Algernon Islay de Courcy Lyons (1922–1993) was a notable Welsh photographer, novelist and linguist.
Born in Langland, Glamorgan, Wales on 7 March 1922, the son of Captain John Algernon de Courcy Lyons, M.C. and Doris Ada Campbell Young. In his lifetime, he was normally just called Islay (pronounced eye-la). (Source unspecified: Lyons was educated at Bradfield College, Berkshire and Grenoble University. He was at Grenoble when World War II broke out. He made a daring escape over the Pyrenees, was caught and imprisoned in Spain from where he manage to escape and work his way back to England where he joined up and served in the Royal Air Force for the rest of the war. He served first in North Africa and then he was sent to the Far East to learn Japanese in 3 months. He did this with amongst others, Richard Mason, who was a lifelong friend and cousin by marriage. Lyons is portrayed by the character 'Peter' in Mason's book 'The Wind Cannot Read'.)
The photographs of Lyons illustrate the works of several twentieth century literary figures, including Bryher and Graham Greene.
Lyons had been the last lover of the film-maker, Kenneth Macpherson, both of them living in the ‘Villa Tuoro’ on Capri. Norman Douglas was their constant companion, there, during the last years of Douglas’s life. Both Macpherson and Lyons were at Norman Douglas’s bedside when he died.
Lyons was a close friend of photographer, Canadian, Roloff Beny.
Kenneth Macpherson, photo by Islay Lyons
Islay Lyons was a notable Welsh photographer, novelist and linguist. During the WWII, he served in North Africa and then he was sent to the Far East to learn Japanese in 3 months. He did this with amongst others, Richard Mason, who was a lifelong friend and cousin by marriage. Lyons is portrayed by the character 'Peter' in Mason's book 'The Wind Cannot Read'. Lyons had been the last lover of the film-maker, Kenneth Macpherson, both of them living in the ‘Villa Tuoro’ on Capri.
Norman Douglas, the old roué, photo by Islay Lyons
George Norman Douglas was a British writer, now best known for his 1917 novel South Wind. Kenneth Macpherson bought a home on Capri, "Villa Tuoro", which he shared with his lover, the photographer, Algernon Islay de Courcy Lyons. Bryher, Macpherson’s wife, supported her husband and his friend on Capri, requesting that they take into their home the aging Douglas. Douglas had been friends of Bryher and Macpherson since 1931. Macpherson remained on Capri until Douglas's death in 1952.
Smiling man in bed( Read more... )
Kenneth Macpherson was born in Scotland, 27 March 1902, the son of Scottish painter, John 'Pop' Macpherson and Clara Macpherson. Descended from 6 generations of artists, Macpherson was a novelist, photographer, critic and film-maker. It is only in recent years that Macpherson's contribution to cinematography has come to be recognised with the re-discovery of his work, which, though limited in output, was far ahead of its time, both in subject matter and cinematic technique. His 1930 film, Borderline, is now vey much part of the curriculum in the study of modern cinematography today. In his work with the Pool Group (1927–1933), which he co-founded with Bryher and HD, Macpherson also established the influential film journal, Close Up.
Little is known of Macpherson's early life, the pre-Pool Group period, although much is made of his post-Pool Group years, which appear to have been colourful. One commentator goes as far as to disingenuously identify, for interested parties, the source of 'a lurid description of his personal life during his New York years'. Macpherson's story began in 1927, when he married English writer, Annie Winifred Ellerman, (known as Bryher in the literary world), the daughter of a British shipping magnate. Bryher's inherited fortune would help to finance Macpherson's projects. Although Bryher's and Macpherson's marriage lasted for twenty years, for much of the marriage, both Macpherson and Bryher had extra-marital affairs. Bryher was lesbian but Macpherson was distinctly bi-sexual.
A sexual partner, common to both Bryher and Macpherson, was the American poet, Hilda Doolittle (known in literary circles as "HD"). Doolittle had been a close friend of Bryher's since 1921. They had a lesbian relationship, spending a lot of time together in Riant Chateau, Territet, Switzerland, where Bryher had a house. Not long after their marriage, Macpherson and Bryher moved to Territet, later joined by Doolittle, who brought along her 9 year old daughter, Perdita. (Perdita's father was Cecil Gray, the Scottish music critic and composer). In 1928, Doolittle had a sexual relationship with Macpherson, becoming pregnant by him. The pregnancy would be aborted later that year. In the same year, Macpherson and Bryher formally adopted Perdita, registering her name as Frances Perdita Macpherson.Kenneth Macpherson and H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) nursing tiger cubs, Territet, Switzerland, 1928
Bryher was the pen name of the novelist, poet, memoirist, and magazine editor Annie Winifred Ellerman. In 1927 she married Kenneth Macpherson, a writer who shared her interest in film and who was at the same time H.D.'s lover (H.D. was Bryher’s lover as well). In Burier, Switzerland, overlooking Lake Geneva, the couple built a Bauhaus-style style structure that doubled as a home and film studio, which they named Kenwin. They formally adopted H.D.'s young daughter, Perdita.
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H.D. (born Hilda Doolittle) (September 10, 1886 – September 27, 1961) was an American poet, novelist and memoirist known for her association with the early 20th century avant-garde Imagist group of poets such as Ezra Pound and Richard Aldington. The Imagist model was based on the idioms, rhythms and clarity of common speech, and freedom to choose subject matter as the writer saw fit. H.D.'s later writing developed on this aesthetic to incorporate a more female-centric version of modernism.
H.D. was born in Pennsylvania in 1886, and moved to London in 1911 where her publications earned her a central role within the then emerging Imagism movement. A charismatic figure, she was championed by the modernist poet Ezra Pound, who was instrumental in building and furthering her career. From 1916–17, she acted as the literary editor of the Egoist journal, while her poetry appeared in the English Review and the Transatlantic Review. During the First World War, H.D. suffered the death of her brother and the breakup of her marriage to the poet Richard Aldington, and these events weighed heavily on her later poetry. She had a deep interest in Ancient Greek literature, and her poetry often borrowed from Greek mythology and classical poets. Her work is noted for its incorporation of natural scenes and objects, which are often used to emote a particular feeling or mood. (Picture: H.D. (sitting) and Bryher in her later years, courtesy of Catherine Aldington Guillaume
She befriended Sigmund Freud during the 1930s, and became his patient in order to understand and express her bisexuality. H.D. married once, and undertook a number of heterosexual and lesbian relationships. She was unapologetic about her sexuality, and thus became an icon for both the gay rights and feminist movements when her poems, plays, letters and essays were rediscovered during the 1970s and 1980s. This period saw a wave of feminist literature on the gendering of Modernism and psychoanalytical misogyny, by a generation of writers who saw her as an early icon of the feminist movement.Bryher and H.D. (Hilda Doolittle) during the filming of Borderline (1930)Close to the end of the war, H.D. (Hilda Doolittle 1886-1961) met the wealthy English novelist Bryher (Annie Winifred Ellerman 1894-1983). They lived together until 1946, and although both took numerous other partners, Bryher remained her lover for the rest of H.D.'s life. From 1920, her relationship with Bryher became closer and the pair travelled in Egypt, Greece and the United States before eventually settling in Switzerland. Bryher married H.D.'s new male lover, bisexual Kenneth Macpherson.( Read more... )
Bryher (September 2, 1894 – January 28, 1983) was the pen name of the novelist, poet, memoirist, and magazine editor Annie Winifred Ellerman. She was born in September 1894 in Margate. Her father was the shipowner and financier John Ellerman, who at the time of his death in 1933, was the richest Englishman who had ever lived. He lived with her mother Hannah Glover, but did not marry her until 1908. (Picture: Bryher by Carl Van Vechten
She traveled in Europe as a child, to France, Italy and Egypt. At the age of fourteen she was enrolled in a traditional English boarding school and at around this time her mother and father married. On one of her travels, Ellerman journeyed to the Isles of Scilly off the southwestern coast of Great Britain and acquired her future pseudonym from her favourite island, Bryher.
During the 1920s, Bryher was an unconventional figure in Paris. Among her circle of friends were Ernest Hemingway, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, Sylvia Beach and Berenice Abbott. Her wealth enabled her to give financial support to struggling writers, including Joyce and Edith Sitwell. She also helped with finance for Sylvia Beach's bookshop Shakespeare and Company and certain publishing ventures, and started a film company Pool Group. She also helped provide funds to purchase a flat in Paris for the destitute Dada artist and writer Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven.
Bryher knew from an early age that she was lesbian. In 1918 she met and became involved in a lesbian relationship with poet Hilda Doolittle (better known by her initials, H.D.). The relationship was an open one, with both taking other partners. In 1921 she entered into a marriage of convenience with the American author Robert McAlmon, whom she divorced in 1927.H.D. and Bryher( Read more... )
Jimmie Daniels, a nightclub singer who participated in the Kool Jazz Festival's ''Evening of the Music of Harold Arlen'' at Carnegie Hall, died on June 29, 1984 in St. Clare's Hospital after suffering a stroke. He was 76 years old and lived in Manhattan.
Mr. Daniels's repertory focused on the songs of the Gershwins, Rodgers and Hart and Cole Porter as well as Harold Arlen. He worked in New York, Paris, London and Monaco.
James Lesley Daniels was born in Laredo, Tex. From 1939 to 1942, before going into military service, he owned and operated the Harlem supper club that bore his name. Later, he was on the bill at such clubs as the Bon Soir and Little Casino. Most recently he performed at Jan Wallman's Restaurant in Greenwich Village. (Picture: Kenneth Macpherson)
"A fresh-faced teenager, Jimmie Daniels arrived in Harlem sometime during the mid-1920's. He was lithe, delicate, and had an engaging, infectious smile that he would soon learn to use to his advantage. Singer Alberta Hunter, a lifelong friend, remembered the time well. "This one was just a little one" she said. "Handsome? Oh, was he handsome! He had hair as red as fire, and his folks had money." Dare anyone have said that they thought the young, refined singer with the impeccable style, grace and proper enunciation was just a little snobbish and affectatious, too?Kenneth Macpherson & Jimmie Daniels posing with Richmond Barthe's unfinished carving of Daniels, 1938Richmond Barthe said he chose Jimmie Daniels as his subject because of his dazzling smile, but it was actually Kenneth Macpherson's wife, Winifred Ellerman aka Bryher, who commissioned the bust. Kenneth Macpherson was Jimmie Daniels' lover and his was a marriage of convenience. Bryher supported her husband, who in turn supported Jimmie, thus affording him a high-class life in a Greenwich Village apartment for several years.( Read more... )
Many of the gay-oriented clubs were located in the area between Fifth and Seventh Avenues, from 130th to 138th Street, where most of Harlem’s best-known clubs were clustered. The Cotton Club, Connie’s Inn, Barron’s, the Lenox, and other clubs that attracted a large (and sometimes exclusively) white trade were in this district, along with the Savoy Ballroom, Small’s Paradise, and other clubs welcoming a largely black or interracial audience. Many of the district’s most notorious speakeasies and clubs lined a strip on 133rd Street between Lenox and Seventh Avenues known as “The Jungle.” Gay entertainers with large gay followings were featured at several of the district’s clubs, including the Hot Cha at 132nd Street and Seventh Avenue, where the well-known entertainer and host Jimmie Daniels sang sophisticated tunes. A handful of clubs catered to lesbians and gay men, including the Hobby Horse, Tillie’s Kitchen, and the Dishpan, and other well-known clubs, including Small’s Paradise, welcomed their presence.
The organization of the Hamilton Lodge ball codified the differences between the public styles of middle-class and working-class gay men. Middle-class men passing as straight sat in the balcony with other members of Harlem’s social elite looking down on the spectacle of workingmen in drag. Although the newspapers regularly noted the appearance of Caska Bonds, Harold Jackman, Edward G. Perry, Clinton Moore, Eddie Manchester, Jimmie Daniels, and other middle-class gay men at the balls, they simply included them in the lists of other celebrities and society people in attendance, all presumed to be straight.119 Some of the society people they joined to watch the queers must have known of their involvement in the gay life, and undoubtedly some of the reporters and readers of the papers knew as well. But all concerned seem to have agreed not to say anything. --Chauncey, George (1995-05-18). Gay New York: Gender, Urban Culture, and the Making of the Gay Male World, 1890-1940. BASIC. Kindle Edition.
Philip Johnson found his first serious lover in Harlem-an extremely handsome cafe singer named Jimmie Daniels. Johnson met Daniels during one of his excursions uptown with the composer Virgil Thomson. The architect was enchanted by Daniels, whom he later referred to as "the first Mrs. Johnson." There would be three more "Mrs. Johnsons" after him. Daniels was "a most charming man," Johnson recalled six decades later. "I still look back with greatest pleasure. I was the envy of all downtown. It was so chic in those days-it was what one did if one was really up to date. Those were the days when you just automatically went to Harlem. I had an older friend living in a midtown hotel, and he had an open Chrysler. And every evening when it was still light, we'd go up there. We knew that Harlem was the only place there was any freedom. "We went to the house of an English lady who lived with a black actress-lesbians," Johnson continued. "And in that house Jimmie also lived as a boarder. So it was comfortable and familial. There was also a husband around. I'd spend the night there. I tried to have him downtown; it didn't work so well. They'd say, `I'm sorry we're full tonight'-a totally empty dining room. Even in New York City in the 1930s. "He was a beautiful, beautiful kid," Johnson recalled. "I was always interested in younger people." Daniels was eighteen and Johnson was twenty-five. The affair ended after a year: "A terrible man stole him away-who had better sex with him, I gather. But I was naughty. I went to Europe and I would never think of taking Jimmie along. I had rather an upper-lower-class feeling about him. I didn't realize it at the time, but it must have galled him. Everything that I was doing that was interesting, he wouldn't be included. Terrible way to treat anybody." Virgil Thomson was so impressed by Jimmie Daniels's "impeccable enunciation" that he decided to write an opera "sung by Negroes." The result was Four Saints in Three Acts, with a libretto by Gertrude Stein. Daniels had sung in clubs throughout Europe during the thirties, and he became a fixture of New York nightlife. In 1939, he opened Jimmie Daniels' at 114 West 116th Street, an establishment that The New Yorker described as a "model of dignity and respectability" by "Harlem standards." Ten years later Daniels was the host at the Bon Soir on West 8th Street, where "blacks and whites [and] gays and straights mingled without a trace of tension," according to the historian James Gavin. Barbra Streisand, Phyllis Diller, and Kaye Ballard all eventually performed there.--Charles Kaiser. The Gay Metropolis: The Landmark History of Gay Life in America (Kindle Locations 663-678). Kindle Edition.
Days of Love: Celebrating LGBT History One Story at a Time by Elisa Rolle
Paperback: 760 pages
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (July 1, 2014)
CreateSpace Store: https://www.createspace.com/4910282
Amazon (Paperback): http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500563323/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Amazon (Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MZG0VHY/?tag=elimyrevandra-20
Days of Love chronicles more than 700 LGBT couples throughout history, spanning 2000 years from Alexander the Great to the most recent winner of a Lambda Literary Award. Many of the contemporary couples share their stories on how they met and fell in love, as well as photos from when they married or of their families. Included are professional portraits by Robert Giard and Stathis Orphanos, paintings by John Singer Sargent and Giovanni Boldini, and photographs by Frances Benjamin Johnson, Arnold Genthe, and Carl Van Vechten among others. “It's wonderful. Laying it out chronologically is inspired, offering a solid GLBT history. I kept learning things. I love the decision to include couples broken by death. It makes clear how important love is, as well as showing what people have been through. The layout and photos look terrific.” Christopher Bram “I couldn’t resist clicking through every page. I never realized the scope of the book would cover centuries! I know that it will be hugely validating to young, newly-emerging LGBT kids and be reassured that they really can have a secure, respected place in the world as their futures unfold.” Howard Cruse “This international history-and-photo book, featuring 100s of detailed bios of some of the most forward-moving gay persons in history, is sure to be one of those bestsellers that gay folk will enjoy for years to come as reference and research that is filled with facts and fun.” Jack Fritscher