Partner Christabel Marshall and Clare Atwood, buried together

Queer Places:
Fallows Green, Harpenden AL5 4HD, Regno Unito
20 Taviton St, Kings Cross, London WC1H 0BW, Regno Unito
221 Camden Rd, London NW1, Regno Unito
44 Finborough Rd, Kensington, London SW10 9EF, Regno Unito
33 Longridge Rd, Earls Court, London SW5 9SD, Regno Unito
Royal Academy of Music, Marylebone Rd, Marylebone, London NW1 5HT, Regno Unito
7 Smith Square, Westminster, London SW1P 3HT, Regno Unito
31 Bedford St, London WC2E 9ED, Regno Unito
Burleigh Mansions, 96 St Martin's Ln, London WC2N, Regno Unito
Smallhythe Place & Priest’s House, Smallhythe Rd, Tenterden TN30 7NG, Regno Unito
St John the Baptist, Small Hythe, Tenterden TN30 7NF, Regno Unito

Edith Ailsa Geraldine Craig (9 December 1869 – 27 March 1947) was a prolific theatre director, producer, costume designer and early pioneer of the women's suffrage movement in England. She was the daughter of actress Ellen Terry and the progressive English architect-designer Edward William Godwin, and the sister of theatre practitioner Edward Gordon Craig.

As a lesbian, an active campaigner for women's suffrage, and a woman working as a theatre director and producer, Edith Craig has been recovered by feminist scholars as well as theatre historians.[1] Craig lived in a ménage à trois with the dramatist Christabel Marshall and the artist Clare 'Tony' Atwood from 1916 until her death.[2][3][4][5]

The composer Martin Shaw proposed to Craig in 1903, and she accepted. However, the marriage was prevented by Ellen Terry, out of jealousy for her daughter's affection, and by Christabel Marshall, who wrote under the pseudonym Christopher St. John, with whom she lived from 1899 until they were joined in 1916 by the artist Clare 'Tony' Atwood, living in a ménage à trois until Craig's death in 1947.[2][3][4][5] Her lesbian lifestyle was looked down upon by her family. Her brother Edward said Edith's sexuality was a result of her "hatred of men, initiated by the hatred of her father". Craig became involved in several books about her mother and George Bernard Shaw which created a rift in the relationship with her brother, who asked Craig not to write about their mother, and specifically not to share the details of the family's innermost problems. Edward Gordon Craig's book Ellen Terry and her Secret Self (1931) explicitly objected to Ellen Terry and Bernard Shaw: a Correspondence (1931) edited by Christopher St. John. In 1932 Craig co-edited with St. John Ellen Terry's Memoirs in which she replied to her brother's representation of their mother. Also in 1932 Craig adopted Ruby Chelta Craig.[16] Craig was reconciled with her brother some time before her death.[8]

On the death of her mother Craig committed her life to preserving her mother's legacy. She opened the family home, Smallhythe Place in Kent, England to the public. From 1939 she was supported in running the house by the National Trust. On her death she left Smallhythe Place to the National Trust as a memorial to her mother.[17] Craig died of coronary thrombosis and chronic myocarditis on 27 March 1947 at Priest's House, Smallhythe Place while planning a Shakespeare festival in honour of her mother. Her body was cremated. Marshall and Atwood are buried alongside each other at St John the Baptist's Church, Small Hythe. Craig's ashes were supposed to be buried there as well, but at the time of Marshall and Atwood's deaths, the ashes got lost and a memorial was placed in the cemetery instead.[18]

Edith Craig suffered from acute arthritis especially in her hands. In her younger days, this painful condition prevented her from becoming a professional musician. She attended the Royal Academy of Music and held a certificate in piano from Trinity College. In her later years, after the death of her mother, Craig dictated her memoirs to her friend Vera Holme, known as Jacko. Jacko wrote them down in a quarto notebook that was "lost in an attic" for decades and then sold to Ann Rachlin in 1978. They included Craig's reminiscences of her childhood and life with her mother, Edward Gordon Craig and Henry Irving. Rachlin published them in her book Edy was a Lady in 2011.[19]

Virginia Woolf is said to have used Edith Craig as a model for the character of Miss LaTrobe in her novel Between the Acts (1941).[12]


  1. Dymkowski (1992); Cockin (1998), among others; and Gandolfi (2003)
  2. Holroyd (2008)
  3. Rubin, Martin. "A Strange Eventful History: The Dramatic Lives of Ellen Terry, Henry Irving, and Their Remarkable Families by Michael Holroyd", Los Angeles Times, 23 March 2009, accessed 18 October 2015
  4. [https://books.google.com/books?id=Am4bzJUW5cQC&pg=PA90 Jill Rudd & Val Gough (editors) Charlotte Perkins Gilmore: Optimist Reformer University of Iowa Press, p. 90 (1999)
  5. Law, Cheryl. Suffrage and Power: the Women's Movement, 1918–1928, i B Tauris & Co, p. 221 (1997)
  6. Booth, Michael R. "Terry, Dame Ellen Alice (1847–1928)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, September 2004; online edn, January 2008, accessed 4 January 2010
  7. Profile of Terry by Amanda Hodges Archived 17 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. Katharine Cockin, "Craig, Edith Ailsa Geraldine (1869–1947)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, Sept 2004; online edn, Jan 2008 accessed 10 March 2010
  9. Cockin (2001)
  10. Who's Who in the Theatre, 8th edition 1936, ed. John Parker
  11. The Orlando Project of Women Writers
  12. Cockin, Katharine. "Dame Ellen Terry and Edith Craig: Suitable Subjects for Teaching", Wordplay, English Subject Centre Magazine, Issue 2, October 2009, accessed 18 October 2015
  13. Cockin (1998)
  14. Craig on the Internet Movie Database
  15. Cockin (2005), pp. 527–42
  16. Cockin (1998), p. 167
  17. Ellen Terry and Edith Craig Database
  18. Rachlin, Ann. Edy was a Lady. Troubador Publishing (2011), p. 62
  19. Rachlin (2011), passim