Natalie Clifford Barney
Natalie Clifford Barney

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Transmitted in 1967 as part of Second Release on BBC 2. This is a rare piece of film, a time machine introducing you to an extraordinary woman. Natalie Clifford Barney, American railroad heiress and literary hostess living in Paris, whose Friday evening salons were famous in the 1920s and 30s. A friend of many writers of the time, Colette danced naked in the little temple in her wooded garden in the Rue Jacob. With her startling pale blue eyes, disregard for convention in any form, and dashing manner, she was the lover of many women, with a special fondness for English poets. “ I invented lesbianism” she once said, adding, with irony, “ so far as I know”. She planned to found a lesbian community on Mytilene. As a girl she had sat on Oscar Wilde’s knee. The interviewer is Miron Grindea, a Roumanian who ran a literary magazine in London.