OK, so this is an experiment.
The diagram below is based on my fascination…oh what the hell, let’s go ahead and call it an obsession…my obsession, then, with how the various objects of my interest connect. That is, the networks of blood, friendship, enmity, inspiration, creativity and sensibility which link so many of the people we’ve pondered on Strange Flowers. This is about the circles they moved in, and how those circles overlap – all which I’ve attempted to map out.
I chose as my first subject Evan Morgan, Lord Tredegar, who was born on this day in 1893. It is precisely the improbable contradictions he embodied in his life, the unlikely meeting of the most disparate worlds, which makes this writer/occultist/aristocrat/papal bigwig so interesting. A diagram connecting the Vatican, Nazi brass and Aleister Crowley lacks only L. Ron Hubbard and Queen Beatrix to bring it into the realm of conspiracy theory.
It’s important to realise this diagram is selective, subjective and simplified. Selective, because to map all the different ways that a single figure relates to other people in their life and realm(s) of activity would be hugely difficult and ultimately unhelpful. Subjective, because I have shamelessly highlighted the connections which are of interest to me. Simplified, because even among those participants that are shown there are omissions, criss-crossing connections of friendship, family and collaboration which exhaust the capacities of legible network mapping. In this outing, for instance, we see Aldous Huxley, whom Morgan entertained at his home in Wales, writing a book called Crome Yellow which Morgan partly inspired. Clearly there were many other influences on the book, but they are not relevant here.
If I were cleverer I could probably make a hotspotted diagram allowing you to click through to previous posts, but that might have to wait for Circles 2.0. In the meantime you can find links below the diagram. Hopefully it makes some kind of sense. As the old saying goes, ‘what a tangled web we weave, when first we set out to map the highly complex multilateral quasi-familial relations between members of an inherently unstable group of largely forgotten eccentrics’.
(Oh, and the diagram is clearer if you click on it and view it on its own.)
The double life of Evan Morgan
Homme fatal (Denham Fouts)
Sashay shantay epée, The Marquis (George de Cuevas)
After Hours (Nancy Cunard)
“I’m perplexed”, Saving the Abbey (Aleister Crowley)
To the very dregs (Peter Warlock)
Dreamers of Decadence (Philippe Jullian)
Rare bird, Birds’ lament, A Casati family tree, Peer to peer, Come on Algernon (Lord Berners)
Ronald works the room, Concerning the Eccentricities of Ronald Firbank, At home with Ronald Firbank, Doubles: Ronald Firbank, Vainglory (Ronald Firbank)
British Bohème, Bohemian twilight (Augustus John)