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Page of the NSN Foundation web site.
Final Greetings from The Land of Enchantment.
The above is not as ominous as it may sound. This issue of the NSN
Newsletter will be the last that I will write/edit. Beginning with the October
issue, Richard Michalak, new NSN Foundation Board Member, Historian, and all around
nice person (Otherwise known as The Mad Australian) will become the
Newsletter Editor. Hence, future newsletter salutations will be from The Land Down
Under. Because the newsletter and general correspondence are so closely
linked, Richard is also taking over the daily mail. After today, any letters you
send to the Newsletter or to the Foundation will be forwarded to Richard
instead of to yours truly. Anyone wishing to write to me directly may continue to
do so at Dantelfair@aol.com or WDTelfair@aol.com.
In another shift of responsibilities, Steph Gallagher, our other newly
appointed Member of the Board, also known by her official title as HREM (Her Royal
Event Manageress), will be assuming duties for oversight of the NSN Foundation
Web Site. Webmeister Jack Calaway will continue to be the brains and the
hands behind all technical aspects of the site, but Steph will be the one who
reviews and approves additions, changes, etc. Steph and Jack already have some
neat new features on the burner. More to come on that in the near future.
I will retain responsibilities as Secretary and Treasurer for the Foundation,
at least as long as the other Members of the Board are happy with the present
arrangements. Even in those areas though, I will be looking for someone to
back me up - not to take over any part of the duties now or in the foreseeable
future - but to be there as an informed backup if for any reason I would no
longer able to perform my duties.
No organization can survive and prosper as long as too much depends on one
person. Responsibilities must be shared, and backups must be provided for key
personnel. Otherwise, it can all come tumbling down if that one person
becomes indisposed. The Foundation has been incorporated for well over three
years now, and has a history of activities for two years prior to incorporation.
The time for providing some depth and division of responsibilities is way
past due. Hence, the new arrangements.
COMMENTS ON THE LAST FIVE YEARS
As most of you know, this all started with preparations for the Centennial
Celebration some time around the middle of 1998. In the intervening years, we
have celebrated the Centennial of our favorite author; opened a US lending
library with a branch in Australia and another branch soon to be in the UK;
incorporated the Foundation; hosted OZ2001; taken over and revitalized the NSN Web
Site and Newsletter; sponsored various gifts and programs for the Nevil Shute
Memorial Library in Alice Springs; set up a NSN Excellence in Aviation
Scholarship Program; published a Nevil Shute novella (The Seafarers) and hosted
UK2003. During those five years, the Foundation has more than lived up to our
governing principal: To be of, by and for Shutists everywhere.
It is not possible to give all the credit where credit is due, but it should
be acknowledged that not one of the above accomplishments was done alone or in
a vacuum. Throughout the past five years, we have had untold assistance
from our membership at every step and turn. From assistance in planning and
managing our international gatherings, to presenting seminars at those
gatherings, to technical management of the Web Site, to locating and obtaining long lost
films, to historical research, to taking over the lending library, to
transcribing manuscripts, and on and on, there is nothing we have done that has not
been a group effort. As my last act as Newsletter Editor, I would like to
thank the many, many Shutists who have made all this possible.
On to the news of the day:
The last UK2003 photo albums and audio tape sets have been mailed. Steph
has counted the pennies (or pence) and found that she made a modest and
unintentional profit on the gathering. Remaining funds will be set aside for building
the UK Branch of the Lending Library and for providing seed money for postage
and miscellaneous expenses. One set of the audio tapes has been sent to the
US Lending Library and one set has been retained by Steph for the UK Branch.
Both will be available for borrowing without charge, as are all library
As indicated in the opening paragraphs, new Board Members Steph Gallagher and
Richard Michalak are wasting no time in taking over substantial Foundation
duties. Board President Heather Mayfield is working on the 2003 Scholarship
Program, and I am back at it trying to get our application for US tax exempt
(501 [C] ) status put together and submitted. Toward that end, Board Member
Jim MacDougald has generously offered to provide assistance with the final
package. At this time, we have the best balanced division of responsibilities
we have ever enjoyed. Things are indeed looking up for the long term health
and growth of the Foundation.
Jon Streatfeild, a UK Shutist with interest in possibly doing documentaries
on aspects of Nevil's writing, has been active in researching information on
Mrs. Carry Geysel-Vonck, the inspiration for Jean Paget in A Town Like Alice.
In his quest, which he has closely coordinated with the Foundation, he has
been assisted by Johan Bakker who has kindly translated pertinent documents and
articles from Dutch, and by Historian Richard Michalak. Sad to say, the trail
came to an end this month when Jon learned of Mrs. Geysel-Vonck's death in
Switzerland in 1996. Richard will be adding pictures and information resulting
from Jon's research to the Web Site Photo Album and Time Line in the near
Donations to the Nevil Shute Norway Foundation, either through the PayPal
button on the web site home page, or through email@example.com are always
appreciated. Also, anyone interested in leaving a bequest to the Nevil Shute
Norway Foundation is encouraged to contact the Foundation Secretary at
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Note: Letters to the Editor are published, complete with the name, e-address
and location of the writer, unless the writer specifically asks that this
information not be published. We like to list letter writers' locations, just to
give our readers some idea of the areas of the world covered by the Web Site
and Newsletter. When writing, please include name and country/state/region.
in Orangevale, California:
I have listened to the tapes of the last two sessions (at UK2003) which we
missed. I have several comments on what took place.
First, I have been thinking for a long time about the need for a better
biography of Nevil and reached the same conclusion you did; there really is not
enough data to do a very good job. It occurs to me a more realistic approach
might be a collection of essays written be a number of people. Certainly what
has taken place at the three conferences could form a basis for some of them.
In terms of romance and passion in his writings, you might want to look at
his unpublished short stories, particularly Before the Mail. You might also
look at The Uttermost Parts of the Sea which gives a slightly different view of
a younger Nevil Shute. At the other end of his career, I am struck by the
lack of emotion shown by the William Spear, the protagonist, in Incident at
Eucla. As the book opens, his wife has just died, apparently after a long
illness. He shows very little emotion; he systematically divides up her jewelry and
gives it away, gives away her car, etc. There is little grieving but this
may not be too unusual. It is very much what I saw in my father when my mother
died after a very long and difficult illness. Incidentally, I am thinking of
a session for 2005 about the short stories and Incident at Eucla called The
Alpha and Omega of Nevil Shute.
You might also want to look at On the Beach. The relationship between
Dwight and Moira is certainly commendable but I am not sure it is very realistic.
This book also gives some insight about fathers and daughters as depicted by
Peter Holmes. Likewise The Rainbow and the Rose says something about father
daughter relationships. Lastly, Beyond the Black Stump has a variety of
interpersonal relationships. I am in the process of reading In her own Words which
is a series of essays by women from Australia, New Zealand, Canada and the
United States. One of these essays by Sally Morgan, an excerpt from My Place,
sounds much like what went on at the station in Beyond the Black Stump. She
traces her Aboriginal ancestry and finds in many cases there is question about
who was the father of children.
In terms of defining moments, I think it was the crash of the R101; I think
the destruction of the R100 was anti-climatic. I think he knew it was all over
when the R101 crashed but I do not see much sense in arguing the point.
Finally, I would vote for a 2005 conference in Washington or Oregon. It
might be a change of pace to devote more conference time to the books which
relate to the area; i. e. Beyond the Black Stump and Trustee from the Toolroom.
These are my thoughts on what I heard on the tapes.
On another subject for the newsletter, if you feel it is appropriate, I have
a Cassell first edition of So Disdained with a dust jacket. I am willing to
make full size color photo copies for trade with individuals who can provide
similar copies of dust jackets of any of the other three Cassell first
editions. The low cost approach is to go to Office Max or someone similar and have a
copy made. The more expensive approach is to go to a photo lab and have a
copy made and then cleaned up to remove tears, etc. This can be negotiated at the
time of the trade if indeed anyone is interested.
And another from Andy:
I am not sure if this is of interest to you and other readers but for what it
is worth, here it is. After the discussion in Portsmouth about the heat
exchangers in Trustee from the Toolroom, I went back and looked at the book. I
now see how Nevil came up with them needing to be about three times as big.
The purpose is to cool the hydraulic oil from 110 F to 85F. First you need to
assume they are counter flow devices with oil flowing one way and water the
other; this would be a likely choice. If the river water is 55 F, the
temperature difference between the incoming water and the leaving oil is 30 F. If
the oil is cooled by 25 degrees (110 to 85) and the water is heated 25 degrees
(55 to 80), you maintain a 30 degree temperature difference the entire length
of the heat exchanger. In a similar manner if the incoming water is 75 F, you
only have a 10 degree temperature difference; i. e. water from 75 F to 100 F
and oil from 110 F to 85 F. In this case, reduction of the temperature
difference by a factor of 3 would result in the need for about a 3:1 size increase.
Now the bottom line: I am still not sure Keith Stewart would have known
enough engineering to figure this out. In any case it fits the rest of the story
well and probably is not worth arguing about.
in the UK:
I am contacting you from London in the hope that you might be able to help
me. I am attempting to find a copy of an Italian translation of A Town like
Alice for my mother, as she is learning the language and is a fan of Nevil
Shute. However, it seems that only two Shute novels have been translated into
Italian. Those are Attacco fatale (Fatal Attack) and Viaggio indimenticabile
(Unforgettable Journey). As far as I can see the names have been changed in
translation, though I would imagine that Unforgettable Journey is an apt
alternative title for Alice. So, my question is this: do you know if this is
indeed, A Town Like Alice, or another work, and how can I go about finding out? I
have tried AP Watt, the literary agents for the Nevil Shute estate, but have had
no luck, and I do not know where else to look on the Internet.
Any help you could offer would be greatly appreciated, as I am all out of
PS It's a great site, very nicely done.
Note: I forwarded this letter to Chris Phillips, one of our readers in
Italy, and received the following response. Seek and ye shall find!
ATLA was published in Italian twice, under the literally translated title Una
citta come Alice, in 1950/1 and 1973, but it is no longer in print.
However, I have found a used edition at 20 Euros. The Web site is
(search for Shute). It is marked with an asterisk in
the site's list, which the site says means that the book is in as new
condition. The E-mail to write to to order the book is:
the Web site is partially in English, so you should be able to write to them
in English. They accept payment by credit card.
I have even found a recorded book version of it
http://www.uiciechi.it/vecchio/lp/cat/roman-lz.htm), but at first glance, the site does
not tell me how to
order it. If you are interested, let me know, and I will dig further.
The NS books I can find via the Internet that have been published in Italian
are (the publisher and publishing date, if known, follow the English name of
Una citta come Alice
A town like Alice
Frassinelli 1950/1, Mondadori 1973
L' ultima spiaggia
On the Beach
Sugar 1959, Mondadori, 1966
The Far Country
Avventura alle terre verdi
See note 1.
Le due frontiere
See note 2.
...e via sul mare
See note 3.
Note 1: I do not have a positive ID for this. The Italian means Adventure in
the green lands. However, do not jump to the obvious, because Greenland in
Italian is Groenlandia, not terre verdi, so An Old Captivity is not a certainty,
though it must be a possibility. Terre verdi is also used specifically to
refer to an artist's colour, an Italian wine and an area of northern Latium near
the Tuscany border, none of which appears to have anything to do with any of
Note 2: I do not have a positive ID for this. The Italian means The two
frontiers (or just possibly The two front lines). This is sufficiently vague that
it might be stretched to fit several of the books.
Note 3: I do not have a positive ID for this. The Italian means ...so let's
go to sea, but doesn't seem to match any of NS's books except maybe Pilotage.
But who would have translated Pilotage?
Maybe Dan, who is copied on this, could launch an appeal in the Newsletter,
to see if anyone else has more info.
By the way, I found copies of Attaco fatale, Viaggio indimenticabile and
L'ultima spiaggia, available for sale in the Internet, but nothing for the others.
I hope this is useful. If you need a hand with anything related to this,
let me know, although you will have to respond quickly, as I shall be offline
from Friday for at least a week.
PS: Do not ask me why two Italian publishers should be called Tea and
In doing some research, found this site which might be of interest...
Note: The site that Arne references has the same content (text and
pictures) as the Exbury Gardens folders we were presented at UK2003. Those who were
not able to attend the gathering might enjoy taking a look at what they
in Gardena, California:
Did you ever wonder what happened to the Viceroy parked in the rear of the
Airspeed Ltd hangar when Nevil Shute was the managing director?
Your members may be interested to know of an aviation novel that mentions
Nevil Norway, Airspeed Ltd., and the Viceroy. It is a great read and is based on
a true story.
The book, The Mannerheim Line by Jacques Evans, is available on the Amazon
and Barnes and Noble web sites.
Thought this might be of interest to fellow Nevil Shute fans.
in Carlsbad, California:
Recently, we were discussing Shute at my local library. I volunteer to work
in its resale bookstore. What prompted the discussion was that there was a
twenty volume set of Nevil Shute novels available for resale from a donor.
The perfect condition set was priced at $20.00. Can you believe it?
A question arose regarding whether or not Nevil ever wrote anything under his
family name (Norway) or under any other name. Do you have any information
in that regard?
Subsequent to sending my first e-mail to your organization I shared it with
the new woman in my life. She stated that, unbeknownst to me, her voracious
reading habit covering over 40 years of adult consumption, included everything
written by Nevil Shute. Along with selected others, she places Shute in the
top of her list of favorite authors.
For some reason I made the assumption that you were residing in Australia.
I see in your salutation that you are in New Mexico. Coincidentally, we are
planning a mid September trip thru Utah, New
Mexico and Arizona and returning to our home in San Diego County. Does your
foundation have a dedicated physical site in NM?
Note: There is no Foundation museum or office in New Mexico other than the
Telfair abode, which contains the only oil portrait ever painted of Nevil
Shute (while he was living), several complete collections of his work, all the
audio books made from his novels, video copies of all the films made from his
books, etc. I invited Joel and friend to stop by during their travels to share
dinner and perhaps a Nevil Shute movie. The same invitation goes out to all
Shutists traveling through The Land of Enchantment. A number have already
accepted this offer - all very pleasant visits.
That's it for this month folks. It has been fun. And now, it is Richard's