Mary Whitall Smith [Berenson] at the Harvard Annex


Tiffany L. Johnston


Mary Whitall Smith [Berenson] at the Harvard Annex[1]

Tiffany L. Johnston



When visitors and scholars walk along the elegantly arranged halls of the Villa I Tatti and across the echoing parquet of the Biblioteca Berenson, they can easily imagine the renowned connoisseur and sage of Settignano in their midst. There were, however, two Berensons at I Tatti. Despite having been relegated to the footnotes of history, Mary Berenson, like her husband Bernard, created a legacy intimately tied to both the Villa and Harvard University. Mary, too, had attended courses by Harvard professors, those given at the Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women, known familiarly as the “Harvard Annex.”(cat. MS.II.3)        

            Mary’s Harvard experience, while similarly formative and influential, differed significantly from that of Bernard. Mary was the privileged eldest daughter of wealthy and established Philadelphia Quakers, and as she would recall many decades later, Bernard “did not come out of so hide-bound and anti-cultural a milieu as my own.”[2] Mary’s literary and intellectual inheritance came from her father, Robert Pearsall Smith, who in turn descended from James Logan; Logan was the secretary to William Penn, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania from 1731 to 1739, and acting governor of the colony in 1736. From her mother, Hannah Whitall, Mary received not only the financial security of the Whitall Tatum glass manufacturing company, but also her fierce feminism,[3] determined desire for education, and inherent impulse for writing. Hannah, who had achieved moderate fame through the publication of several books, most notably The Christian’s Secret of a Happy Life, had a profound impact on Mary during her youth.

            Hannah trusted that her own pragmatic model provided the best governance, and her approach allowed Mary to receive liberty, trust, and unwavering support without limitations or resistance. A coddled and encouraged child, Mary was constantly surrounded by a large and bustling extended family of cousins. Her parents often invited guests to visit, and the children were encouraged to enter into their intellectual discussions. As one visitor observed, the “gifted parents and highly-endowed children exchanged ideas with poets, orators, and travelers, or studied with untiring zest the heavenly ways of God toward man.”[4] When Robert and Hannah participated at Broadlands, an Evangelical conference held at the vast British estate of the Cowper-Temples, the Smith children even traveled to Europe, mingling comfortably among the progeny of aristocrats. It was, however, Hannah’s insistence that Mary receive the best education possible that indelibly shaped Mary and prepared her for her time in Cambridge.

            Hannah had regretted the lack of educational opportunities available to her in her own youth, and therefore sought for Mary the best schools available. Mary first attended the Howland School for Girls and then the East Germantown Girls School, both under the direction of Dr. Henry Hartshorne. A well respected Philadelphia doctor and instructor, Hartshorne instilled in Mary not only an appreciation for the classics, but also an interest in physiology and medical hygiene. Mary next spent two academic years (1881–82, 1882–83) at Smith College, where she became keenly aware of the lack of cultural exposure under her traditional Quaker upbringing. In addition to music lessons, she began studying drawing with John H. Niemeyer and literature with Kate Sanborn. Under the progressive Sanborn, Mary read Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Walt Whitman, and soon thereafter she aspired to study near “literary Boston people” in Cambridge.[5]

            While Bernard Berenson had attended Harvard University for three years (1884–85 to 1886–87), Mary matriculated at the Harvard Annex for just the first of these, the academic year of 1884–85. Mary was a “special student,” defined in the handbook as those “who come to our classes with the earnest spirit of the scientific or literary investigator and seek instruction in those lines of study in which they have been before at work.”[6] Mary recalled having Bernard pointed out to her at a University concert as the most brilliant student of the sophomore class. Likewise, Bernard remembered seeing her at a Latin play and attending a course of William James’s lectures along with her brother Logan (fig. CC.I.13). Nevertheless, they did not meet during their time in Cambridge. This is not remarkable given Mary and Bernard’s divergent interests, and consequently, areas of study at the time.

            Two events had significant bearing on Mary’s selection of courses at the Annex. Mary’s studies in psychology and philosophy at Smith, pursued in answer to her growing religious skepticism, led to her attendance at the fifth annual Concord School of Philosophy in the summer of 1883, which, in turn, confirmed her interest in philosophy. The school offered one of the few opportunities for her, as a young woman, to hear lectures by some of the most prominent philosophic thinkers of the day, including William James (fig. CC.I.7). According to her brother Logan, Mary’s parents were already acquainted socially with James. He had been an admirer of Hannah’s religious writings and had more than once stayed with the Smiths when he came to Philadelphia in connection with his work.[7] In his Concord series of three lectures on Introspective Psychology, Mary witnessed among other things, James’s explanation of the term “stream of consciousness,” there presented for the first time.

            Mary’s introduction to Benjamin Francis Conn Costelloe, a London barrister with determined political ambition, also had a major impact on the direction of her studies at the Harvard Annex. An Irish-born Roman Catholic nine years older than Mary, Costelloe took part in the 1884 meeting in Philadelphia of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The Smith family was one of twenty Philadelphia hosts to the delegation of scientists, and among the five allotted to them was Costelloe. Educated at Glasgow University and Oxford with honors in philosophy, Costelloe had been actively publishing articles on the state of research in the fields of psychology and philosophy and was therefore very familiar with American philosophers and their work, particularly the two at Harvard actively publishing at the time, Josiah Royce and William James. Costelloe’s philosophical knowledge and exceptional rhetorical talent struck a chord with Mary. Her brother recollected that she had been “half-convinced by this accomplished dialectician that on the very philosophy, the very science, which had daunted her, they could, by sounding to the darkest abysses, build up together the great edifice of Faith, and thus restore those great watchwords, ‘God,’ ‘Duty,’ and ‘Immortality,’ which were, he added, requisite for her salvation and the salvation of the human race . . . .”[8] While Costelloe did not awaken Mary’s philosophical interests, he certainly stimulated them.[9] Indeed, after he returned to London, Costelloe began an intimate correspondence with Mary which continued throughout her time at the Annex.

            In the fall of 1884, Mary was one of 55 students enrolled in the Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women. Her brother Logan had enrolled in Harvard proper and would later credit William James with assisting them to secure lodging in Cambridge with two elderly ladies at 8 Berkley Street.[10] Only a few weeks before Mary’s arrival, the Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women had raised enough funds to be able to purchase the former home of the late Judge Fay to accommodate a small library, laboratory, and classrooms.[11] Mary had planned on taking a course in medicine, but as there were none offered at the Annex, she attended occasional lectures at the Women’s Medical College. Mary herself provided lessons to girls at Boston University on hygiene and to friends on anatomy, using the college’s papier-mâché mannequins and models.

            Mary entered the Annex dedicated to the pursuit of scholarship, and later recounted that she “nevertheless joined my brother in various crude attempts to penetrate the world of culture.”[12] They had, for example, tickets to the symphony concerts in Boston every Friday afternoon. In November of 1884, Mary’s family had as their guest Edward Clifford. The British painter had written to Hannah in the hopes that he could make a portrait head of Walt Whitman for his patron John Addington Symonds.[13] Mary had championed the impoverished and scandalized Whitman, and he subsequently became a close acquaintance of the Smiths. Symonds, one of Whitman’s first British admirers and author of the seven-volume cultural history Renaissance in Italy, had often commissioned Clifford to copy paintings. After a week in Philadelphia, Clifford traveled to Boston where he copied the head of the Joan of Arc in the Academy and met with and sketched a portrait of Mary.[14] Whitman had supplied Clifford with a note of introduction to Mr. Quincy Shaw, the owner of several Millet paintings, and when he visited the collection, Clifford brought Robert, Mary, and Logan with him. Mary reported to Whitman that she had never spent such a delightful morning and that her memory of the paintings was almost as good as the reality. Her interest in the visual arts continued to grow when she attended the Arts Club exhibition of Elihu Vedders’s original illustrations to Fitzgerald’s translation of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam. The book had been published in Boston that year, and Mary had learned the poem by heart, concluding that Omar Khayyam was “trying to give a sort of religious meaning to the old Persian’s praise of wine.”[15]

            The most memorable cultural event of the year, however, was one of a series of Lowell lectures delivered by Edmund Gosse (fig. CC.I.6), the renowned British poet and Professor of English Literature at Oxford, which Mary witnessed with her brother and a friend. While reports of the popular lectures were overwhelmingly positive, for Mary and Logan they were nothing short of a revelation. Mary would later recall how when Gosse mentioned “the sacred word Botticelli,” she turned to her brother “with eyes brimming with emotion and excitement” and said, “O Logan, we are at the very centre of things.” (cat. MS.IV.2). Logan would also recall that pivotal moment:


Of these lectures I have forgotten everything except one pregnant sentence, in which the name of Botticelli first echoed in our ears. “Botticelli,” the lecturer said, in that cultivated “English accent,” which was music to us, “Botticelli,” and with what unction he slowly reiterated those syllables! . . . .The effect of these words upon us was magical. What longings it aroused in us, what delicious provincial aspirations for a world fairer than the world we lived in—for exquisite, remote, European things! . . . . Would Fate, we deliciously wondered, ever vouchsafe to us to enunciate those syllables of sweet magic and thus win admission to those far-away bright circles of European culture, circles as heavenly in our provincial eyes as those circling rings of angels seen in great Italian pictures?[16]


Quite simply, the answer would be yes. For unbeknownst to Mary and Logan, there sat in that same audience a young Harvard man named Bernard Berenson, who similarly moved, went out immediately and purchased a reproduction of Botticelli’s Primavera.[17]

            Always a voracious reader, Mary's reading list from December 1884 (cat. MS.III.3) provides fascinating insight into her interests and intellectual development during her time at the Annex and demonstrates how she balanced her cultural excursions with five demanding courses.[18] Two of these courses certainly helped in her understanding of Costelloe and his ambitions in British politics: Mill’s principles of political economy with lectures on banking and the financial legislation of the United States, given by James L. Laughlin, and the History of constitutional government in England and the United States, with Silas MacVane. Not surprisingly, Mary’s other three courses were in philosophy. English philosophy with lectures on Locke, Berkeley and Hume was taught by George Herbert Palmer, a teacher at Harvard since 1872, freshly returned from a year-long sabbatical in the fall of 1884. Palmer, whom Mary deemed “a very fine teacher,” offered the course as a favor to Mary and assigned her a topic for independent study. After a lecture from Palmer, she reported that “it was suggestive and interesting. We are going to dip into Locke tonight . . . . I really feel old, since I came here! To be considered capable of taking a post-graduate course in Philosophy in itself makes me feel old. And then I seem to have a grasp upon the subjects I study, which is quite different to my old parrot way of studying things. I seem to myself more mature and balanced than most girls studying here . . . .”[19] Looking back decades later, Mary recalled, “I was convinced that the only study for serious people was philosophy . . . and spent most of my effort on that subject getting infected with the philosophy of Berkeley (which in fact I have not had the mental energy to entirely shake off) and being led by Professor Palmer, whose sole female pupil I was, to become a Hegelian (I have almost forgotten now what it was, but I remember a great sense of elation and enlightenment)” (cat. MS.IV.2). Of particular note was an essay that Mary wrote for Palmer that surveyed the philosophic history of the Sensationalist school, first the Traditionalists like Hobbs and Locke, and then the Associationalists like Darwin and James Stuart Mill, thus demonstrating her grasp of Empiricism and its evolution. Mary selected for the title the peripatetic axiom, Nihil est in Intellectu quod non fuit prius in Sensu [nothing is in the understanding that was not first in the senses], intimating her involvement in developing and clarifying the aesthetic concepts later published by Bernard Berenson, including “tactile values” and “ideated sensations.”

            Although 22 years her senior, George Palmer was not immune to Mary’s charm and enthusiasm. According to Logan, Palmer “joined himself in a headlong fashion to the band of her wooers, and began to endeavor, by displaying another metaphysic, to replace in her thoughts, and ultimately at the matrimonial altar, the London barrister [Costelloe] to whom, as he knew, she was engaged at the time in a correspondence which much occupied her mind.”[20] Besides his interest in philosophy, Palmer shared with Mary a profound love of poetry and possessed a remarkable talent for reading it aloud with the intensity of an actor. Despite his reserved manner, poetry opened him to a world of emotional experience, and his readings were, according to one observer, “a revelation of another self, a self of marked dramatic power.”[21] While Mary must have found Palmer a kindred spirit, she held little interest in him as a suitor. Nevertheless, Robert and Hannah understood the seriousness of Palmer’s intentions, and were so distracted by his overtures that they remained oblivious to Mary’s ongoing correspondence with Costelloe. For Logan, this philosophic yet passionate drama “did more honor to [Palmer’s] temperament than credit to the chair he occupied.”[22]

            Mary had also selected two philosophy classes with Josiah Royce, the stocky, red-headed Californian who had been recruited to Harvard two years earlier by William James, then the head of the philosophy department, and a great admirer of his work. It was an important time in the evolution of the philosophy department at Harvard, particularly for Josiah Royce and William James, for each had begun to influence the work of the other. James had been working on his essay “The Dilemma of Determinism,” published in the Unitarian Review in September 1884, a work that impressed Royce and helped him to relinquish his pessimistic and fatalistic views.[23] Royce was a particularly fitting mentor for Mary at the time as he was actively inquiring into religious questions, the results of which would become his first major publication, The Religious Aspect of Philosophy (1885). Hoping to determine the meaning, value, and origination of religion, Royce arrived at an Idealism that James found “the most positive and radical proof yet proposed.”[24] Conveniently, Royce did not have reservations about teaching philosophy to women.[25]

            Mary attended two of Royce’s courses: Psychology and logic with lectures on mental processes, deductive logic, and Fowlers' inductive Logic, as well as Ethics with a study of English utilitarianism, German ethics since Kant, and ethical theories in relation to modern thought and life. For the latter, Royce began with a definition of Ethics, starting from the assumption that each person makes cognitive distinctions between right and wrong. Mary could not hide her enthusiasm from her parents: “The classes promise to be very interesting. I think this year will do more for my mind in original thought than any previous year. I seem to have a grasp on subjects that I never had before. It is delightful, the chance to work, and I feel all in the spirit of it. We aim to decide this afternoon the momentous question of the origin of the distinction between Right and Wrong! I am deep into Hegel, and I am fascinated. I think, if I ever come to know enough, I shall probably be a ‘Hegelian’—which they say, is worse than a Concord Philosopher. Maybe thee will regret thy kindness for letting me come here!”[26]

                  Although Mary never took courses with James, her family connections made him an important influence. Not only had she had attended James’s lectures at the Concord School of Philosophy, but later, when Mary was a student at the Annex, James befriended her father, Robert, and had enlisted his help in the formation of the American Society for Psychical Research.[27] Talk of the society and hopes for it as a fruitful laboratory for the systematic study of unexplained phenomena did not escape Mary’s attention. She also tried, in vain, to convince James to offer a course to the Annex. Recalling Mary’s grinning face from the back pew of the Concord School he quipped, “Where have I seen those eyes before?”[28] Although unsuccessful in her attempt to take a course by James, Mary was often invited to his home for tea and other social gatherings, opening the doors to the intellectual and social circles of Cambridge. Mary also discovered that James shared a mutual admiration of Whitman and his close friend Dr. Maurice Bucke.[29] “The more I see of Prof. and Mrs. James, the more I like them. They belong to that ideal society of which are sometimes dreams.”[30]

            During her last month at the Annex, Mary and her friend Florence Dike set out to investigate the latest Boston craze—the “Mind Cure.” Increasing interest in the cure was largely due to Mary Baker Eddy, the founder of the Church of Christ, Scientist, who in 1882 had founded and presided over the Massachusetts Metaphysical College in Boston. In 1862, twenty years earlier, Eddy had consulted Phineas P. Quimby, who believed that physicians relied upon their patients’ faith to effect cures. Although Quimby had restored Eddy’s health, she eventually lost faith in his curative methods and came to believe after a spiritual revelation that healing power came not from the human mind but rather from the power of God. Eddy and other Mind Curists sought to ground their systems in sources more credible than Quimby, and cited Jesus, Swedenborg, Emerson, and later even William James, because they claimed their mystical experiences came without a loss of reality.

            Given her thorough acquaintance with these philosophers, as well as a bold willingness to test boundaries, Mary felt herself in a good position to evaluate the claims made by the Curists. Even at the outset of her study, Mary wrote, “I am not a disciple yet, on account of the critical faculty which my philosophical study has developed in me.”[31] Interested in knowing Mary’s results, her mother and aunt sent Mary all of Eddy’s books that they owned. Although a woman similarly able to achieve an influential public position through religion, Hannah remained doubtful and looked to Mary. “My only question is this—Have we a right to expect perfect material conditions in this stage of our evolution? Can this cocoon ever be anything but a perishing thing? I agree with thee that is only extending on to the material plane that which is true on the moral plane; but we have a right,—there is the question; is it in the divine order? My puzzle lies right here.”[32] Although Hannah granted Mary permission to take lessons from Eddy at her College, Mary soon became engaged to Costelloe and never enrolled or further pursued the question.[33] Nevertheless, the Mind Cure was a subject that William James would continue to be interested in long after Mary had left the country, arguing publicly against it in 1898, and publishing on it in his Varieties of Religious Experience (1902).[34]

            In her later collaborative work with Bernard Berenson, Mary would persevere in consulting James’s philosophical works, including The Principles of Psychology (1890) and Pragmatism (1907), in an attempt to apply his theories to aesthetic problems. Although Mary’s subsequent research would be moderated by the influences of other philosophers, James remained an important early influence to the development of the Berensons’ theorizing. Indeed, during Mary’s 1909 American lecture tour proselytizing the “New Art Criticism,” she traced the origins of the Berensonian method to European scholars Giovanni Morelli, Gaetano Milanese, and Walter Pater. However, it was the psychological aspect of their system that Mary credited without reservation to the “introspection method” of her Harvard mentor.[35]

            Regardless of their divergent paths during their shared year at Harvard University, when Mary and Bernard finally did meet in London in 1888, it was the guiding influences and impressions of their time in Cambridge that became the foundation of their life’s work together. Looking back Mary would observe that despite their contrastive family origins, they both had been “saturated with the Old Testament, both caught by chance into the ebbing tide of Transcendentalism, and both of us formed to some extent by the same outstanding personages of New England, by Emerson, by William James, [and] by Browning (who was at that time a New England hero)” (cat. MS.IV.2). At the Annex she had been searching for answers to her growing skepticism, and as a result of the determining forces she encountered there, she eventually arrived at an intellectual life, spent largely in the scientific study of Italian Renaissance art and aesthetics.

            In 1925, Mary began writing “A Life of Bernard Berenson,” one of the most important sources about the determining years of their work together.  In a letter to Eugénie Sellers Strong, the earliest reference to the project, Mary outlined a book reminiscing the first ten years of their traveling adventures in connoisseurship, including the evolution of their method and early theories, both crazy and otherwise.   While struggling against invalidism, she wrote the largest share of the manuscript from 1931-1933. The title of the first chapter, “Ten Years of Preparation for Connoisseurship,” echoes the goal of her original plan. In a diary entry of 11 November 1933, Mary recorded Bernard’s reaction: “read the Siena chapter of BB's life to [Umberto] Morra and Naima [Löfroth] and BB was really enthusiastic!  He says it is exactly the record of himself he wants to leave with his ‘Foundation.’ I am so glad.” [36]

             Mary continued to make additions to the biography over the next two years, before abandoning the project. In this same period, however, she made reference to the ‘Foundation’ in the preface to A Modern Pilgrimage (1933). Here Mary found it fitting to pledge that the library and the villa in which it was housed would be for “future students, who, as we hope, will benefit from the ‘Institute for Humanistic Studies’ which we mean to found under the auspices of our common university, Harvard." [37]





Berenson, Mary. Unpublished manuscripts, Hannah Whitall Smith Papers. Courtesy, The Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana (indicated as HWSP).


______.“In Memoriam, Florence Blanchard Dike Reynolds, September 28, 1919.” Pamphlet.


———. A Modern Pilgrimage. New York, 1933.


———. “Life of Bernard Berenson.” Bernard and Mary Berenson Papers, Biblioteca Berenson, Villa I Tatti—The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies.


Clendenning, John, ed. The Letters of Josiah Royce. Chicago, 1970.


Duclow, Donald F. “William James, Mind-Cure, and the Religion of Healthy-Mindedness.” Journal of Religion and Health 41, no. 1 (2002): 45–56.


Johnston, Tiffany. “Mary Berenson and the Conception of Connoisseurship. PhD diss., Indiana University, 2001.


Menoux, Sophie. “Henry James and Family: Eleven Unpublished Letters.” Sources (Spring 2003).


Oppenheim, Frank M., S. J. Reverence for the Relations of Life: Re-imagining Pragmatism via Josiah Royce’s Interactions with Peirce, James, and Dewey. Notre Dame IN, 2005.


George Herbert Palmer, 1842–1933: Memorial Addresses. Cambridge MA, 1935.


Smith, Logan Pearsall. Unforgotten Years. Boston, 1939.


Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women. “Handbook.” Cambridge MA, 1884.


———. Reports of the Treasurer and Secretary: Sixth Year. Cambridge MA, 1885.


Strachey, Barbara, and Jayne Samuels, eds. Mary Berenson: A Self-Portrait from Her Diaries and Letters. New York, 1983.


Willard, Francis. “Hannah W. Smith.” Pamphlet, HWSP.





[1] I would like to express my gratitude to the Camphill Village Trust for permission to quote from Mary Berenson's unpublished manuscripts.


[2] Berenson, “Life of Bernard Berenson,” chap.1, 6 (cat. MS.IV.2).


[3] Hannah was a leading member of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, the first organization of women devoted to social reform, including suffrage.


[4] Willard n.d., 10.


[5] Mary to Robert, 25 April 1882, Courtesy, The Lilly Library, Indiana University, Bloomington Indiana. Hannah Whitall Smith Papers, (hereafter indicated as HWSP). While at Smith, Mary also asked that her mother send her a bound set of Ruskin. For more on Mary's formative years see Johnston, 2001.


[6] Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women 1884, 9.


[7] Smith 1939, 114.


[8] Smith 1939, 112–113.


[9] Smith 1939, 110.


[10] Smith 1939, 114.


[11] Society for the Collegiate Instruction of Women 1885, 5–6.


[12] Berenson, “Life of Bernard Berenson,” chap. 1, 7 (cat. MS.IV.2).


[13] Hannah to Mary, 1 November 1884, HWSP.


[14] Hannah to Mary, 8 November 1884, HWSP. A photograph of this portrait, now at the National Portrait Gallery in London, adorns the cover of Strachey and Samuels 1983.


[15] Berenson, “Life of Bernard Berenson,” chap. 1, 7 (cat. MS.IV.2). Her copy of the book at I Tatti, without illustrations, bears the inscription “Mary Whitall Smith/ Harvard Annex/ 1884”.


[16] Smith 1939, 121–122. On the lecture, also see Nader-Esfahani’s essay (cat. MS.III.6).


[17] Smith 1939, 121–122.


[18] See the Johnston’s essay (cat. MS.III.7).


[19] Mary to Robert, 3 October 1884, HWSP.


[20] Smith 1939, 114.


[21] Palmer 1935, 44–45.


[22] Smith 1939, 115.


[23] Oppenheim 2005, 77.


[24] Ibid.


[25] As he wrote in a letter of 1886, “I think …that the supposed difficulty that women are said to meet in forming abstract ideas, and in so grasping philosophical subtleties, does not exist, in case of young women who chance to be interested in philosophy. The true difficulty, however, which such young women do meet with in their study of philosophy, is rather a moral than an intellectual one: it is a certain fear of standing alone, of being eccentric, of seeming unduly obstinate in thought. This fear makes them, in the long run, too docile followers of a teacher or of an author, and so hinders their freedom of constructive thought. Now eccentricity of thought is, indeed, never the ultimate goal of philosophic study; but it is a necessary stage on the way to real success in thought. And this stage young women are less apt to reach.” In Clendenning 1970, 183.


[26] Mary to Robert, 30 September 1884, HWSP.


[27] Robert Smith served as a founding member of the society’s council in 1885 with a term of three years, and it was Smith who urged William James to accept the presidency, which he eventually accepted and served from 1894 to 1896. See Menoux 2003, 65.


[28] Berenson pamphlet, 13–14.


[29] Mary and William James likely shared a keen interest in Dr. Maurice Bucke, a progressive psychologist. Bucke ran an asylum for the Insane in London, Ontario, where Mary had visited him. His theory of “cosmic consciousness” would likely have been a point of interest for Mary and James as well.


[30] Mary to Robert, 12 October 1884, HWSP.


[31] Mary to friend, 19 May 1885, HWSP.


[32] Hannah to Mary, 25 May 1885, HWSP.


[33] Mary's friend Florence Dike did, however, continue to actively question the Mind Cure and when she visited Mary in 1886, Mary felt confirmed that the difficulties she had found with it from the beginning were correct. Mary concluded that disease was a 'fact' and as it did not belong to the spiritual realm, it could not be removed by the mind.


[34] Duclow 2002, 45–56.


[35] Mary to Hannah, 8 March 1909, HWSP. Also, see Brown’s essay (cat. BB.III.4).


[36] Mary Berenson, Diary, 1933. Bernard and Mary Berenson Papers, Biblioteca Berenson, Villa I Tatti—The Harvard University Center for Italian Renaissance Studies.


[37] Berenson 1933, 3. Mary originally opposed the idea of leaving I Tatti to Harvard as the plan did not include an inheritance for her children. Finally, in 1927, Bernard conceded and alleviated Mary’s concerns, which she recorded in her diary: “I should be glad to give up all my share of I Tatti to B.B.’s beloved ‘Institute’ if I could first ensure each of my grandchildren having a couple of hundred pounds a year—as protection against entire destitution … But up to now he has been adamant on the matter. Suddenly he gave way and said yes, he would charge the estate with $2000 a year to each of my beloved 4. No words can say what a weight this has taken off my mind!” (Strachey and Samuels 1983, 269).