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Bryher Gender: F
Annie Winifred Ellerman
born on 2 September 1894 at 21:49 (= 9:49 PM )
Place Margate, England, 51n24, 1e24
Timezone GMT h0w (is standard time)
Data source
Orig source not known
Rodden Rating C
Collector: Scholfield
Astrology data s_su.18.gif s_vircol.18.gif 10°22' s_mo.18.gif s_libcol.18.gif 21°14 Asc.s_gemcol.18.gif 13°10'


British novelist, poet, and critic, occasional actress and producer, but best known for her historical fiction. She was the cofounder and coeditor of "Close Up," an authoritative journal on silent motion pictures.

She grew up in an advantaged household; her father was industrialist and financier Sir John Reeves Ellerman, and she, with her family, spent much time traveling abroad. She took her name "Bryher" from a favorite island. Although she began studying archaeology, World War I interrupted, and during 1917-18, she wrote reviews and articles for various magazines. In 1919, she published her first novel, "Development" and visited the United States for the first time. She married the American writer Robert McAlmon, settling with him in Montreux, Switzerland.

She and McAlmon were divorced in 1927and she married Kenneth Macpherson that same year. That year she legally changed her name to Winifred Bryher and adopted a young girl named Perdita, the daughter of Bryher's good friend, the poet, Hilda Doolittle (H.D.).

In 1927, Bryher's husband Kenneth Macpherson made two films "Wingbeat" and "Foothills" starring H.D. With her interest in films, Bryher then established "Close Up", a magazine, and Pool Productions, a film company. In 1929, Bryher published "Film Problems of Soviet Russia" and that year, Pool Productions began filming "Borderline" starring H.D. and Bryher herself.

During the 30s she continued writing and living the literary life but the political upheavals in Europe at the time focused her attention elsewhere. She and her husband had moved to a Vaud, Switzerland and she gave shelter and assistance to over one hundred refugees.

After the war, in 1948, Bryher and MacPherson divorced and she changed her name again, this time dropping "Winifred" and becoming simply "Bryher." She wrote her first historical novel, The Fourteenth of October" in 1952 and continued writing and traveling throughout her life. A woman of many interests, art, film, culture, archaeology and psychology, and a prolific writer, Bryher died January 28, 1983 at her home, Villa Kenwin, in Vaud, Switzerland. She was 88. Her papers were acquired by Yale University.



  • Relationship : Marriage 1919 (Robert McAlmon)
  • Relationship : Divorce dates 1927 (from McAlmon)
  • Relationship : Marriage 1927 (Kenneth Macpherson)
  • Work : Begin Major Project 1927 (magazine "Close Up" and film company)
  • Family : Adopted a child 1927 (Perdita)
  • Relationship : Divorce dates 1948 (MacPherson)
  • Work : Published/ Exhibited/ Released 1952 (first historical fiction)

Source Notes

Sy Scholfield quotes biographies for date and place of birth and obtained time of birth "from an astrological folder in the Hilda Doolittle papers held at Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library at Yale University" Sy received an e-mail from their Public Service Dept that said, "Bryher was born 2.9.1894 at 9.49 p.m." Sy continues, "The astrological folder contains charts cast by Sylvia Dobson, one of Hilda Doolittle's companions."


  • Traits : Personality : Creative
  • Traits : Personality : Juggles lots at once
  • Family : Childhood : Advantaged
  • Family : Childhood : Family noted (father was a noted industrialist)
  • Family : Relationship : Number of Divorces (Two)
  • Family : Parenting : Foster, Step, or Adopted Kids
  • Personal : Death : Long life more than 80 yrs
  • Personal : Misc. : Changed name (Twice; in 1927 and in 1948)
  • Vocation : Entertain/Business : Entertain Producer
  • Vocation : Writers : Columnist/ journalist
  • Vocation : Writers : Fiction