Ottolinisms: Billy

There are infinite stories, remembrances from Ottoline's contemporaries and from her own memoirs, diaries, letters & photograph that give US a  vivid portrait of  her "life in full." Her memoirs were edited by a great friend- Robert Gathorne Hardy.  In The Early Memoirs of Ottoline Morrell his introduction is full of "Ottolinisms" and  it is a pure delight to read. Many of the things here at Ottoline Divine will be glimpses from her circle of friends , giving US that portrait we desire of this most uncommon female in an indulgently & effortlessly-for the sheer enjoyment.

His remembrances are at one moment of the lionizing sort and at the next turn we are given a razor sharp slant on the Lady's character.
Was she malicious he asks? What he concludes is -Yes, can't we all be so? Any accusations that she was- are quelled by the woman's charm  & in the testimony he gives of these moments.

This particularly struck me as amusing and very human.

from Roberth Gathorne Hardy's introduction:

ottoline with her dog of choice- the pug.
from her photographic albums, captioned "O" in her distinctive hand
from the NPG here.

... a guest, whom I will call billy was leaving in the phaeton.

'Good-bye,billy,' she cried, waving her hand, as it moved towards the corner which would take it out of sight;

'good-bye dear billy!', waving still and calling always a little more shrilly as the distance increased:

'good-bye, billy; come again',

and then, as the phaeton vanished, Like an old pug, isn't he?'


  1. Oh how you will, if you haven't already, reading "Ottoline, The Life of Lady Ottoline Morrell," by Sandra & Robert Darroch (Coward, McCann & Geoghegan, Inc. 1975).