Thursday, August 26, 2010

Ask Thucydides!

For questions about the BSI Archival History website or BSI history in general, a new department has been set up at the website, with the first two questions (and answers) already, from Bob Katz ("Dr. Ainstree") and Julie McKuras ("The Duchess of Devonshire"), at Questions or comments on the answers to questions should be sent to

1 comment:

  1. Dear Thucydides:

    Unfortunately Giono's speakeasy is move vivid in the movie version of Kitty Foyle than in the book.

    My text is a 1978 reprint, limited to 300 copies, published by "special arrangement" by Queens House, Larchmont, New York.

    In this edition the novel is 340 pages long and Giono's doesn't appear until page 223, Chapter 23.

    The fullest description occurs on page 251, Chapter 25.

    ". . . I'd sit in the corner and the red leather bench and nurse myself an iced tea, which was what Giono called a highball in Prohibition. That little dim passage led out to the street. Summer days the front door stood open though of course the iron gate was locked to keep out snoopers. You had to ring a special bell that looked like it was meant for some apartment upstairs, there was even a card for 'Mr. M. A. Kenealy' who was imaginary. Giono made up the name, he was proud of it; he said the M. A. stood for Marcantonio. Anyway when you ran three time for Mr. Kenealy a buzzer sounded back of the bar and Giono knew you were O.K."

    It's my understanding that Cella dispensed with subterfuge and anyone who was thirsty just hobbled into his establishment. Perhaps Thucydides could set me straight on that.

    In summary, Kitty Foyle is a fine old fashioned read, but with very little for the Sherlockian to draw upon.

    John Lehman