the years 1904 & 1906 I will pass one side-save to say they were disagreeable and painful, at this time they do not appear to ME very significant..

Perhaps I shall return to them if days of Health are given to Me.

Twins were born on May 18th, three days later the boy child, christened Hugh died. Julian the surviving twin would be an only child.

photograph from Ottoline's personal scrap books at the NPG, here.


Ottoline's brother-Portland's estate of Welbeck at Christmas

Christmas is one of the events of the season at Welbeck and the Household Ball its main festivity. The Ball is held to celebrate the Duke's birthday, which falls on December 28th. It is held in the vast underground picture-gallery, with the subjects of the old painters looking down from their canvases upon the gay dancers-

Winifred Anna Cavendish Bentinck (née Dallas Yorke),
6th Duchess of Portland,1912 
portrait by Philip de László

Choice exotics, stately palms and seasonable shrubs add to the variety of the decorations. The band is almost hidden in a bower of foliage in the centre of the great saloon, and there are 500 guests of all ranks of society from peers and peeresses to the humblest domestic servant.


About ten o'olock the Duke and Duchess appear with their house party, and dancing commences with a Circassion Circle. The Duke has the housekeeper for partner and the Duchess the house-steward, while the aristocratic guests find partners among other chiefs of departments in the Welbeck household.

portrait by John Singer Sargent, 1902.

 With midnight comes supper, served in two adjacent underground rooms, that owe their excavation to the grim hobby of the old Duke. All the festive party sit down to supper at the same time, the Duke's French chef providing the menu. The house-steward presides and proposes the health of the ducal family. This is welcomed in the manner it deserves and then dancing is resumed in the picture-gallery.

On another evening the children on the Welbeck estate are invited to a party when the head of a giant Christmas-tree is reared in the centre of the ball-room, laden with toys for distribution to them, and the pleasures of the entertainment are varied with the tricks of a conjurer and ventriloquist. Thus is afforded a glimpse of the happy relations existing between the Portland family and their retainers.

this Christmas story from Nothinghamshire history here

a tree at Welbeck, 1807

It's notable that in 1807 William Cavendish-Bentinck, Duke of Portland, then prime minister, set up a Christmas tree at Welbeck Abbey, Nottinghamshire, ‘for a juvenile party’.

 the third Duke of Portland

another LOOK at the CaVenDish BenTinck Connection

Lady Ottoline Morrell & William Arthur Cavendish-Bentinck, 6th Duke of Portland 1935
from the NPG, here

There are 2 main strands in OTTOLINE"S GENEALOGY. The CAVENDISH line goes back to TUDOR times and BESS of HARDKWICK, whose second husband was Sir William Cavendish and whose last husband was the Sixth Earl of Shrewsbury.

 Young Elizabeth "Bess" Hardwick. ©NTPL/Angelo Hornak (at left) & Sir William Cavendish (1505?-1557). ©NTPL/Hawkley Studios

Bess' second youngest son, WILLIAM CAVENDISH, founded the DEVONSHIRE, or senior side of the Newcastle line which descended through a series of Heiresses until 1734 when William CAVENDISH, the Second Duke of Portland, married Margeret Cavendish-Holles-Harley, Ottoline's great-great-grandmother.

 William Bentinck, 2nd Duke of Portland,by James Seymour

 Margaret, Duchess of Portland ,by Michael Dahl

 William Bentinck was the grandson of Hans Willem Bentinck, who came over to England in 188 with WILLIAM of ORANGE (WM III of England).

 Hans Bentinck, 1st Earl of Portland, by Michael Dahl

Hans Willem, a younger member of an old DUTCH family, was a close friend of William III, who created him Earl of Portland. Hans Willem's son Henry was made First Duke of Portland by GEORGE I (mainly because of Hans Willem's efforts in the Hanoverian cause)

first LOOK from OTTOLINE DIVINE on the Connections- Here & Here

read Treasure Hunt for all Derbyshire postings here & the Bess of Hardwick and Wm. Cavendish portraits from there as well

some images & more information at the peerage here


 "where FATE calls"

 Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Bentinck commanding the 7th Dragoon Guards  
painted 1854-1857
by John Ferneley II
& below, Ferneley's
Lieutenant Colonel Arthur Bentinck, 
painted in 1854

Both paintings by Ferneley are of Ottoline Morrell's father more here, tremendous No?

 the paintings are at the York Army Museum
3 Tower Street, York, North Yorkshire, England, YO1 9SB

32 Grosvenor Road, In her Own Words

...after honeymooning in Italy, visiting friends, the lovely Berensons, ah-that is a story for another day. We settled into married life.  Settled, a word that unsettles me, I confess.

"The first months of our return home were spent in settling into our house 32 Grosvenor Road. We went before that to No. 36, a furnished house belonging to Percy Feilding." Doing, Assembling staff and arranging household matters.

Philip went to his office- while I busied myself with decoration and establishment of the house. I would meet Philip for luncheon and in the evenings Philip would read aloud to me-poetry, sometimes Gibbons, sometimes Macaulay's History.

Gibbon writes
"A heart to resolve, a head to contrive, and a hand to execute."  

I took this to heart &  threw myself into decorating the rooms of  No. 32.

 from Every Women's Encyclopaedia

" I had a sitting room on one of the top floors overlooking the river. (the Thames)" Perched so high-it seemed as if I were suspended over the water.

 Georges Lemmen, Views of the Thames, 1892.

"I loved to watch the blue evening lights and the yellow gas lamps and see the great barges being pulled up the river, the men's figures outlined against the lights."
I filled this room and my boudoir with silk pillows and my many books-

"There was always endless work in arranging our house, which really became very lovely. The drawing room was panelled pale grey, and the curtains a vivid rose-pink Chinese silk."

(designer Veere Greeney's rooms evoke something of a sense of the rooms as they might have been)

"Quite surprising, Philip has had great energy and taste, and devoted himself to making our little house perfect. His taste was so architectural and accurate, at first it was quite bewildering to me, who was not accustomed to so much care in details of furnishing and house decoration,
but I soon learn my lesson and was stimulated to many developments of my own, more romantic and wilder inventions , he curbing and pruning."

Those more romantic ,wilder inventions would return, time and time again at home and in my heart.

(in writing this story-I have used Quotation Marks to indicate OTTOLINE'S Words. All other text is my own-assuming Otts. Voice)


 OUR Wedding

February 8th, 1902 

Ottoline Violet Anne Cavendish-Bentinck
Philip Morrell

St. Peter's Eaton Square.

inside St. Peter's

OTTOLINE in 1903

 the Groom & the Bride

O perfect Love, all human thought transcending,
lowly we kneel in prayer before thy throne,
that theirs may be the love which knows no ending,
whom thou forevermore dost join in one.

O perfect Life, be thou their full assurance,
of tender charity and steadfast faith,
of patient hope and quiet, brave endurance,
with childlike trust that fears nor pain nor death.

Grant them the joy which brightens earthly sorrow;

grant them the peace which calms all earthly strife,
and to life's day the glorious unknown morrow
that dawns upon eternal love and life.
Dorothy Frances Blomfield Gurney, 1883

photographed in 1903 by George Beresford

The Brides Maids


 Victoria Cavendish-Bentinck, from 1916
portriat by de Laszlo
My Cousin
Lady Violet Manners (Charteris)
portrait by John Singer Sargent, 1916
( daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Rutland (sister of Marjorie Manners, Marchioness of Anglesey, and Lady Diana Manners, who married Duff Cooper).

also- Philip's neice, Dorothy Warren

No one could have been kinder or more generous than my family  were to me. My brother-Portland gave Me away.

William Cavendish-Bentinck,
6th Duke of Portland, photograph by Elliott & Fry, 1900

2 of MY BRothers
Lord Charles Cavendish-Bentinck & Lord Henry Cavendish-Bentinck
photograph by Alexander Bassano, 1900

at the wedding told Philip, My youngest brother Lord Charles told Philip, 'Well, I am glad, I am not in your shoes. I wouldn't undertake her for anything.' 
Nor did My Lord Charles deliver a present.

A new thoroughly independent Life had begun.

"I was very Pleased..."

OTTOLINE'S choice to marry seems to ME  a bit -As if doing the inevitable- with someone- this someone being Philip Morrell. She chose well.

1901 brought about a meeting with & the reticent courtship of Philip Morrell & By the close of the year - the same reaction from Ottoline-the reticent acceptance. No doubt  the pair were fond of each other-likely the arrangement was ideal for Ottoline, this was a woman destined to FALL in & OUT & IN & out of LOVE many many times in her LIFE. She actually needed the stability of a real friend, a companion -someone she had great affection for and she found it in PHILIP. While the pair were parting at Euston station for the holidays, Philip gave Ottoline a bouquet of Lily of the Valley.  I think this might have just cinched it for Mr. Morrell.

 I was very pleased with a lovely Bunch of Lilies of the Valley that he brought to the station, and treasure it all the days that I was a t Welbeck. My old friend Mildred de Lotbiniere travelled down with me in the train, and we discussed the situation. I have a vivid impression of OUR talk, she and I sitting side by side in the railway carriage and the bunch of Lilies between US, larger in importance than in Size. She was on  the whole favourably impressed, and at this I felt disturbed and distracted and undecided, but yet with A Happy Feeling underneath of close companionship and LOVE.

In the Language of FLOWERS-something very much spoken in Ottoline's Day, the Lily of the Valley represents  the Return of happiness and A purity of heart.  The sentiment says You've made my LIFE complete. The Legend of the Lily of the Valley claims it is the Flower that sprang from Eve's tears when she was banished from the Garden of Eden.

 What lady wouldn't be carried away?

On her return to London though Ottoline was not well- 
I lay tossing in bed undecided what to answer. At last i made the plunge and wired to him to

The answer came that he was returning at once.

On February 8th 1902, at St. Peter's Eaton Square. The Bentincks drew a sigh of relief.


OTT, 1916 at Garsington with friends, 
OTT at far right, the only one looking  remotely classically Greek

LES Trois Grâces
at the Louvre

The marble sculpture of the Three Graces at the Louvre is an ancient Roman copy after a Greek original, restored in 1609 by Nicolas Cordier for Cardinal Scipione Borghese. The Three Graces’ are the Charites: Aglaea (Beauty), Euphrosyne (Mirth) & Thalia (Festivities).  According to Homer, the Three were part of the retinue of Aphrodite & daughters of Zeus & Eurynome, though some legends portray them as the daughters of Dionysus and Aphrodite or of Helios and the naiad Aegle. Typical- with these gods & royals -so hard to know who one's father is-


HADYN GWYNNE is fluent in French and Italian. She studied Modern Languages at the University of Warwick before taking a five year lectureship in Italy, where she taught English. She also found the time to drive around the United States before becoming an actress in her mid-twenties, first coming to notice on television in the sharp comedy series set in a television newsroom, "Drop the Dead Donkey" (1990). She is also known for her roles in medical series "Peak Practice" (1993) and the police drama "Mersey Beat" (2001) though more recently she has played in stage musicals 'Billy Elliot' and 'Ziegfeld'. She lives in London with her partner Jason Phipps, a psychotherapist, and their two sons. (from IMDb)

She is an Olivier Award nominated British actress. Nominated for the 2009 Tony Award for Best Performance for a Featured Actress in a Musical for "Billy Elliot"
In 2002 she starred in the TV Drama for the BBC The Secret playing the character of Emma Faraday.
Her theatre work has included a variety of regional and London based appearances, from Bolton Octagon in Hedda Gabler, to Richard Cheshire's Way of the World appearing in London's West End productions of Ziegfeld, City of Angels and Billy Elliot the Musical at the Victoria Palace Theatre, for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award.[2] She reprised her role as Mrs Wilkinson in the Broadway production of Billy Elliot, which opened at the Imperial Theatre on November 13, 2008.[3] Haydn has been awarded the Outer Critics Circle Award, Theatre World Award, and Drama Desk Award for her performance in Billy Elliot. She was also nominated for a 2009 Tony Award. Gwynne has also performed in numerous productions for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her television appearances are now more focused on shorter dramas, such as the role of Julius Caesar's wife, Calpurnia, in the TV series Rome. She also appeared in the first Christmas special episode of Midsomer Murders.
She has most recently starred in an episode of Lewis in the first of a new series (2008). She appeared in the first episode of Series 2, "And the Moonbeams Kiss the Sea", playing the character of Sandra Walters.
In 2010 she was also filming a film called Hunky Dory which also stars Minnie Driver and was filmed around Swansea, Wales.
Gwynne is due to perform at the Almeida Theatre in Islington, London in a performance of Becky Shaw[4] which runs from January 20 until March 5, 2011. She is also appearing in a second episode of the Midsomer Murders series 14 called "Dark Secrets" which was aired in Britain in 2011.
Haydn is also starring in the Shakespeare play Richard III alongside Kevin Spacey at The Old Vic Theatre in London as part of The Bridge Project from 18th June until 11th September 2011.  (from Wikipedia)

born 1957.
and she''s 5'10", and bears a striking resemblance to Ottoline Divine.



Ottoline in CARRINGTON


Ottoline's best lines from CARRINGTON-
Lady Ottoline Morrell: You know as well as I do it's a sickness with Carrington. A girl of that age still a virgin. It's absurd.
Lytton Strachey: I was still a virgin at her age.
Lady Ottoline Morrell: But that's my whole point. Don't you see ? So was I. Is there to be no progress ?

 Mark Gertler and OTT

I watched the movie CARRINGTON recently.  Dora Carrington, a part of Ottoline's circle, was often at Garsington, Ottoline's famed home-yet to be touched in these pages. In the movie Ottoline works to draw the younger Carrington into an intimate relationship with artist Mark Gertler.  It would seem ---if only Carrington would let go and have sex with the frustrated artist all his problems, hers, and Ottoline's would be solved.

Mark & Dora

At one point Ottoline and Gertler were involved, another of Ottoline's many men-Yes, indeed. Gertler was going in one door while  Bertrand Russell was heading in the other. Ottoline and Gertler maintained a longstanding friendship despite their early romantic entanglements and Gertler is seen in many of Ottoline's scrapbook photographs now archived in the National Portrait Gallery.

  Mark, Julian, Ottoline's daughter & OTT

In the mix  from Ottoline's scrapbooks  and the movie as well was her close friend LYTTON STRACHEY. Strachey was solicited by Gertler and Ottoline to help woo Carrington for Gertler, and so goes LOVE- Carrington began her great onesided love affair with STRACHEY & a loving friendship between the pair. Their relationship is much of what the movie revolves around.

from the 1995 film  Carrington
Thompson as Carrington with Strachey played brilliantly by Jonathan Pryce 

The movie's  depiction  of Ottoline however is so unlike the sketches drawn in all of the materials I have read and so disappointing. She is frowsy and dissipated. Penelope Wilton, a great actress, plays Ottoline-most recently in Downton Abbey playing Isobel Crawley, always trying to upset the Dowager Countess of Grantham.

While interesting- I will have to wait to see a great portrayal of our great Lady-perhaps in a biopic all her own, but who?


Ottoline suffered the frustrations of growing into her looks-her awkwardness had arrested itself into a unusual soignee and she began to revel in the attention and allure of her unique looks.

Ottoline, just prior to her marriage, is described by Miranda Seymour in her biography of OttoLine:

She was just over six foot-taller than most men-with turquoise eyes, wavy red-gold hair, a pale skin and a graceful, sliding walk. A large nose and the strong chin of the Bentincks prevented her from being a conventional beauty:; her appearance conveyed something more rich and complex.

She was like nobody else.

AXEL iv, a postscript


My home shall be open for the sun and the wind and the voices of the sea – like a Greek temple – and light, light, light everywhere! Axel Munthe

 A man can stand a lot as long as he can stand himself. He can live without hope, without friends, without books, even without music, as long as he can listen to his own thoughts. Axel Munthe

After an eye illness Munthe retired to a nearby ancient tower in the world he created, there he wrote The Story of San Michele, a history of the villa, interwoven with stories from his own experiences. The book was a run-away best seller all over the world.


Ottoline's heart was Fated to be broken. She was under Dr. Axel Munthe's spell but when she returned to England all her fears closed in to surround her and realities fell hard. She sensed Munthe would not be the man she thought she needed in her Life.

I Feel there is something in you that you will never surrender to ME I was hopelessly ignorant of the complexity of man's psychology; I could not understand the hesitations of this man who professed to love me.

The pair was destined to meet once more when Ottoline was again in Italy- this time at the Villa of her Aunt. Ottoline's cousin Violet Paget undertook the trip to Rome to consult the Doctor about her own health-a ruse to seek some end for better or worse to this chapter in Ottoline's Life.

ottoline wrote of the scene in her MEMOIRS:

I went to his house, the house that Keats had died in waited in his patient's waiting room. There I found laid on the table for  the public to read the white vellum BROWnING that had been my Own precious possession and that i had given to him... I have no clear memory of what he said to me... He told me he considered me a religious Maniac, that he had quite enough nerve cases amongst his Patients, that to have one a as Wife would be too much... He embrace me and I left, saddened and more hurt and torn and hopeless than EVER... I felt almost glad with that odd sense of being born again; with Power to win, unshackled to start afresh, a new self Replacing the old one:


she added this passage from PROUST-

at the same time as forgetfulness, an almost complete suppression of suffering and the prospect of recovery, for he was none other than one of those alternative selves which fate holds in reserve for us, and which in spite of ourselves - paying no more attention to our prayers than a clear-sighted and all the more authoritarian doctor - it substitutes for our sorely wounded self, in a carefully timed operation. Moreover, it effects this renewal as the need arises, as happens with the wear and repair of bodily cells, but we take no notice unless our old self was nursing some great wound, some painful foreign body, which we are astonished no longer to find, in our marvelling at having become someone else, someone else for whom his predecessor's suffering is no more than the suffering of a third party, a suffering which we can discuss compassionately because we do not feel it. And we are even quite unmoved at having passed through so much suffering, for we remember only vaguely having suffered.

photograph by Josef Sudek, 1942.


Baron de Meyer Portrait 1907

The Ottoline Divine Story endeavored here means creating a mood-an aesthetic- that Ottoline would like, love actually, and thrive in.
One of the central inspirations is her Memoirs and letters. I have a small beautifully put together book of letters-correspondence between Ottoline and the Poet, D'Arcy Cresswell called  Dear Lady Ginger,  edited by Helen Shaw.

Michelangelo's Profile with Oriental Headdress in Sanguine

Ottoline was a copious correspondent-Always writing in a Signature ink color- Sanguine -on paper described in Dear Lady Ginger as a pale tinted quality paper with a printed letterhead of the Gower Street, London, address.

Along with this- a description of her hand writing- " The Many Capitals, an inseparable part of Lady Ottoline's handwriting in her letters."

A Copy of Ottoline's Flourishes of  Script

Though I can not duplicate her exuberance, I have experimented with different fonts and the current one I've used is  Reenie Beenie. There are a number of options and I have changed it several times hoping to create the most authentic style.

There is a reason for it all- the BackGround of the Page is a greyed Orchid- taking cues from the colors preferred by women in their dress prior to World War I. The colors in the de Meyer Portrait Of OTTOLINE reflect this preference.  After the Great War, these colors continued to be used along with the addition of jewel tones-ruby, emerald, topaz and amethyst. Ottoline's own color preferences  would broaden as the times changed too-yet She would never abandon her very Original style-whether it be an ink color or a skirt length.

Another de Meyer autochrome portrait from 1908 of Tamara Karsavina reflect the same colors I've favored in the presentation of OTTOLINE DIVINE.
I adore this portrait and the Era and the Story of OTTOLINE DIVINE-I hope you are enjoying the Journey too.