Thursday, April 7, 2011

Eddie Marsh Meets H.M. Stanley

Sir Henry Morton Stanley (1872), with Kalulu, his adopted son

A couple of times in my life, when I first met in person someone who I had been wanting to meet for years, I became suddenly, atypically tongue-tied. As Edward Marsh describes in his memoir A Number of People (New York: Harper and Brothers, 1939), he had the same experience when he first met the famous journalist and explorer Sir Henry Morton Stanley (as in "Doctor Livingston, I presume") at a party (p. 41)—

At a party of old Mrs. Tennant's he [Stanley] crossed the room to where I was standing forlorn, and said: "I see you're looking neglected, so I've come to talk to you." This well-meant gambit completely froze the genial current of my soul, and neither of us could think of anything further to say.