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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The Brummagem Philhellene

A story about George Fanshawe Chubb, from Greece Untrodden, Alan J. B. Wace, 1964

"It was Byron who in a letter to Murray called him the Brummagem Philhellene".

The Brummagem Philhellene   A. J. B. Wace

"You will not find the name of the Philhellene George Fanshawe Chubb in the Dictionary of National Biography, although that does include a purely mythical Philhellene Kirkman Finlay. Though he lost his life in the cause of Greece, Chubb is never mentioned by Finlay, Trikoupes, Gordon, or by any other historian of the Greek Revolution. He appears, like Melchizedek, to have had no ancestors and no posterity, and whether he was really a native of Birmingham or not we cannot tell. We know nothing about his family or his education or his profession, or indeed anything at all about him till he became a Philhellene".

George Fanshawe Chubb is, of course, a fictional character:

"What is told here is imaginary even though here and there actual occurrences have been inwoven'.

The funny thing is that I only read the foreword to the book some time after reading this story. I searched in vain in Byron's collected letters and in"The War of Greek Independence" by W. Alison Phillips to find references to George Fanshawe Chubb!

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