15.Intermezzo

Now, after Evelyn’s emotional anguish following the break up with Merton,  seems a good place to take stock.

The next selection of her letters will see her travelling around Europe, first with Cyril and Jig and then, after a year or two, to England with Jack Metcalfe.  This change of pace in her life offers me an opportunity to take stock of the story still to be told.

This story, is primarily, of her family relationships:  with her only son Jigg and, later, his wife Paula; with the married man she considered to be her “common-law” husband, Cyril; and with the man she did eventually marry, Jack Metcalfe.  The 2000+ letters in my collection cover much more than this aspect of her life.  She had lasting friendships full of mutual support with other women .  We have seen some of her correspondence with Lola Ridge, but these letters included much more mutual support for their writings.  Charlotte Wilder was another important figure in Evelyn’s life: the sister of the American author Thornton Wilder, she was often institutionalised with mental and physical ill health.  Charlotte was a poet to whom Evelyn gave unremitting support.  Kay Boyle and Emma Goldman were important in shaping Evelyn’s political views—and they hers.  Although I have collected some of this correspondence, I am only including that correspondence which directly refers to the central family story.

Evelyn’s continuing financial problems during this period and later were made worse by the increasing difficulty she had getting her books published.  Many letters to, and about, her publishers refer to this deteriorating relationship.  And so I am leaving much of this correspondence out of this account.

This is not to  say that these are not important parts of her story.  They are just not parts of the story of Evelyn and her immediate family.

NB:  For those who wish to follow other aspects of Evelyn’s life story, these are excellent accounts:

D A Callard:  Pretty Good for a Woman:  The enigmas of Evelyn Scott.  Jonathan Cape, 1985

Caroline Maun:  Mosaic of Fire:  The work of Lola Ridge, Evelyn Scott, Charlotte Wilder and Kay Boyle.  University of South Carolina Press, 2012

Dorothy Scura and Paul Jones (eds):  Evelyn Scott:  Recovering a lost modernist. University of Tennessee Press, 2001

Mary Wheeling White:  Fighting the Current:  The life and work of Evelyn Scott. Louisiana State University Press, 1998

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