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Memoirs of Lady Ottoline Morrell: A study in…
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Memoirs of Lady Ottoline Morrell: A study in friendship, 1873-1915

by Ottoline Morrell, Robert Gathorne-Hardy (Editor)

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Come On! This woman and her husband lived a daring open marriage, w/a vigorous sex life with distinguished men and women of both sexes, and not a HINT of that appears in her memoirs!! She periodically avers how much she loves Philip, the husband, how he of all people is most suited to her. I gather he was out fathering children with other women. Honestly! How can anyone respect what else she has to say when such a large, fundamental portion of her life is omitted? Answer: you can't.

Having dismissed the book for credibility and honesty, it was nonetheless an easy read. Her early childhood was eerily like Bertrand Russell's--very lonely. Must be an upper-class English thing. Lots of religious mania as a substitute for human relationships. That too reminds me of other female bios of the period. The book actually ends w/her and Russell talking in a picturesque setting somewhere, date unclear. They had a lot in common, no doubt.

Yes, it was interesting to read about her and Philip's political work as liberal reformers, and also about some of the male artists and writers with whom she was most close. (Apparently VERY close). Her continual theme was that of her personal inadequacy, indecision, stupidity, vapidness, etc. A consistent theme. Assuming some level of accuracy, one can only assume that her face, figure, apparent wealth, and supportive admiration and hospitality were what drew and kept these men of genius and distinction to her. I kept thinking that if she had been trained for a profession or occupation, she might have had a much more positive internal self-image than what she consistently avers she does. I rather felt sorry for her, but having found out that much of the gratification and excitement of her life was completely omitted, her 'pity party' about her personal inadequacies rings hollow. ( )
  cserpent | Oct 12, 2009 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Ottoline Morrellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gathorne-Hardy, RobertEditormain authorall editionsconfirmed
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