Articles in The Christian Graduate, Housewife, and The Times CWS

Articles in The Christian Graduate, Housewife, and The Times

By listing first the articles in THE TIMES, followed by those in HOUSEWIFE, and concluding with those in THE CHRISTIAN GRADUATE, I preserve an order that is almost chronological. Included with the four letters to THE TIMES is the article that appeared in THE TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT and a letter that was printed in THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT.

THE TIMES

A Victorian in Training: Gems from the "Ladies' Treasury" from a Correspondent. London: THE TIMES. Nov. 13, 1931.

In the 1858 opening number of THE LADIES' TREASURY, Savery encountered an unsigned column devoted to "Conduct and Carriage" in which 'Mrs Vernon' gives copious advice to her daughter Gertrude (or, sometimes, Geraldine). For example
A morbid passion for cheese is nipped in the bud by the stern dictum: "It is rather a coarse taste--gentlemen do not like to see ladies eat cheese."
For a further discussion of this column by Savery, cf. I Must Read them Again: 'Conduct and Carriage in Society' in METHODIST MAGAZINE.

Besides Mrs. Vernon's advice, there are book reviews and recipes as well as columns on needlework and fashion and every other topic the proper young lady would need to know in the mid-nineteeth century. If you want to know about, or write about, that period, Savery recommends this invaluable, if somewhat dusty, Treasury.

Death Comes to the Dragons from a Correspondent. London: THE TIMES. Aug. 3, 1938.

Throughout her writing career Savery returns to dragons, from the emotional Hugh Tenthragon in Forbidden Doors, through the six Little Dragon stories broadcast over the BBC, to the redoubtable Miss Shipley in Joric and the Dragon. In the present case, the dragons are small-sized railway engines that were rejected in China, but put to use in East Anglia between Halesworth and the 'dragonish' port of Southwold, which Savery describes lovingly. Alas, "the diminutive dragons have been vanquished by giant rivals disguised as motor-omnibuses." So, "even royalty can never hope to enter the town driven by prancing dragon steeds."

Books for Black-Outs from a Correspondent. London: THE TIMES. Nov. 27, 1939.

Savery is a poor prophet, but an enthusiastic booster when she concludes this column at the beginning of World War II by writing "They say the war should last three years. So should a complete course of Charlotte Yonge."

Could one, I wonder, locate and read Yonge's ninety-five books in three years? Or, for that matter, in the five and a half years that the war actually lasted? Would one want to?

Savery wrote two appreciations of Yonge, this one and I Must Read them Again: Charlotte Yonge's Stories, which appeared fifteen years later in METHODIST MAGAZINE. Yonge should not be read in bed, Savery advises, although The Young Stepmother, not one of her best, did keep Tennyson awake. Read them as an accompanyment to sock-knitting and wool-winding. Enter
a world where are no wars and rumours of war, no aeroplanes, no cars, no wireless, no psycho-analysis, no scarlet claws and tortured eyebrows
(take that, Hollywood!). If the speech is a little upper crust, so much the better. "We do not want to be wakened from our dreams by the sound of speech dismally like our own."

After reading Savery's letter, three persons wrote to THE TIMES asserting their appreciation of Charlotte Yonge. Another, E.M. Delafield, herself with a collection of 200 Yonge titles, challenged Savery on that point and two others, probably correctly.

To decide who was correct try some Charlotte Yonge with your knitting. You needn't read ninety-five titles, let alone two hundred.

Mr. Gaul's Party from a Correspondent. London: THE TIMES. Nov. 3, 1958.

Did you have a teacher who was important to you? Evidently Albert Robert Gaul (1837-1913), 'Mr. Gaul,' was important to Savery, for she praised him in print two other times, c.f. Mr. Gaul and East Anglian Composer under OTHER JOURNALS.

Mr. Gaul taught at King Edward VI High School for Girls in Birmingham from 1883 to 1913. Savery was fifteen when Mr. Gaul became so ill he had to turn in his resignation from, not work, but 'an afternoon party twice a week.' Days later he died.

He was an excellent teacher and a competent musician. "He wrote numerous cantatas, of which The Holy City (1882) is most famous" according to the Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. There are twelve other titles by Gaul listed in the back of The Holy City, which, words and music, set me back eight pounds sterling in 2004. The cantata has also been recorded.

More than teacher and musician, he was a Christian gentleman, who turned his girls into ladies by treating them as ladies. After forty-five years, that is what Savery remembered.

THE TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT

Queen of the Sea. London: THE TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT, No. 2,177, 47th year. Feb. 8, 1957.

In 1850 Theophilus Sampson received the prize from Queen Elizabeth's School, Wimbourne, Dorset, for the best poem in English on the Mediterranean Sea. When Savery ran across the poem somewhere, the neat handwriting and carefully constructed verses caught her fancy, and she provided an amusing, but not unflattering description of his "astonishingly competent production." The original poem together with Savery's notes for the article are in the manuscript collection at The University of Southern Mississippi library. Many libraries have THE TIMES EDUCATIONAL SUPPLEMENT on microfilm. I am indebted to the library at Eastern Kentucky University for my photocopy of the Savery article.

THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT

A.L.O.E. London: THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT. Jan. 1, 1949, p 9.

A microfilm edition of THE TIMES LITERARY SUPPLEMENT has been published by ProQuest and can be accessed at research libraries including the Lupton Library at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. The 'article' consists of a one-sentence letter requesting "letters, papers and any other information" about A.L.O.E., Charlotte Maria Tucker, for a projected biography. Savery's work diary does not mention this letter, but does list those who replied to the request. She did not write A.L.O.E.'s life, but she did write an article about A.L.O.E.'s missionary efforts, Indian A.L.O.E.

HOUSEWIFE

I May Be A Billetee. Illus. by Pearl Falconer. London: HOUSEWIFE, 5(1), Hulton Press, Ltd., 43-44 Shoe Lane, London E.C.4. Jan. 1943, pp 50-51, 104. Also published in Part I of the 1943 bound annual

During World War II, evacuees, military personnel, and persons assigned to war jobs were often billeted with civilians, who were paid a nominal stipend for the inconvenience and expense. Should she become a billetee, Savery plans to bring to her billet low expectations and a willingness to make do. It could be worse, she implies, mentioning her past experience with bad beds, scanty meals, and
...a bath that was not so much a bath as a history of other people's baths.
This wartime article is reminiscent of Enemy Brothers, which was also published in 1943 and describes a household of English civilians and evacuees.

The Best Place for Homework. Photos. by ? London: HOUSEWIFE, 5(10), Hulton Press, Ltd., 43-44 Shoe Lane, London E.C.4. Oct. 1943, pp 33-35. Also published in Part II of the 1943 bound annual.

As a high school student, an envious Savery discovered that the mother of one of her younger classmates simply dropped her child's homework "behind the fire." Savery recalls once being allotted forty-five minutes to compose an additional scene from Hamlet 'in Shakespeare's style.' Other assignments were time-consuming and pointless. With her education completed and some experience as a teacher, Savery finds merit in using the fireplace.

THE CHRISTIAN GRADUATE

Robert Grosseteste. London: THE CHRISTIAN GRADUATE, 8(1), Inter-Varsity Fellowship, 39 Bedford Square, London, W.C.1. Mar. 1955, pp 18-22.

I am indebted to a web page written by James Kiefer for the information that Savery's subject was present at the signing of Magna Carta and tutored Roger Bacon in physics. Grosseteste's complete works are available on the Internet, in Latin, for those who can read them.

Savery's biography brings him alive as a warm-hearted, hot-headed autocrat who brooked no interference in his administration of the largest diocese in England after his appointment as Bishop of London. When he was not facing down either Pope Boniface or King Henry III, he was opposing
...miracle plays, ...games, ...private marriages, drinking-bouts, dancing round the maypole, ...parish processions..., careless mothers, ...itinerant stained-glass painters [who ground] their colours on the altar slab, ...unruly archdeacons, ...lazy monks, unworthy abbots... and lax priors.
Both Savery and Kiefer note his bold, unconventional ideas about cosmology, and he learned Hebrew and Greek before writing his exegeses, not a common practice when Jerome's Latin Vulgate was the Bible. Savery summarizes his accomplishments with a bit of hyperbole:
This man contrived, paradoxically enough, to be in many ways a Reformer before the Reformation, a Protestant before Protestantism, a Puritan before Puritanism, an Evangelical before the Evangelical Movement.
This lively biography makes us want to know more, surely the objective of any biographer.

In Defense of 'All That'. London: THE CHRISTIAN GRADUATE, 16(3), Inter-Varsity Fellowship, 39 Bedford Square, London, W.C.1. Sep. 1963, pp 21-23. Printed by Green & Co. Ltd., Crown Street, Lowestoft.

When Elizabeth Catherwood condemned evangelical fiction in an article entitled Teddy's Button and All That, she found fault with the genré's prose, the appearance of its books, and the motives of its authors. Savery took up the gauntlet. Drawing from her personal experience, first as one who read Catherwood's Awful Examples with profit in childhood and later as one who wrote her own Christian fiction, she answered Catherwood point by point, ridiculing her claims, challenging her assumptions, and ending with a promise to continue to serve her Lord in the "joyful task of evangelism." Since I have not read Catherwood's attack, it is unfair to say who triumphed in this exchange, but Savery is cogent and persuasive.

The Library at Regent College in Vancouver, British Columbia, has this journal in its holdings, and they were kind enough to make a photocopy for me of both this essay and Robert Grosseteste, above.
This web site © 2010-17 by Eric Schonblom. Updated 3 February 2017. The unpublished works of Constance Savery are reproduced with the permission of the copyright owner, J. D. Hummerstone.