Wynifried Tennyson JESSE

Wynifried (Fryniwyd) Tennyson JESSE
Mrs H M HARWOOD aka Fryn

Born on 1 March 1888 at Chislehurst, she came to Newlyn in 1907. Fryn shared Myrtle Cottage with her cousin Cicely JESSE, Mrs Shaw and her daughter, Dod (later Doris Shaw PROCTER), and another friend, Clare WATERS. Ostensibly she came to paint at the FORBES SCHOOL, but worked for the first year or so in charcoal, and simply enjoyed living in Newlyn independent of her family and with friends. Another pupil of the Forbes School, and son of the prominent artist and writer Norman GARSTIN, was the future novelist Crosbie GARSTIN, and he became seriously enamoured of Fryn, though ultimately their mutual attraction came to nought.

She wrote The Look Backwards in 1907, and at the request of her closest friend, Elizabeth FORBES, wrote a play to be put on at Christmas, called The Corpse, the Coffin and the Coughdrop, a Melodrama in Three Palpitations.  In 1908 she began what became 'Her Intermittent Diary' (which only lasted for the year) and edited the two volumes of The Paper Chase, a journal of essays, poems and prints published by Elizabeth Forbes.  It was Fryn who gave Elizabeth the nickname of 'Mibs' by which she was fondly known until her death in 1912. Fryn was based in Cornwall until 1910, but continued in close contact with the Forbes family (and visiting Mibs in France where she had gone to try and recuperate from a 'tubercular' condition, that was, in fact, a cancer).

Fryn married H M Harwood, was reviewed by Rebecca West to be one of the four most beautiful women in Britain, and wrote a number of successful novels in later years, including A Pin to See the Peepshow, The Lacquer Lady, The White Riband, and others. One of the earliest of her published novels, The Milky Way, was dedicated to her friend Elizabeth Forbes.


Pupil artist, novelist, playwright

works and access

Editor, The Paper Chase

Published novels include: The Look Backwards (1907); A Pin to See the Peepshow; The Lacquer Lady; The White Riband and others.  One of the earliest of her published novels, The Milky Way, was dedicated to her friend Elizabeth Forbes.


Personal bibliography

Colenbrander (1984) A Portrait of Fryn, A Biography of F Tennyson Jesse

Summarised information is also contained in her Obituary The Times 7 Aug 1958


Cook, Hardie & Payne Singing from the Walls, The Life & Art of Elizabeth Forbes

Hardie (1990) In Time & Place, Lamorna

             (1995) 100 Years in Newlyn: Diary of a Gallery

             (2009) Artists in Newlyn and West Cornwall;

Newton et al (2005) Painting at the Edge

Tovey, David (2022) Lamorna - An Artistic, Social and Literary History - Volume I - Pre-1920, Wilson Books