Who Do You Love?

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Paul Whybrow

Full Member
Jun 20, 2015
Cornwall, UK
A recent report from the sometimes murky book world shows how fascinated journalists and researchers are about the love lives of writers.

The poet T. S. Eliot had an unhappy first marriage, which he credited with having inspired him to write The Waste Land.

His second marriage was happier, but this hasn’t stopped speculation about his love life. Princeton University Library has made a collection of 1,000 of Eliot’s letters available to researchers. Some were sent to a woman he declared to be his muse, but who he denied was ever his lover.

T.S. Eliot Left a Deliciously Petty Note to Future Readers of His Private Letters

This made me wonder about what researchers would make of my love life, should I ever achieve any fame from my books. With emails, one’s outpourings are permanently available...they’re never truly deleted:

Why your email can never truly be deleted | The Daily Dot

A while ago, I posted a thread about who writers dedicate their books to. There are no clues to my love affairs in the dedications of my five completed Cornish Detective novels, which are to six female friends and one male friend. All were supportive to me while writing.

C. S. Lewis wrote a charming dedication to his goddaughter, Lucy in The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe:


The Lion, the Witch and the Goddaughter: the real Lucy behind CS Lewis's classic

Who do you love?

Will researchers be able to tell?
I have had a terribly boring (from a researcher's perspective, not from mine) love life, so it won't be hard for folks to discover that my husband is my main source of support, and that we've been happily married for pretty much our whole adult life. No juicy affairs, no divorce, not even many domestic quarrels ... how dull! They'll have to find some other way to be scandalised by me.
Journalists' fascination with the love affairs of famous writers will never end, as this story shows:

Postcard sent by D H Lawrence to be auctioned

Now, wonder to yourself is it easier or more difficult for researchers to track your love life by emails and membership of dating agencies and hookup apps, seeing as how written letters and postcards are largely obsolete. Is there anything you wish you hadn't written?! :oops:
If ever I became a famous author wouldn't it just be wonderful for some researcher to discover the great love of my life? Alas, that can never be- Geminis are just big flirts and nothing more. :rolling-on-the-floor-laughing:
In the 1970s journalist, Nancy Friday published My Secret Garden, the first in a series of groundbreaking books about women's sexual fantasies. I recall that in the forward to one of them, she told an anecdote about what a male friend had said when asked what his sexual fantasy? He replied that it wasn't that carnal, but that he'd like to have all of his ex-girlfriends and ex-wives around him beneath a tree in a meadow as the sun went down, drinking white wine and with all of them getting on with one another; his fantasy was for harmony.

I've wondered about that anecdote over the years. How would my ex-partners get on? So far as I know, only two of them ever met. The thing is, should I ever make it as an author and some publisher commissioned my biography, then a hack might well track them down to give their side of the story - what a cheek! There haven't been that many...honest! :rolleyes:
I'm still friends with three of my ex-boyfriends, none of which is either of my two ex-husbands. I'm both lucky and glad that much of my error-filled youth was pre-email and social media. I still have photos of the men I loved and the men I learnt not to, but I will never write a memoir or autobiography. If I am ever famous, though, I expect some people might come out of the woodwork.
That would be the time to bring out the extra nom-de-plumes/psuedonyms, nom-de-guerres ... and maybe a change of gender ...
But a writer should live an interesting life, yes?
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