Saturday, November 23, 2013

Things That Fall From Books #16: The Band of Purity


It was in August that we last had an entry in the occasional series of blog post about things that I've found tucked inside books. I really couldn't let this one go now could I? Made better still by the fact that it appeared to have been used as a bookmark inside a book on The Prayer Book of King Edward VI, this is a small folded prayer card given out to members of the Band of Purity at Twyford School.

Okay, so it is very amusing, and the comedy value of the name Vyvyan Ollive (sic.) Nicholas Donnithorne only serves to heighten the amusement, but it is also astonishing to think that so much time and effort was put into this. There is a book catalogue which isn't in my collection at the moment and which one day I must procure and read, it is titled Onanism: The Masturbation Panic 1756-1973. It was issued by Michael de Hartington and Burton Weiss in 2006 as a record of a collection they sold en bloc to Cornell University. This little piece of ephemera would surely fit well among such company.

Poor Vyvyan...

PS. A big thank you for those people who, in the comments to this post, became interested in this item of ephemera and took the time to research and tell us all about Vyvyan. Thank you guys!

3 comments:

Self-effacing ghost said...

Vyvyan Donnithorne is such an unusual name that there must surely be a connection with the Rev Vyvyan Henry Donnithorne MC (1886-1968) who spent much of his career as a missionary in China and was Archdeacon of Western Szechwan from 1935 to 1945. This can't be his son, though, as his only child was a daughter, with whom (and his wife) he was held captive by Chinese brigands for a month in 1925. So now you know.

MichaelH said...

This card belonged to Vyvyan Donnithorne, 1909–77. He was the son of a solicitor in Fareham, and as far as I can tell from the census there doesn't seem to be any link with his namesake, but I agree that it would be odd if there wasn't. They were the only two around in 1911, although there was also a Vivian Donnithorne, a butcher in Penzance. Looking this up is a pleasant distraction from work ...

Anonymous said...

The Rev Vyvyan Henry Donnithorne MC is my Great Uncle, brother of my Great Grandmother Edith. A good link to the family history is here: http://www.twickenham-museum.org.uk/detail.asp?ContentID=417

Vyvyan spelt this way was a strong family name with Cornish connections going back a long time so they would no doubt have been connected somehow.

 
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