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British Heritage: June/July 1997 Letters

Originally published by British Heritage magazine. Published Online: September 23, 1997 
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WAS THAT A FACT?

It is difficult for me to accept your statement (February 1997, page 71) that the historical inaccuracies in the Disney film Pocahontas may be less due to modern creative license than to generations of faulty history. The research facilities available to the modern entertainment industry are enormous. In light of the shortcomings of our educational system, I would submit that it is the duty of the industry to be as factually accurate as possible.

For instance, the spelling of Pocohontas in your article differs from that in valid historical documents, such as the records of St. George's Parish in Gravesend and the Encyclopaedia Britannica, both of which spell the name Pocahontas.

Concerning your statement that Pocahontas was buried in London, I again recommend the records of St. George's Parish Church in Gravesend. According to 'The Story of Princess Pocahontas' published by that church, her body was taken ashore at Gravesend on 21st March, 1617 and buried in the chancel of St. George's Church. The building was destroyed by fire in 1727 and the replacement was in a different configuration, so the specific location of her grave is not known in spite of some archaeological effort to find it.

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M. W. Crafford
Napa, California

Editor's note: A number of readers pointed out our error in locating the Powhatan Princess' grave in London. London, in actuality, is the location of a memorial window in her honour, in St. Sepulchre-without-Newgate. Our spelling of the Princess' name also evoked much comment. We followed the example of one of our own reference sources, even though it differs from that used by Smith and his contemporaries. (Since the 17th-century Englishmen also described her as an 'unbeleeving creature' who won Rolfe's 'hartie', their standards of spelling should perhaps not be considered the last word.) Admittedly, however, since Disney chose to use the more traditional spelling, we should have followed suit, at least in mentioning the name of the film.

 

LOCATING GOLDEN OLDIES

In response to Fran Hopkins' 'Golden Oldies' letter (February 1997, page 6), the Archive of Folk Music is still in business but under a new name: The Archive of Folk Culture. It can be reached by writing: Archive of Folk Culture, American Folklife Center, Library of Congress, Washington, DC 20540. Tel: 202-707-6590, fax: 202-707-2067.

Patricia Makell
Temple Hills, Maryland

 

THE MYSTERY OF LAWRENCE'S GRAVE

According to the November 1995 issue of The New Mexico Magazine, (pages 20-21) D.H. Lawrence and his wife Frieda visited Taos, New Mexico in 1922, as guests of Mabel Dodge Luhan, and lived in a cabin on the south-west slope of Lobo Mountain. Here, during visits from 1923-25, Lawrence wrote short stories such as 'The Woman Who Rode Away' and poems that would be collected in his Birds, Beasts and Flowers.

Years later, Lawrence died in France at the age of 44. His wife, Frieda, remarried and eventually returned to the New Mexico ranch. Here, her third husband, Angelo Ravagli, built a small shrine to Lawrence's memory. Frieda had Lawrence's body exhumed from his Mediterranean grave, cremated, and brought his ashes to their final resting place on Lobo Mountain.

So, is Lawrence, or was he ever, buried in the cemetery in Eastwood?

Kitty Snowberger
Alamogardo, New Mexico

Editor's Note: D.H. Lawrence is not buried in the cemetery in Eastwood as the map in 'D.H. Lawrence Country' (October/November 1996, page 52) implies. The Lawrence family grave is located in the cemetery, but only Lawrence's mother, father, and brother Ernest are buried there. In fact, the final resting place of D.H. Lawrence is a matter of some dispute. The most commonly accepted belief is that Angelo Ravagli, sent by his then-lover Frieda, travelled to Vence, picked up Lawrence's cremated ashes, and delivered them to their final resting place in Taos. But according to Emile Delavenay of the University of Nice, the ashes at Taos do not in fact belong to D.H. Lawrence. Delavenay asserts that a Baron de Haulleville and his sister-in-law, Rose Nys-de Haulleville, were present when Ravagli admitted to dumping the box containing Lawrence's ashes somewhere between Marseille and Villefranche, 'so as to avoid the trouble of transporting them to the U.S.A.' After Ravagli arrived back in New York, he picked up the empty vase he had mailed ahead from Marseille, filled it with some 'locally procured' ashes, and delivered these to New Mexico. Delavenay makes her case in her article 'A Shrine Without Relics' (D.H. Lawrence Review, Vol. 16, No. 2, pages 111-131) written following an interview with de Haulleville in 1984.

 

CORRECTION

On page 6 of the March issue, we incorrectly reported the telephone number for American Friends of English Heritage. The correct number is 212-243-3853. We apologize for the error.

 


The British telephone numbers provided in British Heritage include an initial zero, which callers from North America do not need to dial when placing a call to Britain. North American callers should dial 011-44 in place of the initial zero. When travelling in Britain, dial the telephone numbers exactly as printed.Please note that all prices quoted in editorial material are correct to the best of our knowledge. We suggest readers call ahead before visiting stately homes, etc., to ensure they have up-to-date details.



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