Lawrence and Brett: A Friendship
In March of 1924, D. H. Lawrence, Frieda Lawrence and the Honorable Dorothy Brett went to Taos, New Mexico, to absorb the color and romance of what was to them a mysterious and compelling land. Dorothy Brett recreated those days in this fascinating first-hand account, and also writes of when she was the close friend of Aldous Huxley, Lytton Strachey, Katherine Mansfield, and other important literary and artistic figures. But more importantly, she focused on her relationship with Lawrence and the book was specifically addressed to him as if he were to read it, reminding him personally of her long-standing devotion. Such devotion was not rebuffed by Lawrence, it seems, but it was met differently by the two other women orbiting the famous writer: his wife, Frieda Lawrence, and Mabel Dodge Luhan. They were in turn cross and conciliatory to her. But it seems that she just accepted them as other intense admirers of Lawrence, took it all simply and wrote it all down with a minimum of comment. Dorothy Brett was well-known in her own right. The daughter of Viscount Esher Brett, confidant of Queen Victoria, she spent six years studying at the Slade School of Art in London and was a member of the Bloomsbury set in England, among whose many luminaries Brett moved when a young woman. She was also gaining recognition as an artist even before she arrived in the American Southwest. But it was there that her true artistic talents emerged and her works now hang in major museums as well as in private collections. When this book was first published in 1933, it was praised by critics as well as the general public. Alfred Stieglitz said: "It was a rare spiritual experience--no student of Lawrence can afford to miss this book.. There is an integrity in the book--a sense of the eternal--a sense of Light--which raises it above all the other books I have read about Lawrence." And, interestingly, Mabel Dodge Luhan called it "clearly and explicitly drawn." Here it all is again with additional material added by Dorothy Brett herself when the 1974 edition was first published by Sunstone Press.
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