Richard Aldington

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(The Richard Aldington Newsletter)


Vol. 38, No. 4                  Winter, 2010-2011

Editor: Andrew Frayn, English and American Studies, Samuel Alexander Building, University of Manchester,
Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL. UK.  E-mail:

Associate Editor: David Wilkinson, 2B Bedford Road, St. Ives, Cornwall.
TR26 1SP. UK. E-mail:

RA and H.D. Website: 
Correspondent and website editor: Paul Hernandez
Correspondents: Michael Copp, Simon Hewett, Stephen Steele, F.-J. Temple, Caroline Zilboorg.
Bibliographer: Shelley Cox.  Biographers: Charles Doyle, Vivien Whelpton.

Focus on Richard Aldington and Nancy Cunard

Richard Aldington's involvement with Nancy Cunard in Paris in the years 1928-1931 had a twofold basis. On the one hand he was attracted to the rather decadent, bohemian side of Paris that Nancy frequented with seemingly unlimited energy and extravagant panache. Through her he met, amongst others, Henry Crowder, Louis Aragon, and Samuel Beckett. Aldington was also initially attracted by Nancy's chic glamour and freewheeling sexual behaviour, though it is not entirely clear how intimate they became. 'Aldington had a strong streak of the puritan in him; and while he admired Nancy's extraordinary qualities, he was frequently repelled by her drinking and aggressive sexuality' (Chisholm, 128). He was at the same time besotted with Brigit Patmore, and was, arguably, using Nancy to conceal this from common knowledge. Eventually he tired of the exhausting excesses and superficial triviality of both Paris nightclub life and of Nancy herself. The other, and equally important, link with Nancy was related to her role as publisher. For Aldington she published Hark the Herald (1928), The Eaten Heart (1929), and Last Straws (1931) through her Hours Press.


Part I: Letters

RA to Brigit Patmore, 3 [December 1928]

. . . at 10.30 just as I was finishing a page, & thinking of bed, comes a tap at the door, &           enterNancy literally clothed in cloth of gold . . . She insisted that I get into evening clothes & come to Montmartre. I didn't particularly want to go, since I'd been up since 7.30, & was   tired. However, out we went, sat in a café and talked for an hour, and agreed to be good friends & not lovers. (Naturally, I didn't mention you or even say that I am in love with   someone else, but left everything vague.) Well, that important point settled, we went off to           Montmartre, chattering vigorously, we taxied to Montmartre & went to a most amusing nigger cabaret. (Gates, 1992, 87)


RA to Brigit Patmore [6 December 1928]

. . . Nancy is sweet & charming & kind but I find I do not love her at all. . . Darling, I find I like Nancy very much, but I'm not the least little particle in love with her. We kiss each other on meeting and parting, but it is almost perfunctory. (Gates, 1992, 90)


RA to Brigit Patmore, [19 December 1928]

Well, Louis [Aragon] having an appointment at 2.30, turned up at 5, bringing proofs of my Xmas poem [Hark the Herald] from Nancy  (not  a mistake in it), . . . (Gates, 1992, 94)


RA to HD, 20 March 1929

I will also send along a poem which Nancy Cunard is printing in a limited edition. [Nancy Cunard's Hours Press published The Eaten Heart early in 1929] (Zilboorg, 193)


RA to HD, 22 April 1929

Then Nancy came to town, and that always means starting the evening about midnight. I never knew such energy. Admirable, but exhausting to her friends. (Zilboorg, 200)


HD to Bryher, early May 1929

He [Ezra Pound] told me R. had fallen for Nancy and N. had re-vitalized him but N. was bored with him more than a day on end and that he had winged B[ri]g[i]t. [Patmore] in the   hunt for N. . . . . I told her [Brigit] I was leaving on Wed. [8 May] so Cuth [Aldington] will have all his poetic raptures for nancy. (Zilboorg, 209)


HD to Bryher, 5 May 1929

... Nancy looking like a goddess, beautiful and all glitters, 'you must put on your clothes and come.' Mimosa [Brigit Patmore] was slinking in the background. I had a sudden feeling that Nancy was 'hep' to everything, that R. had been saying nice things and that she wanted to sting Mimosa. Perhaps it was just an illusion, but suddenly, I SAW Nancy, so tall and beautiful and a sort of dynamic vibration. I was half asleep and said 'come in'. Nancy started to and Mimosa said, 'O no, I am sure we will tire her. Come, we must leave'. But Nancy wasn't having any. She came straight in, sat down and offered me [a] cigarette, started on how sorry she was that I wouldn't come, how sorry she was not to have known I was coming [to Paris], how if I could not stay, I must make [a] special effort to let her see me later etc. etc. (Zilboorg, 209-10)


RA to Brigit Patmore, 9 February 1931

That stupid Nancy sent more propaganda about her silly communist film [L'Age d'Or] to Norman [Douglas] & Pino [Giuseppe Orioli] & me. . . . Still not a word from her about my story [Last Straws, published by the Hours Press in 1931] and not a penny of money. Ah! Les sales riches! How foully dishonest! She goes and spends on niggers & saphs the money she owes me. To hell with her. I'm finished as far as she's concerned. When I get my cheque from her – fini, mais fini. Rotten little beast. (Gates 1992, 120)


Part II: Nancy Cunard, These were the Hours

. . . an urgent request came from Richard Aldington, whom I had met in Rome for the first time the previous October [1928], for 150 copies of a special Christmas message he wished to send  to his friends. Somehow I managed to set the type for Hark the Herald, which was Aldington's title, print the 150 copies, and return them to him in time for Christmas mailings. Though no doubt capable of offending many, the little “satire on Christmas greetings,” which Aldington called it, was amusing and succeeded, in his words, in “getting rid of a lot of rather tiresome acquaintances.” (39)


To reread certain works after they have lain  for years in memory surrounded by admiration is sometimes to discover something as fresh and beautiful as at first reading. And this (although I had reread it several times after publication), is the case with Richard Aldington's long romantic, philosophical poem The Eaten Heart. . . . One proof of its excellence surely lies in the fact that it is as moving as when Aldington first gave it to me to print. (57)


Part III: The View from Paris

The following passages are my translations of sections relating to RA in Nancy Cunard by Francis Buot (the letters quoted are in some instances my translations of Buot's French, and not RA's originals).


During her stay in Italy Nancy meets up, once more with an old acquaintance she came across during the Bloomsbury period. Richard Aldington is a friend of Ezra Pound and Wyndham Lewis.  He has already made something of a name for himself as a poet in this circle. He dreams of becoming known as a novelist. Although in love with Bridget Padmore [sic] with whom he will live for ten years, Aldington falls under Nancy's spell. After all, she has all the qualities for a young man who wants to make a name for himself in the world of letters... He follows with great interest the Hours Press venture and and has every intention of making use of Nancy's numerous contacts. As a sort of 'Bel Ami' he seems ready for anything and confides in Bridget. He writes to her: “I'm rather keen on attaching myself to Nancy and going with her to [Natalie] Barney and to cafés and writing to Lorenzo [D.H. Lawrence] from her place, the next time I'm there.”. He does the same with Ezra Pound who allows himself to get involved in the game... “Ezra's letter gave me considerable amusement. He is convinced that it's a question of Nancy and says to me:


                        “Beware of the dangers that surround the man

                        Who gets involved with a siren.”


            But Aldington seems unaware of two important details. First, if Nancy finds him very likeable, it is not a case of her taking him on as a lover... With his reddish-brown hair and pale complexion tending towards a bright pink in the sun, she finds him “very English”.  Next, Nancy is in love with Henry Crowder, even if at times appearances are decptive. Unaware, Aldington carries on with his little game of manoeuvring and seduction, until the moment when Nancy decides to put him back in his place... However, at 10.30 just as I was finishing a page, & thinking of bed, comes a tap at the door, & enter Nancy literally clothed in cloth of gold [. . .] She insisted that I get into evening clothes & come to Montmartre. I didn't particularly want to go [. . .] However, out we went, sat in a café and talked for an hour, and agreed to be good friends and not lovers [. . .] Well, that important point settled, we went off to Montmartre [. . .] and a most amusing nigger cabaret. (Between ourselves, I deduce that Nancy has now passed to the culte des nègres & is no longer interested in poor white trash). The dancing room was decorated in style moderne with fanciful patterns in blue & silver of no particular shape or meaning; there was an alcove with a large picture of a Mississippi steamboat [. . .]; the walls had a number of black panels rather like school blackboards, with very clever sketches of negroes in white outline. [...] The nigger orchestra was good, but I didn't think it very extra; but I was introduced to  “Henry” [Crowder], the nigger pianist & he turned out to be one of Jerry Rol Morton's [sic] Red Hot Peppers. [. . .]

            We met [Louis] Aragon, Dolly Wilde, “Victor” and “Edward” (?Cunarders?) and Nancy danced with Edward while Dolly danced with Victor while I watched or talked to Henry & Aragon. I like Aragon very much, he has a very beautiful and sensitive face, and a charming manner. But he is jealous as a million devils, & made a frightful scene with Nancy about 3 a.m. apropos a girl whom he said Nancy had taken away from him, and also apropos the “Henry.” Nancy was furious, & they went and had a row in the street, & then came back & rowed over supper like husband & wife. . .” [Letter from Aldington to Brigit Patmore, 3 December 1928]

            To wind things up Nancy declares that she is leaving to go to the country and urges Aragon to be sensible and go home. She puts him in a taxi and meets up with her friends         half an hour later. Aldington, out of his depth with what's been going on, notes: “[We] discussed the unfortunate Louis until 4.30. I tried to persuade her to “make it up,” but she       wouldn't, & I left her to Henry at 4.30 and returned home.” If Nancy tends to despise Aldington, she is keen to keep him under her thumb. She frequently summons him, or drops in at his hotel, demanding he accompany her until Henry, who plays regularly at La Plantation, has finished his concert. Not having totally given up the idea of conquering Nancy, he accepts. He always ends up exhausted on a night club seat. In his letters he seems shocked by Nancy's attitude... “Yesterday I met Nancy in a squalid little bar near the Opera. Nancy was dead drunk, of course, but even so I managed to take her as far as La Plantation [. . .] How does Nancy do it? I've no idea. But I do like Henry. I think Nancy is right to love him –  I like the fact that he is mysteriously sensible, composed. He's not good looking, like Louis (whom Nancy torments disgracefully), but he has the stability, the Blacks' feeling for life that we Whites are in the process of losing.”

            We should not take these letters at face value. Aldington is writing to his wife and it is to his advantage to cloud the issue in order to conceal his feelings. But he does seem to be uneasy. Nancy, trapped by her own contradictions, finds herself placed between her fierce determination to be free and her inability to live alone. She finds it impossible to choose her life; too busy destroying what she has patiently won. Confronted with the forthcoming disaster she displays her life-sickness. Aldington relates: “Good heavens, when I look at her life – she not only lacks the most elementary common sense, but also the ability to love seriously, lastingly and tenderly. Perhaps I am being hard on her because I have so much sympathy for Louis and would like to push her into his arms. That's enough about that. And don't go thinking you have any reason to become anxious.” We can see here Aldington unable to stop himself giving rather sententious lessons. A rejected lover, he dreams of putting Henry, his most dangerous rival, out of the running. A few months later, when he realises that the game is definitively up, he throws in the sponge, not without some resentment... “Now Nancy wants to go to Africa with Henry. I give up. I tried to help           (God help me) and to arrange matters between her and Louis, but it's, hopeless. Nancy believes she loves Henry – but she doesn't love him – sexually, he's a more powerful drug, that's all. She has adressed some of her poems to me – quite beautiful, but really pathetic. The way she's going, she'll be dead within five years. That's enough about Nancy.” None of that stops Aldington from continuing to see the young Englishwoman.

            On many occasions he stays at La Chapelle-Réanville and advises Nancy on administrative matters and editions. He also keeps an eye on the make-up and printing of a manuscript he gave to Nancy, The Eaten Heart, based on an adaptation of his war novel, The Death of a Hero, the publication of which is about to be authorised. By means of a medieval legend, Aldington tackles in his way the eternal theme of man caught in the trap of loneliness. At the start,  Philoctetes, on leaving prison, hopes to break his isolation. But he          quickly discovers that that is a vain hope. Thus “the only thing worth undertaking” - saving   himself and escaping the terrible loneliness – cannot be achieved. Nancy begins work and spends a great part of spring 1929 on the text. Alone, without Lévy's help, she appears to like this text which she puts into shape with the passing days... “I came to feel it more and more; she writes to Otto Theis, during the composition and the various rereadings done in the course of the work – and it seems to me that while not knowing anything about            Philoctetes' pain, about Timon's anger and about the connection between Greece and us, I must have only completed  (what I had to do) this memorization of symbols, this recognition of values, without any criticism possible for me except that of lines and real words and, so to speak,“gestures”.(Buot, 176-79)


            Aldington [like Alvaro Guevara] is also a regular visitor at Réanville. In spite of all the reservations that Nancy inspires in him, he continues to see a lot of her. He even asks her to print a hundred copies of a satire directed against Christmas, Hark the Herald. Nancy agrees and makes a gift of the entire edition to him. (Buot, 183)


            Richard Aldington never moved far away from Nancy. This year, 1930, he finally tasted literary success. His novel The Death of a Hero received a very warm welcome in the United States. Others might choose to immerse themselves in Saint-Germain-des Prés, but Aldington goes further. With the support of Edward Titus, the director of the journal The             Quarter, he creates “The Richard Aldington Poetry Prize”. From a sum of 2,500 francs, it will be awarded to “the most talented American poet”. In an editorial note Titus explains that Aldington has instituted this prize as “an expression of his gratitude” with regard to America; the aim being to attract attention to the work of “poets capable of revealing themselves as interesting and promising”. In the end it is Walter Lowenfels and E.E. Cummings who will be the first winners in September 1931.


            Aldington advises Nancy to launch a competition in order to unearth “a new talent”! He suggests putting forward the idea to those participating to write a poem on Time. As regards the length, they opt for a hundred lines, a limit “good and generous” at the same time. Nancy finds the plan appealing. She writes an advertisement and prints a card in red ink which she sends to the main French and English journals: “Nancy Cunard and The Hours Press, in collaboration with Richard Aldington, offer £10 to the best poem, maximum length 100 lines, in English or in American on TIME (for or against). Entries must be in by 15 June 1930.” In spite of the modest reward the competition unleashed an avalanche of applicants. For several weeks the letter box of rue Guénégaud was always full. In all more than a hundred texts from “doggerel to a sort of  phony metaphysics”.     Impossible to choose from such medioctiry... “God almighty! The things that arrive!” complains Nancy to Louise Morgan, the manager of the journal Everyman: I'm going to keep everything, or recopy everything: a poem on “two little mushrooms” is Henry's choice; and [another] directly about Time: a vast letter on multiplication and remultiplication of insects... You see the connection...” A few days before the closing date, Nancy and Aldington decide to take stock at Réanville. They reread all the poems and   decide to save two or three texts, although rather bad. Greatly frustrated, Nancy returns to       Paris and waits for the closing date, 15 June. But the following morning, just as she opens the rue Guénégaud shop, she spots a small envelope which had been slipped under the door, probably during the night. On the cover is written the word “Whoroscope” followed by a strange name – Samuel Beckett. Nancy and             Aldington search in vain, they have never heard of him. But the unknown is gifted. “Even at the first reading, feverish and oblique”, it leaves no one indifferent... remarkable lines, relates Nancy, what           images and what analogies, what lively colours from one end to the other, and what technique! This long poem [ninety-eight lines], mysterious, obscure in parts, centred on Descartes was quite obviously the work of a very intellectual and educated person.” Without hesitating a moment,  they have there the winning poem.

Immediately summoned, Beckett tells his listeners how he imagined and composed “Whoroscope”. He learnt of the existence of the competition from a friend, on the closing day. That evening, he already had half the text in the bag. After “gorging himself on salad and chambertin with suckling pig”, he went back to his bedroom and worked for most of the night. At dawn he found the rue Guénégaud and slid the envelope under the door. “How to describe that, Nancy asked herself, except by speaking of inspiration and virtuosity?”           (Buot, 199-200)


            . . . As for Aldington, after treating him [Beckett] as James Joyce's “blue-eyed boy”, he starts to take him seriously. He advises and urges his friend Charles Prentice, literary director at Chatto & Windus to commission a work on Proust from him. Favourably impressed by Whoroscope, Prentice agrees. Beckett is in seventh heaven! He will be able to write a second book in ideal conditions and to return triumphantly to Trinity College [Dublin]. Loyally, Beckett will never forget the nudge in the right direction that Nancy and her friend Aldington gave him... (Buot, 202)


            The Negro Anthology became her [Nancy Cunard's] new battle... The Hours Press carries on, but without her. Occasionally she arrives like a cyclone at rue Guénégaud in       order to respond to urgent mail. Wyn Henderson comes to supervise Last Straws, a novella by Aldington. The text portrays a group of veterans, victims of fate. Making no concessions, it is a cry against the military system and the hypocrisy of victory. Numerous orders by subscription arrived and almost the whole printing was already ordered before it appeared. Henderson chose the binding: jade green suedette with a gilded title for two hundred copies signed by the author, and light maroon board with original designs by Douglas Cockerell for the three hundred others. She also sent Aldington an advance on his royalties. Like an           operatic diva, an annoyed Aldington sent the cheque back because he wished to work only with the owner. Wildly angry, he reproached Nancy with having entrusted to her manager the novella he had written specially for her. The episode had its risible side. But Nancy knows the person and his touchiness. She attempts to contact him so as to calm him down, but fails. Exasperated, Nancy gets worked up. The exchange of letters becomes violent. The affair calms down when Nancy agrees to sign another cheque. When she relates the story to    Norman Douglas, the latter does not spare Aldington: “Why do authors create such             difficulties with each other? I'm sure grocers don't behave in this way.” (Buot, 212-13)


            Among her friends or near ex-friends, the first to publicly display his disapproval is, of course, Aldington [for the way Nancy broke with her mother, Maud]. As we know, Nancy's scandalous behaviour had for a long time irritated and alienated him. In 1932 he publishes Soft Answers. The portrait of Constance [in 'Now Lies She There'] is clearly based on Nancy. This young woman has everything to succeed in life, beauty, money, social standing, but she takes a malicious pleasure in creating havoc everywhere. Her destiny is nothing but a lengthy decline. Her friend Bob, implacable, notes that Constances's life is “a kind of emotional magic-lantern show, an attempt to enliven a very unconvincing life-performance with dramatic images”. Bob's verdict, which in many ways is like Aldington's, is to be taken with some reservations. We need to mistrust rejected lovers or 'exs' bent on revenge who always have the deplorable tendency to exaggerate. It is, therefore, not surprising to see that Bob lingers for a long time on Constance's sexual excesses... “She specialised in being the temporary wife of a series of faux grands hommes, almost anybody who was remarkable for false pretensions which brought him humiliation. She liked unread poets, painters who never sold a canvas, musicians who had to play in restaurants, boxers who were always knocked out, remittance men, jockeys who had been warned off the course, drawing-room anarchists who got into trouble with the police, unofficial representatives of oppressed national minorities, fraudulent solicitors and unfrocked priests... She liked cads, because she could destroy them utterly. But they must not be common gigolos – any woman with five thousand a year could destroy them. Her prey must have had the hope of better things, must have slid down the ladder and be trying madly to struggle up again. Then, under pretext of espousing their cause, she settled on them like a lecherous octopus, and flicked the husk of a man to contempt and despair. Not a female Don Juan – one would applaud that legitimate revanche of the sex – but a kind of erotic boa-constrictor. She swallowed men whole. You could almost see their feet sticking out of her mouth.” Aldington is unrelenting and pushes the portrait towards caricature. At the end of the story, Constance becomes infatuated with a young ruffian and hangs about in the dingiest night clubs of London. Seriously disfigured  in a scuffle, she ends up in north Africa with an Arab. With this story, Aldington gets even with a vaguely decadent milieu that he admired for a long time. As a renegade trampling under foot his own past would do, he makes Bob say... “I remembered how Constance had often seemed to me a symbolical figure, an embodiment of the post-War plutocracy and its Jazz dance of Death.” Nancy haughtily pays no attention to this literary genre but is probably aware of it. (Buot, 248-49)

●      ●      

What made Aldington launch such a vicious assault on Nancy? Could this 'hysterical relish' be put down to the fact that Nancy 'had rejected him sexually; perhaps she really had let him down over the publication of a book' (Chisholm, 189). 'For all its exaggeration and unpleasantness, Aldington's story contains some shrewd insights. It goes much too far in depicting the fruits of Nancy's Paris years and loves as totally pointless, squalid and unproductive' (Chisholm, 190).



Francis Buot, Nancy Cunard. Paris: Pauvert, 2008.

Anne Chisholm, Nancy Cunard. London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1979.

Nancy Cunard, These were the Hours. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1969.

Norman Gates, The Poetry of Richard Aldington: A Critical Evaluation and an Anthology of Uncollected Poems. University Park: Penn State University Press, 1974.

__________, Richard Aldington: An Autobiography in Letters. University Park: Penn State University Press, 1992.

Caroline Zilboorg, Richard Aldington & H.D.: Their Lives in Letters 1918-61. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2003.


Michael Copp


Book Review


Marie-Brunette Spire (ed.). Une Amitié Tenace: Ludmila Savitzky & André Spire, Correspondance 1910-1957. Paris: Les Belles Lettres, 2010 (767pp.)


The letters between the French poet, André Spire (1868-1966), and the writer and translator, Ludmila Savitzky (1881-1957) span 47 years, and end only with the latter's death. Apart from these letters we are given further letters to and from friends and relatives. Additional material, in the form of extracts from Ludmila's diary and journal, helps to illuminate the lives of these two correspondants. Thus, in spite of tantalisingly missing letters for some periods, this close friendship which continued through two world wars and the interwar period is charted in considerable detail. Both Spire and Savitzky were committed to good writing and humanitarian ideals. They also display an insatiable curiosity about themselves and the times they lived through. We learn of Ludmila's personal problems, especially the fraught legal issues resulting from separating from her husband, Jules Rais. In 1916 she met and fell in love with Marcel Bloch. The vindictive Rais family used all legal means to discredit Ludmila, and to limit her contact with her two daughters by Jules. Spire is at first disapproving of Ludmila's behaviour, but soon becomes deeply sympathetic to Ludmila's plight. The letters, however, deal not only with serious and important personal and public issues, but also more mundane matters, and can even contain much facetious humour at the other's expense.

            Spire, fiercely independent, avoided becoming part of any poetic school or movement throughout his writing life. Apart from his commitment to literature, he was a passionate Zionist, writing with sustained dedication about the Zionist cause, and appearing and speaking at conferences that addressed this question in France and abroad.

            Ludmila is probably best known as the first person to translate James Joyce into French. It was Ezra Pound who persuaded her to translate Joyce's Portrait of the Artist, and Ludmila was present at the famously historic occasion in Spire's Paris apartment on 11 July 1920 when Sylvia Beach, the future publisher of Ulysses, met Joyce. Ludmila, in spite of her appreciation of, and admiration for, Spire's poetry, did not hesitate to offer what she saw as pertinent critical comment when she thought he was falling below his best standards. Spire was extremely helpful in putting Ludmila in contact with the editors of many magazines in the interwar years, and thus was able to assist her in getting her articles and critical writing published. Apart from Joyce, Ludmila translated works by various Russian and English writers, including Constantin Balmont, John Rodker, Rex Warner, and Christopher Isherwood.

            Spire managed to evade the clutches of the Nazis by escaping in 1940 to America where he lived until returning to France in 1946. The final decade of their correspondance is inevitably marked by the toll of old age and illness, neither of which do anything to diminish the deep affection and admiration they continue to have for each other.

            Spire and Ludmila had considerable direct and indirect contact with the Imagists Pound, Aldington, H.D., and Flint from 1912 onwards. Flint wrote to Spire in 1912, and the latter sent him a copy of his Vers les Routes Absurdes. Flint's subsequent article in The Poetry Review in August 1912 was the earliest to give prominence to Spire's poetry for an English audience. In 1914 Pound wrote to Spire asking him to contribute some poems for The Little Review. In 1915 the Egoist Press published Spire's booklet of poems, Et j'ai voulu la paix. In October 1915 in London Aldington and Flint met Spire who had come to buy leather and felt for the shoe factory that ended up being disastrously run by Spire's brother, Paul. In July 1919 Spire, having received some of Aldington's poems, passed them on to Ludmila who wrote an article on Aldington's poetry, eventually published in the Anglo-French Review in June 1920. In February 1920 Aldington wrote to Ludmila urging her to translate May Sinclair's novel, Mary Olivier: A Life (this project did not come about). In July 1920 Spire sent a copy of his Poèmes Juifs to Aldington, and then in September 1920 Flint visited Spire at his home in Neuilly. In May 1920 Ludmila's article on H.D. plus translations of four of her poems appeared in Les Feuilles Libres. In May 1923 Ludmila's translation of H.D.'s poem, 'Hymen', appeared in Le Monde Nouveau.

            Marie-Brunette Spire has edited the valuable documents left by, and relating to, this remarkable couple with consummate care and detailed scholarship. As Spire's daughter she has allowed us privileged insights into the lives of these two friends, together with their reactions to, and thoughts about, the world and the events they lived through. A judicious choice of photographs complements the text admirably. Those of Spire, with his luxuriant beard, give him an impressive, patriarchal air.


Michael Copp



Correspondent Stephen Steele writes that his recent book on the Franco-German poet Ivan Goll (Nouveaux Regards sur Ivan Goll en exil avec un choix de ses lettres des Amériques [Tübingen-Narr Verlag, 2010]) contains a discussion of the plans involving Goll, René Taupin, William Carlos Williams and Louis Zukovsky for a wartime periodical to be called La France en libertéQuarterly of French refugee writers and their struggle for free France, or, Goll's preference, La Revue française de New York (pp. 59-61; 86-90; 92-95). Divisions within the founding group derailed the project. Documents associated with the attempted launch of the periodical list Aldington as a member of the comité de lecture.




Two of the latest titles in the ever-lengthening The War Poets series (published by Cecil Woolf, under the general editorship of Jean Moorcroft Wilson) have just appeared:

Ford Madox Ford: Impressions of War, by current Newsletter editor, Michael Copp;

Edmund Blunden Country, by NCLS member, Alan Byford.




Associate Editor David Wilkinson informs us that while recently revisiting material he wrote for Norman Gates between his first visit to Padworth in 1978 and 1984 he came across the following:


'His father's deed box was in the “cupboard under the stairs”; I even know what it contained. Like any similarly “safe place” though, it contained all sorts of “junk” and “periodicals” for similar copies of which I am now having to pay anything between £5 and £20 in an effort to reconstitute something of an archive. Vast numbers of his books can be individually identified from his letters to Glenn Hughes. There was a May Sinclair article here; one by Alec Waugh there, and upstairs “bedroom bookcase, third section from window, shelves three and four from floor” could be found his own 50 Romance Poems and Loves of Myrrhine and Konallis. Would you believe it but a copy of an article by Ludmila Savitzky was “gummed into Simplicimus” and was somewhere amongst the junk under the stairs.'