University of Texas at Austin

Mary Hutchinson:

An Inventory of Her Papers at the Harry Ransom Center

Creator Hutchinson, Mary, 1889-1977
Title Mary Hutchinson Papers
Dates: 1910-1977
Extent 22.5 boxes (9.38 linear feet)
Abstract: Correspondence makes up the bulk of these papers, supplemented by a few handwritten and typescript manuscripts.
Call Number: Manuscript Collection MS-02097
Language: English.
Access Open for research

Administrative Information

Acquisition Purchase, 1968 (R4364)
Processed by Chelsea Jones, 1998

Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin

Biographical Sketch

Born in 1889 to Sir Hugh Barnes and Winifred Strachey Barnes, Mary (Barnes) Hutchinson spent her early childhood in India before being sent to boarding school in England. In 1910 she married a lawyer, St. John Hutchinson, and about the same time her cousin and confidante Lytton Strachey and his friend Duncan Grant introduced her to the Bloomsbury group.
Initially shy in the company of this artistic group of people, Hutchinson soon entered into the spirit of Bloomsbury, becoming a generous hostess and patroness. Surrounded by writers as she was, it is perhaps not surprising that she also took to writing, publishing a single volume of short stories and essays, Fugitive Pieces, in 1927. Hutchinson also became deeply involved in the lives of her friends and, in the manner of the Bloomsbury group, maintained a long term affair with Clive Bell which was not particularly discreet. On the other hand she seems to have maintained a similarly lengthy relationship with Aldous and Marie Huxley, without, it is thought, the knowledge of her husband or Bloomsbury in general. She also provided a great deal of emotional support to T.S. and Vivienne Eliot, helping both of them through their divorce, and remaining in touch with Vivienne as her mental faculties deteriorated.
Hutchinson remained actively involved with the arts throughout her life. Interested in the art and literature of modern France, she was an early supporter of Samuel Beckett and later championed the Royal Shakespeare Company. Even at the age of 70 she was interested in change and new expressions in art, supporting the publication of the avant-garde literary and artistic magazine, X. She died in 1977, survived by her only child, Lord Hutchinson of Lullington.


The Correspondence of Mary Hutchinson: A New Look at Bloomsbury, Eliot and Huxley. Margaret C. Ratliff. (Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Texas at Austin, 1991).
Who's Who in Bloomsbury. Alan and Veronica Palmer. (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1987).

Scope and Contents

Correspondence makes up the bulk of the Mary Hutchinson Papers, 1910-1977, supplemented by a few holograph and typescript manuscripts by Hutchinson and other authors. The papers are organized into three series, with materials arranged alphabetically by title or author: I. Works, 1966-1974 (.5 box); II. Correspondence, 1910-1977 (21 boxes); and III. Works and Ephemera by Other Authors, 1915-1922 (1 box). These papers were previously accessible through a card catalog, but have been re-cataloged as part of a retrospective conversion project.
The Works Series is composed of a few articles written by Hutchinson, including biographical sketches of several members of the Bloomsbury group, notes taken on the life and works of Samuel Beckett, and a list of the letters she received from Beckett. The Index of Works identifies the titles of Hutchinson's works present in this series.
The Correspondence Series contains three subseries: A. Outgoing Correspondence, 1915-1973, B. Incoming Correspondence, 1910-1977; and C. Third-party Correspondence, 1912-1941. It should be noted that in many cases the dates of letters are assumed from postmarks on envelopes. The collection of outgoing letters is fairly small, representing only a fraction of the letters Hutchinson must have written. Best represented in this section are her letters to her cousin Lytton Strachey of which 141 are included. Also present are a number of drafts of letters intended for Samuel Beckett. Recipients of Hutchinson's letters can be identified in the Index of Correspondents in this guide.
Incoming Correspondence makes up the bulk of these papers with well over 2,500 personal letters, postcards, notes, and telegrams sent to Hutchinson over a period of 60 years. By far the largest contributor to this section is Clive Bell with nearly 1400 letters. Other large accumulations of letters are present from Samuel Beckett, Vanessa Bell, Dora Carrington, T.S. and Vivienne Eliot, Aldous and Maria Huxley, Lytton Strachey, Henry Tonks, Virginia Woolf, David Wright, and others. Third-party Correspondence rounds out the Correspondence Series with a number of social and business letters to St. John Hutchinson from Thomas Earp, T.S. Eliot, Maria Huxley, and Henry Tonks, as well as others. All correspondents in this series are listed in the Index of Correspondents in this guide.
The Works and Ephemera of Other Authors Series primarily contains the output of Hutchinson's writer friends, including Samuel Beckett, Clive Bell, Gilbert Cannan, Joseph Hone, and Aldous Huxley. Also present is a portrait photograph of Clive Bell taken by Roger Fry, book plates belonging to Huxley, and a fragment of Augustus John's autobiography. Works in this series are listed in the Index of Works by Other Authors at the end of this guide.
Elsewhere in the Ransom Center are five Vertical Files of newspaper clippings saved by Hutchinson which include periodical articles written by Clive Bell and articles about Aldous Huxley.

Related Material

Other materials associated with Hutchinson may be found in the following collections at the Ransom Center:
  • Barker, George
  • Eliot, T.S.
  • Garnett, David
  • Hone, Joseph Maunsell
  • Lehmann, John
  • London Magazine
  • Mackenzie, Compton
  • Morrell, Ottoline
  • Nehls, Edward
  • Tonks, Henry

Index Terms


Anrep, Boris.
Beckett, Samuel, 1906- .
Bell, Clive, 1881-1964.
Bell, Vanessa, 1879-1961.
Bennett, Arnold, 1867-1931.
Birrell, Francis, 1889-1935.
Bussy, Dorothy.
Bussy, Jane Simone.
Cannan, Gilbert, 1884-1955.
Carrington, Dora de Houghton, 1893-1932.
Duthuit, Georges, 1891- .
Duthuit-Matisse, Marguerite.
Earp, Thomas Wade, 1892- .
Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965.
Eliot, Vivienne Haigh, 1888-1947.
Fry, Roger Eliot, 1899-1934.
Gertler, Mark, 1891-1939.
Glenavy, Beatrice Moss Elvery Campbell, Baroness.
Grant, Duncan, 1885-1978.
Hone, Joseph M. (Joseph Maunsell), 1882-1959.
Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963.
Huxley, Maria.
John, Augustus, 1878-1967.
Karsavina, Tamara.
Kauffer, E. McKnight (Edward McKnight), 1890-1954.
Kauffer, Marion.
MacCarthy, Desmond, 1877-1952.
MacCarthy, Mary Warre-Cornish.
Moore, George, 1852-1933.
Morrell, Ottoline Violet Anne Cavendish-Bentick, Lady, 1873-1938.
Morris, Henry, of Cambridgeshire.
Russell, Bertrand, 1872-1970.
Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932.
Tonks, Henry, 1862-1937.
Woolf, Leonard Sidney, 1880-1969.
Woolf, Virginia Stephen, 1882-1941.
Wright, David, 1920- .


Bloomsbury group.
England--Intellectual life--20th century.
England--Social life and customs--20th century.
Women intellectuals--Great Britain.

Document Types

Black-and-white photographs.
Christmas cards.
Love letters.

Mary Hutchinson Papers--Folder List