packing like Ottoline

as a young woman traveling to italy- Ottoline writes in her memoirs:

I had also another brilliant idea, which was to put strong pockets all around the thick, full, red cape I wore, into which I packed a rampart of books. It made my cape extraordinarily heavy, and I had to walk with the utmost balance and care not to fall over. It was surprising and rather hard to anyone whom I happened to knock against. *

She filled the cape pockets with volumes of Ruskin.
Ottoline continued to have a thing for capes-Ruskin, I'm not sure.

Saint Fabiola- or girl in a red cape by Henner,  Henner assemblage by Francis Alÿs- a collection of nearly identical paintings and other reproductions of 4th century Saint Fabiola from the nineteenth century by the French artist Jean-Jacques Henner
* probably around 1895.
all Ruskin here at the Ruskin library

1 comment:

  1. AnonymousJuly 29, 2011

    we bet Ottoline would have enjoyed a long afternoon's elegant conversation in the white garden at sissinghurst and even volunteered a hour's pruning while Vita popped inside to check on Nigel's prep and ignore the telegram from Violet. Ottoline's Ruskin would have come in useful for twilight reading in the garden.

    we love your blog(s).

    staying inside. too hot to think in NYC. even though we have a day off. the interweb is much more clement we feel.