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.