Mary Lutyens

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Mary Lutyens
Born Edith Penelope Mary Lutyens
United Kingdom
Died 9 April 1999 (aged 90–91)
United Kingdom
Occupation Writer
Language English
Nationality British
Genre Biography

Edith Penelope Mary Lutyens (1908 – 9 April 1999)[1] was a British author who is principally known for her authoritative biographical works on the philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti.

Early life[edit]

She was the fourth and youngest daughter of the architect Edwin Lutyens, and his wife Emily Bulwer-Lytton. Emily was the daughter of Robert Bulwer-Lytton, Viceroy of India, and the granddaughter of the novelist-peer Edward Bulwer-Lytton. As a child Mary spent time with her maternal grandmother Edith, the former vicereine, who lived at Knebworth some 30 miles from London.

As a result of her mother's interest in theosophy,[2] Mary met Krishnamurti when she was a child: she knew him from 1911 until his death in 1986.

In the 1920s, her father was working on his buildings at Delhi. Mary visited India with her mother and went to Australia, staying at The Manor, a centre run by Charles Webster Leadbeater in Mosman, New South Wales,[3] while Krishnamurti and his brother Nitya stayed at another house nearby. Lutyens stayed there for some time, which eventually provided her with material for her book Krishnamurti: The Years of Awakening.[4]


Apart from her works on Krishnamurti, Lutyens also wrote a number of novels, and biographies of John Ruskin, Effie Gray and her own family. In her book Millais and the Ruskins she put forward the controversial argument that Ruskin could not consummate his marriage because he was repelled by his wife's pubic hair.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Mary Lutyens married twice. Her first marriage, in 1930, to Anthony Rupert Herbert Franklin Sewell, a stockbroker, produced one daughter, Amanda Lutyens, but ended in divorce in 1945. Her second marriage, in 1945, was to J. G. Links, art historian and royal furrier, and ended with his death in 1997.



  1. ^ "Edith Penelope) Mary Lutyens (1909–1999)". National Portrait Gallery. Retrieved 13 July 2016. 
  2. ^ ODNB
  3. ^ The Theosophist (Theosophical Society), August 1997, pp. 460–463
  4. ^ Krishnamurti: The Years of Awakening by Mary Lutyens (John Murray), 1975, p. 202
  5. ^ Lutyens, M. (1967), Millais and the Ruskins, p. 191