Born: April 9, 1898, Princeton, New Jersey, United States
Died: January 23, 1976, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Education: Somerville High School
Columbia Law School
Lived: The Chestnuts, Branch Hill, NW3
Buried: Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum, Hartsdale, Westchester County, New York, USA, Plot: Hillcrest A, Grave 1511
Albums: Paul Robeson. Ol' Man River - His 56 Finest 1925-1945, more
English Heritage Blue Plaque: 17 East Heath Road, “Katherine Mansfield (1888–1923) writer, and her husband John Middleton Murry (1889–1957) critic lived here”.
1 Ellerdale Cl, London NW3 6BE, UK (51.55445, -0.17962)
17 E Heath Rd, London NW3 1AL, UK (51.56079, -0.17506)
Branch Hill, London NW3, UK (51.56067, -0.18363)
Hampstead Heath (locally known as "the Heath") is a large, ancient London park, covering 320 hectares (790 acres.) Hampstead Heath, a grassy public space sitting astride a sandy ridge, is one of the highest points in London, running from Hampstead to Highgate, which rests on a band of London Clay. The Heath is rambling and hilly, embracing ponds, recent and ancient woodlands, a lido, playgrounds, and a training track, and it adjoins the stately home of Kenwood House and its grounds. The south-east part of the Heath is Parliament Hill, from which the view over London is protected by law. Running along its eastern perimeter are a chain of ponds – including three open-air public swimming pools – which were originally reservoirs for drinking water from the River Fleet. The Heath is a Site of Metropolitan Importance for Nature Conservation, and part of Kenwood is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. Lakeside concerts are held there in summer. The Heath is managed by the City of London Corporation, and lies mostly within the London Borough of Camden with the adjoining Hampstead Heath Extension and Golders Hill Park in the London Borough of Barnet. The Heath first entered the history books in 986 when Ethelred the Unready granted one of his servants five hides of land at "Hemstede.” This same land is later recorded in the Domesday Book of 1086 as held by the monastery of St. Peter’s at Westminster Abbey, and by then is known as the "Manor of Hampstead.” Westminster held the land until 1133 when control of part of the manor was released to one Richard de Balta; then during Henry II’s reign the whole of the manor became privately owned by Alexander de Barentyn, the King’s butler. Manorial rights to the land remained in private hands until the 1940s when they lapsed under Sir Spencer Pocklington Maryon Wilson, though the estate itself was passed on to Shane Gough, 5th Viscount Gough. Over time, plots of land in the manor were sold off for building, particularly in the early XIX century, though the Heath remained mainly common land. The main part of the Heath was acquired for the people by the Metropolitan Board of Works. Parliament Hill was purchased for the public for £300,000 and added to the park in 1888. Golders Hill was added in 1898 and Kenwood House and grounds were added in 1928. From 1808 to 1814 Hampstead Heath hosted a station in the shutter telegraph chain which connected the Admiralty in London to its naval ships in the port of Great Yarmouth. The City of London Corporation has managed the Heath since 1989. Before that it was managed by the GLC and before that by the London County Council (LCC.) In 2009, the City of London proposed to upgrade a footpath across the Heath into a service-road. The proposal met with protests from local residents and celebrities, and did not proceed.
Notable queer residents at Hampstead Heath:
• In 1936 Beverly Nichols (September 9, 1898-September 15, 1983) purchased a house at One Ellerdale Close, NW3. Ellerdale Road is one of Hampstead’s premier turnings, ideally located off the top of Fitzjohns Avenue. A book about Beverly Nichols’ city garden near Hampstead Heath in London, “Green Grows the City,” published in 1939, was very successful. That book introduced Arthur R. Gaskin, who was Nichols’s manservant from 1924 until Gaskin’s death in 1966. Gaskin was a popular character, who also appeared in the succeeding gardening books.
• Lord Alfred Douglas, or “Bosie,” Oscar Wilde’s one time lover and ruin, moved at 26 Church Row, NW3 with his wife (he was by now officially heterosexual) in 1907 until 1910, shortly after winning a libel suit against “The Daily News,” which had run an obituary calling him a degenerate, only to find he was still alive. Though not a great writer, the peer was highly rated by the young John Betjeman, who told C.S. Lewis, his tutor at Oxford, that Douglas was a better poet than Shakespeare.
• Katherine Mansfield (1888–1923) and John Middleton Murry (1889–1957) lived at 17 E Heath Road, NW3. A prominent critic, Murry is best remembered for his association with Katherine Mansfield, whom he married in 1918 as her second husband, for his friendship with D. H. Lawrence, T. S. Eliot, and for his friendship (and brief affair) with Frieda Lawrence. Following Mansfield’s death, Murry edited her work. Mansfield had several romantic relationships with both men and women. She became pregnant in 1909 but her lover’s parents did not approve of the relationship and they broke up. She hastily married a George Bowden, a singing teacher, but left him the same evening, before the marriage could be consummated. Mansfield later miscarried. Mansfield began a relationship with Ida Baker which continued for many years, even after Mansfield met her second husband, John Middleton Murray, in 1911. “Baker, whom Mansfield often called, with a mixture of affection and disdain, her “wife”, moved in with her shortly afterwards.” Mansfield was diagnosed with tuberculosis in 1917, leading to her death in 1923.
• English Heritage Blue Plaque: The Chestnuts, Branch Hill, NW3 Paul Robeson (1898–1976), “Singer and Actor lived here 1929–1930"
• John Schlesinger (1926-2003) was an English film and stage director, and actor. He won an Academy Award for Best Director for “Midnight Cowboy,” and was nominated for two other films (“Darling” and “Sunday Bloody Sunday”). Schlesinger was born at 53 Hollycroft Avenue, NW3 into a middle class Jewish family, the son of Winifred Henrietta (née Regensburg) and Bernard Edward Schlesinger, a physician. He recalled a normal, middle-class childhood in Hampstead (he grew up at 15 Templewood Avenue, NW3), though he was not happy at the boarding-schools to which he was sent.
• Josephine Hutchinson (1903-1998), American actress who appeared in “North By North West” (1959) lived at Swiss Cottage, 4 Finchley Road, NW3.
Queer Places, Vol. 2 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
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Ferncliff Cemetery and Mausoleum is located in the hamlet of Hartsdale, town of Greenburgh, Westchester County, New York, about 25 miles (40 km) north of Midtown Manhattan. It was founded in 1902, and is non-sectarian. Ferncliff has three community mausoleums, a crematory, a small chapel, and a main office located in the rear of the main building.
Address: 280 Secor Rd, Hartsdale, NY 10530, USA (41.02737, -73.83234)
Type: Cemetery (open to public)
Phone: +1 914-693-4700
Ferncliff Cemetery has three community mausoleums that offer what The New York Times has described as "lavish burial spaces". As of 2001, a standard crypt space in the mausoleums was priced at $15,000. The highest-priced spaces were private burial rooms with bronze gates, crystal chandeliers, and stained-glass windows, priced at $280,000. The Ferncliff Mausoleum, aka "The Cathedral of Memories", is the cemetery's oldest mausoleum, constructed in 1928. It has classic architecture, but the corridors are dark without glass panes to admit natural light. Judy Garland, Ed Sullivan, and Joan Crawford are three of the most famous interments in the main mausoleum. The Shrine of Memories is Ferncliff's second mausoleum and was constructed in 1956. "Shrine of Memories" is a more contemporary structure than "Ferncliff Mausoleum." It has many panes of glass to admit natural light, and there is a large frieze of Christopher Columbus in the main hall of the building. Basil Rathbone is one of the most famous interments in "Shrine of Memories." Rosewood is Ferncliff's most recently completed community mausoleum, having been constructed in 1999. Aaliyah and her father Michael Haughton have a private room in Rosewood. Cab Calloway is interred with his wife Zulme "Nuffie". The cemetery is also known for its in-ground burials in sections located in front of the mausoleums. Ferncliff is one of the very few cemeteries that does not permit upright headstones in its outdoor plots. All outdoor grave markers are flush with the ground. This feature facilitates maintenance of the cemetery grounds. However, there are several upright headstones that were placed before this policy was instituted. Malcolm X is one of the most famous ground burials, in plot Pinewood B.
Notable queer burials at Ferncliff Cemetery:
• James Baldwin (August 2, 1924 – December 1, 1987), novelist, essayist
• Joan Crawford (c. 1905–1977), actress
• Alice Delamar (1895-1983), heiress and socialite, cremated here but buried in Palm Beach
• Judy Garland (1922–1969), singer, actress
• Moss Hart (1904–1961), playwright and director
• Alberta Hunter (1895-1984), blues singer
• Elsa Maxwell (1883–1963), columnist, society figure
• Ona Munson (1910–1955), actress
• Basil Rathbone (1892–1967), actor. In 1924 he was involved in a brief relationship with Eva Le Gallienne.
• Paul Robeson (1898–1976), actor, singer, and civil rights activist.
Queer Places, Vol. 1 edited by Elisa Rolle
Release Date: July 24, 2016
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/6228297
Amazon (print): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1532901909/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
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