Margaret Mead's passion
December 9, 2013 5:25 PM   Subscribe

"Always I love you and realize what a desert life might have been without you." —Margaret Mead to anthropologist and folklorist Ruth Benedict, who remained her companion and arguably her soul-mate despite both women having husbands.
posted by Athanassiel (9 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
I understand completely. Heartbreaking and beautiful.
posted by byanyothername at 5:40 PM on December 9, 2013 [3 favorites]

I too.
posted by Caskeum at 7:52 PM on December 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

May we all love and be loved as deeply as they loved each other.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 8:42 PM on December 9, 2013 [1 favorite]

Probably just a phase.

(These letters are very touching)
posted by Uppity Pigeon #2 at 8:45 PM on December 9, 2013

There's something so beautiful about the love between an anthropologist specializing in Pacific islands and an anthropologist specializing in the desert US Southwest.

It's like they were two separate landscapes, so complementary but so far apart.

That said I think I pretty much disagree with everything Benedict ever wrote, unless you view it heavily through the lens of "It Was The 40's, People Were Like That". I get that she was politically radical for her time, but oy, The Chrysanthemum And The Sword...
posted by Sara C. at 9:15 PM on December 9, 2013 [2 favorites]

Lovely, thank you.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 11:35 PM on December 9, 2013

Nice letters, but I can't help thinking of why they kept themselves married to other people throughout.

Must have been incredibly rewarding to be either of their spouses. Why didn't they just do the Boston Marriage thing?
posted by C.A.S. at 1:36 AM on December 10, 2013

Maybe they also loved their husbands in a different way? Maybe their husbands were fine with that?

Love and relationships are weird. I'm really uncomfortable putting feelings in dead men's hearts.
posted by dinty_moore at 4:54 AM on December 10, 2013 [7 favorites]

Wow. The enduring quality of a love captured in letters.
posted by amanda at 8:26 PM on December 10, 2013

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