Beatrice Hastings
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Beatrice Hastings
Beatrice Hastings
Born27 January 1879
Hackney, London
Died30 October 1943
Worthing, West Sussex
Pen nameBeatrice Tina, D. Triformis, Alice Morning, Robert á Field, and others
OccupationWriter and critic
PeriodEarly 20th century
Portrait of Beatrice Hastings by Amedeo Modigliani, 1915

Beatrice Hastings was the pen name of Emily Alice Haigh (27 January 1879 - 30 October 1943) an English writer, poet and literary critic. Much of her work was published in The New Age under a variety of pseudonyms, and she lived with the editor, A. R. Orage, for a time before the outbreak of the First World War. Bisexual, she was a friend and lover of Katherine Mansfield, whose work was first published in The New Age.[1] Another of her lovers was Wyndham Lewis.[2]


Born in London and raised in South Africa, just before the war, she moved to Paris[3] and became a figure in bohemian circles due to her friendship with Max Jacob. She shared an apartment in Montparnasse with Amedeo Modigliani and sometimes posed for him, such as in his 1916 Seated Nude.

Another friend was adventure novelist Charles Beadle, with whom she had several things in common. He grew up in Hackney, spent time in South Africa (participating in the Boer War as a member of the British South African Police), and published several novels about bohemian life in Paris. When Beadle came to America, from Paris, in November 1916, he listed Hastings as his nearest friend in Paris.

Towards the end of her life she felt excluded from the literary recognition she felt her due, and blamed Orage, whom she accused of conspiring to keep her out of literary circles in Britain, and she published a pamphlet, The Old New Age, bitterly criticising him in 1936. In 1943, probably suffering from cancer, she killed herself with gas from a domestic cooker.

Literary critic Robert Scholes has noted that "Hastings, who was an important presence on the New Age editorial staff before the war, had an unhappy life that ended in suicide, never receiving the recognition as a writer that she sought."[4]


Hastings was a convert to Theosophy. She attempted to defend Helena Blavatsky from charges of fraud and plagiarism. In 1937, she published two volumes entitled, Defence of Madame Blavatsky.[5]

Her writings on Theosophy have been criticized by skeptics. Biographer Peter Washington suggested that Hastings "suffered from delusions of literary grandeur."[6]


  • Woman's Worst Enemy - Woman, 1909
  • The Maids' Comedy: A Chivalric Romance in Thirteen Chapters, 1911
  • The Old "New Age"--Orage and Others, Blue Moon Press, 1935
  • Defence of Madame Blavatsky (Volume 1, Volume 2), Hastings Press, 1937


  1. ^ Edensor, Louise. (2016). Une profession de foi pour tourjours: Katherine Mansfield and Beatrice Hastings in France. In Claire Davison, Gerri Kimber. Katherine Mansfield's French Lives. Brill. pp. 23-39. ISBN 978-90-04-28368-8
  2. ^ Meyers, Jeffrey. (1985). The Craft of Literary Biography. p. 118
  3. ^ Born in London, raised in S.A. based in Paris "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 2007.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) Retrieved 09/10/07
  4. ^ Scholes, Robert. (2008). Paradoxy of Modernism. Yale University Press. p. 222. ISBN 978-0-300-10820-0
  5. ^ Gomes, Michael. "Beatrice Hastings and the Defence of Madame Blavatsky" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 December 2017. Retrieved 2017.
  6. ^ Washington, Peter. (1995). Madame Blavatsky's Baboon: A History of the Mystics, Mediums, and Misfits Who Brought Spiritualism to America. Schocken Books. p. 203

Further reading

  • Carswell, John, Lives and Letters, New York, New Directions, 1978.
  • Gray, Stephen (1999). "Beatrice Hastings". Free-lancers and Literary Biography in South Africa. Amsterdam: Rodopi. pp. 59-76. ISBN 90-420-0666-8.
  • Johnson, Benjamin; Brown, Erika Jo, Beatrice Hastings: On the Life & Work of a Lost Modern Master, Pleiades Press, 2016.
  • Mairet, Philip, A. R. Orage - A Memoir, New York, University Books, 1966.
  • Mann, Carol, Modigliani, New York, OUP, 1980.
  • Sichel, Pierre, Modigliani, New York, Dutton, 1967.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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