Born 22 February 1892 (died 19 October 1950)
TVC: Do you regret meeting George Dillon?
E: He was such a gentleman. He glowed and glowered, like a candle. I blew him out but the moon lit up his face again.
TVC: Er, ye-es. I gather that throughout the affair, however, you never lost your love for your husband, Eugen?
E: That’s right. But I was obsessed with St. George. I’m glad that most of our correspondence is lost. There is nothing more tedious than curators poring over old love letters.
TVC: Your long sequence of sonnets, Fatal Interview, sets out the course of all of that – the seduction of a man who was virtually still a boy, the compliant husband in the background, the agonising separations, reunions and then the last goodbye. It is probably your best work – was it worth it?
E: In the end. But through the haze of alcohol and quietus, it is hard to appreciate the worth of it, or any of it.
TVC: Let me quote you therefore, so you can see why I think it was well worth it:
“Love me no more, now let the god depart,
If love be grown so bitter to your tongue!
Here is my hand; I bid you from my heart
Fare well, fare very well, be always young.
As for myself, mine was a deeper drouth:
I drank and thirsted still; but I surmise
My kisses now are sand against your mouth,
Teeth in your palm and pennies on your eyes.”