[ John Rutherford Gordon, editor of the 'Sunday Express'. ] 'Rough draft' of typed article, with autograph emendations, on Lord Northcliffe, 'the incomparable journalist of the age', written from personal knowledge.

John Rutherford Gordon (1890-1974), editor of London 'Sunday Express' [ Lord Northcliffe [ Alfred Charles William Harmsworth (1865-1922), 1st Viscount Northcliffe ], press baron, owner of Daily Mail ]
Publication details: 
Dated 25 April 1952, and with autograph note stating that it was 'Partly used in Sunday Express [ London ] 27/4/52'.
SKU: 16833

21pp., fourteen of them in 4to, and the other seven pages cut down. In fair condition, on aged and worn paper. Stapled together, with the first leaf detached. The article is complete but untitled. It is unattributed, but comes from the J. R. Gordon papers. A well-written and incisive piece, written from an insider's point of view. Gordon lays out his stall at the very start: 'Few people of our generation have influenced the life of it so profoundly as Lord Northcliffe. He was the incomparable journalist of our age. | There is not a single newspaper in Britain today which does not bear the impress of the revolutionary change he made in journalism. | That change was so tremendous that it is difficult now to measure it, although it took place 60 years ago.' From the first Gordon stresses his own personal connection with Northcliffe: 'What was he like? In youth and through most of the flaming creative, constructive years he was a[s] slim and as handsome in face as a man can ever hope to be. But when I came into association with him, in the final years, the bulk of his body seemed far too heavy for his legs. He walked with his head thrust forward so that he seemed to crouch. He stumped his legs down heavily as he moved. The over handsome face had become fleshy and coppery. The lustre had gone from his eyes. But the magnetism was still there. He was the incarnation of domination.' The account deals with Northcliffe's death, 'in the zenith of his power, [...] in a wooden hut which had been built in a few hours to give him air and isolation on the roof of is great house in Carlton Gardens'. Gordon's final assessment of his subject concludes: 'By freeing newspapers from control by political subsidies, he gave the controller of a newspaper potentially greater political power than anyone in a democracy had ever held before outside the government. He was not himself able to use that power too effectively. But it is there to be used. That problem he also bequeathed to the future.'