Caroline Maureen Lowell (Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood) (1931 - 1996)

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Birthplace: London
Death: Died in New York, USA
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About Caroline Maureen Lowell (Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood)

http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~prohel/names/misc/freud.html#car1

wikipedia - Lady Caroline Maureen Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood (16 July 1931 – 14 February 1996) was a writer and artist's muse, and the eldest child of Basil Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 4th Marquess of Dufferin and Ava and the brewery heiress Maureen Guinness.

A well-known figure in the literary world through her journalism and her novels, Caroline Blackwood was equally well-known for her high-profile marriages, first to the artist Lucian Freud, then to the composer Israel Citkowitz and finally to the poet Robert Lowell, who described her as "a mermaid who dines upon the bones of her winded lovers". Her novels are known for their wit and intelligence, and one in particular is scathingly autobiographical in describing her unhappy childhood.

She was born at 4 Hans Crescent in Knightsbridge, her parents' London house, and was, she admitted, "scantily educated" at Rockport School in County Down, at Brilliantmont in Lausanne, and at Downham in Essex. After a finishing school in Oxford she was presented as a debutante in 1949 at a ball held at Londonderry House. Plump, ungainly and lacking in confidence as a teenager, she soon blossomed into a captivating blonde beauty with startlingly large blue eyes.

Career

Blackwoods first job was with Hulton Press as a secretary, but she was soon given small reporting jobs by Claud Cockburn. Ann Fleming, the wife of "James Bond" author Ian Fleming, introduced Caroline to Lucian Freud, and the two eloped to Paris in 1952. In Paris she met Picasso (and reportedly refused to wash for three days after he drew on her hands and nails), and after her and Freuds marriage on 9 December 1953 she became a striking figure in London's bohemian circles; the Gargoyle Club and Colony Room replaced Belgravia drawing rooms as her haunts. She sat for several of Freuds finest portraits, including Girl In Bed, which testifies to her alluring beauty. She was impressed by the ruthless vision of Freud and Francis Bacon and her later fiction was a literary version of their view of humanity.

In the early 1960s Caroline Blackwood began contributing to Encounter, the London Magazine, and other periodicals on subjects such as beatniks, Ulster sectarianism, women's lib theatre and New York free schools. Although these articles were elegant, minutely observed and sometimes wickedly funny, they had, according to Christopher Isherwood, a persistent flaw: "She is only capable of thinking negatively. Confronted by a phenomenon, she asks herself: what is wrong with it?" During the mid-1960s she had an affair with Robert Silvers, the founder and co-editor of the New York Review of Books and although her marriage to Israel Citkowitz was over, he continued to live near her and served as a nanny-duenna until his death.[citation needed]

Her third husband Robert Lowell was a crucial influence on her talents as a novelist. He encouraged her to write her first book, For All That I Found There (1973), the title of which is a line from the Percy French song 'The Mountains of Mourne', and formed a coruscating memoir of her daughter’s treatment in a burns unit. Blackwoods first novel The Stepdaughter (1976) appeared three years later to much acclaim, and is a concise and gripping monologue by a rich, self-pitying woman deserted by her husband in a plush New York apartment and tormented by her fat stepdaughter. It won the David Higham Prize for best first novel. Great Granny Webster followed in 1977 and was partly derived on her own miserable childhood, and depicted an austere and loveless old woman’s destructive impact on her daughter and granddaughter. It was short-listed for the Booker Prize.

In 1980 came The Last of the Duchess, a study of the relations between the Duchess of Windsor and her cunning lawyer, Maître Suzanne Blum; it could not be published until after Blum’s death in 1995. Her third novel The Fate of Mary Rose (1981) describes the effect on a Kent village of the rape and torture of a ten year-old girl named Maureen and is narrated by a selfish historian whose obsessions destroy his domestic life. After this came a collection of five short stories, Good Night Sweet Ladies (1983) followed by her final novel, Corrigan (1984), which was the least successful and depicts the effects on a depressed widow of a charming, energetic but sinister cripple who erupts into her life.

Blackwoods later books were based on interviews and vignettes, including On The Perimeter (1984) which focused her attentions on the women’s peace encampment at the Greenham Common air base in Berkshire, and In The Pink (1987) which was a reflective, ghoulish book looking at the hunting and the hunt saboteur fraternities and exposed the many obsessive personalities of both fox-hunters and animal rights activists.

Personal Life and Family

Her marriage to Lucian Freud disintegrated soon after they tied the knot and in 1957 Blackwood moved to New York where she studied acting at the Stella Adler School. She also went to Hollywood and appeared in several films. Her marriage to Freud was finally dissolved in Mexico in 1958. Meeting her in that year, Isherwood noted that "Caroline was round eyed as usual, either dumb or scared". On 15 August 1959 she married the pianist Israel Citkowitz (1909-1974), a man who would have been the same age as her father. They had three daughters, although a deathbed admission revealed that the screenwriter Ivan Moffat was the father of her youngest daughter, Ivana.

Blackwood returned to live in London in 1970 and that April began a relationship with the manic-depressive poet Robert Lowell. Lowell was at the time a visiting professor at All Souls College, Oxford. Their son, Sheridan, was born on 28 September 1971, and after obtaining divorces from their respective spouses, Blackwood and Lowell were married on 21 October 1972. They lived in London and Milgate in Kent. The sequence of poems in Lowell s The Dolphin (1973) provides a disrupted narrative of his involvement with Blackwood and the birth of their son. She was distressed and confused in her reactions to Lowells manic episodes, and felt useless during his attacks and afraid of their effect on her children. Her anxieties, alcohol-related illnesses, and late-night tirades exacerbated his condition. Lowell died clutching one of Freud s portraits of Blackwood in the back seat of a New York cab, on his way back to his second wife, Elizabeth Hardwick. This heartache was followed a year later by the death of her daughter Natalya from a drug overdose at the age of 18.

To avoid tax, Blackwood left England in 1977 and went to live in an apartment at the great Georgian mansion of Castletown House, County Kildare, which was owned by her cousin Desmond Guinness. Ten years later in 1987 she returned to USA, settling in a large, comfortable house in Sag Harbor, Long Island where, although her powers were greatly depleted by alcoholism, she continued to write, including two vivid memoirs of Princess Margaret and Francis Bacon, published in the New York Review of Books in 1992.

During her final illness Blackwood never lost her dark, macabre humour. On her deathbed Anna Haycraft brought her some holy water from Lourdes which was accidentally spilled on her bed sheets. “I might have caught my death,” she muttered.

Caroline Blackwood died on 14 February 1996 from cancer at the Mayfair Hotel on Park Avenue in New York aged 64. She was survived by her two younger daughters Eugenia (b. 1963), who is married to the actor Julian Sands, and Ivana (b. 1966), her son Sheridan, her sister Lady Perdita Blackwood and her mother, who died two years later, aged 91.

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Caroline Lowell's Timeline

1931
July 16, 1931
London
1953
1953
Age 21
London
1958
1958
Age 26
Mexico
1959
August 15, 1959
Age 28
1972
October 21, 1972
Age 41
1996
February 15, 1996
Age 64
New York, USA