Page 3, 20th July 1951

20th July 1951
Page 3
Page 3, 20th July 1951 — in Brighton

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Organisations: King's College
Locations: Penzance, Cambridge


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in Brighton

Shut up the King.

Well, not the King, but the

Pavilion Before it costs us all Another million.

0 ran a jingle when the Royal Pavilion was being built in Brighton. And who was it who looked at that central "onion " surrounded by four little ones and said: " It is as though St. Paul's had come down to Brighton and had pupped?"

And yet his architectural cuckoo in thc nest is as much a part of Brighton as the

Palace Pier. All kinds of sedate affairs take place within its fantastic walls. from the annual musical festivals and chamber concertsei-eotryic.erts to meetings of the Bible Few echoes now of the raffish parties, the " goings-on " of the Regency days when " Prinny " held court there-Mrs. Fitzherbert had her own underground passage from her house in the old Steyne and the ample kitchens steamed and sizzled with great roasts for the royal banquets, Listen, for instance. to what Princess Lieven, the " witty hut malicious wife" of the Russian Ambassador, said about A visit she , Kremlin ,. one what day: called the . " We were shown a chandelier which cost eleven thousand pounds sterling. . . really incredible. It is in the form of a tulip held by a dragon. . . How can one describe

such a piece of architecture? The style is a mixture of Moorish, Tartar, Gothic and Chinese. . It is a whim which has already cost £700,000 and ii is still not fit to !lye in "

No matter ohat rude things have been .said or will be said about the Pavilion, most Brightoniane love it.

Mr. Clifford Musgrave, Director of the Royal Pavilion Estate, is among those who "carry a torch " for this Regency memorial in his Royal Pavilion (Bredon and Heginbotham, 15s.). He sees in it

'' an urge to restore, sifterthe intellectual niceties and emotional superficialities of the Augustan decline. the emotional richness and fervour of imagined medieval and oriental worlds."

"Today," he laments, " almost all the paradisal lands of the imagination are vanished-China more heedful of Marx and Lenin than of Confucius and Mencius; the Japan of Muraski and Lafcadio Hearn become the Land of the Rising Cloud massacre d w Valley of defiled by But Mr. Musgrave's book is much more than an apologia for the Pavilion. It is an illuminating record of the period historical, Literary, architectural as it impinged Oil Brighton, much of it covered by the multitudinous books already written on the subject but with the added interest of one who has lived among, pored over and digested the records over which he has personally presided so assiduously and so long. I ALCUIN THE story of The Kfityn Wood Murders attributed to the Germans by the Russians and to the Russians by the Germans is, in the book of that name, told with the authority of an eyewitness by Joseph Marckiewicz, who with the consent of the Polish Underground visited Katyn Wood when the Germans first announced the finding of the mass graves and began the exhuma tions. In fact, he found an eyewitness of the crime.

All the facts are marshalled with masterly skill. No historian ot the future will be able to covet this snonstrous crime and ghastly source of propaganda without reference to this book. which, without trying to clear up all the mystery.. places the crime squarely on the shoulders of the Russians.

As horrible as the story itself is the truth it so horribly illuminates that man under the power of passion or prejudice can see black and with seeming honesty call it white.

The book, with a foreword by Arthur Bliss Lane, comes from Hollis and Carter (15s.), who have already published so many significant books on Communism. HOLIDAY makers in Cornwall or both, will not fail to visit those twin phenomena of nature and monuments of the Catholic faith, the two in Normandy, or preferably In St. Michael's Mounts, the first and greater at the mouth of the Rance, the second three miles east of Penzance.

I he French Mont S. Michel derives its fame from the apparition of St. Michael to St. Aubert, Bishop of Avranches, in 708. and 200 years later the Benedictine monastery was founded.

The early history of our Garnish • Mount is dimmer, hut it was donated to the French Abbey by Edward the Confessor. It

was redonated after the Conquest, and it remained in the hands of the French abbey until quite modern sounding difficulties about aliens and currency led to chequered ownership during the Hundred Years' War.

Under the patriot Henry V. alien priories were suppressed and their lands taken by the King who gave the Mount to Syon Abbey. But once again a very modern sounding confusion and failure to register caused it to pass for a time to King's College, Cambridge.

All this, and much more, can be followed in the records quoted in A Short History of St. Michael's Mount, by the late Canon J. R. Fletcher and Dom John Stephan (St. Michael's Mount, 7s. 6d.). It is hardly an account for the casual tourist. but it will enormously add to the interest of visitors who take their Mounts (or St. Michael) seriously.

Today's Great Answer, by Margaret Lee Runbeck (Peter Davies, 10s. 6d.). True stories of religious experiences. Includes some epics of the last war movingly retold.

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