Because of overwhelming response and the large number of planned activities, field trips, music events, theatrical performances, Venus in Furs Costume Party, Stefan Zweig's Old Vienna Reunion Day, and daily showing of movies from the Weimer period, hosted by Christopher Isherwood, the sponsers of the event have agreed to extend the festival for seven days.
First we should greet our sponsers and event hosts.
Many traveler writers can tell you about the museums, restaurants, historical places of the port cities of the world only Ruffington Boussweau (1881 to 1974-UK) has the courage to tell the manly man what he really wants to know. E. M. Forster said the chapter on Alexandria taught him more than he learned in a year of living there. Paul Bowles advised his friends not to come to Tangiers without reading what Ruffy said first. Hart Crane met Ruffy in a Parisian Apache bar and said "Ruffy knows all the best places and gave me some great tips on having fun on a cruise ship". Ruffy helped with the expenses involved with the publication of The Bridge, though he admits he was never able to get beyond the third page. Jean Rhys said he was the most handsome man she had ever seen. She was shocked to learn he had been to Dominica and cruised the Sargasso Sea. Ruffy was touched but had to decline when she said "no charge for you". Marcel Proust always made sure he had Ruffy's favorite macaroons on stock whenever he heard he was in Paris.
Ruffington (or as he loved to say "Oh, Please call me Ruffy, even my houseboys do") first came to the attention of society when he was the personal cruise director for Prince Nicholas (to be Czar Nicholas) and Prince Felix Youssovpov in 1903 when they cruised the major ports of the Mediterranean with the Russian navy. Ruffy and Felix met in Naples when Youssovpov was doing his grand tour of Western European transsexual brothels and they were very close the rest of their lives.
Ruffy was born in London in 1881. He attended the most manly of universities, Cambridge, receiving a double fifth in Greek classics and French studies. His family wealth, acquired in the slave trade-we can all be proud of the fact that Ruffy always forthrightly acknowledged that this was perhaps not a morally good business- freed him to travel and enjoy the sybaritic life style that got him banned from the best places in Europe and sought after in the worst or was it the other way around? He did his best to make up for his family past business with a very diversified collection of houseboys. When asked about his shocking to many allegedly passionate romance with a Russian ballerina reputed to be the mistress of a Grand Duke, he said, and added a phrase to the English Language, "Any Port in a storm".
Ruffington Bousweau is the author of 25 classic travel books. Sometime ago I was approached by the great great granddaughter of one of the wealthiest families in Bangladesh. Her ancestor attended Cambridge with Ruffy's grandfather and the families are still very close. She kindly provided me with a full edition, out of print in this plebeian world, of his works, and requested I assist on the reprinting of these works which she is having translated into twenty five of the most common languages of the Indian Subcontinent with the goal of having one million editions in schools and libraries across the region by 2020. So far two of the books are back in print and you can read more about them below. Ruffy asked her to join us for the event and she reserved the fourth floor for her entourage and signed an unlimited line of credit to generously pay all travel expenses for event participants.
My post on a classic travel book of the 1920s - The Manly Man's Guide to the Ports of the Mediterranean Sea by Ruffington Bousweau
My Post on The Manly Mans Guide to the Baltic Sea by Ruffington Bousweau
Prince Felix Youssoupov
Prince Felix Youssoupov is best known through the baseless accusation that he was involved in the alleged murder of Gregory Rasputin. He left Russian (keep your Trans-Siberian Railroad Czarist Bonds!) with most of his incredible wealth transferred to London, Paris, and San Francisco (he was an early investor in the Bank of California). Ruffy and he go way back and Felix has booked on his account the top three floors of the hotel for event guests for seven days, including full room service charges. Felix's family is related to the royal families of many principalities of Germania and the families of the rulers of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Special physicians will be on staff for hemophiliacs.
Stefan Zweig will be the master of cermonies at event dinners, assisted by his good friend Joseph Roth. Joseph Roth has agreed to taste all wine served.
Entertainment director and host of the film festival featuring period movies is Gregor von Rezzori, author of Memoirs of an Anti-Semite and a much admired motion picture actor. We are not sure who is with him but Ruffy said it was Lizzy of Lizzy's Literary Life.
Please RSVP, bring your own guests, the year of the event is 1932 but your wireless phones and tablets will work. If you have any requests or ideas for the week let us know.
Only if you dare!
We are looking forward to meeting you and your guests, cats and time travelers are welcome.
Get ready for the Venus in Furs Costume Party
I will be giving more detail on entertainment next.