From: Bohemia in London (1907), by Arthur Ransome:
“And now, to-day, in this London Bohemia of ours, whose existence is denied by the ignorant, all these different atmospheres are blended into as many colours as the iridescence of a street gutter…
…we stopped at the end of a short street. “Her name is Gypsy,” he said dramatically…Through a window on the left, I had caught a glimpse of a silver lamp, and a brazen candlestick, and a weird room in shaded lamplight. I was tiptoe with excitement. For I was very young.
Some one broke off in a song inside, and quick steps shuffled in the passage. The door was flung open, and we saw a little round woman, scarcely more than a girl, standing in the threshold. She looked as if she had been the same age all her life, and would be so to the end. She was dressed in an orange-coloured coat that hung loose over a green skirt, with black tassels sewn all over the orange silk…”
From: A Slender Reputation (1994), by Kathleen Hale:
“There was Hoppé, a photographer of vision, who broke away from the tradition of prosaic representation, and Ethelbert White, a painter much appreciated for his landscapes. Bertie played the guitar and sang while his wife Betty pranced, bounced and gyrated in wild, gypsy-like dances of her own invention; they were in great demand for ‘Bohemian’ parties. Betty was apt to become over-excited by her own performance and unable to stop, while Bertie seemed mesmerised by her whizzing vitality.”
“Ethelbert White (26 February 1891 – 5 March 1972) was an English artist and wood engraver. He was an early member of the Society of Wood Engravers and a founding member of the English Wood Engraving Society in 1925. He also worked in oils and water colour. He was a member of the Royal Watercolour Society, and exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy.
White came of a wealthy background, and had no need to sell his work to live. In 1919 he married Elizabeth Crofton Dodwell, better known as Betty, and in the same year studied at St John’s Wood School of Art in London. In the early 1920s he bought an original horse drawn gypsy caravan which he drove around London; it also became the summer home for the couple as they drove around Surrey and Sussex. They enjoyed the simple life, but it was the simple life of the rich, as White bought a second home in Amberley as a studio for the summer months.
They loved parties, and Bertie and Betty were much in demand as entertainers, White on the guitar and Betty singing. They were a very sociable and loving couple. White became president of the Artists’ General Benevolent Institution in 1933.
White was a traditional English landscape artist, and his subject matter was mostly the scenery of Southern England. After his death there were several memorial exhibitions, notably at the Fine Art Society in 1979. A centenary exhibition of his wood engravings was held at the Pallant Gallery in 1991.”