Mildred’s writing talents and powers of observation first emerged in a diary she kept at the age of fifteen during an 1891 tour of Europe (p. 33). Her father was already dead in 1889 at the relatively young age of 53 and the trip abroad taken with her mother who clung to Mildred as her youngest and, after 1900, only unmarried daughter, was the first of many trips mother and daughter would take together.
(Leslie also wrote three articles for the Bertrand Russell Archives.)
“Mildred Minturn was born at a time  when girls, particularly of her class, were expected to be totally dependent upon fathers, and then upon husbands. The New Woman, women’s colleges and independent thought were all in their infancy.” — From the Preface.
We see, through her vast correspondence, her Diary and recollections of her daughter, how the New York society girl, one of four beautiful sisters raised by Mama (that ‘gigantic personality’), became involved with socialism, an unorthodox marriage, and an early death in Switzerland.
Mildred’s college education at Bryn Mawr (class of 1897) exposed her to the world of ideas and to young women who would become lifelong friends. It was here that she met, though Alys, his wife, Bertrand Russell, who was to become such a great influence on her life. Her travels through Europe opened her mind, as did meetings with such diverse figures as George Santayana, Rodin, Axel Manthe, members of the Bloomsbury group, as well as socialist leaders of the day.
Mildred Minurn gives us a intimate, turn-of his century glimpse of the hopes, frustrations, love of family, and quest for life’s meaning, of an uncommon woman. Mildred Minturn is a memorable part of our social history.
“A superb biographical memoir … a most handsome product.” –Gerald Gunther.
“The story of Mildred is one that needs to be told.” –Jill Conway
Editor Gil Croome was runner-up for the Tom Fairley Award for Editorial Excellence for this book.
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