Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton's life is usually painted as tragic, but there were triumphs as well. She was a creative, intelligent woman, well-educated and well-traveled, a connoisseur of the arts, and an insightful writer (as her journals and these poems illustrate). She possessed an insatiable curiosity about people and a surprising amount of compassion for a person born of her station in the era in which she came of age.
throughout her life she was alternately known as the "Poor Little Rich Girl" and "The Million-Dollar Baby (From the Five-and-Ten-Cent Store)." Less known was the fact that the Woolwroth heiress was a gifted amateur poet who self-published two volumes of her writing: THE ENCHANTED in 1934, and THE WAYFARER in 1957.
Barbara had her first volume of verse, entitled THE ENCHANTED, self-published under the name "Barbara Mdivani" by R. Maclehose & Co., a small press unofficially affiliated with the University of Glasgow. THE ENCHANTED appeared shortly before her twenty-second birthday.
Dean Southern Jennings, in his 1968 biography of Barbara, wrote, "Anyone interested in analysing the complex personality of that was and is Barbara Hutton would find innumerable clues in this book. All the disillusionment, the self-recrimination, the sadness and loneliness of Barbara Hutton are mirrored in THE ENCHANTED--perhaps the Disenchanted would have been more apt--and if she ever felt temptedto produce an autobiography, which seems unlikely, she could very well say it had already been written."
Various accounts state THE ENCHANTED was printed in an edition of either fifty, seventy-five or two hundred copies (THE WAYFARER was printed in an edition of two hundred copies), all of which Hutton distributed to members of her family and friends.
Because of the of copies of THE ENCHANTED and THE WAYFARER Barbara's skills as a writer have gone largely unseen and unknown; in fact, with the exception of excerpts froma few of the verses reproduced in biographies such as C. David Heymann's POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL: THE LIFE AND LEGEND OF BARBARA HUTTON they have remained hidden for nearly six decades.
This then marks the first time that Barbara Hutton's poetry is being widely distributed and as a result the first time her talents have a real audience. We sincerely hope you enjoy these poems.