Continent of Horrors

Collier’s Magazine Article #1
Vance Victorson’s Adventures in Leisure

June 24th, 1922 |Dorothy Gale, Collier's Magazine reporter

SURREY, ENGLAND – Vance Victorson, star of stage and screen, is taking some time to rest and recuperate in Jolly Old England. The dark-haired actor of such films as “The Invisible Hand” and “Sundown Slim” was invited into the quaint country home of Dion Fortune to enjoy the misty British countryside. Victorson was excited to peruse Fortune’s inherited collection of mirrors in her home and may bring some of his finds back with him stateside to enhance his luxury mansion in Beverly Hills. During his time in Surrey, Victorson put his marksmanship skills to good use by ridding the property of some troublesome pests. Miss Fortune was impressed with the aplomb Victorson exhibited in this endeavor. What else could we ever expect from our homegrown war hero? Look for more updates on Vance’s adventures during his time abroad in next month’s Collier’s Magazine.

(Vance Victorson admiring one of the many views of Miss Dion Fortune's Surrey home. Photo by Dorothy Gale)

Collier’s Magazine Article #2
Vance Victorson’s Adventures in Leisure

January 4th, 1923 | Dorothy Gale, Collier's Magazine reporter

LONDON, ENGLAND – Vance Victorson, star of The Prisoner of Zenda and Where the Pavement Ends, is back traversing the British Isles once more to start the new year and to also do research for an upcoming film. Mr. Victorson spent many hours in the University of London’s library and the British Museum this past week, combing over the tomes, articles, paintings, and sculptures pertinent to his newest role. The humble and self-effacing actor was maintaining his anonymity fairly well during his time at the University until he was spotted by a bright young student who then spread the word to her friends the talented artist was on campus. Autographs ensued happily between Mr. Victorson and the students for some time. He turned no one away. Once he was assured his devoted fans were satisfied, our intrepid artist sought out some opportunities for sporting goods shopping for an upcoming trip. Be sure to look for more updates on Vance’s adventures in next month’s Collier’s Magazine!

Lausanne ... or Low San?
Lady Cynthia Asquith's "Lost Diary"

13 January 1923

Did I stare Death in the face?  

Dream … the Lausanne Dream … Lausanne …

Did I dream Lausanne?

The corpses of the brothers Wellington will remain ingrained in my memory, I think.  How hideous.  Grotesque.  Tragic.  Is this what my poor Herbert still sees when he sleeps?  When he wakes?  When he stares off into space when I attempt to talk to him?  Does he see dead bodies, contorted in terror, lying in the trenches?  Or did he witness something else while he was out in those killing fields?  

I wish he would speak to me.  Just two moments of lucidity.  I must keep looking for the cause of what possesses him..

I hear Dotty in the next cabin, mumbling in her sleep again.  She seems so assured of her quest to Constantinople.  I wish I felt more sure of my chemin ..

chemin de fer..

chemin de l'enfer …


Collier’s Magazine Article #3
Vance Victorson’s Adventures in Leisure

January 12th, 1923 | Dorothy Gale, Collier's Magazine reporter

LAUSANNE, SWITZERLAND - Vance Victorson, handsome and talented star of stage and screen, has embarked on the adventure of a lifetime as he makes his way across Europe while traveling in luxury on the Orient Express. Mr. Victorson began his trip in Paris, France after exploring the Parisan nightlife, as well as visiting the rustic French countryside. At midnight on January 11th, the Orient Express kicked off its departure in grand style with a champagne night-cap for its passengers. Serendipitously, opera diva Catarina Cavollaro, fresh off her Paris performances as Tosca, provided the lucky travelers an impressive preview of an aria from her upcoming role as Aida in the opera of the same name premiering in he diva’s hometime of Milan, Italy, on January 13th. Mr. Victorson was enthralled with the stunning soprano’s performance and is chomping at the bit to attend the Aida premiere tomorrow at Teatro alla Scalla.

Before Milan, however, Mr. Victorson decided to visit charming Lausanne, Switzerland in order to take in the brisk winter weather and the sights. He particularly enjoyed the views from Le Signal and took his time exploring the famous Cathedral of Notre Dame of Lausanne and its impressive stained glass Rose Window. He also enjoyed visiting local artisans and cafes during his brief time in the city. Mr. Victorson is looking ahead to even more profound and inspiring locales as he continues his travels. Be sure to look for more updates on Vance’s adventures in the next Collier’s Magazine!

Epistolary Episode
Postcard from Lady Cynthia to her close friend h

Diary Entry 2
Leaving Trieste

A souvenir as not to forget

Dottie Gale's Article Submitted to Collier's Magazine Editor, Not Published
Vance Victorson, Dead at 29 Years Old

January 22nd, 1923 | Dorothy Gale, Collier's Magazine reporter

Orašac, Serbia – Vance Victorson, promising talent of stage and screen, met an untimely end during his trip abroad while exploring the deep and magical forests of Serbia. Baba Yaga, a known witch and force of evil, lured the inquisitive Victorson into her home, which was an actual beast that is now following me as I travel on the Orient Express. I initially saw the horrid thing out the window of the train I took out of Orašac as I narrowly escaped the same fate as Mr. Victorson. It is giant and I am afraid is still following me. 

After losing his right arm—I might add, the same arm of the deplorable and eerie sculpture we are all so damned obsessed with right now—Mr. Victorson met death in the belly of that beast. I hope he gives it severe indigestion. 

Mr. Victorson was a charming and talented performer, as well as travel companion and I will miss him greatly. 

The beast will not stop its stalking until it has devoured everything in its path…

Detritus in Absentia

among other trends in British carboniferous corals.

Footnote in Scientific Events:

In Memoriam:

We remember Max Mallowan, recent graduate of New College, Oxford. A crate of artifacts has been received for research, shipped (apparently) posthumously from the Kingdom of the Croats, Serbs and Slovenes. The museum is planning to act quickly to identify and catalog the materials, which may be of some significant import. Direct inquiries regarding the items to Dr. Harold Mattingly. 

{Cataloged 1924, Mattingly}

An amusing drinking horn poss. Saxon, dtd 838, est. Markings (not pictured) Hegl, Ur, Laguz, Feoh.


  1. Lament for Ur (fragment)-Goddess of Ur, Ningal
  2. For the Gods… have abandoned us
  3. like migrating birds they have gone
  4. Ur is destroyed, bitter is its lament
  5. The country's blood now fills its holes like hot bronze in a mould
  6. Bodies dissolve like fat in the sun. Our temple is (destroyed?)…
  7. Smoke likes on the city like a shroud.
  8. Blood flows as the river does.
  9. the lamenting of men and women
  10. sadness abounds
  11. Ur is no more.
    38. Though I would tremble for that night
    39. That night of cruel (terrible?) weeping destined for me
    40. I could not flee before that night's fatality.
    43. And of a sudden on my couch oblivion, upon my couch (chaise?) oblivion was not granted.
Constantinople is a Bustling Town

Occupied Constantinople

I knew that Constantinople was occupied at some point during the 1920s, but I didn't know the occupation was nearing its end… just as we enter it!  Perhaps everyone is already aware of the context, but I was unclear, so I thought I'd share.

Constantinople was occupied from November 13, 1918 – September 23, 1923 by British, French and Italian forces after WWI, to end Ottoman participation.  The treaty to end the occupation will be signed in July, five months after our characters' arrival.  There's quite a bit of political build-up at this time!  We're going to see a lot of commotion!  

Anyway, I thought that was pretty interesting :)

Constantinople, occupied, October 1923

The photo, above, shows persons being warned to leave their homes by the British Army because the entire street would be torched (it was, shortly after this photo was taken), 1923.  The inhabitants were suspected Turkish Nationalists.  

Can you find a fez?  





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