Charles Higham was a document forger and total liar as competent researchers have since discovered. Higham places Flynn with people Flynn was never with. He put words in interviewees mouths they never said and made a fictionalized case against Errol Flynn calling it fact. Errol’s lost Spanish Diary that Higham never saw proves exactly where young Flynn was in Spain, who he was with, and where his loyalties were. The diary was found by Flynn’s daughter Deirdre in the bottom of a cardboard box in her back room closet in Los Angeles. Under American law you cannot libel the dead so Higham could not be sued. No matter. His lies were discovered, anyway. You can literally look at documents he altered to tell his lies and see the changes he made to suit hid claims. He died knowing he was exposed as the liar and self-centered cheat he really was …
AS A FAN OF ERROL FLYNN, I KNOW ABOUT THE ANTI-SEMITISM AND ALL THE WHORING AND DRINKING AND DRUGS, HIS DEATH AT 50 WAS THE RESULT. STILL, THE FILM STARS TODAY, CAN’T “HOLD A CANDLE” TO HIM. STILL LOVE WATCHING HIS MOVIES ON TCM.
There is no shortage of books on Errol. The trick is to determine how much of each one is probably true and how much is written for sensationalism or to boost sales. I do not for one moment believe Errol was a Nazi. The guy was into hedonism, not politics. Higham is a good historian, but he must navigate through the usual historical minefields in order to arrive at something close to the truth, just like the rest of us. History is a most inexact field.
I have read much of this information elsewhere and hope that Mr. Royle will one day write more about the sad childhoods of Hollywood stars and how these childhoods affected the mental health and sexual lives of such future celebrities. In Flynn’s case, his mother was incredibly promiscuous and gave Errol a front row seat to her sexual activities. Flynn’s father, a scientist in the field of animal reproductive biology, seems to have a fixation on reproduction and sought sex outside of his marriage, as well. Errol had his first sexual experience very early in life. He had the markings of a sociopath… and extreme charisma (a necessity for successful Hollywood actors/actresses) is a by-product of that. All of this is not to excuse his behavior but to point to a larger problem: many who came to Hollywood seeking fame were broken individuals in one form or another.
What I have observed about the actors during the studio system is that most of them were very poorly educated, bordering on illiterate, and came from broken homes or abusive backgrounds. Such backgrounds scarcely provided them with the necessary character to come to terms with sudden wealth and fame, on an unprecedented scale, in an environment where pretty much anything went. The list of major stars who had horrendous childhoods is long and distinguished – Crawford, Clara Bow, Robert Blake (especially terrible), and Garland are just a few. As for Errol, little wonder he took young Sean to a brothel very early in life. His own upbringing suggested this was quite an acceptable, normal thing to do. I do not know enough about child abuse and its impact to comment knowledgably, but you are certainly correct when you say that many of these people came from terrible home environments in the first place. I appreciate your comments.
You’ve made a lot of very sallacious allegations against Flynn, Mr. Royle, but have provided absolutely no proof, nor even sources or citations. A professed “historian” should not make allegations as if they are true, without proving evidence and citations for your claims.
Please tell us where you learned all these alleged facts of yours, with specific citations. It appears there is no actual proof for what you report as though it’s proven truth. Can you please clear that up for all of us, differentiating between what’s mere rumor and what’s proven truth.
Were this a book I would furnish references, of course, but this is my personal blog containing my impressions and opinions based on extensive research. As for Mr Flynn, he has been written about for decades by hundreds of writers. What I mention here does not come from one or two disgruntled sources. It comes from analyzing a score of reputable sources and forming an opinion based on my findings. People look into blogs for some light reading (well, most of them anyway), and I am not about to deter them by cluttering up my own personal views with dozens of references. The ‘sallacious allegations’, incidentally, were made by numerous writers, even Flynn’s biographers, over many years, so they are certainly not MY ‘sallacious allegations’. I appreciate your candour, but please let me assure you that nothing I have repeated here has not already been stated (and referenced) by many historians before me.
I think what you typed made a lot of sense. But, what about this? what if you were to write a killer headline? I ain’t saying your information isn’t solid, but what if you added a headline to maybe grab folk’s attention? I mean Errol Flynn ( 1909 – 1959 ) ⋆ Historian Alan Royle is kinda boring. You ought to peek at Yahoo’s home page and see how they create article titles to grab people to click. You might add a related video or a related pic or two to grab readers interested about everything’ve got to say.
In my opinion, it could make your posts a little livelier.
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