Brooks, John Ellingham

PIANIST, CLASSICAL SCHOLAR, TRANSLATOR (ENGLAND)
BORN 1863 - DIED 31 May 1929, Capri, Campania
GRAVE LOCATION Capri, Campania: Cimitero Acattolico, Via Marina Grande

John Brooks was educated at St. Paul's College, Stony Stratford and at Peterhouse, Cambridge (1883-1886). On 29 January 1887 he was admitted at Lincoln's Inn and he passed his Roman Law examination in 1889. In 1890 he met sixteen year old William Somerset Maugham in Heidelberg. He introduced Somerset Maughm to the writings of Schopenhauer and Spinoza and encouraged him to become an author. He also introduced him to his first sexual experience. Brooks tried his luck as a pianist but with no success. In 1894 he was admitted to the British School of Athens, a research institute. In 1896 he was re-admitted there as an associate.

After Oscar Wilde's trial in 1895 he left England for Capri from fear of prosecution. He lived with Somerset Maughan in a villa on that island. Somerset Maughan based the character Hayward in his book "Of Human Bondage" on Brooks. On Capri he met the rich lesbian painter Romaine Goddard when she visited the island in 1899. They became friends and he married her on 3 June 1903. After a year they separated, but they never divorced and Romaine paid him a modest allowance of 300 pounds a year for the rest of his life.

On Capri he also shared a house with the novelist Edward Frederic Benson (1867-1940). He played the piano and walked his dog, but his artistic career never materialised. He never returned to England and died on Capri in 1929 of liver cancer.

Family
• Wife: Brooks, Romaine (1903-1929)

Images

The grave of John Ellingham Brooks at the Cimitero Acattolico, Capri.
Picture by Androom (17 Feb 2020)

 

The grave of John Ellingham Brooks at the Cimitero Acattolico, Capri.
Picture by Androom (17 Feb 2020)

 

Sources
John Ellingham Brooks - Wikipedia


Brooks, Romaine

Published: 1 Mar 2020
Last update: 1 Mar 2020