Anarchist Emma Goldman encouraging the unemployed to take direct action, Union Square, NY, August 1916.
A British soldier “shakes hands” with a kitten on a snowy bank, Neulette, 1917.
In the Christmas truce film Joyeux Noël, a cat runs back and forth between the enemy trenches to soldiers that feed it. One names the cat Felix and the other Nestor, and when the two meet in No Man’s Land during the truce, a sweet argument ensues between the two men over whose cat it is and what is, in fact, its name. The director of the film, Carion, drew on a real life story of a cat who did this during the truce and was ultimately shot for treason: “Towards the end of the film Major General Audebert says ‘I’ve been ordered to arrest a cat for treason.’ A cat portrayed in the film as Felix/Nestor was actually arrested and shot for espionage after it arrived in French lines wearing a new collar and bearing a note (in French) which read ‘which regiment are you from?’. The general in charge decided just to follow the letter of the law, the cat was shot for spying.”
(Source. Carion also talks about this in the making of feature of Joyeux Noël.)
The real-life story was so ridiculous and upsetting, Carion decided not to include its ending in the film but only mention it in passing, because he thought the viewers of the film would not believe the absurdity of a cat being shot for treason.
Ragged and filthy, their feet bare, they wear grave, careworn expressions. For these children, life was nothing but hard work, empty bellies and the constant struggle for survival. The pictures, taken by photographer Horace Warner 100 years ago in Spitalfields in London’s East End, were later used by social campaigners to illustrate the plight of the poorest children in London.
On these streets and alleys, hordes of urchins eked out a hand-to-mouth existence, fending for themselves while their parents worked 14-hour days in the factories and docks.
Infant mortality was higher in 1900 than in 1800, as increasing numbers of families sought work in the cities. In the East End, nearly 20 per cent of children died before their first birthday. Poor families lived ten to a room with no clean water for washing and drinking.
A Muddy Morning in the Moscow Kremlin at the Beginning of the 17th Century, Apollinary Vasnetsov , 1913
Kafka’s “The Metamorphosis” first book edition, 1916.
A repost of another of my favourite young Charlie candids c.1916