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Reynolds News, Sunday 29 October 1950

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  • AP Wolf
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
    AP,

    Are you sure Fay Compton was in the 1951 production of Peter Pan? She had played the title role in 1917.

    Gary
    Oh, you are most likely right, Gary, as I was skimming the archives at the time in a dreadful hurry to get to the beach, as sun was shining, and weather was sweet, so I might have got somewhat discombobulated! However, I remember in that flighty search that one stalwart had played that role for almost fifty years? Sounds unbelievable but I'll go back and check. And yes, 'Wendy's Hut' was serialised for many years in various newspapers throughout that time period. 'Wendy' is obviously from Peter Pan, and the fairy in the serialised version could obviously not be called 'Tinkerbell' so she was instead called 'Fairy Fay', one assumes to avoid any sort of copyright issue with Barrie, but there are also reports from various newspaper in the 1890s of a 'Fairy Fay' on the stage of many amateur productions, prior to Barrie's creation, so perhaps not on everybody's lips, but certainly very well known and recognised by many. Could Robertson merely have been employing that gossip column cheek of his to actually call the supposed victim of his Jack the Ripper article by the name of someone from Fairy Land, in other words, owning up to those in the know, that is was just another one of his many spoofs to sell a few papers? I suspect so. Hands up who still has a 'Wendy house' in the garden?

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    AP,

    Are you sure Fay Compton was in the 1951 production of Peter Pan? She had played the title role in 1917.

    Gary

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by AP Wolf View Post
    Sorry for the misunderstanding, Chris! I still think it highly unusual for someone to name a person after a race horse, as generally it is the race horse that is named after a person, legend or event? But perhaps I'm just being a pedant! I think it worthwhile to remember that Robertson fled to South Africa after his release from prison, not returning until 1949; and that his wife, Olgalita was an accomplished dancing showgirl in the theatres of the West End of London in the early 1950s, where for instance Peter Pan was staged at the Scala theatre in 1951 with the lead role of Peter Pan being played by Fay Compton, so there we have a proper Fairy Fay in the 'Wendy Hut'. So I think it just as likely that as Robertson was concocting his Jack the Ripper story in his study at home, he might have called out to Olgalita "Got a name for this new victim of Jack the Ripper that I've just invented?' And the good lady may well have replied: 'Fairy Fay might do the trick!' We actually do not know!
    Presumably the horse’s name came originally from a fictional character of some kind, as had that of the dog of the same name who appeared regularly in the press long before Barrie penned Peter Pan.

    Have you found examples of ‘FF’ in a Peter Pan context in the press in the late 40s-1952? Was it on everybody’s Lips?

    Is Fairy Fay even a character in Peter Pan?





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  • AP Wolf
    replied
    Sorry for the misunderstanding, Chris! I still think it highly unusual for someone to name a person after a race horse, as generally it is the race horse that is named after a person, legend or event? But perhaps I'm just being a pedant! I think it worthwhile to remember that Robertson fled to South Africa after his release from prison, not returning until 1949; and that his wife, Olgalita was an accomplished dancing showgirl in the theatres of the West End of London in the early 1950s, where for instance Peter Pan was staged at the Scala theatre in 1951 with the lead role of Peter Pan being played by Fay Compton, so there we have a proper Fairy Fay in the 'Wendy Hut'. So I think it just as likely that as Robertson was concocting his Jack the Ripper story in his study at home, he might have called out to Olgalita "Got a name for this new victim of Jack the Ripper that I've just invented?' And the good lady may well have replied: 'Fairy Fay might do the trick!' We actually do not know!

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by AP Wolf View Post
    Not quite sure why, Gary, but that made me chuckle!
    We aim to please. ;-)

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  • Chris G.
    replied
    Hi AP

    You misunderstood me. You wrote that you thought naming a racehorse "Fairy Fay" could have been a tribute to Barrie's "Peter Pan." I merely commented that particularly if, as seems to be so, the racehorse Robertson quite possibly knew about (and possibly also gambled on) was an Irish-bred and trained horse, there are plenty of legends about fairies or "the Other" in Ireland. I wasn't talking about an Irish Fairy Fay being the inspiration of the name for the horse. On the other hand, as your discussion of fairies discloses, "fay" is another word for "fairy."

    Best regards

    Chris

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  • AP Wolf
    replied
    Not quite sure why, Gary, but that made me chuckle!

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    Originally posted by AP Wolf View Post
    And with equally due respect, Chris, I'm not quite sure where you get the idea that Ireland had 'Fairy Fay' legends and traditions before Sir James Barrie did?
    'The Victorian era and Edwardian era saw a heightened increase of interest in fairies. The Celtic Revival cast fairies as part of Ireland's cultural heritage. Carole Silvers and others suggested this fascination of English antiquarians arose from a reaction to greater industrialization and loss of older folk ways.'
    And the term Fairy Fay has absolutely nothing to do with the Irish language despite many of them having the name of Fay:
    The English fairy derives from the Early Modern English faerie, meaning "realm of the fays". Faerie, in turn, derives from the Old French form faierie, a derivation from faie (from Vulgar Latin fata) with the abstract noun suffix -erie.
    In Old French romance, a faie or fee was a woman skilled in magic, and who knew the power and virtue of words, of stones, and of herbs.[1]
    "Fairy" was used to represent: an illusion or enchantment; the land of the Faes; collectively the inhabitants thereof; an individual such as a fairy knight.[1] Faie became Modern English fay, while faierie became fairy, but this spelling almost exclusively refers to one individual (the same meaning as fay). In the sense of "land where fairies dwell", archaic spellings faeryand faerie are still in use.' Courtesy Wiki.
    I hope your view of me being 'startlingly limited' will be suitably addressed by my new volume concerning Terence Robertson.
    Incidentally, the majority of Irish references to the author of the play The House of Lynch call him F. Jay.

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  • AP Wolf
    replied
    And with equally due respect, Chris, I'm not quite sure where you get the idea that Ireland had 'Fairy Fay' legends and traditions before Sir James Barrie did?
    'The Victorian era and Edwardian era saw a heightened increase of interest in fairies. The Celtic Revival cast fairies as part of Ireland's cultural heritage. Carole Silvers and others suggested this fascination of English antiquarians arose from a reaction to greater industrialization and loss of older folk ways.'
    And the term Fairy Fay has absolutely nothing to do with the Irish language despite many of them having the name of Fay:
    The English fairy derives from the Early Modern English faerie, meaning "realm of the fays". Faerie, in turn, derives from the Old French form faierie, a derivation from faie (from Vulgar Latin fata) with the abstract noun suffix -erie.
    In Old French romance, a faie or fee was a woman skilled in magic, and who knew the power and virtue of words, of stones, and of herbs.[1]
    "Fairy" was used to represent: an illusion or enchantment; the land of the Faes; collectively the inhabitants thereof; an individual such as a fairy knight.[1] Faie became Modern English fay, while faierie became fairy, but this spelling almost exclusively refers to one individual (the same meaning as fay). In the sense of "land where fairies dwell", archaic spellings faeryand faerie are still in use.' Courtesy Wiki.
    I hope your view of me being 'startlingly limited' will be suitably addressed by my new volume concerning Terence Robertson.

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  • Chris G.
    replied
    Originally posted by AP Wolf View Post

    Fine, but my own delvings show a lot of the mentions of Fairy Fay as a race horse coming from much earlier than 1945, as she was a very popular horse in the very early 1900s - obviously not the same horse through those long years, but same name - I clocked up something like 500 mentions prior to 1945, so I think you need to adjust your data to reflect that, simply because race horses are generally named after famous people, legends or events, and not the other way around. Not many people have a father or mother called Fairy Fay but a lot of horses were called that. Why? Ask Sir James Barrie, who created the 'Wendy Hut' in which Fairy Fay lived in his Peter Pan story which was enormously popular from 1910 right through through to our present age, so I think it fair to assume that horses called Fairy Fay were called that as a tribute to Sir James Barrie and his play, Peter Pan. Terence Robertson was born in 1921 right into the age of Barrie's 'Wendy Hut', where a few years later the most talented actress who ever played Peter Pan was enthralling everyone with her stunning performance, Jean-Forbes-Robertson. We must accumulate and not disseminate.
    Hi AP

    With due respect, that's rather a startlingly limited idea that naming a racehorse "Fairy Fay" was a tribute to Sir James Barrie and his play, "Peter Pan." Obviously, stories about fairies long predated Barrie and his play. Thus, for someone to name a racehorse "Fairy Fay" need not have come from Peter Pan and Tinker Bell. I'd suggest that given that Fairy Fay appears to have been an Irish-bred racehorse, Ireland has plenty of legends and traditions about Fairies or "the Other"

    Cheers

    Chris

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  • AP Wolf
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
    This is very rough and ready, but using the data from FindMyPast there does seem to have been an explosion in the use of ‘Fairy Fay’ in 1948/49/50 which was largely attributable to the race horse of that name.


    1945 - 2

    1946 - 1

    1947 - 6

    1948 - 182

    1949 - 200

    1950 - 169

    1951 - 9

    1952 - 5

    1953 - 2

    1954 - 8

    1955 - 11









    Fine, but my own delvings show a lot of the mentions of Fairy Fay as a race horse coming from much earlier than 1945, as she was a very popular horse in the very early 1900s - obviously not the same horse through those long years, but same name - I clocked up something like 500 mentions prior to 1945, so I think you need to adjust your data to reflect that, simply because race horses are generally named after famous people, legends or events, and not the other way around. Not many people have a father or mother called Fairy Fay but a lot of horses were called that. Why? Ask Sir James Barrie, who created the 'Wendy Hut' in which Fairy Fay lived in his Peter Pan story which was enormously popular from 1910 right through through to our present age, so I think it fair to assume that horses called Fairy Fay were called that as a tribute to Sir James Barrie and his play, Peter Pan. Terence Robertson was born in 1921 right into the age of Barrie's 'Wendy Hut', where a few years later the most talented actress who ever played Peter Pan was enthralling everyone with her stunning performance, Jean-Forbes-Robertson. We must accumulate and not disseminate.

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  • AP Wolf
    replied
    My money is wisely spent on 'Wendy's Hut'!

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  • AP Wolf
    replied
    Agreed, Gary! But it is still odd that Robertson, the editor of a London based newspaper in the 1950s, should be writing on such an obscure subject in Galway, Ireland. That alone, should be a consideration, as Robertson's bread and butter was the East, and West End of London, and the associated colourful characters that inspired his copy. To suddenly throw out that Lynch story, very close to when he threw out the Fairy Fay story must be a consideration, I feel. I don't think it can be thrown out on what could be a typo, but am prepared to throw out that baby with the bath water!

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  • Chris G.
    replied
    Originally posted by Gary Barnett View Post
    Courtesy of a colleague, I managed to get access to the Mitchell article.

    The Rev. Mangin claimed his 1807 version of the story was largely his own invention based upon a traditional tale. The earliest extant written version of the tale is from 1672, but that was copied from an even earlier version, originally written in Latin.

    Mitchell mentions a play called ‘The House of Lynch’ which was written by ‘ ‘J. Fay’ ( G. A. Little)’ and performed in 1938 and 1950. Unless Mitchell’s ‘J’ was an error, Robertson is unlikely to have been inspired to come up with the Fairy Fay name in connection to the Lynch legend.
    My money's on the racehorse.

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  • Gary Barnett
    replied
    This is very rough and ready, but using the data from FindMyPast there does seem to have been an explosion in the use of ‘Fairy Fay’ in 1948/49/50 which was largely attributable to the race horse of that name.


    1945 - 2

    1946 - 1

    1947 - 6

    1948 - 182

    1949 - 200

    1950 - 169

    1951 - 9

    1952 - 5

    1953 - 2

    1954 - 8

    1955 - 11










    Leave a comment:

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