“To those whom God has forsaken, is given a gas-fire in Earl’s Court”
We’re joined in this, the 11th Curiously Specific Book Club podcast, by Andy (@DulwichRaider) from Deserter, who is our natural go-to mate for summoning up the spirit of alcoholic drift and under-employment that permeates ‘Hangover Square’ by Patrick Hamilton.
We are forced to drink in all the pubs on or just off the Earl’s Court Road, until we find the one that is mostly likely to be ‘The Black Hart’, the drinking den around which much of the book’s events revolve.
We go to the exact point off the Cromwell Road where the author, Patrick Hamilton, was run over – and also where Netta (the book’s anti-heroine) resides.
After one too many Gin & Frenches and much talk of fascism, Lloyd and Tim take off to Brighton in search of a theatre and golf course. We find both, and finish our trip in Hassocks, tracking a walk that we’re not sure is really necessary. Cue WW2…
Each month we road test a work of fiction that appears to be curiously specific about dates and locations. We go to the places mentioned and see if descriptions are accurate, journey times credible, dates and days all in order. Along the way, we learn things, about the book, and its author.
Sources & Credits
Neville Chamberlain – Britain’s declaration 1939: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtJ_zbz1NyY
Addinsell – Warsaw Concerto: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqVKDPxEqnM
Stravinsky Octet for Wind Instruments: I. Sinfonia. Lento – Allegro moderato: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VVk1K_MPmR4
Come And Have A Drink At The ‘Victory Arms: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCufn89FdRw
Schoenberg: Concerto for Piano and Orchestra, Op. 42 – 2. Molto allegro: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lLSK00vwGUw
Leslie Hore-Belisha talking about traffic problems in the 1930s: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOBb3lYhG0Q
Gaslight (1944) Official Trailer – Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ToLfQU2xmg
Crazy Gang singing ‘Free’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F_JIQZdW5EU&t=118s
Seaside Golf: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_0ObxB8JZog
Benjamin Britten Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge for String Orch. Op.10, SCO: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIWIXjpf7YE&t=110s
Arthur Askey – Knitting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sIWIXjpf7YE&t=110s
Earl’s Court: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earl%27s_Court
Earl’s Court Centre: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earls_Court_Exhibition_Centre
Nevern Square Garden http://nevernsquaregarden.com
Oswald Mosley: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oswald_Mosley
Earl’s Court Rally 1939: https://www.oswaldmosley.com/earls-court-britain-first-rally/
George Black (producer): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Black_(producer)
Moss Empires Jubilee Brochure: http://www.arthurlloyd.co.uk/MossEmpiresJubilee1949.htm
Geraldine Fitzgerald: https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/1494865/Geraldine-Fitzgerald.html
How the Thirties saw Britain fall in love with the car: https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1247543/How-Thirties-saw-Britain-fall-love-car–nation-road-hogs.html
Passing-Out Time, Christopher Tayler: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v31/n02/christopher-tayler/passing-out-time
First-Class Fellow Traveller, Terry Eagleton: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v15/n23/terry-eagleton/first-class-fellow-traveller
Just off Lexham Gardens, John Bayley: https://www.lrb.co.uk/v14/n01/john-bayley/just-off-lexham-gardens