WELLCOME, Henry




Author Tags: Religion

Sir Henry Solomon Wellcome was the author of The Story of Metlakahtla (London, New York, Saxon & Company, 1887, 483 pages). See William Duncan entry. Duncan's association with Wellcome was longstanding, with a tangential connection to English literature: After his marriage to Syrie Barnardo in 1901, when he was 48 and she was 21, Wellcome was soon horrified by her string of lovers. They separated in 1910. While still legally married to Wellcome in 1911, Syrie had an affair with the writer William Somerset Maugham, someone who was chiefly homosexual in his orientation. They conceived a child. Maugham felt obliged to marry Syrie. This marriage was extremely unhappy for ten years until they divorced. Maugham wrote scathingly about her in his autobiographical work but she prospered afterwards as an interior designer. The public humiliations that Wellcome experienced due to Syrie's extramarital and marital scandals led him to idealize Duncan and defend Duncan's honour.

[Alan Twigg / BCBW 2003] "Religion" "Missionaries"