Tuesday, August 05, 2008

How a Naked "Jane" Inspired British Troops in WW II

One of my favorite series on PBS is Foyle's War.  I have LOVED Michael Kitchen ever since Reckless - (another one for your netflix list).   Reckless also stars the admirable Francesca Annis and cutey pie Robson Green. 

In Foyle's War, Kitchen plays DCS Foyle and solves crime in Hastings (as in the battle of Hastings, yes).   His line delivery is so terrific.  

In the final episode, there was a brief reference to a cartoon character Jane.  I was curious so looked it up.  
The British comic strip Jane was dubbed “the strip that teased,” and during World War II, the strip and its heroine, frequently flouncing through the panels in her frilly underthings, were the first thing soldiers turned to in London’s Daily Mirror, the newspaper for which Jane had been created. Jane teased but, according to legend, she never appeared naked -- until a particularly significant day in 1944. 

“After years of teasing and lingerie,” Paul Gravett reports in Great British Comics, “artist Norman Pett had finally caught his character in one panel in the altogether, drying herself with a towel the morning after June 6. That day was D-Day, when a great armed armada had swept across the Channel to take the Normandy beaches. What better way for Jane to congratulate the troops following that historic day and boost their morale further?” Jane’s “inspirational impact upon the British Tommy,” Gravett assures us, was no exaggeration.

For more, included replications of the cartoon panels, click here.  Very cool.  Very historic. 

No comments: