Partner Christopher Wood
University Of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2, Regno Unito
Sherborne School, Abbey Rd, Sherborne DT9 3AP, Regno Unito
Crest House, East Rd, Weybridge KT13, Regno Unito
1 Wilton St, Belgravia, London SW1X 7AF, Regno Unito
28 Portman Square, Marylebone, London W1H, Regno Unito
Coolmain Castle, Coolmain, Kilbrittain, Co. Cork, Irlanda
Vedanta Society Of Southern California: Ramakrishna Monastery, 19961 Live Oak Canyon Rd, Trabuco Canyon, CA 92679, Stati Uniti
Henry FitzGerald Heard (6 October 1889 – 14 August 1971), commonly called Gerald Heard, was a British-born American historian, science writer, public lecturer, educator, and philosopher. He wrote many articles and over 35 books.
Heard was a guide and mentor to numerous well-known Americans, including Henry Luce and Clare Boothe Luce, and Bill Wilson, co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous, in the 1950s and 1960s. His work was a forerunner of, and influence on, the consciousness development movement that has spread in the Western world since the 1960s.
The son of an Anglo-Irish clergyman, Heard was born in London. Heard studied history and theology at the University of Cambridge, graduating with honours in history. After working in other roles, he lectured from 1926 to 1929 for Oxford University's extramural studies programme. Heard took a strong interest in developments in the sciences. In 1929, he edited The Realist, a short-lived monthly journal of scientific humanism (its sponsors included H.G. Wells, Arnold Bennett, Julian Huxley, and Aldous Huxley). In 1927 Heard began lecturing for South Place Ethical Society. During this period he was Science Commentator for the BBC for five years.
As a young man, he worked for the Agricultural Cooperative Movement in Ireland. In the 1920s and early 1930s, he acted as the personal secretary of Sir Horace Plunkett, founder of the cooperative movement, who spent his last years at Weybridge, Surrey. Naomi Mitchison, who admired Plunkett and was a friend of Heard, wrote of that time: "H.P., as we all called him, was getting past his prime and often ill but struggling to go on with the work to which he was devoted. Gerald [Heard] who was shepherding him about fairly continually, apologized once for leaving a dinner party abruptly when H.P. was suddenly overwhelmed by exhaustion".
Horace Plunkett owned real estate in the U.S. states of Nebraska and Wyoming, and left some properties to Heard in his will.
From 1926 Heard's life companion was Christopher Wood, who, thanks to an inheritance, was also Heard's financial supporter. The relationship lasted until Heard's death in 1971.
Jean Connolly moved in an entourage of young male couples that included Dwight Ripley and Rupert Barneby, Tony Bower and Cuthbert Worsley, Peter Watson and Denham Fouts, Brian Howard and Toni Altmann. "Drink, night life, tarts and Tonys," complained Cyril Connolly, who referred to the whole entourage as "Pansyhalla." They liked Picasso, Marcel Proust, and Francis Poulenc, favored in architecture the Baroque, admired Josephine Baker and jazz. Someone took a copy of Dwight Ripley's Poems to Jean Cocteau, who responded "Quel néurophate!", a diagnosis that Rupert relayed with wicked relish. When Gerald Heard published two books in 1931 to propose that evolution demanded an evolved human consciousness, Brian Howard called them "the most important that have ever been written since the Ice Age." In Pansyhalla, a compelling example was set by Peter Watson, who joined with Cyril Connolly in 1939 to found Horizon and then financed that influential journal thoughout its career. Until the WWII, Watson lived mostly in Paris; a portrait of Jean Connolly, by Man Ray, was in his apartment. In 1938 he subsized the publication of a first book of poems by Charles Henri Ford, the young poet who was painter Pavel Tchelitchew's lover, and who, back in New York by 1940, would found a counterpart to Horizon, the trendier but likewise influential magazine View. It was View that brought John Bernard Myers from Buffalo to be its managing editor, and Myers who, as director of the Tibor de Nagy Gallery that Dwight himself sponsored, acted as impresario for a cast of painters and poets that seems now, to typify the postwar New York scene.
W.H. Auden and Christopher Isherwood had left England in January 1939. Auden stayed in New York, but Isherwood went on to Los Angeles, where he joined Dwight Ripley's still closer friends, Christopher Wood and Gerald Heard, who had emigrated along with Aldous Huxley, Maria Nys, and son Matthew Huxley two years before. Rupert Barneby obtained a new passport in June, and by October 1939 the two men were in New York.
Toward the end of his life, Heard was given a bit of financial assistance by Henry Luce and Clare Booth Luce. Heard died on 14 August 1971 at his home in Santa Monica, California, of the effects of several earlier strokes he had, beginning in 1966.
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