Frederick Carter A.R.E. 1885-1967
Frederick Carter (1883-1967)
This mystic/painter worked with
Henry Miller and D.H.Lawrence in the 1920's and 1930's.
Lawrence's last book, Apocalypse, published posthumously
in 1931, began as an introduction to Carter's book Dragon
of Revelation. Apparently Carter had sent his manuscript
to Lawrence in New Mexico, suggesting a collaborative work.
Lawrence was fascinated by Carter's work and visited in
him in Shropshire upon his return to England. He and Carter's
ideas diverged in so far as Carter's frame of reference
was more astrological/magical, whereas Lawrence, judging by his letters to Carter,
was calling for a much broader, cosmos-centered philosophical
Carter published Dragon of the Alchemists in 1926 (London, Elkin Mathews, Ltd.) and then published it with some differences in 1932 as Dragon of Revelation(London: Denis Archer). Arthur Machen wrote the introduction for the 1926 edition and it is available online at Banger's Place: http://www.dimensional.com/banger/carter/dragfront.html
It was Carter who introduced Lawrence to the mysterious realms of symbolism
and astrology. Carter traveled in obscure circles, a close
friend and associate of well-known occultists of the day
such as Aleister Crowley, Arthur Machen, and Austin Osman
Spare. He collaborated most closely with Spare, co-editing
the journal Form with Spare under the pseudonym Francis
Marsden, published several collaborative pieces with Spare
in the magazine, and wrote an introduction to Spare's
1921 book The Focus of Life. His etchings and illustrations
decorate nearly a half a dozen books published at the time
on the fringes of the creative disciplines, and of course
serve as the foundation for his own books, published between
1926 and 1932.
According to the Dictionary of British Artists Working 1900-1950,
Carter had been trained and began work as a civil engineer
and a surveyor before he took up art, studying in Paris,
Antwerp, and London. In 1910-1916 and again in 1922 he
was elected A.R.E. (Associate of the Royal Society of
Etchers and Engravers). Between 1922 and 1927 he taught
etching at the Liverpool School of Art, where he himself
had once studied under Sir Frank Short.
Current Carter resources:
Bibliography of all works written by or attributed
to Frederick Carter (either in his own name or under pseudonyms).
Clark, Richard Grenville.
Frederick Carter A.R.E. 1883-1967: A Study of His Etchings.
Guildford: Apocalypse Press, 1998.
Hofmann, Holly. "Frederick Carter's Apocalyptic Dragon:
D.H. Lawrence's Heritage to the Villa Seurat."
Address given to the 30th Annual Conference of the
North East Modern Language Association, April 17, 1999,
Pittsburgh, Pa. The article will soon be available
Recent scholarship by Holly Hofmann is posted online at W.E. Ashley's Miller site.
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