Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble …
from MacEliza, by Wheeljam Agitate-Assegai


When politicians blow up bubbles –
Iridescent, large and fat –
It can only lead to troubles
You can be quite sure of that!
They’re elected, bubble wobbles,
Vanishes from where it’s at;
Just a damp mark on the cobbles
Is to show where it went splat. 



   What do the names Thomas J. Barrett, Sir John Everett Millais, and Admiral Sir William James mean to you? Not much? And if one throws in Henry Ward Beecher the religious leader and Lillie Langtry, famous ivory-complexioned actress, what then?

  If still a blank, then perhaps the name of Thomas’s wife might start lights flashing. She was Mary Pears. Hubby took over daddy-in-law’s soap manufacturing company, and soon proved that he was a genius at advertising. He got Beecher to endorse a campaign equating cleanliness (and Pears’ Soap) with godliness, and Lillie endorsed the soap with this famous ad: 

  It is interesting to note the numerous different spellings of her name one finds on the Web.  Even if it wasn’t her own (which was Emilie Charlotte Le Breton) SHE obviously knew how she wanted to spell it, so one wonders where they all get the Lilly, Lily, and Langtree from.

  The most famous ad of all, of course, is the one which gave Admiral Sir William James his lifelong nickname of ‘Bubbles’. Yes, he was the golden-haired model for grandfather Millais’s painting, which Barret bought and then got the rights from Millais to add the name and the bar of soap you will see in the foreground: 

   Sadly, the soap is no longer what I have regarded as the best on the market for my whole life. Modern greed (and stupidity) changed the formula in 2009, and the present product is a shadow of its former self. It is no longer worthy of that wonderful ‘Bubbles’ ad.

  Thanks to side view for my second bash at this topic – she got me to do it the first time on Sunday 25 August 2007!

About colonialist

Active septic geranium who plays with words writing fantasy novels and professionally editing, with notes writing classical music, and with riding a mountain bike, horses and dinghies. Recently Indie Publishing has been added to this list.
This entry was posted in Nonsense verse, Really Awful Rhyme, Writing and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to I’M FOREVER BLOWING …

  1. Tandy says:

    Pears soap reminds me of my grandmother – I did not know they had changed the formula!


  2. nrhatch says:

    Good thunks, Colonialist.

    As a teen, I loved Herbal Essence shampoo. The fragrance . . . aah! Now they make 47 different scents of Herbal Essence . . . and none of them hold a candle to the original.


  3. nuvofelt says:

    That’s the trouble when accountants get their hands on things. They don’t know anything about cooking of any sort – except the books 😉


  4. adeeyoyo says:

    Oh, yes, Col – the NEW IMPROVED products that never are!


  5. SidevieW says:

    yes, it used to be wonderful stuff, but now its more like cheap rubbish, what a pity


  6. Cindy says:

    You’re right, Col, it’s not the same, so sad. As a child I thought Pears’ quite the most glamorous thing.


    • colonialist says:

      The advertising was brilliant, but the thing is that the product was really good to start off with. It worked well as a soap, but was mild on the skin. I liked that subtle herbal aroma, too.


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