"He instinctively can find the shining greatness of our American culture and does a good job of highlighting it (although he also does have those rare lapses when he writes about hockey, but that is something caused by impurities in the Eastern waters or something)." Erik Keilholtz
Under the patronage of St. Tammany
Mark C. N. Sullivan is an editor at a Massachusetts university. He is married and the father of three children. Email
The Telegraph of course had great fun with its recent obit for Lord Lambton, the "minister with [a] call girl penchant" who resigned from office after being photographed through a keyhole smoking cannabis in bed with two prostitutes, and whose photo bears this cutline: Lord Lambton: a prodigiously unfaithful husband.
But the paper would have a hard time topping the 2003 obit for his wife, Bindy, that is a masterpiece of the genre:
Born Belinda Blew-Jones on December 23 1921, Bindy - as she was always known - was the daughter of Major Douglas Holden Blew-Jones, of Westward Ho, a tall, handsome officer in the Life Guards with size 24 feet. Her mother, Violet Birkin, was one of three daughters of the Nottingham lace king, Sir Charles Birkin.
Bindy dearly loved her father, but her relationship with her mother was never close. Violet Blew-Jones drank too much, and proved a bad mother. She abandoned the infant Bindy to the care of her beloved aunt, Mrs Freda Dudley Ward, who was shortly to become engaged in a secret romance, conducted throughout with the utmost discretion, with the then Prince of Wales (a lesson which Bindy never forgot).
Bindy had no education, since she was expelled from 11 schools for various wildnesses, only one of which is recorded - that of putting a bell-shaped impediment under the headmistress's piano pedal.
It gets even better: the lions and leopards roaming the estate; the accident in which she broke nearly all the bones in her body, and afterward was sketched, encased like a mummy in plaster, by Charles Addams; the celebrated portraits by Lucien Freud painted as she watched horseracing on TV; the call-girl scandal that brought down her politician husband; the socializing with rock stars.
After watching her deep sea diving off the Barrier Reef, the American conservative publicist, William F Buckley jnr, wrote: "I have never met a braver man than Bindy Lambton acting as bait for sharks."
The ending, recounting her dying words, can't be beat. The piece is included in a collection of women's obituaries from the Telegraph titled, Chin Up, Girls!
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It is not known that any scandal attached to Sir Morgan George Crofton (severely wounded at the relief of Ladysmith) and Lady Crofton, pictured above, but their portrait from 1906 is too good to pass up. The Lafayette Negative Archive has many more like it in a gallery of Court Dress Images from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.