'Brave New World' author Aldous Huxley's widow, writer Laura Archera Huxley, dies at 96
The Associated Press
Saturday, December 15, 2007
LOS ANGELES: Laura Archera Huxley, the widow of "Brave New World" author Aldous Huxley who preserved his legacy for nearly half a century while authoring her own books and continuing his exploration of human potential, has died. She was 96.
Huxley died from cancer on Thursday night at her Hollywood Hills home, said Karen Pfeiffer, her legal ward, who helps direct Huxley's nonprofit foundation called Children: Our Ultimate Investment.
"She said she was ready (to go) and she was happy about the life she'd lived. She felt complete," Pfeiffer said.
During the seven years of her marriage to the British writer and for decades after, Huxley explored the vistas of psychotherapy, New Age spirituality, consciousness-raising and natural health regimens.
A photograph on her Web site shows her sitting cross-legged under a tree, holding a sunflower.
She and her husband experimented with LSD, and well into her 90s she was doing yoga and other exercises.
"She never watched TV without being on the treadmill," Pfeiffer said.
Childless herself, Huxley created her foundation in the 1970s, dedicating it to "the nurturing of the possible human."
The foundation has conducted school seminars in the U.S. and Britain for at-risk teenagers on issues such as anger management and pregnancy prevention.
"Our mission is that every child is loved, respected and prepared for before conception," according to its mission statement.
Huxley also believed in the idea that communities should have a "caressing room" where the elderly could go to hold infants and relieve loneliness.
"She was so beautifully eccentric and such a visionary," Pfeiffer said.
Born in Turin, Italy, in 1911, Huxley was a violin prodigy who performed at Carnegie Hall as a teenager in the 1940s. She went on to play with the Los Angeles Philharmonic but later gave up the violin to pursue other interests, eventually becoming a film editor at RKO Studios.
In 1948, she met Huxley and his wife, Maria, while trying to interest him in writing a film she wanted to make. The movie never happened but she became friends with the Huxleys. After Maria died in 1955, Huxley proposed and they were married the next year.
Aldous Huxley is best known for his 1932 novel "Brave New World" about an inhumane future totalitarian welfare state based on eugenics, behavioral conditioning and mass consumerism. His other major works include "Eyeless in Gaza" (1936) and "The Devils of Loudun" (1952).
Huxley died of cancer in 1963. After his death, his widow devoted herself to preserving his writings and legacy.
"It was tremendously important to her," Pfeiffer said.
Huxley wrote several books herself, including a 1963 best-selling self-help guide, "You Are Not the Target," and a memoir of her life with Huxley called "This Timeless Moment."
Pfeiffer, who was a child when she began living with Huxley, has a daughter, Kaya. Huxley also is survived by a nephew, Piero Ferrucci of Florence, Italy, and a niece, Paola Ferrucci, of Turin, Italy.