Mary Butts entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Mary Butts published five novels, three collections of short stories, some poems, a memoir, and several essays (one of which denounces the Bloomsbury Group). Her subjects ranged from the Great War and war trauma to history, religion, mysticism, and classical mythology. Her expressions of ecological concern (laments for the destruction of nature and the countryside by hikers and industrialisation) take a conservative, elitist, even racialist stance and set a premium on 'authentic' Englishness. Beginning her career as a modernist, Mary Butts attracted considerable attention and praise (together with controversy) during her lifetime. By the time of her death she was seen primarily as a religious or mystical writer, and after it her writing remained largely neglected until a revival of interest in the 1990s.
13 December 1890 MB was born at a country house called Salterns at Parkstone, near Poole Harbour. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
Between July 1911 and February 1914 MB wrote Sapphic poems in a personal notebook which she titled "Poems by Mark Drury". Bibliographic Citation link.
By 16 May 1928 Armed with Madness, MB's second novel and the first of her 'Taverner Novels', was published in New York by A. and C. Boni Bibliographic Citation link.
5 March 1937 MB died in Cornwall, suddenly after an emergency operation for a perforated ulcer which seems to have produced peritonitis. Bibliographic Citation link.
By September 1937 MB's memoir, The Crystal Cabinet; My Childhood at Salterns, left unfinished at her death earlier this year, was published with a frontispiece drawing by Jean Cocteau. Bibliographic Citation link.
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