“Late May”*

*third chapter of Juliet Nicolson’s The Perfect Summer, 1911 (2006).

“Winston (Churchill) was not known for his elegance of dress (the Tailor and Cutter magazine had described the clothes he wore at his marriage as “one of the greatest failures as a wedding garment we have ever seen, giving the wearer a sort of glorified coachman appearance”), but arrived at Buckingham Palace wearing “full dress uniform”, according to Lady Ottoline (see post of 22.11.2019), wife of the MP Philip Morrell, at whose house in Bedford Square in Bloomsbury he had dined earlier. Lady Ottoline thought he looked like a “Mock Napoleon”. Among the other guests at dinner that evening were a young and beautiful writer, Virginia Stephen#, and Roger Fry, the artist responsible for bringing the controversial Post-Impressionist exhibition to London the preceding winter. Winston dominated the party, speaking of politics in detail and making the subject sound to Ottoline “like high mathematics for he is very rhetorical and has a volcanic complicated way of talking.” Winston did manage to abandon politics for long enough to placate her by admiring two etchings by Picasso that were hanging in her hall…”

#would marry Leonard Woolf in 1912

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s