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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Gem!, 10 Sept. 2013
This review is from: George Harrison That's The Way God Planned It. (Kindle Edition)
I loved this book. Kevin Roach has plainly researched the French and Harrison families and previously unpublished photos and documents have been included. You get a clear picture of the two families who created George Harrison.

Louisa Woollam, George's maternal grandmother is repeatededly called "Louise" throughout the book. Other books report her name as being Louisa, her fourth child and third daughter Louise, a variation of Louisa is plainly her namesake.

Another question was when Harry Harrison and Louise French were reported as having married in May of 1931. All other books and documents record the Harrison-French union as having taken place in May of 1930. Their first child, daughter Louise was born over a year later on August 16, 1931. Roach suggests that the union, which did not take place in a church was because Louise was already expecting their daughter. No place else has this ever been suggested or reported. That is a question as to why and how this was stated in this book.

Readers are treated to stories about the various members of the Harrison and French families. Readers see a picture of Harry's father, Henry Harrison who died in 1914 during WWI at Mons. (Hunter Davies' mentions this briefly in The Beatles: The Authorised Biography. All Davies says is that Henry Harrison was killed in Mons and that his widow, Jane was "put off services" and "didn't want her son to enlist.")

Bonus treats include stories about the lives of the Harrison and French families and readers get a sense of both sets of George's grandparents and great grandparents. I loved the parts about the church Louise French attended for many years. The church was lovely and a most welcome addition to and a very important part of the French/Harrison story. A devoted Catholic, Louise had all 4 of her little Harrisons baptized at Our Lady of Good Help, their neighborhood parish. Each Harrison child's baptismal certificate is included, along with those of Harold Sr. and Louise French. An interesting aside: Louise and her children's baptismal certificates are written in Latin and the names inscribed on each are Latinized. Harold Sr., who was not baptized in a Catholic church had a baptismal certificate written entirely in English.

An additional aside: the two oldest Harrison children, Louise and little Harold were baptized on the same day. Lou was nearly 3 and her brother little more than a newborn at the time. (George's Catholic roots stayed with him and bore fruit. He kept a beautiful statue of Mother Mary on his grounds at Friar Park.)

Another treat was the painting of the lovely house and garden where Louisa Woollam grew up. Gardening and a love for flora ran on both sides of the Harrison-French families and it should come as no surprise that George loved gardening and saw himself as a gardener. There is a lot of Louise French in George - he was Harold Sr. from the eyes up and Louise French from the nose down. In 1965, Louise told her son's fan club members that she thought George looked like her dad, a tall man from Ireland. An avid gardener herself, Louise chafed at the move from her original home with Harry to the famed home in Speke because she was displeased with the way many neighborhood kids trampled her garden. In 1965 when George bought the senior Harrisons a lovely home in Appleton, he made sure there was plenty of land for them to garden, much to their delight.

This book is a gift that keeps giving. Readers will thank Kevin Roach for his tireless contributions and research and George's sister Louise and their cousin Anthony French for their invaluable input and contributions. Thank you!
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Initial post: 10 Sep 2013, 20:54:10 BST
S Riaz says:
Great review :)
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