Maude [Hutchins] is best known for her novel “Victorine,” which the New York Review of Books Classics series is reissuing in August. The catalogue copy says it all: “Hutchins had one theme—sex—which she explored with an extravagant, needling, disconcerting genius.” The novel, about a twelve-year-old upper-middle-class New England girl on the “visionary” cusp of puberty (Castle’s word), sounds ultimately less interesting than the unwritten biography of Maude, who has probably been given a slanted portrayal in the respectful biographies of her husband.
University of Chicago students would recognise that surname. Robert Hutchins was President at the University of Chicago from 1929 to 1951, and was largely responsible for two defining characteristics of a UofC education — the Common Core and a relatively lousy reputation in most sports. Hutchins took the UofC out of the Big Ten and halted the football programme — something that the Athletics Department probably rues till this day considering the importance of football to, well, just Americans (esp. males).