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Title graphic: Friends
1: Marjorie Fass
Frank Bridge, Marjorie Fass and Ethel Bridge

Frank Bridge, Marjorie Fass and Ethel Bridge

Marjorie Fass was both a talented artist - her favourite colour was jade - and a musician, having studied the piano, violin and singing at Brussels (c. 1904-7). She would have pursued a career as a professional singer but for continuing ill-health. She had a lively, inquiring mind - she could read and write in four languages - and was deeply interested in all the latest artistic developments. She first met the Bridges during the First World War when they were neighbours in Bedford Gardens, London, and remained a very good friend ever since, believing in Bridge's music wholeheartedly.

She was a tall, distinguished-looking woman with an immensely enthusiastic character, and was devoted to both Frank and Ethel, as indeed they were to her. To Marjorie Fass's credit, her close relationship with the Bridges did not pose a threat to their marriage but rather the reverse. Both Frank and Ethel could rely at any time upon her sympathy and understanding on both domestic and artistic matters, and side by side with Ethel, she 'suffered more often than rejoiced with Frank, but helped him tremendously'. (Letter, Daphne Oliver to Trevor Bray, 2 August 1976.)

One of the most important influences she had on the Bridges was her 'discovery' of Friston, her first visit taking place in 1921, when she stayed at Crowlink Farm. She invited the Bridges to join her for the Easter weekend and Bridge was inspired to start work on his Piano Sonata. After the building of 'Friston Field', which she supervised since the Bridges were in the USA at the time, she also had her own house, 'Denshers', built at Friston, virtually next door to the Bridges.