Evergreen Adventurer

The Real Frank Harris
Year: 
1975

I don't know who Linda Morgan Bain is or was, but this has all the hallmarks of a vanity publication. Copies are relatively easy to come by, which suggests that Ms. Bain had either a lot of friends, or the money to distribute her book herself.

Simply put, this is a retelling of My Life and Loves in a naive style, as though it were meant for young teenagers. There is no evidence of any original research whatsoever. One can only assume that Ms. Bain read Harris' book, fell in love with the character that he gives himself, and decided that the world needed another version of his tale, only more milk-and-water.

Here, for example, is her version of some of Frank's most outrageous carnal exploits from volume I:-

A pretty Mrs. Lorna Mayhew, unsatisfied wife of a dull business man, first fell to his advances, only to find that the passion he roused in her merely bored him after the first raptures. Then followed an intense affair with Kate Gregory, daughter of the house where he lodged, but before these transports were over, he was sharing his kisses and caresses between Lily, Mrs. Mayhew's maid, and Rose, an attractive servant girl at the college.

It should nevertheless be said in his favour that no woman or girl ever suffered hardship on his account. nor did he ever leave any of them with child.

(Sadly, she doesn't mention the 'orgies of San Remo'.)

The blurb on the dust jacket states "Her play, Wife to Lucifer was the first on Lord Byron to be approved by the Lord Chamberlain's office". A proud boast indeed - and easy to believe on the evidence of this volume. (For those not familiar with British theatre history, the Lord Chamberlain was a censor whose approval had to be obtained for all plays publically staged until 1968).