“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, January 9, 1923, Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, Fontainebleau, France

English writer and critic John Middleton Murry, 33, was pleasantly surprised when his estranged wife invited him to visit her here in France.

New Zealand-born short story writer Katherine Mansfield, 34, has been staying at this commune, led by guru George Gurdjieff, maybe 46, for the past few months, and she hasn’t been well.

John Middleton Murry and Katherine Mansfield

Tonight, as Katherine goes up the stairs to bed, Murry notes how good she looks.

Suddenly, she collapses.

Doctors are called and they push Murry out of the way. He stands helplessly watching nearby, looking into his wife’s eyes.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s. Volumes I through III, covering 1920 through 1922 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA. They are also on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Next month I will be talking about the literary 1920s in Paris and New York City in the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

If you want to walk with me through Bloomsbury, you can download my audio walking tour, “Such Friends”:  Virginia Woolf and the Bloomsbury Group.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.


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