Thursday, December 30, 2010

Jewish Chronicle Features "21 Aldgate"

The Jewish Chronicle Online this week featured author Patricia Friedberg and her novel, "21 Aldgate."

Writer Candice Kreiger wrote that, "Anyone with a tie to London's East End is likely to enjoy Patricia Friedberg's latest novel."

"The book came about because of the people I have known," Pat told the Jewish Chronicle, which is distributed in England. "I have written for a long time and this story has always come back to me."

"My grandparents used to live in the East End and I used to go there. Any person who lived in that century - from the early 1900s to 2000 - went through so much," she told the publication. "They were very special people and the book is written with them in mind."

To read the full story, click here.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Travel Back to 1920s London

This movie clip shows London as it was in the 1920s.

As the website "How to be a Retronaut" notes, this film was made in 1927 by Claude Friese-Greene. It shows scenes of London Bridge, the Thames, the Tower of London, Greenwich Observatory, the London docks, Whitehall, the Cenotaph, Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park, Marble Arch, Petticoat Lane, the Oval, the Changing of the Guard, Rotten Row and the Houses of Parliament.

The Cenotaph sequence from around 3:37 to 3:54 is very poignant. This was filmed only nine years after the end of the Great War. The women and looking at the wreaths would very likely be wives and mothers of the men killed, and the Second World War was, at that time, inconceivable.

The footage is part of London’s Screen Archives and the British Film Archive.

Friday, November 12, 2010

In Flanders Field

Clara, the main character in 21 Aldgate came to the home of Paul Maze to assist him in writing his memoir A Frenchman in Khaki, an account of his experiences in The Great War. Clara loved poetry. She knew the poems of the War Poets - the famous one written in May 1915 by John McCrae

In Flanders field the poppies grow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place;and in the sky
The Larks still bravely sing and fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

Two verses follow .... ending with:

The torch be yours to hold it high
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields......

And all these years later we continue our wars 'while poppies grow in Flanders field.'

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Based on True-Life Characters and Events

Two people from opposite ends of the class and cultural divide who find themselves drawn to each other, during one of the darkest periods of modern history.  Their relationship is defined by these troubled times. 

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