Let me turn to this page when desolation falls upon me

In 1915, Connecticut-born suffragist and author Alyse Gregory resigned as editor of The Dial and moved to a remote Dorset cliff-top to live with English writer Llewelyn Powys. During their time together, she authored an autobiography, essays, and novels, but perhaps her most poignant work filled the journals she kept—in particular those entries that followed his death in 1939, at which point her grief, quite understandably, took centre stage. This entry came during a break in the clouds, four years after his passing. Alyse, a lifelong advocate of voluntary euthanasia, took her own life 24 years later, aged 83.

The Diary Entry

March 18: Let me turn to this page when desolation falls upon me and know that I have experienced at the end of my life such an hour of unalloyed joy—for no reason, for no person—in this wonderful silence with a tranquil heart, thoughts that move with a free delight over all of human life.

Further Reading

In 1973 Alyse Gregory’s journals were published by The Ark Press bearing the title The Cry of a Gull, and it is one of the most beautiful books I own, both in content and design (the linocuts by Alan Richards are gorgeous). I fiercely recommend buying a copy. Gregory was a stunning writer.

The Cry of a Gull, Journals 1923-48 by Alyse Gregory. Copyright © 1973 Literary Executor of Alyse Gregory & The Ark Press. Out of the Ark Press. Reprinted with permission.

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