This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
MembersReviewsPopularityRatingFavorited   Events   
96 (225)1144,192 (4)00
No events listed. (add an event)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical name
Legal name
Other names
Date of birth
Date of death
Burial location
Country (for map)
Place of death
Places of residence
Awards and honors
Short biography
Nancy Cunard was the only child and heiress of Sir Bache Cunard of the British shipping business and his American wife Emerald, née Maud Alice Burke, a society hostess. She had a privileged but mostly unhappy childhood in an English castle. Her debut in London society coincided with the start of World War I in 1914. Nancy and her friend Iris Tree helped put together the so-called "Corrupt Coterie," a fashionable set of aristocrats, intellectuals, and artists, some of whom became her lovers, including Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot. In 1920, following a brief, impetuous marriage to a wounded veteran, she moved to Paris, joined the avant-garde community, and published her poetry. She became a patron, model, and muse to several artists including Brancusi, Huxley, and Neruda. In 1928, she founded the Hours Press, a small publishing house that issued books by Aragon, Pound, and Beckett. After she fell in love with Henry Crowder, an African-American jazz pianist, she became an activist for racial and social justice, and edited and published Negro (1934), an anthology of black history and culture for which she wrote the preface. By the mid-1930s, she was writing for newspapers such as The Manchester Guardian and went to Spain to cover the Civil War there. In her dispatches, she denounced Franco’s brutality and demanded help for his victims. In 1939, in fragile health, she returned to Paris. During World War II, she was involved as a translator with a French Resistance group. In 1960, after some drunken scuffles with London authorities, she was declared insane and committed to a mental hospital. After her discharge, she died during an extended alcoholic binge.
Disambiguation notice

Member ratings

Average: (4)
3 4
4 9
5 4

Author pictures (2)


(see all 2 author pictures)

Improve this author

Combine/separate works

Author division

Nancy Cunard is currently considered a "single author." If one or more works are by a distinct, homonymous authors, go ahead and split the author.


Nancy Cunard is composed of 2 names. You can examine and separate out names.

Combine with…


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 139,691,202 books! | Top bar: Always visible