“Being at home abroad: Londoners ‘ong continong’ (on the continent)…

…in the 19th century comics of Marie Duval.” Paper given in June 2015 at the Sixth Graphic Novel and Comics Conference and Ninth Bande Desinee Society Conference, Paris. Authors: Simon Grennan at University of Chester, Roger Sabin, Julain Waite. (Isabelle Émilie de Tessier (London, 1847 – 1890?) was an actress, cartoonist and illustrator who worked under the pseudonyms ‘Marie Duval’, ‘Noir’ and ‘S.A. The Princess Hesse Schwartzbourg’.)

From: Noel Coward – a Biography (1995), by Philip Hoare:

“Novello’s (and later Coward’s) lover Bobbie Andrews appeared in Paris, too, the city being a refuge for English homosexuals ever since Wilde had adopted the Parisian code of a green carnation…

Later, as a celebrity in his own right, such upper-class resorts as Venice became the meeting places for Noel and his chums. Freed from the restrictions of home (where his sexual desires were proscribed), Venice was the stage for wild hedonism. But for the moment, a burgeoning career, London and The Young Idea beckoned.

…However, the play’s fate depended on the Lord Chamberlain’s office. George Street (1867-1936) considered it ‘a clever and amusing comedy, but the atmosphere of it is more or less vicious and some of it in bad taste…Cicely has a lover, Rodney…It is not quite clear how far they have gone, but the atmosphere of the house and its guests is of the “fastest” sort…As a satire on that sort of English society which is immoral as well as stupid and rather vulgar Acts I and II are quite good. But the taste…is certainly bad and unpleasant.’ Coward waited with bated breath: could he stage his play or not? ‘The censorship’, ruled Street loftily, ‘is not an arbiter of taste, except when bad taste amounts to indecency, and there is nothing of that sort…’ The play was licensed on 7 September 1922.”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s