Sir William Neil Connor (26th April, 1909 - 6th April, 1967)
I inherited my book of Cassandra's finest columns from my Grandfather, Bill Thompson, who worked with him on the Mirror for a while before going on to the BBC and then on to found Park Pictures. Although my original copy is literally moulding to bits it is one of the few books I have ever kept from my youth, I have a few more now but they are getting harder and harder to get hold of.
Over time, I will try to add some more to this page but resources aren't very easy to find and I suspect I will have to be careful of copyright issues. For now, I will collect a few links, and later I will add more of my own.
I gave in and scanned the book Cassandra at his finest and funniest. I don't know what the current copyright issues are but I am more than sure that Connor would have wanted his writings to be available to the world in general so; here they are. If anyone has any issues with this, just just tell me and I will remove the book but for now, enjoy it. I have the permission of his son to put all Bill's writings up now (Thanks Frank!) so I don't think there will be any problems now.
The sleeve notes on the hardback edition of this book are as follows:
(The book is priced at 18 shillings for the hardback and 5 shillings for the paperback in 1967)For thirty-two years -- with time off to go to war -- William Neil Connor wrote his famous column in the London Daily Mirror under the pseudonym of Cassandra. Its crisp and trenchant sentences set a new standard for columnists, copied everywhere but never bettered. Cassandra's rivals envived him many things, but most of all, the cut and thrust of his style, so devestating in chopping opponents down to size. Three decades is a long time to occupy a pulpit in public print. Cassandra did it brilliantly, with never a yawn from his daily congregation of fifteen million. But he observed in his first column after four years away on active service: "As I was saying when I was interrupted, it is a powerful hard thing to please all of the people all of the time...." To satisfy Cassandra's fans -- and the more literate of his enemies -- in one book is a powerful problem indeed. These pages can only skim the cream of his genius. Included is some of his finest and best remembered writing side by side with certain jocular items (Much relished by Mirror readers) such as the saga of the Goose-Egg Man, the Fourteen Day Soup, and Cassandra's private collection of Square-Wheel English. This is a book for all occasions and all moods, a delight for those who love to see their own language used stylishly, a primer fot young writers who are willing to learn from a master of words.