Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 26, Number 1, Spring 2014 Page: 31
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This photograph of Cosette I-aust-Newton pates
from the early 1920s, when she began to pro-
mote herself as a lecturer on culture and the
an advocate of "free love."31
During the early 1920s, Faust-Newton
seemed to be seeking to re-invent herself, as if
the doors of academia had clanged shut behind
her at SMU. Though she held membership in the
Modern Language Association until 1928, she was
never again on the payroll at a university. The first
year of the Roaring Twenties found Cosette ex-
ploring options for her life away from SMU, as a
student at the Baylor College of Medicine.32
Early in 1921 Cosette began giving local lec-
tures on the "Irish Question." In Wichita Falls,
amid pink and lavender tulle decorations, she read
aloud contemporary poetry by Irish nationalist
rebels Lady Gregory, who was a collaborator of
William ButlerYeats, and Padraic Pearse, a martyr
of the bloody Easter Uprising, who had been ex-
ecuted by the English in May 1916.33 The poetry
of Irish nationalist radicals was a smashing success
in Wichita Falls; the Dallas Woman's Forum heard
the same lecture, but the Dallas newspaper cover-
age was non-committal.34
She completed an undergraduate law degree
at the University of Chicago, applying for a pass-
port in Cook County, Illinois, on July 12, 1921,
shaving some years off her age, asserting that she
was born in 1891 rather than 1889.3 She intend-
ed to travel to England and France on the Albania,
which would depart from New York harbor on
August 20, 1921. Ship manifest records indicate
that she returned to America on the Empress of
India on Sept 29, 1921. In less than a year, she
would return from another trip abroad, coming
into New York on the Aquitania. For the better
part of the next decade, she would routinely sail
in and out of such ports as LeHavre, Cherbourg,
New York, San Francisco, Southampton, and Tri-
este, sometimes shaving a few years off her age
and sometimes listing her status as "single," but al-
ways listing her address as "4005 Miramar, Dallas,
Texas."36 She also completed her medical degree
at Baylor and in 1925 published a paper suggesting
that pellagra, the scourge of the Southern poor,
could be remedied simply by augmenting the
diet.37 Later in her life, Faust-Newton would oc-
casionally mention a "degree" from the Sorbonne;
she does appear to have had a brief stint on the
Left Bank in Paris in 1924-1925, amid a throng of
other American expatriate women seeking liber-
ties not afforded them in their hometowns.38
By 1927 she had set her sights on the Orient.
A report on her impending departure in The Dal-
las Morning News suggests she was under profes-
sional management: "Woman Will Circle Globe,"
the headline read, listing her freakish array of aca-
demic degrees. She embarked upon a year's tour
that would take her Honolulu, Japan, China, the
Philippines, "Siam," India, Syria, "Arabia," "The
Holy Land," Egypt, Italy and France."39 By 1930,
Cosette Faust-Newton was a seasoned profes-
sional of the American lecture circuit, having em-
braced a new profession that shared more affini-
ties with vaudeville and the grandiose claims of
P. T. Barnum than with Radcliffe or Harvard. An
undated publicity flyer from this time shows an as-
tonishing physical transformation in Cosette; she
LEGACIES Spring 2014 3'1
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Dallas Historical Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 26, Number 1, Spring 2014, periodical, Spring 2014; Dallas, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth586972/m1/33/?q=cosette&rotate=270: accessed October 23, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.