“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, mid-October, 1922, The Criterion magazine, London; and The Dial magazine, New York City, New York

April is the cruelest month…”

Poet, publisher and bank clerk Thomas Stearns Eliot, 34, is proud of this first issue of the magazine he has started, The Criterion. His wife, Vivien, also 34, suggested the title. She just likes the sound of it.

Table of Contents, The Criterion, Vol. I, No. 1

The production value is good—small format, quality paper, clean typefaces. The content rises to the standard Eliot set for himself:  Longer pieces by top writers from different countries, paid at the rate of £10 for 5,000 words. And no illustrations. He didn’t want to junk each issue up the way The Dial magazine in the States does, with reproductions of Chagalls and Brancusis spread throughout.

I will show you fear in a handful of dust…”

Eliot’s one disappointment is that he didn’t get any work from French writer Marcel Proust, 51, for this first issue, despite interventions by their mutual friend, English novelist Sydney Schiff, 54. However, he is hopeful Proust will submit something in time for Issue No. 2.

Schiff is the first one to congratulate Eliot, who receives his letter while he is looking over the first six copies that have been delivered to him at home.

Marcel Proust

Praising Eliot’s accomplishment in producing The Criterion, Schiff also congratulates him on the crown jewel of this issue, Eliot’s own epic poem, “The Waste Land,” which he has been working on concurrently for the past year or more.

In producing the magazine, Eliot has had the support of Lady Rothermere, 48, who has financed the whole operation with her access to the fortune of her husband, owner of The Daily Mirror and The Daily Mail. She has even offered Tom an annual £600 stipend and salary for the next three years, but Eliot is concerned that his bosses at Lloyds Bank won’t like the idea of him being on someone else’s payroll too.

Promotion for The Criterion

A crowd flowed over London Bridge, so many,

I had not thought death had undone so many…”

In writing the poem, Eliot has had the support of many of his literary friends, but none more so than fellow American ex-pat, Ezra Pound, about to turn 37. They met up in Paris early this year and again in Verona at the beginning of summer to “put it through the sieve” as Eliot describes their editing process. The cuts Ezra made were invaluable and Eliot enjoyed collaborating; both agree that the final result is Eliot’s best work. Which is why the poem is dedicated to Ezra.

 Those are pearls that were his eyes…”

Now that “The Waste Land” and The Criterion have both been loosed upon the United Kingdom, the next step is for the poem to be published in the United States, in the November issue of The Dial, on the newsstands in a few days.

After this last year of writing, editing, publishing, negotiating, and taking care of his sick wife—while holding down a full-time job—Eliot is eagerly awaiting the world’s reactions to his efforts.

HURRY UP PLEASE IT’S TIME

Goonight Bill. Goonight Lou. Goonight May. Goonight.

Ta ta. Goonight. Goonight.

Good night, ladies, good night, sweet ladies, good night, good night…”

*****

Pound, in his continuing efforts to get Eliot enough income so that he can afford to leave his bank job, has also been invaluable in getting The Dial publisher, Scofield Thayer, 32, to agree to publish “The Waste Land” at all.

At first Thayer offered Eliot $150, based on the magazine’s usual payment for poetry, with a little extra thrown in. Eliot wasn’t happy with this and prevailed upon another American who had helped with these things before—New York lawyer and patron of the arts, John Quinn, 52, who had negotiated the deal for the American publication of Eliot’s collection, Poems, a few years before.

By the waters of Leman I sat down and wept…”

This time Quinn got Thayer of The Dial to agree with Horace Liveright, 37, of Boni and Liveright that “The Waste Land,” in America, would appear in the November issue of The Dial and then be published the following month in book form by Boni and Liveright, with an extended series of notes which Eliot has added.

Thayer doesn’t like the poem. Or Eliot, for that matter. But his managing editor, Gilbert Seldes, 29, is impressed with “The Waste Land” and, against Thayer’s wishes, has made it the main item in the November issue. Seldes is short on copy for the fall issues, so 450 lines of new Eliot is a godsend.

The Dial, November

To make sure “The Waste Land” publication has maximum impact, Seldes has enlisted the services of one of the top publicists in the city Bea Kaufman, 27, wife of playwright George S Kaufman, 32. Seldes enticed her with an invitation for a free meal: 

I want to talk about publicity for T. S. Eliot with you very shortly, and I think that these lofty business matters are always settled at lunch, paid for by the office. Let us go to Child’s some morning or afternoon.”

Bea Kaufman’s passport photo

In addition to arranging for reviews to appear in the New York Tribune and the New Republic, and writing one himself for The Nation, Seldes also sent an early copy of “The Waste Land” to Vanity Fair managing editor Edmund Wilson, 27, asking him to write a review for the December issue of The Dial. Wilson read the poem over and over, sitting on the top deck of a Fifth Avenue bus. He feels Eliot’s words speak to him as a frustrated writer, living in a crappy apartment that smells like damp cats.

As a silk hat on a Bradford millionaire…”

No other American magazine or book publisher has been actively involved in bidding for “The Waste Land,” but a strong last-minute effort from Quinn was what got Thayer and Liveright to agree to the schedule. Eliot is receiving only $150 from The Dial, but they have also agreed to award him their $2,000 Dial prize this year. (Shhhh—that won’t be announced until the December issue.)

As a reward for his pro bono work. Eliot is sending Quinn the original manuscript of “The Waste Land” to add to his collection of authors’ manuscripts.

 On Margate Sands.

  I can connect

 Nothing with nothing…”

Thayer still isn’t happy about the poem itself, or its first place position in his magazine. He’d still rather be publishing something from an established novelist like Edith Wharton, 60.

All there is to do now is wait to see what the reviewers and the reading public think.

Shantih  shantih shantih.”

T. S. Eliot at work

“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 11, 1922, Librairie Six, 5 Avenue de Lowendal; Hotel Verneuil, rue de Verneuil, Paris; and 74 Gloucester Place, Marylebone, London

Sitting in the backroom of Librairie Six, his friend’s bookstore and art gallery, English poet and publisher John Rodker, 27, is pretty sure he has everything organized for the big day tomorrow.

John Rodker surrounded by publishing friends

In a little more than a month he has managed to pull together the publication of a second edition of the scandalous novel Ulysses by Irish-expat in Paris James Joyce, 40, the day before the copies arrive from the Dijon-based printer Darantiere.

Back in England, Rodker had been approached by one of Joyce’s many benefactors, Harriet Shaw Weaver, 46, publisher of Joyce through her Egoist Press and Egoist magazine.

Weaver has bought the British rights to all Joyce’s work, and she is eager to publish a second edition to follow up the debut of Ulysses this past February, published by the Left Bank bookshop Shakespeare and Company, owned by American ex-pat Sylvia Beach, 35.

Ulysses has been banned in America and confiscated in the UK, so Harriet has determined that the best approach is to have all the production, promotion and administrative work done in Paris, and then ship the books out to other, less tolerant, countries.

Rodker is a good choice for this assignment as he has already founded Ovid Press to publish limited editions, and, as a Conscientious Objector during the Great War, is willing to take risks for his principles.

Joyce, Beach and Weaver look at this second edition as an opportunity to correct the more than 200 typographical errors they’ve found in Shakespeare and Company’s 700-page original. However, rumors are circulating that pirates in the States are hurrying to bring out unauthorized editions. Weaver knows she has to work faster than originally planned. So—no corrections.

From this backroom office Rodker has mailed out flyers trumpeting the publication and then processed the orders. The plan he and Weaver concocted to service the UK customers involves him sending a bulk shipment to a collaborative wholesaler in London who will unbind them, pull them apart, shove sections inside British newspapers to avoid confiscation and tariffs, and then send them to the States via a merchant ship with a first mate who has agreed to serve as their smuggler. The American wholesalers will put each clandestine copy back together and deliver it to middlemen and booksellers.

Weaver will finance the whole operation, including £200 for Rodker’s services.

Rodker’s next step is to receive the shipment of 2,000 copies—complete with typos—from Darantiere tomorrow.

Ulysses, published by the Egoist Press

*****

About a half hour’s walk across the Left Bank, in the basement of the Hotel Verneuil, Rodker’s partner in crime, critic Iris Barry, 27 (actually Sylvia Crump from Birmingham, UK), has set up shop to handle the fulfillment function for individual orders.

Iris Barry

In this small room she has gathered rolls of brown parcel paper, piles of mailing labels, scissors and string. When the books arrive tomorrow, she will wrap and tie up each one individually, write out the address of the brave person in America who has ordered it, and then take Ulysses to the nearby post office in groups of four or five and send them off with a prayer that each will be delivered to its buyer before U. S. Customs starts confiscating them.

*****

In London, Miss Weaver has decided to handle the delivery to local individuals and bookstores herself. Those copies will be sent by Rodker to a private mailing firm. When the Egoist Press receives an order from a bookshop, Harriet plans to pick up the copies from the mailing company and take them—discreetly—to the store which placed the order. There they will keep Ulysses behind the counter until a special customer requests a copy.

Gloucester Place, Marylebone

Although Weaver’s lawyers have advised against it, she is going to keep some copies of Ulysses in her office and her home. Her wealthy family has always supported Harriet’s work for liberal causes but cannot imagine why she is interested in publishing smut. Her brother-in-law laments,

How could she? How could she? An enigma! An enigma!”

“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, Fall, 1922, Dublin; London; New York City, New York; and Paris

In the September issue of the Dublin Review,Domini Canis” declares that Ulysses, the recently published novel by James Joyce, 40, Irish writer living in Paris, is:

A fearful travesty on persons, happenings and intimate life of the most morbid and sickening description…spiritually offensive…[a] Cuchulain of the sewer…[an] Ossian of obscenity…[No Catholic] can even afford to be possessed of a copy of this book, for in its reading lies not only the description but the commission of a sin against the Holy Ghost…Doubtless this book was written to make angels weep and to amuse friends, but we are not sure that ‘those embattled angels of the Church, Michael’s host’ will not laugh aloud to see the failure of this frustrated Titan as he revolves and splutters hopelessly under the flood of his own vomit.”

Domini Canis,” or “Hound of the Lord,” is actually Shane Leslie, 37, Irish writer and diplomat.

Shane Leslie

*****

A longer version of the same piece appears the following month in London’s Quarterly Review, under Leslie’s real name. Leslie knows that his readership in England is more likely to be Protestant than Catholic, so he changes a few things:

As a whole, the book must remain impossible to read, and undesirable to quote…We shall not be far wrong if we describe Mr. Joyce’s work as literary Bolshevism. It is experimental, anti-Christian, chaotic, totally unmoral…From any Christian point of view this book must be proclaimed anathema, simply because it tries to pour ridicule on the most sacred themes and characters in what had been the religion of Europe for nearly two thousand years.”

In late October, poet and playwright Alfred Noyes, 42, delivers a talk to the Royal Society of Literature, which appears in the Sunday Chronicle under the title, “Rottenness in Literature”:

Alfred Noyes

It is simply the foulest book that has ever found its way into print…[In a court of law] it would be pronounced to be a corrupt mass of indescribable degradation…[This is] the extreme case of complete reduction to absurdity of what I have called ‘the literary Bolshevism of the Hour.’”

Noyes has been reading Shane Leslie, obviously.

When Leslie’s screed in The Quarterly Review is brought to the attention of the Home Office by a concerned citizen, the undersecretary instructs his department to confiscate any copies of Ulysses entering the country. Of course, he doesn’t have a copy to read himself.

*****

In New York City, Edmund Wilson, 27, managing editor of Vanity Fair, has been quite impressed by Ulysses and said so in his review in the July issue of the New Republic. He is even more impressed that, as a reward for his insight, he has received a thank you note from Joyce, written by his publisher, American bookshop owner Sylvia Beach, 35. This will make his literary friends green with envy.

Note from Sylvia Beach to Edmund Wilson

*****

In Paris, Joyce wants to let his partner, Nora Barnacle, 38, mother of their two children, know how important her support is to him. He gifts her copy number 1000 of Ulysses, with a personal inscription, and gives it to her at a dinner party. Nora says she can probably sell it.

Nora Barnacle

“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 Thoor Ballylee in Co. Galway, and as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA. They are also on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

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 September, 1922, Presbyterian Hospital, New York City, New York

What?!

When American actor Paul Robeson, 24, in London, received the cable from his wife of one year, Essie Goode Robeson, 26, back in New York City, he couldn’t believe it.

Essie and Paul Robeson

Paul had been touring the UK in a play, Voodoo—called Taboo when he premiered it in the US—with legendary English actress Mrs. Patrick Campbell, 57. He’d been writing letters home to Essie almost every day, but the ones he received from her seemed remote, with no comments regarding all the details he was giving her about his life here. Finally, he cabled her,

ALL MY QUESTIONS UNANSWERED. WORRIED. IS ANYTHING WRONG. ALL LOVE, PAUL.”

Something sure was wrong—Essie replied that she had been in the hospital the whole time! She hadn’t told him about the complications from her appendectomy, and she’d checked herself in right after he left for the UK. Essie had written out letters to him in advance and had friends send them to Paul at regular intervals so he wouldn’t worry. Ha!

Paul wrote back to say he will return home right away. The producers of the play have decided not to take it on to London, so Paul books a ticket on the RMS Homeric.

As soon as he docks in New York City, Robeson goes straight to Presbyterian Hospital where Essie, now a patient, has worked for years, even before her marriage, as a chemist in the Surgical Pathology Department. When Paul asks to see his wife, Essie, the receptionist says,

Oh, you’re Mr. Goode; I’ll take you right up!”

Reunited, Paul vows to stay by her side in the hospital until she is ready to go home to their house in Harlem to recuperate.

Presbyterian Hospital

“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 Thoor Ballylee in Co. Galway, and as signed copies at Riverstone Books in Squirrel Hill, Pittsburgh, PA. They are also on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk in print and e-book formats. For more information, email me at kaydee@gypsyteacher.com.

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

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, August 30, 1922, RAF Recruiting Office, Henrietta Street, Covent Garden, London

A young blonde man walks into the recruiting office and fills out an application to enlist in the Royal Air Force. John Hume Ross, 28.

Except he isn’t.

He is Thomas Edward Lawrence, just turned 34, former colonel in the British Army, known for his role in the Arab revolt against the Ottoman Empire during the Great War, and until recently a bored bureaucrat in the government’s Foreign Office.

T. E. Lawrence during the Great War

Even though his supervisor there, Winston Churchill, 47, head of the Colonial Office and MP for Dundee, sent him back to the Middle East several times, Lawrence found the administrative work stultifying. Churchill finally accepted his resignation last month.

Since the end of the War, Lawrence has been working on his memoir, Seven Pillars of Wisdom, and privately published, at his own expense, a few copies with the Oxford Press this summer.

During his service he realized how important air power now is in battle; he wants to re-enlist, this time with the RAF.

Anticipating problems if he tries to sign up at his age, earlier this year Lawrence met with Sir Hugh Trenchard, 49, the “father” of the RAF, at the Air Ministry to tell him of his plan. Trenchard agreed.

Now, at the recruiting office, Flying Officer W. E. Johns, 29, is suspicious of “Ross” and his fitness for service. Lawrence admits that he gave false information and Johns rejects him.

Lawrence contacts Trenchard who sends a message that Officer Johns must accept Lawrence.

He’s in. Again.

T. E. Lawrence in the RAF

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

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

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 August, 1922, 74 Gloucester Place, Marylebone, London

While English novelist Virginia Woolf, 40, in Rodmell, East Sussex, is struggling to get past page 200 of Ulysses, the book’s author, James Joyce, also 40, is about 70 miles north, here in Marylebone, London, meeting one of his key benefactors, publisher Harriet Shaw Weaver, 45, for the first time.

Gloucester Place, Marylebone

Joyce and Weaver have been corresponding for years; she published his work in her Egoist magazine and his books with her Egoist Press, in addition to supporting him substantially with stipends from her late mother’s inherited money.

Recent treatment Joyce has been receiving for his painful iritis seems to be working, so he decided this would be a good time to make the trip over from his home in Paris with his partner, Nora Barnacle, 38.

When the Joyces arrived here at Harriet’s home, she noticed that he was well-dressed and had excellent manners, but that his huge spectacles accentuate the terrible state that his eyes are in. He and Nora both impressed her with their Irish charm.

James Joyce with eye patch

Harriet is a bit concerned that the Joyces are going all over town by taxi—even Harriet rides the bus sometimes. He blows about £200 in the month they are here.

London taxis and buses

Weaver hadn’t realized until recently just how much personal care Joyce’s Paris publisher, American Sylvia Beach, 35, owner of the Shakespeare and Company bookstore, has been providing for him. In addition to publishing Ulysses this past February, Sylvia has been helping to support the family and making sure Joyce is seeing eye specialists.

Now, toward the end of their trip, Joyce is having a relapse. Harriet arranges a visit to her own eye doctor who, like the French physicians, advises immediate surgery. Joyce figures it’s a good time to head back home to Paris.

Before he and Nora leave, however, they visit with one of his Irish relatives who works here in London. Joyce asks her what her mother back in Ireland thinks of his novel, Ulysses, and she says,

Well, Jim, mother thought it was not fit to read.”

To which Joyce replies,

If Ulysses isn’t fit to read, life isn’t fit to live.”

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

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

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, August 24, 1922, Monk’s House, Rodmell, East Sussex, England

Writing in her diary, writer Virginia Woolf, 40, notes that,

I open the paper and find Michael Collins dead in a ditch.”

Collins, 32, the Commander-in-Chief of Ireland’s National Army, was assassinated two days ago by a sniper while taking the risk of traveling through County Cork, which is under the control of the opposition forces in Ireland’s Civil War, led by Eamon de Valera, 39.

Michael Collins

Woolf is about to launch her third novel, Jacob’s Room and is also working on a short story, “Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street.” And she is still struggling to get through Ulysses by Irish writer James Joyce, 40.

Today, however, she is responding to a letter from an old friend, telling her that Katherine Mansfield, 33, is back in London, staying in Hampstead.

Woolf greatly admires Mansfield. The Hogarth Press, which Virginia operates with her husband Leonard, 41, out of their London home, published Mansfield’s short story Prelude when they first started their company four years ago; it has sold over 200 copies.

Prelude by Katherine Mansfield

But Virginia also looks at Katherine as one of her main rivals. Her current collection, The Garden Party and Other Stories, which Hogarth lost to a more mainstream publisher, “soars in the newspapers & runs up sales skyhigh” as Virginia wrote in her diary.

Katherine has been mostly away from London for the past two years, undergoing experimental treatments in France and Switzerland to treat her tuberculosis. Before returning to London a few weeks ago she wrote another short story and her will.

Staying in Hampstead with painter Dorothy Brett, 38, an old acquaintance of her husband, Katherine has kept to her room, hanging a sign on the door telling visitors to stay away as she is working. She ventures out to attend lectures about the effect on your body of having a “diseased spirit,” and to have experimental radiation treatments.

Dorothy has invited Virginia to join them at one of the regular salons she holds on Thursday evenings in the posh Hampstead house her parents have bought for her. She feels Virginia and Katherine would appreciate the opportunity to see each other again.

Dorothy Brett

As Virginia writes to her Dorothy, she “agonized” over the invitation. It would be great to see people again, back in the city. But would the trip to London just distract her from what she is working on?

Virginia decides she will pass on the salon and make a point to see Katherine next summer when she’s back in town.

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

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

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, August, 1922, New York City, New York; Dublin; and London

In America, Ireland and England, many are still working their way through Ulysses.

In the States, Gilbert Seldes, 29, writes in The Nation,

Today [James Joyce] has brought forth Ulysses…a monstrous and magnificent travesty, which makes him possibly the most interesting and the most formidable of our time….I think that Nietzsche would have cared for the tragic gaiety of Ulysses.”

Gilbert Seldes

*****

In Dublin, poet and artist AE [George Russell, 55] writes to his friend in New York City, Irish-American lawyer John Quinn, 52:  

I see the ability and mastery while not liking the mood…[Joyce is] very Irish…The Irish genius is coming out of its seclusion and [W. B.] Yeats, [John Millington] Synge, [George] Moore, [George Bernard] Shaw, Joyce and others are forerunners. The Irish imagination is virgin soil and virgin soil is immensely productive when cultivated. We are devotees of convention in normal circumstances and when we break away we outrage convention.”

George Russell, AE

Another Irish friend, novelist and poet James Stephens, 42, writes to Quinn that he didn’t even bother to try Ulysses.

It is too expensive to buy and too difficult to borrow, and too long to read, and, from what I have heard about it, altogether too difficult to talk about.”

*****

In London, novelist Virginia Woolf, 40, has been working on a short story, “Mrs. Dalloway in Bond Street” while still trying to get through Ulysses. She admits to her diary,

I should be reading Ulysses, & fabricating my case for & against. I have read 200 pages. So far—not a third; & have been amused, stimulated, charmed interested by the first two or three chapters–to the end of the Cemetery scene; & then puzzled, bored, irritated, & disillusioned as by a queasy undergraduate scratching his pimples. And Tom [American ex-pat poet T. S. Eliot], great Tom, thinks this on a par with War & Peace! An illiterate, underbred book it seems to me:  the book of a self-taught working man, & we all know how distressing they are, how egotistic, insistent, raw, striking, & ultimately nauseating. When 1 can have the cooked flesh, why have the raw? But I think if you are anemic, as Tom is, there is glory in blood. Being fairly normal myself I am soon ready for the classics again. I may revise this later. I do not compromise my critical sagacity. I plant a stick in the ground to mark page 200…I dislike Ulysses more & more–that is I think it more & more unimportant:  & don’t even trouble conscientiously to make out its meanings. Thank God, I need not write about it.”

But Virginia does write about it to her Bloomsbury friend, biographer and essayist Lytton Strachey, 42:  

Never did I read such tosh. As for the first two chapters we will let them pass, but the 3rd 4th 5th 6th–merely the scratching of pimples on the body of the bootboy at Claridges. Of course genius may blaze out on page 652 but I have my doubts. And this is what Eliot worships…”

Lytton Strachey and Virginia Woolf

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

Later in the year I will be talking about the centenary of the publication of T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institutes at Carnegie-Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh.

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.