Strachey was born in Nutley, New Jersey, USA, the daughter of Henry Smyth Florence, an American musician, and Mary Sargant Florence, a British painter. Her elder brother, Philip Sargant Florence, later became a noted economist and married the pioneer birth control activist Lella Faye Secor. Alix was educated in England at Bedales School, the Slade School of Fine Art, and Newnham College, Cambridge, where she read modern languages. In 1915 she moved in with her brother in his flat in Bloomsbury and became a member of the Bloomsbury Group, where she met James Strachey, then the assistant editor of The Spectator. They moved in together in 1919 and married in 1920. Soon afterwards they moved to Vienna, where James, an admirer of Freud, began a psychoanalysis with him.
Freud asked the couple to translate some of his works into English, and this was to become their lives' work. Both became psychoanalysts themselves, and as well as Freud's works also translated works by a number of other European psychoanalysts. Their translations remain the standard editions of Freud's works to this day.
NPG Ax140441. Picnic in the woods, 1915 (Faith Marion Jane Henderson (nee Bagenal) (born 1889), Wife of Sir Hubert Douglas Henderson; Sir Hubert Douglas Henderson (1890-1952), Economist; Lady Ottoline Morrell (1873-1938), Patron of the arts; half-sister of 6th Duke of Portland; wife of Philip Edward Morrell; Henry Tertius James Norton (1886-1937), Mathematician; Bertrand Arthur William Russell, 3rd Earl Russell (1872-1970), Philosopher and social reformer; (Giles) Lytton Strachey (1880-1932), Critic and biographer; son of Sir Richard Strachey)
James Strachey was a British psychoanalyst, and, with his wife Alix, a translator of Sigmund Freud into English. At Cambridge, Strachey fell deeply in love with the poet Rupert Brooke, who did not return his affections. He was himself pursued by mountaineer George Mallory (conceding to his sexual advances), by Harry Norton, and by economist John Maynard Keynes, with whom he also had an affair. His love of Brooke was a constant, however, until the latter's death, which left Strachey “shattered”.
George Herbert Leigh Mallory (18 June 1886 – 8 or 9 June 1924) was an English mountaineer who took part in the first three British expeditions to Mount Everest in the early 1920s. Mallory's natural grace and charm --- and a developing enthusiasm for learning --- brought him into the inner circles of Cambridge and close friendships with several members of the Bloomsbury group, the clique of English intellectuals. (It included the painters Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Roger Fry, essayist Lytton Strachey, economist John Maynard Keynes, and novelists Virginia Woolf and E.M. Forster.)
While an undergraduate, Mallory became romantically involved with various members of the Bloomsbury group. Lytton Strachey fell drastically in love with Mallory and Mallory fell in love with Lytton's brother, James. He also dallied with Duncan Grant, posing naked for him. 'I am profoundly interested in the nude me,' Mallory confessed in a letter to Grant. According to letters unearthed by the Gillmans, Mallory's sole homosexual experience was with James Strachey ('He insisted on copulating,' Strachey reported to Rupert Brooke) and in 1914 he met and married the luminously beautiful Ruth Turner.
During the 1924 British Mount Everest Expedition, Mallory and his climbing partner Andrew "Sandy" Irvine both disappeared somewhere high on the North-East ridge during their attempt to make the first ascent of the world's highest mountain. The pair's last known sighting was only about 800 vertical feet from the summit.
NPG Ax13024. George Leigh Mallory, ca. 1912 (©19)
While an undergraduate, George Mallory became romantically involved with various members of the Bloomsbury group. Lytton Strachey fell drastically in love with Mallory and Mallory fell in love with Lytton's brother, James. He also dallied with Duncan Grant, posing naked for him. Mallory's sole homosexual experience was with James Strachey and in 1914 he met and married the luminously beautiful Ruth Turner. Mallory died in 1924 during the third British expeditions to Mount Everest. His body was discovered on 1 May 1999 by an expedition that had set out to search for the climbers' remains.
George Mallory by Duncan Grant
Mallory's ultimate fate was unknown for 75 years, until his body was discovered on 1 May 1999 by an expedition that had set out to search for the climbers' remains. Whether Mallory and Irvine reached the summit before they died remains a subject of speculation and continuing research.
Mallory was born in Mobberley, Cheshire, the son of Herbert Leigh Mallory (1856–1943), a clergyman who changed his surname from Mallory to Leigh-Mallory in 1914. His mother was Annie Beridge (née Jebb) (1863–1946), the daughter of a clergyman in Walton, Derbyshire. George had two sisters and a younger brother Trafford Leigh-Mallory, the World War II Royal Air Force commander.
In 1896, Mallory attended Glengorse, a preparatory boarding school in Eastbourne on the south coast of England, having transferred from another preparatory school in West Kirby. At the age of 13, he won a mathematics scholarship to Winchester College. In his final year there, he was introduced to rock climbing and mountaineering by a master, R. L. G. Irving, who took a small number of people climbing in the Alps each year. In October 1905, Mallory entered Magdalene College, Cambridge, to study history. There, he became good friends with members of the Bloomsbury Group including James Strachey, Lytton Strachey, Rupert Brooke, John Maynard Keynes, and Duncan Grant, who painted several portraits of Mallory. Mallory was a keen oarsman and rowed in the college eight for his three years at Cambridge.
After gaining his degree, Mallory stayed in Cambridge for a year writing an essay he later published as Boswell the Biographer (1912). He lived briefly in France, where Simon Bussy painted his portrait, now in London's National Portrait Gallery. On his return, he decided to become a teacher. In 1910, he began teaching at Charterhouse School, Godalming, Surrey, where he met the poet Robert Graves, then a pupil, and he went on to act as best man at Graves' wedding in 1918. In his autobiography, Goodbye to All That, Graves remembered Mallory fondly both for his encouragement of Graves' interest in literature and poetry and his instruction in climbing. Graves recalled: "He (Mallory) was wasted (as a teacher) at Charterhouse. He tried to treat his class in a friendly way, which puzzled and offended them."
While at Charterhouse, he met his wife, Ruth Turner (6 October 1892 – 6 January 1942), who lived in Godalming, and they were married in 1914, just six days before Britain and Germany went to war. George and Ruth had two daughters and a son: Frances Clare (19 September 1915 – 2001), Beridge Ruth, known as 'Berry' (16 September 1917 – 1953), and John (born 21 August 1920). In December 1915, Mallory joined the Royal Garrison Artillery as 2nd lieutenant and in 1916, he participated in the shelling of the Somme, under the command of Major Gwilym Lloyd George, the son of then Prime Minister David Lloyd George.
After the war, Mallory returned to Charterhouse, resigning in 1921 in order to join the first Everest expedition. Between expeditions, he attempted to make a living from writing and lecturing, with only partial success. In 1923, he took a job as lecturer with the Cambridge University Extramural Studies Department. He was given temporary leave so that he could join the 1924 Everest attempt.
James Beaumont Strachey (/ˈstreɪtʃi/; 26 September 1887, London – 25 April 1967, High Wycombe) was a British psychoanalyst, and, with his wife Alix, a translator of Sigmund Freud into English. He is perhaps best known as the general editor of the "Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud ... the international authority". (P: NPG x24010. James Beaumont Strachey, ca. 1915 (©19))
He was a son of Lt-Gen Sir Richard Strachey and Lady (Jane) Strachey, called the enfant miracle as his father was 70 and his mother 47. Some of his nieces and nephews, who were considerably older than James, called him Jembeau or Uncle Baby. His parents had thirteen children, of whom ten lived to adulthood.
He was educated at Hillbrow preparatory school in Rugby and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took over the rooms used by his older brother Lytton Strachey, and was known as "the Little Strachey"; Lytton was now "the Great Strachey". At Cambridge, Strachey fell deeply in love with the poet Rupert Brooke, who did not return his affections. He was himself pursued by mountaineer George Mallory—conceding to his sexual advances—by Harry Norton, and by economist John Maynard Keynes, with whom he also had an affair. His love of Brooke was a constant, however, until the latter's death in 1915, which left Strachey "shattered".
On the imposition of military conscription in 1916, during World War I, James became a conscientious objector.
James was assistant editor of The Spectator, and a member of the Bloomsbury Group or "Bloomsberries" when he became familiar with Alix Sargant Florence, though they first met in 1910. They moved in together in 1919 and married in 1920.
Soon afterwards they moved to Vienna, where James began a psychoanalysis with Freud, of whom he was a great admirer. He would claim to Lytton that his analysis "provided 'a complete undercurrent for life'". Freud asked the couple to translate some of his works into English, and this became their lives' work: they became “my excellent English translators, Mr and Mrs James Strachey”.
Looking back forty years later at this turning-point, Strachey commented in a 'disarming passage' to his fellow analysts on his then qualifications as a psychoanalytic candidate, as compared to modern times: 'A discreditable academic career with the barest of B. A. degrees, no medical qualifications...no experience of anything except third-rate journalism. The only thing in my favour was that at the age of thirty I wrote a letter out of the blue to Freud, asking him if he would take me on as a student'.
He continued by saying that, having spent a couple of years in Vienna, “I got back to London in the summer of 1922, and in October, without any further ado, I was elected an associate member of the [Psycho-Analytical] Society. ... A year later, I was made a full member. So there I was, launched on the treatment of patients, with no experience, with no supervision, with nothing to help me but some two years of analysis with Freud".
He concluded wryly that the modern "curriculum vitae is essential. Whether it is possible for it to become over-institutionalized is an open question. Is it worthwhile to leave a loophole for an occasional maverick? ... if the curriculum vitae had existed forty years ago, you wouldn't have had to listen to these remarks tonight".
Nevertheless Freud had decided that "the Stracheys should become members (full) of the Society. ... To be sure their conflicts have not been decided, but we need not wait so long, we can only instigate the processus which has to be fed by the factors of life". James and Alix thus both become practising analysts; James subsequently began publishing his own original articles; and the two of them (in collaboration with Jones and Joan Riviere) began translating Freud's works in earnest, as well as writings by a number of other European psychoanalysts such as Karl Abraham. Their translation of Freud's works, in twenty-four volumes, remains the standard edition of Freud's works to this day, and according to Holroyd a German publishing house considered retranslating their translation of the Master's works back into German, because they were a work of art and scholarship, with a maze of additional footnotes and introductions.
While the Stracheys were instrumental in encouraging Melanie Klein to come to England to pursue her analytic discoveries, both remained loyal to Freud at the same time, and stood as part of the Middle Group in the wartime Controversial discussions between the proponents of Melanie Klein and of Anna Freud. 'James Strachey characterised the battle between the two women in his own wryly sensible way: "My own view is that Mrs K. has made some highly important contributions ... but that it’s absurd to make out (a) that they cover the whole subject or (b) that their validity is axiomatic. On the other hand, I think it is equally ludicrous for Miss F. to maintain that [Psychoanalysis] is a Game Preserve belonging to the F. family".
Strachey published three articles in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis between 1930 and 1935. In the first, on "Some Unconscious Factors in Reading", he explored the 'oral ambitions...[in] "taking in" words, by hearing or reading, both unconsciously meaning "eating"' – something of central significance 'for reading addictions as well as for neurotic disturbances of reading'.
In his 1931 article on the "Precipitating Factor in the Etiology of the Neuroses", Strachey examined those 'experiences that disturb the equilibrium between warded-of impulses and warding-off forces, an equilibrium hitherto relatively stable'.
His most important contribution, however, was that of 1934 on "The Nature of the Therapeutic Action of Psychoanalysis" – a seminal article arguing that "the fact that the pathogenic conflicts, revived in the transference, are now experienced in their full emotional content makes the transference interpretation so much more effective than any other interpretation". Half a century later, the role of "mutative transference interpretations as described by Strachey (1934)" was still serving as a starting-point for discussion.
His 1962 "Sketch" of Freud's life and work, which serves as an introduction to the Penguin Freud Library, is a genial but wide-ranging survey – grounded in his intimate knowledge of the Freudian corpus, but perhaps with somewhat of the spirit he himself observed in Martin Freud's memoir of his father, Glory Reflected: "this delightful and amusing book serves to redress the balance from more official biographies ... and reveals something of Freud as he was in ordinary life".
In one of his last letters to Freud, Ernest Jones wrote that 'You probably know you have the reputation of not being the easiest author to translate'. Certainly when translation into English first began, 'the earliest versions were not always felicitous ... casual and at times fearfully inaccurate'. With the coming of the Stracheys, however, 'translations began to improve: in 1924 and 1925, a small English team brought out Freud's Collected Papers, in four volumes' which have been described as 'the most vigorous translations into English' of all time.
Nevertheless the 24 volume Standard Edition remains Strachey's crowning glory. 'It is a heroic enterprise. Where necessary, it offers variorum texts; it wrestles with intractable material ... and it introduces each work, even the slightest paper, with indispensable bibliographical and historical information'.
The most 'obvious flaw in this translation was the substitution of esoteric neologisms for the plain German terms Freud preferred', so that for example his "I" and his "It" become the Ego and the Id. Lacan took particular exception to "the translation of instinct for Trieb [drive] ... thus basing the whole edition on a complete misunderstanding since Trieb and instinct have nothing in common". Bruno Bettelheim went still further, arguing that "anyone who reads Freud only in Strachey's English translation cannot understand Freud's concern with man's soul".
While accepting that "Strachey's translation was also an act of interpretation and it has not been hard to find spots where he went astray", the fact remains that "Freud was delighted with the work Strachey succeeded in doing"; whilst even into the Twenty-First Century "the German editions have relied on Strachey's editorial apparatus, which should be a testimony to what he accomplished".
James is mentioned in the text of Holroyd's biography of Lytton Strachey, and in the introduction to the 1971 Penguin edition and the 1994–95 revised edition. James was the literary executor for his brother Lytton, so Holroyd saw James and Alix frequently over the five years from 1962 that he was researching and writing the first edition (published in 1967–68) of his biography of Lytton. He describes James as "almost an exact replica of Freud himself, though with some traces of Lytton's physiognomy – the slightly bulbous nose in particular. He wore a short white beard because, he told me, of the difficulty of shaving. He had had it now for some fifty years. He also wore spectacles, one lens of which was transparent, the other translucent. It was only later that I learnt he had overcome with extraordinary patience a series of eye operations that had threatened to put an end to his magnum opus".
James made many objections to Holroyd's initial drafts of the biography, and "Holroyd made the brilliant decision to publish James's acid-sounding comments as footnotes on the pages. ... James's testy objections helped liven up the text".
James was also an authority on Haydn, Mozart and Wagner, and contributed notes and commentaries to Glyndebourne programmes.
Rupert Chawner Brooke (middle name sometimes given as Chaucer) (3 August 1887 – 23 April 1915) was an English poet known for his idealistic war sonnets written during the First World War, especially The Soldier. He was also known for his boyish good looks, which were said to have prompted the Irish poet W. B. Yeats to describe him as "the handsomest young man in England".
Brooke was born at 5 Hillmorton Road in Rugby, Warwickshire, the second of the three sons of William Parker Brooke, a Rugby schoolmaster, and Ruth Mary Brooke, née Cotterill. He was educated at two independent schools in the market town of Rugby, Warwickshire; Hillbrow School and Rugby School in England.
While travelling in Europe he prepared a thesis entitled John Webster and the Elizabethan Drama, which won him a scholarship to King's College, Cambridge, where he became a member of the Cambridge Apostles, helped found the Marlowe Society drama club and acted in plays including the Cambridge Greek Play.
Brooke made friends among the Bloomsbury group of writers, some of whom admired his talent while others were more impressed by his good looks. Virginia Woolf boasted to Vita Sackville-West of once going skinny-dipping with Brooke in a moonlit pool when they were at Cambridge together.
Brooke belonged to another literary group known as the Georgian Poets and was one of the most important of the Dymock poets, associated with the Gloucestershire village of Dymock where he spent some time before the war. He also lived in the Old Vicarage, Grantchester.
Brooke suffered a severe emotional crisis in 1912, caused by sexual confusion and jealousy, resulting in the breakdown of his long relationship with Ka Cox (Katherine Laird Cox). Brooke's paranoia that Lytton Strachey had schemed to destroy his relationship with Cox by encouraging her to see Henry Lamb precipitated his break with his Bloomsbury Group friends and played a part in his nervous collapse and subsequent rehabilitation trips to Germany.
As part of his recuperation, Brooke toured the United States and Canada to write travel diaries for the Westminster Gazette. He took the long way home, sailing across the Pacific and staying some months in the South Seas. Much later it was revealed that he may have fathered a daughter with a Tahitian woman named Taatamata with whom he seems to have enjoyed his most complete emotional relationship. Brooke fell heavily in love several times with both men and women, although his bisexuality was edited out of his life by his first literary executor. Many more people were in love with him. Brooke was romantically involved with the actress Cathleen Nesbitt and was once engaged to Noel Olivier, whom he met, when she was aged 15, at the progressive Bedales School.
Brooke was an inspiration to poet John Gillespie Magee, Jr., author of the poem "High Flight". Magee idolised Brooke and wrote a poem about him ("Sonnet to Rupert Brooke"). Magee also won the same poetry prize at Rugby School which Brooke had won 34 years earlier.
As a war poet Brooke came to public attention in 1915 when The Times Literary Supplement quoted two of his five sonnets (IV: The Dead and V: The Soldier) in full on 11 March and his sonnet V: The Soldier was read from the pulpit of St Paul's Cathedral on Easter Sunday (4 April). Brooke's most famous collection of poetry, containing all five sonnets, 1914 & Other Poems, was first published in May 1915 and, in testament to his popularity, ran to 11 further impressions that year and by June 1918 had reached its 24th impression; a process undoubtedly fuelled through posthumous interest.
Brooke's accomplished poetry gained many enthusiasts and followers and he was taken up by Edward Marsh who brought him to the attention of Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty. He was commissioned into the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve as a temporary Sub-Lieutenant shortly after his 27th birthday and took part in the Royal Naval Division's Antwerp expedition in October 1914. He sailed with the British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force on 28 February 1915 but developed sepsis from an infected mosquito bite. He died at 4:46 pm on 23 April 1915 in a French hospital ship moored in a bay off the island of Skyros in the Aegean on his way to the landing at Gallipoli. As the expeditionary force had orders to depart immediately, he was buried at 11 pm in an olive grove on Skyros, Greece. The site was chosen by his close friend, William Denis Browne, who wrote of Brooke's death:
...I sat with Rupert. At 4 o’clock he became weaker, and at 4.46 he died, with the sun shining all round his cabin, and the cool sea-breeze blowing through the door and the shaded windows. No one could have wished for a quieter or a calmer end than in that lovely bay, shielded by the mountains and fragrant with sage and thyme.
His grave remains there today. Another friend—and war poet—Patrick Shaw-Stewart, also played a prominent role in Brooke's funeral. On 11 November 1985, Brooke was among 16 First World War poets commemorated on a slate monument unveiled in Poets' Corner in Westminster Abbey. The inscription on the stone was written by a fellow war poet, Wilfred Owen. It reads: "My subject is War, and the pity of War. The Poetry is in the pity."
Brooke's brother, 2nd Lt. William Alfred Cotterill Brooke, was a member of the 8th Battalion London Regiment (Post Office Rifles) and was killed in action near Le Rutoire Farm on 14 June 1915 aged 24. He is buried in Fosse 7 Military Cemetery (Quality Street), Mazingarbe, Pas de Calais, France. He had only joined the battalion on 25 May.
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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