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Born in London and raised in South Africa, just before the war, she moved to Paris 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."
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.
Her writings on Theosophy have been criticized by skeptics. Biographer Peter Washington suggested that Hastings "suffered from delusions of literary grandeur."
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
^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. ISBN978-90-04-28368-8