Herbert Roy Maslen Chamberlain

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      I am not a BSRP member, but I am researching Herbert Roy Maslen (or Maslin) Chamberlain, who happens to be a former BSRP president. If you would be able to post my inquiry to the online message board, it would be greatly appreciated.

      Ultimately, I am interested in tracking down a copy of H. R. M. Chamberlain’s privately printed manuscript “The Eunuch in Society” (1927). By “privately printed,” I understand it was self-published, most likely in very small numbers. The “orientalist” scholar Norman Mosley Penzer (1892-1960) reported receiving a copy, but it is unknown if any copies survive today. In attempting to find this manuscript, I’ve uncovered a bit of information about Chamberlain himself.

      Born around 1895 in London to a father who worked as a window ticket writer, Chamberlain served as a lieutenant in the First World War for several years and would have been about 24 years old when the war ended. He gained a B.Sc. in Economics and worked as a teacher and lecturer. After his manuscript “The Eunuch in Society” was complete, he married Marjorie Constance Mason in 1928. He was neighbors with Norman Mosley Penzer in St. Johns Wood in the 1930s. (Penzer was a fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and most likely studied at Oxford, but it’s unknown whether Chamberlain had any such affiliations or how he otherwise came to be acquainted with Penzer.) Having divorced Marjorie, in 1943 he married Mabel (Eaton) Vardon, the widow of Leonard Harry Vardon of the famous golf family. They lived in Brighton and Worthing. He did not have any children with either of his wives. He owned and rented property together with his only sibling, Doris Eileen Chamberlain.

      Known as “Roy” to friends, Chamberlain served as president of the BSRP for the last ten years of his life, 1951-1961. His obituary is in the Journal’s 30th issue, which was kindly provided to me by Lenard Tiller.

      Here is a photograph of his grave:


      With the goal of locating a copy of his privately printed manuscript, I would be most interested to know:

      Where did he study?

      Where did he teach?

      Is there a photograph of him?

      Did he publish anything else? He contributed a fine essay on “The Art of Benin” to an anthology supported by London antiques dealers, edited by W. L. Hanchant in 1929, which I obtained. It would be surprising to me if this were his only published work. I would be happy to share the essay with anyone who is interested.

      I requested copies of the wills for H. R. M. & Mabel Chamberlain over three months ago, hoping it might tell me where his papers went, but unfortunately have not heard back from that agency yet.

      Thank you in advance,

      Tucker Lieberman

      Boston, Mass., USA


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