By Romaine Brooks, 1930

Chasseress, Romaine Brooks

If I made no friends in the worldly circle from which I was detaching myself I certainly did make enemies. It was at that moment that a particularly vile form of vindictiveness, of which I have already written, began to mature and, strange as it may seem to those whose anger dissolves even long before the allotted hour of sunset, this offensive never hung fire during some twenty-five years, that is to say up to the present time. Surely such persistence was worthy of more definite results. I seemed so easy to attack being alone and only too ready to demolish all those barriers of defense set up by worldly approval. But who can hope to attack effectively what indifference has made invincible.

It was my good fortune to have gained complete freedom of spirit, and this not so much through my art which is ever ready to disturb, as through a still more precious love of books and study. No circumstance could trouble the joy and peace found in this inner seclusion. To my mind it is life's most selective gift.

I was in my bathtub when the first Big Berthe fell. It was evident that some new terror was upon us.

Next chapter: War

More about Romaine BrooksFiercely independent lesbian paints Paris in shades of gray

Help us bring art
history back to life

Support Trivium on Patreon