‘Such Friends’ 100 Years Ago, September 1910

In Ireland

…at his home Ratra Frenchpark, in County Roscommon, the president and founder of the Gaelic League, Douglas Hyde, 50, has put the finishing touches on his introduction to The Fairy-Faith in Celtic Countries by Tibetan Buddhism scholar W. Y. Evans-Wentz, 32.

In his 50th year, Hyde is able to see his resolution to make study of the Irish language mandatory in Irish schools finally pass. The curriculum change is due to take effect in 1913.

Although Hyde does not often see his friends who founded the Abbey Theatre a few years ago—William Butler Yeats, 45, and Lady Augusta Gregory, 58—his Gaelic League is often linked with them in the ongoing battle for Irish nationalism. But Hyde believes the fight for a national language should be above politics, and eventually resigns as president of the League.

In England

…The Stephens family is traveling and visiting.

Vanessa Stephen Bell, 31, has been with her husband Clive, 29, at Studland beach. Her unmarried sister Virginia, 28, is now well enough to come to London to see the Bells’ second son, Quentin, born just last month.

Virginia had taken a respite from her stay in a Twickenham nursing home to visit Cornwall with her nurse. Back in London she gets into a fight with Clive, who feels his Cambridge friend, Lytton Strachey, 30, has been ignoring him recently. Clive wants to ban Lytton from the Bell home in Gordon Square; his wife Vanessa makes peace.

In France

…at 27 rue de Fleurus, on the Left Bank of Paris, power has shifted.

Leo Stein, 38, who has lived there for almost eight years, and has been buying up art by young painters, is no longer the center of attention. His sister Gertrude, 36, who came seven years ago, has been joined in the apartment by her new best friend, Alice B. Toklas, 33.

The Steins are well known among the Paris art dealers as the crazy Americans who wear sandals and buy art. Leo has decided that he has bought his last painting by Pablo Picasso, 27, but is still a major supporter of Henri Matisse, 40.

Matisse is busily working on the newest version of his large painting, The Dance, due to be exhibited at the Salon d’automne this year.

Gertrude sticks with Picasso; after all, he’s the one who painted her portrait.

In America

…This month’s issue of The Ladies’ Home Journal is the “Paris Fashion Number.” The most stylish looks from France are illustrated in color and black and white drawings.

In New York City, the East River Tunnels have just opened, linking Manhattan and Long Island by subway.

In Boston, Harvard student Robert Benchley turns 21. He is courting his grade school sweetheart, Gertrude Darling, also 21, and has been making a name for himself by doing mock travelogues to local clubs. Chicagoan Ernest Hemingway, 11, is visiting with his mother Grace, 38.

In St. Paul, Minnesota, on September 24, F. Scott Fitzgerald turns 14. He enjoys playing basketball and football at school, but is more thrilled that he recently had a story published in the school magazine.

On the same day, Anglo-Irish aristocrat Shane Leslie, Cambridge graduate, converted Catholic, and Irish Home Rule supporter, turns 25. In a few more years, when Fitzgerald and Leslie meet at Princeton, Leslie will encourage Scott’s writing aspirations. Eventually Leslie will pass the young Minnesotan’s first novel on to his friends at Charles Scribner’s and Sons.