Patrick Campbell

Life
1913-1980 [Patrick Gordon Campbell; 3rd Lord Glenavy, Baron; pseud. ‘Quidnunc’]; b. 6 June, Dublin; son of 2nd. Baron and Governor of Bank of Ireland with Beatrice Lady Glenavy [née Elvery]; ed. Ossall, Pembroke College, Oxford, in Germany, and at the Sorbonne; succeeded 1963; left Oxford without degree; visited Germany and France, failing to learn either language; taken on Irish Times by Robert Smyllie at the request of the latter’s old friend Lord Glenavy; wrote article on Dublin Zoo which was immediately printed without correction (‘I’d stumblied ito the only job that required no degrees, diplomas, no training, no specialised knowledge of any kind ... Journalism must have been designed for my special benefit’); reported on “Courts Day by Day”; inaugurated parliamentary sketch of Dáil in which TDs were caricatured - or caricatured themselves; facing growing hostility, he moved to London, but returned at declaration of war; took up residence in river-boat nr. Carrick-on-Shannon, with the intention of writing; joined Irish chief petty officer in Irish Marine Service (Dublin Port Control) during World War II; re-joined Irish Times on personal appeal to Smyllie and given charge of “Irishman’s Diary” as “Quidnunc”, the entries being separaed by days, weeks and occasionally months; m. Sylvia Willoughby, 1941; worked with Frank Launder on script of Captain Boycott (with Stewart Granger and Kathleen Ryan); appt. weekly columnist for Irish edn. of Sunday Dispatch; established reputation as comic with pieces such as ‘Mr Smyllie, Sir!’; and ‘How to Become a Scratch Golfer’; divorced Sylvia, 1947; worked on Sunday Dispatch in London, 1947-49, and asst.-ed. Lilliput, 1947-53; m. [Chery] Louise Monro, 1947, divorced 1966; joined Sunday Times, 1961, sustaining a whimsical column throughout the sixties; m. Vivienne Orme, 1966, by whom a dg. Margaret Brigid; capitalised on stammer as TV personality in Call My Bluff; retired to S. France; 16 books include an autobiography; The p-p-Penguin Patrick Campbell (1950); A Short Trot with a Cultured Mind, ill. Ronald Searle (1950), and 30 Years on the Job: The Best of Patrick Campbell (1976; 1st ed. 1973); d. Cannes, 10 Nov., DIB OCIL

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Works
An Irishman’s Diary (London: Cassell & Co. 1950), 141pp., illustrated by Ronald Searle; [ded. to Robert Maire Smyllie]; entries from May 30th, 1944 to August 5th, 1946; My Life and Easy Times, produced by Vivienne Knight (London: Blond 1967; rep. edn. Star 1979; another edn. Pavilion 1988), 215pp.; Ulick O’Connor, ed. & intro., The Campbell Companion: The Best of Patrick Campbell, intro. by Ulick O’Connor [1987] (London: Pavilion 1994) 148pp.

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Commentary
Brian Inglis, Downstart ( Chatto & Windus 1990), remarks that Campbell s mother Beatrice wrote a book, Today We Will Only Gossip, in which she recalls that she could not make friends when her parents moved to Carrickmines, the stockbroker belt of Dublin, since her father ‘ha[s] a shop’ and that she was fortunate in meeting Gordon Campbell in London ‘[w]hen his family heard of our plans that bogy [sic] of my father’s shop made one faint effort to but in an appearance, but quickly faded away.’ Inglis adds that the ‘fade was by no means quick, according to Patrick in his autobiography [...] the model elephant outside Elvery’s loomed over the members of the Kildare Street Club in the 1930s as they walked to and from Jammet’s restaurant, a reminder of the misalliance which Gordon - by this time, the second Lord Glenavy - had contract.’ (Inglis, op. cit., p.68f.) Campbell’s tour of duty as Quidnunc was ‘no labour of love’ according to Inglis. Note other remarks at p.275, &c.

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