"Well, after all, Picasso had his blue period too." Two pedestrians read billboards, one noting "John Osborne 'saddened' by Paul Slickey notices", the other "Picasso Painting sold for £ 55,000". John Osborne's The World of Paul Slickey, a musical satire of the tabloid press, premiered on 5 May 1959 and proved one of the most resounding flops in modern theatrical history.
Goethe. Portrait of the author as a young man, perhaps on the occasion of the 1965 reissue of G. H. Lewes's Life of Goethe. Sheet size: 161 × 175 mm. Pen and ink on wove paper. Stamped on verso for publication in the Sunday Telegraph.
Flaubert. The French novelist Gustave Flaubert, hat in hand, flees from a wailing old widow, presumably his mother with whom he lived most of his adult life. Sheet size: 163 × 184 mm. Pen and ink on wove paper. Stamped on verso for publication in the Sunday Telegraph.
"I propose that instead of the Marseillaise we should sing Charlie is My Darling." Charles de Gaulle was voted back to power as prime minister by the French Assembly during the May 1958 crisis. He led the writing of a new constitution to found the Fifth Republic and was elected its first president the following year. Sheet size: 191 × 139 mm. Pen and ink on wove paper. One of the heads with pasted overslip. Stamped on verso for publication in the Daily Mail, 28 May 1958.
"When you're asked a Parliamentary question d'you suppose you're given the answer beforehand?" On 2 November 1959, Charles Van Doren admitted to cheating on American quiz show Twenty One by being given the answers in advance. Sheet size: 191 × 139 mm. Pen and ink and blue pencil crayon on wove paper. Stamped on verso for publication in the Daily Mail, 5 Nov 1959.
"She's so divine in Swan Lake, of course, that imagination boggles at what her performance must be like in the Panama Canal." British ballerina Dame Margot Fonteyn spent 24 hours in a Panama City jail, while Panamanian police sought her husband, Dr Roberto Arias, a former Panamanian ambassador in London suspected of planning a coup. Sheet size: 190 × 140 mm. Pen and black ink and blue pencil on wove paper. Stamped on verso for publication in the Daily Mail, 22 April 1959.