Ivor Novello - Muses & The Beau Monde
As I was writing for this season it suddenly dawned on me that I hadn't written about someone who was Welsh and queer and since I am Welsh and queer it seemed rather remise of me. So the first creative who popped into my mind was Welsh composer, playwright and actor Ivor Novello, considered Britains first great male silent film star, a British Rudolph Valentino.
As Novello has a large and well known catalogue of work I decided I would share quotes and clips alongside photographs that reveal the good looks, talent and suave style that inspired Noel Coward. Coward wrote that he was envious of Novello’s handsome appearance and had sought to copy his glamorous, world-weary style. Coward and Novello went on to become good friends. In fact it was actor Robert (Bobbie) Andrews, Novello's life partner for 35 years, who introduced Novello to the young Noel Coward. Bobby Andrews and Novello were later to appear together in many of Novello's plays and musicals.
Ivor Novello, born 15 January 1893, was a Welsh composer and actor who became one of the most popular British entertainers of the first half of the 20th century.
Below is The Life & Times of Ivor Novello, an audio program from The HEHR Archive, complied by Joyce Hapiet and narrated by John West on “Sentimental Journey” August 4th 1979.
"I began my career with infantile dreams of becoming a composer."
- Ivor Novello
"Things which do not require effort of some sort are seldom worth having."
- Ivor Novello
Below British silent film drama The Rat, directed by Graham Cutts and starring Ivor Novello, Mae Marsh and Isabel Jeans. The film is based on the 1924 play of the same title written by Novello and Constance Collier, set in the Parisian criminal underworld.
Reading Recommendations & Content Considerations
A Biography Portrait of a Star
James Harding Paul Webb