The Artist Birthday Series

Carrington

Carrington, with the unrequited love of her life, Lytton Strachey.
Carrington, with the unrequited love of her life, Lytton Strachey.

In June 1918, Virginia Woolf wrote of Carrington in her diary: “She is odd from her mixture of impulse & self consciousness. I wonder sometimes what she’s at: so eager to please, conciliatory, restless, & active…. [B]ut she is such a bustling eager creature, so red & solid, & at the same time inquisitive, that one can’t help liking her.”

Portrait of Lytton Strachey, by Carrington, 1916
Portrait of Lytton Strachey, by Carrington, 1916

Carrington first set up house with Lytton Strachey in November 1917, when they moved together to Tidmarsh Mill House, near Pangbourne, Berkshire. She met Ralph Partridge, an Oxford friend of her younger brother Noel, in 1918. Partridge fell in love with Carrington and eventually, in 1921, She agreed to marry him, not for love but to hold the menage a trois together. Strachey paid for the wedding, and also accompanied the couple on their honeymoon in Venice. The three moved to Ham Spray House in Wiltshire in 1924. The house had been purchased by Strachey in the name of Partridge.

 

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