Michael Field


Michael Fields was the pseudonym of English authors Katherine Harris Bradley (1846 - 1914) and niece Edith Emma Cooper (1862 - 1913). Working within the realm of aestheticism, they co-wrote and published around forty works, including poetry and verse drama and a long journal titled Works and Days. They had hoped to keep their identity a secret, but it was revealed shortly after confiding in their friend, poet Robert Browning.


Bradley and Cooper, in addition to being co-authors, were a couple. They also knew and formed friendships with many of their contemporary writers and artists including the likes of Robert Browning and Charles Ricketts and Charles Shannon, and also many of whom were part of the aestheticism movement, including Oscar Wilde, Bernard Berenson and Vernon Lee.


The two met Vernon Lee in 1895 when they traveled to Italy and specifically Fiesole to Bernard Berenson and Mary Costelloe. They took a trip to Il Palmerino one day and spent the day there, which they recount in Works and Days.


Among other observations, Field writes, “We went to Vernon Lee yesterday … I will remark with regard to that visit that the deep tonic of the orange jam is a thing to remember."