Naughty behavior and sordid happenings in the Gilded Age

May 27, 2007
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That's your view and others views! I never said there was anything nice or healthy about an adult wanting to spend time with a 12 year old girl! My beef was that it was implied Holbourn was and almost every male who spent time with a younger girl was a pedophile!

(Now you see where I get it from. Both parents)
That doesn't surprise me! My cousin is the son of a police officer and he would probably be suspicious also of Prof. Holbourn's motives in befriending Avis Dolphin!

Parents should be cautious although I have never heard of an account of Avis relatives being cautious of Prof. Holbourn's involvement with her.

Now Stanford White and Evelyn Nesbit is another matter and a completely different example! More is the pity Jim, that you weren't there to protect Evelyn from a horrible fate after getting involved with Stanford White! Her life just went right down hill after her involvement and after she showed such early promise!
 
May 27, 2007
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There's also the case of Natacha Rambova and her russian dance instructor Theodore Kosloff who according to one author is a classic pedophile! read Michael Morris's "Madame Valentino" 1991 for the shinny on that! Kosloff supposedly also took her costume drawings for the Silent " The Woman God Forgot" 1914 and claimed they were his to DeMille who was the Director of that film!
 

Jim Kalafus

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Oh....Kyle.

*urrp*

not only is she singing her way into the hearts of pedophiles everywhere, but she looks like Shelley Winters as Belle Rosen. Same hair, same facial structure.

But, give Shirley credit. Could any other actress have played a character who ran away from a dysfunctional situation and took up with an elderly black man who lived in a shack, and NOT have movie theaters from Maine to Arizona burned down as a result?

*urrp*

Check out That Hagan Girl, if u can stomach it. Very Holborn-esque. Shirley, 16, plays the town bastard girl who everyone shuns. Love child love child never meant to be. Love child scorned by so-ci-ety! Etc. Ronald Reagan plays the man who left town at just the very moment that Maw Hagan discovered that she was eating for two. Natch, all the gossips think that he was the father. He returns to town as a thirty-something lawyer. Folks gossip something fierce. Then this happens, in the very room where Shirley started her life in that old, cold, run down tenement slum where father left and never even married mom:

MAW HAGAN: Your real father is...is...is...*gack* (and dies before she can get the sentence out)

and worse, far worse, Shirley gets fired from the high school production of Romeo and Juliet 'cause the town folk don't want a bastard child playing Juliet! She tries to drown herself in a lagoon, but fails. THEN, the I.D. of her father is learned, Ronald Reagan VERY suddenly declares that he loves her, she forgets that up until three minutes before she had spent her entire life assuming that he was "dad," and they marry and board a train heading out of town. Dont think that she dont need him. Dont think she dont wanna please him. But no child of hers will be bearing the name of shame she been wearing, love child love child never quite as good....

It's a weird, sick film that Ronald Reagan, to his credit, hated making. But, thematically, it takes the standard Shirley Temple plot to its next level...THIS time the smitten older man COULD have sex with her.

All so very Holbornian.
 
Nov 26, 2005
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>>Matthew: Regarding your two cents worth!<<

And here I was feeling like crap on a cracker because nobody had replied! ;)

>>Why I bring this up at all, is because how an era is PERCEIVED is never how it actually was.<<

Oddly enough, it was actually 'Titanic' (1996) that burst my, 14-year-old at the time, bubble on the "Gilded Age" being this time of bliss and ignorance with that rape scene and me asking Dad "did men REALLY do that to women back then?" Up until then I had really believed for some reason that things like that just didn't happen back then.

>>People of Evelyn Hartley's generation ( that of my parents ) maintain WE JUST DIDN'T THINK LIKE THAT THEN.<<

My own parents and grandparents all did a fine job of keeping me sheltered from the darker side of real life in the "good ole days", which is probably why at the age of 15 I was actually surprised to learn that women were actually raped back then. It wasn't any shock at all to turn on present-day news and see about 3 rape/murder cases be showcased in a 30 minute period, but to think it happened in 1912?? Surprise, Matt!!

I really grew up with a very innocent outlook on the world and it wasn't until I was in my late teens - being out on my own as an adult that I really started to learn (a lot of it the hard way) about and appreciate the uglier side of life, both in Titanic's age, or earlier, and in present day life as well.

Through all that though, I learned a very valuable lesson, which is exactly what you're trying to get across, Jim. It's a mistake to just take and accept everything at face value, especially when the face value seems too good to be true. Some view skepticism or cynicism as a bad thing, I look at it as being realistic. I catch a lot of flack in my social life by being too "negative" or "looking at the dark side of things" myself, but the way I see it is I'm simply questioning the reality.

Sorry, I didn't mean for this to turn into a personal profile.

>>I'm glad that you found the tale creepy. Welcome aboard.<<

Personally, I don't see where anyone over the age of 18 wouldn't find it a little creepy. There's just something about a 43 year old man approaching and keeping such close tabs with a 12 year old that just doesn't sit right with dinner.

And honestly, when it comes to whether or not anybody thought or noticed anything about Prof. Holbourn/Avis on the Lusitania and not mentioning it later...well...if you were on the Lusitania, which would you likely remember later? The odd thought about an older man and a young girl, which wasn't his, dining together in a seeming harmless manner, or would you be more likely to remember nearly choking on a bite of food when a torpedo slams into your ship at lunchtime and the events that take place after?

Sorry for all the babble.
 
May 27, 2007
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The odd thought about an older man and a young girl, which wasn't his, dining together in a seeming harmless manner, or would you be more likely to remember nearly choking on a bite of food when a torpedo slams into your ship at lunchtime and the events that take place after?
Good point! Actually you made me see the Holbourn|Dolphin friendship in a different perspective. I wonder if the fact that the Lusitania was under threat of being torpedoed and sailing into a War Zone had anything to do with the Prof. befriending Avis who was a girl traveling alone in wartime and a ship that might be torpedoed! I know he got into trouble with the other men for supposedly frightening the ladies for demanding a Lifeboat Drill or at least showing fellow passengers how to wear lifebelts!

Realizing that the Lusitania would be sailing into the war zone, Ian thought it important that passengers know proper evacuation procedures and the way to put lifebelts on properly. A deputation soon came to him on Tuesday, ordering him to stop talking about such things because he was upsetting the passengers. Ian was also critical of Captain Turner's refusal to order a lifeboat drill in order not to distress the passengers. On Wednesday, May 5, Holbourn complained directly to Captain Turner, but Holbourn sensed that his interference was rather unwelcome. For people's refusal to face the facts and recognize dangers, Ian nicknamed them all the "Ostrich Club."
Quoted from the Prof. Ian Holbourn Bio Page at the "Lusitania Resource"~

http://www.rmslusitania.info/pages/second_cabin/holbourn_ibs.html

This puts a whole other slant on the situation!
 

Jim Kalafus

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Hey, Matthew: Cynicism is what allows you to sit with your head held proudly high, while all around you idiots are wondering if Julia Roberts will escape from her abusive husband in Sleeping With the Enemy. Cynicism is what causes one to VERY seldom laugh at comedies while, at the same time, laughing aloud at the plot twist in Shining Through in which pre-CIA CIA head Michael Douglas, who the script has established speaks no German, goes behind enemy lines in Berlin, takes public transport wearing a sign that says "MUTE WAR VETERAN" so no one will require him to speak, and gets away with it. Cynicism is what allows you to tolerate fellow film goers who *shush* you for laughing during moments of high drama like the one I just mentioned and "ruining the suspense." You figure that they are the same people who once raised their hand in class to ask "Do we have to know this? Is it going to be on a test?" all grown up and still borderline retarded although they don't know it, and you soldier on. Eventually, all of your slowly collected circle of friends share the same world view (Who WANTS to hang out with people who found the Sean Astin film Rudy "inspirational," or who found the Jack and Rose Trapped Behind a Gate In A Flooding Corridor sequence "suspenseful" anyway?) and you lead a fairly unembarrassing social life. I once allowed a date to "Pick any Broadway show you want." The choice was "Rosie O'Donnell in Grease." There would be no follow-up date. Life is too short to flounder about with an embarrassing social circle.

Bringing cynicism back to the Lusitania story, where it is not required QUITE as frequently as it is in the spun-sugar world of blindly accepted Titanic stories and beliefs (women who resembled Babe Ruth in an maribou-trimmed hat consistently being described as attractive comes to mind on the latter) one must view, with skepticism, many of the self-serving details in Holborn's account. The most quoted version of his story dates from 1938, which makes it about 23 years too late to accept without serious reservation, above and beyond the major flaw of it having been written for publication. The Ostrich Club thing MAY have happened as he said it did...BUT....

As we have learned, to our delight, if cynics can ever truly be delighted, there is a high rate of support between Lusitania accounts. If someone saw something and later wrote about it, chances are good someone else did, too. Large chunks of second class life were preserved. We have access to six diary letters composed on board, in second class, BEFORE the disaster, which discuss the growing concern among the passengers after the voyage reached its midpoint. Much detail is provided yet, oddly, none of these men and women writing as it happened, and not post disaster, commented on Holborn's "agitating." No one wrote about it while it was unfolding. No one, other than him, remembered it afterwards. Maybe his approach was VERY subtle. Or maybe every last person he interacted with on that point died. Or, maybe this was Archibald Gracie-esque blowharding, 23 years after the event.
 
May 27, 2007
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Much detail is provided yet, oddly, none of these men and women writing as it happened, and not post disaster, commented on Holbourn's "agitating." No one wrote about it while it was unfolding. No one, other than him, remembered it afterwards.
Perhaps! I could see Capt. Turner not saying anything about it because it makes the crew look bad and unprepared and the self designated group not wanting the ladies to be afraid never said anything about it so perhaps he was blowharding a bit or they all died or just never said anything about it because he was right and it made them look bad!

I wonder if Avis Dolphin remembers him going to see the Capt. Turner and being confronted by the deputation against frighting the lady passengers(DAFTLP)!
happy.gif


Perhaps he was subtle with his warnings or perhaps after the disaster nobody thought to write about what he was doing and had other fish to fry in regards to the crew! Most of the passengers had fresh complaints about the crew and their actions and forgot all about Holbourn if they cared at all about what he was doing before the disaster anyways or he was being a blowhard!
 

Arun Vajpey

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>>>>> Arun, I believe Monica's was in the past tense! <<<<<

OK, if you say so pal. There was so much "agitation" going on right here, it made me wonder. With all his "blowharding", Col Gracie would have been like Benevolent St Christopher by comparison.
 
K

Kyle Johnstone

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from Thayer and Long on Titanic to Holborn and Avis on Lusitania...

juswondrin'... who's behavior on Britannic or Andrea Doria is up for scrutiny? How about Empress of Ireland? Anyone? Bueller?

Looking forward to Today on Oprah: Nautical Naughties part 3 Aint Misbehavin' or Were They?
 
May 27, 2007
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Hello Arun,

OK, if you say so pal. There was so much "agitation" going on right here, it made me wonder
Looking back with hind sight I agree with you. Myself, I don't think everybody was evil or demented back then and also Holbourn strikes me as the Lusitania's answer to Titanic's Col. Gracie!

OMG! I just agreed with Jim fancy that! I don't think that was possible anymore!!
lol.gif
Jim is a good Researcher and Historian plus he writes good articles some of which i really like, although I sometimes find myself disagreeing with his conclusions that's just me and usually when he points out various facts to me I see why he drew the conclusions he did but sometimes I reserve the right to disagree! Basically it's the same opinion I have of every Biography or non-fiction book I read about a historical event!

Speaking of Gracie and Holbourn, I guess you would have to read both Gentlemen's Accounts and come to your own conclusion as to their reliability and who is more of a blow-hard! I think both Gentlemen tried to present history as accurately as they could remember it! They deserve credit for that! Both were Authors and Lecturers. I know Holbourn was a lecturer but I'm not for sure on Gracie. But both were Authors before their involvement in their respective disasters!

I am not aware when Holbourn's was written? I'll see if I can find out though.

Col. Gracie's was written in 1912 soon after he got back to New York because I believe he died either within the year or a year later from after effects to his health from the Titanic sinking!
 

Jim Kalafus

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One can hear the voices of several passengers who died, thru diary letters. One is particularly sad, since the woman's last words, recorded in her own hand, were "If it wasn't for the worry, this would be a wonderful trip." In her case, she and her cabin mates had gotten down their lifebelts the night before and tried them on.

The earliest references to large scale concern among the passengers, are in the accounts written on Wednesday that walked, or washed, off the ship in people's pockets or handbags. Accounts written May 8-14th allude to this...that the midpoint of the trip marked the point at which people got fidgety.

Early risers on May 7th were reassured by the military vessel which sailed alongside the Lusitania for a time after sunrise. It departed, and the fog rolled in. Turner brought the ship to a near stop, and began sounding the foghorn. THAT event was discussed, with quite a bit of vitriol, by those who survived, and Cunard fought tooth-and-nail to have any reference to it kept out of the Limitation of Liabilities hearings a bit later. Speaking in 1915, people mentioned thatthe passengrs gathered in small groups to discuss "What is he DOING?" regarding the creeping pace and the foghorn. One telling quote came from a man who remarked "What better way to advertize to the Germans exactly where we were than to continuously sound the horn?" Then, the fog lifted, the sun came out, land was clearly visible and very close. One of the saddest aspects of what came next is the scores of accounts given the next day in which people wrote of how the nervousness and fear of the morning lifted and everyone gradually relaxed, and the conversations over lunch revolved around how scary it had been and that they were past the worst.

Which is why I view Holborn's 1938 account as more storyrelling than history. Sailing day was stressful. The first two and a half days at sea were spent in foul, depressing weather. The third day was actually the first day in which passengers opened up and began socializing. By Wednesday, Holborn or no Holborn, everyone, including the ladies, WAS already becoming "upset." His account tends to represent him as the voice of reason among the uninformed, and that is not reflected by what people wrote while aboard the ship, nor by what they said in the immediate aftermath.

Several first class passengers, among them George Kessler, DID address Captain Turner during the latter half of the voyage. And several of the prettier women from second class had access into first class during the latter half of the trip for fundraising purposes. Several third class passengers wrote accounts in those first few days in which they described watching the torpedo strike from aft, from where they should not have been. There seems to have been less restrictive class segregation than on other ships, but still one wonders about Holborn's access to Turner.

Holborn's book, like Lightoller's, was created at a point when the publishing industry was being quite selective. In 1938, there was a terrible economic slump which undid the small recovery of 1936-1937. One must keep that in mind when reading anything mass-market historical, or biographical, published in those years... in the battle between factual but staid, and semi-factual but jazzy, the former always lost.
 
May 27, 2007
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Hello Kyle,

Looking forward to Today on Oprah: Nautical Naughties part 3 Aint Misbehavin' or Were They?
I'm still waiting to get to Stanford White and Evelyn Nesbit! I guess if It didn't happen on board a ship you all don't want to hear about it although the White Nesbit Thaw case does have a Titanic tie in through Clinch Smith!

When I started this topic I didn't mean only stuff that happened on a boat but all naughtiness and sordid happenings of the Gilded Age! I'm not biased! All scandal of the Gilded age has a place here although nothing can be used that happened in the 20's or beyond because we have the Ballyhoo Jazz Thread for that. Unless it's used as a reference to prove a point or get one across!
 
May 27, 2007
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Which is why I view Holbourn's 1938 account as more storytelling than history.
Jim, Well it was 23 years after the event! Perhaps the good Prof. got his facts fuddled perhaps not? 23 years is a long time although you don't forget something like that the details become blurry!
 

Jim Kalafus

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>OK, if you say so pal. There was so much "agitation" going on right here, it made me wonder. With all his "blowharding", Col Gracie would have been like Benevolent St Christopher by comparison.

True, Arun. You never DID address my question, put to you repeatedly and which will now be put to you again. Upon what, other than "because I want it to be so" did you base your initial spirited defense of Holborn? I KNOW you are capable of generating a succinct answer. Please do so, now. Other than Wikipedia, his 1938 book, and the Lusitania books that recycle his 1938 account, have you done any research on him upon which to base your defense?
 

Jim Kalafus

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Ah...Kyle. How about the cocktail party in Eleanor Brennan's cabin on the Morro Castle to which Father Egan brought his 16 year old, male, traveling companion? The guest list was Father Egan and his friend, Lucile and Mary Robinson, Helen Brody and Agnes Berry, and Miss Brennan. Miss Brody, in her testimony, carefully used the term "beverages." Egan, in his, specified "cocktails." Occupants of a cabin in the next block aft later spoke of being kept awake by a boistrous party, which may or may not have been this one. The party was broken up, at 3:30 AM, by someone pounding on their door and screaming "Fire." Egan's traveling companion's family put him into a mental health facility where the FBI could not reach him, immediately after the disaster. Again...all rather creepy.
 
May 27, 2007
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"I try to keep an open mind" is code for "I have no interest in what you are saying."
Now Jim, that isn't so! Speaking for myself! I just believe in keeping an open mind til I'm presented with refutable evidence of a fact! An open mind is better then a closed mind!

If I or anybody else didn't have an interest in what you were saying then nobody would respond at all and just ignore what you were saying!
sad.gif


Although sometimes I think it's better to keep quite then say something mean or hurtful! Advice I need to follow more myself it's true!