The Brave cover

by Patrick van der Splinter and Martin Jansen
We have some 'old news' for you this time, about Brave's cover. Why in 'Textual'? For people in Holland who, in Aardschok of May 1994, read the review of the concert Marillion did in Paradiso, Amsterdam, on March 28 of that year, this won't come as a surprise. But let's start at the beginning.

In 'By the Way' you were already able to read at one time that the back cover was originally intded to be the front. The front cover as we know it didn't come into the picture until later. At that time only the photograph of the girl existed, actually - who's not the same, by the way, as the film's leading lady - Bill Smith Studio felt the cover still needed something extra. Perhaps also because Steve Hogarth's diary had played such an important part in the coming about of the ideas for Brave, the decision was made to use a piece of handwriting. They were looking for a handwriting which wouldn't be to easy to read or to decipher, also - among other things - because it wasn't ment as an 'extension piece' of the album. Eventually Bill Smith himself, leafing through a book from his bookshelf, found an illustrative text which met the requirements perfectly; a handwritten page in... yes Dutch. He passed the illustration on to the designer and the rest is proverbial history.

The band were informed about the origin and the use of the handwriting shortly after the album's release, and decided not to make the fact public, seeing as they didn't want people to think the text had also been an inspiration to write the album. Yet we too were made aware of the handwriting shortly after that; during a telephone conversation, manager John Arnison asked our chairman René Romswinckel whether we'd noticed here in Holland that it was a Dutch text, and if we knew what is said. Neither was the case; after a lot of poring over the cover and some guess work we did end up with the words 'gruwelijkste' (i.e. 'horrible'; top), 'zu lijken' ('they seem'; fourth line) and 'is me ten enenmale' ('simply'; third line from bottom), but we remained in the dark as to its purport and origin.

Shortly after that, therefore, we lost sight of the 'handwriting enigma'. We did habe a few hunches of course, and on March 30 1994 a visit to the library lead to the confirmation of one of them. The handwriting turned out to be a fragment of the entry on Saturday, July 15 1994, in the diary of Anne Frank.

The contents of the fragment link up wonderfully with an important theme on Brave, in that it's sometimes very hard for young people not to lose faith in the world. The pressure, the confusion, the shattered dreams and ideals, the fear, the despair. That is sheer coincidence however; when we told the bank about our discovery the next day, and asked them about the why and wherefore, it appeared none of them had read the diary or knew what the fragment said. And so the fragment was never intended to be a real part of Brave either.

Furthermore Steve Hogarth explained why the band didn't want the story of the fragment to receive too much attention; people might misunderstand it and think the bank had put on the extreme suffering of Anne Frank as a sort of jacket, in order to write Brave. For the sake of clearness: the handwriting was used totally coincidentally and there is absolutely no thought of an intentional reference.

The original photo, which is used for the cover of Brave
photo: Michael Johnson

Still now, more than a year and a half after the fact, we didn't want to keep this story from you any longer - after all, well over twenty thousand readers of Aardschok know about it already, be it they're less fully informed. Apart from that the parallel between the fragment and the album is striking enough, and certainly worth mentioning. On the next page you therefore find the passage from the diary, out of which the fragment in question was taken. The parts of the original manuscript, visible in Dutch on Brave's cover are between brackets ([......]).

Copy of the original manuscript

(...)'For in its innermost depths youth is lonelier than old age'. I read this saying in some book and I've always remembered it, and found it to be true. Is it true then that grown-ups have a more difficult time here than we do? No. I know it isn't. Older people have formed their opinions, in a time when all ideals are being shattered and destroyed, when people are showing their worst side, and do not know whether to believe in truth and right and God. Anyone who claims that the older ones have a more difficult time here, certainly doesn't realise to what extent our problems weight down on us, problems for which we are probably much to young, but which thrust themselves upon us continually, until, after a long time, we think we've found a solution, but the solution doesn't seem able to resist the facts which reduce it to nothing again. That's the difficulty in these times; ideals, dreams, and cherished hopes rise within us only to meet the [horrible truth and be shattered.
It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet, I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart. I simply can't build up my hopes on a foundation consisting of confusion, misery, and death. I see the world gradually] being turned into a wilderness, I hear the ever-approaching thunder, which will destroy us too, I can feel the sufferings of millions and yet, if I look up into the heavens, I think that it will all come right, that this cruelty too will end, and that peace and tranquillity will return again.
In the meantime, I must uphold my ideals, for perhaps the time will come when I shall be able to carry them out.
Yours, Anne M. Frank

From: The Diary of Anne Frank
1954 Pan Books Ltd., London
(Dutch original used for research:)
Het Achterhuis, Dagboekbrieven 12 juni 1942 - 1 augustus 1994
Revised and duplicated edition
Only authorised and duplicated edition: Otto H. Frank en Mirjam Pressler
1994 Uitgeverij Bert Bakker, Amsterdam
1991 Anne Frank foundation, Basle, Switzerland

Anne Frank was born on June 12 1929 in Basle, Switzerland. She lived in Holland when, as a result of the nazi's persecution of the Jews, on July 8 1942 she, her father and mother and her sister were forced to go into hiding in the 'Achterhuis', a hidden part of the house on the Prinsengracht 263 in Amsterdam.

Shortly before that, Anne had been given a diary for her birthday, which she kept from June 12 1942 until August 1 1994. This diary, first published in 1947 and published in a revised edition in 1994 [in Dutch, an English edition is forthcoming - Ed.], offers an impressive insight in the world of Anne Frank and the two years she spent in hiding.

The refugees in the 'Achterhuis' were arrested by the Grüne Polizei on Friday, August 4 1994, and eventually - with the last transport east out of the Dutch transit camp Westerbork - deported on September 3 1994 to concentration camp Auschwitz in Poland. Anne survived Auschwitz, but was transferred to concentration camp Bergen-Belsen. There, in 1945, she died due to a typhoid epedemic, just a few days after her sister Margot and a little over a month before the camp was liberated by English troops. Last year, between the end of February and the beginning of March, saw the fiftieth anual commemoration of Anne's death; she would have turned 66 in June. We've printed the fragment from her diary also in her memory.

'I know we have six million reasons...'

FLASHBACK White Russian

written: Hilton, Wenen, 1987

seen: former Joegoslavië, (June) 1995

We place our faith in human rights
In the paper wars that tie the red tape tight
I know that I would rather be out of this conspiracy

In the gulags and internment camps
nameless faces in frozen ranks
I know that they would rather be
standing here beside me chasing the clouds home
racing the clouds home

You can shut your eyes, you can hide away
it's gonna come back another day

racing the clouds home

But where do we go from here