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Monday, August 17, 2009

Comic Cuts

Not much to report as work on Bear Alley Books is on hiatus for the moment while I earn a living. I've spent most of the week writing reviews for a book on Cult Novels and filling in some gaps in the Science Fiction Encyclopedia and Crime Fiction Bibliography for a bit of light relief.

Honest, it can be quite entertaining and amusing sometimes. For instance, back in the 1930s and early 1940s, four crime novels appeared under the name Princess Paul Troubetzkoy which a mate of mine flagged up as being wrongly identified. He was proved right: the princess was born Rhoda Marie Maire Boddam and married Prince Paul Troubetzkoy, a Russian sculptor, in 1931. He's quite famous—you can Google his name if you want to find out more.

But it was Maire Boddam that we were interested in. John wanted to find out more and I was able to establish that Paul Troubetzkoy had died in 1938 and his widow followed in 1948 in slightly odd circumstances. Her body was discovered on the path leading to a cottage where she lived by a repairman. It was believed that she had slipped and died after striking her head in the fall.

That's not the amusing bit... what I also found was a note that she had become engaged in 1943 and the announcement in The Times implied some irregularities in her parentage:

Cue the old joke: "Female horse?" "Of course. Nothing queer about Captain Boddam."

Well, it amused me... if only they'd slipped in that extra comma.

Scroll down for the latest episode of "Eagles Over the Western Front". Tomorrow will be a bit of landmark as we reach the 50th post featuring the adventures of Harry Hawkes.

I almost missed another landmark: Bear Alley is now three years old. Happy birthday me! If you want to discover why I called this blog Bear Alley, take a look at the first post I wrote as that explains it all. Nearly 1,250 posts later, I like to think we've done our little bit to unearth a few tidbits about the history of old British comics and story papers. All I can add is that I might be growing old and cranky but I'll try and keep going... who knows what else we might discover over the next three years.


  1. Congratulations,Steve.

  2. congrats steve ,always enjoy my visits to Bear Alley

  3. Happy Birthday..
    3 is the magic number...

  4. And once again, thanks on behalf of the British comics researchers of the future :-)