Ker and Cheiron: Jane Harrison and Gilbert Murray 1901–1903
This chapter describes Harrison's work on Greek religion as she prepared to write Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion. It includes an account of a reading of Gilbert Murray's translation of Euripides' Hippolytus in Cambridge, her relationship with Bertrand Russell, suggesting that he may in fact have been in love with her. It details the beginning of her copious correspondence with Gilbert Murray (whom she nicknames ‘Cheiron’ after the Centaur who mentored Greek heroes, while signing herself as ‘Ker’, a menacing spirit). Nearly all the letters deal with minutiae of scholarship. Her interest in Orphism took her to Italy to inspect the newly-discovered Orphic tablets. Murray accompanied her and their visit to the Berensons at I Tatti is explored from three different viewpoints. Her relationship with Lady Mary Murray grew increasingly strained.
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