Fedden, Mary (1 of 7).  National Life Stories: Artists' Lives

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  • Recording date

    2004-11-08, 2005-04-11

  • Recording locations

    Interviewee's home, London

  • Interviewees

    Fedden, Mary, 1915-2012 (speaker, female)

  • Interviewers

    Courtney, Cathy, 1954- (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 1: Tape 1: Side A: MF born 1915 in Bristol. Description of parents’ families; father’s family were sugar brokers; mother’s family (Prichard - sp?) were surgeons and apothecaries; lived in Clifton, England; anecdote of Bristol suspension bridge. Description of grandfather and grandmother, including grandfather’s camera. Description of MF’s mother (Ada Margaret) [AM]; AM friends with rich American girl at school; MF mentions donating AM’s1900 Worth evening coat to V&A (Victoria & Albert Museum); AM made clothes and hats for herself and her children. Description of AM’s sisters and brothers; one sister was VAD [nurse] in World War One; another sister married a parson, lived in Spain. AM’s brothers went to Clifton College in Bristol; anecdote about MF’s lame eldest brother (Harold Fedden) [HF]; HF went to Oxford; rich American industrialist hired him as coach for son in New York; HF married American’s eldest daughter and became Dean of New York. AM’s other brother was captain in Navy. Description of grandparents’ house, typical Victorian household; anecdote of staying at the house, including kitchen and coachman. Comments on grandparents’ and parents’ religion. AM sang in charity concerts and acted at Clifton Arts Club. Description of Douglas Cleverdon [DC]; DC owned Bristol bookshop, acted with parents. Description of father’s brother, Romilly Fedden [RF] painter in France who taught MF to paint; anecdote about MF’s nose; anecdote about seeing gardens at Giverney. Remarks on boarding school in Bristol [Badminton School]; description of Monica Young [MY], MF’s art teacher who had been at Slade.

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