Curios from Project Gutenberg


An Australian book and artist from 1905 – and I had heard of neither:


That’s linked to the book. On Violet Teague see ADB.

While she exhibited infrequently in the 1920s and 1930s, she turned to making altarpieces. For the Kinglake (War) Memorial Church, Victoria, she made one in which the adoring shepherds were replaced by portraits of Australian light-horsemen; when commissioned in 1938 to execute the altarpiece of the Arctic Cathedral at Alkavic, Canada, she again chose a contemporary and regional setting, dressing the madonna and child in furs. She made other panels and, at the Church of St James the Less, Mt Eliza, collaborated with her friend Jessie Traill.

Less than five feet (152 cm) tall, with grey-blue eyes and masses of light brown hair, Teague was described in 1949 as being: ‘a small frail person … quiet of manner, yet with a surprising vitality and a more surprising sense of whimsy … she comes out direct in a mannered way and her eyes twinkle humorously’. She ‘can talk on any subject from racehorses to the decline of Western Culture exactly and wittily’. Teague died on 30 September 1951 at Mt Eliza, Victoria, and was cremated. A member of several leading Australian art societies, she is represented in the National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, and the National Gallery of Victoria.


See also A Polar Bear’s Tale.

The other curio relates to a song we had on 78 when I was a kid: Richard Tauber singing “The Kashmiri Love Song”.  I do recall us making fun of this, I have to say…

Adela_florence_nicholsonThe poems from which the song is taken were once very popular: INDIA’S LOVE LYRICS by Laurence Hope, et al.

Editorial note: Laurence Hope was the pen name of Adela Florence Cory Nicolson. Born in 1865, she was educated in England. At age 16 she joined her father in India, where she spent most of her adult life. In 1889 she married Col. Malcolm H. Nicolson, a man twice her age. She committed suicide two months after his death in 1904.

Wikipedia has more detail.

It is tempting to read much of her own life into her poems, but one must be careful in doing this, yet her dedication to her husband in this verse:

I, who of lighter love wrote many a verse,
Made public never words inspired by thee,
Lest strangers’ lips should carelessly rehearse
Things that were sacred and too dear to me. Thy soul was noble; through these fifteen years
Mine eyes familiar, found no fleck nor flaw,
Stern to thyself, thy comrades’ faults and fears
Proved generosity thine only law. Small joy was I to thee; before we met
Sorrow had left thee all too sad to save.
Useless my love—-as vain as this regret
That pours my hopeless life across thy grave.

Written shortly before her suicide makes it hard for people to avoid this.