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This review is taken from PN Review 20, Volume 7 Number 6, July - August 1981.

ANNIE ENCORE John Adlard, One Evening of Light Mist in London (Tragara Press, 137 Warrender Park Road, Edinburgh 9) £8.50 post free (Limited edition)

A slim volume, but important to all students of Apollinaire. In re-telling the story of the poet's love for Annie Playden, John Adlard has not been content to give a mere round-up of the latest information; he has discovered much that is completely new, especially at the London end of the affair, centred round 75 Landor Road, Clapham.

Knowing the family's reputation for piety-Mr Playden was known locally as the 'Archbishop of Canterbury'-he has gone straight to the parish magazine, revealing that Annie was a star pupil of the church school in Lingham Street (whose Maypole Dance incidentally was immortalized by the French artist Paul Renouard in those pages of The Graphic so dear to Van Gogh). As for the 'Archbishop of Canterbury' himself, he turns out to have been a gardener at the Landor Street hospital, but his piety at least is not in question: at the time Apollinaire was trying to break down the door of No. 75, the house was blessed with a deaconess lodger.

The author shows amusingly how Annie and Apollinaire both lied about their parents, the poet claiming noble birth while Annie, not to be outdone, insisted that her father was the Head Postmaster of Clapham. But even Apollinaire could not have invented his Albanian friend Faik beg Konitza, of Chingford, alias Pyrrhus Bardyli alias Trhank Spirobeg. Yet all these pseudonyms were only to avoid reprisals from the Turks, and Faik ended up a sort of hero: Minister in ...


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