“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, January 21, New York Tribune, New York City, New York

Boni and Liveright has taken an ad in the New York Tribune to promote one of the books they are most proud of publishing late last year, The Waste Land, by American poet living in London, Thomas Stearns Eliot, 34.

The Waste Land by T. S. Eliot

When it was published last month, Boni and Liveright’s ad said,

The contract for The Waste Land, Mr. Eliot’s longest and most significant poem, which we have just published, was signed in Paris on New Year’s Eve and was witnessed by Ezra Pound and James Joyce. A good time was had by one and all—even the publisher.”

Not strictly true; but they did all have dinner together in Paris.

This month, the copy reads: 

…probably the most discussed poem that has been written since Byron’s Don Juan…[Clive Bell], the distinguished English writer, [has called Eliot] the most considerable poet writing in English.”

However, back in the Bloomsbury neighborhood of London, Clive, 41, has told his mistress, writer Mary Hutchinson, 33, that he is sure Eliot uses violet face powder to make him look “more cadaverous.”

“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 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 the literary 1920s in Paris and New York City in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute 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.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, January 12, 1923, Hogarth House, Richmond, London

English novelist Virginia Woolf, 40, has just come down to breakfast, when her maid gives her some startling news,

Mrs. Murry’s dead! It says so in the paper,”

exclaims Nellie Boxall, 31.

Confused, Virginia reads the obituary in the Times, which describes her friend, New Zealand-born Katherine Mansfield, 34, as having “A career of great literary promise…[Her] witty and penetrating novel reviews…A severe shock to her friends.”

Katherine Mansfield

This is definitely a severe shock to Virginia. Last year she turned down Katherine’s invitation to visit her in France, and last fall passed up an opportunity to see Katherine when she was visiting London. She always thought that she’d see her again this summer.

Katherine’s book, Prelude, was one of the first Virginia and her husband Leonard, 41, published when they started their Hogarth Press about five years ago.

More deeply, Virginia is feeling the loss of one of the few writers she felt truly close to. Katherine won’t be there to read what Virginia writes. Her rival is gone.

“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 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 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.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, early January, 46 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury, London

Parties given by the friends who live in the Bloomsbury section of London are always great. And this one is no exception.

46 Gordon Square

The host, economist John Maynard Keynes, 39, is mostly occupied by his work in Cambridge and the City of London, traveling to Germany to advise the government there, taking over the failing Liberal magazine The Nation and Athenaeum and working out the economic theory for his next book, A Tract on Monetary Reform.

So it’s time to throw a party! Let’s celebrate “Twelfth Night,” the traditional end to the Christmas season.

Over in the corner English novelist Virginia Woolf, 40, who used to live in Bloomsbury but is now in Richmond with her husband, Leonard, 42, is deep in conversation with German-British painter Walter Sickert, 62. He has entertained the crowd with a one-man performance of Hamlet.

Walter Sickert

On the other side of the room is writer and suffragist Marjorie Strachey, 40. Her brother Lytton, 42, was with Leonard and Maynard in the secretive group at Cambridge, The Apostles. Marjorie has been reciting obscene versions of children’s nursery rhymes to the assembled partygoers.

But the star of the evening is Maynard’s lover, Russian ballerina Lydia Lopokova, 31, currently in stressful rehearsals for a ballet she is producing and appearing in as part of a revue, You’ll Be Surprised, with her choreographer and dancing partner, Leonide Massine, 26, in Covent Garden later this month. Tonight, Lydia has performed a dance that impressed everyone.

Lydia Lopokova

Keynes has given Lydia the ground floor apartment in #41, just a few doors away. Lydia understands that his schedule is busy, but she often is lonely and depressed because Maynard’s Bloomsbury friends haven’t really welcomed her into their group. This party is one of the first times she has felt a bit more accepted.

However, Lydia and Maynard are about to have their first real fight. If he’s too busy to spend time with her, how come he’s planning to spend the Easter holiday in North Africa with his other lover, another Apostle, English writer Sebastian Sprott, 25?!

“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 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.

Later this month I will be talking about the literary 1920s in Paris and New York City in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute 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.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, December 31, 1922/January 1, 1923, Ireland, England, France and America

At the end of the third year of the 1920s…

In Ireland, despite living in the middle of a Civil War, and the death of his 82-year-old father this past February, poet and playwright William Butler Yeats, 57, has had a pretty good year.

He is enjoying his appointment to the newly formed Senate of the Irish Free State, engineered by his friend and family doctor, Oliver St. John Gogarty, 44, who managed to get himself appointed as well.

Irish Free State Great Seal

Much to Yeats’ surprise, the position comes with an income, making it the first paying job he has ever had. The money, as he writes to a friend,

of which I knew nothing when I accepted, will compensate me somewhat for the chance of being burned or bombed. We are a fairly distinguished body, much more so than the lower house, and should get much government into our hands…How long our war is to last nobody knows. Some expect it to end this Xmas and some equally well informed expect another three years.”

Indeed, although Senator Yeats has been provided with an armed guard at his house, two bullets were shot through the front door of his family home in Merrion Square on Christmas Eve.

82 Merrion Square

A few blocks away the Abbey Theatre, which he helped to found 18 years ago, is still doing well under the director and co-founder Lady Augusta Gregory, 70. John Bull’s Other Island, a play by his fellow Dubliner, George Bernard Shaw, 66, is being performed, starring part-time actor and full-time civil servant Barry Fitzgerald, 34.

George Bernard Shaw

Yeats has been awarded an Honorary D. Litt. From Trinity College, Dublin. He writes to a friend that this makes him feel “that I have become a personage.”

*****

In England, at Monk’s House, their country home in East Sussex, the Woolfs, Virginia, 40, and Leonard, 42, are reviewing the state of their five-year-old publishing company, the Hogarth Press.

The road outside Monk’s House

They have added 37 members to the Press’ subscribers list and have agreed to publish a new poem by their friend, American ex-pat Thomas Stearns Eliot, 34, called The Waste Land early in the new year. Virginia has donated £50 to a fund to help “poor Tom,” as she calls him, who still has a full-time day job at Lloyds Bank. Eliot takes the £50, as well as the $2,000 Dial magazine prize he has been awarded in America and sets up a trust fund for himself and his wife Vivienne, 34.

The Hogarth Press has published six titles this year, the same as last. But most important to Virginia, one of them, Jacob’s Room, is her first novel not published by her hated stepbrother, Gerald Duckworth, 52. She can write as she pleases now.

Most interesting to Virginia at the end of this year is her newfound friendship with another successful English novelist, Vita Sackville-West, 30. The Woolfs have been spending lots of time with Vita and her husband, Sir Harold Nicolson, 36.

Sir Harold Nicolson and Vita Sackville-West

Virginia writes in her diary,

The human soul, it seems to me, orients itself afresh every now and then. It is doing so now…No one can see it whole, therefore. The best of us catch a glimpse of a nose, a shoulder, something turning away, always in movement.”

*****

In France, American ex-pats Gertrude Stein, 48, and her partner, Alice B. Toklas, 45, are vacationing in St. Remy. They came for a month and have decided to stay for the duration of the winter.

Stein is pleased that her Geography and Plays has recently been published by Four Seas in Boston. This eclectic collection of stories, poems, plays and language experiments that she has written over the past decade comes with an encouraging introduction by one of her American friends, established novelist Sherwood Anderson, 46. He says that Gertrude’s work is among the most important being written today, and lives “among the little housekeeping words, the swaggering bullying street-corner words, the honest working, money-saving words.”

Geography and Plays by Gertrude Stein

The volume also contains her 1913 poem, “Sacred Emily,” which includes a phrase Stein repeats often,

Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose.”

Alice is thinking of using that as part of the logo for Gertrude’s personal stationery.

Stein and Alice are hopeful that Geography and Plays will help her blossoming reputation as a serious writer. For now, they are going to send some fruit to one of their new American friends back in Paris, foreign correspondent for the Toronto Star, Ernest Hemingway, 23, and his lovely wife Hadley, 31.

*****

In America, free-lance writer Dorothy Parker, 29, has had a terrible year.

She did get her first short story published, “Such a Pretty Little Picture” in this month’s issue of Smart Set. After years of writing only the light verse that sells easily to New York’s magazines and newspapers, Parker is starting to branch out and stretch herself more.

However, her stockbroker husband of five years, Edwin Pond Parker II, also 29, finally packed up and moved back to his family in Connecticut.

Dorothy and Eddie Parker

Parker took up with a would-be playwright from Chicago, Charles MacArthur, 27, who started hanging around with her lunch friends from the Algonquin Hotel. He broke Dottie’s heart—and her spirit after he contributed only $30 to her abortion. And made himself scarce afterwards.

On Christmas day there were no fewer than eight new plays for Parker to review. She had to bundle up against the cold and spend the holiday racing around to see as much of each one as she could. And then go home to no one but her bird Onan (“because he spills his seed”) and her dog Woodrow Wilson.

New York Times Square Christmas Eve 1920s by J. A. Blackwell

As she gets ready to jump into 1923, Parker works on the type of short poem she has become known for:

One Perfect Rose

By Dorothy Parker

A single flow’r he sent me, since we met.
All tenderly his messenger he chose;
Deep-hearted, pure, with scented dew still wet–
One perfect rose.

I knew the language of the floweret;
“My fragile leaves,” it said, “his heart enclose.”
Love long has taken for his amulet
One perfect rose.

Why is it no one ever sent me yet
One perfect limousine, do you suppose?
Ah no, it’s always just my luck to get
One perfect rose.

To hear Dorothy Parker read her poem, “One Perfect Rose,” click here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMnv1XNpuwM

“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, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at 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 Hemingway, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book versions.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, December 19, 1922, Hogarth House, Richmond; and 182 Ebury Street, Belgravia, London

Virginia Woolf, 40, is looking forward to dinner tonight with her new friend, fellow author Vita Sackville-West, 30, at Vita’s posh home in Belgravia.

Virginia and her husband Leonard, 42, met the Nicholsons—Vita and her husband Sir Harold Nicholson, 36—just a few days ago at a party hosted by Virginia’s brother-in-law, art critic Clive Bell, 41, at his Gordon Square house.

46 Gordon Square

Clive had arranged the get-together specifically so the two couples could meet. Clive had passed on to Virginia Vita’s comment that she feels Woolf is the best female writer in England. This from an already established British writer is encouraging to Virginia, who just published her third novel, Jacob’s Room, this time with the Woolfs’ own Hogarth Press.

After their meeting, Virginia noted in her diary,

the lovely gifted aristocratic Sackville West…is a grenadier; hard, handsome, manly, inclined to a double chin. She is a pronounced Sapphist and [Vita] may, thinks [English composer] Ethel Sands, have an eye on me, old though I am.”

*****

Meanwhile. A bit less than an hour away on the District Line, Vita has been telling Harold how impressed she is by Virginia

I’ve rarely taken such a fancy to anyone…I have quite lost my heart…I simply adore Virginia…She is both detached and human, silent till she wants to say something and then says it supremely well. She dresses quite atrociously.”

182 Ebury Street

“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, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at 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.

“Such Friends”: This Year!

Regular readers of this blog are already tired of me going on about the benefits of “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, Volumes I through III, covering 1920 to 1922 [conveniently available at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and from Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in both print and e-book formats].

“Such Friends” volumes I through III

So I thought I’d turn this #shamelessselfpromotion posting over to the fans:

Such Friends: The Literary 1920s presents colourful, diary-like snippets, skillfully woven together, from the daily lives of writers, poets and artists of the Irish Literary Renaissance, the Bloomsbury Group, the Americans in Paris, and the Algonquin Round Table in New York.”

—Dr. Ann Kennedy Smith, “My Books of the Year,”

Cambridge Ladies’ Dining Society, 1890-1914;

It’s a lot of fun skipping around to different dates and events to see what was going on at particular times during the year.”

                                                              —Jim, Irish theatre fan

Interior of Volume III

What a treasure-trove this work is. You make it seem alive. The gossip is fresh! These little stories humanize the great geniuses. Thanks for doing this work.”

                                                  —Janie B., Pittsburgh-New York fan

The people are fascinating, of course, and I love the way you’ve woven what else is happening around them into their stories. Love what you do! You find such fascinating goodies to share with the rest of us.”

                                                  —Anne, fellow Pittsburgh writer fan

I look forward to the gossip and insights you have curated about what was going on a century ago.”

                                                  —Hedda, Bloomsbury fan

Love your stuff. I inhale it like…wildflower smells!”

                                                 —Marie, Semester at Sea fan

You have such a nice way of making history feel closer to us—letting us know and care about these people.”

                                                 —Dr. Barry, Ohio academic fan

Such fun! This is eavesdropping across the past century.”

                                                 —Don, James Joyce fan

Thank you, fans! And my previous offer still holds. If you live on any Pittsburgh Regional Transit bus line, I will hand deliver your signed copies to you. Email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Happy holidays!

Fans reading “Such Friends,” Volume II

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at the Osher program at Carnegie-Mellon University.

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.

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

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, November 15, 1922, United Kingdom

The results are in.

National:

Conservatives, 344 seats; party leader Bonar Law, 64, becomes Prime Minister.

Labour, 142 seats; doubling the number they held before, Labour becomes the main opposition party for the first time.

Liberals, 112 seats; split between its two branches, Liberals and National Liberals.

Prime Minister Bonar Law

Selected constituencies:

Dundee, Scotland, two seats:  Winners are Labour and, for the first time in any election, Scottish Prohibition; two National Liberal candidates, including incumbent Winston Churchill, about to turn 48, come in third and fourth.

Former Member of Parliament Winston Churchill

Combined English Universities, two seats:  Winners are Unionist and National Liberal, H. A. L. Fisher, 57, incumbent and cousin of novelist Virginia Woolf, 40; and Independent and Labour, Leonard Woolf, about to turn 42, husband of Virginia Woolf, come in third and fourth.

*****

Yesterday, the British Broadcasting Company began operating out of Marconi House in the Strand, over London station 2LO.

Today, the BBC has already expanded its reach by opening stations in Birmingham and Manchester.

BBC studio in Marconi House

“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, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at 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.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, first week in November, Hogarth House, Richmond, London

The Woolfs are looking ahead to their upcoming weekend in the country with mixed feelings.

Virginia, 40, and Leonard, 41, who operate the Hogarth Press here, will be spending a couple of days at the Mill House, Tidmarsh, in Berkshire with three of their friends who live there together, essayist Lytton Strachey, 42; painter Dora Carrington, 29; and Ralph Partridge, 28, who has been the Hogarth Press assistant for the past year or so.

Dora Carrington, Ralph Partridge and Lytton Strachey

Carrington moved to Tidmarsh with Lytton about five years ago, knowing full well that he is homosexual; Partridge moved in after he met Carrington through her brother at Oxford. Last year, Strachey paid for their wedding and joined them on their honeymoon. The threesome rents the house from another Bloomsbury friend, economist John Maynard Keynes, 39.

Both Virginia and Leonard are protective of their home-based business, Hogarth Press, and this has led to many fights between Leonard and Ralph. But Ralph has refused to leave.

In many of her diary entries Virginia has referred to Ralph as “lazy, undependable, now industrious, now slack, unadventurous, all corroded by Lytton, can’t praise, yet has no view of his own,” and has questioned his “lumpiness, grumpiness, slovenliness, & stupidity versus his niceness, strength, fundamental amiability & connections.”

Recently, the Woolfs have been introduced to some young people who might be suitable additions, but Ralph was furious when they offered a job share to one woman.

In the past few weeks, they have been talking to a young American who was interested in managing the Press for them, but they think he’ll try to turn their publishing house, which is focused on turning out quality content, into a precious press that is more concerned with fancy paper and bindings. Fortunately, the young man has decided that the commute would be too onerous. Virginia didn’t want to hire an American anyway.

They’re hoping to discuss Partridge’s future this weekend with Lytton, who has hinted that he will no longer have Hogarth as his publisher if they get rid of Ralph. Virginia and Leonard are thinking that might not be a bad trade off.

Tidmarsh by Dora Carrington

“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, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at 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.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, October 27, 1922, Hogarth House, Richmond, London

The Hogarth Press, founded and operated by Virginia Woolf, 40, and her husband Leonard, 41, has just published its first full-length work, 290 pages, 60,000 words, Virginia’s third novel, Jacob’s Room.

Jacob’s Room by Virginia Woolf

In its past five years, the Press has successfully produced and marketed collections of short stories, poetry and smaller works. Until now, Virginia’s novels have been published by her stepbrother, Gerald Duckworth, 51, so they had to get his permission to break the contract. Good riddance.

With a cover by Virginia’s sister, painter Vanessa Bell, 43, the Woolfs are pleased with the finished product. Virginia’s American publisher, Donald Brace, 40, is eager to bring it out there, telling Virginia how much he admires her work. This has at least made her feel, as she writes in her diary, that the novel “cannot be wholly frigid fireworks.”

Advance copies have been sent to their Bloomsbury friends, who tell her it is her best work. Essayist Lytton Strachey, 42, is the first to mention the main character’s similarities to Virginia and Vanessa’s brother, Thoby Stephen, who died 16 years ago from typhoid at the age of 26. Lytton writes to Virginia,

How you manage to leave out everything that’s dreary, and yet retain enough string for your pearls I can hardly understand.”

Lytton Strachey’s signed copy of Jacob’s Room

Virginia is thinking sales might hit 800 copies by June. When they get to 650 they’ll order a second edition. About 30 of the thousand or so they’ve printed have sold before publication day, today.

The Woolfs are counting on the success of Jacob’s Room to help their fledgling publishing company. They’ve hung on so far, but they feel as though Leonard’s assistant, Ralph Partridge, 28, is holding them back. He and Leonard fight constantly, and Ralph has screwed up some of the promotion for previous books. They’ve met a few young people recently who might be better at the role but haven’t chucked Partridge out yet.

They’re hoping for good reviews in major publications. Virginia is most concerned about The Times Literary Supplement, as she writes in her diary,

not that it will be the most intelligent, but it will be the most read & I can’t bear people to see me downed in public.”

Virginia has already begun her next novel, concurrently with writing essays to be published as The Common Reader. She noted a few weeks ago that her short story, “Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street,” has “branched into a book.” She hasn’t decided on a title yet, but she is working out passages and making detailed notes in a journal labeled, “Book of scraps of J’s R. & first version of The Hours,” some in brief lines down the side of the page.

*****

completely separately…some sort of fusion…”The Prime Minister”…must converge upon the party at the end…ushers in a host of others…much in relief…interludes of thought, or reflection, or short digressions…related, logically, to the rest?…all compact, yet not jerked…At Home:  or The Party…the 10th of June or whatever I call it…& I adumbrate here a study of insanity & suicide:  the world seen by the sane & the insane side by side—something like that…Septimus Smith? is that a good name…a possible revision of this book:  Suppose it to be connected in this way:

Sanity and insanity.

Mrs. D. seeing the truth. S. S. seeing the insane truth…

The contrast must be arranged…

The pace is to be given by the gradual increase of S’s

Insanity. On the one side; by the approach of the party on the other.

The design is extremely complicated…

All to take place in one day?”

Virginia Woolf’s manuscript

“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, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at 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.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, late October, 1922, La Prieure, Avon, near Chateau Fontainebleau, France

When she wakes up each morning, the first thing New Zealand writer Katherine Mansfield, just turned 34, smells is cow manure.

When she arrived at this commune a few weeks ago, the founder and guru, Georgi Gurdjieff, maybe 50, examined her and determined that she shouldn’t be required to take part in the manual labor that his other disciples carry out—butchering pigs, building huge structures on the grounds.

Le Prieure

But Gurdjieff is requiring Mansfield to sleep on this platform directly above the cows in the barn because, he says, it will cure her tuberculosis.

Mansfield is not so sure. But she does feel that practicing regular discipline, helping out in the kitchen by peeling vegetables, taking cold baths, making her own bed—even if it is in the barn—has so far been beneficial to her. Although she keeps her fur coat on all the time against the cold, she feels that this regimen is more helpful than the quack doctors she consulted in Paris earlier in the year.

Gurdjieff established his Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man here in this crumbling monastery at the beginning of the month. He claims he has been able to fund it with the fees he has earned from treating wealthy addicts, from speculation in commodity markets, and from a few restaurants he operates in Montmarte. But word is that he has also received money from Lady Rothermere, 48, wife of the owner of The Daily Mirror and The Daily Mail in London. The Brits turned Gurdjieff down for citizenship, so he figures he’ll just take their money instead.

Since coming here, Mansfield hasn’t been in touch often with her husband, former editor of The Athenaeum John Middleton Murry, 33, and friends, like novelist Virginia Woolf, 40, back in England. She doesn’t interact much with Gurdjieff’s fellow Russian refugees who have followed him here either. Her closest companions are her old friend and mentor, Alfred Richard Orage, 49, who gave up the editorship of The New Age magazine to come live here, and her new friend and assigned handler, Olga Lazovic, 23.

Most of Gurdjieff’s 100 disciples gladly sleep in uncomfortable cottages or unheated rooms in the main building which they work hard at restoring all day. Known as “The Ritz,” that’s where the good rooms are, reserved for Gurdjieff and his celebrity guests.

Katherine does take part in the dances, games and rituals, many including vodka, which Gurdjieff imposes on them all. One of his favorites is “Stop.” They all move around until he yells, “Stop!” From the throne he sits on. And they stop.

Mansfield is hopeful that, of all the “cures” she has tried, this one will actually work.

Georgi Gurdjieff

“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, and on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Early next year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at the University of Pittsburgh, and about The Literary 1920s in Paris and New York City at 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.