Monday, 6 November 2017

Jottings of interest November 2017: What are my top six posts?

John Barnes

John is the author of  La Trobe: Traveller, Writer, Governor featured in the previous post - La Trobe: Rambler, Writer and Royalist. I’ve created a mini-bio and authors page for him at goodreads, where you can also see his picture and a list of his other publications.

Alonzo Marion Poe – an Oregon pioneer

The territorial seal of Oregon (1848-1859).

I recently saw a very interesting website - THE OREGON TERRITORY AND ITS PIONEERSIf you’re interested in the ‘Oregon Country’ it’s well worth a look.

The site is maintained by Stephanie Flora who confesses that ‘The Settling of Oregon and Its Pioneers is my number one hobby and addiction.’ If you visit her site you’ll learn about early Oregon and the natives, explorers, fur traders, missionaries and the pioneers who settled it. The site Includes pioneer lists up to 1855, pioneer diaries, Oregon trail information and a photo gallery of early pioneers.

The site mentions Alonzo Marion Poe and Stephanie was happy to update her entry on him and add the information from two of my previous blogs, the latest being The when and where of Alonzo Marion Poe. You can see my items there too.

I Keep Six Honest Serving Men ...’

I've discovered that the process of writing up what I think I know forces me to think more precisely than otherwise. As a result, I end up learning more.

One of the reasons for this is the help I get through the process from Rudyard Kipling’s servants…


They are faithful servants whose assistance has been extolled by journalists and corporate thinkers across more than a century. Here is Kipling’s introduction of them to you, just as I heard it I read it as a child.

‘I Keep Six Honest Serving Men ...’
I KEEP six honest serving-men
 (They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
 And How and Where and Who.
I send them over land and sea,
 I send them east and west;
But after they have worked for me,
 I give them all a rest.

These servants were once known as the ‘five Ws ‘of journalists (or I guess ‘Five Ws and one poorly written H’)…

But Kipling was not all work and no play. He gives his servants time off and is much less a hard taskmaster than a young girl he knows. The unbounded energy of an inquisitive child leaves no time for servants to rest. He continues…

I let them rest from nine till five,
 For I am busy then,
As well as breakfast, lunch, and tea,
 For they are hungry men.
But different folk have different views;
I know a person small—
She keeps ten million serving-men,
Who get no rest at all!

She sends 'em abroad on her own affairs,
 From the second she opens her eyes—
One million Hows, two million Wheres,
And seven million Whys!

following the story, The Elephant's Child in Just So Stories (1902)

Kipling’s daughter Elsie Bambridge recognised herself in the second half of the poem. She was apparently known in the family as ‘Elsie Why’.

The poem remains an enjoyable read today and Just So Stories remains a great book to read to children.

by Rudyard Kipling

Readings of Interest…

Many of my posts link to further reading usually websites and relevant books.

I’m aiming to make links to particular books which are available via Angus and Robertson or in some cases organisations doing work which is worth supporting. Angus and Robertson's prices are often the best for online purchase. 

While these will be specific links, you may also want to do your own search of their catalogue. If so I’d like to encourage you to do that through this link.

There are also a number of out-of-print books which I mention and I will try to find easy-to-access sources for these too.

What are my top six posts so far?

I have one more post in the works for this month which I hope will be up about Thursday. After that my typing fingers will take a break for a month.

In the meantime, you may be interested to know which of my posts have been the read most to date.

Here’s the countdown…

Number 6:

A tale of two tea planters: Claud Bald and F G Marsh. An introduction to my two tea-planting ancestors and a view of some long-lost photos.

Number 5:

A ‘new’ photo of an Australian Beersheba hero? The story of a war hero who also built a church.

Number 4:

Alonzo Marion Poe: a recurring family name. The peripatetic Poes are a source of continuing intrigue.

Number 3:

Who was here first? A short list of my ‘first arrival’ ancestors.

Number 2:

Grandfather Poe and the King of Chinese Cinema. Solving more family mysteries and widening horizons.

Number 1:

La Trobe: Rambler, Writer and Royalist. Responses to John Barnes impressive award-winning biography of the man whose name followed me around for many years.

Please look over the posts and forward your favourites….

No comments:

Post a Comment