Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Unknown History of Fatherhood


What you now have before you is forbidden knowledge.

The collection of images you will see below – taken from popular fictional stories of the past – tell a bigger story: the story of how, before the onset of “cultural Marxism,” American culture used to view fathers and fatherhood. By the time you finish looking at these pictures and the descriptions of the novels, plays, movies – and one song – contradict what you have been taught about fatherhood by educators, governments and the entertainment industry.

All the stories featured her involve so-called “child custody disputes” – and more specifically these narratives  show the struggles of fathers whose children have been torn from them by the child’s mother.

1886 – George Thomas Dowling, Wreckers, A Social Study – best-selling novel

The picture shows Mike Barney, a man in shock immediately after discovering that his wife has taken his little daughter, Katie, and disappeared with another man. The novel tells two stories woven together. One is that of the labor movement in the 1880s, which is where the title “Wreckers” comes from. The other is the odyssean quest of the father to find his kidnapped child, a journey in which he suffers a nervous breakdown from which he must recover in order to achieve his goal. Despite the dour subject matter the story is a comic romp, full of picaresque episodes.

Here is an excerpt from an 1886 review: “Narrative of an honest, high-minded Irishman of humble station who is deserted by his unworthy wife. She takes their daughter with her, and after this hero, Mike Barney by name, learns that his wife is drowned at sea, he devotes himself to finding his child. The disappointments of this search unsettle his reason. When at last he does find her, he quixotically determines not to claim her from the wealthy surroundings in which she has at last found herself. But eventually she is restored to her unselfish father, and the end is peaceful.” [from long review: The Literary World, Jul. 24, 1886, p. 252]

1905 – Charles Klein, The Music Master – play

This play was the greatest commercial success of early 20th century American theatre. It remained on the stage constantly from 1905 and 1919 (with the exception in 1908). There were few Americans who had never heard of the play and its narrative.

Here is what a Washington Post reviewer had to say in 1907: “Of all plays ever produced in New York, this one seems to have the distinction of the longest legitimate and profitable run. It is stated that during the three seasons of its New York engagement there has never been an empty seat at any of the performances. Other plays have had long runs, but none was ever of the duration of Warfield’s “Music Master.” No other attraction has ever played to continuous ‘capacity business’ for even one solid season, to say nothing of three.” The play’s spectacular success continued for years after this review was published.

The play’s story is that of a German composer who, on the eve of his greatest success, discovers that his wife has disappeared, taking the little daughter he adores. The celebrated and financially successful Anton von Barwig, leaves his beloved Liepzig, the famous world capital of music and follows unproductive leads in his search for his child and wayward wife. He is reduced to poverty, but this does not affect his kindly, gentlemanly and good-humored and selflessly generous demeanor. The action of the play takes place during the depths of his poverty and sadness, when he accidentally discovers that the young woman who had contact him to arrange violin lessons for a poor boy is the daughter he has devoted his life to finding.

1909 – Charles Klein, The Music Master – novel

Anton von Barwig is shown at the moment when he realizes he is in the presence of his daughter. In his hands is her doll with the missing eye that she had left behind when her mother whisked her away two decades earlier.

The novelized version of the story gives the back story of events that occurred before the action of the play. The book was issued to coincide with the revival of the play which toured nationally.

1909 – Helen Reimensnyder Martin, The Parasite: A Novel (published in syndicated form in 1909, as a book in 1913)

The illustration shows the man who found the parentally kidnapped boy, whose mother died in a car crash during her getaway, returning the child to the home of the father.

A prominent young judge, whose wife abruptly divorced him on baseless suspicions – after having refused all communication on the subject – is devoted to his young, but unruly, son. He discovers that his sister’s impoverished, but well-born house guest, a pleasant young but un-alluring woman, has won her son’s devotion (and obedience) and is clearly devoted to him. He proposed a deal with the young woman, marry him on a “strictly business” basis, and receive the security she desires, giving him a surrogate mother for the son he loves.

They marry, yet the ex-wife who has been begging for her son to be sent to her, permanently. The ex-wife benefits by two schemers who hatch a plot to assist the mother in snatching the boy, but the effort backfires. The getaway results in an automobile wreck that leaves the mother dead. The drama leads the married couple to deeper feelings and father, son and stepmother live happily ever after. The 1925 film version departs from this plot significantly. [R St E]


1915 – Mrs. Humphrey Ward, Daphne, or Marriage A La Mode – novel

Excerpt from review: “Daphne becomes a resident of Sioux Falls and there, with the aid of her money, secures a divorce which gives her custody of the child in spite of the struggles of the husband. The woman has no just grounds for such drastic action and only the ill-framed divorce laws make it possible. She is free, according to the laws of the United States, but still a wife in the eyes of England The husband, wild with paternal love, tries unsuccessfully to kidnap his daughter and spends the little money he has on the efforts. He becomes a drunkard, loses his moral grip and, after returning to England, gives his wife just grounds for divorce in English courts. The child dies and he sinks still lower, becoming a moral weakling and the victim of phihisis.” [“Mrs. Humphrey Ward’s New Work – A Discussion of Divorce Laws – “Marriage a la Mode” a Novel Which Sets Forth the Evil of Hasty Marriage and Hasty Repentance,” Springfield Republican (Mass), May 30, 1909, p. 27]


1915 – Eleanor M. Ingram, A Man’s Hearth – novel

The picture shows the father just before his wife divorces him and denies him access to his boy.

Adriance, son of a wealthy industrialist, marries a gold-digger, Lucille, who disappointed in her limited access to the family fortune, divorces her younger husband, having gained the attention of bigger game, her father-in-law who helps her gain her divorce and the custody of the young couple’s baby boy. Adriance is driven mad by the loss of his child, though she has little interest in the baby. Stopping furtively by a park to watch his boy play under the guidance of his governess he witnesses the nurse abuse the child. The father kidnaps him and goes into hiding.


1916 – The Music Master – play revival and national tour (1916-1918)

In 1916 The Music Master was revived for Broadway and a national tour. A 1917 review noted that “It has been breaking all records of the present season at the Knickerbocker theatre in New York.” Here is an excerpt from a 1917 review of the play’s opening in Washington, D.C.:

“The seasons since 1903 have not revealed a more appealing play than “The Music Master,” revived at the Belasco Theater this week by David Warfield and a portion of the original cast. There have been dramas of more pronounced lachrymose tendencies that have had an immediate and powerful effect upon the tear ducts – “Madam X,” for example – and there have been melodramas that have produced more startlingly vivid pictures of the desolation wrought by treachery – “On Trial” suggests itself – but there has been no recent play that has so effectively combined the familiar human qualities encountered in normal, everyday life as the late Charles Klein’s three-act study of the old musician who sought vengeance for sixteen years only to forgo it through love of his daughter when the hour of judgment came. That the charm of this simple story of a father’s pathetic loneliness and supreme love for a daughter who identity was disclosed by the merest coincidence after years of search, holds as firm a grip upon the hearts of Washingtonians as when first unfolded in the Capital was completely demonstrated by the enthusiastic cordiality of last night's audience. It was with the utmost difficulty that Mr. Warfield cheated those present out of a curtain speech after innumerable curtain calls at the conclusion of the second act.” [“Belasco – David Warfield in ‘The Music Master.’” The Washington Post (D.C.), Apr. 17, 1917, p. 9]


1921 – First Born – play, movie

“One of the first Chinese dramas ever produced upon the silver sheet is “The First Born,” a magnificently staged super-special, starring Sessue Hayakawa, the famous Oriental actor, which comes to the Forsyth on Monday for a three day’s engagement. Replete with episodes of both drama and pathos, the picture is the best vehicle in which the famous Japanese actor has ever appeared. All of the mystery of the Far East, and the alluring interest of San Francisco’s Chinatown, as it existed before the destructive earthquake, is encompassed in the photo-play in a series of gripping incidents. For the detail and perfection of setting, this picture has never been surpassed.

Chan Wang (Hayakawa) was the bravest and most popular of all the boatmen of the Hoang-Ho. Sturdy with his arm as he piloted his sampan from one fishing village to an other along the great “River of Sorrows.” Strong was his heart in his love for Loey Tsing, daughter and fairest flower of a fisher. But avarice has crept into the heart of Loey Tsing’s father, and one day, when a slave junk cleft the waters of the Hoang-Ho, there came an emissary of Man Low Yek, who lived in the Chinatown of San Francisco, and who wished a young and comely woman. Loey Tsing’s father heard the clink of gold coins and he sold Loey Tsing. She was carried off into slavery and Chan Wang was left on the Houng-Ho.

When the opportunity arrived Chan Wang left the Houng-Ho. To seek his lost Loey Tsing. To San Francisco he went, but his immediate efforts were not crowned with success. He net and married Chan Lee, and there was born to them Chan Toy – the first born of Chan Wang. And Chan Wang loved him with all his heart. In the course of time, Man Low Yet coveted the wife of Chan Wang. Chan Wang found Loey Wang and the old love flamed again. Man Low Yek discovered that Loey Tsing loved Chan Wang. He managed to get Chan Lee and Chan Toy, the first born, in his clutches, and caused the death of both.

Chan Wang avenged the death of Chan Lee and Chan Toy, the first born. When Man Low Yek was no more, Chan Wauk took Loey Tsing back to the Hoang-Ho, where he again told her of his love, and they were married.” [“Chinese Photo Drama Forsyth Attraction – Sessue Hayakawa, Oriental Actor, in Story of the Far East.” Atlanta Constitution (Ga.), Apr. 3, 1921]


1927 – Charles Klein, The Music Master – movie

Anton Von Barwig is shown at the moment he realizes that the wife who had run off with his best friend had furtively returned in order to kidnap his beloved daughter.


1928 – “Sonny Boy” – song

Al Jolson’s hit “Sonny Boy” was the first record ever to sell a million copies. Following the success of his song and film, Jolson quickly made another film with Davey Lee playing the role of his son, using the song’s title as the new film’s. The record made Jolson the most popular entertainer in the world.


1928 – The Singing Fool – Movie starring Al Jolson and Davey Lee

$5 million box-office receipts in 18 months, making this the most commercially successful film until the 1939 release of Gone With the Wind.

“The story concerns the life of a “singing fool.” Al Stone, who starts his career as a waiter in a honky-tonk and is rapidly elevated because of his ability as a writer and singer of songs. As the adoring father of a little son. Al finds joy and inspiration, but Molly, his wife, is unfaithful and leaves him, taking little “Sonny Boy” with her. Broken hearted, Al gives up his work and sinks almost to the gutter. From this condition he is rescued by friends of his waiter days, including Grace, a cigarette girl. Through her loyalty and for the sake of his little boy, he rehabilitates himself and soon reaches new heights as a Broadway star. When he receives word that his son is ill in a hospital and rushes to him, to arrive only in time to sing him to his last sleep, there is created a moment which can not but tug at the heartstrings of any audience. [Excerpt from: “The Singing Fool,” movie review, The Washington Post (D.C.), Oct. 8, 1928, p. 16]


1929 – Sonny Boy – Movie starring Al Jolson and Davey Lee

The image above shows a promotional pin, probably given out to children. The Singing Fool, because it involves the death of a child was inappropriate for children, but the new movie was a family film with a happy ending.


“The plot presents a mother sending for her sister to carry away her son and hide him because her husband threatened divorce. The husband’s lawyer, Horton, is about to board a train for his vacation, but he is called back because Sonny Boy had disappeared. The sister and Sonny Boy had hidden in the lawyer’s apartment thinking that they would be safe there for a few days, while the lawyer was away. The lawyer’s father and mother visit him. The sister, when found by them is forced to tell them that she is their son’s wife. Complications from this point thicken rapidly, especially after the lawyer arrives. However the rest of the picture continues in a merry style, reaching a great climax.” [Excerpt from: (“Sonny Boy,” cinema review), “Davey Lee Makes Big Hit In ‘Sonny Boy’ At The Majestic,” The Sheboygen Press (Wi.), Apr. 17, 1929, p. 21]


1935 – O’Shaughnessy’s Boy – movie

The story of a man’s search for the son “Stubby,” kidnapped by his wife, he loves with all his heart. Wind’s wife disappears with the child after being influenced by her sister, Martha.

“When Windy realizes that his son is missing and that all his money has been taken, he single-mindedly devotes himself to finding Stubby. Desperate for extra money to pay for a private investigator to find his son, Windy agrees to perform a dangerous fire trick with a tiger. While in the cage with the tiger, however, Windy is distracted by thoughts of his son, and when the tiger attacks him, he loses his arm. After quitting the circus to search for his son, Windy becomes depressed and spends his days wandering through the streets in a daze. “ [American Film Institute]

Shortly after the parental kidnapping, Cora, the mother dies. Aunt Martha indoctrinates the boy with hatred for his father. The film represents an early example of a dramatization of what until recent decades was know to lawyers and judges as “poisoning the mind of the child,” and more recently, “parental alienation.” When Windy finds his son, after years of searching, he must struggle against the Stubby’s resistance, which, eventually, he is able to overcome. [R. St. E.]



1935 – O’Shaughnessy’s Boy – children’s book by Lebbeus, Mitchell

Children’s novelization of the movie, illustrated with 30 photos from the film and published in a “Big Little Book” format.

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This little presentation provides just a little glimpse of the true history that has been erased from our memory by the university-based authors of the what this editor has labeled “the orthodox history of the relations of the sexes,” or, in shorthand, “the fake history.”

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