Carrington (1995)




Director:  Christopher Hampton

Starring:  Emma Thompson (Dora Carrington), Jonathan Pryce (Lytton Strachey), Steve Waddington (Ralph Partridge), Samuel West (Gerald Brenan), Rufus Sewell (Mark Gertler), Penelope Wilton (Lady Ottoline Morrell), Janet McTeer (Vanessa Bell), Peter Blythe (Phillip Morrell), Jerremy Northam (Beacus Penrose).

love affair between painter Dora Carrington and gay author Lytton Strachey



Good movie.  I enjoyed it.  The relationship between Carrington and Strachey and Partridge and Frances Marshall was very strange indeed, but that's what made it so interesting.  It was a little difficult following all the relationships and affairs, but also fascinating.  I felt bad for Carrington and liked her, while at the same time being a little scandalized by her many affairs (but that was her business I guess).  We can't all have 60 year traditional marriages with no affairs.  Tolerance is the name of the game, after all. 

Some people are different, have different sexual orientations.  Poor Carrington had to have multiple relationships so that she could obtain an adequate amount of  love from the homosexual Strachey.  She had to compromise and experiment.  More power to her.   

Patrick Louis Cooney, Ph. D. 

Historical Background:


1880 --  birth of future author Lytton Strachey in London, England.  His father was an engineer. 

1893 --  birth of Dora Carrington, the fourth of five children.  Her father was a Liverpool merchant. 

Strachey read history at the University of Liverpool. 

1899-1905  -- Strachey was educated at Trinity College, Cambridge. There he formed friendships with the economist John Maynard Keynes, Leonard Woolf, and Clive Bell.  They all became members of a group called the Bloomsbury group.

1903  --  she moved to Bedford where she was brought up.  She attended a girls' high school. 

1904-1914  --  Strachey published articles in The Spectator magazine.

1908 --  portrait painter Mark Gertler enrolled at the Slade School of Art in London. There he met Dora Carrington with whom he had an affair. 

1910-1914  -- having won a scholarship to the Slade School of Art, Carrington stayed there for four years.  It was through Gertler that she met Strachey. 

Carrington also had a bisexual affair with socialite Lady Ottoline Morrell.

1912  --  Strachey published Landmarks in French Literature, an important book of literary criticism. 

c. 1914  --  Carrington worked for Roger Fry's Omega workshop. 

1914-1918  -- during World War I, Strachey was a conscientious objector.

1916  --  Carrington painted the Portrait of Lytton Strachey.

1917  --  Strachey rented the mill house at in Panbourne, Berkshire.  

1918  -- Strachey published his most famous work Eminent Victorians.  It was an important book because he criticized the morality of the Victorian age.

1918  --  Carrington met soldier Ralph Partridge. 

1921  --  Strachey published Queen Victoria in the same style as his earlier work, Eminent Victorians

Carrington had a close emotional and intellectual love for Strachey, but the author was more attracted to her lover, Ralph Partridge.

1921  --  Carrington married Ralph Partridge.  The three of them lived together.

1922  --  Carrington had an affair with Army officer and writer Gerald Brenan, while living with husband Partridge and platonic lover Strachey.

1923  --  she had an affair with Henrietta Bingham, the daughter of the American Ambassador to the Court of St. James.

1924  -- Strachey and Partridge together purchased an estate, Ham Spray House, in the Wiltshire Downs and the three lived there together. 

1925  --  Carrington had an affair with Lytton Strachey's niece, Julia Strachey.

Partridge fell in love with Frances Marshall. Strachey had a long talk with Marshall to make sure that she would not break up the triangle.  Soon an agreement was reached.   

1926  --  Partridge separated from Carrington, but would still visit the her and Strachey. 

Ralph and Frances moved into 41 Gordon Street (in the heart of the Bloomsbury group); Lytton rented the ground floor.  Weekends were spent at Ham Spray. 

Strachey fell ill and Carrington took care of him. 

Carrington tried to commit suicide by carbon monoxide.

1932  -- Strachey died of cancer near Hungerford, Berkshire.  Two months later, at age 38, Carrington shot herself, taking her own life.  

1933  -- Ralph and Frances were married. Frances Partridge lived to be 103 (dying in 2004). 



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