Sunday 23 July 2017

Komodo Dragons: The Moyne Zoo Quest Expedition of 1934-5 and Lady Broughton’s photographs

One way to get animals from faraway places in the early decades of the 20th Century was to get the super-rich of the day to collect them. One such expedition, which brought Komodo Dragons to London Zoo (not the first as is often claimed but the third and fourth to be received there) was that of Lord Moyne, Walter Edward Guinness (1880-1944). The clue to his wealth is the surname. 

In 1933 Guinness bought a cross-channel ferry from Southern Railways, had it converted to diesel power and renamed it Rosaura. In December 1934 the yacht set off for the islands of the Pacific and Indian Oceans; Clementine Churchill, wife of Winston, was one of the guests; she joined at Messina. Moyne flew to Rangoon and joined the yacht there. His observations on the varied cultures were published in his book, Walkabout: A Journey in Lands Between the Pacific and Indian Oceans (Heinemann, 1936).

Photographs on the expedition cruise were taken by Lady Broughton, who also joined at Rangoon  with Moyne, and who is variously described as ‘companion’, ‘friend’ and ‘mistress’ according to the source and era of publication; she wrote an article for National Geographic Magazine describing how they captured the dragons.

Lady Vera Edyth Broughton (1894-1968) at the time was married to Sir Jock Delves Broughton. They were divorced in 1940 and he achieved notoriety as a member of the Happy Valley set in Kenya after the lover of his second wife was shot dead; Delves Broughton was acquitted of the murder but killed himself at the Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool in December 1942. The film White Mischief covers the story with varying degrees of historical accuracy.

Throughout the 1930s Lady Broughton was known as an explorer, as a big game hunter, as a pursuer of large fish with rod and line and as a photographer of the natural history and anthropological worlds. Quite a gal.

She and Moyne were involved in fishing for what were known in Britain as tunny fish at Scarborough during the 1930s. It is difficult to imagine now that Scarborough was a resort of the super rich of the 1930s but it was the fishing for very large individuals of Atlantic Bluefin Tuna (Thunnus thynnus) that took them to the town where they sere seen bringing their catches to be weighed by the holidaymakers from the industrial midlands and north. My father recalled seeing the huge fish (some weighing over 300 kg) being brought ashore. In 1949 although I saw no tuna but I do recall photographs on display that showed the giants being weighed. The tuna, incidentally, disappeared as the North Sea was overfished and shoals of their prey species became depleted.

Captioned: August 1933: Amongst the tunny fishers at Dogger Bank are Lord Moyne and Ladt Broughton

Lord Moyne, a friend and political supporter of Churchill in the 1930s, is now remembered in Britain more for his demise—assassinated in 1944 while in Egypt by members of the Jewish terrorist group, the Stern Gang—than his achievements in life. He was serving as Resident Minister in the wartime coalition government.

In her article in National Geographic on the Komodo Dragon, Lady Broughton wrote:

One of the most prized inhabitants of the London Zoo had died—a dragon lizard from the island of Komodo.     As the zoo was eager to replace this interesting creature, rare in captivity, Lord Moyne, who had visited Komodo some years previously agreed to revisit the island last year with the object of securing specimens. I had the good fortune to be one of Lord Moyne’s guests on his yacht Rosaura and to have opportunity to take the accompanying photographs…
     The Netherlands Resident of Timor, responsible for the government of these islands, kindly came to Komodo in his yacht with several of his officials while we were there, and our success in capturing the “dragons” was mainly due to the help of our obliging friends…
     We spent about ten days on Komodo in our effort to catch the largest possible specimens. We secured seven, but, as we had permission to bring back only three, we released the smaller captives whenever we could replace them by larger ones.
     …I was able to spend my time procuring a series of pictures. Neat the rock where the trap had previously stood, we tied up a dead goat and prepared a cover of green canvas and branches, from behind which I could watch and photograph the reptiles without being seen by them…
     In their wild state they are said to be dangerous, but I cannot support this statement. I spent days watching, at close range, dragons of all sizes up to about twelve feet in length. I had no protection other than the small hedge of cut branches and leaves. At no time did the creatures show any signs of attacking me…

Lady Broughton in her hide (blind in USA) from
National Geographic article. The camera appears
to be a Dainty Soho Reflex taking 2 ½" x 3 ½"
 plates held in double dark-slides.

She concluded:

     When the yacht was some days out on the homeward journey, one of the dragons burst its way through the netting, and, as no trace of it was ever found on the ship, presumably it jumped overboard. The other two were safely delivered to the zoo and, in addition, our cameras had captured numerous others that are still free to partake of their odoriferous banquets on the hills and beaches of Komodo.

Komodo Dragons were not the only animals brought back. There is an appendix to the book (which I have not seen) which lists them. Clementine Churchill brought back a dove from Bali.

Photographs of the two dragons at London Zoo by Wolf Suschitzky are shown in Animal and Zoo Magazine April 1941. In the description of the Reptile House, David Seth-Smith wrote: In the end cases of the house are to be found the Komodo dragons…Were the enclosure he described those at the raised end of the house latterly used to house crocodilians? Previously, Geoffrey Vevers had reported in the same magazine (April 1939 issue): …the two seven-foot long komodo dragons have been moved to larger quarters as they have outgrown their former home. They were presented by Lord Moyne in 1935, and have been growing steadily ever since at the rate of half a foot a year.

Wolf Suschitzky's photographs of the two dragons at London Zoo
from Animal and Zoo Magazine

Hampton Wildman Parker’s (1897-1968) article in the third issue (Autumn 1946) of Zoo Life, the postwar magazine launched by the Zoological Society, takes up the story: Additional specimens, which died only recently, were collected and presented to the Zoo in 1936[1935 - there are a number of errors with dates in this article] by the late Lord Moyne, but these also, after nine years in captivity, gave no indication that they were likely to grow to a length greater than about ten feet.

Lady Broughton mentioned in her National Geographic article that cine film was taken during the expedition. I have found an entry on Lord Clement-Jones’s website:

Recently Project Walkabout held a reception in the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association room next to Westminster Hall to celebrate the expeditions to the South Pacific undertaken by Walter Guinness, Lord Moyne and by my great Aunt Vera Delves Broughton. 
Project Walkabout is a charity set up by the grandchildren of Walter and Vera, Diana Moores and Lavinia Verney respectively, with the objective of preserving the film taken at that time by Arthur, Viscount Elvedon, another member of the Guinness family.This is their website. The reception featured photographs taken by Vera and clips of some of the restored footage courtesy of Susanne Hammacher of the Royal Anthropological Institute.

I have no further information on what has happened to the project but it would be rather nice to see the BBC broadcasting digitised versions of these historically important films rather than throwing huge amounts of licence-payers’ money at inane celebrity presenters.

Broughton. 1936. A modern dragon hunt on Komodo. National Geographic Magazine 70 (3, September 1936), 321-331

Soames M. 2002. Clementine Churchill, London: Doubleday

Sunday 16 July 2017

Maxwell Knight, MI5’s Greatest Spymaster. A second biography of the MI5 officer, amateur naturalist and broadcaster

Like London buses, you wait for ages and then two come along. Well, not quite because there is a gap of 33 years between these two but the subject and the subject matter are identical: Maxwell Knight.

The publication in 1984 of the book by Anthony Masters (1940-2003) The Man Who Was M came as a shock to those of use of a certain age who knew Maxwell Knight as a populist amateur naturalist and animal keeper who was a regular on BBC radio and, sometimes, television and who instilled an interest in young listeners and readers that helped start them in careers as professional biological scientists. The shock came from knowing what Knight did earlier in life because he had been a highly successful agent runner for the government security service MI5 and had achieved notable successes in infiltrating himself and, later, his agents into fascist organisations with links to nazi Germany in the 1930s and 40s and into communist organisations with links to and control from the Soviet Union.

Since 1984, additional information has emerged, several books have been published and a number of websites contain information. One book had material from it available to Masters. That one was a sensationalist and, it has been claimed, a rather fanciful account by Joan Miller, an associate of Knight in MI5. Another deals with a particular case, The Kent-Wolkoff Affair. The new material, some from recently declassified MI5 files, has been incorporated in the new book, Maxwell Knight, MI5’s Greatest Spymaster by Henry Hemming.

In many respects, therefore, the new book is like a second edition of the old. It kills a few canards and presents a more balanced view than was possible with material available to Masters in the early 1980s.

Maxwell Knight though remains an enigma: a chameleon by trade, from adopting the persona of a fascist activist in the 1930s to the avucular broadcaster in the 1960s; an inhabitant of a secret world who courted publicity (a castaway on Desert Island Discs for example); an impotent thrice-married womaniser; a gentleman burglar; a naturalist with an amateur interest in the occult.

Maxwell Knight retired early—at the age of 55—from MI5 on the grounds of ill health in 1961. By then though he was already well known by BBC audiences. Hemming writes:

Max—he was no longer ‘M’—was by 1961 one of the BBC’s most prolific broadcasters. In the 1950s alone, he featured in at least 306 original radio broadcasts, he had no fewer than 20 books published in this one decade, he appeared on television more than 40 times, excluding repeats, he gave lectures throughout the country and he wrote numerous magazine articles, all on the subject of natural history. His rich, reassuring voice was synonymous by 1960 with radio programmes such as The Naturalist, Country Questions, Nature Parliament and Naturalists’ Notebook. Max also popped up on Woman’s Hour, did schools programming and featured on television programmes such as Look and the panel show Animal, Vegetable, Mineral. When children became junior members of the London Zoo in 1965, one of the advertised benefits was the chance to attend “film shows and lectures given during the school holidays, when you can meet famous animal experts such as David Attenborough, Maxwell Knight, and Peter Scott”.

His secret and public lives overlapped.

Hemming does make the connexion between Knight’s two lines of work. John Le Carré (who worked under Knight in MI5) illustrated two of his books. But it is links with the Zoological Society of London that are intriguing. Hemming notes that Knight was a member of council at the same time as Ivor Montagu (1904-1984; zoologist, film-maker and table tennis enthusiast) ‘a Soviet agent who had been followed around London thirty-none years earlier by Eric Roberts, acting on Max’s instructions’. There were other former security and secret service officers around the Zoo in the later decades of the last century. One was Gwynne Vevers† but there were others. However, the mix is even more interesting. Gwynne’s father, Geoffrey Marr Vevers (1890-1970), Superintendent of the Zoo until 1948 was a strong supporter of the Soviet Union and its political system, before and during the Second World War (he edited Anglo Soviet Journal) as was his boss, Sir Peter Chalmers Mitchell (1864-1945), Secretary of the Society from 1903 until 1935. There were also links to Ivor Montagu through the distribution of Soviet propaganda films. Many of the individuals involved must have been of interest to MI5, however innocent or humanitarian the motives of those involved since a number of the network of organisations were covertly controlled either directly or indirectly from Moscow, and as we now know some individuals were active Soviet agents. The biographies of Knight stress how he argued strongly within MI5 that the threat of Soviet espionage within the British government was real. He expressed his views in an internal memorandum, ‘The Comintern Is Not Dead’ and history showed with Burgess, Maclean, Philby, Blunt et et al. that he was right. I cannot help but think that at the Zoo, Maxwell Knight was  initially mixing business with pleasure.

Closer to home on the other side of the fence was the sister of the photographer who illustrated another of his books. The great photographer and cinematographer, Wolfgang Suschitzky, (1912-2016) who had set out in life determined to be a zoologist, worked a great deal at London and Whipsnade zoos, his photographs there illustrating many articles and books. His sister, Edith Tudor-Hart (1908-1973), was most certainly of interest to MI5 since she was a major talent spotter and recruiter of the Cambridge spy ring as well as acting as a courier and supplier of photographic equipment to Soviet spies. She also worked as a photographer and one of her photographs, of children exploring a rock pool, appeared in the August 1939 issue of Animal and Zoo Magazine.

Both Masters and Hemming posed the question of what drove Maxwell Knight to pursue (some said in a pushing manner) his second career as a broadcaster and writer. Money seemed to be the answer. He retired early from MI5 on medical grounds. I do not know what the pension arrangements were then but my estimate is that with his thirty years service he would have been on something like three-quarters of half his final salary. Given that he was not in the top echelons of MI5 and had an expensive lifestyle in rented property it is easy to see why a second stream of income was needed.

Although this is not a book review there are a few statements of a zoological nature in Hemming that range from dubious to an outright howler. In drawing a parallel with his handling of animals and his brilliant handling of his agents, his ability to get a wild-caught toad to feed from the hand is mentioned: ‘Few wild-born toads will feed from a human hand. Fewer still are happy to do this after so little time in captivity’. In my experience this is not true. A hungry toad fresh from the wild will readily accept an earthworm dangled in front of its nose.

Then there is a photograph showing ‘Knight with his favourite pet. Goo the cuckoo’ with quite clearly a young Greater-spotted Woodpecker on his shoulder. The correct photograph for that caption is plate 27 of Masters. Finally, surely every schoolboy knows the plural of mongoose is not ‘mongeese’.

Now we have had two biographies of Maxwell Knight (the latter produced with little reference to the former) how long until we get a third? Will we eventually know what service he performed for the King which led to his receiving in 1931 a gold cigarette case inscribed with the royal cipher and his name?

*Charles Henry Maxwell Knight, 1900-1968. See also the website M: Maxwell Knight and the Frightened Face of Nature

†A BBC producer, Winwood Reade, responsible for many of Maxwell Knight’s broadcasts was the third wife (out of four) of Gwynne Vevers; she was interviewed by Masters,

Hemming H. 2017. Maxwell Knight, MI5’s Greatest Spymaster. London: Preface

Masters A. 1984. The Man Who Was M. The Life of Maxwell Knight. Oxford: Blackwell

Clough B. 2005. State Secrets. The Kent-Wolkoff Affair. Hove: Hideaway

Miller J. 1986. One Girl’s War. Dingle: Brandon

Thursday 6 July 2017

Komodo Dragons in the 1930s: a zoo quest before ‘Zoo Quest’ with links to Adolf Hitler, nazi spy scares, the FBI, a cuckolded husband and John F Kennedy

I was mystified when I came across an article in the June 1939 edition of Animal and Zoo Magazine. I have read a fair bit both scientific and popular on the natural history and history of the Komodo Dragon. Some of the popular books and articles I found to contain misprints, incorrect references and misinterpretations and none that I had found covered the story in that article from 1939.

Reading the article, entitled ‘Island of Dragons’ was the start of a search for more information but one which seemed at first attempt to lead nowhere. The article was written by Dr Paul Fejas (note the spelling ‘Fejas') and describes his attempts to capture Komodo Dragons and, under licence from the Dutch colonial government, to ship one to Stockholm Zoo and another to Copenhagen. He caught nineteen, chose two of moderate size that he thought would withstand the long journey, and released the rest. He noted that the two reached their destinations.

But who was the writer? Google searches revealed nothing but came back suggesting I meant ‘Fejos’ not ‘Fejas’. Eventually I realised that the magazine article was by Dr Paul Fejos (1897-1963). A typographical error had led me on a wild goose chase. I should not have been surprised because in the same article ‘Paranus’ instead of ‘Varanus’ is used a couple of times.

from Dodds (1973)

It was Dr Paul Fejos who collected the dragons while on Komodo to film them, thereby predating the BBC’s Zoo Quest and its same objectives by nearly twenty years. His own remarkable history is exceeded by that of Inga Arvad (1913-1973) his then wife—the subject of a recent book—a Scandinavian beauty queen, journalist and actress who interviewed Adolf Hitler and other leading nazis, who was suspected of being a German spy by the paranoid but thorough F.B.I., who became, while married to Fejos and being bugged by the F.B.I., the yet-to-be President John F. Kennedy’s lover and who, later, became a leading British politician’s short-term fiancée. 

Paul Fejos rewrote his own history so there are a number of alt-facts, i.e. lies, myths and legends, out there. His version appears in a biography that verges on a hagiography published shortly after his death; even the author of that—a friend of Fejos—did not not know what was truth and what was self-made myth. The truth seems more prosaic but nonetheless remarkable. 

Paul Fejos was born in Hungary in 1897. According to a Wikipedia biography which seems to sort the myths from reality in his early life, he served as a medical orderly in the Austrian Army on the Italian Front in the First Word War while a medical student. He graduated from the Royal Hungarian Medical University in Budapest (now Semmelweis University) in 1921 but developed a fascination for cinema and theatre, directing films, plays and operas. He never practised medicine. He left Hungary in 1923 and reached the U.S.A. via Vienna, Paris and Berlin. After manual work in a piano factory he found a job as technician at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York working for Jacques Jacob Bronfenbrenner (1883-1953) on bacteriophages. He left there for California and the hope of getting to Hollywood. The story of how he got started as a director there involves being picked up while hitchhiking by a rich man who wanted to be a film producer.

The cinema buffs’ websites describe Fejos’s successful career as a Hollywood director. But he tired of the place and returned to Europe to make early sound films. By 1934 he was in Denmark working for Nordisk (now making some of the Scandi series shown on BBC4 on Saturday nights).. It was during this time that he married, as his third wife, Inga Arvad, whom he recruited to star in one of his films. But he was tiring of fiction and while trying to get out of his contract with Nordisk persuaded them to send him to Madagascar with a cameraman but without Inga to make a documentary. Although unsuitable for a full-length feature film, the footage was used to make a series of documentaries which, by being factual rather than staged stories, earned the respect of anthropologists.

Fejos was hooked by his new interest in anthropology. He was commissioned by the Swedish Svensk Filmindistri to make a whole series of ethnographic films in Asia. In 1937 and 1938 he and Inga travelled in much of the Far East and made films in Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea, Ceylon and Thailand during 1937 and 1938, including the 13-minute The Komodo Dragon (Draken på Komodo). Although Inga was supposed to be radio operator and ‘script girl’ she was left at the Helena May Institute in Hong Kong when the film crew set off for Komodo. But the first landing on Komodo was a disaster—allegedly. Fejos’s motor boat lowered from a freighter into a strong current hit a reef and split in two. The three men (Fejos, camera and radio operators) swam ashore and managed only to retrieve rope and torches. They could find no water and felt doomed. But the ship that that dropped them appeared on the horizon during the night. It had gone round the island because of the state of the tide rather than sail away through the strait between Komodo and Sumbawa. Using a torch from the top of the tree they managed to signal SOS and the ship’s boat picked them up the next day. Another—this time successful—landing was made a few weeks later, with Inga being left on the neighbouring island of Sumbawa. I will return to the filming and capture of the dragons later.

Whilst in Singapore, the film party was invited on board the yacht Southern Cross by her owners, Axel and Marguerite Wenner-Gren. According to Inga’s biography, the meeting was engineered by Fejos’s sound recordist who contacted the Wenner-Grens to say that fellow Scandinavians were in Singapore making films about the East. That meeting set Fejos off in a completely new direction.

Axel Wenner-Gren was said to be one of the wealthiest men in the world. He owned Electrolux, early manufacturers of washing machines and refrigerators, and was one of the founders of Saab. Fejos and Wenner-Gren became great friends and the latter decided to finance a filming expedition to Peru in 1939. It started in Maldonado (yup, been there, tick) in the Peruvian amazon and went badly. Peruvian soldiers accompanying part of the large expedition were inveigled into helping one tribe involved in a tribal war. At least one death resulted. But while in Cusco Fejos heard reports of buried cities and obtained further funding from Wenner-Gren to explore the area along the trail to Machu Picchua and beyond. Here the expedition uncovered, mapped and photographed large and small Incan cities and roads. He also continued, between phases of the main expedition, his ethnographic filming.

While all this was going on Inga had been left in the U.S.A. Her links as a budding journalist with Hitler and other leading nazis and Wenner-Gren’s suspected support for nazi Germany (including using his vast South American holdings to advance German infiltration in South America) created the perfect storm. The F.B.I. kept a close and paranoid eye on both of them as well as on Fejos’s expedition.

It was while Fejos was in South America that Inga began her affair with John F. Kennedy. He was serving in the Office of Naval Intelligence. The F.B.I. bugged there every action and it is thought the head of the F.B.I., J. Edgar Hoover, used the material to remind the then President Kennedy that he had it and that he wished to remain in post; he did.

Fejos and Inga Arvad were divorced in 1942. In the meantime, Wenner-Gren in dispute with the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, set up the Viking Fund in New York to support anthropology. He endowed the fund with $2.5 million worth of shares in Electrolux and Servel (fridges and air conditioners) and appointed Paul Fejos to run it.

Eventually it was realised that neither Inga Arvad and Wenner-Gren (who had his assets frozen by the U.S. and British governments) were nazi sympathisers. The Viking Fund was re-named the Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research in 1951, Fejos remained as its head until his death in 1963. The Foundation continues to support research in anthropology.

I do not know how history has treated Paul Fejos’s reputation in his final career in ethnology and anthropology. The fact that he supported the Jesuit Teilhard de Chardin (1881-1955) and his crazy notions on human evolution I could not fail to hold against him.

But back to Komodo. The article in Animal and Zoo Magazine describes how he caught the dragons and in notes published in his biography, Fejos wrote of his second landing:

     A little later I went back to the blasted island, because I decided that I wouldn't allow it to lick me. But I went back with two native sailboats and many fresh coconuts. We drank coconut water during the whole time and were able to work. Also, I brought some extra coolies with me, and we trapped the dragons in traps which we constructed on the island. They were box, gravity-fall traps; a skeleton of a box was made with wood, and then chicken wire nailed on it all around. We put a dead goat inside, and about three days later when the goat smelled to high heaven, then the dragons came down, one after the other.
     The Komodo dragon was even then a protected animal; nobody was allowed to catch or shoot one. But when I told the Java officials what we had seen, they asked me please to try to catch one for the zoo in Java, if I went back. They gave me permission to capture or kill two animals for myself and to capture one for them, which I did. When I came back, they asked me how many were on the island, and I said, “I haven't the slightest idea, but from what I saw and the frequency of the encounter, maybe three or four hundred, maybe more.

'Having slipped a noose around your dragon's neck your difficulties
are only just starting, as the picture below shows'
Animal and Zoo Magazine
'Though equipped with formidable teeth the dragon's most powerful weapon
is his scaly tail'
'The wire trap is set with its inviting bait of goat or deer, and when caught,
the dragon still needs careful watching, for it is very cunning.

     Of the two we captured and kept, one went to the Zoological Gardens in Stockholm, and one went to the Zoological Gardens in Copenhagen, where in due course they died, not from illness or climate, but from visitors. Some stupid visitor threw beer caps into the place and they ate them. One of them had a perforated intestine; we performed an autopsy on him later. The one which went to Stockholm was 14½ feet long, the Copenhagen one 13 feet.

There is a photograph of the one sent to Copenhagen but by this time stuffed and on display in the museum. 

from Dodds (1973)

Fejos’s collecting activities are not mentioned in The Living Dragon by Dick and Marie Lutz. The authors suggest that the Stockholm and Copenhagen specimens were obtained by de Jong in 1937 who collected on Flores and possibly Komodo and who supplied a number of zoos with specimens. Clearly we now know the ones in Stockholm and Copenhagen came from Fejos.

Readers in Britain of a certain age will be puzzled to learn which well-known politician was Inga briefly affianced. It was Robert Boothby, later Lord Boothby, the ambisexual ‘bounder but not a cad’ who was the long-term lover of the Prime Minister’s wife, Dorothy Macmillan, and acquaintance—at least—of the notorious Kray twins.

So having had a celebrity magazine tour of the 1930s and 40s, I found that having searched fruitlessly for the misprinted name above the main article, Animal and Zoo Magazine had go it right, as Fejos, in the list of contents on the first page!

Paul Fejos in 1962
by Robert Fuchs (in oils)
(reproduced in Dodds, 1963)

Dodds JW. 1973. The Several Lives of Paul Fejos. Wnnner-Gren Foundation. (John Wendell Dodds 1902-1989, Stanford University)*

Dodds JW. 1963. Eulogy for Paul Fejos. Current Anthropology 4, 405-406*

Farris, S. Inga. Kennedy’s Great Love, Hitler’s Perfect Beauty, and J. Edgar Hoover’s Prime Suspect. Guilford, Connecticut: LP

Fejas [sic] P. 1939. Island of Dragons. Animal and Zoo Magazine 4 (1, June 1939) 4-6

Lutz D, Lutz JM. 1997. The Living Dragon. 2nd edition. Salem, Oregon: DIMI Press

*When I bought the biography for a song from a bookseller, the eulogy was found folded inside together with a letter which began:

The Wenner-Gren Foundation is pleased to send you with its compliments this copy of The Several Lives of Paul Fejos. This limited edition is being distributed to many of the Foundation’s past and current grantees, to those who have helped the Foundation over the years in the design and execution of its programs, and to others who will want to gain insight into the traditions of the Foundation’s philosophy, style and approach.
Unfortunately, the book bears no signature or plate so I do not know who the recipient was.