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Dora de Houghton Carrington, known generally as Carrington, was a British painter and decorative artist, remembered in part for her association with members of the Bloomsbury Group, especially the writer Lytton Strachey.
Born: March 29, 1893, Hereford, United Kingdom
Died: March 11, 1932, Newbury, United Kingdom
Education: Slade School of Fine Art
Bedford High School, Bedfordshire
Lived: The Mill, Tidmarsh, Reading, West Berkshire RG8, UK (51.46833, -1.08754)
Ham Spray House, Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 3QZ, UK (51.3681, -1.50219)
Buried: under the laurels in the garden of the Ham Spray House, Wiltshire, England (ashes)
Find A Grave Memorial# 2859
Artwork: Farm at Watendlath, Spanish Landscape with Mountains, more
Siblings: Noël Carrington

Giles Lytton Strachey was a British writer and critic. Dora Carrington was a British painter and decorative artist, remembered in part for her association with members
of the Bloomsbury Group, especially Lytton Strachey. Though Strachey spoke openly about his homosexuality with his Bloomsbury friends (he had a relationship with John Maynard Keynes, who also was part of the Bloomsbury group), it was not widely publicized until the late 1960s, in a biography by Michael Holroyd. In 1921, Carrington agreed to marry Ralph Partridge, not for love but to secure the 3-way relationship. Strachey himself had been much more sexually interested in Partridge, as well as in various other young men, including a secret sadomasochistic relationship with Roger Senhouse (later the head of publisher Secker & Warburg). Dora Carrington committed suicide out of grief in 1932, shortly after Lytton Strachey’s death. Ralph married Frances Marshall on March 2, 1933. They lived happily at Ham Spray until Ralph’s death in 1960.

Together from 1917 to 1932: 15 years.
Dora de Houghton Carrington (March 29, 1893 – March 11, 1932)
Giles Lytton Strachey (March 1, 1880 –January 21, 1932)
Ralph Partridge (1894 – November 30, 1960)

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School: Bedford High School for Girls (Bromham Rd, Bedford MK40 2BS) was an independent school for pupils aged 7 to 18 in Bedford. It was one of a number of schools run by the Harpur Trust. The school was opened on May 8, 1882. It was built on the site of former Harpur Trust cottage almshouses. There were 43 girls on that first day. The school was located on its original site in Harpur ward, near the centre of Bedford, until its closure in 2012. In September 2010 the junior department of the school merged with the junior department of Dame Alice Harpur School. From September 2011 to September 2012 the senior schools also merged, the new school is known as Bedford Girls' School. The daughter of a Liverpool merchant, Dora Carrington (1893–1932) was born in Hereford, and attended the all-girls' Bedford High School which emphasized art. Her parents also paid for her to receive extra lessons in drawing.

Queer Places, Vol. 2.1: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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School: The UCL Slade School of Fine Art (informally The Slade, University College London, Gower St, Kings Cross, London WC1E 6BT) is the art school of University College London (UCL) and is based in London. It is world-renowned and is consistently ranked as the UK's top art and design educational institution. The school is organised as a department of UCL's Faculty of Arts and Humanities. The school traces its roots back to 1868 when lawyer and philanthropist Felix Slade (1788–1868) bequeathed funds to establish three Chairs in Fine Art, to be based at Oxford University, Cambridge University and University College London, where six studentships were endowed. Notable queer alumni and faculty: Dora Carrington (1893-1932), Ralph Chubb (1892-1960), Dorothy Brett (1883-1977), Duncan Grant (1885-1978), Eileen Gray (1878–1976), Derek Jarman (1942-1994), Mary Josephine Bedford (1861–1955), Robert Medley (1905-1994), Oliver Messel (1904-1978), William Bruce Ellis Ranken (1881–1941); Roger Rees (born 1944), Alix Strachey (1892–1973), Henry Scott Tuke (1858–1929), William Dobell (1899-1970).

Queer Places, Vol. 2.1: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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House: Once home to the Bloomsbury group, The Mill at Tidmarsh in Berkshire is still an inspiring abode. The Mill was last on the market in 2010 for £1.995.000.

Address: Sulham Hill, Tidmarsh, West Berkshire RG8 8ER, UK (51.46833, -1.08754)
English Heritage Building ID: 400899 (Grade II, 1984)

"Sounds too good to be alright!" wrote Dora Carrington to Lytton Strachey on the morning of October 19, 1917. She was poring over the particulars of The Mill at Tidmarsh in Berkshire. There was electric light and "bath H & C.” It was romantic and lovely, and the rent was £52 a year for a three-year lease. Carrington first set up house with Lytton Strachey in November 1917, when they moved together to Tidmarsh Mill House, near Pangbourne, Berkshire. Carrington met Ralph Partridge, an Oxford friend of her younger brother Noel, in 1918. Strachey fell in love with Partridge and eventually, in 1921, Carrington agreed to marry him, not for love but to hold the menage a trois together with Lytton Strachey. Strachey paid for the wedding, and also accompanied the couple on their honeymoon in Venice.

Who: Dora de Houghton Carrington (March 29, 1893 – March 11, 1932)
Dora Carrington moved into the mill with Lytton Strachey (1880-1932) just as he was publishing “Eminent Victorians,” the book that made him famous. The pair were already prominent in the Bloomsbury circle, which included Clive and Vanessa Bell (1879-1961), whose highly decorated house, Charleston in Sussex, is open to the public. Lytton and Carrington were frequently seen at Lady Ottoline Morrell (1873-1938)’s parties at Garsington Manor. He was a spidery, bearded intellectual, widely known to be homosexual, she a Slade-trained artist with a pageboy haircut and no first name. Their decision to live together raised eyebrows inside and outside their group.

Queer Places, Vol. 2.1: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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House: Love and literary retreat, a Wiltshire farmhouse was a bliss for a Bloomsbury threesome. Ham Spray House was last on the market in 2008 for £2.750.000.

Address: Marlborough, Wiltshire SN8 3QZ, UK (51.3681, -1.50219)

In 1924, Lytton Strachey and Ralph Partridge, members of the Bloomsbury group, bought Ham Spray House, and several of that group and other writers and artists spent time there from then until Ralph died in 1960, including Dora Carrington and Frances Partridge. Ham Spray, which cost Partridge and Strachey £2,300, suited their communal living and working arrangements. Surrounded by fields, and with a local shop selling Wellington boots, it was "a perfect English country house.” "We believed there was no view more beautiful, more inexhaustible in England, and no house more lovable than Ham Spray," wrote Frances in her diary. The rooms are of Georgian proportions, with high ceilings and cornices and pretty fireplaces. Carrington’s paintings hung on every wall, alongside works by Duncan Grant, Vanessa Bell and Augustus John. While Lytton Strachey wrote in his upstairs study, looking out across Ham Hill and Inkpen Beacon, Carrington painted in a studio above the former granary. In the evenings, they gathered in the music room, where there was a piano, gramophone and ping-pong table. In Strachey’s former study – now a bedroom - there are surviving works by Carrington, including a mural of an owl and a self-portrait of her riding across the Downs, painted on a tile. On a door in the corner of the room is a trompe d’oeil of a bookshelf, featuring titles such as “Deception” by Jane Austen and “The Empty Room” by Virginia Woolf.

Who: Ralph Partridge (1894 – November 30, 1960)
Dora Carrington was in love with Lytton Strachey, who loved Ralph Partridge, an ex-army officer; Carrington loved Strachey, but married Partridge to stabilise their triangular relationship. In 1924, they set up home together at the XIX-century farmhouse outside the village of Ham, in Wiltshire, along with Ralph’s lover (and later wife) Frances Marshall (1900-2004.) Strachey died of stomach cancer at Ham Spray in January 1932. Carrington, who saw no purpose in a life without Strachey, committed suicide two months after his death by shooting herself with a gun borrowed from her friend, Hon. Bryan Guinness (later 2nd Baron Moyne.) Her body was cremated and the ashes buried under the laurels in the garden of Ham Spray House. Strachey's modest little brass plaque is in the family church at Chew Magna, Somerset. The Partridges had a son, Burgo, and continued to live at the house for almost 30 years, entertaining a roll-call of artists and writers, among them E.M. Forster and Patrick Leigh Fermor. Frances sold the house a year after Ralph’s death in 1961, insisting that it did not become a shrine to the Bloomsbury Group.

Queer Places, Vol. 2.2: Retracing the Steps of LGBTQ people around the World
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