Thursday, 17 May 2012
Carol Brown and her family lived at Hilthorpe, Caldy about 400 metres from Lowry's childhood home Inglewood. Hilthorpe was built roughly the same time as Inglewood both being part of the development of Caldy in the early 20th Century by the Caldy Estates. Lowry met the Brown family in 1919 after they rescued him following an accident on his bike on Kings Drive, Caldy. (See Gordon Bowker Pursued By Furies Pg. 22.)
Lowry became friendly with the family including Carol’s 2 younger brothers Colin and Maurice playing at their house. Lowry would have reached her house via an ancient lane called Fleck Lane opposite Inglewood, which crossed Caldy Common.
Carol was 18, a year older than Lowry and attending Liverpool City School Of Art when he began writing to her. By that time he had become infatuated with her after going for a walk with her in April 1926. Lowry was still attending the Leys School in Cambridge and would have only seen Carol during school holidays.
Seventeen letters from Lowry to Carol Brown survive. These letters are amongst the earliest examples of Lowry’s writing revealing many of the qualities and interests that would be developed his maturity. Sherill Grace identifies that Lowry is “articulate and eloquent, but his darker side is visible in his incipient drinking, his vulnerability, and his intense concern with the self.” (Collected Letters Vol. 1 Pg. 7.)