Fraser's Magazine

Fraser's Magazine

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Fraser's Magazine, a general and literary Tory journal, was founded by Hugh Fraser and William Maginn in 1830. Contributors included Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Robert Southey, Thomas Carlyle and William Makepeace Thackeray.

Fraser's Magazine - History

This web version of Trollope's Thackeray , a work that originally appeared in English Men of Letters series edited by John Morley, is based on the 2006 Project Gutenberg E-book #18645 prepared by Barbara Tozier, Bill Tozier, Lisa Reigel, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team.

In August 2014 George P. Landow formatted it for the the Victorian Web , adding links and the illuminated initial letters at the beginning of each chapter Thackeray created for Vanity Fair .

Project Gutenberg Transcriber's Note

The letter "o" with a macron is rendered [=o] in this text. It only appears in the word "Public[=o]la".

A few typographical errors have been corrected. [The Project Gutenberg edition includes notices of these corrections in the text, which I have omitted — GPL].


Numbers in brackets indicate page breaks in the print edition and thus allow users of VW to cite or locate the original page numbers. When page breaks occur in the middle of words, the brackets appear after the word.

Clicking on superscript numbers brings you to notes — footnotes in the original book — which will appear at the top of the left column hitting the back button on your browser returns you to your place in the body of the main text. The numbers do not form a complete sequence.


Trollope, Anthony. Thackeray . English Men of Letters series edited by John Morley. London: Macmillan & Co., 1879. Project Gutenberg eBook #18645 prepared by Barbara Tozier, Bill Tozier, Lisa Reigel, and the Project Gutenberg Online Distributed Proofreading Team. June 21, 2006. Web. 8 August 2014. [

ow Thackeray commenced his connection with Fraser's Magazine I am unable to say. We know how he had come to London with a view to a literary career, and that he had at one time made an attempt to earn his bread as a correspondent to a newspaper from Paris. It is probable that he became acquainted with the redoubtable Oliver Yorke, otherwise Dr. Maginn, or some of his staff, through the connection which he had thus opened with the press. He was not known, or at any rate he was unrecognised, by Fraser in January, 1835, in which month an amusing catalogue was given of the writers then employed, with portraits of them, all seated at a symposium. I can trace no article to his pen before November, 1837, when the Yellowplush Correspondence was commenced, though it is hardly probable that he should have commenced with a work of so much pretension. There had been published a volume called My Book, or the Anatomy of Conduct , by John Skelton, and a very absurd book no doubt it was. We may presume that it contained maxims on etiquette, and that it was intended to convey in print those invaluable lessons on deportment which, as Dickens has told us, were subsequently given by Mr. Turveydrop, in the academy kept by him for that [62/63] purpose. Thackeray took this as his foundation for the Fashionable Fax and Polite Annygoats , by Jeames Yellowplush, with which he commenced those repeated attacks against snobbism which he delighted to make through a considerable portion of his literary life. Oliver Yorke has himself added four or five pages of his own to Thackeray's lucubrations and with the second, and some future numbers, there appeared illustrations by Thackeray himself, illustrations at this time not having been common with the magazine. From all this I gather that the author was already held in estimation by Fraser's confraternity. I remember well my own delight with Yellowplush at the time, and how I inquired who was the author. It was then that I first heard Thackeray's name.

The Yellowplush Papers were continued through nine numbers. No further reference was made to Mr. Skelton and his book beyond that given at the beginning of the first number, and the satire is only shown by the attempt made by Yellowplush, the footman, to give his ideas generally on the manners of noble life. The idea seems to be that a gentleman may, in heart and in action, be as vulgar as a footman. No doubt he may, but the chances are very much that he won't. But the virtue of the memoir does not consist in the lessons, but in the general drollery of the letters. The "orthogwaphy is inaccuwate," as a certain person says in the memoirs,—"so inaccuwate" as to take a positive study to "compwehend" it but the joke, though old, is so handled as to be very amusing. Thackeray soon rushes away from his criticisms on snobbism to other matters. There are the details of a card-sharping enterprise, in which we cannot but feel that we recognise something of the author's own experiences in the misfortunes of Mr. Dawkins there is the Earl of Crab's, [63/64] and then the first of those attacks which he was tempted to make on the absurdities of his brethren of letters, and the only one which now has the appearance of having been ill-natured. His first victims were Dr. Dionysius Lardner and Mr. Edward Bulwer Lytton, as he was then. We can surrender the doctor to the whip of the satirist and for "Sawedwadgeorgeearllittnbulwig," as the novelist is made to call himself, we can well believe that he must himself have enjoyed the Yellowplush Memoirs if he ever re-read them in after life. The speech in which he is made to dissuade the footman from joining the world of letters is so good that I will venture to insert it:

"Bullwig was violently affected a tear stood in his glistening i. 'Yellowplush,' says he, seizing my hand, 'you are right. Quit not your present occupation black boots, clean knives, wear plush all your life, but don't turn literary man. Look at me. I am the first novelist in Europe. I have ranged with eagle wings over the wide regions of literature, and perched on every eminence in its turn. I have gazed with eagle eyes on the sun of philosophy, and fathomed the mysterious depths of the human mind. All languages are familiar to me, all thoughts are known to me, all men understood by me. I have gathered wisdom from the honeyed lips of Plato, as we wandered in the gardens of the Academies wisdom, too, from the mouth of Job Johnson, as we smoked our backy in Seven Dials. Such must be the studies, and such is the mission, in this world of the Poet-Philosopher. But the knowledge is only emptiness the initiation is but misery the initiated a man shunned and banned by his fellows. Oh!' said Bullwig, clasping his hands, and throwing his fine i's up to the chandelier, 'the curse of Pwomethus descends upon his wace. Wath and punishment pursue them from [64/65] genewation to genewation! Wo to genius, the heaven-scaler, the fire-stealer! Wo and thrice-bitter desolation! Earth is the wock on which Zeus, wemorseless, stwetches his withing wictim—men, the vultures that feed and fatten on him. Ai, ai! it is agony eternal,—gwoaning and solitawy despair! And you, Yellowplush, would penetwate these mystewies you would waise the awful veil, and stand in the twemendous Pwesence. Beware, as you value your peace, beware! Withdraw, wash Neophyte! For heaven's sake! O for heaven's sake!'—Here he looked round with agony—'give me a glass of bwandy-and-water, for this clawet is beginning to disagwee with me.'"

It was thus that Thackeray began that vein of satire on his contemporaries of which it may be said that the older he grew the more amusing it was, and at the same time less likely to hurt the feelings of the author satirised.

The next tale of any length from Thackeray's pen, in the magazine, was that called Catherine , which is the story taken from the life of a wretched woman called Catherine Hayes. It is certainly not pleasant reading, and was not written with a pleasant purpose. It assumes to have come from the pen of Ikey Solomon, of Horsemonger Lane, and its object is to show how disgusting would be the records of thieves, cheats, and murderers if their doings and language were described according to their nature instead of being handled in such a way as to create sympathy, and therefore imitation. Bulwer's Eugene Aram , Harrison Ainsworth's Jack Sheppard , and Dickens' Nancy were in his mind, and it was thus that he preached his sermon against the selection of such heroes and heroines by the novelists of the day. "Be it granted," he says, in his epilogue, "Solomon is dull but [65/66] don't attack his morality. He humbly submits that, in his poem, no man shall mistake virtue for vice, no man shall allow a single sentiment of pity or admiration to enter his bosom for any character in the poem, it being from beginning to end a scene of unmixed rascality, performed by persons who never deviate into good feeling." The intention is intelligible enough, but such a story neither could have been written nor read,—certainly not written by Thackeray, nor read by the ordinary reader of a first-class magazine,—had he not been enabled to adorn it by infinite wit. Captain Brock, though a brave man, is certainly not described as an interesting or gallant soldier but he is possessed of great resources. Captain Macshane, too, is a thorough blackguard but he is one with a dash of loyalty about him, so that the reader can almost sympathise with him, and is tempted to say that Ikey Solomon has not quite kept his promise.

Catherine appeared in 1839 and 1840. In the latter of those years The Shabby Genteel story also came out. Then in 1841 there followed The History of Samuel Titmarsh and the Great Hoggarty Diamond , illustrated by Samuel's cousin, Michael Angelo. But though so announced in Fraser , there were no illustrations, and those attached to the story in later editions are not taken from sketches by Thackeray. This, as far as I know, was the first use of the name Titmarsh, and seems to indicate some intention on the part of the author of creating a hoax as to two personages,—one the writer and the other the illustrator. If it were so he must soon have dropped the idea. In the last paragraph he has shaken off his cousin Michael. The main object of the story is to expose the villany of bubble companies, and the danger they run who venture to have dealings with city matters which they do not [66/67] understand. I cannot but think that he altered his mind and changed his purpose while he was writing it, actuated probably by that editorial monition as to its length.

In 1842 were commenced The Confessions of George Fitz-Boodle , which were continued into 1843. I do not think that they attracted much attention, or that they have become peculiarly popular since. They are supposed to contain the reminiscences of a younger son, who moans over his poverty, complains of womankind generally, laughs at the world all round, and intersperses his pages with one or two excellent ballads. I quote one, written for the sake of affording a parody, with the parody along with it, because the two together give so strong an example of the condition of Thackeray's mind in regard to literary products. The "humbug" of everything, the pretence, the falseness of affected sentiment, the remoteness of poetical pathos from the true condition of the average minds of men and women, struck him so strongly, that he sometimes allowed himself almost to feel,—or at any rate, to say,—that poetical expression, as being above nature, must be unnatural. He had declared to himself that all humbug was odious, and should be by him laughed down to the extent of his capacity. His Yellowplush, his Catherine Hayes, his Fitz-Boodle, his Barry Lyndon, and Becky Sharp, with many others of this kind, were all invented and treated for this purpose and after this fashion. I shall have to say more on the same subject when I come to The Snob Papers . In this instance he wrote a very pretty ballad, The Willow Tree ,—so good that if left by itself it would create no idea of absurdity or extravagant pathos in the mind of the ordinary reader,—simply that he might render his own work absurd by his own parody.

Know ye the willow-tree,
Whose gray leaves quiver,
Whispering gloomily
To yon pale river?
Lady, at eventide
Wander not near it!
They say its branches hide
A sad lost spirit!

Once to the willow-tree
A maid came fearful,
Pale seemed her cheek to be,
Her blue eye tearful.
Soon as she saw the tree,
Her steps moved fleeter.
No one was there--ah me!--
No one to meet her!

Quick beat her heart to hear
The far bells' chime
Toll from the chapel-tower
The trysting-time.
But the red sun went down
In golden flame,
And though she looked around,
Yet no one came!

Presently came the night,
Sadly to greet her,--
Moon in her silver light,
Stars in their glitter.
Then sank the moon away
Under the billow.
Still wept the maid alone--
There by the willow!

Through the long darkness,
By the stream rolling,
Hour after hour went on
Tolling and tolling.
Long was the darkness,
Lonely and stilly.
Shrill came the night wind,
Piercing and chilly.

Shrill blew the morning breeze,
Biting and cold.
Bleak peers the gray dawn
Over the wold!
Bleak over moor and stream
Looks the gray dawn,
Gray with dishevelled hair.
Still stands the willow there--
The maid is gone!

Domine, Domine!
Sing we a litany--
Sing for poor maiden-hearts broken and weary
Sing we a litany,
Wail we and weep we a wild miserere! [67/68]

Long by the willow-tree
Vainly they sought her,
Wild rang the mother's screams
O'er the gray water.
"Where is my lovely one?
Where is my daughter?

Rouse thee, sir constable--
Rouse thee and look.
Fisherman, bring your net,
Boatman, your hook.
Beat in the lily-beds,
Dive in the brook."

Vainly the constable
Shouted and called her.
Vainly the fisherman
Beat the green alder.
Vainly he threw the net.
Never it hauled her!

Mother beside the fire
Sat, her night-cap in
Father in easychair,
Gloomily napping
When at the window-sill
Came a light tapping.

And a pale countenance
Looked through the casement.
Loud beat the mother's heart,
Sick with amazement,
And at the vision which
Came to surprise her!
Shrieking in an agony--
"Lor'! it's Elizar!" [68/69]

Yes, 'twas Elizabeth--
Yes, 'twas their girl
Pale was her cheek, and her
Hair out of curl.
"Mother!" the loved one,
Blushing, exclaimed,
"Let not your innocent
Lizzy be blamed.

Yesterday, going to Aunt
Jones's to tea,
Mother, dear mother, I
Forgot the door-key!
And as the night was cold,
And the way steep,
Mrs. Jones kept me to
Breakfast and sleep."

Whether her pa and ma
Fully believed her,
That we shall never know.
Stern they received her
And for the work of that
Cruel, though short, night,--
Sent her to bed without
Tea for a fortnight.

Hey diddle diddlety,
Cat and the fiddlety,
Maidens of England take caution by she!
Let love and suicide
Never tempt you aside,
And always remember to take the door-key!

Mr. George Fitz-Boodle gave his name to other narratives beyond his own Confessions . A series of stories was carried on by him in Fraser , called Men's Wives , containing three [69/70] Ravenwing , Mr. and Mrs. Frank Berry , and Dennis Hoggarty's Wife . The first chapter in Mr. and Mrs. Frank Berry describes "The Fight at Slaughter House." Slaughter House, as Mr. Venables reminded us in the last chapter, was near Smithfield in London,—the school which afterwards became Grey Friars and the fight between Biggs and Berry is the record of one which took place in the flesh when Thackeray was at the Charter House. But Mr. Fitz-Boodle's name was afterwards attached to a greater work than these, to a work so great that subsequent editors have thought him to be unworthy of the honour. In the January number, 1844, of Fraser's Magazine , are commenced the Memoirs of Barry Lyndon , and the authorship is attributed to Mr. Fitz-Boodle. The title given in the magazine was The Luck of Barry Lyndon: a Romance of the last Century . By Fitz-Boodle. In the collected edition of Thackeray's works the Memoirs are given as "Written by himself," and were, I presume, so brought out by Thackeray, after they had appeared in Fraser . Why Mr. George Fitz-Boodle should have been robbed of so great an honour I do not know.

In imagination, language, construction, and general literary capacity, Thackeray never did anything more remarkable than Barry Lyndon . I have quoted the words which he put into the mouth of Ikey Solomon, declaring that in the story which he has there told he has created nothing but disgust for the wicked characters he has produced, and that he has "used his humble endeavours to cause the public also to hate them." Here, in Barry Lyndon , he has, probably unconsciously, acted in direct opposition to his own principles: Barry Lyndon is as great a scoundrel as the mind of man ever conceived. He is one who might have taken as his motto Satan's [70/71] words "Evil, be thou my good." And yet his story is so written that it is almost impossible not to entertain something of a friendly feeling for him. He tells his own adventures as a card-sharper, bully, and liar as a heartless wretch, who had neither love nor gratitude in his composition who had no sense even of loyalty who regarded gambling as the highest occupation to which a man could devote himself, and fraud as always justified by success a man possessed by all meannesses except cowardice. And the reader is so carried away by his frankness and energy as almost to rejoice when he succeeds, and to grieve with him when he is brought to the ground.

The man is perfectly satisfied as to the reasonableness,—I might almost say, as to the rectitude,—of his own conduct throughout. He is one of a decayed Irish family, that could boast of good blood. His father had obtained possession of the remnants of the property by turning Protestant, thus ousting the elder brother, who later on becomes his nephew's confederate in gambling. The elder brother is true to the old religion, and as the law stood in the last century, the younger brother, by changing his religion, was able to turn him out. Barry, when a boy, learns the slang and the gait of the debauched gentlemen of the day. He is specially proud of being a gentleman by birth and manners. He had been kidnapped, and made to serve as a common soldier, but boasts that he was at once fit for the occasion when enabled to show as a court gentleman. "I came to it at once," he says, "and as if I had never done anything else all my life. I had a gentleman to wait upon me, a French friseur to dress my hair of a morning. I knew the taste of chocolate as by intuition almost, and could distinguish [71/72] between the right Spanish and the French before I had been a week in my new position. I had rings on all my fingers and watches in both my fobs, canes, trinkets, and snuffboxes of all sorts. I had the finest natural taste for lace and china of any man I ever knew."

To dress well, to wear a sword with a grace, to carry away his plunder with affected indifference, and to appear to be equally easy when he loses his last ducat, to be agreeable to women, and to look like a gentleman,—these are his accomplishments. In one place he rises to the height of a grand professor in the art of gambling, and gives his lessons with almost a noble air. "Play grandly, honourably. Be not of course cast down at losing but above all, be not eager at winning, as mean souls are." And he boasts of his accomplishments with so much eloquence as to make the reader sure that he believes in them. He is quite pathetic over himself, and can describe with heartrending words the evils that befall him when others use against him successfully any of the arts which he practises himself.

The marvel of the book is not so much that the hero should evidently think well of himself, as that the author should so tell his story as to appear to be altogether on the hero's side. In Catherine , the horrors described are most truly disgusting,—so much that the story, though very clever, is not pleasant reading. The Memoirs of Barry Lyndon are very pleasant to read. There is nothing to shock or disgust. The style of narrative is exactly that which might be used as to the exploits of a man whom the author intended to represent as deserving of sympathy and praise,—so that the reader is almost brought to sympathise. But I should be doing an injustice to Thackeray if I were to leave an impression that he had [72/73] taught lessons tending to evil practice, such as he supposed to have been left by Jack Sheppard or Eugene Aram . No one will be tempted to undertake the life of a chevalier d'industrie by reading the book, or be made to think that cheating at cards is either an agreeable or a profitable profession. The following is excellent as a tirade in favour of gambling, coming from Redmond de Balibari, as he came to be called during his adventures abroad, but it will hardly persuade anyone to be a gambler

"We always played on parole with anybody,—any person, that is, of honour and noble lineage. We never pressed for our winnings, or declined to receive promissory notes in lieu of gold. But woe to the man who did not pay when the note became due! Redmond de Balibari was sure to wait upon him with his bill, and I promise you there were very few bad debts. On the contrary, gentlemen were grateful to us for our forbearance, and our character for honour stood unimpeached. In latter times, a vulgar national prejudice has chosen to cast a slur upon the character of men of honour engaged in the profession of play but I speak of the good old days of Europe, before the cowardice of the French aristocracy (in the shameful revolution, which served them right) brought discredit upon our order. They cry fie now upon men engaged in play but I should like to know how much more honourable their modes of livelihood are than ours. The broker of the Exchange, who bulls and bears, and buys and sells, and dabbles with lying loans, and trades upon state-secrets,—what is he but a gamester? The merchant who deals in teas and tallow, is he any better? His bales of dirty indigo are his dice, his cards come up every year instead of every ten minutes, and the sea is his [73/74] green-table. You call the profession of the law an honourable one, where a man will lie for any bidder—lie down poverty for the sake of a fee from wealth lie down right because wrong is in his brief. You call a doctor an honourable man,—a swindling quack who does not believe in the nostrums which he prescribes, and takes your guinea for whispering in your ear that it is a fine morning. And yet, forsooth, a gallant man, who sits him down before the baize and challenges all comers, his money against theirs, his fortune against theirs, is proscribed by your modern moral world! It is a conspiracy of the middle-class against gentlemen. It is only the shopkeeper cant which is to go down nowadays. I say that play was an institution of chivalry. It has been wrecked along with other privileges of men of birth. When Seingalt engaged a man for six-and-thirty hours without leaving the table, do you think he showed no courage? How have we had the best blood and the brightest eyes too, of Europe throbbing round the table, as I and my uncle have held the cards and the bank against some terrible player, who was matching some thousands out of his millions against our all, which was there on the baize! When we engaged that daring Alexis Kossloffsky, and won seven thousand louis on a single coup, had we lost we should have been beggars the next day when he lost, he was only a village and a few hundred serfs in pawn the worse. When at Toeplitz the Duke of Courland brought fourteen lacqueys, each with four bags of florins, and challenged our bank to play against the sealed bags, what did we ask? 'Sir,' said we, 'we have but eighty thousand florins in bank, or two hundred thousand at three months. If your highness's bags do not contain more than eighty thousand we will meet you.' And we [74/75] did and after eleven hours' play, in which our bank was at one time reduced to two hundred and three ducats, we won seventeen thousand florins of him. Is this not something like boldness? Does this profession not require skill, and perseverance, and bravery? Four crowned heads looked on at the game, and an imperial princess, when I turned up the ace of hearts and made Paroli, burst into tears. No man on the European Continent held a higher position than Redmond Barry then and when the Duke of Courland lost he was pleased to say that we had won nobly. And so we had, and spent nobly what we won."

This is very grand, and is put as an eloquent man would put it who really wished to defend gambling.

The rascal, of course, comes to a miserable end, but the tone of the narrative is continued throughout. He is brought to live at last with his old mother in the Fleet prison, on a wretched annuity of fifty pounds per annum, which she has saved out of the general wreck, and there he dies of delirium tremens. For an assumed tone of continued irony, maintained through the long memoir of a life, never becoming tedious, never unnatural, astounding us rather by its naturalness, I know nothing equal to Barry Lyndon .

As one reads, one sometimes is struck by a conviction that this or the other writer has thoroughly liked the work on which he is engaged. There is a gusto about his passages, a liveliness in the language, a spring in the motion of the words, an eagerness of description, a lilt, if I may so call it, in the progress of the narrative, which makes the reader feel that the author has himself greatly enjoyed what he has written. He has evidently gone on with his work without any sense of weariness, or doubt [75/76] and the words have come readily to him. So it has been with Barry Lyndon . "My mind was filled full with those blackguards," Thackeray once said to a friend. It is easy enough to see that it was so. In the passage which I have above quoted, his mind was running over with the idea that a rascal might be so far gone in rascality as to be in love with his own trade.

This was the last of Thackeray's long stories in Fraser . I have given by no means a complete catalogue of his contributions to the magazine, but I have perhaps mentioned those which are best known. There were many short pieces which have now been collected in his works, such as Little Travels and Roadside Sketches , and the Carmen Lilliense , in which the poet is supposed to be detained at Lille by want of money. There are others which I think are not to be found in the collected works, such as a Box of Novels by Titmarsh , and Titmarsh in the Picture Galleries . After the name of Titmarsh had been once assumed it was generally used in the papers which he sent to Fraser .

Thackeray's connection with Punch began in 1843, and, as far as I can learn, Miss Tickletoby's Lectures on English History was his first contribution. They, however, have not been found worthy of a place in the collected edition. His short pieces during a long period of his life were so numerous that to have brought them all together would have weighted his more important works with too great an amount of extraneous matter. The same lady, Miss Tickletoby, gave a series of lectures. There was The History of the next French Revolution , and The Wanderings of our Fat Contributor ,—the first of which is, and the latter is not, perpetuated in his works. Our old friend Jeames Yellowplush, or De la Pluche,—for [76/77] we cannot for a moment doubt that he is the same Jeames,—is very prolific, and as excellent in his orthography, his sense, and satire, as ever. These papers began with The Lucky Speculator . He lives in The Albany he hires a brougham and is devoted to Miss Emily Flimsey, the daughter of Sir George, who had been his master,—to the great injury of poor Maryanne, the fellow-servant who had loved him in his kitchen days. Then there follows that wonderful ballad, Jeames of Backley Square . Upon this he writes an angry letter to Punch , dated from his chambers in The Albany (photograph) "Has a reglar suscriber to your amusing paper, I beg leaf to state that I should never have done so had I supposed that it was your 'abbit to igspose the mistaries of privit life, and to hinger the delligit feelings of umble individyouls like myself." He writes in his own defence, both as to Maryanne and to the share-dealing by which he had made his fortune and he ends with declaring his right to the position which he holds. "You are corrict in stating that I am of hancient Normin fam'ly. This is more than Peal can say, to whomb I applied for a barnetcy but the primmier being of low igstraction, natrally stikles for his horder." And the letter is signed "Fitzjames De la Pluche." Then follows his diary, beginning with a description of the way in which he rushed into Punch's office, declaring his misfortunes, when losses had come upon him. "I wish to be paid for my contribewtions to your paper. Suckmstances is altered with me." Whereupon he gets a cheque upon Messrs. Pump and Aldgate, and has himself carried away to new speculations. He leaves his diary behind him, and Punch surreptitiously publishes it. There is much in the diary which comes from Thackeray's very heart. Who does not remember his indignation against [77/78] Lord Bareacres? "I gave the old humbug a few shares out of my own pocket. 'There, old Pride,' says I, 'I like to see you down on your knees to a footman. There, old Pomposity! Take fifty pounds. I like to see you come cringing and begging for it!' Whenever I see him in a very public place, I take my change for my money. I digg him in the ribbs, or clap his padded old shoulders. I call him 'Bareacres, my old brick,' and I see him wince. It does my 'art good." It does Thackeray's heart good to pour himself out in indignation against some imaginary Bareacres. He blows off his steam with such an eagerness that he forgets for a time, or nearly forgets, his cacography. Then there are "Jeames on Time Bargings," "Jeames on the Gauge Question," "Mr. Jeames again." Of all our author's heroes Jeames is perhaps the most amusing. There is not much in that joke of bad spelling, and we should have been inclined to say beforehand, that Mrs. Malaprop had done it so well and so sufficiently, that no repetition of it would be received with great favour. Like other dishes, it depends upon the cooking. Jeames, with his "suckmstances," high or low, will be immortal.

There were The Travels in London , a long series of them and then Punch's Prize Novelists , in which Thackeray imitates the language and plots of Bulwer, Disraeli, Charles Lever, G. P. R. James, Mrs. Gore, and Cooper, the American. They are all excellent perhaps Codlingsby is the best. Mendoza, when he is fighting with the bargeman, or drinking with Codlingsby, or receiving Louis Philippe in his rooms, seems to have come direct from the pen of our Premier. Phil Fogerty's jump, and the younger and the elder horsemen, as they come riding into the story, one in his armour and the other with his feathers, have the very savour and tone of Lever and [78/79] James but then the savour and the tone are not so piquant. I know nothing in the way of imitation to equal Codlingsby, if it be not The Tale of Drury Lane, by W. S. in the Rejected Addresses , of which it is said that Walter Scott declared that he must have written it himself. The scene between Dr. Franklin, Louis XVI., Marie Antoinette, and Tatua, the chief of the Nose-rings, as told in The Stars and Stripes , is perfect in its way, but it fails as being a caricature of Cooper. The caricaturist has been carried away beyond and above his model, by his own sense of fun.

Of the ballads which appeared in Punch I will speak elsewhere, as I must give a separate short chapter to our author's power of versification but I must say a word of The Snob Papers , which were at the time the most popular and the best known of all Thackeray's contributions to Punch . I think that perhaps they were more charming, more piquant, more apparently true, when they came out one after another in the periodical, than they are now as collected together. I think that one at a time would be better than many. And I think that the first half in the long list of snobs would have been more manifestly snobs to us than they are now with the second half of the list appended. In fact, there are too many of them, till the reader is driven to tell himself that the meaning of it all is that Adam's family is from first to last a family of snobs. "First," says Thackeray, in preface,

the world was made then, as a matter of course, snobs they existed for years and years, and were no more known than America. But presently,—ingens patebat tellus,—the people became darkly aware that there was such a race. Not above five-and-twenty years since, a name, an expressive monosyllable, arose to designate that case. That [79/80] name has spread over England like railroads subsequently snobs are known and recognised throughout an empire on which I am given to understand the sun never sets. Punch appears at the right season to chronicle their history and the individual comes forth to write that history in Punch .

"I have,—and for this gift I congratulate myself with a deep and abiding thankfulness,—an eye for a snob. If the truthful is the beautiful, it is beautiful to study even the snobbish—to track snobs through history as certain little dogs in Hampshire hunt out truffles to sink shafts in society, and come upon rich veins of snob-ore. Snobbishness is like Death, in a quotation from Horace, which I hope you never heard, 'beating with equal foot at poor men's doors, and kicking at the gates of emperors.' It is a great mistake to judge of snobs lightly, and think they exist among the lower classes merely. An immense percentage of snobs, I believe, is to be found in every rank of this mortal life. You must not judge hastily or vulgarly of snobs to do so shows that you are yourself a snob. I myself have been taken for one."

The state of Thackeray's mind when he commenced his delineations of snobbery is here accurately depicted. Written, as these papers were, for Punch , and written, as they were, by Thackeray, it was a necessity that every idea put forth should be given as a joke, and that the satire on society in general should be wrapped up in burlesque absurdity. But not the less eager and serious was his intention. When he tells us, at the end of the first chapter, of a certain Colonel Snobley, whom he met at "Bagnigge Wells," as he says, and with whom he was so disgusted that he determined to drive the man out of the house, we are well aware that he had met an [80/81] offensive military gentleman,—probably at Tunbridge. Gentlemen thus offensive, even though tamely offensive, were peculiarly offensive to him. We presume, by what follows, that this gentleman, ignorantly,—for himself most unfortunately,—spoke of Public[=o]la. Thackeray was disgusted,—disgusted that such a name should be lugged into ordinary conversation at all, and then that a man should talk about a name with which he was so little acquainted as not to know how to pronounce it. The man was therefore a snob, and ought to be put down in all which I think that Thackeray was unnecessarily hard on the man, and gave him too much importance.

So it was with him in his whole intercourse with snobs,—as he calls them. He saw something that was distasteful, and a man instantly became a snob in his estimation. "But you can draw," a man once said to him, there having been some discussion on the subject of Thackeray's art powers. The man meant no doubt to be civil, but meant also to imply that for the purpose needed the drawing was good enough, a matter on which he was competent to form an opinion. Thackeray instantly put the man down as a snob for flattering him. The little courtesies of the world and the little discourtesies became snobbish to him. A man could not wear his hat, or carry his umbrella, or mount his horse, without falling into some error of snobbism before his hypercritical eyes. St. Michael would have carried his armour amiss, and St. Cecilia have been snobbish as she twanged her harp.

I fancy that a policeman considers that every man in the street would be properly "run in," if only all the truth about the man had been known. The tinker thinks that every pot is unsound. The cobbler doubts the 82" 82[82] stability of every shoe. So at last it grew to be the case with Thackeray. There was more hope that the city should be saved because of its ten just men, than for society, if society were to depend on ten who were not snobs. All this arose from the keenness of his vision into that which was really mean. But that keenness became so aggravated by the intenseness of his search that the slightest speck of dust became to his eyes as a foul stain. Public[=o]la, as we saw, damned one poor man to a wretched immortality, and another was called pitilessly over the coals, because he had mixed a grain of flattery with a bushel of truth. Thackeray tells us that he was born to hunt out snobs, as certain dogs are trained to find truffles. But we can imagine that a dog, very energetic at producing truffles, and not finding them as plentiful as his heart desired, might occasionally produce roots which were not genuine,—might be carried on in his energies till to his senses every fungus-root became a truffle. I think that there has been something of this with our author's snob-hunting, and that his zeal was at last greater than his discrimination.

The nature of the task which came upon him made this fault almost unavoidable. When a hit is made, say with a piece at a theatre, or with a set of illustrations, or with a series of papers on this or the other subject,—when something of this kind has suited the taste of the moment, and gratified the public, there is a natural inclination on the part of those who are interested to continue that which has been found to be good. It pays and it pleases, and it seems to suit everybody. Then it is continued usque ad nauseam. We see it in everything. When the king said he liked partridges, partridges were served to him every day. The world was pleased with certain [82/83] ridiculous portraits of its big men. The big men were soon used up, and the little men had to be added.

We can imagine that even Punch may occasionally be at a loss for subjects wherewith to delight its readers. In fact, The Snob Papers were too good to be brought to an end, and therefore there were forty-five of them. A dozen would have been better. As he himself says in his last paper, "for a mortal year we have been together flattering and abusing the human race." It was exactly that. Of course we know,—everybody always knows,—that a bad specimen of his order may be found in every division of society. There may be a snob king, a snob parson, a snob member of parliament, a snob grocer, tailor, goldsmith, and the like. But that is not what has been meant. We did not want a special satirist to tell us what we all knew before. Had snobbishness been divided for us into its various attributes and characteristics, rather than attributed to various classes, the end sought,—the exposure, namely, of the evil,—would have been better attained. The snobbishness of flattery, of falsehood, of cowardice, lying, time-serving, money-worship, would have been perhaps attacked to a better purpose than that of kings, priests, soldiers, merchants, or men of letters. The assault as made by Thackeray seems to have been made on the profession generally.

The paper on clerical snobs is intended to be essentially generous, and is ended by an allusion to certain old clerical friends which has a sweet tone of tenderness in it. "How should he who knows you, not respect you or your calling? May this pen never write a pennyworth again if it ever casts ridicule upon either." But in the meantime he has thrown his stone at the covetousness of bishops, because of certain Irish prelates who died rich many years before [83/84] he wrote. The insinuation is that bishops generally take more of the loaves and fishes than they ought, whereas the fact is that bishops' incomes are generally so insufficient for the requirements demanded of them, that a feeling prevails that a clergyman to be fit for a bishopric should have a private income. He attacks the snobbishness of the universities, showing us how one class of young men consists of fellow-commoners, who wear lace and drink wine with their meals, and another class consists of sizars, or servitors, who wear badges, as being poor, and are never allowed to take their food with their fellow-students. That arrangements fit for past times are not fit for these is true enough. Consequently they should gradually be changed and from day to day are changed. But there is no snobbishness in this. Was the fellow-commoner a snob when he acted in accordance with the custom of his rank and standing? or the sizar who accepted aid in achieving that education which he could not have got without it? or the tutor of the college, who carried out the rules entrusted to him? There are two military snobs, Rag and Famish. One is a swindler and the other a debauched young idiot. No doubt they are both snobs, and one has been, while the other is, an officer. But there is,—I think, not an unfairness so much as an absence of intuition,—in attaching to soldiers especially two vices to which all classes are open. Rag was a gambling snob, and Famish a drunken snob,—but they were not specially military snobs. There is a chapter devoted to dinner-giving snobs, in which I think the doctrine laid down will not hold water, and therefore that the snobbism imputed is not proved. "Your usual style of meal," says the satirist—"that is plenteous, comfortable, and in its perfection,—should be that to which you welcome your 85" 85[85] friends." Then there is something said about the "Brummagem plate pomp," and we are told that it is right that dukes should give grand dinners, but that we,—of the middle class,—should entertain our friends with the simplicity which is customary with us. In all this there is, I think, a mistake. The duke gives a grand dinner because he thinks his friends will like it, sitting down when alone with the duchess, we may suppose, with a retinue and grandeur less than that which is arrayed for gala occasions. So is it with Mr. Jones, who is no snob because he provides a costly dinner,—if he can afford it. He does it because he thinks his friends will like it. It may be that the grand dinner is a bore,—and that the leg of mutton with plenty of gravy and potatoes all hot, would be nicer. I generally prefer the leg of mutton myself. But I do not think that snobbery is involved in the other. A man, no doubt, may be a snob in giving a dinner. I am not a snob because for the occasion I eke out my own dozen silver forks with plated ware but if I make believe that my plated ware is true silver, then I am a snob.

In that matter of association with our betters,—we will for the moment presume that gentlemen and ladies with titles or great wealth are our betters,—great and delicate questions arise as to what is snobbery, and what is not, in speaking of which Thackeray becomes very indignant, and explains the intensity of his feelings as thoroughly by a charming little picture as by his words. It is a picture of Queen Elizabeth as she is about to trample with disdain on the coat which that snob Raleigh is throwing for her use on the mud before her. This is intended to typify the low parasite nature of the Englishman which has been described in the previous page or two. "And of these calm moralists,"—it matters not for our present purpose 86" 86[86] who were the moralists in question,—"is there one I wonder whose heart would not throb with pleasure if he could be seen walking arm-in-arm with a couple of dukes down Pall Mall? No it is impossible, in our condition of society, not to be sometimes a snob." And again: "How should it be otherwise in a country where lordolatry is part of our creed, and where our children are brought up to respect the 'Peerage' as the Englishman's second Bible." Then follows the wonderfully graphic picture of Queen Elizabeth and Raleigh.

In all this Thackeray has been carried away from the truth by his hatred for a certain meanness of which there are no doubt examples enough. As for Raleigh, I think we have always sympathised with the young man, instead of despising him, because he felt on the impulse of the moment that nothing was too good for the woman and the queen combined. The idea of getting something in return for his coat could hardly have come so quick to him as that impulse in favour of royalty and womanhood. If one of us to-day should see the queen passing, would he not raise his hat, and assume, unconsciously, something of an altered demeanour because of his reverence for majesty? In doing so he would have no mean desire of getting anything. The throne and its occupant are to him honourable, and he honours them. There is surely no greater mistake than to suppose that reverence is snobbishness. I meet a great man in the street, and some chance having brought me to his knowledge, he stops and says a word to me. Am I a snob because I feel myself to be graced by his notice? Surely not. And if his acquaintance goes further and he asks me to dinner, am I not entitled so far to think well of myself because I have been found worthy of his society? [86/87]

They who have raised themselves in the world, and they, too, whose position has enabled them to receive all that estimation can give, all that society can furnish, all that intercourse with the great can give, are more likely to be pleasant companions than they who have been less fortunate. That picture of two companion dukes in Pall Mall is too gorgeous for human eye to endure. A man would be scorched to cinders by so much light, as he would be crushed by a sack of sovereigns even though he might be allowed to have them if he could carry them away. But there can be no doubt that a peer taken at random as a companion would be preferable to a clerk from a counting-house,—taken at random. The clerk might turn out a scholar on your hands, and the peer no better than a poor spendthrift—but the chances are the other way.

A tufthunter is a snob, a parasite is a snob, the man who allows the manhood within him to be awed by a coronet is a snob. The man who worships mere wealth is a snob. But so also is he who, in fear lest he should be called a snob, is afraid to seek the acquaintance,—or if it come to speak of the acquaintance,—of those whose acquaintance is manifestly desirable. In all this I feel that Thackeray was carried beyond the truth by his intense desire to put down what is mean.

It is in truth well for us all to know what constitutes snobbism, and I think that Thackeray, had he not been driven to dilution and dilatation, could have told us. If you will keep your hands from picking and stealing, and your tongue from evil speaking, lying, and slandering, you will not be a snob. The lesson seems to be simple, and perhaps a little trite, but if you look into it, it will be found to contain nearly all that is necessary. [87/88]

But the excellence of each individual picture as it is drawn is not the less striking because there may be found some fault with the series as a whole. What can excel the telling of the story of Captain Shindy at his club,—which is, I must own, as true as it is graphic. Captain Shindy is a real snob. "'Look at it, sir is it cooked? Smell it, sir. Is it meat fit for a gentleman?' he roars out to the steward, who stands trembling before him, and who in vain tells him that the Bishop of Bullocksmithy has just had three from the same loin." The telling as regards Captain Shindy is excellent, but the sidelong attack upon the episcopate is cruel.

All the waiters in the club are huddled round the captain's mutton-chop. He roars out the most horrible curses at John for not bringing the pickles. He utters the most dreadful oaths because Thomas has not arrived with the Harvey sauce. Peter comes tumbling with the water-jug over Jeames, who is bringing the 'glittering canisters with bread.'

"Poor Mrs. Shindy and the children are, meanwhile, in dingy lodgings somewhere, waited upon by a charity girl in pattens.

The visit to Castle Carabas, and the housekeeper's description of the wonders of the family mansion, is as good. "The Side Entrance and 'All,' says the housekeeper.

“The halligator hover the mantelpiece was brought home by Hadmiral St. Michaels, when a capting with Lord Hanson. The harms on the cheers is the harms of the Carabas family. The great 'all is seventy feet in lenth, fifty-six in breath, and thirty-eight feet 'igh. The carvings of the chimlies, representing the [88/89] buth of Venus and 'Ercules and 'Eyelash, is by Van Chislum, the most famous sculpture of his hage and country. The ceiling, by Calimanco, represents Painting, Harchitecture, and Music,—the naked female figure with the barrel-organ,—introducing George, first Lord Carabas, to the Temple of the Muses. The winder ornaments is by Vanderputty. The floor is Patagonian marble and the chandelier in the centre was presented to Lionel, second marquis, by Lewy the Sixteenth, whose 'ead was cut hoff in the French Revolution. We now henter the South Gallery," etc. etc.

All of which is very good fun, with a dash of truth in it also as to the snobbery—only in this it will be necessary to be quite sure where the snobbery lies. If my Lord Carabas has a "buth of Venus," beautiful for all eyes to see, there is no snobbery, only good-nature, in the showing it nor is there snobbery in going to see it, if a beautiful "buth of Venus" has charms for you. If you merely want to see the inside of a lord's house, and the lord is puffed up with the pride of showing his, then there will be two snobs.

Of all those papers it may be said that each has that quality of a pearl about it which in the previous chapter I endeavoured to explain. In each some little point is made in excellent language, so as to charm by its neatness, incision, and drollery. But The Snob Papers had better be read separately, and not taken in the lump.

Thackeray ceased to write for Punch in 1852, either entirely or almost so.

Fraser’s Book ‘Truth’ Uncovers Long History of Official Lies

President Trump recently addressed the nation with a message of hope and reassurance, noting, &ldquo&lsquoWhile we may be physically apart, we can use this time to pray, to reflect and to focus on our personal relationship with God.&rsquo&rdquo

Non-fans of the president, whose polls steadily measure at least half of the country&rsquos voters, will take little solace in those solemn words, having become conditioned to believing virtually nothing this president says on any subject, from his faith to his favorite COVID-19 cures.

Matthew Fraser&rsquos task in his entertaining and provocative new book, &ldquoIn Truth: The History of Lies From Ancient Rome to Modern America,&rdquo which was published by Prometheus Books in March, is nothing less than charting the 2,000-plus-years path from Julius Caesar&rsquos spin doctors to Trump&rsquos &ldquopost-truth&rdquo America. Fraser&rsquos many decades as an international media journalist, broadcaster and university professor have ably prepared him to take on the tome&rsquos lofty task. Fraser makes the book&rsquos vast political history digestible and wildly relevant, without ever losing the thread of what befalls those who use &ldquoalternative facts.&rdquo

Fraser notes, &ldquoAt the end of 2016, the Oxford English Dictionary declared post-truth as Word of the Year&rdquo and he uses that event to provide the book&rsquos view that centuries of lying politicians and gullible citizens, softened up by endless hucksterism, disruptive technologies and countless entertainment diversions, have led us to this moment.

Popular on Variety

His basic thesis is two-fold: First, show-businessmanship, lying of all sorts and political leadership have always been bedfellows and there&rsquos nothing strange about it.

Second, the wages of sin are Trump and all the variations of Trump that have continually sprung up &mdash throughout history long past and recent across the political spectrum &mdash when the truth becomes either too malleable or forbidden by the powers that are too threatened by it.

Fraser&rsquos friendly and deft historical excursions, starting with no less a top-tier star tyrant than Caesar, deepen our understanding of the current political and social moment. One of the primary appeals of &ldquoIn Truth&rdquo is that Fraser&rsquos engaging historical deep dives are a welcome antidote to TV&rsquos hectoring talking heads.

Fraser&rsquos determined to sort out both the roots and the branches of contemporary lying and Trump is seen, in terms of truth-shredding, as no more or less a damaging social ill than Google or Facebook. It helps that Fraser&rsquos able to casually rummage through a vast array of thinkers throughout history who&rsquove never let truth slow down their zeal to find something better. Key figures from Nietzsche to Derrida to Foucault are noted for their roles in creating what Stephen Colbert famously deemed &ldquotruthiness.&rdquo

In Fraser&rsquos bleak view, in 2020 we&rsquore all taking part in a wipeout not unlike the taking down of Julius Caesar. We all come to praise the truth and then, by accepting the rules of the Google- and Facebook-dominated media world, we wind up burying it.

&ldquoFor some observers, more was at stake than a redistributed media advertising pie. The future of democracy was hanging in the balance. &lsquoFacebook has become the richest and most powerful publisher in history by replacing editors with algorithms &mdash shattering the public square into millions of personalized news feeds, shifting entire societies away from the open terrain of genuine debate and argument, while they make billions from our valued attention,&rsquo observed Guardian editor Katharine Viner. &lsquoThis shift presents big challenges for liberal democracy.&rsquo&rdquo

Dubbing today&rsquos tech giants Facebook, Google, Twitter and YouTube as &ldquothe four horsemen of the Apocalypse,&rdquo Fraser warns that the news industry has been vanquished by these companies, which he describes as &ldquocharging through the media landscape and slaying everything in sight.

&ldquoThe subordination of the profession to technology was double. Journalists lost gatekeeper power to Google and Facebook as distribution systems connecting to consumers, and they lost control over content to the logic of the algorithm in determining what kinds of stories they produced. For some in the news industry, this trend promised an apocalyptical endgame.&rdquo

While &ldquoLying&rdquo sounds the alarm on high-tech, Fraser also takes an entertaining, insightful dig into Trump&rsquos showbiz roots. Fraser essentially places Trump&rsquos training in showbiz as beginning in childhood and those formative years have largely gone unexamined, at least in comparison to the amount of ink and angst expended on Trump&rsquos reality TV career.

Others have written about the influence of Christian pastor and religious media star Norman Vincent Peale on the young Donald Trump, but following the convincing historical briefing that precedes it, Fraser brilliantly illuminates the precise interlinking between Trump&rsquos born-again Christian supporters, his reality show persona and the shrewd media strategy that built on those links and brought him to presidential power.

&ldquoA billionaire reality TV star, Trump was a perfect celebrity icon in a culture that worships success and fame. Before he declared his candidacy, he was world famous on &lsquoThe Apprentice&rsquo … millions of Americans venerated his celebrity persona &mdash his money, his private jets, his mansions, his glamorous lifestyle &hellip Trump was a self-made billionaire celebrity. He was the embodiment of the free-market America they cherished.

&ldquoTrump could nonetheless claim a longstanding connection with a brand of Christianity that was perfectly compatible with right-wing evangelical politics. He was an adherent to the so-called prosperity gospel movement. According to the prosperity gospel, wealth and fortune are rewards from God. The stronger your faith in God, the richer you will become. Trump had been introduced to this doctrine early in his life when attending the services of Norman Vincent Peale, his family&rsquos pastor at Marble Collegiate Church on Manhattan&rsquos Fifth Avenue.&rdquo

Peale is a familiar character to anyone who&rsquos experienced or studied 20th century radio and television programming. The Variety Archives brim with accounts of his long-running religious programs that ran steadily on radio and then television from the 1930s to 1960s. He sold millions of books, including his mega-best seller, &ldquoThe Power of Positive Thinking,&rdquo and founded the still-active Guideposts nonprofit inspirational publishing operation. In 1964, Don Murray played Peale in the motion picture &ldquoOne Man&rsquos Way,&rdquo and in 1984 Ronald Reagan presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

At the beginning of Peale&rsquos TV career, Variety pegged him as a well-meaning up-and-coming minister without the chops he&rsquod need to click in the fast-developing medium of television. Reviewing &ldquoWhat&rsquos Your Trouble?,&rdquo Peale&rsquos 1953 faith-based chat show that he presented on WCBS with his wife, Ruth, Variety wrote: “This is a Mr. & Mrs. gab show with a twist. Instead of the routine man-wife chitchat familiar to a.m. radio dialers, this series is a serious attempt to get across religioso themes. Its technique, however, is not as noteworthy as its purpose. The 15-minute sesh fails to hold interest and has a lulling effect. If the initialer is any indication of things to come, &lsquoWhat&rsquos Your Trouble?&rsquo will be a celluloid sermon that&rsquoll have trouble finding dialer disciples. Dr. & Mrs. Norman Vincent Peale handle the gabbing chores with more sincerity than showmanship.&rdquo

While Variety dismissed Peale in his early TV days as lacking polish or media savvy, by the time Donald Trump was taking notes from his perch in Peale&rsquos pews, Trump was learning from a man who was leading a major Manhattan religious congregation, running an inspirational publishing empire, topping the best-seller charts and also appearing weekly in his own nationally broadcast productions.

In Fraser&rsquos fairly corrosive view of where centuries of power fibbing have delivered us, he recounts how Trump traveled from rapt attention to Peale&rsquos lectures to leading his own flock of free-marketers, billionaires, Christian prosperity evangelicals and assorted Fox-following marks and pigeons who put him in the White House.

But there may be some consolation in Fraser&rsquos sober analysis of Trump&rsquos &ldquoI lie therefore I am&rdquo leadership style. If you thought you were the only one who suspected that lying isn&rsquot an occasional afterthought for Trump, but a foundational principle of his mortal existence, here&rsquos Fraser to reassure you that you&rsquore not just imagining things.

&ldquoTrump was a perfect icon for the post-truth era: real-estate tycoon, casino magnate, Wrestlemania showman, and reality TV celebrity. His media persona belonged to the realm of fantasy. He made no bones about his disregard for truth he professed it as a virtue.&rdquo

In other words, Trump may not have been technically &ldquolying&rdquo when he mentioned a &ldquopersonal relationship with God,&rdquo but it&rsquos essential to understand Trump&rsquos God is richer, more tan, more famous and has a younger Euromodel trophy wife than your God.

The hike

Spot the Mount Lincoln (Lynky) Trail sign on the north side of Highway 1, 150 metres east of Chapman Road. Look both ways before carefully crossing the highway. The narrow, rocky path is steep right off the bat and hardly lets up. Switchback between fir trees and mossy outcrops. Pearly everlasting, pink corydalis, and red paintbrush bloom on these slopes. Green spleenwort, a rock fern, and Oregon grape, a berry-producing shrub, grow here as well.

Soon you can look down at Yale (X̱wox̱welá:lhp in the Halq’eméylem language of the Stó:lō people). Traffic noise from the highway intrudes, but the sound of trains on the Canadian Pacific and Canadian National Railway lines adds to the historic flavour of the hike. Pass under an old cable, and cross a boulder field below a cliff. Knotted ropes tied around a fir trunk assist with a fun fall-line section.

Continue up through mossy ground, sticking to the main trail, which is well defined but

scarcely marked. Pink flagging indicates a leftward bend in the open woods. Sticks and rocks block side paths. Take care not to trundle loose rocks onto hikers below. Pass beneath an overhang. A rope helps with the next bit.

Reach a viewpoint at a bend in the trail. The cliffs of Mount Allard lie across the turbid Fraser River (Stó:lō in Halq’eméylem, Quoo.OOy in Nlaka’pamuchin). The mountain’s namesake is Ovid “Chatelain” Allard (1817–1874), who ran Fort Yale and Fort Langley as a Hudson’s Bay Company clerk. Mount Oppenheimer lurks behind Yale, which is named for “Little” James Murray Yale (1798–1871), a chief trader for the HBC.

The next part of the trail is not for acrophobes—and probably foolhardy when wet.

Traverse precariously below a cliff with aging ropes, bolted down, for aid. Scramble up through a gap in the rock. Follow pink tapes through living pines and deadfall to the granodiorite summit, passing the remains of an old television rebroadcasting transmitter.

An open bluff facing southeast offers the best vantages. Mount Allard, cradling a

colluvial fan at its base, dominates the scene. Lady Franklin Rock (X̱éylx̱elamós in

Halq’eméylem), a sacred transformer site, is the narrow outcrop poking out of the Fraser River. You’re standing in the Lillooet Ranges of the Coast Mountains the Cascade Mountains rise across the great salmon river. As for the Fraser Canyon, it runs from Lytton to Yale. The portion between Spuzzum and Yale is known as the Little Canyon. Beneath your feet, Highway 1’s Yale Tunnel cuts through the mountain.

Retrace your steps to return to the trailhead and Yale. The Fraser Canyon gold rush of

1858 turned Yale into a boomtown. It even had its own Chinatown. Today, the On Lee property, part of the Yale Historic Site, commemorates the history of early Chinese settlers in the Fraser Canyon. Sadly, the On Lee House, dating back to the 1880s, burned down in the 1980s.

The author at Zoa Peak. Photo by Joan Septembre.

Antonia Fraser’s ‘My History’: The biographer and mom of six looks back

“My History,” by Antonia Fraser. (Courtesy of Nan A. Talese)

Antonia Fraser’s best-selling 2010 memoir “Must You Go?” was a tender, tart chronicle of life with her husband Harold Pinter. In her new memoir, “My History,” Fraser turns the clock back further, to her enchanted yet fraught childhood. Born into British aristocracy and a daughter of a well-known politician and a biographer, Fraser’s early years provide material as vivid and character-rich as her popular histories.

Granted, it’s hard to go wrong with a youth as glamorous as Fraser’s. Though she favors a lightly self-deprecating tone, alluding to her unpopularity at boarding school and her “undue self-esteem,” she also writes about spending Christmas in 1950 with the Italian prime minister’s family and having Cecil Beaton volunteer to take her (first) wedding photographs. (She divorced conservative MP Sir Hugh Fraser in 1977.)

The prime minister’s invitation was primarily due to her parents, staunch English socialists — her father held posts in several postwar Labour governments — and Catholic converts who were in every other way totally different from each other. Nonetheless, eccentric, impractical, aristocratic Frank Pakenham and capable, critical, proudly middle-class Elizabeth Longford remained devoted as they argued through their nearly 70-year marriage. Fraser paints nuanced portraits of both, as well as a candid one of her turbulent teenage relationship with her mother, a.k.a. “Mummy Ogress,” which softened as Longford emerged from her prolific childbearing years (Antonia was the eldest of eight) . Longford began to write history around the time her daughter gave birth to the first of six children. “Now,” writes Fraser, “we had all the most important things in common.”

History had been Antonia’s obsession since the precocious ­4-year-old read “Our Island Story,” a children’s book, in 1936. The memoir gets its title from Fraser’s account of how her reading, education and personal experiences shaped the kind of historian she ultimately became with the publication of “Mary Queen of Scots” in 1969, which closes the book. (Her courtship with first husband Hugh gets brief but affectionate coverage their marriage, none.) Unsurprisingly, the girl who grew up in North Oxford surrounded by academics aspired to write “serious, scholarly” history, but she also inhaled the romances of Georgette Heyer and Barbara Cartland, whose influence on her narrative style Fraser is unembarrassed to acknowledge.

Author Antonia Fraser (Photo by Susan Greenhill)

The instinctive toddler feminist who shrieked “Ugly Brothers Ugly Brothers!” when told of Cinderella’s ugly sisters would go on to write several histories centered on queens and other formidable women, such as Marie Antoinette. Fraser’s fascination with the idealism and ambition she saw in her parents’ political friends would lead her to books about Cromwell, the Gunpowder Plot and the 1832 Reform Bill. These insights into her professional life are gracefully dropped into a text that seems to amble casually from one amusing anecdote to the next but in fact demonstrates Fraser’s careful attention to structure. Amiable and engaging as personal reminiscence, “My History” is also a sharp, unpretentious study of a writer in the making.

Wendy Smith is a contributing editor at the American Scholar and the author of “Real Life Drama: The Group Theatre and America.”

Fraser's Magazine - History

Sir Simon Fraser of Neidpath, can be thought of as the founding father of the Lovat Frasers. Born in 1257 in Neidpath Castle near Peebles, he met a gruesome death in London in 1306. He had been captured fighting in the Scottish Wars of Independence.

One chronicler calls Simon ‘a man totally gifted for war’. Another hailed him as ‘manly, stout, bold and wight’ – meaning brave and nimble.

Sir Walter Scott thought Sir Simon was ‘the flower of chivalry’. In that turbulent era, Sir Simon and most of the Scottish elite, tried at times to work with the English king, Edward I, who continually threatened the Scottish borders. Edward claimed the right to interfere in the government of Scotland. Sir Simon alternated this policy of tolerating Edward’s intrusion, with periods of taking up arms to keep Edward out of Scotland.

Simon the Patriot’s most astonishing achievement must be the Battle of Roslyn. It took place in 1301. A bloody and significant battle in the Scottish Wars of Independence, today it is mostly forgotten. With only 8,000 men, Simon led the Scots army to victory over an English invasion force of over 30,000, using his superior knowledge of the terrain and the element of surprise.

Simon the Patriot and the battle of Rossyln

An uneasy peace lay on the land after English and Scottish lairds agreed to suspend hostilities in the Wars of Independence and signed a truce at Dumfries in October, 1300. It collapsed in February, 1303.

The background to its collapse was a marriage contract. Scottish nobles made plans to marry John Balliol’s daughter to a French princess. John Balliol was Edward I’s puppet king of Scotland. Edward opposed the marriage. He was determined not to allow the Scots to take a line in Scottish foreign policy that was independent of England’s. Marital contracts were also foreign diplomatic events. And Edward refused to accept this Franco-Scottish alliance on the English border.

Edward I made John de Seagrave governor general of the land Edward called the ‘Province’ of Scotland. Edward now allowed Seagrave to invade to stop the marriage and bring the Scots back into submissive line.

Seagrave gathered an army of between 20-30,000 men and crossed the border from Berwick. Seagrave’s intelligence told him there was a resurgence in allegiance to Scottish nationalist patriots, who loathed Edward’s order that the Scots acknowledge him as their overlord. Edward instructed his commander to bring the Scottish patriots back to heel. Seagrave must root out anyone seeming to threaten the ‘peace’ of the truce, to give no quarter if any resisted, and lay their country waste.

To the Scots, this looked like Edward breaking the very peace he claimed he was securing by an invasion.

Seagrave’s army moved towards Edinburgh. He split it into three divisions, each numbering 7-9,000 men. The army deployed to raid three different locations simultaneously, to confuse and overwhelm Scots’ plans to resist him.

How to react? The Scottish patriot leaders met. William Wallace, one of their key figureheads, refused command. Wallace believed he had lost the confidence of his officers for the time being.

Wallace appointed Sir Simon Fraser to be supreme commander. Sir Simon mustered an army of around 8,000 as fast as he could –it was about one third the size of the English invading force. Accompanied by Wallace and John Comyn, Simon Fraser’s army marched out to meet the enemy, unaware they had split in three separate forces.

By now, one English division was marching on Borthwick Castle (12 miles south-east of Edinburgh), one marching on Dalhousie Castle (8 miles south of Edinburgh), and one was crossing Tweeddale – Simon Fraser’s territory – to close on Rosslyn (10 miles south of Edinburgh).

The whole Scots’ army marched to Rosslyn. Sir Simon sent John Comyn and 3,000 men to hide themselves in the woods on the west bank of the river Esk, which runs through Rosslyn Glen. He took the remaining 5,000 round the back of the enemy camp, and approached in a crescent shape. An hour before dawn, Sir Simon and his men began to creep towards Seagrave. At the last minute, the Scots charged into the sleeping encampment, hacking and slashing and creating chaos. Seagrave’s men died, or fled across the river into the forest – and into the hidden Comyn’s waiting arms. Seagrave, wounded, surrendered to Wallace. Simon Fraser’s men began to gather plunder.

News spread to the other English divisions. Discovering there were two more armies, the Scots regrouped and lined up on top of Langhill to the northwest of Rosslyn. The second army under Ralph the Cofferer (Edward I’s bag man) abandoned their siege of Dalhousie Castle, and marched to Rosslyn. Spying the enemy, they charged up the Langhill. Arrows rained down on them and broke their charge. The English turned and hared off to the north.

The river Esk runs through Rosslyn Glen

Unknown to them, they set themselves on a path towards a sheer drop off a ravine into the river. When they saw their error, they were horror-struck, but it was too late. Those in the vanguard found themselves pushed over the edge of the ravine by the momentum of those behind them, trying to flee Sir Simon. Those in the rear were driven off the crag by Scots pikemen and archers.

A butchered heap of hundreds of horses and men and arms lay tangled in the burn, dead or dying. The cacophony of the dying must have chilled the blood.

No time to rest. Scouts rode in to announce the third invading force was almost on them. Those among the English troops who had not died in the carnage at the ravine were now slaughtered. Sir Simon feared they would take up their arms again one they knew help had arrived.

The Scots were exposing themselves to acute danger. They had route marched all night to get here at all. They had now fought two battles. Adrenalized from the victories as they were, they had very little energy left to draw on. Having decided they could not risk taking prisoners in the clash at the ravine, the exhausted soldiers knew they could expect no mercy themselves if they lost to this third force.

But English intelligence failed them. The third division had no idea what befell their second division. So they marched along the low road into Rosslyn glen. The Scots took up positions on Mountmarle, west of the English troops. To the east lay more cliffs with a 100 foot drop into the river bed. The Scots used the same tactic – a storm of arrows caused the enemy to wheel eastwards away from them, and thousands more fell to their deaths, many with swords unsheathed, and arrows undrawn.

Surrounded by the catastrophic losses to the English, Simon could afford leniency at last. He cried that ‘Quarter’ be given to the survivors and let them run for their lives. Some thought only 10% of the English army returned across the border to tell the tale.

It is an old army truism that time spent on intelligence is never wasted. This was Simon Fraser’s country. He had all the information he needed about the terrain, and used it to terrible effect. In his hands that dramatic river valley became a mighty weapon. And he won one of the most important victories in the First Scottish War of Independence. (with thanks to John Ritchie’s excellent account, reproduced on The Clan Sinclair (
When you visit Rosslyn Chapel today, looking for signs of the Knights Templar from the 1460s, that Dan Brown used in The Da Vinci Code, it is worth taking a quiet walk up the valley by the peaceful River Esk, to listen for even older ghosts sighing in the shade of the glen.

Scotland during the wars of Independence

In the early 1300s, magnate factions battle for dominion over Scotland. On one side, Edward I of England worked to force Scotland to submit to English domination. Edward preferred bedroom politics if possible. He wanted key Scots to build up a landed interest on both sides of the border. This included the Frasers. The leading families formed bonds via strategic marriages with English heirs and heiresses. Gradually, old native Scottish families began to unite with English and Norman elites, and share their priorities and values.
But some preferred to be Kings in Scotland than Lords in England. Many Scottish nobles switched back and forth, as they resisted, or submitted and swore fealty to Edward. This was the path Simon Fraser followed for several years.

In the end, William Wallace, Sir Simon Fraser of Neidpath, Robert the Bruce, and their supporters committed themselves and their people to independence, and freedom from Edward’s overlordship. They fought out their struggle in The Scottish Wars of Independence.

Sir Simons Luck runs out

Two years after the incredible victory at Roslyn, Simon’s brother-in-arms, William Wallace was betrayed and executed. Simon then gave his loyalty to Robert the Bruce, who was crowned King of Scotland in March, 1306. Simon the Patriot rode at the Bruce’s side at the Battle of Methven in June 1306, to rid Scotland of Edward’s invasion force.

This time the English army had surprise on their side. They mounted a lightning attack. Three times the Bruce was unhorsed, and each time Simon helped him back into the saddle, fighting off the enemy. It was said that the Bruce granted the Frasers the right to display three crowns on their arms after this, to signify the number of times they had saved the Crown of Scotland.
Yet, in truth the Scots barely escaped, and fled into the Highlands. On the run, the Bruce nearly gave up the fight. Simon Fraser could permit himself no such luxury as to think of surrender. He knew what it would mean for him. But, encountering English soldiers at Kirkencrieff, he was taken prisoner.

They carried him to London in irons. There, they tried him and condemned him to the refined cruelty of a traitor’s death. On 8th September, 1306, he was dragged out of prison and marched in mockery from the Tower to London Bridge. There Simon Fraser was hanged, and cut down while still alive. They disembowelled him, threw his guts into a brazier, and then beheaded him and cut off his limbs.

The executioners stuck Simon Fraser’s head on a spike beside Wallace’s, on London Bridge, and hoisted the trunk of his body, in chains, to swing close by. Londoners claimed they saw demons rampaging along the parapets, and tormenting Fraser’s remains with hooks.

450 years later, another famous Fraser leader, Lord Lovat of the ’45, stood on his own scaffold in London in 1747, waiting to be executed for treason for his part in Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite rebellion. Lovat declaimed the Latin poet, Horace. ‘For those things which were done, either by our fathers or ancestors, and in which we had no share, I can scarcely claim for my own.’ It was these old heroes of Scottish independence Lovat saw in his mind’s eye, as he waited for the axe to fall. He saluted them, his imagination soaring above the crowds baying for his head.

George Cylie Fraser

Entrepreneur, author, and motivational speaker George Fraser was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1945. One of eight children born to Ida Mae Baldwin and Walter Frederick Fraser, he graduated from the Thomas Edison Vocational High School, attended New York University and received his executive training at Dartmouth College’s Amos and Tuck School of Business.

Fraser spent seventeen years in management with Proctor & Gamble, the United Way and the Ford Motor Company. He wrote his first book, bestseller Success Runs in Our Race: The Complete Guide to Effective Networking in the African Community, in 1994. His second book, Race for Success: The Ten Best Business Opportunities for Blacks in America, was selected as one of the ten best business books of 1999 by Booklist magazine. He is also the creator and publisher of the award winning SuccessGuide: The Networking Guide to Black Resources. Twenty versions of SuccessGuide have been published and a worldwide edition was released in August 2000.

Fraser has received many awards and citations for his community service, including the United Negro College Fund National Volunteer of the Year Award and an Architects of the Village Award from Allstate Insurance. He is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. In 1986, as director of marketing and communications for the United Way of Cleveland, he conceived, planned and led the release of 1.4 million balloons, the largest single balloon release in history.

The publication Vital Speeches of the Day has selected three of Mr. Fraser’s speeches to be reprinted and distributed worldwide, a first for any professional speaker in America.

He has been featured in articles in Black Enterprise and Upscale magazines.

Fraser and his wife, Nora Jean (née Spencer), are the parents of two sons.

Fraser Island

Aboriginal gods wanted a paradise on Earth. So they created Fraser Island.

It wasn't enough simply to create the world the Aboriginal god Beeral wanted it to be beautiful as well. And so he sent two trusted messengers, Yindingie and his spirit helper K'gari, to render the raw material of creation into a paradise. They did such a splendid job that by the time they were finished, K'gari longed to stay in this wonderful place forever. She lay down in the warm waters of a particularly beautiful bay, and there she went to sleep.

While she slept, Yindingie transformed her body into a long, slender island of crystalline sand, the largest such island in all the world. He clothed her with the most luxuriant of rain forests, painted her soft, sandy skin a rainbow of colors, and fashioned a chain of jewel-like lakes to be her eyes into heaven. He filled the air with colorful birds, and then, so she would never be lonely, he set a tribe of Aborigines on the island—the Butchulla people, who passed down the story of its creation and in whose language K'gari came to be the word for "paradise."

A lot of water has washed its shores since then. Today paradise goes by the name of Fraser Island, renamed by newcomers after a Scottish sea captain and his wife were famously marooned here among the Aborigines in 1836. But by any name or reckoning, it remains a place apart, with an uncanny ability to weave itself into the dreams of all who draw near.

Fraser Island's storied landscapes have inspired many of Australia's greatest writers and artists, and its delicate ecosystems fired passions in one of Australia's first great grassroots environmental campaigns in the 1970s, stopping the mining of its mineral-rich sands and bringing an eventual end to logging on the island. And for succeeding generations of locals and visitors alike, it has been a prism through which to see and appreciate the often nuanced beauty of the Australian bush.

For all the paintings, poetry, and prose Fraser Island has inspired, this is not an easy place to categorize. One moment you're hiking through a cathedral rain forest, all giant ferns and piccabeen palms, and the next you're in fragrant eucalyptus woodland, gazing through a break in the trees at a sea of golden dunes—and beyond them, in the soft, summery haze, rolling coastal heaths bright with wildflowers. Changes in landscape that logic tells you should be hundreds of miles apart happen here one after the other, as swiftly and magically as a twist of a kaleidoscope barrel.

The greatest wonder of all, perhaps, is that most everything here grows on nothing more substantial than sand held in place by humble fungi. No dreamscape could be woven of slenderer thread.

"I like to think of this island as a living organism in its own right, like the Great Barrier Reef," says Peter Meyer, a naturalist who has been living and working as a guide on Fraser Island for the past 15 years. "But here, instead of coral polyps, it's mycorrhizal fungi and their symbiotic relationship with plants that's the basis for everything. By liberating the nutrients in the sand, they make it possible for all these amazing things to grow. Without the fungi, this would be just another sandbar."

Make that a very big sandbar: more than 75 miles long, about 15 miles wide, and with dunes soaring to 800 feet. Sand has been accumulating along this stretch of the Queensland coast for some 750,000 years, in part because volcanic bedrock here provides a natural catchment for sediment moved up the eastern seaboard by a powerful longshore current.

English navigator James Cook, who sailed along this coast in 1770, was the first European known to have sighted Fraser Island. The globe-trotting Yorkshireman didn't think much of it, dismissing it with a few cursory lines in his journal. Likewise explorer Matthew Flinders, who landed here some 30 years later. Wilderness in those days was a commodity to be tamed and brought to profitable service, not admired for its own sake.

From that perspective, the interior of the island pleased Edward Armitage, an early 20th-century timber merchant. It is from his pen that we have some of the first descriptions of Fraser's magnificent rain forests, as he lamented that many of "these great Monarchs of the forest" were too big for the sawmills of the day.

The future soon supplied bigger machinery, and for more than a century the forests here were heavily logged. The dense timber was shipped around the world and used for such empire-building projects as lining the Suez Canal and, after World War II, for rebuilding London's Tilbury Docks.

A rare early tourist appeared on the scene in the late 1940s. Sidney Nolan, one of Australia's greatest 20th-century painters, had been traveling through Queensland, looking for inspiration in the landscape. He found it in the nearly forgotten story of shipwreck and survival that a century earlier had given Fraser Island its name.

In 1836 the Stirling Castle, commanded by Captain James Fraser, set sail from Sydney to Singapore with 18 crew and passengers, whose number included the captain's wife, Eliza. Some days later, as the ship threaded its way through the labyrinthine passages of the Great Barrier Reef, it holed itself on the coral and began slowly sinking. Passengers and crew bundled themselves into two lifeboats and set off down the coast toward a settlement at Moreton Bay (now Brisbane), hundreds of miles to the south. It was a harrowing journey, not least for Eliza, who reportedly was heavily pregnant at the time and wound up giving birth in the badly leaking longboat the infant died shortly afterward.

Things grew worse for the embattled survivors in the longboat carrying Captain and Mrs. Fraser. As their flimsy craft grew more and more unseaworthy, the other boat abandoned them and sailed on. Finally, more than a month after the shipwreck, they were forced to beach themselves on what was then known as the Great Sandy Island.

What happened next is unclear. Some accounts say the survivors bartered with the Butchulla people, giving up their clothing in exchange for food. Others claim the Aborigines stripped the castaways naked and treated them as slaves. Either way, it seems likely that hunger, disease, and exhaustion finished off most of the survivors, including Captain Fraser.

For her part, Eliza later claimed that she had been forced to work as a drudge around the Aborigines' camp, gathering firewood and digging up roots. Word of her plight eventually reached the authorities at Moreton Bay. A rescue party was sent out, and an Irish convict named John Graham, who had previously lived in the bush as an escapee and who spoke the Aboriginal language, ultimately negotiated her release.

The rest of the story follows in the finest tabloid tradition. Within months of her rescue, Eliza met and married another sea captain, moved to England, and went on to become a sideshow attraction in London's Hyde Park. There she spun increasingly wild tales of murder, torture, white slavery, and cannibalism to spellbound audiences at sixpence a head.

Alas for Eliza, nothing fades quicker than yesterday's news, and she soon lapsed into obscurity. She is said to have moved to New Zealand and was killed in a carriage accident during a visit to Melbourne in 1858.

Sidney Nolan was captivated by the operatic quality of Eliza Fraser's tale and the rich symbolism of Europeans, stripped of their civilizing veneer, grubbing for survival in an alien landscape. So the artist hopped on a timber barge and went to see Fraser Island for himself.

"The psyche of the place has bitten into me deeply," he wrote to a friend. Its spell would remain on him for the rest of his life, inspiring two series of paintings and dozens of canvases. Nolan in turn passed on his fascination to his friend Patrick White, a Nobel Prize-winning author who visited the island in the 1960s and early 1970s. White used its primal wilderness as the setting for his 1973 novel The Eye of the Storm and again in A Fringe of Leaves, a fictionalized retel­ling of Eliza's saga.

In 1770 Captain Cook had been unimpressed by the scrubby, sandy bluffs visible from his ship. Little more than 200 years later artists and writers, scientists and statesmen saw such value in Fraser Island that in 1992 it was declared a World Heritage site. Having helped transform Australians' sense of wild beauty, the island now draws boatloads of admirers—an outcome wise old Beeral might have hoped for when he sent Yindingie and K'gari to beautify the world those many eons ago.

8 Facts : A Brief History of Fraser’s Hill

Fraser’s Hill. Not much is known about this lovely little place. Many have come and are rejuvenated by this expanse of green, where rolling hills meets blue cloudless skies, where meandering paths are lined with ageless trees and the delicate cold air awakens the senses . So, how did it all begin? Read on and find out.

#1 : Scottish Pioneers

Fraser’s Hill is named after Louis James Fraser, a solitary Scottish pioneer, who discovered rich tin deposits on top of the hill and set up a trading post there in the 1890s. Mr Fraser vanished without a trace 25 years later while out for a walk in Fraser’s Hill.

#2 : Déjà Vu

Fraser’s disappearance was echoed 50+ years later by the infamous disappearance of American businessman, Jim Thompson (known as the Thai Silk King) in Cameron Highlands. In a case of history repeating itself, Jim Thompson was also never found.

#3 : Colonial Hill Station

Fraser’s Hill was officially developed into a hill station by the British colonists in 1919 after a British search party investigating the disappearance of Louis James Fraser discovered the ideal cool breezes, the wild roses, the streams, waterfalls, firs and ferns of a distant England in Fraser’s Hill. Hill stations were first developed by the British colonists in India as a means of escaping the suffocating Indian summer heat and soon became popular holiday resort towns.

#4 : Summer Retreat

Fraser’s Hill – actually seven hills -, provided welcome relief for the British expatriate community from the simmering heat of Kuala Lumpur, 75 kilometres to the south. The British were fond of playing golf and a 9-hole golf course was built in 1925 atop Louis Fraser’s former tin mines by Frank Hemmant, a well-known golf course designer.

#5 : Japanese Occupation

During the Japanese Occupation of Malaya (1941-1945), Fraser’s Hill played an important role as a Japanese war communication centre. The ruins of a Japanese communication shed is said to still exist today in the dense forest along Hemmant’s Trail.

#6 : Guerrillas in the Mist

In the weeks after Japanese forces left at the end of World War 2, Fraser’s Hill was occupied by the guerrillas of the MPAJA (Malayan People’s Anti-Japanese Army) who emerged from the surrounding jungle. But not for long, as British officers with lorry-loads of Indian troops arrived some 3 weeks later to relieve the guerillas.


#7 : Ambush in the Hills

Sir Henry Gurney, British High Commissioner for British Malaya was ambushed and killed in 1951 by communist guerrillas while travelling up to Fraser’s Hill via the Kuala Kubu Bahru route. He was with his wife and aide in the car when his black chauffeur-driven Rolls-Royce was riddled by bullets from communist machine gun fire. Miraculously, his wife and aide survived.

#8 : Little England

Fraser’s Hill is known as Little England because the idyllic hills and chilly weather reminded the British colonists of the English countryside and they sought to mimic the home they had left behind. Tudor-inspired bungalows with fireplaces were built, flora & fauna indigenous to their homeland were planted and long winding lanes reminiscent of English country roads were paved. Till today, Fraser’s Hill retains the charm of a quaint English village, a cool haven high up on the Titiwangsa.

Fraser’s Ridge Homecoming is the perfect event for the history-loving Outlander fan. With historically accurate workshops, presentations, living history groups and more, you will be taken back in time to Jamie & Claire’s home on The Ridge.

Over the course of four days, 18th-century North Carolina history will be presented to you in a way that will engage all five of your senses. Colonial cooking, campfire stories, colonial tea parties, hawk & knife throwing, traditional music and dancing of the Cherokee, mead making, musket firing, edible & medicinal plant walks, animal tracking, discussions with an 18th-century physician, mule and wagon rides, and living history encampments are only just a few of the things you will experience at the Homecoming. Your sixth sense might even be engaged with a ghost walk or two. The Homecoming will leave you with a much better appreciation for what the backcountry pioneers of the 18th century had to do to live and survive plus it will incorporate Jamie & Claire’s North Carolina story with the real history of the time.

Come home October 14 – 17, 2021, to see for yourself! We’re waiting for you!!

Watch the video: Brooke Fraser - Betty Official Video HD


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