Bea Howe, A Fairy Leapt Upon My Knee

Bea Howe was Sylvia Townsend Warner's oldest friend. They met in the 1920s when Bea was 19 and Sylvia was in her middle twenties, and Sylvia spent her 84th birthday having a nice quiet day with Bea, shortly before Sylvia died in 1978. When they met is important, because Sylvia would soon publish her much … Continue reading Bea Howe, A Fairy Leapt Upon My Knee

Bryher (the writer, not the island)

Annie Winifred Ellerman (1894-1983) was a novelist, a literary patron, an heiress, and the devoted lover of the modernist poet Hilda Doolittle (H D). She took the name Bryher to disassociate herself from femininity, one asumes, borrowing the name from one of her favourite Scilly Isles. She married her close friend Kenneth Macpherson, who was … Continue reading Bryher (the writer, not the island)

Laura Knight, Oil Paint and Grease Paint

I went to the Royal Academy's tiny one-room exhibition of Laura Knight a few weeks ago, and was alerted to the fact that she had written a couple of autobiographies, Oil Paint and Grease Paint (1936) and The Magic of a Line (1965). Laura Knight was made a Dame in 1929, and was the first … Continue reading Laura Knight, Oil Paint and Grease Paint