Australian Newspaper article by Dennis Wheatley

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Darren
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Australian Newspaper article by Dennis Wheatley

Post by Darren » Fri 28 Nov, 2014 23:53:48

I'll probably provide updates on the Australian press archives on that topic forum.

However, I thought this gem of a find ought to have it's own posting.

The Healesville and Yarra Gen Guardian (Victoria) published an article "specially" (sic) written by DW for the Australian Guardian newspaper. He is promoting his new novel - Eunuch of Stamboul.

I don't know how to post photos on this forum (unlike oldjiver who is very adept at it) so I will link you to the image online: http://trove.nla.gov.au/ndp/del/page/58 ... erm=dennis wheatley stamboul&searchLimits=

The DW article is down the right hand side of the page.

I have provided a transcript as follows:


To Istanbul With Dennis Wheatley
Specially written for "The Guardian.â€￾

Dennis Wheatley is one of most the popular "thriller" writers of today, some of his books having been translated into ten languages. His novels include "The Forbidden Territoryâ€￾, "Such Power is Dangerousâ€￾, “The Devil Rides Out", "They Found Atlantis" and "Murder off Miamiâ€￾. A new thriller, "Contrabandâ€￾,' was published last month.

In ancient days Constantinople was known as Byzantium, and now the modern Turks have re-christened it Istanbul. But call it what you will, it remains one of the most romantic cities in the world. That is the reason I chose it as the scene of my Secret Service story, "The Eunuch of Stamboul." Thousands of Australians and New Zealanders visited Constantinople - or Istanbul- after the [unreadable] during its victorious occupation by armies of the Empire, so let us go there for a brief visit.

We are on the famous Orient Express. For the last miles of our journey the train runs along the Sea Of Marmora until the great double-tiered wall, built in the days of the early Byzantine Empire, appears in the distance. Its ancient brick, mellowed by centuries of sun, has faded to a delicate brownish-cream, and stretches from the sea upon the right to the far distant landward side with [unreadable] square towers rising from it. It is [unreadable] out clear and beautiful against a brassy sky of brilliant blue. As a train passes through the wall the {view?} on either hand is suddenly shut out by a mass of irregular, old-fashioned wooden buildings, so ramshackle in appearance that it looks as if it only needed half a gale of wind to bring the whole lot tumbling to the ground. Men, women and children swarm the narrow courts, or lean insolently from the countless balconies and roof tops, to watch our train, for this the oldest and most densely populated quarter of the city.

Constantinople really consists of three towns - Stamboul, Scutari and Pera. Stamboul, through which we are passing at the moment, is on the European side of the Bosphorous. Its mosques and palaces, whose domes and minarets rise from a rabbit warren of slums, form one of the most beautiful skylines in the world. Setari is on the Asiatic side, and Pera, the third town, is where all the embassies, the great modern business blocks and the hotels are situated.

Our train now runs through the old Seraglic Gardens, past the great palace of the sultans. This vast collection of biuldings is ranged about three huge courts, one of which leads to the private apartment where, even in our time, hundreds of beautiful girls were kept for the pleasure of the Sultan - his harem.

We now arrive at Sirkedji station. A crowd of dirty, tattered Hamy[?] fight for our hand luggage as it is passed through the windows of the train. But we secure the services a tall, magnificently clad Kavass from our hotel, and soon we are in a small new taxi, speeding towards Gala Bridge. Crossing this, we run up the hill to Pera, leaving on our right the narrow, mysterious street of steps that lead up to the White Tower, and a few moments later we are set down at the Pera Palace - or the Tokatlian. As we unpack in our hotel bedroom we think of all the interesting things that we are going to see in the next few days -the Mosque of Soulyman the Magnificent, the great Cathedral of Sal Sophia, the Grand Bazaar, the Dervlshes dancing at the Mosque of the "Sweet Waters of Europe."

But now I think we need some liquid refreshment; so we go down by the lounge, where everything is animation and brightness. It is filled with smartly dressed travellers from every quarter of the globe, officers of the Turkish Army, and lovely ladies - Greek, French, Russian, Armenia Bulgarian and Serbian - who sit laughing and drinking at little tables.

Then among this motley throng we notice one of the strangest figures we have ever seen - an enormous fellow who would turn the scale at twenty stone or thereabouts. His eyes are tiny beneath the vast expanse of flesh and almost buried in rolls of fat. His cheeks are puffed out, yet withered like the skin of a last year's apple, and his mouth is an absurd pink rosebud set in a seemingly endless cascade of chins. He is a eunuch - one of those almost legendary figures who were employed even up to a few years ago in guarding beautiful women in the harems of Stamboul. If they angered or betrayed their lord it was his business to bastinado the soles their little feet, or sew them up in sack and throw them alive into the Bosphorous. What is he doing now? The job was a well paid one, so he may be a wealthy business man, or if we like to use a little imagination we may perhaps think of him as Kadim Hari Bekar, the dreaded chief of the Secret Police, whose story is told in my recent book, "The Eunuch Stamboul." Before we part and go our separate ways, I would like to thank all the good friends in Australia and New Zealand who have written to me about my books. I find the comments in their letters really helpful, and their enthusiasm most inspiring.
Regards,

Darren.

shanedwyer
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Post by shanedwyer » Thu 18 Dec, 2014 15:59:33

It's nice to be able to see the article in its original setting. It gives it a real sense of time and place- I particularly enjoyed the Reg'lar Fellers comic strip.

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Post by CharlesAdmin » Thu 25 Dec, 2014 00:15:22

A really weird article .. thanks for sharing that one with us !

A Merry Christmas to all users of the Library ... and of the rest of the site, of course !

shanedwyer
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Post by shanedwyer » Thu 25 Dec, 2014 12:57:04

Thank you Charles. And a Merry Christmas to you, yours and all the other DW aficionados it's been my pleasure to have met here or at Elstree.

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