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Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleLutyens, Mrs Naomi
Ref No8SUF/B/040
Box Fetch NoBox 1: Disc 10
Date10 Apr 1975
Extent60:10 mins
Admin Biographical HistoryLutyens and Harben
DescriptionInterview took place at 12 Rowland Close, Wolvercote, Oxford. Also see interview 8SUF/B/036 and other interviews related to Harben [8SUF/B/047, 8SUF/B/056, 8SUF/B/057, 8SUF/B/096, 8SUF/B/115].

Interview summary:
0:00 mins:
Harben's wealth and friendships. Naomi's mother's enduring love for Harben. 'Baby' [Harben's mistress] and the Harben family's relationship with her, their resentment. The deterioration of Naomi's relationship with Harben. Baby's cleverness and ability to manipulate Harben. Naomi's marriage and her relationship with her father. Harben's inability to empathise with his children. Naomi's time studying in Vienna, her father's lack of interest. How Harben talked to his family. Harben's disagreement with his son about the situation in Ireland. Harben's enjoyment of intellectual discussion. Naomi's fear of her father's anger and her mother's grief. Harben's dislike of 'third class mentality'. Harben's bohemianism.

15:00 mins:
Baby's cleverness in dealing with Harben. Stories that Baby told about her past. [16:04 tape stopped and started]. Baby's insincerity and religious beliefs. Harben's friendship with Aldous Huxley. Harben's friends' reaction to Baby. Baby's dominance and her relationship with Harben. (20:53 tape stopped and started.) Aldous Huxley's story about Harben and Baby. Harben's loyalty to Baby. His seven-year correspondence with Baby and the start of their relationship. Harben leaving his family, his continuing relationship with his wife and her enduring love for him. Baby's background. Cyril Scott's anecdote about Baby. Naomi's meetings with Harben when he was living with Baby. Baby's obscure past and her relationship with Harben, their home life. Harben's generosity and decency.

30:00 mins:
[Tape stopped and started.] Harben's ideas about families and relationship with his wife and children. Naomi's mother's involvement in the suffrage movement. Harben's ideas about 'free love' and her mother's 'rivals'. Harben's character and qualities. Harben's attitude to war, his views on patriotism. Second World War. Harben's respect for the people of the east end of London. Harben's political beliefs and move towards the Left. Harben's argument with the board of the Prudential - the impact on his life. Baby's ideas about class and her influence on Harben. Harben's intellectual snobbery. Harben's zest for life and lack of interest in his family. Harben's personality. Harben's outspoken and unselfconscious nature. Harben's views on art. Letters from Travis Humphreys. Harben's emotional nature - his capacity to be moved by music and literature. Harben's intellect and political views. Baby's influence on Harben's social circle.

45:00 mins:
Harben's selfishness and vanity. Baby's relationship with Harben. Naomi's relationship with Baby. Harben's enjoyment of reading and book recommendations. Naomi's relationship with her father. Harben's physical appearance and attitude to clothes. Harben's marriage to Naomi's mother. Harben's life after the Second World War and flat in Cavendish Square, his lifestyle. Harben and Baby's love of travel. Harben's servants and Baby's role. Naomi's mother's involvement in the suffrage movement and her motivation. Harben and his wife's Women's Social & Political Union (WSPU) work. Naomi's mother's elegant appearance, her life after Harben left. Friendship with American poet Robert Frost. Harben's interest in Russia, his Communist sympathies.
Related Record8SUF/B/036
Access StatusOpen
Access ConditionsInterview recordings are available online and can be accessed at the link provided in this record.
Former Reference NumberTape 13
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