Sunday, 22 April 2012

London Devonian Year Book 1910

Colonel ET Clifford - a Devon DWM
A find from the Internet Archive: The London Devonian Yearbook 1910-1912 (ed. R Pearse Chope, pub. London Devonian Association, ID 19101912devonian00londuoft).

The objects of this Association were:
  • (a) To promote friendly intercourse amongst Devonians residing in London and district, by means of meetings and social re-unions.
  • (b) To foster a knowledge of the History, Folklore, Literature, Music, Art, and Antiquities of the County.
  • (c) To carry out from time to time approved schemes for the benefit of Devonians residing in London and district.
Its yearbook is very interesting. Admittedly there's a deal of adulatory gush about Devon and its offspring, and the whole flavour is very DWM (Dead White Males - admittedly then living). But apart from being a Who's Who of the great and the good among early 20th century Devonians, it's a very rich lode of Devon-related historical material. I'm sure I can get a few blog posts out of it!

R Pearse Chope - another Devonian DWM
The 1910 issue includes The Worthies of Devon, a list of famous Devonians (page 39); A Devonshire Garland, a compilation of literary quotations about Devon (page 91); The Folklore of Devon, a lecture by R Pearse Chope (page 109); and The Origin of the Devon Race, a highly learned but ultimately pesudoscientific piece of anthropology by John Gray that, in aid of demonstrating historical continuity, conveniently manages to reconstruct a "Primitive Devonian" who looks exactly like a modern one (see (page 134).

In the 1911 issue: Captain Scott's Antarctic Expedition - an appeal for funding (page 36); Devon To Me!, a poem by John Galsworthy (page 41); Prominent Living Devonians, from Who's Who (page 42); The Map of Devon, a geographical analysis by GEL Carter (page 62); The Rivers of the Moor, a lecture by Cecil RM Clapp (page 69); The Birds of our Leas and Estuaries (page 76); The Devonshire Regiment and Territorials (page 86); Devonian Epitaphs (page 101); London and Devonian Proverbs (page 106); The Early History of Devon as told in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle (page 108); and Devonshire Fiction (page 119).

In the 1912: Eden Philpotts, Poet and Novelist; The Coasts and Forests of Devon and their Birds (page 69); The Historical Basis of Kingsley's "Westward Ho!" (page 84); and The Mythical History of Devon (page 107).

Eden Philpotts
The highlight of the whole text is Eden Philpotts, Poet and Novelist (1912, page 43) a lecture by WHK Wright. This is a detailed contemporary appreciation of Philpotts, then 50 and living in Torquay. The account, written at the height of his career, focuses on his Dartmoor stories and nature studies., a decade before he took an interest in East Devon and wrote the Lympstone-based Redcliff.

Addendum: see also London Devonian Year Book 1913-1915.

- Ray

No comments:

Post a comment