Tag Archives: England

Rupert Brooke


Rupert (right) with brother Alfred and pet Rugby (after the city he was born at). 1900.


Rupert, his mother and brother Alfred in costumes.1898.

This was a long time coming. I have a great appreciation for the poet Rupert Brooke, and these pictures of him as a boy are not often seen. They were scanned from a book I own, ‘The Letters of Rupert Brooke and Noel Olivier’, edited by Pippa Harris.

His life was short and full of ideals, and charmed for the most part. He was also sort of a selfish person who grew up with the proverbial ‘silver spoon’ in his mouth, with many men and women in his love life. But he was free-spirited too, going to America, then to Oahu (where I lived too- love his Waikiki poem) and off to Tahiti where he met the woman, Taatamata, who is thought to have given birth to his daughter.

He died in 1915 at 27, exactly a hundred years ago, of a mosquito bite that brought on scepsis while on duty on a ship. He is interred on Skyros, a Greek island, and his patriotic poem ‘The Soldier’ was used as propaganda during the first World War.
Was Rupert a man of many internal struggles? Most definitely, yet he had an immense talent with words.

In the pages of the book I have, I found an old newspaper article tucked in. Apparently, the grandmother of actress Helena Bonham Carter (who I must say I absolutely love) was very much in love with him. It was unrequited, but they kept a long exchange of letters until Rupert died.

Following is a CDV of Rupert, Alfred and their pet, and two CDV portraits of Rupert in his teens. (By the way, Rupert’s wearing the same collar as another English society boy Leonard Spiller. They both ended up at Cambridge only three years apart too. It would be interesting to find out if Leonard was Alfred’s classmate -they certainly attended during the same years and are the same age.)

And then as he is known: ‘the most handsome man of England’ in 1913, two years before his death:

Rupert Brooke

Rupert Brooke

Sad too that Alfred was killed in action only three months after his brother’s death.

A favorite poem of his after the cut, ‘The Great Lover’.

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The WWI era British sailor and his stylish brother

RPPC. Private Collection.

RPPC. Private Collection.

The sailor’s hat reads H.M.S ROCKET. His standing brother is beautifully dressed in an outdoorsy suit with corduroy riding trousers. Love the patterned waistcoat with the striped tie…He had style.

RPPC: F.J. Seaman, Hall. York & Blackpool.

Finding Leonard Spiller again (with his family)

1903 Cabinet Card. Private Collection.

Leonard Spiller (1890-1952) Cabinet card. Private Collection.

When I first saw this photograph I thought the boy looked familiar…then I see he’s IDed. Success! What a lovely photograph too, very clean which is always a plus. This cabinet card was taken on June 11,1903 when Leonard Spiller was 13.

And this is the second photograph I have of him, the first a CDV taken in 1910 when he was a student at Cambridge. I learned some more about his family too. Leonard was the son of John Spiller, a consulting analyst chemist and once the President of the Royal Photographic Society (1874-1875) in London.

Leonard came into this world late in the life of his father John (1833-1921) who married Emma (born Davenport), his second wife. Leonard had much older half siblings from his father’s first marriage to Caroline Ada Pritchard: Ethel Mary (1857-?), Arnold John and Claude Pritchard (1870-1938).


I found some photos of his family from the same seller. A photo gallery of Leonard and family members after the cut.

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Ivor Novello in Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘The Lodger’

'The Lodger'

This photo was taken in 1927 and is of Welsh actor Ivor Novello (real name David Ivor Davies) in the Alfred Hitchcock film “The Lodger” loosely based on Jack the Ripper. Ivor plays the role of a suspected serial killer who goes around London killing blonde chorus girls. My cup of tea.

His character’s a bad boy so in the category he goes!

The actor was multi-talented and was a famous singer and composer too.  He was also openly gay. A shot of Ivor with his face uncovered after the cut.

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Bowler wearing English boy

An English boy. Personal Collection.

An English boy. Private Collection.


2.5″ x 4″

A, no doubt, well-to-do little English gentleman with the short bowler hat and gloves, and a great pose.

Photographer: Blake & Edgar. 74 Midland Road. Bedford, UK.

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