A Hollywood style portrait of the curate Richard Blake Brown in 1929
In 1927, Richard Blake Brown discussed homosexual sex with his father Harold. Richard was a newly-ordained 26-year old parson, unhappily ensconced in the vicarage at Portsea. Harold was an expatriate American who had invented the power signalling system for the London Tube. Richard recorded the conversations – held over dinners and during motoring excursions – in a diary he kept his whole life. Harold's missives to his son about pulling himself together provoked Richard to send his father 'a full, painful and awful confession … Telling him EVERYTHING about myself: it was a terrible task, a humiliating ordeal'
Richard Blake Brown with his mother, from a photo pasted inside his diaries
What Richard Blake Brown viewed as a matter of fundamental identity ('The Well of Loneliness is driving me mad, driving the homosexual truth of the Tragedy of myself in upon me so violently') his father conceived of as a question of self-control. For the next few years, Harold Brown would dispatch remonstrations alongside badly-needed cheques to his son in a Cotswold cottage. Richard Blake Brown kept his enormous diary volumes in a locked chest, within a locked chest; the volume for 1925-8 he sewed up in a yard of unbleached calico before tying it up in parchment, sealing it and sending it to his bank vault.
Has it been published?
Is it going to be published?
Why exactly are you sharing this OP?
Is there a source for any of this info, OP? How do you know all this?
Come back OP, we care about your subject and are curious.
Kinda hot in the first photo.
Family history: the shifting secrets of our genealogies – in pictures
Each family history is woven with hidden threads, unspoken secrets which run through genealogies from generation to generation. The historian Deborah Cohen has been delving into unseen archives to examine how attitudes to privacy have changed over the last 200 years, to explore what families have tried to hide and why. Here she charts the shifting continents of shame with portraits of lives shaped by untold stories