mercredi 4 janvier 2012

adieu to molesworth kartoonisst ronald searle, 91

it is indeed a sad moment as the last hous marks the parsing of one of its finest sorces of inspriation eg the joly d. kartoonisst ronald seale who brort to life the imortal nigel molesworth.

Tenacious adherents to the dear old chron will recall that nothing delights me better than to quote molesworth at the slightest provocation.

It turns out to be more appropriate than I previously realised, as Searle had lived in France since 1961, working regularly for Le Figaro Littéraire and Le Monde. Searle launched the curse of st custard's on an unsuspecting world, together with author Geoffrey Willans, in 1954.

Earlier he created the even more notorious girls of St Trinian's. He drew the second published cartoon whilst a PoW in Singapore during the Second World War. Less well-known are his drawings of emaciated fellow prisoners, a poignant record of the cruelty inflicted by the Japanese on their captives.

Given such an ordeal, Searle richly deserved the massive success that soon followed after the war. But the celebrity treadmill became too much of a burden, and he threw it all up to start again in France, where he spent most of the rest of his life.

Me, I've loved molesworth since I first encountered him, appropriately enough, in an English boarding skool at the age of ten. His wisdom immediately became an indispensable guide to everyday life, and to this day, remains so.

* my learned correspondent eg basil fotherington-tomas (hullo clouds, hullo sky etc) refers me to the guardian's appreciashun