"With his black eyepatch and empty sleeve, Carton De Wiart looked like an elegant pirate, and became a figure of legend."
November 28, 2008 3:55 AM   Subscribe

Ladies and Gentlemen, allow me to present to you Lieutenant-General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart VC, KBE, CB, CMG, DSO, thought to be the inspiration for the Ben "Richie" Hook character in Evelyn Waugh's Sword of Honour" trilogy. A soldier and a hero, resplendent in his eye patch, de Wiart is the shining embodiment of the phrase "they just don't make 'em like that any more"
posted by fatfrank (10 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Um, i hate for a complaint to be the first comment, but the last link needs a log in and pwd
posted by infini at 4:11 AM on November 28, 2008

Apologies, I followed it from here: http://www.oxforddnb.com/index/101032316/ and didn't need to logon
posted by fatfrank at 4:17 AM on November 28, 2008

Ah, turns out where I work has an institute account.
posted by fatfrank at 4:19 AM on November 28, 2008

A Wikipedia link? No,two Wikipedia links.

Hmm, according to the Wikipedia article, the population of Lieutenant-General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiarts in Africa has tripled in the last six months. Oregon really is Idaho's Portugal.
posted by orthogonality at 4:37 AM on November 28, 2008

What an amazing character.

Thanks for the post. I enjoyed that.
posted by Mephisto at 4:41 AM on November 28, 2008

Reading his Wikipedia article (which certainly isn't up to Wikipedia standards, with endless editorializing like "He was a man's man") reveals some definite peculiarities: "But in his memoirs, Happy Odyssey, Carton de Wiart made absolutely no reference to his wife and/or daughters." [...] "He was wounded seven more times in the war, losing his left hand in 1915, biting off his fingers when a doctor declined to remove them."

Frankly, he sounds like a nutcase to me. :-D At least it puts my nailbiting into perspective.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 7:38 AM on November 28, 2008

"No scholar, he was a truly ferocious warrior."
"...but left to join the British Army at the time of the Boer War..."
"...his love of sports, especially shooting and pig sticking."
"...De Wiart said at the end, 'Frankly I had enjoyed the war...'"
"Distrusting Italian tailors, he emphasized that they must be properly made. He was not going to wear one of their 'bloody gigolo suits'."

..."they just don't make 'em like that any more"

Thank God.
posted by Xezlec at 9:26 AM on November 28, 2008 [1 favorite]

Reminiscent of Julian Barne's depiction of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in "Arthur & George" from 2005 (good book). Too bad about the Wiki link, it reminds me of the hagiographical treatment given there to Vivekananda - it's interesting how persistent the illusion of late Victorian/Edwardian British Empire grandeur is, despite the Indian genocides, despite the domestic working-class misery, despite the unimaginable horror and insanity of the First World War. It's still just a fairy story.
posted by facetious at 10:52 AM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]

By the way, thats not intended as a criticism of the post or poster, at all.
posted by facetious at 11:12 AM on November 28, 2008

His father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. His mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet ...
posted by kcds at 4:19 PM on November 28, 2008 [2 favorites]

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