Published: 22 February 2023
In February 1913 my Nana Hannett, as she was then, received a letter from her Uncle St Luke (I know it is unusual but were three or four registered in the country by then, I wonder if there was a compressed pronunciation like Sinjun with St. John?). Anyway, getting to the point, Uncle St Luke (I wonder if he was on the Booth side or that of the Hannetts?), St Luke, Uncle St Luke that is, writes to Elsie (my Nana, who at that time was 23) about coming up
to Nottingham next Saturday week, 22nd February.
Pretty tedious stuff your thinking but, but, but ... ("butter goes well with bread", suggests Max unhelpfully.) But, and this is the interesting bit ("let us hope so" said Max "at least it can't be any duller, can it? Surely it cannot.")
You see how he puts me off my stride.
"This is interesting surely to any one who has any notion at all of the tide of political history Max, this is a pivotal moment in the life of the nation."
"Your Great, Great Uncle St Luke, writes a letter to your Nana, asking if she's well, lamenting his own poor health and suggesting he might just possibly go to Nottingham on Saturday week, and this, you think, is 'a pivotal moment in the life of the Nation'? You are I fear, approaching your dotage quicker than I might have suspected."
"Max, Max, this is 1913, February 1913. the country is gripped by by the forces of terrorism as the suffragettes try to bomb their way to female suffrage."
"You know they do, did I mean and my Great, Great Uncle St. Luke writes to Elsie about it. My ancestors Max, in their socio-political context. Isn't it exciting?"
"I'm thrilled to bits." said Max "May I take it he was not a fan?"
"He was not Max, he calls one of the "suffragists" a erm... well he uses a rather unpleasant epithet and wishes her a rather unpleasant fate."
"Why" said Max "don't you just tell us what he wrote and then you can have a beer and leave off writing this stuff and I can have a biscuit and then get my head down?"
"Your a philistine Max, a philistine of the first water. "
"You might have a Bank's bitter in the cupboard."
"I think your right, it's getting late, but you know... one before bed time."
"Don't forget the biscuit."
"I suppose you have read of the latest suffragist tricks, damaging plants in Kew Gardens etc. One vile bitch was putting something in a pillar box close to us and it ignited too soon and she got badly burnt and had to have the attention of a Dr. close by that I have been fool enough to see, unfortunately she did not get blown to atoms."
For those less well read than Maximillian the Orchid House in Kew Gardens was attacked on 8th February 1913. On 29th January several bombs addressed to the Chancellor, David Lloyd George were posted in pillar boxes, all of them exploded prematurely.
Beer and biscuits
- Banks' Bitter
- Loop Daddy
- A day without beer.
- Silver King
- Red Raven
- Manhattan Project
- Free beer.
- Netherfield Lagoons.
- Ludlow Blondes
- Ilkley Summer
- Midnight Owl
- Dancing Duck
- Bass in the Chestnut
- Harvest Pale
- Slap in the Face
- Elsie Mo
- Green King IPA
- The Famous Grouse
- Piffle Snonker
- Snowhite Pale
- Electric Dreams
- Theakston's Old Peculiar
- Bass - King's Head
- Speculation Ale
- Summer Storm
- Black Sheep
- Citra - The Embankment
- Butcombe Original
- Oakham Citra
- Catch the Rain
- Modern Love
- Postcode Envy
- Shipstones' Goldstar
- American IPA
- Brother Rabbit
- The Outrun - Amy Liptrot.
- The Enemy Within (4th Edition) - Seumas Milne 2014
- Tessa, The Trader's Wife - Louis Becke (1901)
- The End of the Tether - Conrad (1902)
- La Dame Aux Camilias - Alexandre Dumas
- Turn of the Screw - Henry James
- The Beast in the Jungle - Henry James (1903)
- Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Caroll 1807
- Man and Maid - Elinor Glyn (1922)
- The Hollow Needle - Maurice Leblanc = 1909
- Montpelier Parade - Karl Geary
- Five Run Away Together. - Enid Blyton
- Dracula - Bram Stoker - 1897
- Days Without End - Sebastion Barry (2016)
- The Witch Finders's Sister
- A Week in December - Sebastian Faulks
- The Devil and Miss Prym - Paul Coelho - 2000
- The Long and Winding Road - A Memoir (Alan Johnson 2016)
- William (Richmal Crompton 1929)