Moonshine, Twilight Park, Haines Falls, NY 12436
Westtown Presbyterian Cemetery Westtown, Orange County, New York, USA
Mary Perry King (1865 – May 21, 1939) was the author of Earth Deities and Other Rhythmic Masques, Daughters of dawn and A lyrical pageant or series of historic scenes for presentation with music and dancing with Bliss Carman, and of Comfort and exercise; an essay toward normal conduct alone.
A native of Oswego, NY, King was the wife of Dr Morris L. King, head of the medical department of the New York Life Insurance company. For many years she was one of the leading proponents of oral rhythmics in the United States, and was instructor in teaching speech and posture to many leading actoros and world figures prominent at the beginning of the XX century. She had also appeared on stages herself, in her younger days, with William Gillette.
In 1896 King met Bliss Carman, and she became the greatest and longest-lasting female influence in Carman's life. King became his patron: "She put pence in his purse, and food in his mouth, when he struck bottom and, what is more, she often put a song on his lips when he despaired, and helped him sell it." According to Carman's roommate, Mitchell Kennerley, "On rare occasions they had intimate relations which they always advised me of by leaving a bunch of violets — Mary Perry's favorite flower — on the pillow of my bed." If he knew of the latter, Dr. King did not object: "He even supported her involvement in the career of Bliss Carman to the extent that the situation developed into something close to a ménage à trois" with the Kings.
Through King's influence Carman became an advocate of 'unitrinianism,' a philosophy which "drew on the theories of François-Alexandre-Nicolas-Chéri Delsarte to develop a strategy of mind-body-spirit harmonization aimed at undoing the physical, psychological, and spiritual damage caused by urban modernity." This shared belief created a bond between King and Carman but estranged him somewhat from his former friends.
After 1908 Carman lived near the Kings' New Canaan, Connecticut, estate, "Sunshine", or in the summer in a cabin near their summer home in the Catskills, "Moonshine." She was Carman's literary executrix.
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