Florence Ayscough & Amy Lowell: Correspondence of a Friendship

Florence Ayscough & Amy Lowell: Correspondence of a Friendship

Florence Ayscough & Amy Lowell: Correspondence of a Friendship

Florence Ayscough & Amy Lowell: Correspondence of a Friendship

Excerpt

The letters which constitute the core of this volume record, in part, the almost lifelong friendship of two who became outstanding characters of their generation: Florence Wheelock Ayscough MacNair and Amy Lowell. Both were members of families, English in origin, which have played prominent parts in the history of North America and the Far East from the seventeenth century to the present day.

Florence Wheelock was born in Shanghai, China. Amy Lowell was born in Brookline, Massachusetts. The one began her world travels at the age of three months and resided during periods of varying lengths in Boston, St. Andrews (New Brunswick), Shanghai, London, Vienna, Guernsey, and Chicago. The other, while journeying on occasion in the United States and Europe, spent most of her life in her childhood home, "Sevenels," Brookline. The homes of both served as points of departure for even wider travels in the realms of mind and spirit and constituted meccas for unnumbered explorers, oriental and occidental, in the same realms. Dynamic, charming, warmly affectionate, brilliant, and colorful--wherever they paused on life's highway Florence Ayscough and Amy Lowell drew to themselves those who sought the beauty and all-round goodness of existence on this plane.

Years before our marriage in Guernsey, Channel Islands, I had heard Florence Ayscough lecture in Shanghai on Amy Lowell and read from her poems. On its publication, in 1935, Mrs. Harold Russell sent a copy of S. Foster Damon Amy Lowell:
A Chronicle with Extracts from Her Correspondence. This eagerly awaited study formed the foundation, supplemented by my wife's reminiscences and by readings from Miss Lowell's works, of a "seminar" for my mother and myself. I now became fairly intimately acquainted with Amy Lowell--in the spirit and the printed word. That my wife never mentioned the existence of the correspondence, which in later years had centered around the joint preparation by the two friends of their Fir-Flower Tablets, and that I found most of it in her files only after her passing, on April 24, 1942, indicates that the idea of publishing it had not occurred to her. Probably both writers would have felt that their letters did not merit circulation. If I am correct in this surmise, I am (I believe) equally correct in my belief that the assumption attributed to them is errone-

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.