When novelist George Davis, member of the Algonquin Round Table and the young literary editor for Harper's Bazaar, found the sprawling three-story brownstone at 7 Middagh street, he invited two of his favorite people to move in with him—Carson McCullers and poet W.H. Auden. Frequently Gypsy Rose Lee, a statuesque striptease artist and burlesque entertainer who was also friends with George Davis, joined the other three for an evening meal or a jaunt to bars on nearby Sand Street.
McCullers was said to find Gypsy Rose Lee fascinating. She towered over the petite Carson and charmed her with her magnetic charisma—and both women came to hold their own with the gay repartee of W.H. Auden and George Davis. Auden was humorous and loved to play the clown; Davis was more genial and intellectual. The four of them, especially after Lee moved into the house in the fall of 1940, spent a great deal of time philosophizing, entertaining and cavorting. Over time, McCullers and Lee's friendship blossomed and they became close confidants during the year they lived together at February House. It is said to be on a walk with Lee when McCullers first imagined the "we of me" scene that later shaped her novella The Member of the Wedding.