Emily Lutyens

Date of birth: 
26 Dec 1874
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Date of death: 
03 Jan 1964
Location of death: 
London, England

Lady Emily Lutyens was the wife of the architect Edwin Landseer Lutyens and the mother of five children including Mary Lutyens. She joined the Theosophical Society in 1910 through the introduction of French friends, the Mallets. Drawn by the charisma of Annie Besant, Lutyens was on hand to welcome her back from a trip to India in 1911 with Krishnamurti and Nityananda. Emily Lutyens' two eldest children became friends with Krishnamurti and Nityananda and she saw a great deal of the two boys, taking on a mothering role which developed into an obsessive devotion to Krishnamurti as spiritual leader.

Lutyens, a strict vegetarian, was involved in the production of the Theosophical journal Herald of the Star, and was English representative of the Order of the Star in the East. Her devotion to Krishnamurti led Lutyens to follow him around the world, to Europe, India, Australia and the US. In 1916 Lutyens established an all-India Home Rule movement, holding meetings in her London drawing room. Meanwhile, her husband, Edwin Lutyens, was appointed to New Delhi to plan the new capital city, including the Viceroy's House. He also prepared the plans for a Theosophical Society building in Tavistock Square in 1911, which was requisitioned by the Government in 1920 and became the British Medical Association Headquarters. In 1930, Emily Lutyens followed Krishnamurti in resigning from Theosophy.

Published works: 

A Blessed Girl (London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1953) 

Candles in the Sun (London: Rupert Hart-Davis, 1957)

Contributions to periodicals: 

Herald of the Star

Secondary works: 

Lutyens, Mary, Edwin Lutyens (London: John Murray, 1980) 

Percy, Clayre and Jane Ridley (eds), The Letters of Edwin Lutyens to his Wife Emily (London: Collins, 1985)

Ridley, Jane, The Architect and his Wife: A Life of Edwin Lutyens (London: Chatto & Windus, 2002)

Ridley, Jane, ‘Lutyens , Lady Emily (1874–1964)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) [http://www.oxforddnb.com/view/article/50654]

Archive source: 

Letters to her husband, Royal Institute of British Architects Archive, Victoria & Albert Archive (Drawings Collection), London