Edward Campbell Author: People of the Secret

Laura

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Found this today while poking about so thought I would archive it. I always wondered who wrote that book!


http://www.thestage.co.uk/features/obituaries/feature.php/12653/edward-campbell
Edward Campbell

Published Thursday 18 May 2006 at 12:20 by Don Stacey

Edward Campbell, who died on April 4 in a Tunbridge Wells hospital, in his 90th year, was acknowledged as an authority on circuses and on the training of wild animals. He was also a noted journalist and during his 24-year career in Fleet Street, he worked successively for The Evening Standard, responsible for the weekly books page and for the daily short story, before his retirement in 1980.

He was helped in his first job in the newspaper industry by the writer John S Clarke, who got him work with Kemsley Newspapers on the Scottish Daily Record in the thirties. Clarke was a noted authority on the subject of circus and Campbell proof-read his work Circus Parade (published by BT Batsford Ltd, London, 1936) which remains today one of the standard works on this subject.

Born in Glasgow on August 26, 1916, Edward Cranston Campbell was the son of a printer, his mother being a mill worker. Had it not been for the early death of his father, a semi-invalid as a result of rheumatic fever, Campbell might well have gone to university and become a veterinary surgeon. He was deeply interested in magic and in circus and knew many of the great performers of that era, including the famous illusionist The Great Carmo, the circus proprietor Bertram Mills and his sons Cyril and Bernard and wild animal trainers of substance like Togare, the Hagenbecks, the Trubkas and Alfred Court. Hans Brick, the German-born animal man, was a great friend and in 1960 Campbell was able to ghost for him Brick’s autobiographical Jungle Be Gentle.

Even in the early thirties there was a strong anti-performing animal lobby in Britain, which irritated Campbell immensely, as it was largely of ignorance of the subject. Years later he declared: “Nobody who has not had the experience of long personal daily association with wild animals has any right to hold a view on the subject.ᾠ

His interest and passion for the subject was so great that he set to training a group of wild animals for himself and this he did in full view of the public. He befriended Andy Wilson, whose Glasgow Zoo in Argyll Street was more a glorified pet shop, crammed full of birds, fish and small reptiles and helped out whenever animals were needed for exhibition purposes. He was later instrumental in persuading Wilson to take over a derelict church and become an importer and dealer in more exotic animals, monkeys, small cats and reptiles. Suggesting that a small wild animal act could be a big free draw for the public, he impressed Wilson’s avaricious nature and the upshot was Wilson bought a couple of young lionesses for £15 each, acquired a cage 18 feet by 8 feet and let him set about training them. He later added a brown bear and a male lion and trained them, through patience, perseverance and kindness, to a remarkable sequence of tricks. He had them rolling over the length of the cage floor, one lioness bouncing round the cage of the bars and around the trainer and another mastered the difficult feat of walking a double tightrope 16 feet long. He was aided by another young and keen animal lover, Alexander Kerr, whose career at Wilson’s began by daily polishing the stock of 200 tortoises. Kerr went on to become the star wild animal trainer for Bertram Mills Circus and trained both a male lion and a male tiger in the tightrope feat.

Campbell’s career with wild animals came to a halt when he was called up for military service in 1940 - he had managed to train and display his wild animal act at the zoo while combining it with his job with the Daily Record.

As a young reporter in Glasgow, he interviewed Judy Garland, advising her to change her dress during the interval to sustain the audience’s interest, which she did. He also accompanied Laurel and Hardy around Glasgow, visiting Stan Laurel’s old music hall venues.

While in the RAF he was able to return to Glasgow on leaves, where he would again take up the presentation of his beloved wild animals. He was commissioned, two of the board members being an amateur magician, the other a man who had run away with the circus as a boy. Whilst interrogating at a prisoner-of-war camp in the Chilterns, he met and fell in love with Mary Patricia Sworder, a translator. They were married in 1947 and after once introducing her to the lions in their cage, he abandoned his circus career to concentrate on journalism.

Moving to Fleet Street in 1956, they settled in Sevenoaks with their three children, Robin, Ian and Sheila, born in 1949, 1952 and 1954 respectively. After his distinguished career with the Standard, Sunday Despatch and Evening News, Campbell continued to write articles, commentaries and books. In 1983 he wrote under the name of Ernest Scott The People of the Secret. He continued to keep up his interests in magic and circus and last year lectured to the Circus Zoological Society.

His wife Pat survived him by only a week, dying in the same Tunbridge Wells hospital as her husband, on April 10, only two days after her 91st birthday. Children Robin, Ian and Sheila survive them.

A joint funeral took place at Tunbridge Wells Crematorium on Friday, April 21.
 

edgitarra

Jedi Council Member
I know I am quite late on this topic but this book is bugging my mind for a few months now. I did more research because I really want to talk to and find someone related to Edward Campbell and it seems incredibly hard; most info about Edward Campbell is non-existent on the internet, and even this text doesn't work anymore in the original link.

he met and fell in love with Mary Patricia Sworder, a translator
I was baffled to find out she is the one who officially translated Fulcanelli: Le Mystere des Cathedrales in English; there might be more to this, and possibly more interesting information to find out.
If anyone knows more about this, any info is highly appreciated.
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Here some information about the book "The people of the secret":

The suggestion that both biological evolution and human history have been directed by a hierarchy of intelligences, the lowest level of which makes physical contact with mankind, is one found in both sacred and profane cultures. It is generally assumed that this process and its agents are screened from human eyes, but this book suggests otherwise. (From Goodreads)


From a commentary:

Makes increasing sense. Recommend this book. The universe is not likely to be an accident, however much it may feel so to such as I. In these fascinating pages find some trace of those who have helped man along his evolutionary way. Chapter Thirteen suggests there are time scales in which certain evolutionary gains must be achieved for 'the balance and growth of the solar system of which the earth is a part'. Page 251.
'Perhaps another example of devotional art being not quite what it seems is given by the 14th century fresco The Triumph of St Thomas, attributed to to Andrea da Firenze in Santa Maria Novella in Florence. In this St. Thomas is the focus of a pictorial allergory on learning. Above his head are the four cardinal virtues and the three theological virtues. Flanking him are the evangelists, among them St John, and the Prophets, including Moses. At the foot a row of female figures personify the theological scineces and the liberal arts including arithmetic, geometry, astronomy and music.
St Thomas is the centre of all. He sits enthroned and holding the Wisdom of Solomon open at a passage which says: I prayed and understanding was given to me.
BUT below St Thomas and apparently supporting him there are THREE SMALL FIGURES all but lost n the decoration. In the Flowering of the Middle Ages (14) in which a detail of the frescoe is reproduced, these figures are identified. They turn out to be Ibn Rushd and two arch heretcis Sabellius and Arius . The nature of the structure on which St Thomas rests can hardly be avoided.'
'(14) Edited by Joan Evans. Thames and Hudson, London 1966.' Page 120. 11/02//2022. (less)
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
I know I am quite late on this topic but this book is bugging my mind for a few months now. I did more research because I really want to talk to and find someone related to Edward Campbell and it seems incredibly hard; most info about Edward Campbell is non-existent on the internet, and even this text doesn't work anymore in the original link.


I was baffled to find out she is the one who officially translated Fulcanelli: Le Mystere des Cathedrales in English; there might be more to this, and possibly more interesting information to find out.
If anyone knows more about this, any info is highly appreciated.
I found this, maybe it can help you.
 

loreta

The Living Force
FOTCM Member
Thanks, I read the book, I meant that it had a very strong impression on me, and that is why it was bugging my mind to find out more about this author
Ok, sorry, I did not understand correctly. Maybe you can give your point of view about the book?
 

edgitarra

Jedi Council Member
Ok, sorry, I did not understand correctly. Maybe you can give your point of view about the book?
The book was written as an "investigation" of a team of 5 men, but Edward Campbell was the one who took the pen to lay down the sequence of ideas. This strong impression that resulted from reading it resides in the sphere of a manifestation that is not graspable; I have a taste I touched upon something but which I know I might not understand completely. Such is the Sufic nature to those who probably will never initiate - it is like finding myself looking at a picture, trying to find the hidden chameleon.

The book develops on how most of the cultures in our history had a cultural injection or "intervention" from a Hidden Executive(that's how it's called) who are mainly traced to Sufis. The links are quite astonishing, from Jesus, to Dark Ages, to the Renaissance to Gurdjieff and future, all being inspired in one way or another by someone who had a direct link with a Sufic group.

It is equally impressive how this Edward Campbell which can be hardly traced had this tremendous access to all kinds of resources and managed to pull out, along with his other 4 team mates an excellent and intriguing puzzle to a world completely foreign to me - that of the Sufic influences in history.

It left me a strange taste, unlike any of the books I've read, probably also because of this constant preconception that the book is very underrated and the author is like a ghost in this age and day of internet abundance. Such a indirect proportionality between the authors identity and the amount of knowledge made me probably immerse in this "mysterious adventure", constantly thinking - oh man this could be the key to a door i've never opened.

More than that the book also left me with a strange conception and bitter taste of how I might actually be going nowhere with my searches because the whole process might not depend entirely on me. Some passages say that the right people are sometimes look upon and supervised by a master even before meeting them. A strange conception that the Teacher will find the Student. What am I really searching for? A perfect slap in the face from reality. Am I searching for the truth? Am I searching for myself? A way out? I almost feel like I have no chance at realizing or understanding anything. And I don't even want to hear anything else. It made me want to sit in my terror of the situation.

Many points in this book, but it can strip one naked easily of many preconceptions
 

RJ145

The Force is Strong With This One
Much of the material for the book was compiled when JG Bennett had Coombe Springs active. One of the five researchers used to post in yahoo groups years later. That research material was later used by Octagon, based in Tunbridge Wells. Sounds like the Campbell’s worked with Idries Shah there.
 
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