“Such Friends”: 100 years ago, January 21, 1921, 13 Nassau Street, Manhattan, New York City, New York

John Quinn, 50, corporate lawyer and passionate supporter of the arts, is fed up.

He doesn’t mind being busy. But this is ridiculous.

Quinn is trying to serve his corporate, fee-paying clients, but his most important staff member has been hospitalized with diabetes. Of course, Quinn paid the hospital bill and told the clerk to take time off for a trip out to the country. But they really need him back in the office.

The requests he is getting from his creative friends and former lovers are what really has him raving.

The Irish poet and artist AE [George Russell], 53, has been giving him advice on how to approach his defence of The Little Review magazine on obscenity charges for serializing sections of the novel Ulysses, by Irish writer James Joyce, 38.

In the preliminary hearing last fall, Magistrate Joseph E. Corrigan, 45, an old friend of Quinn’s, ruled that the section of Ulysses, where, as Quinn describes it, “the man went off in his pants,” was definitely “smutty, filthy within the meaning of the statute.” So he has scheduled the trial for next month.

And Joyce—he’s the most annoying of all. He’s writing Quinn from Paris that he MUST have a royalty of $3 or $3.50 per copy if Quinn arranges to have a private edition of Ulysses printed. And Joyce refuses to allow the publisher to change even one word.

And then he cables begging for money, which Quinn assumes is to pay for the Ulysses manuscript he is buying as Joyce writes it. So he will send the money.

Then Quinn gets a letter from Lady Augusta Gregory, 68, his friend and former lover, who wants the names of magazines and estate agents in New York to help her rent out her home, Coole Park outside of Galway, Ireland. Oh. And could he send some apples. Bad year for apples in Ireland.

Coole Park, drawn by W B Yeats

American ex-patriate poet, Ezra Pound, 35, his original connection with Joyce, writes from Paris that he wants Quinn to pass on a message to a Japanese Noh actor that he knows. Oh. And could he get him a job as foreign editor for Century magazine.

Pound’s friend, English writer and painter Wyndham Lewis, 38, writes asking Quinn to get subscribers for his magazine, Blast, which he is planning to revive. Oh. And could he buy some more of his paintings. Lewis needs the money.

Previous issue of Blast

Former Irish MP Horace Plunkett, 66, writes from Dublin asking Quinn to find some obscure pamphlet so he can get some quotes out of it.

That does it. Quinn figures the one person he can vent to is Pound. He is writing a ranting ten-page letter to him, mentioning that he doesn’t have any time to write letters: 

I haven’t had time to read a book in weeks or to see any art or read about art stuff…I have tried to let you know how busy I am, how driven I am, how harassed I am, but it does not seem to penetrate…Plunkett wrote as though I had a special alcove in my library thoroughly digested and thoroughly classified and all arranged so that all I needed to do would be to step up to [the pamphlet] and tip the thing out with one of my fingers and send it to him. I exist only to supply Plunkett with pamphlets…Good God Almighty, what do they take me for?…I am supposed to work on [Joyce’s] contract, advise about the contract, to negotiate it, to make the contract legally possible with this action, and yet at the same time to advance him money. And I suppose I will end by doing it. But, by God, there is an end of him too. I am not the father of his children…Nine times out of ten these requests are so small that it seems easier to do the God damned infernal things than to refuse them and explain about it…[The Little Review/Ulysses trial] will be a miraculous victory if I bring it about.”

What Quinn would really rather do is to see the play by the late Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, which just opened last night on Broadway.

But first, he’s going to write a telegram to Joyce insisting that the Irishman stop cabling him about anything. Quinn will tell him that he has been trying to make Joyce and Pound “understand I am working limits of my endurance.”

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, soon to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

My “Such Friends” presentations, The Founding of the Abbey Theatre and Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, are available to view for free on the website of PICT Classic Theatre.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions. Early this year I will be talking about Perkins, Fitzgerald and Hemingway in the Osher Lifelong Learning 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.

“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago, Ireland, England, France and America, December 31, 1920/January 1, 1921

What a year.

F. Scott Fitzgerald’s predicted “greatest, gaudiest spree in history” hasn’t materialized—yet. At the end of the first year of the new decade and the beginning of the second:

Irish poet and playwright W B Yeats, 55, and his wife Georgie, 28, are at home, still resting up, after an extensive and successful American lecture tour. They are pleased to be back with their daughter, Anne, almost two years old, and Yeats is continuing to work on his autobiography. He has finally admitted to himself that his father, painter John Butler Yeats, 81, is never going to leave the comfortable life he has in New York City to come back to Ireland. His father had told him that one of his New York friends commented,

In Dublin it is hopeless insolvency. Here it is hopeful insolvency”

John Butler Yeats self-portrait, 1919

English novelist Virginia Woolf, almost 39, and her husband, Leonard, 40, are spending the holidays at their Sussex home, Monk’s House near Rodmell. Their almost six-year old project, the Hogarth Press, has lost one of its authors, Katherine Mansfield, 31, to a more established publisher because they had neglected to contract her for more than one book.

Katherine Mansfield

And their latest assistant, Ralph Partridge, 26, has only earned £56 as his share of the company yearly profits. But they have printed and published four titles—including Virginia’s story, Kew Gardens, which has sold 620 copies—and earned £68 19s 4d.

In Paris American ex-patriate writer Gertrude Stein, 46, and her partner, Alice B. Toklas, 43, have recently welcomed a new member of their household on the Left Bank—Godiva, their new Ford touring car. Their previous auto, “Auntie Pauline,” which took them all over France as they volunteered for the Fund for French Wounded during the Great War, had finally died right in front of the Luxembourg Palace, the 17th century government building. The replacement arrived and Alice remarked that it was naked—no clock, no cigarette lighter, no ashtray. So Gertrude promptly named her Godiva.

1920 Ford Model-T

Free-lance New York writer Dorothy Parker, 27, is floating. She’s getting plenty of her articles and poetry published in magazines, and lunching most days with her fellow writers at the midtown Manhattan Algonquin Hotel. Two of her lunchmates, and former Vanity Fair colleagues, Bob Benchley, 31, and Robert Sherwood, 24, are willing to accept silly pieces she submits to their monthly humor magazine, Life; the Saturday Evening Post is willing to buy the same kind of fluff. Dottie knows that it is not her best work. But it pays the bills.

Robert Sherwood

What will the new year bring?

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, soon to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

My “Such Friends” presentations, The Founding of the Abbey Theatre and Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, are available to view for free on the website of PICT Classic Theatre.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions. Early in the new year I will be talking about Perkins and his relationships with Fitzgerald and Hemingway in the Osher Lifelong Learning 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.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, August 16, 1920, Westport, Connecticut

It’s been a wild summer, thank God.”

Zelda Fitzgerald, 20, is writing to a friend.

Her husband, F. Scott, 23, has been spending long hours working on his second novel, The Flight of the Rocket. He has described it to his publisher, Charles Scribner, II [“Old C. S.”], 65,

How [the hero] and his beautiful young wife are wrecked on the shoals of dissipation is told in the story….I hope [it] won’t disappoint the critics who liked my first one [This Side of Paradise].”

Zelda manages to drive into New York City fairly often, with and without her husband. And carry on a bit of an affair with Smart Set magazine co-editor, George Jean Nathan, 38, whose specialties are absinthe cocktails and married women.

Mencken and Nathan

Smart Set editors H. L. Mencken and George Jean Nathan

Recently, Nathan had invited both Fitzgeralds to a midweek party at his West 44th Street apartment at the Royalton Hotel, so Scott could meet Nathan’s fellow editor, H. L. Mencken, 39. The young novelist was thrilled to get to know one of his literary heroes, who rarely shows up at these midtown Manhattan parties. Nathan had managed to procure three cases of bootleg gin for the occasion.

Zelda is describing what she remembers of the party to her friend,

I cut my tail on a broken bottle and can’t possibly sit on the three stitches that are in it now—The bottle was bath salts —I was boiled—The place was a tub somewhere.”

Zelda has no idea how she ended up in Nathan’s tub, but she has been known to take impromptu baths at parties before.

A few weeks ago, Scott had written to his agent,

I can’t seem to stay solvent—but I think if you can advance me $500…I’ll be able to survive the summer.”

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gpysyteacher.com.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

This fall I will be talking about writers’ salons in Ireland, England, France and America before and after the Great War in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University.

My presentation, “Such Friends”:  Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, is available to view on the website of PICT Classic Theatre. The program begins at the 11 minute mark, and my presentation at 16 minutes.

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, mid-August, 1920, near the Hotel Elysee, rue de Beaune, Paris

American poet, T. S. Eliot, 31, is finishing up a lovely meal with his traveling companion, English painter and writer, Wyndham Lewis, 37, and their newly met friend, Irish novelist James Joyce, 38.

Eliot and Lewis have come to visit Paris from London. Before leaving, another American ex-pat poet, Ezra Pound, 34, had given them a package to bring to Joyce. So today they invited him to their hotel to get acquainted.

Earlier in the summer, Joyce had written to Pound, one of his many benefactors, describing the poverty his family was enduring—he had to wear the too-large boots of his 15-year-old son, Giorgio, and second hand clothing.

Joyce with Giorgio

James Joyce with his son, Giorgio, a few years before

Joyce wasn’t surprised when Eliot got in touch, but was curious as to the package he had brought from Pound.

Giorgio had come with his father to meet the visitors. When Joyce opened the package from Pound and saw that it contained old brown shoes and used clothes, Joyce was clearly embarrassed. He told Giorgio to take the package home and tell his mother that Dad wouldn’t be home for dinner. Giorgio clearly didn’t want to go, and the two had a bit of fight in Italian.

Eliot had invited Joyce to come with them to this nearby restaurant for dinner, but now the Irishman is insisting on paying the whole bill. And leaving a very big tip.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gpysyteacher.com.

This fall I will be talking about writers’ salons in Ireland, England, France and America before and after the Great War in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

My presentation, “Such Friends”:  Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, is available to view on the website of PICT Classic Theatre. The program begins at the 11 minute mark, and my presentation at 16 minutes.

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, early August 1920, law offices, 31 Nassau Street, New York City, New York

Margaret Anderson, 33, founder and publisher of the six-year-old magazine The Little Review, doesn’t want to have to be here.

But her magazine needs money. Again. And this is one of the only ways she knows how to get it.

The lawyer she is waiting to see, patron of the arts John Quinn, 50, has been a key source of her funding for the past few years. The magazine’s foreign editor, American ex-pat poet Ezra Pound, 34, had brought them together. The first time they met, three years ago, at Quinn’s fashionable penthouse apartment, looking out over Central Park West, Anderson had been impressed. Quinn wanted to help bankroll the magazine, but also felt he could tell them how to run it. On an art collector-lawyer’s budget. Not realistic for a semi-monthly publication produced out of the Greenwich Village apartment she shares with her partner, Jane Heap, 36, editor of The Little Review.

Marg Anderson c 1920

Margaret Anderson

Quinn had pulled together some American investors and given Pound money to find and pay Europe’s best poetry contributors for the magazine.

More recently, The Little Review has attracted the attention of the authorities, particularly the US Post Office. Quinn had defended the first charge brought against them for publishing an allegedly obscene short story which was distributed through the mails. Now their serialization of Ulysses, the latest work by Pound’s find, James Joyce, 38, the Irish writer living in Paris, has been under threat of confiscation. Quinn is going to defend them again, if needs be. Anderson hopes.

Now she needs more cash. She hadn’t even bothered to phone Quinn to ask if she could come by his office. Anderson is wearing one of her best grey suits; her blonde hair is tucked under her little black hat; she’s lost some weight; she’s learned the way to smile at Quinn to make him think that she just might be interested in him. [She isn’t.]

The Little Review is once again in danger of going under. Could Quinn go back to some of the original investors he’d rounded up and see if any is willing to provide more support? Being the first to publish Joyce’s work in America is a real coup.

Quinn is tired of asking his friends for cash. He gives Anderson a check for $200 and sends her away. He’s determined that this will be his last contribution to The Little Review. And regrets having given them this one.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gpysyteacher.com.

My presentation, “Such Friends”:  Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, is available to view on the website of PICT Classic Theatre. The program begins at the 11 minute mark, and my presentation at 16 minutes.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

This fall I will be talking about writers’ salons in Ireland, England, France and America before and after the Great War in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at the University of Pittsburgh and 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.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago, August 2, 1920, Abbey Theatre, Lower Abbey Street, Dublin, Ireland

Opening night.

Sara Allgood, 40, is ready. She has played the title character in Cathleen ni Houlihan many times, but not for a few years now. The play, billed as being by the poet William Butler Yeats, 55—but everyone knows that his fellow Abbey co-founder Lady Augusta Gregory, 68, wrote most of it—has become the Abbey’s signature piece.

Sara-Allgood younger

Sara Allgood

Premiered back in 1902, before the theatre even had this building on Abbey Street, the star then was Yeats’ love, English-Irish activist Maud Gonne, now 53, and the play caused quite a stir for its nationalistic themes. Some critics said Gonne was just playing herself.

The theatre has staged Cathleen many times, including for its own opening night as the Abbey, during the Christmas holidays in 1904, when Sara played a smaller part.

The seven performances this week—including the Saturday matinee—are the first time it’s been performed at the Abbey since St. Patrick’s Day last year. On the infamous night when Lady Gregory herself stepped into the lead role when the scheduled actress was taken ill.

So no pressure there, Sara.

original abbey theatre

Abbey Theatre, Lower Abbey Street, Dublin

After this run, she jumps next week right in to the lead in the late John Millington Synge’s masterpiece, Riders to the Sea. Just three performances for that gem, about a widow who loses all her sons to the sea. For a one-act, it’s an emotional roller coaster.

Later in the month, she’s scheduled to star in some of the smaller plays the Abbey is known for. She’s looking forward to working again with one of their new stars, Barry Fitzgerald, 32, who had his breakthrough just last year in Lady Gregory’s The Dragon.

A widow herself, having lost her husband to the Spanish flu two years ago, Sara is proud that she has been able to have a career as a full-time actress for the past fifteen years.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gpysyteacher.com.

This fall I will be talking about writers’ salons in Ireland, England, France and America before and after the Great War in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

My presentation, “Such Friends”:  Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, is available to view on the website of PICT Classic Theatre. The program begins at the 11 minute mark, and my presentation at 16 minutes.

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, July 29, 1920, 6 Pleasant Street, Montgomery, Alabama

This whole adventure started a few weeks ago, back in Westport, Connecticut, when newlywed Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, 19, was cranky over breakfast and mused that the people of her home state of Alabama were

very beautiful and pleasant and happy, while up in Connecticut all the people ate bacon and eggs and toast, which made them very cross and bored and miserable—especially if they happened to have been brought up on biscuits…and I wish I could have some peaches anyhow.”

She convinced her new husband, novelist F. Scott Fitzgerald, 23, that it was time for a road trip.

So they got in to the second-hand Marmon they had bought a few months ago, which Zelda had already “de-intestined” by running over a fire hydrant, and headed south, home to Montgomery.

Marmon c. 1918

Marmon, c. 1920

Now here they are. They arrived yesterday. After more than a week and 1,200 miles, after

  • Experiencing numerous breakdowns, including losing a tire, in the car they have christened “The Rolling Junk”;
  • Being robbed by highwaymen (almost);
  • Running out of gasoline in the middle of nowhere;
  • Getting a speeding ticket for going over 70 mph;
  • Overcoming all the barriers to driving into Richmond, Virginia, to spend Zelda’s 20th birthday touring the Confederate Museum in 94 degree weather;
  • Navigating unpaved roads, bad signage and guidebooks, nasty weather and nastier locals;
  • Being refused a room in a hotel because Zelda was wearing her custom-made white knickerbocker suit, matched to Scott’s, including being told by some white trash in North Carolina,
  • It’s a pity that a nice girl like you should be let to wear those clothes”;

  • Driving through every town in Alabama where Zelda could identify a different boyfriend she’d had; and
  • Arriving here at Zelda’s childhood home in Montgomery to find that her parents aren’t home.

Still haven’t had any peaches. Or biscuits.

Time to sell the Marmon. They’ll take the train back north.

The_Montgomery_Times_Thu__Jul_29__1920_

Montgomery Times’ “Society” column

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gpysyteacher.com.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

This fall I will be talking about writers’ salons in Ireland, England, France and America before and after the Great War in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University.

My presentation, “Such Friends”:  Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, is available to view on the website of PICT Classic Theatre. The program begins at the 11 minute mark, and my presentation at 16 minutes.

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, July 22, 1920, Marion, Ohio

Three more weeks.

In three more weeks the state legislatures of both Tennessee and North Carolina will meet and vote on whether to ratify the 19th Amendment to the Constitution giving women the right to vote in all elections in the country. A yes vote in either state will put the Amendment over the top, with 36 states ratifying.

More than 100 members of the National Woman’s Party, dressed in white and carrying purple, green and white banners, are marching through the streets of Marion, Ohio, to the famed “front porch” of the Republican nominee for the presidency, Ohio Senator Warren G. Harding, 54. They know that this is as close to victory as they have ever been.

suffragettes at harding front porch

Suffragettes in front of Warren G. Harding’s front porch

Alice Paul, 35, who helped draft the Amendment, points out to Harding that suffrage for women is the one plank in either party’s platform that they can act on even before the election. All Harding has to do is put pressure on the Republican majority in Tennessee for them to vote aye.

Just yesterday Harding had sent a telegram to the most prominent suffragette, Carrie Chapman Catt, 61, co-founder of the National League of Women Voters, pledging that, if the Tennessee Republicans asked for his opinion, he would “cordially recommend” that they vote yes.

Big of him.

In Marion, Ms. Paul says that, if Senator Harding

contents himself merely with ‘earnestly hoping’ and ‘sincerely desiring,’ how can he expect the country to take seriously the other planks in his platform?”

Alice Paul at Republican Convention

Alice Paul at Republican National Convention

Louisine Havemeyer, 64, patron of the arts and suffragettes, asks

Is it fair that a woman should make the flag and only the men should wave it?…When President Abraham Lincoln wished to pass an amendment…did he say, ‘I have done enough,’ or…I will urge,’…or ‘Ladies, don’t bother me, I have done all I could.’ No….Isn’t it time to end the struggle?”

Senator Harding is polite to the women.

Fifteen weeks until the general election.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gpysyteacher.com.

My presentation, “Such Friends”:  Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, is available to view on the website of PICT Classic Theatre. The program begins at the 11 minute mark, and my presentation at 16 minutes.

This fall I will be talking about writers’ salons before and after the Great War in Ireland, England, France and America in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle 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, Summer, 1920, Windsor, Vermont; Westport, Connecticut; and New York City, New York

For the first time since he moved from the advertising department, at New York publisher Charles Scribner’s & Sons, up to the editorial department six years ago, Maxwell Perkins, 35, feels as though he is entitled to a vacation.

He is back in Windsor, Vermont, where he had spent most of his summers while growing up. It’s peaceful. And quiet. And brings back good memories.

Windsor VT Old So Church

The Old South Church in Windsor, Vermont

However, as usual, he worries about his writers. Particularly his new discovery F. Scott Fitzgerald, 23, whose debut novel, This Side of Paradise, is earning Perkins this welcome rest.

Max decides he’d better send Scott his summer address, just in case he needs to be in touch:

Maxwell Perkins

Windsor, Vermont.”

Down south in Westport, Connecticut, Scott and his new bride, Zelda, about to turn 20, are spending most of their summer supporting the local bootlegger.

Working on short stories as well as his second novel, Scott flirts with Eugenia Bankhead, 19, sister of stage and screen actress Tallulah, 18, both old schoolmates of Zelda.

Zelda fights back by chatting up Smart Set co-editor George Jean Nathan, 37.

So many drunk drivers are racing up and down the road between parties in Westport and New York, the local police have given up trying to stop them.

Fitzs house in Westport

The Fitzgeralds’ rented house in Westport, Connecticut

Riding through midtown Manhattan one day in a taxi, Scott starts sobbing. He knows that he has gotten everything he ever wanted. And life will never be this good again.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gpysyteacher.com.

Manager as Muse, about Perkins’ relationships with Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

This fall I will be talking about writers’ salons before and after the Great War in Ireland, England, France and America in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University.

My presentation, “Such Friends”:  Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, is available to view on the website of PICT Classic Theatre. The program begins at the 11 minute mark, and my presentation at 16 minutes.

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, July 11, 1920, 34 rue du Bois de Bologne, Neuilly, Paris

Sylvia Beach, 33, American ex-patriate bookshop owner, does not want to be at this dinner party.

Her partner, Adrienne Monnier, 28, owner of the Left Bank’s other most popular bookshop, has been invited by the host, French poet Andre Spire, soon to turn 52, whom Adrienne knows well.

But Sylvia doesn’t. Nevertheless, Adrienne is persuasive.

34 Rue du Bois de Boulogne

34 rue du Bois de Bologne

As Sylvia is planning a quick exit, Spire comes over and whispers to her,

The Irish writer James Joyce is here.”

That puts a different twist on it.

American poet Ezra Pound, 34, who is lounging in an armchair in a velvet jacket and open-collared blue shirt, has made sure that everyone in Paris knows that the amazing James Joyce, 38, is in town.

Beach has admired Joyce’s work—from Dubliners to Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. Pound has spent the past month on a public relations campaign to line up ahead of time everything the Joyce family will need to live in Paris:  first a hotel room, then a free apartment for three months, then a French translator for his work.

Beach chats with Nora Barnacle, 36, Joyce’s partner for the last 16 years and mother of their two children. Nora is thrilled to be able to speak English with someone; for the past 10 years in Trieste they’ve all been speaking Italian.

During a dinner of cold cuts and free-flowing wine, Joyce refuses any alcohol by turning his glass upside down. He’s determined to not drink until 8 pm in the evenings.

Afterwards, Sylvia walks into the library and finds Joyce leaning against a bookcase; thin, a bit stooped. She cautiously approaches him, and, offering her hand, asks,

Is this the great James Joyce?”

He limply shakes her hand saying, in his Dublin lilt,

James Joyce.”

They talk about his family’s move to Paris and she notices that his right eye looks odd, distorted by the thicker right lens of his glasses.

He asks her,

And what do you do in Paris, Miss Beach?”

He is enchanted by the name of her bookshop, Shakespeare & Co., and writes it down, along with the address, in his notebook held very close to his eyes. He tells her that he will visit soon.

Adrienne finds Sylvia and says that the guests are leaving. Beach shakes Joyce’s hand again.

As she is walking out, Spire asks Sylvia if she has been bored. Beach replies,

Bored? I have just met James Joyce!”

Andre Spire

Andre Spire

Thanks to Paris resident Gregory Grefenstette for help in pinpointing the location of this meeting.

“Such Friends”:  100 Years Ago… is the basis for the book, “Such Friends”:  The Literary 1920s, to be published by K. Donnelly Communications. For more information, email me at kaydee@gpysyteacher.com.

This fall I will be talking about writers’ salons before and after the Great War in Ireland, England, France and America in the Osher Lifelong Learning programs at University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie-Mellon University.

Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is available on Amazon in both print and Kindle versions.

My presentation, “Such Friends”:  Dorothy Parker and the Algonquin Round Table, is available to view on the website of PICT Classic Theatre. The program begins at the 11 minute mark, and my presentation at 16 minutes.

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