Page 7 - The 16th Percy French Festival: Our Great Disconnect
P. 7

Letter’ by the famous society columnist,
                                             Nannie Lambert Power O’Donoghue,
                                                                          10
                                             from October 1889 to February 1890,
                                             and ‘Chit Chatters’ by Ettie French from
                                                              11
                                             March 1890 onwards.  The ladies’ co -
                                             lumn did not complement the rest
                                             of The Jarvey very well, as it rarely had
                                             any hum orous content but focused
                                             instead on gossipy accounts of atten -
                                             dees at balls, soirées, race meetings,
                                             the theatre and various high-society
                                             get-togethers, mostly in Dublin. Ettie
                                             French’s column was enlivened some -
                                             what by the inclu sion of numerous
                                             sketches that she herself had drawn,
                                             but apart from this the contents of her
                                             column dif ered little from those of her
                                                        12
                                             predecessors.

                                             The newspaper’s price was lowered
                                             from 2d. to 1d. on 2nd February 1889.
                                             French announced that ‘The Jarvey
                                             f nds his yoke so well patronised by the
                                             general public, and himself becoming
                                             so great a favourite with all classes,
                                             creeds, and cliques, that his Fare from
                                             this date will be the EVER-POPULAR
                                             PENNY’. This is not very convincing:
                                             if The Jarvey had been as popular
                                             as French claimed, there would have
                                             been no need to halve its price in this
                                             manner. The much-publicised opening
                                             of a kiosk on South Great George’s
                                             Street in August 1889 should also be
                                             seen as a sign that the newspaper was
                                             struggling to attract suf  cient custom
                                             from Dubliners, probably due to the
           previously mentioned reluctance of shop keepers in the capital to stock it. (Illus. 2)
           A series of publicity concerts by The Jarvey staf  and others was probably the most
           innovative attempt to boost sales which French devised. (Illus. 3) French’s troupe
           –which mainly consisted of French himself, Edward Radclif  (sometimes using the
           stage name of ‘Mr Raymond, the topical songster’), Richard Orpen ‘the Lightning
           Limner’ and ‘Professor Leozedt, the marvellous London Prestidigitateur’–performed



           OUR GREAT DISCON N EC T                                              •5•
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