Table 3 “Meet The Gledstones”


This is a hell of a table. Lady Butterfield, 49, the American born chatelaine of her Yorkshire castle, hostess of grand London occasions. The tall Jonathan Cape, 53, a highly successful publisher with a string of leading authors in his stable. Eva Moore, 54, leading actress, suffragist and doing her bit in wartime. Mrs Sylvia Lynd, 44, poet, mother, Time and Tide contributor and an active hostess of many literary gatherings at her Keats Grove home in Hampstead. Sylvia may well have been the table organiser, perhaps in tandem with Miss Margaret Gledstone.

It turns out that, making up this table of eight, are four members of the Liberal, suffragist Mason/Gledstone family, possibly pivotal in financing and organising the dinner: Margaret Gledstone, 35, Cambridge graduate, organiser and press officer, responsible for selling tickets for the dinner; her mother Mrs William Liddle Gledstone, 68, wife of an insurance broker; Margaret’s uncle John M. Mason, 68 year old financier; and Margaret’s cousin Mrs C. R. Niven, 33, wife of a leading colonial officer in Nigeria. Our pen portraits have also benefited from recollections from their living relatives.

Table 3 has all the right people for discussing the latest books and poetry: Eva Moore’s current Sherlock Holmes play or Boris Karloff film, the social gossip of the salons of London, breaking the glass ceiling of the Society of Bookmen, laced with an injection of experiences from colonial Africa. Were the Gledstone/Mason family sitting together or spread out? I hope they mixed it up.

In fact, latest research shows, five days later, on 28th March, the Mason family were gathering again for the marriage of George Marshall Mason: John M. Mason, at the table, attending along with eight other Masons.