Alida Monro (née Klemantaski) by Lady Ottoline Morrell, October 1930.
National Portrait Gallery. Licensed under CC-BY-NC-ND 3.0

Alida Monro, née Klemantaski


Alida Monro, née Klemantaski (1892–1969) married Monro on 27 Mar. 1920, having fallen in love with him in 1913. F. S. Flint wrote in 1933, of Alida:

She was a young and beautiful woman who was earnestly bent on doing some good in the world, and who, to an equal degree with Harold, had a passion for poetry. She wanted to be a doctor, and to spend her life rescuing prostitutes; but Harold Monro persuaded her that, if she worked in the Poetry Bookshop, she would be doing as great a piece of social work as she would by the practice of medicine … She had an incisive mind and a keen sense of the ridiculous. Before the laughter in her cool, clear eyes, many of Harold Monro’s phantasms and romantic illusions must have vanished, never to return again … For the rest of his life, Alida Klemantaski was at his side in the Bookshop, his chief help, assistant and guide. He himself said that, without her, he could not have carried on.

She was a staunch friend to TSE, most especially during the period of his separation from Vivien Eliot in 1932–3; and Eliot reciprocated her loyalty: in after years, when she fell into hardship, he gave her assistance.