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?


  1. I, too, am a devoted admirer of Ottoline. Her diaries, as well as her photo albums are very interesting, of course, and provide so much insight into the lady, her thinking, and the many young writers, artists, and great minds she helped nurture and cultivate when she opened the doors of her houses and displayed such gracious hospitality. I feel I would have loved her deeply and passionately, not necessarily in the romantic sense, but more as a devoted and appreciative friend. Thank you for your blog. I stumbled upon it quite by accident. Glad I did.

  2. James, delighted that you found my blog. it is certainly an "in full" context to Ottoline. I want to pick up the pace but my other blog keeps me busy. I find many current images that instantly say Ottoline. My goal her is to keep her inspiration alive with the new-old-and what she was about.
    thanks for the comment and follow along if you'd like. Best, pgt