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All the Frank Harris pages

What follows is Arnold Bennett's glowing review of Frank Harris's first novel, The Bomb. It is eight years since the appearance of "Montes the Matador," a volume which contains one of the finest short stories ever written by Saxon, Russian, or Gaul. Mr. Frank Harris has at last thought fit to publish another book. I know not what he has done with himself in the meantime, but whatever his activity… continue reading
This is Frank Harris's response, published in the "New Age" for November 11, 1909, to Arnold Bennett's review of The Man Shakespeare in the same periodical two weeks earlier, in which Bennett had disputed Harris's use of the term "snobbishness" with regard to Shakespeare. ("Jacob Tonson" was Bennett's pseudonym under which he wrote book reviews.) Shakespeare’s Snobbishness and Sensuality By… continue reading
This is the complete text of "Shakespeare and Christmas", the parody of Harris' style that Max Beerbohm included in his excellent A Christmas Garland, 1912. Shakespeare and Christmas That Shakespeare hated Christmas- hated it with a venom utterly alien to the gentle heart in him - I take to be a proposition that establishes itself automatically. If there is one thing lucid-obvious in the Plays… continue reading
Ever since Frank Harris published the first volume of My Life and Loves in 1922, his name has been associated with pornography. That association has been exploited by various unscrupulous individuals, no doubt to some profit. The Observations of an Old Man I was prompted to write something about the subject of Harris and pornography when I recently acquired a rather curious item. It is a book,… continue reading
Most of the online booksellers have an e-book for sale under the title of My Life and Loves. Should you purchase a copy, you will find you have, not the notorious, boastful four volumes that Frank Harris wrote, but an imposter: the dubious Volume Five. In 1954, this volume was first published by Maurice Girodias's Olympia Press, its authorship credited entirely to Frank Harris. Then in the 1960s… continue reading
This letter from Frank Harris was originally advertised as relating to My Secret Life. I was excited, as any writing by Harris on that subject would have been uniquely valuable and interesting. As it turns out, of course, the letter is about My Life and Loves, but I am still pleased to have acquired it. It reads (click on the image for a larger view): c/o American Express Co., 2, rue du Congres… continue reading
A very few of Harris' works have been adapted for other forms. (See also: portrayals of Frank Harris). Theatrical adaptations A Modern Idyll, a short story which is printed in the collection Montes the Matador, was made into a short play, The Minister's Call, by Arthur Symons. This play was Symons's first; Oscar Wilde attended a performance of it, where it was produced as part of a triple… continue reading
Thanks to the British Film Institute, which has an unrivalled collection of British television programmes on video, I was recently able to watch again Fearless Frank, or Tidbits from the Life of an Adventurer. This television play by Andrew Davies was the Play of the Month on BBC2 in October 1978; it starred Leonard Rossiter as Frank Harris. The play opens in Nice in 1922 with Harris in impotent… continue reading
No detailed study of Harris' journalism exists. The best source for information about the titles he worked on is Tobin and Gertz (indicated by 'TG') but the less reliable biography by E. M. Root ('EMR') lists a few items that they do not. George W Houghton's Adventures of a Gadabout (1936) ('GWH') is the source for information about Harris's contribitions to the little-known Riviera Season. The… continue reading
My Secret Life, by 'Walter' This book is often wrongly attributed to Frank Harris, through confusion with My Life and Loves. The most popular candidate for 'Walter' is Henry Spencer Ashbee, alias 'Pisanus Fraxi' as discussed by Patrick Kearney (who maintains an excellent web site devoted to erotic literature) in an e-mail to me:- Nobody knows for certain who wrote "My Secret Life." The… continue reading