Thank you for your patience! I really appreciate the feedback to Myths of CCFS Part 1, and some of the comments are very encouraging. Although I can’t promise that I’ll reply to every single comment, I have read each of them slowly and carefully. I’m very glad that most of you are in agreement with me and Alex that for the discussions in this series we will draw conclusions based on tangible facts and evidence. The story is Candy Candy Final Story (CCFS) alone, published by Nagita (Mizuki). Many thanks to Alex for providing more references about Scotland and the tough period during the Interbellum (between 1932 and 1937) and also the Great Depression (1929 to 1939).
Again, if Candy was in her mid-30s (approximately 1934-1935), Terry and Archie would have been in their late 30s. If Anthony had been alive, he would have been in his late 30s as well. Albert, being older, should be in his mid-40s by then.
Yet, poverty is not the only reason why we have ruled out the River Avon in the Highlands, Scotland. Let’s read an excerpt from CCFS Volume 1 here, where Candy talked about Riven Avon, daffodils and her roses at her present home. I’ve highlighted the key phrases below with my brief translations.
- 春浅い午後の光を浴びて – early Spring, Riven Avon is basked in the afternoon light
- ゆるやかに流れていく – the river runs slowly / the current is slow (gentle)
- 庭の木々の間が黄金の光を放っているように … 水仙が満開になっているからだ – plenty of daffodils are in full bloom among the trees in the garden that it appears as if the flowers are glowing with golden light
- ささやかなばら園 – humble rose garden / rose bed
- ばらのつぼみがふくらんでいる – rose buds are swelling
- ばらの手入れだけは、わたしは庭師に任せない – only the roses I would not leave them to the gardener for maintenance / care
Daffodils bloom best in full sun, and based on Candy’s descriptions we know that it was a bright, sunny day. The full bloom of many daffodils together with the swelling of rose buds indicate it’s been warm and pleasant for a while already. Note that it’s only early Spring. According to the statistics of typical March weather in Scotland, it should still be chilly in Scotland in March. Besides, rain, wind and a lack of sunshine make it difficult to cultivate a garden.
Don’t get me wrong though. Riven Avon in the Highlands does look magnificent to say the least. I recently realized that it’s a popular place for fishing (salmons or trouts, etc.). The website Fishing at Ballindalloch tells us that two great Scottish Highland rivers converge at Ballindalloch Estate. The River Spey, springing from the Monadhliath Mountains, is the second longest river in Scotland and undoubtedly the fastest. The River Avon, the longest tributary of River Spey, has its source upon the summit of Ben Muich Dhui. Therefore, River Avon in that region is a fast-flowing river (you can click on the links to see the pictures), which does not match the river as described by Candy in her present.
Sounds like Candy and Anohito resided in a single-detached house, not an apartment or a humble tiny house. Not only there were trees in her garden (unsure how many of them and the same word for garden/yard may be translated to a courtyard), but also they had hired someone to take care of their garden (except the roses). Remember, it was a tough period of time when many people were unemployed, living in poverty. Consider that Candy could stay home all day reminiscing, I guess she could basically do whatever she liked during the day. Maybe she didn’t have a job (at least not working full-time). It doesn’t look like she was worried about dinner preparation either. Perhaps Anohito would cook after work, or they had someone to cook for them. At any rate, I have reasons to believe she and Anohito were relatively well off.
What about electricity? It’s a known fact that at the end of CCFS, Anohito came home and flicked the light switch, asking in concern why the lights weren’t lit. I read that as late as 1943, five out of six farms and 99 out of 100 crofts in the Highlands had no link to publicly supplied electricity. It was the 1943 Hydro Electric Development (Scotland) Act that nationalized the development of hydro-electric power across Scotland to deliver power and social improvement to the people of the Highlands. Hence, judging from Anohito’s puzzlement about why Candy was in the dark, I don’t think they relied on generators to power the house but actually lived in an area where electricity was way more common. To conclude, the chances that they resided in the Highlands are slim to none.
Now I’ll continue where I left off in my previous post. Why is the fact that Candy and Anohito living near a River Avon not in favour of Terry, the Broadway actor? Once again, I’d like to express my sincere gratitude to Alex. Most of the information below is from her references and analyses, so let’s begin.
The Great Depression had affected both the USA and UK in different ways. By mid-1930s, many people in UK lived in poverty, and artists or actors(Thespians) were not any luckier. Most of them lived in slums within the city centre of London (some Thespians had to live near the Old Vic Theatre for their jobs). Though political theatre was prominent in London, the wages were pathetic. On the other hand, around the same period in the USA, the arts (visual and performance arts) were thriving and enjoying great fortune due to the ‘Art of the New Deal’ (circa 1933-1937, during the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration) and the Federal Arts Project (circa 1935-1943). These enormously benefited both aspiring and established artists/actors/Thespians in the USA.
As a result, artists/actors/Thespians who wanted a better life and more financial supports would have moved to the USA. Suppose Terry had remained a successful Broadway actor, his fame and fortune in the USA would likely continue to prevail and continuously progress, so Alex said that “given the fact that Terry was a highly acclaimed and established Thespian in the USA, he would have been a complete lunatic if he had decided to head for the UK.” Even if he did decide to move to UK for whatever reasons, it didn’t make sense for him to live outside London, where the political theatre activities were based. As we already explained in Part 1, the southern part of British countryside near any River Avon is too far away to travel to work in London on a daily basis.
Some of you might argue, “But what about Royal Shakespeare Company?” Yes, this company building is in Stratford-upon-Avon, which is Shakespeare’s birthplace. I got the nice image below from this page
Many Terry fans have assumed Terry being an RSC actor, but Alex regrets to inform them that the Royal Shakespeare Company did not exist in the 1930s. In fact, Royal Shakespeare Company was established as a Royal Charter on 20 March 1961, the director and founder being Peter Hall (born in 1930 and died in 2017).
Before 1961, the building at Stratford-upon-Avon was known as the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, which only ran some ‘tourist-like’ seasonal performances (lasting merely 3-4 weeks per year plus a single event during the mid-summer), commemorating the birth of Shakespeare in Spring. Alex provided the link to the database, which retains the entire performance and events list over the years. For example, you can check the ones between 1930 and 1961. You’ll soon find that there were very few events, and they took place for just 3 to 4 weeks in April and May. Occasionally there might be one event in either July or August. That’s it.
In addition, in 1926, the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre suffered a massive fire which led to its closure until 1932. In 1928, Elizabeth Scott won the architectural competition in order to restructure the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre. It reopened as a public venue in 1932. Unfortunately, her modernized architectural design had received horrific reviews from the theatre elite. Only George Bernard Shaw provided his support to Elizabeth Scott’s architectural endeavour, and understandably, it became the least desirable venue for theatre performances until circa 1959/1961.
According to Alex, before Royal Shakespeare Company, the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre simply functioned as a venue for wealthy magnates to host their lavish parties. Other than that, it also served as a venue for hosting academic conferences, and local events (arts and crafts). During the 3 to 4 weeks in spring, when they were commemorating the birth of Shakespeare as mentioned above, Alex said that the actors (mostly young and rather inexperienced) were on tour at Stratford-upon-Avon. They were mainly based in London (near the Old Vic for job-related purposes).
The bottom line is that if Terry was still an active actor, it’s highly unlikely that he would reside near a River Avon in southern England in the mid-1930s. I’ll continue in next post about Albert.
p.s. Some more references from Alex re Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Elisabeth Scott and her design and reconstruction of the building:
- On George Bernard Shaw, the distinguished Irish playwright and theatre critic, who was the only one amongst the theatre elite to have remarked that Elisabeth Scott’s design was the only one that showed any theatre sense due to its adept acoustics: (see The Times, 24 June 1972);
- Further on the novice and controversial architectural design which was not exclusively purported for theatrical productions but also for public venues (conferences, workshops, fairs, receptions, etc) and administrative duties due to the adept acoustic design (even though the vast majority of the theatre elite rendered this new architectural design as ‘vulgar’ and ‘grotesque’-the acutely affluent and upper-class, however, appeared to be more tolerant to the alleged avant garde design due to its practicality albeit at the expense of conventional British aesthetics at the time): (see Daily Telegraph, 6 Jan 1928 and Architects’ Journal, 12 July 1972, 68);
- On Sir Edward Elgar, the renowned British composer, who had found the new architectural design and subsequent (re-)construction ‘so unspeakably ugly and wrong’ that he refused to go inside due to its conspicuous modernity: (see S. Beauman, The Royal Shakespeare Company: A History of Ten Decades, 1982, 100-110);
- Further on the negative reception Elisabeth Scott had received due to male British chauvinism and sexism at the time: (see L. Walker, ‘Women and Architecture’, A View from the Interior, ed. J. Attfield and P. Kirkham, 1989, 102-107);
- Further references concerning the aforesaid controversial architectural design, its multifaceted purposes other than theatrical productions alone, and the otherwise unfairly negative critical reception hurled against Elisabeth Scott’s architectural design and reconstruction of the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in the mid-1930s until circa 1960: (see Daily News, 4 and 6 Jan 1928; see also Architects’ Journal, 12 July 1972, 68; see also ‘Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, Stratford-on-Avon: Result of Competition’, Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Journal, 35 (1927–8), 145–147; see also A. Minett, ‘One Woman in Architecture: The Life and Work of Elisabeth Scott, 1898–1972’, Newcastle, 1988).