News World News

Thursday 28 August 2014

Anne Moen Bullitt

A daughter of political aristocracy, she had class and culture second to none

Published 26/08/2007 | 00:00

  • Share

ANNE Moen Bullitt, who died in Dublin last week, was the surviving daughter of the first United States Ambassador to Russia, a man who was played by Warren Beatty in the Hollywood film, Reds.

  • Share
  • Go To

Mrs Bullitt (who was married four times and whose favourite husband was a Mr Biddle) lived at Palmerstown House near Kill, Co Dublin.

She was a famous beauty who had what Jane McDonald of The Glass magazine described as, "an amazing collection" of vintage clothes from all the famous Parisian designers from the golden era of haute couture''.

But probably her greatest legacy was that she collected and catalogued the papers of her more famous parents, which contained unknown poems by Eugene O'Neill and manuscripts by Sigmund Freud. They are now among the prized possession of Yale University in the USA.

Her father, William Bullitt Jnr, worked for Woodrow Wilson and was sent as a special envoy to Russia to try to establish diplomatic relations with the Bolshevik regime. But he resigned when he failed to get support from Wilson. A journalist and novelist, he was later appointed the first US Ambassador to Moscow by Franklin D Roosevelt.

Bullitt was psychoanalysed by Sigmund Freud in Vienna in the late 1920s and became a friend of the inventor of psychiatry. So close were they that they collaborated on a book called Thomas Woodrow Wilson -- A Psychological Study, which was published in Europe in the 1930s but did not appear in the United States until 1967. This controversial work was called ''a disgrace'' by the historian AJP Taylor, and for years there were doubts about the contribution of Freud to the work.

However, from papers unearthed by his daughter Anne and kept for a time at Palmerstown House it was clear that Freud was a major contributor to the enterprise.

Her mother, Louise Bryant, was a renowned American journalist and radical (played by Diane Keating in the 1981 film Reds) and their daughter Anne was born in Paris in 1924. Louise, who was a friend of Eugene O'Neill, Scott Fitzgerald and the Parisian ex-pat set in the 1920s, became a chronic alcoholic and William Bullitt got custody of Anne. Louise Bryant almost never saw her daughter again and spent her last sad years seeking news of her.

In 2004, Anne Bullitt and her representatives chose to send the papers of both her parents to Yale university and she provided vital information about her parents and their complex histories during the turbulent years at the beginning of the century.

Anne Bullitt, who was independently wealthy, presented the papers to Yale in 2005/2006 after she sold Palmerstown House to the developer, Jim Mansfield. She also funded asymposium on the lives of her parents at the university. She had "truck loads" of vintage clothes and remained interested in fashion until she died.

Anne Bullitt died in a home in Dalkey, Co Dublin, on August 18 at the age of 83. A service of rememberance was held at Rathmichael Parish Church last Thursday and her remains have been taken to Philadelphia for burial in accordance with her wishes.

Read More

Editors Choice

Also in World News