Dear Editor, Lorne Jackson didn’t do Tom Stoppard (or Henry Carr) full justice. The narrator and leading character in Travesties, Henry Carr, was not, as stated, “entirely fictional”. He was in Zurich in 1916, having been invalided out of military service in France, and was a minor English consular official.
Not only did Carr (1894-1962) meet James Joyce, he took the part of Algy in The Importance of Being Ernest performed by The English Players for whom Joyce was the business manager. Carr’s performance turned out to be a small triumph, but immediately afterwards he and Joyce quarrelled over money and they ended up going to law. Joyce later exacted retribution against Henry, by making him a minor character (Private Carr) in Ulysees.
The Second World War found Henry, together with his second wife, living in Sheffield. When they were bombed out they moved to a Warwickshire village, where Henry commanded the Home Guard. They stayed in Warwickshire during the post-war years.
Tony Gray, chairman
The Jerome K Jerome Society, Walsall