Opening day at the tea house operated by the Girl Scouts of Washington, D. C., is going well.
This is the first time the public has visited the former restaurant, now redecorated with new curtains, furniture, and a fresh lick of paint, all in cheery blue and yellow. There was a nice write-up in the WashingtonPost yesterday, which is bringing out the crowds.
Peirce Mill, Rock Creek Park
The official grand opening was held two days ago for invited guests only, with the First Lady and honorary president of the national organization, Florence Harding, 61, doing the honors.
The specialty of the house is Florence’s “Harding Waffles,” made popular last year during her husband’s presidential campaign. President Warren G. Harding, 56, loves waffles—smothered in chipped beef gravy [although the Girl Scouts serve them with butter and syrup]—and Florence’s recipe swept the nation. She is particularly careful to use ingredients which were rationed during the Great War, to underscore her husband’s campaign theme of “Return to Normalcy.”
Florence Harding’s Waffle Recipe
INGREDIENTS: 2 eggs. 2 tbls. sugar. 2 tbls. butter. 1 teaspoon salt. 1 pt. milk. Flour to make thin batter. (I use about 2 cups flour) 2 large teaspoons baking powder
INSTRUCTIONS: Separate the eggs. Beat yolks and add sugar and salt. Melt butter then add milk and flour and stir to combine. Beat egg whites until stiff (but not dry) peaks form. Stir one spoonful of whites into the mixture to lighten and then fold remainder of egg whites and baking powder. Bake in a hot waffle iron.”
Just across the Potomac River from Washington D. C., the first entombment of an American “unknown soldier” is taking place to commemorate the third Armistice Day, the anniversary of the end of the Great War.
Chosen randomly by a U. S. Army sergeant from four sets of remains taken from four cemeteries on the French battlefields, this soldier has literally had a stormy journey to get here.
On its way to France to collect the precious cargo, the USS Olympia was hit by a tropical storm in the Atlantic.
On the way back, the weather was even worse. The ship took on water and the Marine Guard assigned to the casket was almost washed overboard. Hit by the same tropical storm, the Olympia sustained 13-foot waves.
But the remains have arrived safely. Speaking at the ceremony, President Warren G. Harding, 56, remarked, “We know not whence he came, only that his death marks him with the everlasting glory of an American dying for his country.”
Armistice Day ceremony
In London, this is the third year that the United Kingdom has commemorated Remembrance Day.
Last year the UK government, along with the government of their ally, France, buried remains of an “unknown warrior” and a “soldat inconnu.”
Lord Field Marshall Haig, 60, who commanded the British Expeditionary Force, has felt that the country’s reverence for the importance of the day is already waning. So he proposed asking his countrymen to remember those who are buried under the poppies in Flanders Field by buying and wearing commemorative poppies. And shaming those who don’t.
The first Poppy Day appears to be a success. They are on track for sales of eight million poppy pins.
“Such Friends”: 100 Years Ago… is the basis for the series, “Such Friends”: The Literary 1920s. Volumes I and II covering 1920 and 1921 are available as signed copies at Riverstone Books, Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA, and in print and e-book formats on Amazon. For more information, email me at email@example.com.
Early next year I will be talking about the Centenary of the Publication of James Joyce’s Ulysses.
Manager as Muse, about Scribner’s editor Maxwell Perkins’ relationships with F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Thomas Wolfe, is also available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.
American ex-patriate poet, Tom Eliot, 33, and his wife, Vivien, also 33, are settling in for a three-week stay here in Cliftonville, a bit more than 60 miles northeast of London, during one of the hottest Octobers on record.
Advertisement for Albemarle Hotel
Tom has found a Victorian shed, the Nayland Rock Shelter, near the shore on Margate sands, that he can commute to each day by tram from Cliftonville. This will give him the seclusion he needs to work on the epic poem he has been trying to write since he moved to England more than seven years ago.
This beats the commute he has been doing every workday in noisy London from their Clarence Gate Gardens apartment in Marylebone to Moorgate station in east London and his job at Lloyds Bank. He enjoys the commute; but not the job.
Clarence Gate Gardens
His job, a two-month visit from his American family, and his insistence on trying to write this poem are taking their toll. Last month, Vivien arranged for Tom to be examined by one of the most celebrated nerve specialists in the country. The doctor strongly recommended that Eliot take two to three months off from everything. And everybody. Including Vivien. But she insisted on coming here with him.
The reputation of the doctor was the deciding factor. Lloyds agreed on the first of this month to grant Tom a three-month leave of absence, with full pay, to begin as soon as he trained his replacement, which he did last week.
Vivien is happy to be quit of London, describing their last night there with friends as
What a last impression of London…the monotony, the drivel of the whole stupid round.”
Now that they are in Margate, Tom is already eating better. And looking forward to digging in to commute to his beach shed each day to work on his as yet untitled poem. Vivien is planning to write to Scofield Thayer, 31, the editor of the American literary magazine TheDial, explaining that Tom will not be able to submit any more of his “London Letter” book reviews to the magazine until January at least.
But what will happen after their three-week stay here?
Tom is planning to take a holiday in Paris and bring along the “hoard of fragments” as he refers to the pencil scrawlings that are now the poem, to work on there with his fellow American friend and mentor, Ezra Pound, 35.
In addition, Viv has received advice from a friend of theirs who also suffers from depression, socialite and hostess, Lady Ottoline Morrell, 48. She has told them that the sickness leaves her “utterly dead & empty & it is like being in a cold fog—or a pond.” Ottoline has recommended a doctor in Switzerland who treated her brother.
Vivien wants Tom to go there after a few days in Paris.
Down in London, after much debate, Parliament has voted to return to the longer pub hours in force before The Great War, pleasing the pub owners but not the moral guardians of society.
And to emphasize the importance of Remembrance Day, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice, November 11, Field Marshall Douglas Haig, 60, has proposed declaring it Poppy Day. Citizens throughout the country will make their patriotism visible to all by wearing bright red poppies in their lapels.
That’s how the British Foreign Office in London had described Nottingham native David Herbert Lawrence, just turned 36, on the passport they issued him two years ago.
Now he is traveling from his current home in Sicily to the British consulate in Florence to get a renewal. He and his wife Frieda, 42, are feeling as though it may be time to move on.
They have been living in a beautiful hilltop home, Fontana Vecchia, since last year. They had left England during the Great War, feeling as though Frieda’s German nationality and David’s supposedly “obscene” writings were not welcome.
After traveling around Europe, David had managed to finish his most recent novel, Aaron’s Rod, this past summer, although it won’t be published until next year. His UK publisher, after much waffling, had finally brought out his Women in Love this past summer, to many negative reviews.
Lawrence has a travel piece coming out next month in TheDial magazine, but he hasn’t been writing much. Except letters to his New York publisher:
I wish I could find a ship that would carry me round the world and land me somewhere in the West—New Mexico or California—and I could have a little house and two goats, somewhere away by myself.”
With only about £40 in their British bank account, where can he and Frieda go? Maybe somewhere on a tramp steamer.
Friends are moving to Ceylon to study Buddhism, but the Lawrences have turned down their offer to join them.
David is still waiting to hear from his American agent about the current balance in his accounts there. Maybe that’s the next option.
Newlyweds Ernest, 22, and Hadley Hemingway, 29, have just returned to their cramped, gloomy, top floor walk-up apartment after a wonderful dinner with one of Ernest’s mentors, Sherwood Anderson, just turning 45.
1239 North Dearborn Street, Chicago, Illinois
Anderson represents the type of successful writer Ernie aspires to be. Two years ago Sherwood’s novel—really a collection of interwoven stories about one town, Winesburg, Ohio—was a big hit. Since then two short story collections have been big sellers as well. The most recent, The Triumph of theEgg: A Book of Impressions from American Life in Tales and Poems, includes 15 stories and seven photos of clay sculptures by Anderson’s wife, Tennessee Mitchell, 47, illustrating some of the characters.
Anderson is regularly published in The Dial literary magazine, where Hemingway regularly has his poems rejected.
Sherwood and Tennessee have just returned from their first trip to Europe and are filled with stories of the interesting people—mostly Americans—whom they became friends with there.
Sherwood and Tennessee Anderson
Ernest and Hadley are planning a trip to Europe also. But they want to move there permanently.
Ernie is making $200 a month as editor of the house organ for the Cooperative Commonwealth Society. But he is growing more suspicious of the organization every day. In addition to writing the Co-Op Notes, Personal Mentions and Insurance Notes sections in the newsletter, he’s been including coverage of the allegations of fraud brought against them.
Hadley, on the other hand, has a bit of a trust fund. And with the recent death of an uncle she never cared much for anyway, she will soon have an income of almost $300 a month.
Ernie knows he can count on the Toronto Star to continue to pay him for free-lance pieces, and he wants to show Hadley the places he was in Italy during the Great War. Including where he was injured. They have even bought some lira—at a great exchange rate—in preparation for their trip.
But Sherwood has a different idea. Forget Italy, he tells the young couple. France is equally inexpensive and the most interesting writers and artists of the time are flocking there.
Sherwood promises Ernest he will write letters of introduction for him so he can meet Anderson’s new ex-pat American friends on the Left Bank. Sylvia Beach, 34, from Princeton, New Jersey, runs a terrific English-language bookshop. Even more important, the modernist writer Gertrude Stein, 47, from San Francisco [via Pittsburgh]. Sherwood has been a big fan of her work for years and was thrilled to have long discussions with her about writing. He is contributing the preface to a major anthology of her pieces from the past decade, Geography and Plays, in hopes of getting her a wider American audience.
Back here in their depressing apartment, the Hemingways are re-thinking their plans. Anderson has convinced them.
Novelist Edward Morgan Forster, 42, has awoken from a bad dream and feels relieved.
To attend this two-day festival celebrating the birth of Lord Krishna, Forster has moved from his three-room furnished suite to these rooms in the Old Palace, which offer a better view.
In his dream, Forster was back home in England with his mother Lily, 66, and his cat, Verouka. He dreamt that he had shown Verouka a mechanical doll that scared him. The cat was running round and round in the room above, making a terrible racket.
Forster’s relief comes as he realizes the racket is from a steam engine that is generating electricity for the festival outside his window.
Morgan left England—and his annoying mother—on his second trip to India more than five months ago.
At the beginning of the year, Morgan had written to his primary publisher that he would notify him if he ever got around to writing another book. His third and fourth novels, A Room with a View and Howards End have done well. But they were both published more than a decade ago.
Despairing of his mundane life and his inability to write, Forster prophesied to a friend,
I shall go [on] some long and fantastic journey; but we do not yet know whither or when. I am so sad at the bottom of my mind.”
Days later he received a cable from an old, dear friend, Sir Tukoji Rao IV, the Maharajah of Dewas State, 33, with whom he shares a January 1st birthday.
Sir Tukoji Rao IV
HH, as he is always referred to, decided—for some unfathomable reason—that Forster would be the ideal person to stand in for his private secretary who is going on six-month leave. HH offered Morgan paid return fare and expenses, 300 rupees per month, and his own young male concubine. Morgan had no idea what a “private secretary” would do. Still doesn’t.
But Forster jumped at the chance for a “fantastic journey,” renewed his passport and booked passage to India as soon as he could. Also, he knew his sea voyage would include a brief stopover in Port Said, Egypt, where he hoped to meet up with his Egyptian former lover.
E. M. Forster
His mother emphatically did not want him to leave and became a real pain. His friends in Bloomsbury were not happy either, but slightly more understanding. Fellow novelist Virginia Woolf, 39, thinks she will never see him again; he will become a mystic and forget about his despised life back home in Weybridge. Besides the fact that she likes having him around, Virginia looks to Morgan’s opinions on her writing. The rest of his Bloomsbury friends just think he’s running away from home.
Which he is.
He did spend four idyllic hours in Port Said having sex on a chilly beach with his Egyptian lover.
But now that he is “away,” what’s he supposed to do?! Morgan knows that he doesn’t have the skills necessary to organize the chaotic finances of the palace, and he isn’t any better at supervising the gardens, the garages, or the electricity. He tried to start a literary society, but attendance was patchy and engagement by the participants non-existent. HH asked that Morgan read aloud to him every day; this happens maybe once a month.
Morgan should be using all his free time to write. He had planned to work on what he has called his “Indian Manuscript” which he had started before the Great War. Now he feels that the words on the page melt in the Indian humidity. All he is able to write are deceptively cheery letters back home.
The only bright spots are the instalments on royalties he is receiving from Virginia’s Hogarth press for his supernatural fiction, The Story of the Siren; the most recent was last month on the first anniversary of its publication. The fact that it has sold at all maybe means that he shouldn’t give up trying to write.
On board ship, steaming from the United States to France, Irish-American attorney John Quinn, 51, is finally starting to relax.
Leaving his successful law office behind to go on this holiday feels as though he has been let out of prison.
On previous European trips Quinn has focused on visiting with his friends in Dublin and London. This time he is going to spend the whole time in Paris. Specifically meeting with the artists and writers whom he has been supporting financially for the past few years.
Back in May he arranged through the secretary of state to get a passport for his representative [and lover] Mrs. Jeanne Foster, 42, to precede him and arrange meetings with art dealers and artists.
In particular he is looking forward to in-person dinners with…
Constantin Brancusi, 45. Quinn became familiar with the Romanian sculptor’s work when he exhibited in the 1913 Armory Show, which Quinn helped to organize. Quinn has bought two versions of Brancusi’s Mlle. Pogany, and keeps some of his works in the foyer of his Central Park West apartment. As Quinn has written to the grateful artist earlier this year,
1 can’t have too much of a beautiful thing.”
Mlle. Pogany by Constantin Brancusi
Gwen John, 45. Quinn is her number one buyer. He bought one of the many versions of a portrait the Welsh painter did of Mere Marie Poussepin, the founder of the order of nuns Ms. John lives next door to in a Paris suburb. Quinn much prefers her work to that of her brother, painter Augustus John, 43, whom he stopped supporting a few years ago after a dispute.
One version of Mere Marie Poussepin by Gwen John
James Joyce, 39. Quinn has been buying up the manuscript of Joyce’s novel Ulysses as the ex-pat Irishman works on it. And he defended [pro bono, of course] the American magazine, The Little Review, which dared to publish “obscene” excerpts of the novel. Quinn is quite proud that he got the publishers off with a $100 fine and no jail sentence.
Now it’s time to put legal issues behind him and enjoy Paris.
Scofield Thayer, 31, is in Paris en route to Vienna. He feels he can continue his position as editor and co-owner of the New York-based TheDial literary magazine while he is living in Europe. The international postal service and Western Union should make it easy enough for him to work remotely.
The foreign editor of TheDial, American ex-patriate poet Ezra Pound, 35, is hosting Thayer for his few days in Paris. Pound came to visit him at his hotel, the Hotel Continental on rue de Castiglione, and brought along another American poet, E. E. Cummings, 26, whom Scofield had known at Harvard. Cummings recently returned to Paris and is working on a novel about his experiences as an ambulance driver here during the Great War.
Hotel Continental on rue de Castiglione
Most interesting, however, was the visit Pound arranged to another American writer, Gertrude Stein, 47, and her partner Alice B. Toklas, 44, at 27 rue de Fleurus. They had just met one of TheDial’s main contributors, Sherwood Anderson, 44, author of the successful collection of stories, Winesburg, Ohio. Stein and Toklas discussed with Thayer how impressed they are with Anderson, who is a big fan of Gertrude’s work.
Now Scofield is ready to move on to the next leg of his trip: To Vienna and psychoanalysis treatment with Sigmund Freud, 65.
Vanity Fair managing editor Edmund Wilson, 26, after staying a few days in a hotel, has moved to this pension at 16 rue de Four.
16 rue du Four
Since arriving in Paris last month, Wilson has seen the object of his affections, American poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, 29, a few times. But it is clear to him that she is no longer interested. Edna has told him about her new lover, “a big red-haired British journalist,” as Wilson writes to his friend back at Vanity Fair, John Peale Bishop, also 29. He tells Bishop that Edna
looks well…and has a new distinction of dress, but she can no longer intoxicate me with her beauty, or throw bombs into my soul.”
Time to move on.
Over at the bookstore Shakespeare & Co. on rue Dupuytren, American owner Sylvia Beach, 34, has said goodbye to her new friend, novelist Anderson, whom she introduced to Stein and Toklas earlier this summer. He and his wife are headed to London and then back home to Chicago.
Sylvia also feels it’s time to leave Paris, but just for a bit. She and her partner Adrienne Monnier, 29, are planning a short holiday. But first Sylvia wants to settle her bookshop in its new location.
This summer I am talking about The Literary 1920s in the Osher Lifelong Learning program at the University of Pittsburgh. In the fall I will be talking about Writers’ Salons in Dublin and London Before the Great War in 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 available on Amazon in both print and e-book versions.
English ex-patriate writer David Herbert Lawrence, 35, on his 20-minute walk from his hilltop house in to town, realizes that today is the day his novel Women in Love is being published in the United Kingdom. What a long and circuitous journey.
Lawrence had conceived of this novel during the Great War. But then had written and published six years ago what he thought of as part one, The Rainbow, in both the US and the UK.
Well, of course, the Brits had gone ballistic and banned it under the Obscene Publications Act of 1857. 1857. Did they realize it is now the 20th century?!
Angry, Lawrence sat down and wrote Women in Love as a response, telling his literary agent,
You will hate it and no one will publish it. But there, these things are beyond us.”
Actually, his American publisher, Thomas Seltzer, 46, was willing to take a chance and published it last November. But only in a US private edition costing $15 each. Bit of a narrow audience. Lawrence argued that he didn’t want it to be released that way, but eventually gave in. The title page doesn’t even include the publisher’s name. Just “Private Printing for Subscribers Only.”
Seltzer has told Lawrence that his books are selling quite well in the States, even in a bad year for publishing in general. However, after the uproar over The Rainbow in the UK, Seltzer doesn’t want to take any chances bringing out Women in Love over there.
So Martin Secker, 39, has shouldered the burden with his publishing company. Fear of the censors has led Secker to make a few discreet edits. But Women in Love is scheduled to be unleashed on the public today.
Lawrence and his wife, Frieda, 41, have been in self-imposed exile from England for the past four years. Because Frieda is German, their English neighbors had suspected them to be spies. Ridiculous. And also, he writes dirty books.
D. H. and Frieda Lawrence
The couple have been traveling throughout Europe, mostly Germany—which seemed to Lawrence to be “so empty…as if uninhabited…life empty: no young men”—and Italy. Last year they settled in this Sicilian town. At the beginning of this month, visiting Frieda’s family in Germany, he finished Aaron’s Rod, his third novel in the series about his home country, the English midlands. Seltzer feels that right now Lawrence has too many books out in the US market, so he is going to hold publication of Aaron’s Rod until next year.
David and Frieda are getting antsy. In Italy, he has been writing very little. He is hopeful that excerpts from his travelogue Sea and Sardinia will appear in the American Dial magazine later this year.
Their passports will need to be renewed soon. Lawrence feels it is time to move on to the next adventure.
U. S. President Warren G. Harding, 55, just three months in office, spent the past weekend at the White House concerned about what message he needs to send. He decided to accept the invitation to give the commencement address at Lincoln University this Monday.
So before sunrise, he and his wife Florence, 60, drove about 45 miles from Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, where they had stayed overnight with a friend, to this campus, outside of Oxford, Pennsylvania, the first all-Black degree-granting institution in the country.
The four cars carrying his entourage stop first at the granite arch on campus, where he helps to dedicate the memorial to Lincoln alumni who fought and died in the Great War.
President Harding at Lincoln University
The faculty and students of the “Black Princeton,” as the school is known, are immensely proud to have a sitting president of the United States deliver their commencement address. They feel it is the high point of their 67-year history.
Speaking without notes, Harding addresses the students as “my fellow countrymen” and stresses the importance of education in solving racial problems. But he cautions that government alone cannot “take a race from bondage to citizenship in half a century.”
Then he turns his remarks to the most pressing issue in the country: the massacre of at least 39 citizens in the all-Black neighborhood—called “The Black Wall Street”—in Tulsa, Oklahoma, just five days ago. Offering a prayer for the city, Harding says,
Despite the demagogues, the idea of our oneness as Americans has risen superior to every appeal to mere class and group. And so, I wish it might be in this matter of our national problem of races…God grant that, in the soberness, the fairness, and the justice of this country, we never see another spectacle like it.”
When he is finished, the President congratulates and shakes the hand of each individual graduate.
The damage to the Greenwood neighborhood of Tulsa, Oklahoma
Lily Yeats, 54, co-owner of Cuala Press with her sister, is writing to their father, painter John Butler Yeats, 82, in New York City.
Lily Yeatsat Bedford Square, by her father John Butler Yeats
The family has given up begging him to move back home; Lily is writing to vent her fears about the Irish War of Independence which seems to be raging all around her.
The war started with the Easter Rising over five years ago. Since last year the Black and Tans—unemployed war-weary soldiers from the Great War who have been recruited into the Royal Irish Constabulary, the British occupying force—have been violently marauding throughout the country.
The Black and Tans outside a Dublin hotel
Even in this posh Dublin suburb, three lorries of the thugs came racing down a nearby street the other night. The Yeats’ maid had to fall face down on the road to avoid being shot.
At the beginning of the year a British commission published a report strongly criticizing their behavior, and both the British Labour and Liberal parties have lambasted the Conservative government for its policy of violence to the Irish people.
Just this month, Pope Benedict XV, 66, issued a letter urging the
English as well as Irish to calmly consider…some means of mutual agreement.”
The Brits had thought he was going to condemn the rebellion. Now he’s saying that there are bad people on both sides.
A few months ago, Lily’s brother, poet and playwright William Butler Yeats, 55, now living safely in Berkshire, England, took part in an Oxford debate condemning the British policy. As he does, Willie spoke while dramatically striding up and down the aisles of the auditorium. It worked. He won the debate in favor of Irish self-government and against British reprisals.
Lily is writing to her Da,
if the present state of affairs goes on, England will have no friends left in Ireland…some say the Crown forces were very drunk—drunk or sober they are ruffians—what will dear England do with them when the time comes—it must come sometime that they have to be disbanded?”