Bryher, 1894-1983

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Bryher (1894-1983) was a British author best known for her historical novels, including The Fourteenth of October (1952) and Coin of Carthage (1962), and her autobiographical writings. She also established Close-Up (1927-33), the first periodical devoted to film. Born Winifred Ellerman, she married Robert MacAlmon in 1919. They divorced in 1927, and in that year she married Kenneth MacPherson. Beginning in 1918, she was the close friend of American poet H. D., whose daughter she adopted.

From the description of Bryher papers, 1812-1980 (bulk 1911-1978). (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702134102

Bryher, British author.

From the description of Bryher collection, 1914-1969. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 702159640

From the description of Bryher collection, 1914-1969. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 77898777

Annie Winifred Ellerman was born on September 2, 1894, in Margate, Kent, the daughter of industrialist and financier Sir John Reeves Ellerman, Bart., and Hannah Glover Ellerman. The family remained in England until 1900, then went abroad, spending winters in France, Egypt, Italy, and North Africa, and summers in Switzerland. The Ellermans returned to England in 1909, where Bryher's brother John was born.

From 1910-12 Bryher was educated at the Queenwood School, Eastbourne, spending many of her holidays in the Scilly Islands. (She later adopted the name Bryher from a favorite Scillonian island.) Upon leaving Queenwood, she took up the formal study of archaeology, but the outbreak of World War I forced her to give it up. During 1917-18 she worked on reviews and articles for the Saturday Review and The Sphere, and published a critical appreciation of Amy Lowell. In July 1918 she met the Imagist poet, H.D., who was to become a lifelong friend and companion. In 1919 Bryher published her first novel, Development . In the same year she made her first trip to the United States with H.D. During this trip, she married the American writer Robert McAlmon and they settled in Montreux, Switzerland.

Bryher continued to travel and to write during the 1920s, publishing two more novels, Arrow Music (1922) and Two Selves (1923), as well as A Picture Geography for Children (1925), and West (1924), which was based on material gathered during her trip to America in 1919. In 1927 she and McAlmon were divorced and she married Kenneth Macpherson. It was during this time that she formally adopted Perdita, H.D. and Richard Aldington's daughter, and legally changed her name to Mrs. Winifred Bryher. Bryher also underwent analysis with Dr. Hanns Sachs, and maintained an interest in the subject for the remainder of her life.

During 1927 Macpherson made two films, Wingbeat and Foothills, starring H.D. Bryher, recognizing their common interest in film, established Close Up, the first magazine devoted to film, and Pool Productions, a film company. Close Up flourished until 1933, when the era of silent films ended. In 1929 Bryher published Film Problems of Soviet Russia, a well-received study of Soviet film making. In the fall of 1929 Pool Productions began the film Borderline, which starred, among others, H.D. and Bryher. The film was finished in 1930 and received mixed reviews.

In 1930 she decided to establish a permanent residence in Vaud, Switzerland. Kenwin, (a combination of the names Kenneth and Winifred) was built during the years 1930-31. In 1930 Bryher published, with Trude Weiss, The Lighthearted Student, a German textbook. In 1935 she bought the literary review Life and Letters, changing the name to Life and Letters To-day . The disintegrating political scene in Europe, however, soon turned her attention to the refugee problem. During the latter part of the 1930s, she gave shelter and financial assistance to over one hundred refugees at Kenwin.

Bryher was forced to leave Kenwin and return to London in 1940, where she joined H.D. and Perdita. Despite the difficulties caused by the war, she continued Life and Letters To-day and published Paris 1900 (1940), a reminiscence of early twentieth-century Paris. She recorded her experiences with the London middle class during the air raids in her novel Beowulf (1946), which first appeared in France after the war. During the war, she renewed her friendship with Yale professor Norman Holmes Pearson, whom she had met in the United States in the early 1930s. Pearson was to become her literary executor and was instrumental in the acquisition of Bryher's and H.D.'s papers by Yale. In 1946, Bryher returned to Switzerland with H.D. In 1948, she and Kenneth Macpherson were divorced and she legally adopted the name Bryher, dropping her first name.

Bryher remained in Switzerland for the remainder of her life. Her first historical novel, The Fourteenth of October was published in 1952. This was followed by The Player's Boy (1953), Roman Wall (1954), Gate to the Sea (1958), Ruan (1960), Coin of Carthage (1963), and The Colors of Vaud (1969). In addition to seven historical novels, she published a science fiction novel, Visa for Avalon (1965) and two autobiographies, The Heart to Artemis (1962) and The Days of Mars (1972), detailing her life until the end of World War II.

Bryher continued to travel throughout her life, returning to England often, visiting Perdita in the United States, and making a trip to Greenland in 1961. She maintained her interest in archaeology, helped to fund archeological projects in England, anonymously provided pensions for a number of elderly people, continued to promote young writers, and took an active interest in her own financial affairs. Bryher died at Kenwin on January 28, 1983.

From the guide to the Bryher papers, 1812-1980, 1911-1978, (Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Alice Rogers Smith papers, 1880-1971 (inclusive) Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Maurice Saillet Collection of Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company TXRC97-A20., 1917-1976 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Viola Baxter Jordan papers, 1905-1951 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Wilda Hamerman papers, 1968-1985 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Hodgson, Ralph, 1871-1962. Letters : Minerva, Ohio, to Bryher, 1953-1955. Bryn Mawr College, Mariam Coffin Canaday Library
referencedIn Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972. Financial records, 1892-1969. Rosenbach Museum & Library
referencedIn Norman Douglas collection, 1864-1967, 1920-1950 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Jean Starr Untermeyer papers, 1924-1970 (inclusive) Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Helen and Kurt Wolff papers, 1888-1994 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Parker, Derek. Collection, 1955-1970. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Sitwell, Osbert, 1892-1969. Osbert Sitwell Collection, 1887-1969. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Nadezhin, Nikolai Alexandrovich, 1885-1959. Nikolai Nadezhin papers, 1910-1957. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Dobson, Silvia, 1908-. Silvia Dobson papers, 1945-1992. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972. General correspondence, 1901-1972. Rosenbach Museum & Library
creatorOf Blakeston, Oswell, 1907-1985. Papers, 1927-1985. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Hodgson, Aurelia Bolliger. Letters : Sendai, Japan, and Minerva, Ohio, to various correspondents, 1923-1983. Bryn Mawr College, Mariam Coffin Canaday Library
referencedIn Sitwell, Edith, 1887-1964. Autograph letter signed : "as from the Sesame Club" [London], to Kenneth Clark, "Monday" [1940 or later]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Bean, Arthur Parsons. Papers of Arthur Parsons Bean [manuscript], 1948-1981. University of Virginia. Library
creatorOf Lowell, Amy, 1874-1925. Amy Lowell correspondence, 1883-1927 (inclusive), 1910-1925 (bulk). Houghton Library
creatorOf Sitwell, Sacheverell, 1897-1988. Sacheverell Sitwell Collection, 1912-1988. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas papers, 1837-1961. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Bennett, Arnold, 1867-1931,. Papers of the Sitwell family, 1914-1999. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Pantheon Books. Records, 1944-1968. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Untermeyer, Jean Starr, 1886-1970. Jean Starr Untermeyer papers, 1924-1970 (inclusive). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn New Directions Publishing Corp. records, 1932-2005 Houghton Library
creatorOf Bryher, 1894-. Bryher collection, 1914-1969. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Ellis, Havelock, 1859-1939. Havelock Ellis correspondence, 1922-1939. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn H. D. (Hilda Doolittle), 1886-1961. H. D. Papers, 1887-1977. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Sitwell, Georgia Doble. Georgia Doble Sitwell Collection, 1901-1974. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Photograph File of Close Up Magazine, 1911-1947, 1926-1933 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Georgia Doble Sitwell Collection TXRC03-A?., 1901-1974 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Bryher, 1894-1983. Bryher collection, 1914-1969. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Horace Gregory Papers, 1920-1973 Syracuse University. Library. Special Collections Research Center
referencedIn Hodgson, Ralph, 1871-1962. Ralph Hodgson papers, 1695-1976 (bulk 1914-1970). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Wolff, Helen, 1906-1994. Helen and Kurt Wolff papers, 1888-1994. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Bryher papers, 1812-1980, 1911-1978 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Johannes and Gertrude Urzidil Collection, 1753-1996 Leo Baeck Institute.
referencedIn Osbert Sitwell Collection TXRC03-A0., 1887-1969 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Hamerman, Wilda. Wilda Hamerman papers, 1968-1985. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Lowell, Amy, 1874-1925. Amy Lowell papers, 1916-1925. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Edward K. Welsh Papers, Bulk, 1960-1969, circa 1930-1974 Tamiment Library and Robert F. Wagner Labor Archives
referencedIn Hodgson, Ralph, 1871-1962. Ralph Hodgson papers, 1695-1976 (bulk 1914-1970). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Jordan, Viola Baxter, 1887-1973. Viola Baxter Jordan papers, 1905-1951. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946. Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas papers, 1837-1961. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Lowell, Amy, 1874-1925. Correspondence, 1916-1925. Campbell University, Wiggins Memorial Library
referencedIn Louise Morgan and Otto Theis papers, 1903-1983 (inclusive, 1930-1960 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Saillet, Maurice. Maurice SailletCollection of Sylvia Beach and Shakespeare and Company, 1917-1976, (bulk 1919-1964). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Dobson, Silvia, 1908-. Silvia Dobson papers, 1945-1992. Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Oswell Blakeston Papers TXRC95-A128., 1927-1985 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Wolle, Francis, 1889-1979. Francis Wolle collection on Hilda Doolittle, 1929-1973 bulk 1929-1957 University of Colorado Boulder
creatorOf Baxter, Viola,. Viola Baxter letters from Ezra Pound, William Carlos Williams, and H.D., 1906-1961. University of Pennsylvania Libraries, Van Pelt Library
referencedIn Jordan, Viola Baxter, 1887-1973. Viola Baxter Jordan papers, 1905-1951. Yale University Library
referencedIn Nikolai Nadezhin papers, 1910-1957 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Bryher, 1894-. Bryher papers, 1812-1980 (bulk 1911-1978). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Morgan, Louise. Louise Morgan and Otto Theis papers 1903-1983 (bulk 1930-1960). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn H. D. Papers, 1887-1977 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Ralph Hodgson papers, 1695-1976, 1914-1970 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Smith, Alice Rogers, 1883-1971. Alice Rogers Smith papers, 1880-1971 (inclusive). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Douglas, Norman, 1868-1952. Norman Douglas collection, 1864-1967 (bulk 1920-1950). Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Sacheverell Sitwell Collection TXRC03-A1., 1912-1988 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Bryher, 1894-1983. Letters : Vevey, London, to Mary E. Herr, 1940-1959. Bryn Mawr College, Mariam Coffin Canaday Library
referencedIn Hound & Horn records, 1925-1940 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas papers, 1837-1961 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Aldington, Catherine. person
associatedWith Aldington, Richard, 1892-1962. person
associatedWith Ballantyne, R. M. (Robert Michael), 1825-1894. person
associatedWith Beach, Sylvia. person
associatedWith Beach, Sylvia. person
associatedWith Bean, Arthur Parsons. person
associatedWith Blakeston, Oswell, 1907-1985 person
associatedWith Brooke, Jocelyn. person
associatedWith Brooks, Romaine, 1874-1970. person
associatedWith Cooper, Lettice Ulpha, 1897- person
associatedWith De Beer, Gavin, Sir, 1899-1972. person
associatedWith Dobson, Silvia, 1908- person
associatedWith Douglas, Norman, 1868-1952. person
associatedWith Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965. person
associatedWith Ellerman family. family
associatedWith Ellerman family. family
associatedWith Ellerman, Hannah, Lady, d.1939. person
associatedWith Ellis, Havelock, 1859-1939. person
associatedWith Evans, Margiad, 1909-1958. person
associatedWith Gardiner, Ada L. 1961. person
associatedWith Gregory, Horace, 1898- person
associatedWith Hamerman, Wilda. person
associatedWith Hamerman, Wilda. person
associatedWith H. D (Hilda Doolittle), 1886-1961. person
associatedWith Henderson, Cole. person
associatedWith Henderson, Gerald. person
associatedWith Henty, G. A. (George Alfred), 1832-1902. person
associatedWith Herring, Robert. person
associatedWith Herr, Mary E., 1885-1960. person
associatedWith Hesse, Hermann, 1877-1962. person
associatedWith Hesse, Ninon. person
associatedWith Hesse, Ninon. person
associatedWith Hodgson, Aurelia Bolliger. person
associatedWith Hodgson, Ralph, 1871-1962. person
associatedWith Hotson, Leslie, 1897-1992. person
associatedWith Johannes, 1896-1977 and Gertrude, 1898-1977 person
associatedWith Jordan, Viola. person
associatedWith Jordan, Viola Baxter, 1887-1973. person
associatedWith Long, Doris. person
associatedWith Long, Doris. person
associatedWith Lowell, Amy, 1874-1925. person
associatedWith Lyons, Islay, 1922- person
associatedWith Mackenzie, Compton, Sir, 1883-1972. person
associatedWith Macpherson, Kenneth. person
associatedWith MacPherson, Kenneth. person
associatedWith McAlmon, Robert, 1895-1956 person
associatedWith McAlmon, Robert, 1895-1956. person
associatedWith Moore, Marianne, 1887-1972. person
associatedWith Morgan, Louise. person
associatedWith Nadezhin, Nikolai Alexandrovich, 1885-1959. person
correspondedWith New Directions Publishing Corp. corporateBody
associatedWith Page, Chester. person
associatedWith Page, Chester. person
associatedWith Pantheon Books. corporateBody
associatedWith Parker, Derek. person
associatedWith Pearson, Norman Holmes, 1909-1975. person
associatedWith Plank, George. person
associatedWith Plank, George. person
associatedWith Reid, Mayne, 1818-1883. person
associatedWith Richardson, Dorothy M. (Dorothy Miller), 1873-1957. person
associatedWith Rubenstein, Annie Reich. person
associatedWith Rubenstein, Thomas. person
associatedWith Sachs, Hanns, 1881-1947. person
associatedWith Saillet, Maurice person
associatedWith Saillet, Maurice. person
associatedWith Schaffner, Perdita. person
associatedWith Schaffner, Perdita. person
associatedWith Secrest, Meryle. person
associatedWith Sitwell, Edith, Dame, 1887-1964. person
associatedWith Sitwell, Georgia Doble, 1906-1980 person
associatedWith Sitwell, Osbert, 1892-1969 person
associatedWith Sitwell, Sacheverell, 1897-1988 person
associatedWith Smith, Alice Rogers, 1883-1971. person
associatedWith Stables, Gordon, 1840-1910. person
associatedWith Stein, Gertrude, 1874-1946. person
associatedWith Sutcliffe, Rosemary. person
associatedWith Sutcliffe, Rosemary. person
associatedWith Untermeyer, Jean Starr, 1886-1970. person
associatedWith Welsh, Edward K., 1902-1979 person
associatedWith Wolff, Helen, 1906-1994. person
correspondedWith Wolle, Francis, 1889-1979. person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Küsnacht (Switzerland)
Küsnacht (Switzerland)
Subject
World War, 1939-1945--Social aspects
Single women
Authors and patrons
Authors, English--20th century
Children's literature, English
British literature--20th century
Historical fiction, English
Psychoanalysis
Occupation
Authors
Activity

Person

Birth 1894-09-02

Death 1983-01-28

Britons

English

Information

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Ark ID: w6jm2j45

SNAC ID: 55996627