Jean Rhys was a novelist who became famous in her later years. However, it was interesting to note that she had a connection with Richard Hudnut and his second wife Winifred.
In 1890, Jean Rhys was born Ella Gwendolen Rees Williams on the island of Dominica to a Welsh father and white Creole mother. From an early age, Jean wrote stories however, it was when destitute and living in Paris she began writing again. It was also during this time she met literary giant Ford Madox Ford who kick-started her writing career. Ford Madox Ford was born Ford Madox Hueffer in Merton, Surrey Novelist, poet, literary critic, editor, one of the founding fathers of English Modernism. It was through him that she changed her name and his advice to use her tortured life experiences and transform them in to literary form. Also, I was through him that she met Richard Hudnut and his second wife Winifred. In Jul 1925, Jean Rhys took a train to Juan-Les-Pins to meet with Mrs. Hudnut who wanted her to ghost-write a book on Reincarnation and Furniture. However, this was not a subject she was an expert on let alone undertake. However, according to limited research on this subject Jean stayed at the Chateau for a couple of months. But it seems that Ford had received a letter from Jean stating that Mrs. Hudnut wanted her to write an additional book as well. This led to Ford writing Mrs. Hudnut angrily saying she was trying to exploit her and underpay Jean for her writing services. Needless to say Mr. and Mrs. Hudnut were angry about the whole situation and cabled Ford that Jean would be on a train back to Paris the next day. However, it seemed that a story was going around that about Jean and Mr. Hudnut. It seems Mr. Hudnut had been seen kissing Jean when he took her to the Casino at Monte Carlo ‘Nearly every Sunday’. This was also verified by the chauffeur who was watching them in the mirror. It seems that Winifred and Jean ‘reconciled their differences’ and took the train from Juan-Les-Pins to the Garc de Lyons where Ford met them both there. Winifred did not seem to be impressed when she met Ford she walked away with a porter and her luggage. Did Richard Hudnut fool around with Jean Rhys? There is really nothing to prove this story? There are no known news articles except what Jean has written. Given that Richard Hudnut was a wealthy man I imagine he paid afew people off to insure this little dalliance never seen daylight.
Ford Madox Ford: A Dual Life, Vol II The After-War World. By Max Saunders.
Being a bred in the bone feminist, I am sure glad to finally stumble across a story based on an interview with the former Mrs. Rudolph Valentino that gives her a fair break. Somehow the picture of Winifred Hudnut Valentino as the old stereo-typed Pekinese-fondling female did not ring true. And her lord and master’s outbreak anent his noble craving for home and fireside and children sounded quite posey and stagey and as though fresh from the fertile brain of that unoriginal lot, press agents, rather than warm and quivering from his own sorrowful heart. But most of the remarks accredited to Mrs. Valentino sound true. Her dissertation on the folly of an American girl marrying a European husband sounds mighty sensible to me. “Foreign men have such different ideas of marriage from Americans. Boys in Europe are taught to consider themselves much more important than girls. “These boys, brought up to consider themselves lords of creation, expect wives to be subordinate. A wife is someone to make him comfortable minister to his wants, provide sympathy when he needs it, and when he needs nothing, keep herself well into the background.” And we regard this especially worthy of thought, as it comes from the former Mrs. Valentino’s ruby lips. “Now I don’t mind doing all this, it’s a pleasure to make one’s husband happy and comfortable when one loves him. “But what wore me out was my foreign husband’s acceptance of all these things as though they were merely my duty, my day’s work instead of a consideration for him and a matter of love”. And apropos of Rudy’s paternal manifestations readers may recall his heralded yearning for offspring with which wifie wouldn’t oblige the ex-wife fires this one “Rudy might like noiseless, dressed-up children, but…” And that unfinished sentence is only What Every Woman Knows. Then about the matter of Mrs. Valentino working” “I worked because I was energetic”. “A man’s love doesn’t compensate for the boredom and depression of being a loafer”. “For a woman to give up all work just to devote herself to loving a man is a great mistake. Because only an egocentric wants a woman to devote her life to admiring him”. Well and ably spoken, Winifred Hudnut Valentino, or Natacha Rambova. “We’re for you! You have a good head, and said head has doped out a much better analysis of why your marriage failed than has either your erstwhile Rudy on his press agent.
A flock of detectives took up the trail today of Miss de Wolfe the missing San Francisco heiress While a frantic mother accused dancer Theodore Kosloff, of using hypnotism on his pupil. Just at the end of Kosloff’s act at a local theater this afternoon a huge bouquet of American Beauty roses was tossed across the footlights by an attendant. It was tied with a big black bow of material that looked like undertakers crepe. Kosloff picked up the bouquet and pricked his fingers on the thorns. Blood sprinkled on the attached card on which was inscribed in her own handwriting “Winifred de Wolfe”. Investigation as to the source of the bouquet proved futile. The girl’s relatives however are certain now that she is alive. Kosloff declared this was the message he had vaguely expected and consented to issue his long-promised statement. “I hope” he said, “that when Miss de Wolfe reads the statements about Kosloff made to the newspaper by her mother she will immediately if she is alive, send a denial to the newspapers. That’s why for the time I have refrained from speaking on the subject. I consider Winifred de Wolfe what in my language would be called a saint, and only her great love for art, which is almost fanatical, would compel, her to leave her mother, her home, relatives and friends”. Winifred de Wolfe, has been missing since 26 April. The Russian Ambassador, Senator James O’Gorman, and Secret Service men have at various times joined in the search for her. Miss de Wolfe is the niece of famous NY Interior Designer Elsie De Wolfe.
Winifred Hudnut. daughter of Richard Hudnut. the perfume magnate, was his choice. She was a girl of mystery, for it was not known generally that the Hudnut’s had a daughter. The girl had appeared in the films as Natacha Rambova, a protégé of Nazimova, in whose company Valentino had been featured. They were wed In Mexicali, Mexico, at a party, with the municipal band and a reception by the local government. Then came a crash that quite drowned the sonorous music, for it was learned that Rodolph’s divorce would not be permanent until next January and he was promptly arrested for bigamy and jailed when he returned to Los Angeles. Friends supplied bail and he was finally extricated but legally declared unwed. He was freed only on condition that he restrain himself and live apart from his quasi-wife until the decree became permanent and this he promised. Meanwhile, Miss Hudnut’s history was investigated and It came out that she was merely an adopted daughter of the Hudnuts; that she was really Winifred De Wolfe, a relative of Elsie De Wolfe, and that she had mysteriously disappeared eight years ago, to be discovered in the company of Theodore Kosloff, the Russian dancer, under the name of Vera Fredow. The bridegroom remained in Los Angeles, the bride hastened to New York and Jean Acker, near-wife, laughed generously, and said “My marriage was a romantic tragedy of the silver screen. Our happiness has been shattered, but I still admire Rodolph. I can’t say that I love him, but he Is a wonderful actor. He and Miss Hudnut have my sympathy and I bear them no malice. As for me I’m trying to forget.” But Valentino assorted proudly last week that Winifred Hudnut would be his forever despite the law, and he added “I’m going to Paris In March, when I have my final decree of divorce. My wife? If she is my wife will leave New York with her parents for Nice soon. When we meet again. It will be in Paris, and we will be married. “Then we will get married in every State of the Union, if necessary. After that, we will settle down in Hollywood in the home that I have provided for my bride the home that she has never occupied. Of course, my wife will continue with her art work. She has designed many of the costumes in my recent pictures. A woman has the right to a career outside of marriage but she cannot devote herself to a career and to marriage successfully and at the same time.” And In the meantime, Hollywood Is awaiting the sound of the next marital cataclysm in its midst for there always seems to be one ready for the spark that precedes the explosion.
Any girl in Kansas City can go to the Convention Hall and enter the Valentino Mineralava Beauty Contest. A contest will be held of the prettiest girls in KC and Mr. Valentino will choose one who will get a prize and later have a chance with beauties from other cities to be Valentino’s new leading lady in his next picture. The charm of a perfect skin may come by chance and afterwards for a certain length of time be held by the inconsistent method of artifice, which however in the end will prove injurious. Valentino is the principal enthusiast of MINERALAVA in this country. He discovered by experience his skin was suffering from wearing effects of an outdoor life and from the clogging of the pores caused by grease paint he is obliged to use before the camera. In this day and age, no man is ashamed to borrow a suggestion from a woman. Mr. Valentino noticed his wife’s purity of complexion and learned she made a habit of the use of MINERALAVAs BEAUTY CLAY. “To my astonishment I discovered upon applying, myself a few applications of MINERALAVA said Mr. Valentino, that it became ever so quickly a necessity that I cannot do without”. “An athlete keeps in trim by daily exercise in a gymnasium. This adds to his self-respect, even if he is not in active training for a contest. It is the same way with folks in everyday life. People should have enough respect for their personal appearance to give a few minutes each day to the use of MINERALAVA, the one perfect nature remedy for the skin-strain of our modern existence. “After the prettiest girls in the different cities have been selected one of whom will be chosen to the be leading lady of my next picture, I am going to insist they keep their skin perfection by the constant use of MINERALAVA. by during this they will be following the example of Julia Sanderson, Majorie Rambeau, Irene Bordoni, Billie Burke, Marion Davies, Nazimova, Leonor Ulric and others. Valentino dolls to be given as beauty contest prize on display at Owl Drug CO 11th and Walnut.
CONVENTION HALL Personal Appearance RODOLPH VALENTINO in dances accompanied by his wife Winifred Hudnut alias Natacha Rambova. Holders of reserved seat tickets will have the privilege of dancing until midnight. Mr. Valentino will present a beautiful silver loving cup to the most graceful couple of dancers. Prices include tax.
Arena Balcony, Reserved $1.65
Dance Floor $1.65
Upper Balcony, Not Reserved $1.10
Winifred Hudnut, the former wife of Rudolph Valentino refused to appear in her vaudeville act while on the same program which had a photoplay with her ex-husband as star. As a result her engagement was postponed from 4 Jan to 8 Jan.