Dear Christine: A Tribute in Art, Poetry and Prose

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Dear Christine: A Tribute to Christine Keeler first took root in 2014, when Fionn Wilson painted a set of four portraits in black and white, based on 1960s photographs by Lewis Morley and others. Like myself, Fionn first discovered Keeler in retrospect. She asked other women artists, some of whom had lived through the Profumo Affair to contribute works about Christine. For many of us, her story represents a rite of passage. As Fionn notes in her foreword to the exhibition catalogue, the scandal “let the genie of sex out of the bottle” and “dealt a death blow” to class deference. At the same time, it unleashed a brave new world of tabloid exposure. “Never had the press been so bold and it has never looked back.” Continue reading

Mark Blum 1950-2020

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Mark Blum was born in Newark and raised in Maplewood, New Jersey. As a teenager, trips to Broadway shows taught him to love the theatre, though he never considered acting as a career. “I was raised in one of those basic middle-class Jewish families in the suburbs,” he told the New York Times, “and that just wasn’t something somebody thought about.” Continue reading

The Little Book of Marilyn

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“I first truly discovered Marilyn Monroe on a postcard stand in Devon, England, during a seaside holiday in 1985 … the postcard of Marilyn in a gold lamé dress, blowing a kiss to the camera, triggered something inside of me. At a time when I felt like the most unglamorous person in the world, Marilyn’s beauty, style and sophistication spoke to my teenage heart.”

Michelle Morgan, author of The Little Book of Marilyn, has written several other books about Monroe, including Marilyn’s Addresses, Marilyn Monroe: Private and Undisclosed, Before Marilyn: The Blue Book Modelling Years, and The Girl: Marilyn Monroe, The Seven Year Itch, and the Birth of an Unlikely Feminist. A compact softback, The Little Book of Marilyn is part of a series from U.S. publisher Running Press. Previous subjects include Bettie Page and Audrey Hepburn, whose fame has endured like Marilyn’s, and whose appeal surpasses that of other pin-models and actresses, including some still living. Continue reading

‘Dear Christine’ Symposium Rescheduled

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The Dear Christine symposium has been rescheduled for Saturday, March 28, at Deptford Town Hall, London from 12-6 pm – more details here. (Shown above is ‘Casting the First Stone’ by Marguerite Horner, oil on linen, 2017.)

UPDATE: Due to ongoing concerns about COVID-19, this symposium has been postponed until further notice.

‘Keeler, Profumo, Ward and Me’

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“The story that defined a decade of great change in Great Britain was my big break in Fleet Street, and I covered and loved every moment of it, from the ridiculous to the tragic …”

Tom Mangold, described in The Times as ‘the doyen of broadcast reporters’, began his career as an investigative journalist on Fleet Street before moving into television as a foreign correspondent, and has since made over 100 documentaries, including many for the BBC’s Panorama. But like many others drawn into the Profumo Affair, Mangold has never quite moved on from the 1963 scandal which still leaves more questions than answers.

Keeler, Profumo, Ward & Me is the third documentary on the subject in which Mangold has played a prominent role within the last decade: BBC Radio Four’s Profumo Confidential, which he presented, and ITV’s Sex, Lies and a Very British Scapegoat both aired in 2013, fifty years after the event. And as BBC1’s six-part drama, The Trial of Christine Keeler, sets the rumour mill in motion again, its final episode was followed immediately by Mangold’s latest account on BBC2. Continue reading