas a Necessity?

3. In 1899 Buchanan wrote one of his ‘open letters’ to The Sunday Special concerning what he considered was the decline of Bexhill-on-Sea. I don’t have the original, but the bulk of the letter was reprinted in the Bexhill-on-Sea Observer following his death. This and some of that paper’s comments on his letter from 1899 are available in the Letters to the Press section.

4. My favourite novel by Harriett Jay is The Priest’s Blessing and I’ve always been looking for a damning review from the Irish Catholic Press, and now I’ve found one. It’s from the Dublin paper, The Nation and was published under the title, “An Infamous Libel”.

5. Staying with reviews, I have to thank Clare Stainthorp for letting me know about this review of The City of Dream from The Scottish Art Review written by Constance Naden.

6. That curious item in the Miscellanea section, ‘Like A Giant Refreshed’, which may or may not have anything at all to do with Buchanan, now has the original letter from the St. James’s Gazette, replacing the reprint from the New Zealand paper.

7. Another addition to the British Library Newspaper Archive is The Entr’acte, a paper devoted to theatrical matters.. This contains a number of cartoons of Buchanan, which I’ve placed on the relevant pages. However, I thought it might be useful to group them all here as well. Click the pictures for the full version, and to see them in context, click the links to the relevant pages on the right.

entracteyatesthmb
entractethornemoorethmb
buchsimscartoonthmb
entractecolemanbuchcartoonthmb
entractewalliscartoonthmb
buchsimssocbuttcartoonthmb

‘Mr. Edmund Yates - The Newest Thing in Journalism’
The Entr’acte (24 November, 1877 - p.9)

Robert Buchanan and Thomas Thorne, concerning Buchanan’s dispute with George Moore.
The Entr’acte (7 December, 1889 - p.8)

Robert Buchanan and George R. Sims - The English Rose.
The Entr’acte (8 March, 1890 - p.8)

Robert Buchanan and John Coleman, concerning their dispute over The English Rose.
The Entr’acte (30 August, 1890 - p.8)

The Sixth Commandment.
The Entr’acte (8 November, 1890 - p.9)

The Society Butterfly.
The Entr’acte (31 March, 1894 - p.9)

And finally, an actual item of Buchanan news. Soroba Lodge is for sale - details on the Zoopla site.

_____

 

10 March 2016

The final parts of the Robert Buchanan Timeline - 1899 - 1901 and 1902 - now - have been added to the site. Of course, the Timeline will never really be finished, there will always be gaps, but hopefully I can fill in a few more as I go along. This was the last section of the site which needed updating after the ‘Great Computer Collapse’ of May, 2013, and it’s taken a while since I’ve been adding other things to the site along the way. This time the major additions are:

Buchanan’s letters to George Bernard Shaw (from the British Library collection).

A section on The Glasgow Sentinel, the newspaper which Buchanan’s father purchased in 1851 and which published some of Buchanan Jnr.’s earliest work.

Another short story, ‘Poor Bonnithorne!’, from the 1889 The Era Almanack.

I’ve also added more information to the Buchanan’s Music and Filmography pages, including this picture from the 1915 production of Alone in London:

floturneralone03

And I have to thank Catherine Bull again for sending me the relevant pages of An Old Oban Pictorial by Mrs. Agnes D. Black, which, as well as including a drawing of Soroba Lodge, also revealed that Marie Corelli spent some summer holidays there.

_____

 

8 November 2015

Next part of the timeline, 1896 - 1898, added to the site.
Also, three pieces written for The Theatre in 1896:
The Ethics of Play-Licensing
An Interesting Experiment
A Word on the Defunct Drama
And another interview with Buchanan, originally published in The Golden Penny as an introduction to the serial of Father Anthony, reprinted in The Leeds Times.
I’ve also added a page on the ‘Audubon Controversy’.
Finally, I must thank Alan John for sending me another Buchanan short story, ‘A Queer Theatrical Engagement’ which was originally published in M.A.P. in June, 1899, and was reprinted in The West Australian in September. Buchanan’s short stories are a mixed bunch (mostly written as a quick source of cash) but this one is more interesting than most since it is set in New York, and the main point of the story seems to be to satirise the American theatre and, in particular, American journalists, in order to get some belated revenge on the way he and Harriett Jay were treated during their trip to America in 1884/85.

_____

 

24 September 2015

Just uploaded 1894 - 1895 of the timeline. Only two years this time, but 1894 was Buchanan’s annus horribilis (thank you Ma’am) with his bankruptcy and the death of his mother. The former was triggered by the disastrous production of A Society Butterfly, starring Lillie Langtry, and among the new additions to the site are a poster for the play and this photo of Mrs. Langtry in the role of Mrs. Dudley.

langtrybutter02

Among the other additions to the site I should mention the four letters Buchanan wrote to Dr. Alfred Russel Wallace (naturalist, scientist, explorer, author, social campaigner and humanitarian) which are available at Wallace Letters Online (part of the Natural History Museum site). I’ve added them to the Letters section.

I have managed to get out of the house and on 15th August I visited the Church of St. Peter in Bexhill where Buchanan’s father is buried. I didn’t really expect to find his grave, but since I was in the area, I thought I should have a go. Unfortunately the majority of the inscriptions on the gravestones have been eroded by the sea air, so it was impossible to make anything out. I’ve put some photos on the Robert Buchanan Snr. page and here’s one of an owd man wandering aimlessly round a graveyard to go with those photos of a younger version wandering round the graveyard of St. John the Baptist’s  in Southend.

stpetersgraveyard3

But I’m not the only one to do it. I received an email from Bob Davenport with a review of The English Rose from The Illustrated London News. Bob’s interest lies not with Buchanan, but with the actress, Olga Brandon, who was the original ‘English Rose’. And his interest in Olga Brandon stems from his blog, ‘Studied Monuments’, subtitled ‘Stories from a London Cemetery’. His piece on Olga Brandon makes for fascinating reading and includes this rather stunning photograph.

olgabrandon

Bob also came across an item in the Indianapolis Journal of 1st May, 1892, which read:

“Olga Brandon, the American girl with midnight eyes, ... has been engaged to star for five years in plays to be written for her by Robert Buchanan. She has a villa near London and puts money in the bank.”

I’ve not found any confirmation of this. She was advertised to appear in The Trumpet Call and she did take over from Mrs. Patrick Campbell for the final performances of The Black Domino, but beyond that, the only connection with Buchanan is The English Rose. However, towards the end of Bob’s piece, there’s a rather touching mention of Buchanan’s collaborator, George R. Sims.

_____

 

28 July 2015

Just uploaded 1891 - 1893 of the timeline. One of the reasons it’s taking so long is that I get sidetracked. Buchanan spent a week ‘adapting’ Sardou’s Theodora for Grace Hawthorne in 1889, who then spent the next five years dragging her lions round the country performing it - maybe even longer, I found a review from the Nottingham Theatre Royal in June 1899 - before going to New York and being arrested as an accessory in an attempted murder in 1915, then returning to London, where she died in the St. Pancras workhouse in 1922. So, no great revelations about Robert Buchanan there, but I found it interesting.

And, since the How to Be Bohemian with Victoria Coren Mitchell programme is no longer available on the BBC iplayer, I’ve added the relevant clip to the site.

_____

 

10 June 2015

I think this is worth a mention since it’s not every day that Robert Buchanan’s name pops up on national prime-time television - well, that is, on BBC4 at 9 o’clock on a Monday night. It occurred in the first part of How to Be Bohemian with Victoria Coren Mitchell, broadcast on 8th June. Victoria Coren Mitchell had reached the Pre-Raphaelites in her history of ‘Bohemians’ and was dealing with Dante Gabriel Rossetti, when she cited Robert Buchanan as a representative of the moral majority in opposition to those fun-loving, rebellious scamps. She then read an extract from the pamphlet version of The Fleshly School of Poetry. In a way it was strangely comforting to find Buchanan was not forgotten, and his only legacy, that bloody essay, still lives on. It was a pity though, that in the section on Oscar Wilde, she didn’t mention Buchanan again and the fact that he was one of the very few public figures to speak out on his behalf. And I don’t know what Buchanan would have made of it all, since he was always the outsider, in a way, the true Bohemian. As he wrote in his ‘My First Book’ essay for The Idler:

“But I had other friends, more helpful to me in preparing my first twin-offering to the Muses; the faces under the gas, the painted women on the bridge (how many a night have I walked up and down by their sides, and talked to them for hours together), the actors in the theatres, the ragged groups at the stage doors. London to me, then, was still Fairyland! Even in the Haymarket, with its babbles of nymph and satyr, there was wonderful life from midnight to dawn—deep sympathy with which told me that I was a born Pagan, and could never be really comfortable in any modern Temple of the Proprieties. On other points connected with that old life on the borders of Bohemia, I need not touch; it has all been so well done already by Murger, in the ‘Vie de Bohème,’ and it will not bear translation into contemporary English. There were cakes and ale, pipes and beer, and ginger was hot in the mouth too! Et ego fui in Bohemiâ! There were inky fellows and bouncing girls, then; now there are only fine ladies, and respectable, God-fearing men of letters.”

Still, it was nice to hear his name and a few of his words, daft though they were, on the telly.

How to Be Bohemian with Victoria Coren Mitchell is available (at the moment) on the BBC iplayer.

_____

 

1 June 2015

I didn’t mean to leave it this long. After the ‘great collapse’ and the reconstruction of the website last year I posted the last entry in this site diary before I’d completed the whole process. The Timeline pages were taking too long, so I thought I’d better get the rest of the site online, and add them later. Which is what I have been doing. The reason they’re taking so long is that I’ve been going through the various online newspaper archives and adding new things to the site as I find them. I did think the Timeline would be finished by the end of 2014, and I then intended to add a new entry in this diary. But, it’s now the beginning of June and I’ve only got as far as 1890. The other reason for adding this entry now is the fact that I have to thank certain people for sending me information (one of which involves an apology on my part for being daft). I also have to note a couple of recent interesting additions to the site. So, here goes.

I’d like to thank Sigrid Handel for telling me about her PhD. thesis, “Populäres Drama, literarisches Feld und Intertextualität – Robert W. Buchanans Adaptionen für das viktorianische Theater (Popular Drama, the Literary Field and Intertextuality – Robert W. Buchanan’s Adaptations for the Victorian Theatre)” (Bielefeld University, Germany, 2013. 437 p.) which is available online. I should add that this is in German, which I don’t know at all, but it may be of interest to those who do. For the rest of us it’s the dubious delights of Google Translate. The six plays examined in detail in the thesis are Storm-Beaten, Agnes, Sophia, The Sixth Commandment, Miss Tomboy and The Wanderer From Venus. I did ask Sigrid if Buchanan was well-known (or known at all) in Germany, since I had noticed various German editions of his novels (including a translation of God and the Man which was published in 2007), but apparently not.

I also have to thank Helen Assaf for providing information about Theo Marzials, who provided a song for Storm-Beaten, and helping to clarify the dating of several letters.

And, finally, I have to thank Catherine Bull for sending me a photo of Soroba Lodge, Buchanan’s house in Oban.

sorobalodgesm02

This is where the apology comes in. I did spend a day in September, 2013 in Oban, looking for Buchanan’s house and following a completely false trail of my own devising. I added an account of my Scottish trip to the Miscellanea section. So now, faced with real evidence, what was I to do? Rewrite the piece and hope nobody noticed, or delete it altogether? In the end I’ve left it where it was and added a note and the photo of the real ‘White House on the Hill’ to the page.

Of the stuff I’ve added, I wish I could remember it all. I did find a reprint of Buchanan’s letter about the trapeze artist, Zæo, which is quite fun. And, in the Essays, I’ve added one from an Australian paper, published in 1892 and containing an attack on Kipling seven years before ‘The Voice of the Hooligan’:

“Though Mr. Kipling’s ballads have no claim to be called poetry, they represent, in their sudden popularity, the fatal disease infecting and destroying the poetic spirit in England. To Mr. Kipling belongs the proud distinction, if it is a distinction of beginning where most men end—in the basest sort of Toryism.” (From ‘The Muses in England’).

And then there’s this photo of Harriett Jay circa 1907:

jay190702

The final item in the section devoted to When Knights Were Bold was a description of an item on ebay which I couldn’t afford - the 1908 Ist Anniversary Souvenir from Wyndham’s Theatre consisting of a folder containing one drawing and eleven photographs (including Harriett) relating to the play. This, or one exactly like it, recently turned up again on ebay and this time at a reasonable price, so I bought it, and you’ll find it here.

Finally, I’d like to thank BBC4 for showing the Danish series, 1864, which concerns the Second Schleswig War, during which Buchanan went to Denmark, accompanied by his father, as a war correspondent for The Morning Star. He hasn’t appeared in it yet, and for those fearing my sanity, I should add that I don’t really expect him to.

_____

 

22 August 2014

Right, that was a long break. My last entry in this diary was dated 7th May, 2013. Shortly after that the programme I’ve always used to ‘do my websites’ went into meltdown - not surprising since it was designed to run on Windows 95 and came free on a computer magazine -and I couldn’t add anything else to the site until I’d transferred it all to an updated version - which also came free on a computer magazine. The problem then was that the two versions weren’t compatible and I had to transfer the text and pictures from one to the other, page by page. The problem there was that the text usually lost its formatting in the process. Also, the old computer really needed replacing. The problem there was that the updated version of the programme wouldn’t work on the new version of Windows (the dreaded 8), so I had to find one running Windows 7. And the problem there, of course, is that once this machine hits that point, as all computers seem to do, when they get fed up and start acting funny, I’ll have to go through the whole process again. The answer of course is to learn html programming and dispense with the programme and do the site properly, but I can’t see that happening. Or, I could get the site finished in the next five years and wash my hands of Mr. Buchanan and the horse he rode in on, but, again, ditto. In the meantime I should make the usual apologies. If the site does have an occasional whiff of OCD, it’s because when I started, there was nothing online about Buchanan and so when I came across a review of one of his books or plays I would happily add it to the site, and I have continued to do that (although perhaps not as happily) as online newspaper archives have begun to blossom, so, it’s just something I do. Likewise with the transcriptions of his poetry books. Originally they weren’t readily available at the Internet Archive or elsewhere, so I decided to add them all to the site, and the process continues, even though it may seem a bit redundant. Another thing, when I started the site everybody had 14” monitors, so for the last few years there’s been a big space on the right-hand side, even on my upgraded 17” monitor. God knows what it looks like on the big widescreen things you can get these days. On the other hand I am the last man alive who doesn’t have a mobile phone, so I’ve no idea what it looks like on those tiny screens. I have made it slightly wider, and for the Plays section I’ve added a list of plays down the side which makes it wider still. Rather like that menu at the left, which only occurs on this and the Home page, but which gives a more detailed menu for what’s on the site, expanding on the brief menu headings at the top and bottom of the page.

As I transferred the pages from the old programme to the new (newer), I also made the mistake of adding things as I went along, which made the process even more protracted. So, for the regular visitor to the site (I have absolutely no idea why I just wrote that) there is some new stuff. It would be useful now to present a list of changes, but it’s been going on for so long, that I’ve forgotten what I’ve added. Saint Abe and his Seven Wives, what seems to be the final issue of Light, several essays, a few odd poems ... and a lot more about the ‘Fleshly School’ controversy. I’ve also shifted the Buchanan and the Law and Buchanan and the Press sections from Miscellanea to the main menu. The only thing I haven’t finished updating and transferring is the Buchanan Timeline which currently stops in 1876. This was just taking too long and I was finding so many mistakes in the old site that I thought it best to upload the majority of the site and add the rest of the timeline later.

So, here it is, the new, updated Robert Buchanan site. No doubt there will be problems over the next few days as I find all the lost links and glitches, but I hope you’ll bear with me as I sort them out.

_____

 

Diary Archives:

2006 to 2009

2010 to 2013

 

Home
Biography
Bibliography

 

Poetry
Plays
Fiction

 

Essays
Reviews
Letters

 

The Fleshly School Controversy
Buchanan and the Press
Buchanan and the Law

 

The Critical Response
Harriett Jay
Miscellanea

 

Links
Site Diary
Site Search