Here’s how this week’s arts and culture column begins:
Caryll Houselander (1901-1954) was a British mystic and writer who wore a pair of big round tortoiseshell glasses, lived in London during the Blitz, and until l she died at 53 from breast cancer, apparently barely slept or ate. A friend observed: “She used to cover her face with some abominable chalky-white substance which gave it quite often the tragic look one associates with clowns and great comedians.”
That Divine Eccentric, Maisie Ward’s fine biography, charts Houselander’s difficult childhood, her reversion to the Church in 1925, and her unrequited love for a British spy who would be the model for Ian Fleming’s “James Bond.” She had an eclectic circle of friends and was utterly devoted to Christ. She never married.
She called “ego-neurosis” the greatest illness of our day.
READ THE WHOLE PIECE HERE.