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Gang Roundup – June 2017

Hi everyone. So how’s the changing season agreeing with you? Very miserably with me. Here in Italy, we moved from a mild end of winter to a full fledged summer in a matter of a week. It’s horrible. But as we say in my parts, “Whether, luck and lords just do what they want” (it’s a dialect saying and it isn’t this polite, let me tell you). So let’s move on!


And hey! If you happen to have writte a 1920s/dieselpunk related article and you’d like it to appear in the Gang Roundup, give me a nudge. I’ll include it in the next month round up.

The original It Girl

Of course It is one of the most iconic films of the 1920s. Of course Clara Bow is one of the most known and iconic women (but I’d say people) of the 1920s. And just let me tell you that It is, plain and simple, a good film even by today’s standards. What else do you need to go watch it??

As always, Carrie-Anne made a marvelous job of dissecting the film. Lots of info and anecdotes. I always enjoy her silent film critics for this very reason.

The sinking of Lusitania

The end of the liner Lusitania made up the stuff of legends, just like the end of the Titanic. But while the letter story is widely known, the sinking of the Lusitania during WWI is less so.
Although a civilia liner, the Lusitania took part to the war, shipping munitions and contraband destined for the British war effort. This was propably no secret for the German, that in 1915 decided to do something about it.

Over Where?

Crazy as it might sound, WWI was a stepping point in the history of the Western World. It changed it greatly, in bad… and good.
Author Jeffrey Walker guides us through this seminal time of our history. He touches on many aspect of the War as an event and as a factor in people’s lives. He looks at the differences between the European and the American experience of the. He also looks at what advancements the War brought about to all the communities involved.
An article packed full of info.

Feminism in Las Chicas del Cable

I stumbled upon the news of this new series really by mere chance. It’s a Netflix only production, so lucky you guys who have access to it.
It looks very intersting and quite different from the usual take on the Roaring Twenties. No surprise, since this is Spain, a very different historical context. But there are also many similarities, because flappers existed all over the world in the 1920s. Everywhere they pushed women’s awareness of their worth ahead. This is one of the very fascinating things about them.

Vampir auf der couch

And while we’re being international, let me present you a series I actually learned about last year. It’ss a Austrian historical commedy with more than a touch of horror. . Tobias Moretti looks like the perfect man for the part, if you ask me. He is a vampire. In 1930s Wien, he seeks Dr. Sigmund Freud’s help to fix his problematic 500.year-old marriage. Go figure!

The mysterious disappearance of Agatha Christie

If you have any interest in mystery stories, you know Agatha Christie. You have probably read at least one of her books (I have – and I plan to read quite a few more). In 1926 she disappeared for 11 days and even when she was finally found, she was never able (or was she never willing?) to say what happened. She claimed she lost her memory and never in her life revealed what happened in those 11 days or her reasons to disappere.

Biographers have long tried to break the mystery, but so far, no one could. There are of course quite a few theories. In 1979 one of such theories became a  film.

But I suppose that, as for other mysteries of the past, we’ll have to cope with never knowing the truth.

Sex in the Pulpit: The feminist preacher for Aussie flappers

And last month I learned about another remarkable lady.

Maude Royden “was the first woman to preach in an Anglican church in Australia when she addressed the Darling Point congregation in 1928. Not your average touring preacher, Royden smoked; she told girls to be more selfish. According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the crowd at her ‘Sex and Common-sense’ lecture ‘threatened to become unmanageable’ as police struggled to hold people back from the entrance.”

She addressed women emancipation from the most male-centre place of power, a church pulpit. She advocated women pleasure in sex and the use of contraceptives. I don’t know how she managed that, but she did.

It doesn’t get much more remarkable than this!

Murder on the Orient Express

I mean, have you seen the trailer of the new Murder on the Orient Express? I saw it the first time yesterday and it is smashing! I want to see this film!

Strangely enough, I haven’t read the book (yet) but I’ve seen quite a few film renditions and I enjoyed all of them. I suppose this speaks of how good a story this is. I’m sure that when Dame Agatha first gave it to the press it was a mind-blowing idea. Today, everybody knows who’s the murderer in this story. Well, I sure feel as everybody does, so I suppose this is a great challenge for any new production.

I’m so very excited to see what Kenneth Branagh did with Hercule Poirot. He has always had a knack for doing new things with old ideas and as you can see, this is a very different Poirot. Besides, after David Suchet, Poirot is going to be a challenge for any actor, I’d wedger. By the way, I watched a Murder on the Orient Express film rendition with Suchet this winter. Absolutely spellbounding. It kept me on the edge of my seat start to end, I mean it. If you decide to watch it, I promise you won’t be sorry.

And so this is it for this month. Well, considering until yesterday I worried I didn’t have a video to share with you this month, I think I’ve managed quite necely.

Gang Roundup June 2017 - This month roundup is heavy on the murder mystery side, with two Agatha Christie related links and the Lusitaina story, if you wish. Them more 1920s


  • Margot Kinberg
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 22:53

    Sorry to hear about the weather. I hope it improves. I was delighted to see you mention Clara Bow. She’s not as well-known now, but in her day, she was, indeed, the original ‘It Girl.’ Hers is an interesting story. And so glad you mentioned Agatha Christie’s missing 11 days, too. Of course I’m curious about the real, actual truth there. But at the same time, I can’t help thinking, ‘Good for her not to blab her whole life to everyone.’ She wanted privacy and who could blame her?

    • Post Author
      Posted June 11, 2017 at 15:04

      That’s true. But I’m still very curious about it. It’s like for the mystery of Jaak the Ripper: we’ll probably never know the truth, but still, as a reader, I suffer of not knowing ‘how it ends’ ;-)

  • Barbara In Caneyhead
    Posted June 5, 2017 at 23:49

    A very interesting mix this time around!

    • Post Author
      Posted June 11, 2017 at 15:05

      Happy you liked it, Barbara. It was fun compiling it :-)

  • Birgit
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 01:05

    Love Clara Bow and wish she was more well known and given the respect she deserves. There is an xcellent book written by Barry Paris that I highly recommend. Really looking forward to Murder on the Orient Express since I love the 1970’s version with Albert Finney in the role of Poirot

    • Post Author
      Posted June 11, 2017 at 15:07

      Clara Bow was indeed an exceptional woman and actress. It’s very strange, you know. Because I’m familiar with the 1920s, I always think that if I know these people, then eveyone must know them, so I’m always quite buffled when I realise some of these personalities are not as famouse as they used to be.

      I cant’ wait for the new Orient Express to come out!!!!

    Posted June 6, 2017 at 04:36

    Quite a roundup! The LUSITANIA lies in 300 feet of water about 20 miles south of where I live in Cork. At 70,000 horsepower and 27 knots it was faster and more powerful than most liners today, a century later. Thanks for all the info and links, Sarah!

    • Post Author
      Posted June 11, 2017 at 15:10

      I’m getting very curious about these liners.
      Yesterday, I was at an exposition about the Art Deco in Italy and they mentioned the Normandie in connection with travelling in the 1920s. Such fascinating subject.

  • Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 12:22

    Hi Sarah – thanks for the links … the Spanish one looks interesting; while the article by Jeffrey Walker is very interesting – another angle on the first world war that we need to know about. I’d heard of Clara Bow, but am grateful to know more. Murder on the Orient Express – very atmospheric and I’m sure I’ll see it at some stage …

    Thanks – cheers Hilary

    • Post Author
      Posted June 11, 2017 at 15:11

      If you have any chance, do watch Clara Bow in ‘It’. It’s a very nice film even by today standards. Not all Clara Bow’s films live up to it, in my opinion.

  • Grace Robinson
    Posted June 6, 2017 at 21:14

    I didn’t know there was a new Orient Express movie coming out – how cool! I want to see it. :)

    • Post Author
      Posted June 11, 2017 at 15:12

      Me too! It looks awesome!!!! And honestly, I’ll always trust Kenneth Branagh to do semething new and different.

  • Sara Letourneau
    Posted June 10, 2017 at 00:40

    The weather definitely does whatever it wants – wherever it wants, too. Here in MA, we had a dreary start to the week, with rain and high temps around 50 deg F (10 deg C). And this weekend, it’s supposed to be sunny, humid, and near 90 deg F (32 deg C). So believe me, I know the feeling of the weather seesaw!

    I haven’t read Murder on the Orient Express either, and I haven’t seen any of the film adaptations. But this one looks stunning! I’ll have to keep that in mind come autumn.

    Hope you’re doing well, btw. I’ve been super-busy lately, so I’ve fallen behind on catching up on blogs. It might be that way for the near future… but I’ll do my best.

    • Post Author
      Posted June 11, 2017 at 15:15

      I feel you, Sara. I’m always so behind with everything. And lately I decided to cut on the internet time in the evening and devote more time to reading. Not that I’m sorry about it, but everything ‘internet’ was affected by it. Though we need to make a choice, sometimes.

    Posted June 10, 2017 at 08:44

    ‘MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS’ is well worth a read. Its back story is loosely based on the Lindbergh baby kidnapping. The 1974 film is superb, so much so that I wondered at the point of the new remake, not to mention the THREE(!) TV versions that have been made in this century. But I could be pleasantly surprised.

    • Post Author
      Posted June 11, 2017 at 15:17

      Oh, I didn’t know that, John. I mean that the backstory of Murder on the Orient Express was inspired by the Lindbergh affair. It makes sense, though, and I can see the similarities, now that you’ve mentioned it.
      And well, if you ask me, there will never be too many of this story adaptations ;-)

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