Natalie Clifford Barney

Natalie Clifford Barney

Writer and Salonist

Natalie Clifford Barney was an American playwright, poet and novelist who lived as an expatriate in Paris. Barney's salon was held at her home on Paris' Left Bank for more than 60 years and brought together writers and artists from around the world, including many leading figures in French literature along with American and British Modernists of the Lost Generation.… Read More

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1876 Birth Barney was born in 1876 in Dayton, Ohio, to Albert Clifford Barney and Alice Pike Barney. … Read More


1899 22 Years Old 1 More Event
…  In 1899 after seeing the courtesan Liane de Pougy at a dance hall in Paris, Barney presented herself at de Pougy's residence in a page costume and announced she was a "page of love" sent by Sappho. … Read More
1900 23 Years Old She was openly lesbian and began publishing love poems to women under her own name as early as 1900, considering scandal as "the best way of getting rid of nuisances" (meaning heterosexual attention from young males). … Read More
1901 24 Years Old 1 More Event
While Barney was visiting her family in Washington, D.C. in 1901, Vivien stopped answering her letters. … Read More
1904 27 Years Old In 1904 she wrote Je Me Souviens (I Remember), an intensely personal prose poem about their relationship which was presented as a single handwritten copy to Vivien in an attempt to win her back. … Read More


1909 32 Years Old The play Equivoque may have led Barney to leave Neuilly in 1909. … Read More
1910 33 Years Old …  She was married and had two daughters in 1910, when she met Barney; her husband is said to have been violent and tyrannical.
1914 37 Years Old Barney's longest relationship was with the American painter Romaine Brooks, whom she met around 1914. … Read More


1918 41 Years Old They eventually separated, and in 1918 she and Barney wrote up a marriage contract stating: "No one union shall be so strong as this union, nor another joining so tender—nor relationship so lasting." De Gramont accepted Barney's nonmonogamy—perhaps reluctantly at first—and went out of her way to be gracious to her other lovers, always including Romaine Brooks when she invited Barney to vacation in the country. The relationship continued until de Gramont's death in 1954.
1920 43 Years Old 1 More Event
…  Her last book of poetry was called Poems & Poemes: Autres Alliances and came out in 1920, bringing together romantic poetry in both French and English. … Read More


1927 50 Years Old 1 More Event
Of these, the three longest relationships were with de Gramont, Brooks, and Wilde; from 1927, she was involved with all three of them simultaneously, a situation that ended only with Wilde's death.


1939 62 Years Old In 1939 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and refused surgery, seeking alternative treatments. … Read More
1970 93 Years Old …  Brooks died in December 1970, and Barney on February 2, 1972 of heart failure. … Read More
1972 95 Years Old Died on February 2, 1972.
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