Husband Roger Fry
Friends Burial Ground York, York Unitary Authority, North Yorkshire, England
Helen Coombe (March 23, 1864 - April 30, 1937) was a painter and decorative artist. After Virginia Woolf's biography of Roger Fry was published in 1940, she received a letter from Mary Louisa Gordon strongly critical of her portrayal of Roger's wife, the artist Helen Coombe, and even more critical of Roger's character and conduct. Mary and Helen had been friends before the latter married in 1896 and went on to develop severe mental health problems. In 1936 the Woolfs had published Mary's historical novel, Chase of the Wild Goose, about the Ladies of Llangollen. Virginia Woolf, in letters to Ethel Smyth, calls Gordon “the Hermaphrodite”.
Helen Coombe was born in Lee, Kent, the daughter of a corn merchant, Joseph Coombe (1827-1883) and Laura Beaumont Russell (1831-1903). She married painter Roger Fry and had three children, twins Julian Edward Fry and Agnes Pamela Fry, and Sebastian E. Fry.
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