Richard Barry Parker, the eldest son of Robert Parker, a bank manager, and his wife, Frances Booth, was born at Chesterfield, Derbyshire, on 18th November 1867. He was educated at Wesley College in Sheffield before attending South Kensington School of Art in London.
In 1889 Parker was articled to G. Faulkner Armitage, an architect based in Altrincham, Cheshire. He eventually established his own practice in Buxton. One of his first projects was to design three houses for his father, including the family home Moorlands.
In 1893 Parker's elder sister Ethel Parker married her half-cousin Raymond Unwin. Barry Parker initially disapproved of the marriage as he was an opponent of Unwin's socialist beliefs. Unwin was a member of the Socialist League, an organisation founded by William Morris. and was closely associated with radicals such as Edward Carpenter, Walter Crane, Eleanor Marx, Ernest Belfort Bax, Edward Aveling, John Bruce Glasier and Ford Madox Ford. Carpenter described Unwin during this period as "a young man of cultured antecedents… healthy, democratic, vegetarian".
Barry Parker rejected Unwin's politics but was influenced by his brother-in-law's ideas on architecture. In 1894 Parker collaborated with Unwin to design a church for the mining community of Barrow Hill. According to Andrew Saint: "Unwin devised the strategy and layout and Parker the aesthetic detail; and such, as a rule, was to be the division of labour in their later working relationship. There followed the formal architectural partnership of Parker and Unwin, run between the brothers-in-law on an easy and amicable basis... Housing was always the focus: initially the internal planning of the middle-class home or artisan's house, then the grouping of small houses, and finally complete suburban and civic layouts, as Unwin's mastery of all sides of ‘the housing question’ grew. The partners' early practice consisted largely of arts and crafts homes for progressive businessmen, furnished with ample living-rooms and inglenooks... such designs alternate with picturesque, communal groups of working-class cottages round an open green, with plans offering bigger living-rooms at the expense of the outmoded front parlour."
Parker's biographer, Mervyn Miller, points out: "Parker's commissions included individual middle-class houses, often complete with fittings and furniture. Unwin brought his engineering and costing skills to the practice, but wished to design working-class housing: Parker assisted with the visualization of this ideal, designing ‘an artisan's living room’ and a housing quadrangle (unbuilt) for a Bradford site.... The influence of C. F. A. Voysey and M. H. Baillie Scott was evident in Parker's houses.... These works showed progressive simplification of form, growing confidence of spatial design, and integration of furniture into a total ensemble."
On 10th June 1899, Ebenezer Howard and his friends established the Garden City Association. The Association organised lectures on "garden cities as a solution of the housing problem" which were addressed "to educational, social, political, co-operative, municipal, religious and temperance societies and institutions". Members included Raymond Unwin, Edward Grey, William Lever, Edward Cadbury, Ralph Neville, Barry Parker, Thomas Howell Idris and Aneurin Williams.
In 1900 the Garden City Limited was established with share capital of £50,000. The following year a conference was held at Bournville which three hundred delegates attended. Unwin gave a talk at the conference and this led to Joseph Rowntree commissioning him and Parker to design houses for his workers in New Earswick. As John Moss-Eccardt pointed out: "Both young men wanted to express their convictions, which were greatly influenced by Ruskin and Morris, in visual architecture... This was an important part of the social reform movement, more than a mere alleviation of poor housing and environmental conditions in industrial towns. It ranked as a forerunner of garden cities in that it paid attention deliberately to creating an environment which promoted health and happiness in its inhabitants."
In 1903 the Garden City Association had over 2,500 members. The Garden City Pioneer Company was constituted, with Ebenezer Howard as managing director, to find a suitable site for the first garden city. In 1903 Howard purchased 3,818 acres in Letchworth for £155,587. Howard employed Parker and Raymond Unwin as the architects responsible for building Letchworth Garden City.
Unwin explained: "The successful setting out of such a work as a new city will only be accomplished by the frank acceptance of the natural conditions of the site; and, humbly bowing to these, by the fearless following out of some definite and orderly design based on them ... such natural features should be taken as the keynote of the composition; but beyond this there must be no meandering in a false imitation of so-called natural lines."
Parker also held strong views on creating a beautiful environment. He believed that the destruction of a single tree should be avoided, unless absolutely necessary. It was decided that it was important to make full "use of the undulating nature of the terrain to provide vistas and prospects. By grouping numbers of houses together it was possible to have large gaps between the groups, thus providing views of gardens, countryside or buildings beyond."
Andrew Saint has argued: "The concept of the self-sufficient garden city promoted by Howard in Garden Cities of Tomorrow (1898–1902) having been entirely diagrammatic, Unwin was in effect asked to endow Letchworth with an image and identity. This raised issues of industrial and civic planning, phasing, and investment on a scale that no British architect had hitherto faced. The plan was revised in 1905–6, when work at Letchworth commenced. The housing areas got the earliest attention, Unwin tackling road layout, grouping, plot size, style, and supervision with originality and a remarkable perception of the complex issues. But Letchworth's civic centre, which was allotted an axial approach perhaps derived from Wren's plan for rebuilding London, grew too slowly for the ideas of Parker and Unwin to be carried through, and remains a grave disappointment. Despite Unwin's critical role at Letchworth, where he lived between 1904 and 1906, he never identified wholly with Howard's obsession with autonomous garden cities on virgin sites detached from metropolitan influence, and indeed left further work at Letchworth to Parker after 1914."
Parker and Unwin were also involved in the building of the Hampstead Garden Suburb. The main sponsor was Henrietta Barnett, wife of Unwin's early mentor Samuel Barnett. Parker and Unwin designed "short rows of houses with deep gardens, culs-de-sac, open courts, advanced and recessed frontage lines, boundary hedges, a varied geometry of open spaces, ‘vista-stoppers’ for sight-lines, and skewed road junctions". According to Henrietta's biographer, Seth Koven: "She embarked on her last and most ambitious project, which dominated the final decades of her life: rescuing 80 acres of Hampstead Heath for public enjoyment and creating the Hampstead Garden Suburb.... Collaborating with the pioneer socialist architects of the Letchworth Garden City, Raymond Unwin and Barry Parker, she created a blueprint for a new kind of organic community consisting of young and old, able-bodied and infirm, rich and poor, married and unmarried. While the largest homes of wealthy residents were placed far from the modest cottages designed for artisans Henrietta hoped that residents of the suburb would be bound together by shared religious, social, educational, and recreational spaces. To this end she successfully advocated the erection of an Anglican church and a nonconformist chapel, along with a purpose-built clubhouse for artisans and their families; the institute, designed by Edwin Lutyens, served as the suburb's focal point for educational, cultural, and civic activity. Henrietta balanced her unwavering commitment to the mutual advantages of relationships between the classes with a staunch belief in the ineradicability of class differences."
In 1914 Raymond Unwin dissolved his partnership with Barry Parker and started work as chief town planning inspector to the Local Government Board. During the First World War he was seconded as chief housing architect to the wartime Ministry of Munitions. This marked the start of Unwin's alliance with Christopher Addison, who at that time was minister of munitions. In July 1917 Unwin joined Addison when he became minister of reconstruction.
Barry Parker now pursued an independent career. According to his biographer, Mervyn Miller: "In 1915 he spent six months in Porto, Portugal, redesigning the civic centre, and from 1917 to 1919 he worked in São Paulo, Brazil, on the Jardim America Garden suburb. In 1919 he took the consultancy for New Earswick, and designed its inter-war housing. Council housing schemes for Newark, Nottinghamshire, St Neots, Huntingdonshire, Bridport, Dorset, and Loughborough, Leicestershire, were followed by a planning consultancy for Wythenshawe, the garden satellite of Manchester (1927–41). Influenced by American practice, its innovative master plan incorporated parkways and defined neighbourhood units, which Parker had seen in New York in 1925. Although building was not begun until Wythenshawe was brought within the Manchester city boundary, by 1934 its population of 25,000 was greater than Letchworth and Welwyn Garden City combined."
Barry Parker died on 21st February 1947.
Young Texan girl kidnapped during Native American raid
During a raid, Comanche, Kiowa and Caddo Native Americans in Texas kidnap Cynthia Ann Parker (who was around 9 or 10 years old) and kill her family. Adopted into theomanche tribe, she lived a happy life until Texas Rangers recaptured her and forced her to return to live again among Anglo-Americans.
Silas and Lucy Parker moved their young family from Illinois to Texas in 1832. To protect themselves, they erected a solidly constructed civilian stockade about 40 miles east of present-day Waco that came to be called Parker’s Fort. The tall wooden stockade was reportedly capable of holding off 𠇊 large enemy force” if properly defended. However, when no Native American attacks materialized for many months, the Parker family and the relatives who joined them in the fort became careless. Frequently they left the bulletproof gates to the fort wide open for long periods.
On May 19, 1836, several hundredomanche, Kiowa and Caddo Native Americans staged a surprise attack. During the ensuing battle, the Native Americans killed five of the Parkers. In the chaos, the Native Americansucted nine-year-old Cynthia Ann Parker and four other white women and children. Theomancheਊnd Caddo bands later divided women and children between them. Theomanche took Parker, and she lived with them for the next 25 years.
Like many Plains Indian tribes, the Comanche had long engaged in the practice of kidnapping their enemy’s women and children. Sometimes these captives were treated like enslaved workers who provided useful work and could be traded for valuable goods. Often, though, captives eventually became full-fledged members of the tribe, particularly if they were kidnapped as young children. Such was the case with Parker.
Anglo-Texans first learned that the young girl might still be alive four years later. A trader named Williams reported seeing Parker with a band ofomanche near the Canadian River in northern Texas. He tried to purchase her release but failed. Theomanchehief Pahauka allowed Williams to speak to the girl, but she stared at the ground and refused to answer his questions. After four years, Parker apparently had become accustomed toomanche ways and did not want to leave. In 1845, two other white men saw Parker, who was by then 17 years old. Aomanche warrior told them he was now her husband, and the men reported “she is unwilling to leave” and “she would run off and hide herself to avoid those who went to ransom her.”
Clearly, Parker had come to think of herself asomanche. By all accounts, her husband, a rising young warrior named Peta Nocona, treated her well, and the couple was happily married. She gave birth to three children, two boys and a girl, and Nocona was reportedly so pleased with her that he rejected the common practice of taking several wives and remained monogamous.
Unfortunately, Nocona was also a warrior engaged in brutal war with the Anglo-American invaders, and he soon attracted the wrath of the Texas Rangers for leading several successful attacks on whites. In December 1860, a Ranger force attacked Nocona’s village. The Rangers mortally wounded Nocona and captured Parker and her daughter, Prairie Flower.
Returned to Anglo society against her will, Parker was taken to her uncle’s farm in Birdville, Texas, where she tried to run away several times. However, with her husband dead and her adopted people fighting a losing battle to survive, Parker apparently resigned herself to a life among a people she no longer understood. Prairie Flower, her one connection to her old life, died of influenza and pneumonia in 1863. Depressed and lonely, Parker struggled on for seven more years. Weakened by self-imposed starvation, she died of influenza in 1870.
This research guide is a study of the famous outlaw duo Bonnie and Clyde and their existence in American memory. I have divided the guide into two parts. Part one explores Bonnie and Clyde in history and in their own time, the time of the Great Depression. In this section I have included a number of primary sources, many of them from digitized archives. The Dallas Municipal Archives and FBI Vault each provide a trove of primary sources related to the exploits of Bonnie and Clyde. Important among these sources are reports detailing the crimes and accomplices of the Barrow gang, as they provide a clear picture of what happened during Bonnie and Clyde’s crime spree from 1932 to 1934. Some of these sources capture the public’s response to Bonnie and Clyde in the Depression Era, such as the photographs of Bonnie and Clyde’s funerals and the report by the New York Times on their ambush. Photo evidence and personal correspondences, furthermore, offer insight into who Bonnie and Clyde were as people. The accounts of Barrow gang members W.D. Jones and Blanch Caldwell Barrow also help shape the story of what happened in the 1930s and who Bonnie and Clyde were. The secondary sources provided in part one help to put the story of Bonnie and Clyde in the historical context of the Depression Era. They also help debunk some of the mythologized aspects of Bonnie and Clyde’s story that have cropped up throughout the time since their deaths.
Part two of the research guide explores Bonnie and Clyde’s existence in American memory and consists of three sections. The first section covers Bonnie and Clyde’s depiction in film. Arthur Penn’s famous 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde revivified the story of Bonnie and Clyde through a glamorous and romantic depiction of the outlaw couple, but not without controversy. Included along with the movie are a number of reviews of the film and articles discussing its relationship to history and to the memory of Bonnie and Clyde. Another film included in this section is The Bonnie Parker Story, a film that focuses on the figure of Bonnie Parker. The second part of this section covers Bonnie and Clyde’s existence in music. Among popular depictions of the pair in music is a modern day Broadway musical as well as a concert tour by Beyoncé and Jay-Z inspired by the story of Bonnie and Clyde. The third and final section of part two is an examination of Bonnie and Clyde in modern local memory. For this exploration, I have included two news articles describing the monuments, museums, and festivals recalling the story of Bonnie and Clyde.
Part One: In History
Left: Bonnie Parker playfully posing with a pistol and smoking a cigar, Right: Clyde Barrow poses with a gun in front of a car (Source: FBI website)
1.) PRIMARY SOURCES-
1.) Clyde Barrow Gang Collection, 1930-1939. Dallas Municipal Archives. The Portal to Texas History. www.texashistory.unt.edu.
This source is a historical archive of a wealth of digitized artifacts surrounding the history of Bonnie and Clyde and the Barrow gang. It includes over 75 artifacts, ranging from telegrams, letters, news clippings, wanted posters, court documents, fingerprints, police photographs, and more. These artifacts give much information about the crimes themselves and how the police pursued the Barrow Gang. It even includes testimony of members of the Barrow Gang, members who had an inside look into the experience of Bonnie and Clyde.
(click images to enlarge and read)
Clyde Champion Barrow Wanted Poster, 1932 – Sherman, Texas. Poster. Clyde Barrow Gang Collection, 1930-1939. Dallas Municipal Archives. University of North Texas Libraries, Dallas, TX.
Wanted posters such as these are important sources in understanding what crimes Bonnie and Clyde were responsible for committing. This wanted poster charges Clyde with the murder of Howard Hall, a grocery store clerk, on October 11th, 1932. It also alleges that Barrow was wanted for the various robberies and the murder of multiple policeman throughout the Texas-Oklahoma area.
Clyde Champion Barrow Mug Shot – Dallas 6048. Image. Clyde Barrow Gang Collection, 1930-1939. Dallas Municipal Archives. University of North Texas Libraries, Dallas, TX.
This source, like the previous, is important in identifying what crimes the Barrow gang was held responsible for committing. This wanted poster includes Clyde Barrow’s mugshot and a description claiming he is wanted for a robbery at a gas station.
Dallas (Tex.) Police Dept. “Clyde Champion Barrow Wanted Report, 05/12/1932 – Dallas, Texas Police Department,” May 12, 1932. Clyde Barrow Gang Collection, 1930-1939. Dallas Municipal Archives. University of North Texas Libraries, Dallas, TX.
This source is an example of a police report of a crime committed by Clyde Barrow. The report indicates Barrow robbed a an oil station in Luftkin, TX.
Dallas (Tex.) Police Dept. Letter, “Clyde Champion Barrow Wanted Report, 08/01/1932 – Dallas, Texas Police Department,” August 1, 1932. Clyde Barrow Gang Collection, 1930-1939. Dallas Municipal Archives. University of North Texas Libraries, Dallas, TX.
In this police report, Clyde Barrow is accused of having robbed a meat packing house. This police report also is among the first to include Raymond Hamilton as one of Clyde Barrow’s accomplices. Hamilton would go on to commit several more crimes with Clyde as a member of the Barrow gang, including the famous Grapevine murder.
Sibley, W.R. Report, “Clyde Champion Barrow Wanted Report, 10/13/1932 – Abilene, Texas,” October 13, 1932. Clyde Barrow Gang Collection, 1930-1939. Dallas Municipal Archives. University of North Texas Libraries, Dallas, TX.
This wanted report charges Barrow with having staged a robbery at a Piggly Wiggly grocery store in Waco, TX. It gives a description of other crimes for which Barrow is wanted, including other robberies, murder, and assault. It lists Raymond Hamilton as an accomplice and also is one of the first to mention Bonnie Parker as an accomplice.
Dallas (Tex.) Police Dept. Report, “Clyde Champion Barrow Wanted Report, 05/08/1933 – Dallas, Texas Police Department,” May 8, 1933. Clyde Barrow Gang Collection, 1930-1939. Dallas Municipal Archives. University of North Texas Libraries, Dallas, TX.
This wanted report implicates Clyde Barrow in the attempted robbery of a bank in Luserne, IN. A brief description of the incident describes Barrow as being accompanied by two women. It furthermore claims one of the women was shot in the attempted robbery.
“Barrow Gang” Wanted Poster, 1933 – Van Buren, Arkansas. Poster. 1933. Clyde Barrow Gang Collection, 1930-1939. Dallas Municipal Archives. University of North Texas Libraries, Dallas, TX.
This is a wanted poster for the the Barrow gang, whose members include Bonnie Parker (left photo), Clyde Barrow (middle photo, left), Blanch Barrow (right photo, left), “Melvin” (Buck) Barrow (right photo, right), and an unidentified young man, likely W.D. Jones (middle photo, right). The poster describes the Barrow brothers as being wanted for murder, attempted car robbery, and rape. This is one of the few instances wherein the Barrow gang was associated with the charge of rape. Another important aspect of the poster is the description of Bonnie Parker: she is said to be badly burned and to have a tattoo on her thigh, several inches above the knee. For a woman to have a tattoo in this era was uncommon and somewhat scandalous. The burn the poster describes was sustained in a car accident in 1933. This burn left Bonnie partially crippled she could only hop on one leg and was often carried by Clyde after the accident according to Jeff Guinn and W.D. Jones.
Dallas (Tex.) Police Dept. Memorandum, “Dallas, Texas Sheriff’s Department Complaint of the Eastham Prison Break-out,” January 15, 1934. Clyde Barrow Gang Collection, 1930-1939. Dallas Municipal Archives. University of North Texas Libraries, Dallas, TX.
This report describes the famous Eastham Farm Prison break-out staged by the Barrow gang. According to the report, Bonnie and Clyde halted a truck transferring prisoners, “shot three guards and rescued Raymond Hamilton.” Several other prisoners also escaped in the break-out in addition to Hamilton.
Barrow, Clyde. Telegram, “Clyde Barrow Telegram to Dallas, Texas District Attorney,” n.d. Clyde Barrow Gang Collection, 1930-1939. Dallas Municipal Archives. University of North Texas Libraries, Dallas, TX.
This is a telegram from Clyde Barrow addressed to District Attorney King. In it, Clyde accuses Raymond Hamilton of committing the infamous Grapevine murders, which was the murder of two police officers in Grapevine, TX. The murders negatively affected public sentiment concerning Bonnie and Clyde and revivified efforts to capture Bonnie and Clyde. Clyde claims he and Bonnie were not even in Texas at the time of the murders.
Parker, Bonnie. Poem, “The Trail’s End,” n.d. Clyde Barrow Gang Collection, 1930-1939. Dallas Municipal Archives. University of North Texas Libraries, Dallas, TX.
This is a poem written by Bonnie Parker, recovered at the Joplin, MO, hideout. The poem is one of the contributing factors to Bonnie and Clyde’s popularity among the public in their day. The poem describes “awful hard times,” “weariness,” and the sufferings of the people in the Depression Era south. In the poem, Parker also expresses Bonnie and Clyde’s resolution to never “give up until they died,” citing death as “the wages of sin.” The poem has reemerged many times in pop culture: in Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde and in multiple songs, including Merle Haggard’s “The Legend of Bonnie and Clyde.”
Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker’s Bullet Hole-Ridden V8 Ford. Photograph. Clyde Barrow Gang Collection, 1930-1939. Dallas Municipal Archives. University of North Texas Libraries, Dallas, TX.
This is an image of Bonnie and Clyde’s famous V-8 Ford, riddled with bullets. Bonnie and Clyde were killed when police ambushed their vehicle in Bienville Parish, LA, on May 23rd, 1934. Six officers shot numerous rounds into their car, possibly exceeding a hundred bullets total.
Bonnie Parker’s Funeral – Dallas, TX. Photograph. 1934. Clyde Barrow Gang Collection, 1930-1939. Dallas Municipal Archives. University of North Texas Libraries, Dallas, TX.
This image shows Bonnie Parker’s funeral. Multiple, possibly thousands of people can be seen attending her funeral in this photograph. The immense size of the gathering says much about the public’s fascination with Bonnie and Clyde in the Depression Era.
2.) “Bonnie and Clyde in Oklahoma.” Oklahoma Department of Libraries Online. Last modified 2014. Accessed December 1, 2014. http://www.odl.state.ok.us/oar/resources/bonnieclyde/low.htm.
This is a presentation created by the Oklahoma Department of Libraries. It provides a number of primary sources surrounding a murder committed by members of the Barrow gang in Oklahoma on April 6th, 1934, just after the Grapevine murders. It provides photographs of the crime scene and transcripts from the trial of Henry Methvin, one of the Eastham Farm prison escapees (Methvin v. Oklahoma State, 105 1936 OK CR [1st Cir. 1936]). One of the important documents from the trial is the examination of the defendant Henry Methvin, who describes in detail the what occurred, offering an interesting, albeit assuredly biased as Methvin was on trial for murder, eyewitness account of one of the Barrow gang’s murders.
3.) “Barrow and Woman Are Slain by Police in Louisiana Trap.” New York Times (New York, NY), May 23, 1934.
This is an article by the New York Times reporting on the ambush of Bonnie and Clyde. The article describes the event and Bonnie and Clyde, saying, “Clyde Barrow, notorious Texas ‘bad man’ and murderer, and his cigar-smoking, quick-shooting woman accomplice, Bonnie Parker, were ambushed and shot to death today in an encounter with Texas Rangers and Sheriff’s deputies.” The author characterizes Frank Hamer, the famous Texas Ranger who is credited with having tracked down Bonnie and Clyde, as a hero figure who caught two villains. The description of the ambush in this article is a point of interest in that it conflicts with other accounts of the ambush, claiming that Clyde attempted to run down the officers with his car.
4.) U.S. Department of Justice. “FBI Records: The Vault, Bonnie and Clyde.” The Federal Bureau of Investigation. Last modified May 2009. Accessed December 1, 2014. http://vault.fbi.gov/Bonnie%20and%20Clyde.
Federal Bureau of Investigation. Bonnie and Clyde Horsing Around With a Gun. Photograph. Famous Cases and Criminals. FBI Records: The Vault.
This image was among the many recovered at the Joplin, MO, hideout. It shows Bonnie playfully pointing a gun at Clyde. This photograph has since emerged multiple times in pop culture and is one of the more famous images of the duo.
Federal Bureau of Investigation. Identification Order No. 1227, Bonnie and Clyde. Photograph. December 2006. FBI Records: The Vault.
This is a wanted poster for Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow produced by the Department of Justice. Because Bonnie and Clyde’s crimes criss-crossed state borders, the FBI became involved in the investigation of their crimes. Among Bonnie’s relatives, the poster lists her husband Roy Thorton, to whom she was still married when she met Clyde Barrow. This poster also gives a description of the wounds on Bonnie’s legs and describes a walking impairment.
Federal Bureau of Investigation. Bonnie and Clyde Part 03 of 07, pg. 49. Photograph. FBI Records: The Vault.
This photograph shows the crowd that gathered around Bonnie and Clyde’s car after the ambush in Louisiana. Shortly after the ambush occurred, a large group of spectators came to the scene of their deaths as police were attempting to collect evidence. According to historical sources, several members of the crowd began taking souvenirs from the car, like shards of glass and bullet shell casings, and from the bodies of Bonnie and Clyde themselves, including locks of Bonnie’s hair, pieces of their clothing, and (according to Milner) one individual even attempted to take one of Clyde’s ears. The aftermath of the ambush and the immense crowd here again indicate the public fascination with Bonnie and Clyde.
Federal Bureau of Investigation. Bonnie and Clyde Part 03 of 07, pg. 5. Photograph. FBI Records: The Vault.
This is a photograph taken from Clyde’s funeral. His funeral, like Bonnie’s, drew a large crowd numbering into the thousands. In The True Story of Bonnie and Clyde written by Bonnie’s mother and Clyde’s sister, the authors describe how at the funeral popcorn and candy stands were erected at the funeral due to the large crowd it attracted.
5.) Barrow, Blanche Caldwell. My Life With Bonnie and Clyde, edited by John Neal Phillips. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2004.
This is a memoir written by Blanche Barrow, a member of the Barrow gang and wife of Buck Barrow. Barrow wrote the book as she served time from 1933-1939 in the Missouri State Penitentiary. The memoir was recovered after her death by a friend and published into a book by Bonnie and Clyde history expert John Neal Phillips, a Dallas professor and author of Running With Bonnie and Clyde: The Ten Fast Years of Ralph Fults. Of the memoir, Phillips said, “despite the author’s prejudicial viewpoint toward her husband, these passages paint a very intriguing overall picture of the seductiveness of crime and the psychology of the fugitive mentality, this overwhelming sense of ‘us against them’.”
6.) Jones, W.D. “Riding With Bonnie and Clyde.” Playboy Magazine, November 1968.
In this source, Barrow gang member W.D. Jones tells the tale of his experience with Bonnie and Clyde. He wrote the piece shortly after the release of Arthur Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde and attempts to debunk some of the sensationalization of the lives of Bonnie and Clyde perpetuated by the movie and other sources. Jones describes Clyde as polite and clever and asserts that he never wanted to kill except when he felt he must. He addresses the claims (put forth by John Toland in The Dillinger Days) that Clyde was a homosexual saying, “I was with him and Bonnie. I know. It just ain’t true.” He also addresses the media coverage of the gang’s crimes in the 1930s and the portrayal of their group as bank robbers, asserting, “Some of the tales about us robbing banks all the time ain’t true, either. The time I was with Clyde and Bonnie, we never made a bank job. He liked grocery stores, filling stations and places there was a payroll. Why should we rob a bank? There was never much money in the banks back in them days in the Southwest. But that’s not the way the papers put it.” He additionally alleges that Bonnie never smoked cigars, as she is often said to have done, or even fired a gun. While his version of events may be biased in his desire not to implicate himself in any of the murders, for example, his story is a valuable eye witness account of the Barrow gang’s exploits.
2.) SECONDARY SOURCES-
1.) Guinn, Jeff. Go Down Together: The True Untold Story of Bonnie and Clyde. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009.
This book serves as one of the best Bonnie and Clyde resources to date. Based primarily on primary source research, the book analyzes the story of Bonnie and Clyde not just in the years of their crime spree from 1932-1934, but from their adolescence growing up in the slums of West Dallas, a place Guinn describes as an absolute “hellhole.” The book does a particularly good job of setting the story of Bonnie and Clyde in the historical context of the Depression Era 1930s, explaining possible reasons for why the public became so fascinated with the couple. Here, “the legend still stands under its own power. Bonnie and Clyde’s death dance is more terrifying told in real time here than it was in the [Arthur Penn] film’s famous special effects scene,” says reviewer Jackie Loohauis-Bennett. In addition to this book, I have included Loohauis-Bennett’s brief review of the book and a citation and link to an audio file of Jeff Guinn’s lecture on his book at the Kansas City Library in 2009 which highlights some of the essential elements of the book.
Loohauis-Bennett, Jackie. “Well-Researched Book Targets Bonnie and Clyde Myth.” McClatchy – Tribune Business News, Mar 14, 2009. http://search.proquest.com/docview/464866375?accountid=9676.
Guinn, Jeff. “Jeff Guinn: Go Down Together.” Lecture, Kansas City Public Library, Plaza Branch, Kansas City, MO. March 26, 2009. Audio file. Internet Archive. 2011. Accessed December 1, 2014. https://archive.org/details/JeffGuinnGoDownTogether.
2.) Milner, E.R.. The Lives and Times of Bonnie and Clyde. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 2003.
This book, like Guinn’s Go Down Together, is an even-handed portrayal of the lives of Bonnie and Clyde. The book, unlike many others, spends time discussing Bonnie and Clyde as individuals, rather than in the context of their crimes or lives together, giving a full view of who these historical figures were as people. Milner, a history professor at Tarrant College, focuses primarily on primary source research and includes a number of useful sources to demystify the legendary qualities of the story of Bonnie and Clyde, among these, letters, diaries, newspaper articles, and more.
3.) Toland, John. The Dillinger Days. New York: Random House Publishing, 1963.
Published in 1963, this book is the one on which the historical aspects of the famous 1967 film, Bonnie and Clyde, is based. The book includes the stories of multiple outlaws in the time of the Depression Era, but focuses primarily on the story of famed outlaw John Dillinger. In the book, there is one important chapter that tells about Bonnie and Clyde. Toland controversially claimed that Clyde Barrow was a homosexual, a claim that would have significant influence over his character and Warren Beatty’s portrayal in the 1967 movie.
Part Two: In Memory
Movie poster for Arthur Penn’s 1967 classic, Bonnie and Clyde. Tagline: “They’re young, they’re in love, and they kill people.” (Source: Wikipedia).
Bonnie and Clyde. Directed by Arthur Penn, performed by Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway. 1967. U.S.: Warner Bros.-Seven Arts. Film.
This film, according to multiple sources found in this research guide, re-popularized the story of Bonnie and Clyde in American pop culture. Produced at the height of the Counter-Culture Era, this film connected with many of its young audience and, despite early criticism, won two Academy Awards. Upon its release, the film encountered much controversy and criticism for its graphic nature and apparent glorification of violence and criminals. In many ways, it glamorizes the story of Bonnie and Clyde and deviates from historical reality. One such deviation is the film’s portrayal of Clyde as impotent. According to interviews with the writers and makers of the movie (below) Clyde was originally written to be portrayed as bisexual, based on the claim by John Toland in The Dillinger Days that Clyde was a homosexual. This was considered too controversial for the time period and the character was re-written as impotent. W.D. Jones and Blanch Barrow, members of the Barrow gang, also criticized the movie for its depictions of their respective characters and those of Bonnie and Clyde. Frank Hamer, the respected Texas Ranger that tracked down Bonnie and Clyde, is also portrayed as the spiteful, revenge-seeking villain of the movie. The movie, furthermore, evades many of the darker aspects of Bonnie and Clyde’s story, and instead focuses on the romantic aspects of the Bonnie and Clyde legend. Included below along with this source is the movie’s trailer, which features the film’s famous gunfight scenes and the tagline “They’re young, they’re in love, and they kill people.” Additionally, there are also two reviews of the film, written upon the 30th anniversary of its release, one of them (“Blasts from the Past”) including extensive interviews with the film’s director, producers, writers, and actors.
Warner Bros.-Seven Arts, Inc. “Bonnie and Clyde Trailer.” 1967. Online video clip. American Film Institute: afi.com (accessed November 19, 2014). http://www.afi.com/10top10/moviedetail.aspx?id=19356&thumb=1
Goldstein, Patrick. “Bonnie & Clyde & Joe & Pauline.” Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA), August 25, 1997.
Goldstein, Patrick. “Blasts From the Past.” Los Angeles Times (Los Angeles, CA), August 24, 1997.
Toplin, Robert Brent. “Cinematic History: Where Do We Go From Here?” The Public Historian 25, No. 3 (Summer 2003), pp. 79-91.
This is an article discussing the relationship between film and history, citing Bonnie and Clyde as a significant example of that relationship. Toplin suggests that the art form of film molds historical events to deliver a message about the present, Bonnie and Clyde being an example of that in its being a reflection of the Counter-Culture Era. Filmmakers, asserts Toplin, choose the subjects of their historical films based on, “current fashions, attitudes, hopes, and anxieties of the viewing public.” Of Bonnie and Clyde, Toplin claims, “Hollywood’s Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow were anti-establishment, rebellious, and independent-minded. They also craved celebrity. David Newman, who helped to develop the original concept for this movie, promoted his project as a story about an unconventional couple that ‘would have been right at home in the Sixties.’ The movie, Bonnie and Clyde, was not only about two historical figures, he said it was also ‘about what’s going on now.’” With this source I have included a citation of Toplin’s book History by Hollywood: The Use and Abuse of the American Past, which is a grander analysis of what he puts forth in this article.
Toplin, Robert Brent. History by Hollywood: The Use and Abuse of the American Past. Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1996.
Cardullo, Bert. “Look Back in Bemusement: The New American Cinema, 1965–1970.” The Cambridge Quarterly 37, no. 4 (2008): 375-386. http://muse.jhu.edu/ (accessed November 28, 2014).
This article takes a look at American films produced in the time of the New American Cinema from the years 1965-1970, citing Bonnie and Clyde (1967) as one of three films representing the changing film industry in this era. According to Cardullo, Bonnie and Clyde, along with The Graduate (1968) and Easy Rider (1969), was a reflection of prevailing attitudes towards society in the time of its making and release. This article focuses on explaining how Bonnie and Clyde and these other American films, “were exemplary and influential expressions of, that new spirit of political and cultural insubordination, that amateur and informal (anti-formal in some of its manifestations) call to order by which it was hoped that the frozen values and procedures of the dominant bourgeois society – forever faithful to sanctified forms and thus forever reproducing them – would be not so much overthrown as displaced.”
Hunter, Stephen. “Bonnie and Clyde Died For Nihilism.” Commentary 127, no. 7 (2009), pp. 77-80.
This source is an essay published in an academic journal describing the exploits of Bonnie and Clyde and the exploitation of their story in the media and pop culture, particularly in the movie Bonnie and Clyde. The author, who writes from a poignantly conservative and biting perspective, vilifies Bonnie and Clyde and those who have mythologized their story. He also faults those who revere the criminals as misfit heroes in the Depression Era and villainize the lawmen who pursued them. He discusses the portrayal of Frank Hamer in Penn’s Bonnie and Clyde, who was a well-respected man of the law and somewhat of a folk hero himself. He claims the movie depicted him as a vengeful buffoon who preferred to chase those who flouted him rather than help the people suffering in the Depression. I have included an important excerpt below:
“That all changed in 1967 when Arthur Penn’s film version came out with Warren Beatty and Faye Dunaway and created the Bonnie and Clyde most people remember: vibrant, beautiful movie stars with witty ripostes on their lips and grace in their limbs and superbly tailored haberdashery on their shoulders, while bluegrass legends Flatt & Scruggs plucked away brilliantly behind them. Quickly, they commanded the allegiance of Baby Boomers hungry for anti-establishment heroes, killed (virtually crucified) by ruthless officers out of mean-spirited vengeance. It was an easy generational transference for the nascent Boomers to see themselves as so beautiful, so in love, so radical, so entitled to self-expression, so embittered by a failing economic system, so martyred by a crusty older generation that despised them for those attributes exactly.”
The Bonnie Parker Story. Directed by William Witney, performed by Dorothy Provine. 1958. U.S.: American International Pictures. Film.
This is a film from 1958, which deviates greatly from the story of Bonnie and Clyde. The movie stars Dorothy Provine as Bonnie Parker, a “Cigar smoking hellcat of the roaring ‘thirties,” who leads a gang of criminals in a series of robberies and murders throughout the Southwest. In the movie, there is no Clyde Barrow, but rather Bonnie has a side-kick, Guy Darrow, who aids her in robberies and eventually in breaking her husband, Duke Jefferson, out of prison. In a botched robbery, Guy kills Duke, and he and Bonnie run away together until they are gunned down together in Louisiana. This film tells a story remarkably far from the story of Bonnie and Clyde, but it is significant for its characterization of Bonnie Parker as the scandalous and aggressive head of the criminal gang. Below I have included the movie’s advertising poster that shows Bonnie firing a machine gun while smoking a cigar.
Brown, Reynold. “Advertising Poster for the Film ‘The Bonnie Parker Story’” 1957. Poster.
Brantley, Ben. “Armed and Amorous Committing Cold-Blooded Musical: ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ With Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan.” New York Times (New York, NY), December 1, 2011.
This is an article from the New York Times reviewing the musical “Bonnie and Clyde” starring Jeremy Jordan and Laura Osnes. The article describes the depictions of Bonnie and Clyde as that of wild kids seeking fame. Most importantly, it describes how the story of Bonnie and Clyde is portrayed in relation to contemporary culture. Says Brantley: “Instead, this show has repackaged the tale of Bonnie and Clyde as a Story for Our Time, with implicit parallels between the lost ideals of one American era of privation and unemployment and our own. ‘This country’s had its day,’ Clyde snarls. That pronouncement is reflected in Tobin Ost’s weathered wooden sets, overlaid with Aaron Rhyne’s video projections, which summon the Dust Bowl images of photographers like Dorothea Lange.” The link provided below contains a series of clips of scenes and songs from the musical.
Laura Osnes and Jeremy Jordan in the “Bonnie and Clyde” musical (Source: New York Times)
Advertisement for the “On the Run Tour” starring Beyonce and Jay-Z (Source: Live Nation Entertainment)
“’03 Bonnie and Clyde”, On the Run Tour. Performed by Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Stade de France, Paris, September 12 and 13, 2014. Home Box Office, 2014.
This song, which is the first song made by recording artists Beyoncé and Jay-Z together from 2003, is the inspiration for the theme of their co-headlined 2014 “On the Run” concert tour. The tour includes staged videos of Beyoncé and Jay-Z acting as robbers, holding up banks, and carrying guns, which play along with their performances. This is a video showing Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s performance of “ Bonnie and Clyde” on their tour together. The song casts the famous music couple as the modern day Bonnie and Clyde. The song includes such lyrics as, “[Jay] All I need in this life of sin, is me and my girlfriend / [Bey] Down to ride ’til the very end, it’s me and my boyfriend.” In the video, Beyoncé wears a ski mask during the performance while Jay-Z wears a shirt bearing a black and white America flag. These symbols of the American flag and of robbers have a prominent role throughout the “On the Run” tour
“Part II (On the Run)”, On the Run Tour. Performed by Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Stade de France, Paris, September 12 and 13, 2014. Home Box Office, 2014.
This video is a performance of the follow-up song to “ Bonnie and Clyde.” The song performed includes such lyrics as “[Bey] Without you I got nothing to lose / [Jay] I’m an outlaw, got an outlaw chick,” and, “[Jay] She fell in love with the bad guy…/ [Bey] If it’s me and you against the world, then so be it.” The song plays on the romantic aspects of the Bonnie and Clyde legend in relating Beyonce and Jay-Z to a modern day Bonnie and Clyde. In this performance, as in that of “ Bonnie and Clyde,” a black and white American flag is included, this time as the skirt of Beyoncé’s dress.
3.) LOCAL MEMORY
Severely defaced monument marking the cite of Bonnie and Clyde’s deaths (Source: Associated Press)
Foster, Mary. “Town where Bonnie and Clyde checked out.” SFGate (San Francisco, CA), May 24, 2009.
This source is a news article describing the events surrounding the 75th anniversary of Bonnie and Clyde’s deaths in the town of Gibsland, Louisiana. The author describes a festival that is to be held to commemorate the event. The festival’s attractions include “four re-enactments planned for the festival… a pancake breakfast, parade and Bonnie and Clyde look-alike contest.” The article describes the memory of Bonnie and Clyde in the town of Gibsland as mysterious, romantic, and, importantly, as a source of income for the tiny town. Says the town’s mayor, Pat White, “‘For us it’s timber, oil and Bonnie and Clyde’.”
Hallman, Tristan. “Legacy of Dallas-based bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde lives on.” Dallas News (Dallas, TX), May 18, 2014.
This article is a story by a Dallas newspaper describing a Bonnie and Clyde museum located in Gibsland, LA. It features an interview with the museum’s curator, Boots Hinton, who is the son of one of the policemen that brought down Bonnie and Clyde, Ted Hinton. The Bonnie and Clyde Ambush Museum captures how the pair “went from an early life in the slums of West Dallas to become national icons, folk heroes, villains and hunted criminals,” through a collection of Bonnie and Clyde memorabilia that even includes a personal film by Ted Hinton shot immediately after the ambush of Bonnie and Clyde. The article also importantly includes interviews from relatives of Bonnie and Clyde and their experience grappling with their association with the famous pair. In the town of Gibsland, Bonnie and Clyde’s memory lives on in, “the imagination of the public, Hollywood, haunted descendants and [t]here on Main Street.”
Barry Talks Joseph Parker’s Hunt for History
In a sport where many boxers are brought along slowly, Australian heavyweight Joseph Parker is on the fast-track to the top. At only 24 years old, Parker will contest for his first world title on Saturday against formidable opponent Andy Ruiz.
In an exclusive interview with FightSports, Parker’s trainer Kevin Barry discussed Parker’s maturation and his changes in preparation ahead of the WBO championship.
"The biggest difference in the training camp is the intensity and clarity of Joe as an individual," Parker said. "We have a winning formula, we haven’t changed that a lot. What has changed is Joe’s realization that he has been given a special privilege where he can put his name down in the history books in New Zealand."
History is indeed up for grabs for Parker (21-0). If he captures the vacant WBO belt, he will be New Zealand’s first heavyweight champion.
Despite the awards and accolades awaiting Parker, Barry warns against overlooking the Kiwi’s next opponent. Mexican-American Andy Ruiz (29-0) carries the kind of record, both professionally and on an amateur level, that has earned Barry’s respect. If Parker is to be successful in his bid for history, he will need to draw from himself a performance of a caliber the world has yet to witness.
"He has much better skills than he’s being credited with," Barry said of Ruiz. "You don’t stack up numbers like that unless you have a high degree of skill.
"I will need Joseph Parker to produce a performance that I know he’s capable of because we’ve seen it in the gym, but one we’ve yet to see on fight day."
Anytime a young fighter makes the step to the big stage, in their hometown no less, issues of pressure and distractions can arise. But Parker is a unique young man, wise beyond his years, prepared for whatever the boxing game throws at him. Barry believes that for all of Parker’s skills in the ring, one of his greatest attributes is the unshakable calm of his mind.
"We’ve been very diligent to manage all the distractions. One of the major strengths of Joseph Parker is the way he controls his emotions."
If Parker defeats Ruiz, he will not only be a champion but also will be on the brink of global stardom. Top Rank’s Bob Arum has already cut a deal with Parker’s promotor Duco Events to broaden the Kiwi’s reach internationally. Superfights against the likes of Anthony Joshua and Wladimir Klitschko lay on the horizon.
Barry has been a firsthand witness of Parker’s maturation, and knows the young man better than most. He knows that Parker has all the intangibles necessary to transcend the ring.
"Everyone likes him over here in New Zealand. The whole country is behind him. The girls like him a lot. He’s like a model figure, he dresses up in suits, he looks the part…I’ve watched him grow up over the last few years. If we get the championship on Saturday, the world will be his oyster. We have someone that can be a superstar."
Milestones Walking Tour
Saturdays in April at 10 am
Free tours are conducted by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and Barry McNealy, Tour Guide on Saturdays in April. The hour-long tour, which begins at the main entrance to BCRI, allows visitors to experience the culture and history of Birmingham’s Historic Civil Rights and Fourth Avenue Business District. Note: In cases of inclement weather, the tour will not take place.
About Barry McNealy…
Barry McNealy is a native of Birmingham, Alabama, and a product of the Birmingham City School System. Upon graduating from A. H. Parker High School in 1989, he attended Miles College, earning a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Social Science Education. McNealy served as an intern for BCRI until January 1998 when he was hired as the full-time Education Consultant. After many years of service to BCRI, Barry accepted a position at his alma mater, Parker High School, as a Social Studies instructor. At BCRI, Barry became known as the “Master Tour Guide.” He returns to the Institute periodically to conduct tours of the facility and District.
Due to the rapid spread of COVID-19, the world as we know it is changing. There is literally no sector of our community and globally that has not been touched by the pandemic. Subsequently, out of a concern for prevention, safety and in response to recommendations to practice social distancing, the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute has been temporarily closed to the public indefinitely. All scheduled programs have been cancelled and our staff members are working remotely. Unfortunately, we now find ourselves facing a devastating, unexpected reality as our earned income has now come to a screeching halt. We realize that many of our supporters are also struggling to address their own economic losses. We recognize that it is in times like these that our supporters can be more generous than ever.
Please consider making a financial gift to the Institute of any amount to help fill the revenue gaps that are increasing daily. As a steward of our nation’s civil and human rights history, we know that individuals and communities can prevail and the examples of courage in our community can continue to inspire us. Thank you in advance for your careful consideration and we hope that you and your family remain healthy and safe.
Barry Parker and Raymond Unwin
Barry Parker (1867-1947) and Raymond Unwin (1863-1940) were half-cousins.
Parker designed middle-class houses as well as sketching idealised working class houses for Unwin. By 1901, the pair employed three people, who all opened offices in Letchworth, they also published a book called “The Art of Building a Home”.
Parker and Unwin lodged on the Baldock Road after buying the Letchworth estate, where they sketched layouts. In winter 1903, they entered a competition for the Letchworth plan, which was provissionally approved of February 1904 and they were retained by First Garden City as consultants. After doing some work for Joesph Rowntree, they moved their office to Baldock in 1904 and then to Letchworth in 1907. Unwin moved into (Laneside) one of a pair semi-detached houses in 1904 and Parker moved into the other (Crabby Corner) after his marriage to Mabel Burton in 1906.
Unwin became involved in the Hampstead Garden Suburb, whilst Parker focused on Letchworth as well as gaining work for houses elsewhere including “Whirriestone”, Rochdale and “The Clock House”, Cowfold. In 1914, Unwin became Chief Town Planning Inspector at Local Government, whilst Parker worked abroad in Oporto (1915) and Brazil (1917-9). Unwim supervised the Ministry of Munitions housing programme, including Gretna, Scotland. Unwin successfully advocated state endorsement of Garden City designs subsidised under the 1919 Housing Act and was appointed Chief Housing Architect and then Chief Technical Officer for Building and Town Planning at the Ministry of Health. After retiring in 1928, he became Chief Technical Adviser to the Greater London Regional Plan Committee. Unwin was RIBA President in 1931-3, in the 1930s, he was visiting Professor of Planning at Colombia University, New York. He died in 1940 at his daughter’s summer house in Lyme, Connecticut.
Parker designed council estates and was then appointed to plan Wythenshawe, Manchester, where his innovative Master Plan was put into practise, he was President of the Town Planning Institute in 1929-30 and retired in 1942, he died in 1947.
Unwin was Knighted in 1932 and recieved the Royal Gold Medal in Architecture in 1937. Parker was awarded the Howard Medal in 1941.
Sir Christopher Wren’s 1666 plan for the re-building of London was transposed as the framework for the Master Plan, it was internationally influential and set the design for Unwin and Parker and their contemporaries.
Unwin set a maximum of 12 houses per acre and used the gables of “Parlour” houses to design picturesque streets, this style was used in Wilbury Road, Birds Hill and Ridge Road but after criticism of excessive cost, Unwin decided to be more economical with the Pixmore Estate. Due to alterations and parking difficulties the innovacy of the original design has been forgotten. The Silver Birch three bedroomed cottages only cost £120 at the time.
In 1904, semi-detached houses were built in Letchworth Lane “Laneside” and “Crabby Corner”, (now “Arunside”) were enlarged cottages. Parker moved in Crabby Corner and with a growing family built on it with a three-storey tower that incorporated a sleeping porch, drawing room and playroom. Parker and Unwin also built a house for Ebenezer Howard.
The Middle-class houses that were built had a spatial complexity in the entrance halls, corner bays and inglehooks emphasised by the pyramid shaped roofs. The Coppice and Glaed Hame, both larger houses in Pasture Road had triple-gabled garden fronts that were near symmetrical. The interiors were open-plan with inter-connecting entrance hall, living hall and dining room, this was radical for the time. They also had a £250 gardener’s cottage and summer house.
Built for Edmund Hunter, “St Brighids” brought maximum sunlight to the living room due to the angled plan. Hunter’s “Edmundsbury Weaving Factory” featured concrete-mullioned studio windows, a gabled tiled roof and a domestic inglenook fireplace.
The Town of Parker was incorporated in 1981 and included the Rowley Downs subdivision, the downtown area and the Parker Square and Parker Plaza commercial areas. The incorporated area encompassed approximately one square mile and included 285 residents. Soon after incorporation in 1981, the Town adopted zoning and subdivision ordinances.
The Town increased from one square mile at incorporation to 20.8 square miles currently. The Town&aposs population has increased from less than 300 at incorporation to more than 59,000 currently.
From 1947 to 1951, Parker performed in ensembles and solo at a variety of venues, including clubs and radio stations. Parker also signed with a few different record labels: From 1945 to 1948, he recorded for Dial. In 1948, he recorded for Savoy Records before signing with Mercury.
In 1949, Parker made his European debut at the Paris International Jazz Festival and went on to visit Scandinavia in 1950. Meanwhile, back home in New York, the Birdland Club was being named in his honor. In March of 1955, Parker made his last public performance at Birdland, a week before his death.
Camilla was considered a commoner
Camilla was from an upper-class background her wealthy, well-connected relations included a grandfather who was a baron. However, many of those around Charles wanted the prince to wed someone with the highest aristocratic pedigrees. During his bachelor years, he was often linked to the daughters of dukes and earls, one of whom was Lady Sarah Spencer, older sister to the girl who would become Princess Diana. Lord Louis Mountbatten, a mentor, great-uncle, and surrogate grandfather to the prince, had a match between Charles and his own granddaughter in mind.
Camilla didn&apost possess a title, but she did have a royal link: Her great-grandmother, Alice Keppel, had been a mistress of Edward VII, Charles&apos great-grandfather. Mutual friend Lucia Santa Cruz reportedly joked about the relationship when she introduced them, saying, "Now, you two, be very careful, you’ve got genetic antecedents." Yet the connection wasn&apost one likely to render Camilla more suitable in the eyes of a monarchy dedicated to preserving its public image.
Of course, a few decades later Kate Middleton was able to marry Charles&apos son Prince William even though she was a commoner. Camilla&aposs background wasn&apost a strong asset, but it also wasn&apost the sole reason she was deemed unsuitable.
Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles in 1979
Photo: TIM GRAHAM/Getty Images
Tony Parker announces split from wife Axelle Francine
Tony Parker announced Monday that he and wife Axelle Francine are calling it quits after six years of marriage.
“After nine years together, during which we shared a lot of happiness, and raised two wonderful children, Axelle and I have decided to end our union,” Parker said in a social media statement.
“This separation will be guided by complete mutual respect and the preservation of well-being of our two sons. We’ve decided to make this public now, in order to avoid any rumors or speculation no further comments will be made at this time in order to respect our privacy,” he continued.
Tony Parker and Axelle Francine Corbis via Getty Images
Parker, who played 17 seasons with the San Antonio Spurs, met French journalist Francine in 2011, tying the knot three years later. They share two sons, Josh and Liam, born in 2014 and 2016, respectively.
Prior to his romance with Francine, Parker married “Desperate Housewives” alum Eva Longoria in 2007.
Three years after Longoria and Parker wed in France, the 45-year-old actress filed for divorce amid allegations the former NBA star had a “sexting relationship” with Erin Barry, the wife of fellow “Spurs” player Brent Barry. The Barrys have since split.