The Porter`s Daughter by Winifred Dawson
THE LIFE OF AMY AUDREY LOCKE
17th June 1881 - 19th June 1916
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Softback cover shown by permission of The University of Reading, Hardback copies are covered in dark maroon cloth, with gold lettering along their spines.
YEATS ANNUAL. Because "The Porter`s Daughter" covers Amy Audrey Locke`s involvements with the great English language poet W B Yeats and with his friend W T Horton, it has been reviewed in Volume 20 (2016) of the Yeats Annual, the leading international research-level publication dedicated to that great man. This Volume is entitled "Essays in Honour of Eamonn Cantwell" and the review is by Jad Adams, historian, author and television producer. It can be read free of charge by accessing the website "OpenBook Publishers", locating Volume 20 under the category "Literature and Language" and then clicking on "read the pdf ". First read one of the preliminary pages which deals with Creating Common Attribution and copyrights before moving the slider to the right to find the review on pages 445 to 449.
Note that this review deals only with Yeats and Horton, and except in passing does not tackle Locke`s whole life or other major topics such as Arundell Esdaile and the activities of some of the Bensons
The reviewer comments that "The Porter`s Daughter" is a book of extremely high standard but is written with rather jerky movement; however, the latter comment has not been one offered by any other reviewer or reader identified on this present website. Also whilst the review states that Horton supplanted Arundell Esdaile in Locke`s affections, the author herself held the contrary view, this because of what she included in the last parts of her book. Perhaps Esdaile`s high sense of probity meant that he could not demand the constant care and attention that was got from Locke by Horton, but without new research the matter may never be properly settled.
See also the READERS PAGE on this website.
PUBLIC DOMAIN REVIEW (PDR) Website Article "The Strange Case of Mr William T Horton" by Jon Crabb.
This is a valuable compilation of all information on Horton`s works which has at one time or another entered the public domain, for example his contributions to the Savoy and other magazines. A A Locke is mentioned, but only as the "partner of Horton", a statement which is not explained and contrary to the impression gained from reading the last parts of The Porter`s Daughter.
This article also tends to associate Horton`s work with the "Decadence of Aubrey Beardsley", something which may be taken to imply that Horton himself was decadent. He like many others seems to have been interested in the Occult, but the first part of Chapter 11 of The Porter`s Daughter gives strong reasons why in those times normal people including Christians were so interested, whereas Decadence seems to be often used to indicate decay in standards and morals, something cetainly not applicable to Locke and not to Horton in his attempts to influence E B Yeats.
REVIEW IN THE CHARLOTTE M. YONGE FELLOWSHIP, Ed 40, Spring 2015. This publication contained a review of The Porter`s Daughter in which it was perceived that through the reactions and memories of others, the book author conveyed A A Locke as a woman of strong will, of a protective and maternal nature, having a loving spirit and a serenity which must have been a great part of her appeal.
The reviewer noted that the entertainment put on by the students just before they left Somerville College Oxford in 1903 recalled the parlour entertainment described at the end of chapter 19 of the Victorian author C M Yonge`s "The Young Stepmother" (a lengthy book published in 1861 for young women), and although not further discussed in the Review, the thought that springs to mind is that before going to Oxford it was likely that Miss Locke with her usual intense energy had read that book and in spite of the other pressures on her and her fellow students on their last day in Oxford, had persuaded them all, even Rose Macaulay, to join in a re-enactment of the entertainment. Because she won the C M Yonge scholarship, Locke would have been far more likely than the other students to have known the book, and her knowing about it appears very likely because in her last year in school, her school library acquired an 1899 reprint of the book, almost certainly through an action by Anna Bramston, the school`s founder and an acquainance of C M Yonge. Because of her seemingly intense study of a work by the author whose scholarship she needed, and because of her achievment of the entertainment in Oxford, A A Locke would have had to have a strong determination to succeed, i.e. already have the nature displayed in her later life. This leads one to muse that had not death intervened, A A Locke could have stood in the first election after the great war and become a popular and powerful national figure. No wonder that she had such a strong effect on those whom she encounered.
BOOK LAUNCH.The book launch party was held on 12th July 2014 and hosted by St Swithun`s School in Winchester. This event when the author was near to death was mainly to allow her to personally thank the many people who had given her very valuable help with her research and preparation of The Porter`s Daughter. Copies of her book have since then been supplied to many libraries and archives. Also information about it have been made available to Old Wykehamists through number 118 (November 2014) of their magazine The Trusty Servant, to members of the Charlotte Yonge Society, and to members of both the UK and USA Angela Thirkell Societies.
LECTURE. An excellent lecture about Amy Locke and about the very high integrity of Win Dawson`s research was delivered by Alys Blakeway in the Hampshire Record Office / Archives cinema on 26th March 2015. From their interest and questions, the audience of at least 30 people seemed to be mostly Hampshire historians or family historians. One interesting feature was the remarkable detail revealed in the illustrations projected on to the screen compared with those printed from the same data set in The Porter`s Daughter.
The JOURNAL of the PHILIP LARKIN SOCIETY, No 40 October 2015 carries an advertisement for "The Porter`s Daughter", a virtually unique privilege for which the Society is warmly thanked. As well as helping to spread knowledge about the book in Gt. Britain, this represented the first attempt to bring the book to the attention of people living overseas.
A A Locke ARCHIVE. The author`s notes and some other material, including the book where she first found the latin inscription and the magazine which carried the first version of W B Yeats` poem are now deposited in the Hampshire Record Office / Archives in Winchester. With this material there is also a brief but valuable guide on how to access other sources which she used, for example the Esdaile archive.
Philip Larkin ARCHIVE. Papers and other materials relating to interactions between WIn and Philip Larkin are held in the Hull History Centre. Accession 2015/01 holds her letters to the poet and other items, and accession 2015/02 contains loose papers and other material still not catalogued at the time of her death. However, Larkin`s 26 letters to Win are held in the Bodleian library in Oxford.
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