Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Reluctant Networker

Julia Corpus wonders if Charlotte Mew—whose poems were extravagantly praised by Thomas Hardy and Virginia Woolf—paid a price for being such a "reluctant networker":
There was too much at stake for her: much of her time and energy was spent protecting her personal life from exposure, so the family might maintain an air of respectability. Hers was a story that included significant financial struggle, insanity (two of Mew’s siblings died in mental asylums) and the suppression of her own, likely homoerotic, sexuality. Perhaps this goes some way to explaining why Mew tended to spurn the attentions of those who might promote her work. Lady Ottoline Morrell, for instance, was a renowned society hostess and friend to artists. Her tea parties were attended by TS Eliot, WB Yeats, Henry James and DH Lawrence. She admired Mew’s work and was well placed to put in a good word for her. None of this counted with Mew, who snubbed Morrell’s attentions because she found them intrusive.

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