Thursday, December 24, 2020



A seasonal image for the Christmas period: an early twentieth century celebrity postcard. It is captioned "The mother of The Missess Zena and Phyllis Dare".  Zena and Phyllis were musical comedy stars of the early years of the twentieth century, and their mother was Harriette Amelia Wheeler. She was the victim of an unhappy marriage and a violent husband, and clearly directed her energies into encouraging her daughters to go on the stage. As the postcard demonstrates, she also enjoyed a certain celebrity status herself. Her husband, Arthur Albert Dones was a divorce clerk, an occupation that may have come in useful when Harriette eventually divorced him for cruelty and adultery in 1915.


  1. Merry Christmas! I don't leave comments very often, But I do enjoy reading your blog. Have a Very Happy Holiday!

  2. I like the look of this lady, such a wistful pose and expression.

  3. This is a lovely postcard. I have been collecting postcards since I was a wee child in Paris and now must have thousands. Now that I live in Atlanta (and Nashville) I like to look at them often – maybe so as not to think about current events ? You do have some very nice pictures.


Black Friar

For a time, during the late 1970s, I had a job leading parties of foreign visitors on tours of historic London pubs. One of my favourite sto...