Birmingham & Black Country Literary Links – Washington Irving to Dame Barbara Cartland from Edgbaston

This is an entertaining little interlude I had with Birmingham Mail TV
critic and reviewer Graham Young, cc’d to this note…..

I am sure Graham would be interested in finding out more about your company
‘Guvnor Media’ which helped out with The Public’s current ‘Black Country
Legends Exhibition’ and its interesting piece on AJW and his ‘guerilla
operation’ in promoting singing legend Mario Lanza throughout the Black
Country and its pubs and clubs.

Mario Lanza

As a media professional operating in Wednesbury I thought that Graham Young
and your goodself might be interested in connecting with me being ‘The
Facilitator’ rather than ‘The Equalizer’ a la Edward Woodward (what a
fantastic film ‘The Wicker Man’ is by the way along the same ghoulish theme
to Guvnor Media’s ‘Haunted House’ film about The Manor House in West
Bromwich……….from your home in Wednesbury in The Black Country (from
one Black Country ‘Bloerk’ to another, with me hailing from

I will speak to you later today if you wish to give me a ring and we can
talk about the film opportunity at the Birmingham Conservation Trust’s
(BCT) Newman Brothers’ Coffin Works in the Jewellery Quarter’s very own
Fleet Street (where Celluloid was invented….follow the trail down Newhall
Street, next to fantastic Georgian St Paul’s Square)

Jewellery Quarter Clock

St Paul’s Square is where Matthew Boulton, the leader of ‘The Lunatiks’ or
‘Lunar Men’ as Jenny Uglow dubbed them in her seminal tome on these great
men, the ‘Free Thinkers’ and creators of the Modern World who all met in
Birmingham ‘ By the light of the Moon’ at Matthew Boulton’s home on SOHO
Heath: SOHO House…….now a museum and visitor attraction……!

Boulton & Watt

We should make more of our ‘Lunatik’ Heritage with kids taught about
Boulton, Watt, Priestley, who was a fascinating character, the first man to
isolate oxygen and who inspired Birmingham’s ‘Priestley Riots’ in 1791
where his ‘French Revolutionary Tendencies and Sympathies’ led to the riots
and to him being chased out of the City of Birmingham, notwithstanding that
he was a famous ‘Lunar Man’……….

Joseph Priestley

By the way did you know that Washington Irving, the famed American writer,
who was writing a century and a half before that other American ‘Master of
the Macabre’ Edgar Allan Poe, wrote ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow’ in
Birmingham near where Baskerville House (where I used to work for
Birmingham City Council which is how I came across this astounding fact) in
about 1730, well before ‘The Lunar Men’ 50 years later and Poe  in the
mid-nineteenth century…..

A film about Irving and his Birmingham links would tie us in Brum to the
feature film by Tim Burton starring Johnny Depp: ‘Sleepy
Hollow’……..’The Headless Horseman’ and Ichabod Crane and Rip Van
Winkle…..take your pick….

Washington Irving

There is some marvellous Brummie literary and historical heritage there for
someone like you Mark A. Todd to tell the wider world about on film,
especially with your links to the American Film industry which you
cultivated when you were living and working in film in the US until last

What a marvellous adjunct a film about Washington Irving living and writing
in Brum would make to your marvellous Black Countrae ‘Haunted House’ film
about ‘The Manor House’ in West Bromwich……

Lightwoods House Snowbound

I can sense a theme of ‘Ghosts and Ghoulies’ emerging here, can’t youmaerte…….??????


Keith Bracey – Bearwoodian and Poet and Historian AKA The Brummie Bard

3 thoughts on “Birmingham & Black Country Literary Links – Washington Irving to Dame Barbara Cartland from Edgbaston

  1. Reblogged this on keithbracey and commented:

    Birmingham and Black Country literary links…..from Washington Irving to JRR Tolkien and The Lunar Men…..the “Friends that Forged the Future” in Birmingham and the Black Country…#Bostin #BrummaGEMS

  2. Pingback: Birmingham & Black Country Literary Links – Washington Irving to Dame Barbara Cartland from Edgbaston | keithbracey

  3. Pingback: Birmingham & Black Country Literary Links – Washington Irving to Dame Barbara Cartland from Edgbaston and also Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who was inspired by Brum to write his Sherlock Holmes stories | keithbracey

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