Towards the end of the war, Enrico Caruso met and wooed a 25-year-old socialite, Dorothy Park Benjamin (1893–1955). She was the daughter of a wealthy New York patent lawyer. In spite of the disapproval of Dorothy's father, the couple wed on August 20, 1918. They had a daughter, Gloria Caruso (1919–1999). Dorothy lived until 1955 and wrote two books about Caruso, published in 1928 and 1945. The books include many of Caruso's letters to his wife.
In 1918, Benjamin's daughter Dorothy, 25, eloped with opera star Enrico Caruso, who was 45. Caruso was the most famous tenor in the world at the time. Benjamin initially approved of the marriage but later withdrew his consent citing the differences in their "ages, nationality and temperament." Another of his daughters married that year and Benjamin was also conspicuously absent from her wedding.
In 1919, Benjamin legally adopted Dorothy's long time governess, Anna M. Bolchi, as his daughter. His wife was ill and living in a sanitarium at the time. Caruso died in 1921 at the age of 48 and Benjamin died the next year at the age of 74 at his summer home in Stamford, CT. All of his children, except Dorothy, were at his bedside when he died.
The daughter of well to do patent lawyer Park Benjaminin of New York, Dorothy was 25 when she married Italian tenor Enrico in 1918. The couple had been married just shy of 3 years when Enrico died at the age of 48. Dorothy would marry two more times. By 1942, the relationship of Margaret Anderson with Jane Heap had cooled, and, evacuating from the war in France, Anderson sailed for the United States. During the voyage, Anderson met Dorothy Caruso. The two began a romantic relationship, and lived together until Caruso's death in 1955.
A fastidious dresser, Caruso took two baths a day and liked good Italian food and convivial company. He forged a particularly close bond with his Met and Covent Garden colleague Antonio Scotti – an amiable and stylish baritone from Naples. Caruso was superstitious and habitually carried good-luck charms with him when he sang. He played cards for relaxation and sketched friends, other singers and musicians. Dorothy Caruso said that by the time she knew him, her husband's favorite hobby was compiling scrapbooks. He also amassed a valuable collection of rare postage stamps, coins, watches and antique snuffboxes. Caruso was a heavy smoker of strong Egyptian cigarettes, too. This deleterious habit, combined with a lack of exercise and the punishing schedule of performances that Caruso willingly undertook season after season at the Met, may have contributed to the persistent ill-health which afflicted the last months of his life.
Dorothy Caruso noted that her husband's health began a distinct downward spiral in late 1920 after returning from a lengthy North American concert tour. In his biography, Enrico Caruso, Jr. points to an on-stage injury suffered by Caruso as the possible trigger of his fatal illness. A falling pillar in Samson and Delilah on December 3 had hit him on the back, over the left kidney (and not on the chest as popularly reported). A few days before a performance of Pagliacci at the Met (Pierre Key says it was December 4, the day after the Samson and Delilah injury) he suffered a chill and developed a cough and a "dull pain in his side". It appeared to be a severe episode of bronchitis. Caruso's physician, Philip Horowitz, who usually treated him for migraine headaches with a kind of primitive TENS unit, diagnosed "intercostal neuralgia" and pronounced him fit to appear on stage, although the pain continued to hinder his voice production and movements.
During a performance of L'elisir d'amore by Donizetti at the Brooklyn Academy of Music on December 11, 1920, he suffered a throat haemorrhage and the performance was canceled at the end of Act 1. Following this incident, a clearly unwell Caruso gave only three more performances at the Met, the final one being as Eléazar in Halévy's La Juive, on December 24, 1920. By Christmas Day, the pain in his side was so excruciating that he was screaming. Dorothy summoned the hotel physician, who gave Caruso some morphine and codeine and called in another doctor, Evan M. Evans. Evans brought in three other doctors and Caruso finally received a correct diagnosis: purulent pleurisy and empyema.
Caruso's health deteriorated further during the new year. He experienced episodes of intense pain because of the infection and underwent seven surgical procedures to drain fluid from his chest and lungs. He returned to Naples to recuperate from the most serious of the operations, during which part of a rib had been removed. According to Dorothy Caruso, he seemed to be recovering, but allowed himself to be examined by an unhygienic local doctor and his condition worsened dramatically after that. The Bastianelli brothers, eminent medical practitioners with a clinic in Rome, recommended that his left kidney be removed. He was on his way to Rome to see them but, while staying overnight in the Vesuvio Hotel in Naples, he took an alarming turn for the worse and was given morphine to help him sleep.
Caruso died at the hotel shortly after 9:00 a.m. local time, on August 2, 1921. He was 48. The Bastianellis attributed the likely cause of death to peritonitis arising from a burst subphrenic abscess. The King of Italy, Victor Emmanuel III, opened the Royal Basilica of the Church of San Francesco di Paola for Caruso's funeral, which was attended by thousands of people. His embalmed body was preserved in a glass sarcophagus at Del Pianto Cemetery in Naples for mourners to view. In 1929, Dorothy Caruso had his remains sealed permanently in an ornate stone tomb.
Georgette Leblanc (8 February 1869 Rouen, – 27 October 1941 Le Cannet, near Cannes) was a French operatic soprano, actress, author, and the sister of novelist Maurice Leblanc. She became particularly associated with the works of Jules Massenet and was an admired interpreter of the title role in Bizet's Carmen. For many years Leblanc was the lover of Belgian playwright and writer Maurice Maeterlinck, and he wrote several parts for her within his stage plays. She portrayed the role of Ariane in Ariane et Barbe-bleue, both in the original 1899 stage play by Maeterlinck and in the 1907 opera adaptation by Paul Dukas. Leblanc also appeared in a couple of French films, most notably L'Inhumaine in 1924. In the last few decades of her life she turned to writing, producing two commercially successful autobiographies and several children's books and travelogues. (P: George Grantham Bain collection, purchased by the Library of Congress in 1948. Georgette Leblanc, French soprano and author,
After her relationship with Maeterlinck ended, Leblanc remained active on the stage within his plays throughout the 1920s, although her singing career was pretty much over. She had a number of romantic relationships with high profile individuals during the 1920s and 1930s. For a brief time she was involved with Greco-Armenian mystic G. I. Gurdjieff. She was also a close friend of fellow Gurdjieff student Margaret Anderson and some scholars speculate the two may have been lovers during the last fifteen years of Leblanc's life. She continued to be popular among the Parisian artistic social circles and was notably friends with Jean Cocteau and Marcel L'Herbier, in whose film L'Inhumaine (1924) she starred.
The Elizabeth Jenks Clark Collection of Margaret Anderson, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Margaret Anderson, Louise Davidson, and Mme. Georgette LeBlanc aboard the "Ile de France"
Margaret Anderson was the American publisher of the art and literary magazine The Little Review. Georgette Leblanc was a French operatic soprano, actress, author. Leblanc was also the lover of Belgian playwright and writer Maurice Maeterlinck. She was also a close friend of fellow Gurdjieff student Anderson and some scholars speculate the two may have been lovers during the last 15 years of Leblanc's life. Anderson is buried beside Georgette Leblanc in the Notre Dame des Anges Cemetery.
Georgette Leblanc & Margaret Anderson are buried together in the Notre Dame des Anges Cemetery. Margaret died in 1973 and is buried beside Georgette.
The Elizabeth Jenks Clark Collection of Margaret Anderson, Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library. Georgette LeBlanc posed with a piano
In 1930 Leblanc published Souvenirs (1895–1918), an account of her liaison with Maeterlinck. She also authored a further autobiography and several children's books and travelogues. She died at Cannes, Alpes-Maritimes in 1941 and was buried in the Notre Dame des Anges Cemetery beside Margaret Anderson.
Georgette Leblanc was born into a cultured family that valued the arts of all forms and encouraged her to pursue music, acting, and writing. She initially worked for a short time as an actress on the Paris stage before studying music under Jules Massenet in that city. She made her professional opera debut at the Opéra-Comique on November 23, 1893 as Françoise in Alfred Bruneau's L'attaque du moulin. Shortly thereafter she returned to that opera house to sing the title role in Bizet's Carmen. In 1894 she joined the roster at the Théâtre de la Monnaie where she sang numerous parts for the next three seasons, including: Anita in La Navarraise and the title roles in both Massenet's Thaïs and Carmen once again.
In 1895, Leblanc met playwright Maurice Maeterlinck in Brussels with whom she began a 23 year romantic relationship. That same year the couple moved to the district of Passy in Paris, living together quite out in the open to the chagrin of both of their Catholic families. Leblanc had married a Spanish man a few years previously, and the Roman Catholic Church refused to give her a divorce from her unhappy marriage. The couple's home became a center for the artistic community with individuals like Octave Mirbeau, Jean Lorrain, and Paul Fort frequently being entertained at their house. The couple also owned a home in Normandy where they would go for the summers.
Beginning with Aglavaine and Sélysette in 1896, Leblanc began to appear in a number of Maeterlinck's plays, several of which included characters specifically written for or based on her. She also sang in a number of recitals and concerts in Paris that included German lieder by Franz Schubert and Robert Schumann that had been translated into French by Maeterlinck. She remained active in opera in Paris, notably appearing as Fanny in Massenet’s Sapho at the Opéra-Comique in 1897. She later recorded several arias from Sapho with the composer on the piano in 1903.
Beginning in August 1893, Maeterlinck collaborated with Claude Debussy on the opera Pelléas et Mélisande, which was based on Maeterlinck's play of the same name. Leblanc was originally slated to perform the role of Mélisande in the opera's 1902 premiere, but she was replaced by Mary Garden. This angered Maeterlinck, who threatened legal action and physical violence against Debussy for ousting his lover from the part. She did, however, originate the title role in the world premiere of Paul Dukas's operatic adaptation of Maeterlinck's Ariane et Barbe-bleue in 1907, having already portrayed Ariane in the original stage play in 1899 in Paris.
In 1906, Leblanc and Maeterlinck moved to a villa in Grasse where their relationship began to experience difficulties. Maeterlinck became increasingly depressed and was eventually diagnosed with neurasthenia. He did however write several plays during this time, two of which, Marie-Victoire (1907) and Mary Magdalene (1910), had leading roles for Leblanc. In 1912-1913 Leblanc sang at both the Manhattan Opera House in New York and at the Opéra de Monte-Carlo. She also finally got to sing Mélisande in 1912 in its premiere in Boston with the Boston Opera Company, where she also acted the part in the play and recorded 4 songs with Columbia Records. In 1914 Leblanc and Maeterlinck left Grasse for a villa near Nice and the following year Leblanc portrayed the role of Lady Macbeth in a French film adaptation of William Shakespear's Macbeth. The couple stayed together four more years, but the relationship ended in 1918 when it became clear that he was involved with another woman, the actress Renée Dahon.
Jane Heap (1883 – 1964) was an American publisher and a significant figure in the development and promotion of literary modernism. Together with Margaret Anderson, her friend and business partner (who for some years was also her lover), she edited the celebrated literary magazine The Little Review, which published an extraordinary collection of modern American, English and Irish writers between 1914 and 1929. Heap herself has been called "one of the most neglected contributors to the transmission of modernism between America and Europe during the early twentieth century." (P: Little Review reunion, with Jane Heap, Mina Loy, and Ezra Pound in Paris (1921))
Heap was born in Topeka, Kansas, where her father was the warden of the local mental asylum. After completing her high school education, she moved to Chicago, where she enrolled in the Art Institute of Chicago, and continued to take night school classes there even after she became an art teacher at the Lewis Institute.
It was while working at the Lewis Institute, in 1908, that she first met Florence Reynolds, a student and the daughter of a prosperous Chicago businessman. Reynolds and Heap became lovers, in 1910 travelling together to Germany, where Heap studied tapestry weaving. The two women remained friends throughout their lives, although they often lived apart, and despite the fact that Heap formed romantic attachments with many other women. From the late 1930s, Heap became the companion of the founding editor of British Vogue and head designer at Worth London Elspeth Champcommunal.
In 1912, Heap helped found Maurice Browne's Chicago Little Theatre, an influential avant-garde theatre group presenting the works of Chekhov, Strindberg and Ibsen and other contemporary works.
In 1916, Heap met Margaret Anderson, and soon joined her as co-editor of The Little Review. Although her work in the published magazine was relatively low profile (she signed her pieces simply "jh"), she was a bold and creative force behind the scenes.
In 1917 Anderson and Heap moved The Little Review to New York, and with the help of critic Ezra Pound, who acted as their foreign editor in London, The Little Review published some of the most influential new writers in the English language, including Hart Crane, T. S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Pound himself, and William Butler Yeats. The magazine's most published poet was New York dadaist Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, with whom Heap became friends on the basis of their shared confrontational feminist and artistic agendas. Other notable contributors included Sherwood Anderson, André Breton, Jean Cocteau, Malcolm Cowley, Marcel Duchamp, Ford Madox Ford, Emma Goldman, Vachel Lindsay, Amy Lowell, Francis Picabia, Carl Sandburg, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, Arthur Waley, and William Carlos Williams. Even so, however, they once published an issue with 12 blank pages to protest the temporary lack of exciting new works.
In March 1918, Ezra Pound sent them the opening chapters of James Joyce's Ulysses, which The Little Review serialized until 1920, when the U.S. Post Office seized and burned four issues of the magazine and convicted Anderson and Heap on obscenity charges. Although the obscenity trial was ostensibly about Ulysses, Irene Gammel argues that The Little Review came under attack for its overall subversive tone and, in particular, its publication of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven’s sexually explicit poetry and outspoken defense of Joyce. The Baroness paid tribute to Jane Heap’s combative spirit in her poem "To Home," which is dedicated to "Fieldadmarshmiralshall/ J.H./ Of Dreadnaught:/ T.L.R." At their 1921 trial, they were fined $100 and forced to discontinue the serialization. Following the trial, Heap became the main editor of the magazine, taking over from Anderson, and introducing brightly coloured covers and experimental poetry from surrealists and Dadaists.
Heap met G. I. Gurdjieff during his 1924 visit to New York, and was so impressed with his philosophy that she set up a Gurdjieff study group at her apartment in Greenwich Village. In 1925, she moved to Paris, to study at Gurdjieff's Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man, where Margaret Anderson had moved the previous year alongside her new lover, soprano Georgette Leblanc. Although they now lived separately, Heap and Anderson continued to work together as co-editors of The Little Review until deciding to close the magazine in 1929. Heap also at this time adopted Anderson's two nephews, after Anderson's sister had had a nervous breakdown, and Anderson herself had shown no interest in becoming a foster mother.
Heap established a Paris Gurdjieff study group in 1927, which continued to grow in popularity through the early 1930s, when Kathryn Hulme (author of The Nun's Story) and journalist Solita Solano (Sarah Wilkinson) joined the group. This developed into an all-women Gurdjieff study group known as "the Rope", taught jointly by Heap and by Gurdjieff himself.
In 1935, Gurdjieff sent Heap to London to set up a new study group. She would remain in London for the rest of her life, including throughout The Blitz. Her study group became very popular with certain sections of the London avant-garde, and after the war its students included the future theatre producer and director, Peter Brook.
Apart from her Little Review work, Heap never in her lifetime published an account of her ideas, although both Hulme and Anderson published collections of memoirs, and particularly their memories of working with Gurdjieff. After Heap's death from diabetes in 1964, former students put together a collection of her aphorisms (both her own and Gurdjieff's) and, in 1983, some notes reflecting her expression of some of the key Gurdjieff ideas.
Margaret Caroline Anderson (November 24, 1886 – October 19, 1973) was the American founder, editor and publisher of the art and literary magazine The Little Review, which published a collection of modern American, English and Irish writers between 1914 and 1929. The periodical is most noted for introducing many prominent American and British writers of the 20th century, such as Ezra Pound and T. S. Eliot in the United States, and publishing the first thirteen chapters of James Joyce's then-unpublished novel, Ulysses. (P: New York World-Telegram & Sun Collection, Library of Congress. Margaret Anderson, American writer and magazine editor,
A large collection of her papers on Gurdjieff's teaching is now preserved at Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library, Yale University.
Anderson was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, the eldest of three daughters of Arthur Aubrey Anderson and Jessie (Shortridge) Anderson. She graduated from high school in Anderson, Indiana, in 1903, and then entered a two-year junior preparatory class at Western College for Women in Oxford, Ohio.
She left Western in 1906, at the end of her freshman year, to pursue a career as a pianist. In the fall of 1908 she left home for Chicago, where she reviewed books for a religious weekly (The Continent) before joining The Dial. By 1913 she was a book critic for the Chicago Evening Post.
In March 1914, Anderson founded the avant-garde literary magazine The Little Review during Chicago's literary renaissance, which became not just influential, but soon created a unique place for itself and for her in the American literary and artistic history. "An organ of two interests, art and good talk about art", the monthly's first issue featured articles on Nietzsche, feminism and psychoanalysis. Early funding was intermittent, and for six months in 1914, she was forced out of her Chicago residence at 837 West Ainslie Street, and the magazine's offices at Chicago Fine Arts Building at 410 S. Michigan Avenue, and camped with family and staff members on the shores of Lake Michigan.
The writer Ben Hecht, who was at least partly in love with her then, described her this way: "She was blond, shapely, with lean ankles and a Scandinavian face. ... I forgave her her chastity because she was a genius. During the years I knew her she wore the same suit, a tailored affair in robin's egg blue. Despite this unvarying costume she was as chic as any of the girls who model today for the fashion magazines. ... It was surprising to see a coiffure so neat on a noggin so stormy."
In 1916, Anderson met Jane Heap, a spirited intellectual and artist immersed in the Chicago Arts and Crafts Movement, and a former lesbian lover to novelist Djuna Barnes. The two became lovers, and Anderson convinced her to become co-editor of The Little Review. Heap maintained a low profile, signing her contributions simply "jh", but she had a major impact on the success of the journal through its bold and radical content.
For a while, Anderson and Heap published the magazine out of a ranch in Muir Woods, across the San Francisco Bay Area, before moving to New York's Greenwich Village in 1917. With the help of critic Ezra Pound, who acted as her foreign editor in London, The Little Review published some of the most influential new writers in the English language, including Hart Crane, T. S. Eliot, Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Pound himself, and William Butler Yeats. The magazine's most published poet was New York dadaist Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, with whom Heap became friends on the basis of their shared confrontational feminist and artistic agendas. Other notable contributors included Sherwood Anderson, André Breton, Jean Cocteau, Malcolm Cowley, Marcel Duchamp, Ford Madox Ford, Emma Goldman, Vachel Lindsay, Amy Lowell, Francis Picabia, Carl Sandburg, Gertrude Stein, Wallace Stevens, Arthur Waley, and William Carlos Williams. Even so, however, she once published an issue with a dozen blank pages to protest the temporary lack of exciting new works.
In 1918, starting with the March issue, The Little Review began serializing James Joyce's Ulysses. Over time the U.S. Post Office seized and burned four issues of the magazine, and Anderson and her companion and associate editor, Jane Heap, were convicted of obscenity charges. Although the obscenity trial was ostensibly about Ulysses, Irene Gammel argues that The Little Review came under attack for its overall subversive tone and, in particular, its publication of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven’s sexually explicit poetry and outspoken defense of Joyce. During the trial in February, 1921, hundreds of "Greenwich Villagers", men and women, marched into Special Court Sessions; eventually, Anderson and Heap were each fined $100 and fingerprinted.
In early 1924, through Alfred Richard Orage, Anderson came to know of spiritual teacher George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff, and saw performances of his 'Sacred dances', first at the 'Neighbourhood Playhouse', and later at Carnegie Hall. Shortly after Gurdjieff's automobile accident, Anderson, along with Georgette Leblanc, Jane Heap and Monique Surrere, moved to France to visit him at Fountainebleau-Avon, where he had set up his institute at Château du Prieuré in Avon.
Anderson and Heap adopted the two sons of Anderson's ailing sister, Lois . They brought Lois and sons Tom and Arthur ‘Fritz’ Peters to Prieuré in June 1924, After they returned to New York in 1925, two of the boys were taken in by Alice B. Toklas and Gertrude Stein.
Later, Anderson moved to Le Cannet on the French Riviera, to live in ""le phare de Tancarville" for many years with the French singer Georgette Leblanc and Lois and her daughter Linda Card.
The final issue of The Little Review was edited at Hotel St. Germain-Des-Pres, 36 rue Bonaparte, Paris.
Anderson published a three-volume autobiography: My Thirty Years' War (1930), The Fiery Fountains, and The Strange Necessity in her last years in Le Cannet. There she wrote her final book, the novel and memoir, Forbidden Fires.
The teachings of George Ivanovitch Gurdjieff played an important role in Anderson's life. Anderson met Gurdjieff in Paris and, together with Leblanc, began studies with him, focusing on his original teaching called The Fourth Way. From 1935 to 1939, Anderson and Georgette Leblanc studied with Gurdjieff as part of a group of women known as "The Rope", which included eight members in all: Jane Heap, Elizabeth Gordon, Solita Solano, Kathryn Hulme, Louise Davidson and Alice Rohrer, besides them. Along with Katherine Mansfield and Jean Heap, she remains one of most noted institutee of Gurdjieff's, ‘Institute for the Harmonious Development of Man’, at Fontainebleau, near Paris, France from October 1922 to 1924.
Anderson studied with Gurdjieff in France until his death in October 1949, writing about him and his teachings in most of her books, most extensively in her memoir, The Unknowable Gurdjieff.
By 1942 her relationship with Heap had cooled, and, evacuating from the war in France, Anderson sailed for the United States. Jane Heap had moved to London in 1935, where she led Gurdjieff study groups until her death in 1964. With her passage paid by Ernest Hemingway, Anderson met on the voyage Dorothy Caruso, widow of the singer and famous tenor Enrico Caruso. The two began a romantic relationship, and lived together until Caruso's death in 1955. Anderson returned to Le Cannet after Caruso's death, and there she died of emphysema on October 19, 1973. She is buried beside Georgette Leblanc in the Notre Dame des Anges Cemetery.
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=e
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=e
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher
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