First and foremost, I truly appreciate Alex’s patience, continued support and encouragement through her comments and messages to me, in which she provided further references upon my additional requests about the Great Depression. This new post has taken me a long time mainly because of my lack of deep knowledge on the various discussion topics of this period of turmoils prior to World War II. As Alex has indicated, it’s impossible to maintain a sound, logical and credible analysis citing only 2-3 references for such “a highly controversial period in socio-economic and socio-political history as the Great Depression. A normal list for an average analysis of such controversial historical periods exceed 30-50 pages (A4 size/ Times New Roman/Font Size 11-12).” Nonetheless, since my blog is not an academic forum, I want to maintain a balance as well. Therefore, for those who are interested to do more research on their own, you will find most of the references near the end of this post (mind you, the ones about Great Depression is severely short in Alex’s standard. 😉 )
Before I go on, I’d like to inform you that I’ve added some more references to The Myths of Candy Candy Final Story (Part 2), kindly supplied by Alex, who essentially dropped a bombshell by pointing out the Royal Shakespeare Company was not formally established until 20 March 1961. Before then, Stratford seasons had been widely regarded as worthy but unexciting. It wasn’t until the 1950s that Quayle and Byam Shaw managed to attract the leading directors, including Peter Hall, whom in 1959 Byam Shaw had chosen as his successor to Shakespeare Memorial Theatre. When Peter Hall inherited Shakespeare Memorial Theatre, it was in a bad shape, a theatre company that was not a real theatre company.
Back to Riven Avon, as discussed in previous posts, Candy and Anohito might be living near any one of the rivers below:
1. River Avon (Devon)
2. River Avon (Warwickshire/Stratford-upon-Avon)
3. River Avon (Bristol)
4. River Avon (Hampshire)
They are all within reasonable proximity (in the south / south-west rural region of England), but given the historical and sociopolitical circumstances surrounding mid-1930s during the Great Depression and Interbellum, Alex actually suggested it’s the River Avon in Warwickshire/Stratford-upon-Avon. The irony, as she mentioned, is that Albert would have a greater chance to be visiting the Shakespeare Memorial Theatre than Terry because Shakespeare Memorial Theatre in Warwickshire functioned mainly as a reception hall for academic lectures, academic conferences, lavish parties for the wealthy, and various other local events.
Yet, if Anohito is indeed Albert, why would he leave his headquarter/hometown in US and move to UK, in particular the southern rural part of England? Did he lose his fortunes / social status? Or as some people have claimed, only after the stock market crash could he marry Candy?
Well, you can judge for yourself after reading the information (mostly supplied by Alex) below. Truth be told it has taken me quite a while to digest most of these references / sources to get a grasp of the overall picture. Your patience and understanding are much appreciated, and of course I can’t thank you enough for the feedback to the previous topics in this series. 🙂 I hope what I’m going to present makes sense to you; as I already mentioned above, I’ll try to avoid going into too many details. If you have any suggestion, please feel free to let me know so that I can improve this post. Thanks in advance! 🙂
Following a rapid recovery from the post-war slump of 1920, Americans enjoyed a decade of consumer boom (the “Roaring Twenties”). At the same time, America was linked to the rest of the world through international trade as the world’s leading exporter and second as an importer (behind the UK). Not only that, America had replaced Britain as the world’s leading international lender. As a result, continuing prosperity in other countries was dependent upon the capacity of how the US economy could absorb imports and maintain its high level of international lending.
But in 1929, the Wall Street Crash plunged the US into economic depression. The Americans, having intensely invested in the financial institutes (banks and stock markets included), (heavy) industries and factories, were hit the hardest. In other words, the nations which had risen the highest (for example, the US), were ironically those which had suffered the greatest fall. To react, the Americans called in their loans to other countries and stopped imports of foreign goods, which created a depression across the rest of the world.
The effects of the Great Depression in the US soon struck the UK like an acutely devastating tsunami; those heavy industries (e.g. coal, iron, steel, shipbuilding) in Northern Ireland, Scotland (Glasgow), Wales (Cardiff and Swansea) and the north of England had the worst hit, partly because they were already struggling — they had not modernized after the war and thus affected by competition from other countries. For example, when the coal mine, the steel works and shipyard closed down in Jarrow in the north-east of England, every single man in the town was made redundant and Jarrow essentially ‘died’. Another reason why the shipping industry in these UK cities had suffered intensely from the Great Depression was their strong and inter-dependent ties with the US. Unemployment in Britain rose to 2.5 million (25 per cent of the workforce) in 1933.
Nevertheless, compared to other countries, the experience of the UK in the Great Depression was relatively mild, mainly because the UK had experienced no real credit boom in the 1920s. Not to mention that the UK wasn’t as financially and technologically (inclusive of industry) advanced as the US. Since the end of WWI, the UK had been in a prolonged economic stagnation of low growth; the banks in the UK were in severe financial or economic difficulties, being unable to pay the debts. Therefore, people (and the investors) in the UK were already prepared for what was in store for them in the UK. A similar situation applied in South America. Great Depression effects had not affected the countries in South America due to the less inter-dependent financial ties. In short, those nations which had the least ties with the US (like Russia) were hit the least, if not at all, by the Great Depression.
As the economy in US worsened, many people lost their fortunes; some members of the high society were forced to curb their extravagant lifestyles, but not everyone had lost everything. In fact, many American dynastic families had continued having lavish parties and extravagant celebrations when a lot of their countrymen could not even afford to feed their families. Nonetheless, “many wealthy magnates in the US had lost immeasurable fortune, especially those involved in banking (including stocks and shares), heavy industries and factories, except the astute and shrewd business entrepreneurs, who had disseminated their wealth and expanded their investments in other countries, especially Latin America and the UK”, said Alex.
Alex further pointed out that although parts of the UK had been struck severely, the south of England, in particular the rural country side, had prospered “due to the investments and immigration of many wealthy North Americans who had ‘fled’ the financial turmoil in the USA in order to preserve and expand their profit in South East and especially South West rural England. London was a bit of a mixed situation, however; the very poor lived in the city centre whilst the opulent resided in suburbia and in the outskirts of London.”
As a matter of fact, the 1930s saw more economic growth than any other decade in British history. Despite the decline of some industries, these were the golden years for new industries such as chemicals, electrical appliances and aviation and cars, the years when Morris, Humber and Austin became household names. There was also an unprecedented boom in construction. These new industries, particularly the vehicle (car and motorcycle) and electrical goods (home appliances, office electrical products, etc), prospered in the Midlands and the South of England, where unemployment was relatively low. The people with jobs could actually benefit from the Depression. Why? Prices fell and they could buy more! As a result, people in the south of England became relatively affluent: three million new houses were built in the 1930s, and there was a 1200 per cent increase in homes with electricity. Besides new home-owners, there was a huge increase in car ownership as well.
Back to CCFS, Albert (via Candy’s description of how he was perceived and lauded as a shrewd businessman in the Letters/Epilogue within his affluent community and peerage) was an astute business entrepreneur and investor with a high level of business acumen. Remember in the epilogue he had told Candy about establishing some business in London (possibly other parts of UK)? He said he had successfully achieved some start up businesses during her education at St. Paul’s. While he was there it gave him the opportunity to supervise the progress of his investments as well as the progress of Candy’s education. Albert also mentioned that his further investments in Brazil and the UK were progressing far beyond his expectations. Bear in mind this happened years before the Great Depression.
Nevertheless, Alex believes Albert’s wealth most certainly and inevitably received a massive blow during the Great Depression due to his ties with US banks and industry, albeit not as devastating as his wealthy peers due to his business acumen (foresight) and dispersion of his wealth and further investments outside the US. The wealthy folks tend to invest in other countries so as to avoid heavy taxation back home, and Albert could be doing the same. “Albert’s character being a ‘citizen and traveler of the world’ could prove to be the main and core reason why he managed to survive the Great Depression with a few sustainable and non-fatal scratches (most akin to those lion scratches in the CC versions).” Arguably, the reasons why he sold the Lakewood estate (a place with cherished memories for both Candy and Albert) were in order to further expand his wealth and investments in the UK, the place he currently resided during the Great Depression.
Alex added that “there’s a ‘consensus’ in all versions of CC/CCFS (manga/novelised manga, and even the anime) where Albert is acutely interested in making, fixing, repairing, modifying, re-arranging, re-assembling, dismantling, fixing from scratch — you name it.” He is also depicted by Nagita as a man who constructed items from scratch. Alex thinks that the handmade furniture in Candy’s newly furnished bedroom was constructed by none other than Albert himself (even though the text itself only indicated that the furniture was handmade). He said his birthday presents for Candy was a product of his sweat and tears, and Candy immediately assumed it was her room decorated in peppermint green, but she later wrote about the horses, Caesar and Cleopatra. To me this part in CCFS was a little unclear what exactly was the product of Albert’s sweat and tears. 😛
In addition, Albert’s early investments in UK and Brazil also prove that he was a visionary as well as a pragmatic businessman. Dispersion (distribution) of wealth, not centralizing it on a single investment, constitutes the crux of intelligent investment, profit, and damage control management of wealth. Albert is therefore “a highly intelligent individual who musters the qualities of ingenuity, innovation as well as pragmatism and everyday realistic practicality”, said Alex. “Taking these clear-cut features into consideration, it would be safe to assume — if not make a logical and educated guess — that Albert was involved in the 1930s in the booming car industry and the electrical goods industry in Southern rural England near the River Avon… Albert’s active career in vehicle industry and technology would fit him like a glove. His higher education in law and business admin simply add to this ‘perfect’ and ‘ideal’ professional role for him.” Alex even said that Albert, having received high education in UK, could be a visiting lecturer or legal adviser at the nearby prestigious universities (Bath, Bristol, Cambridge, and Oxford).
Just for fun I pasted this picture from the manga in which Albert drove a clunker. 😉
Remember in my previous post I’ve mentioned that based on Candy’s descriptions of her current residence, she and Anohito were financially stable? Not only Anohito came home by driving, they lived in an electricity provided establishment within a beautiful rural scenic landscape near the River Avon. All these suggested that this couple was living a financially comfortable and high quality lifestyle. They were not necessarily rich, but I think they were far from being poor.
Alex’s conclusion: “Albert was not only a ‘poker face’ (as Candy terms him in the Letters) in his personal life but also in his social and professional life. This man is acutely intricate and musters a high level of critical thinking and foresight. Throughout the CC/CCFS, Albert is described as a man who can adeptly solve problems and, above all, amend otherwise difficult situations. Albert is a survivor in all aspects and what doesn’t kill him just makes him stronger.”
Before I end this post, I’d like to remind you that in The Myths of Candy Candy Final Story (Part 1) Alex already mentioned that Nagita (Mizuki) was not so ambiguous about Anohito’s identity if one has taken the historical events during the mid-1930s into consideration. The history and events of Great Depression condemned Terry whilst favoured Albert (or an Albert-equivalent in terms of ethos and calibre) as Candy’s partner. What do you think? 🙂
No, this is not the end of the series yet. There are more to come. Please stay tuned.
References for further reading (all from Alex):
Great Depression: https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-94-010-9849-6_10
Some information on North Americans returning to / migrating to /travelling to / investing in Southern rural England-in particular, the South East but the South West as well as the outskirts of London (the ‘posh’ / affluent suburbia) during the Great Depression (1929-circa 1941):
With regards to the reasons North American bankers/investors/business entrepreneurs would migrate to Southern rural England, there are a multitude of factors which all may constitute contributing aspects to an otherwise acutely complex conjunction of given circumstances. Bear in mind that the effects of the Great Depression in Southern rural England were short-term and not nearly as intense as in the US and in UK large cities (namely Glasgow). On the contrary, the Southern British countryside enjoyed a financial boom in the 1930s due to the sky-rocket investment and interest in alternative to industry and banking financial resources. To avoid any form of (albeit inadvertent) confusion and in order to keep this whole issue as simple and clear-cut as possible, I’ll enumerate the main reasons (not all, apparently) Southern rural England had become financially attractive to such shrewd investors:
1. Agriculture: The South and Southernmost Midlands of England were far less industrial and far more agricultural, hence, attracting many investors in agricultural development and thus bringing forth a rapid rise in profit deriving from Southern British agriculture especially in the 1930s;
2. Real Estate: The South and Southernmost Midlands of England didn’t suffer unemployment and mass riots as in the greater cities apparently due to the fact that these rural regions were under-populated. The house prices in Southern rural England had plunged due to the fierce demand of purchasing estates in the larger cities during the industrial revolution and boom. However, after the Great Depression, people were left financially stranded, unemployed, and their city dwellings could no longer be financially sustained. Ironically, those who had cottages, family estates, or had decided to buy property in Southern rural England shortly after the 1929 Stock Market Crash in the US, were the greatest winners as they enjoyed an immense fall in houses prices in these rural regions even prior to the Great Depression. Bottom line, if you had a mansion in Southern rural England during the Great Depression, it’s not necessarily because you were rich but because you bought that property on one hell of a bargain or even for peanuts. A similar situation applies for land as well as house property in Southern rural England; the prices were extremely low and those investors who wished to invest in property (whether it be estate, or land, or a commingle of both), had discovered a lucrative investment and subsequent profit in rural Southern England. The fact that these regions were also conveniently close to London also constituted an advantage in terms of investment and profit.
3. Cars and Electricity: The South of England enjoyed a boom in other (alternative and aspiring) forms of industry which were not particularly popular prior to the 1930s; such forms of industry were mainly the vehicle (car and motorcycle) and electrical goods (home appliances, office electrical products, etc).
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I. See the following scholarly bibliographical sources at your own convenience concerning the aforementioned historical and economic events during the Great Depression:
*Acocella, Nicola (Sapienza University of Rome) and Giovanni Di Bartolomeo (Sapienza University of Rome). Macroeconomic Paradigms and Economic Policy: From the Great Depression to the Great Recession (Cambridge, 2016).
*Bernanke, Ben S. “Non-Monetary Effects of the Financial Crisis in the Propagation of the Great Depression,” The American Economic Review (1983). The American Economic Association 73:3 pp. 257–279.
*Bernstein, Michael. The Great Depression: Delayed Recovery and Economic Change in America, 1929-1939 (Cambridge, 1987).
*Clavin, Patricia. The Great Depression in Europe: 1929-1939 (New York, 2000).
*Constantine, Stephen. Unemployment in Britain Between the Wars (London, 1980).
*Emberton, Paul. Political and Economic Determinants of Budget Deficits in the Great Depression (St Andrews, 1994).
*Garraty, John A. The Great Depression: An Inquiry into the Causes, Course, and Consequences of the Worldwide Depression of the Nineteen-Thirties, as Seen by Contemporaries and in the Light of History (San Diego, 1986).
*Hodson, H., Slump and Recovery, 1929–1937 (London, 1938), pp. 63–78.
*Mowat, Charles L., Britain between the Wars, 1918–1940 (1955) pp. 384–412.
*Nash, Gerald. The Crucial Era: The Great Depression and World War II, 1929-1945 (New York, 1992).
*Richardson, H.W. “The Economic Significance of the Depression in Britain,” Journal of Contemporary History (1970) 4:4 pp. 3-19.
*Stoneman, William. A History of the Economic Analysis of the Great Depression in America (London, 1979).
II. These are some effective databases regarding the impact of the Great Depression worldwide as well as each country (for ease of access rather than in-depth analysis):
III. Some further sources on the development of the (passenger) car industry during the Interbellum in Europe: