Book 4 -- Early Married Life

Chapter IX

The first weeks of our married life we spent in the strictest incog. In the studio flat we had taken in Holland Park Road, next door to Val Prinsep's beautiful house and cheek by jowl with so many beautiful artistic houses. Lord Leighton's, Watts', Marcus Stone's, and others. Phil May had a studio flat opposite to us in the same block as ours; so had Herbert Schmalz (who during the 1914 ­ 1918 war changed his name to Carmichael, as there was such an inveterate feeling against names that sounded German). In fact that little backwater behind High Street, Kensington, was a regular artist's colony. And there we spent our honeymoon.

We didn't go away in the orthodox fashion, as the weather was in one of its worst London moods. Dark, damp and foggy, one simply shuddered to think what it would have been like in the country or by the sea. And our little home was very cosy. We had engaged a very efficient and understanding female domestic, a German woman of the old-fashioned type. Her name was Minna, and hers was a type which, alas! has vanished out of existence for ever. She was awaiting us at the flat with an excellently cooked little dinner. We were supremely and childishly happy.

My dear father was dead, my mother who was in delicate health and who had never really cared for England--not as my father and I did--had gone back to Hungary as soon as she saw me happily and contentedly married. Travelling across the continent of Europe was no longer the slow and complicated affair of one's young days and one could get over from London to Budapest in less than thirty-six hours without stepping out of one's comfortable lit-salon.

However we were not thinking of lits-salon and of Hungary just then. We were going to settle down to work and to work very hard. My mother-in-law was in the last stages of a severe illness and every evening, wet or fine, we went over to see her in her pretty little house in Bedford Park. To get to it we had to go through Hammersmith Broadway, then a very rowdy and none too reputable a district, especially when the customers of the many public-houses were turned out into the streets at closing time. But we were never molested or in any way annoyed.

London crowds, even in their cups, are like that. There is always something in them, even amongst the worst, that restrains them from being offensive to quiet passers-by. At least that has always been my experience; my husband and I went about a great deal in all sorts of highways and byways in London which would have been called disreputable in those days, the like of which in Paris or Brussels or Vienna it was always prudent to avoid.

This was the year when the whole of London was stirred to excitement by the criminal activities of 'Jack the Ripper'. Before I was married I knew little if anything about it, but I know that friends made up parties to go and view the scenes of those horrible crimes. Strangely enough it was during the first week of our marriage that one of those abominations was brought very close to our door. We were returning from our nightly visit in Bedford Park when turning into Holland Park Road we were met by Mr. Alfred Praga, the miniature painter who lived quite close to us. He said hurriedly to my husband: "Take your lady in quickly before crossing the road. Something very unpleasant has happened." And it had.

My husband deposited me in the flat in the care of good old Minna and then went out to see what had actually happened. A wretched woman was lying on the pavement outside Val Prinsep's door, obviously another victim of the mysterious Jack the Ripper. Prinsep, roused by the sound of talking, for a small crowd had already collected and a couple of police had been loudly summoned, begged for as much quiet as was possible. "My wife," he said, "has just given birth to a son. She is none too well. The doctor is with her." I don't know why but this juxtaposition of horrible death and a new innocent life took hold of my imagination as something weird and mystically predestined. And when, twenty or thirty years later I met the man who had been that baby, I wondered whether his inner being had in any way been affected by his quasi-mystical birth.


My husband (it seems funny not to speak of him by his Christian name but his god-parents had treated him very scurvily. 'Montagu' was quite impossible, and its diminutive even worse). Well! he had for some time been engaged in black and white work, illustrations for books and magazine stories--pot-boiling he called it. It certainly was pot-boiling, but in those days it was of a very lucrative and often interesting kind. Such brilliant artists as John Tenniel, John Charlton, Phil May, Linley Sambourne all on Punch, Lucien Davis, the several Wilsons, the Pagets, Raven Hill, and also my husband, held the field. Full-page drawings by those artists in magazines and in the weekly Press were, I venture to say, more appreciated then than are to-day 'Lady Somebody Something walking in the Park with Sir Matthew thingummy' or 'the Duchess of X.Y.Z. at Their Majesty's drawing-room wearing her superb diamond tiara'.

Well! it is all a question of taste and of fashion, of course, and I am the first to admit that editors of magazines and of the illustrated Press know their public and have learned from experience just what Tottie Hoots of Balham and Lilian de Montmorency of Tooting desire to see in their Daily Sketch and Mirror. These modern young ladies don't want to see 'pretty pictures' any more; they want 'actualities', and like to know just how Lady Somebody Something looks when she walks in the Park and how a superb diamond tiara would become them if they happened to possess one.

During the final years of the dying century, a humorous periodical aptly called Pick-me-up was launched under the joint direction of Raven Hill and Arnold Goldsworthy. The former did the weekly political cartoon and Goldsworthy wrote articles on the leading questions of the day and reviewed books and plays in his inimitably witty style. Sime also contributed a full-page drawing every week which shocked the general public just sufficiently to make Pick-me-up one of the great financial successes of humorous publications. He called his series of drawings: 'The Shades'. The first one represented the nether regions with a lot of little demons running helter-skelter about, as if in a state of terror, and the legend below the picture was "Look out, you fellows, she is coming," and the other little demons enquiring "Who?" and the first little demon in awe-struck tones "The new woman!" Another had the approach to the nether regions for its background and sturdy little demons were trundling along barrows laden with paving stones 'First consignment for the New Year' was inscribed below. There were others that were often less funny and sometimes blasphemous.

Whether this had any bearing on the ultimate decline of the circulation of Pick-me-up I am not in a position to say. It certainly was at its apogee during the last years of the century and during the years of the South African War. My husband was commissioned to do a weekly front page drawing for it--in a sort of politico-classical style . . . Britannia and so on, more 'classical' than politico, I'm thinking.

Anyway, the public who loved its Pick-me-up loved these 'classics' to the extent that the editors decided to issue reproductions of the original drawings on 'plate-paper for mounting'. And then Messrs. W. H. Smith, the autocrats of the railway bookstalls, thought fit to object to all 'classical' drawings as well as to 'The Shades', and I imagine that Pick-me-up died a lingering death about this time--I certainly lost sight of it.

There were several others; there was Fun and Judy and Lika Joko, and others the names of which I ought to remember and don't, just as good in their way and often far more amusing than the immortal Punch--immortal in very truth. Nothing has ever ousted Punch from its supreme position as the one and only humorous English periodical, the only comic paper worthy to rest on the tables of reading-rooms in the select clubs of St. James's and in houses of 'the county'. Its politics have always been 'sound'. Perhaps this accounts for its 'immortality'.


And we did enjoy life the two of us. These were the last years of the dying century. London was still 'good old London' then: the London of the 'eighties and the 'nineties so much derided, so mercilessly satirized by young moderns to-day.

Living so much abroad as I have done during the past years, but seeing London fairly regularly four months out of twelve, it seemed to me every time that I came over for my annual visit that something of its dear old face had undergone change. It seemed already at the beginning of this century that London had been to a beauty parlour, had had its wrinkles smoothed out, its face massaged and lifted. Oh, yes! lifted! There were times when I hardly knew it, times when it seemed a strange unknown city, without its Nash's Quadrant and its ancient Piccadilly Circus. At others it just seemed as if it were peopled with ghosts: ghosts and pictures of the past.

It seemed strange even all these years ago to see London without its old horse 'bus going clippety-clop up the Edgware Road or along Oxford Street . . . the 'Royal Blue' was the one I remembered best. It used to ply from somewhere near Oxford Circus to Victoria and took three-quarters of an hour doing it. Nominally there was room for twelve inside; it usually held eighteen. There was straw on the floor, which on wet days . . . well! never mind about the straw on wet days. The conductor, insecurely perched on the step at the rear, would collect fares, and the door there was a square tablet on which he chalked up the amounts which he had collected.

I remember being very much puzzled as to the mathematical process by which, when he had taken fourpence from me, he chalked up threepence, and once, quite innocently, I asked for an explanation of this abstruse calculation. But only the once! The explanation, I may say, was neither satisfactory nor relevant. I forget in what year the punching-clip and ticket system was introduced into the omnibus service, but I do know that this ticket system was greatly resented by the 'bus conductors. And one of the earliest strikes I recollect was an omnibus strike in protest against that unpleasant innovation.

Of course, one never went on top of 'busses until what was poetically termed 'garden seats' were introduced. Before that there was what was called the 'knife-board' by way of seating accommodation, and only the lords of creation were able to negotiate the iron ladder which led up to it. One passenger was privileged to sit on the box beside the driver, but how he obtained that privilege I have never known to this day. Needless to say that this privilege, too, was reserved for the great sex.

When the 'garden seats' first came into use the iron ladder, too, was made more accessible, and some of us, more venturesome than others, made our first attempts at climbing to the top of a 'bus. Punch at the time had a joke about the shy young lady out for a country walk. She comes to a stile over which she will be forced to climb. To her consternation a man is standing close by, and she marvels how she can possibly negotiate the stile without showing her ankles, whereupon the stranger remarks, genially: "Lor, don't you be afeeard, miss, I am a 'bus conductor; ankles ain't no treat to me!" Autres temps, autres moeurs. Ankles, methinks, ain't no treat to anybody these days.

Being a mere woman, one's mode of locomotion in old London in varying degrees of plutocracy, consisted--if you only had pennies to spare--of the aforesaid horse-'bus, or you could also go by Underground. They were the well-named 'bone-shakers', consisting of one very tall and one very small wheel, impossible for any woman to mount. I think it was about '95 that the 'safety bicycle' came in, together with the inflated rubber tyres and the curved cross-bar, capable of being negotiated in skirts. I have a very distinct, though not altogether pleasant, recollection of the introduction of the safety bicycle.

It was in the days when I considered myself an artist by profession, not having yet discovered that I could write novels and I had been commissioned by Messrs. Raphael Tuck & Sons to illustrate a coloured picture-book for bairns. All the pictures were to be comic animals doing everyday things. One of the pictures I had devised represented a bicycle race run by comic green frogs. Of course, I had drawn them on the old 'bone-shakers', but the cyclist frogs he rejected. "If you have a bicycle race," he said to me, "you must have the modern safety kind."

I had to do my picture over again, and was in great trouble to get a correct drawing of the wonderful new safety machine. Directly after its introduction, however, bicycling at once became not only of general utility to women, but also very fashionable. In the late 'nineties the great thing in London was to go and watch the bicycling in Battersea Park. After tea-time the Park was thronged with all the smartest women in London. I remember seeing the beautiful Lady Warwich there on one occasion, most exquisitely dressed, and countless others, if not equally beautiful, at any rate equally smart.

But, of course, bicycling then was for the young in the same way as riding in omnibuses was not considered 'the thing' for a Society woman to do. She might--if she did not keep a carriage--go in a 'growler'.

Fifty years ago any fashionable woman would have done so; more particularly as it was not thought decorous for her to ride in a hansom alone. The hansom was the height of smartness. Lord Shrewsbury and Talbot, the smartest man about town at that time, launched the hansom-cabs in London. They were called 'Talbots' for a long time. He himself drove a private one. It was painted canary yellow, and certainly was the smartest affair to be seen in the Park.

But the fashionable Society woman drove either in her brougham, her victoria, or the family landau--with 'C' springs, if you please! In these she could do her shopping and pay her calls. After tea her business--and, no doubt, her pleasure--was to drive in the Park for an hour or more, up and down the Lady's mile. Everybody who was anybody had to be seen there at that hour.

Duchesses in landaus with 'C' springs; on the box a bewigged coachman and a powdered footman, who looked like a stuffed dummy if he was properly trained; smart society in elegant victorias; elderly dowagers in closed broughams. It was bad form to drive two horses unless you had a footman on the box. Soon after five o'clock the then Princess of Wales, with her daughters, would drive once or twice up and down the Lady's Mile, smiling and bowing to right and left practically without ceasing.

There was a generally-accepted legend at the time that the Princess had a hidden spring in the back cushion of the carriage, which rocked her forwards and back without any effort on her part. Personally I should think that was very likely, otherwise I do not see how any woman could have gone on bowing to right and left so unceasingly and so regularly without turning giddy and faint.

The Princess of Wales--I am, of course, referring to the late Queen Alexandra--unlike many other Royal ladies had a great influence over London fashions. I don't say that London fashions were universally accepted, say in Paris or Vienna, but there were certain modes which she originated and kept to in spite of dictates from the fashion kings and queens of other countries.

The Alexandra bonnet for one thing: that close-fitting little affair, which framed her beautiful face so exquisitely and was thought so becoming. It had narrow strings tied under the chin and was 'trimmed'--we always 'trimmed' our hats and bonnets in those days--either with a velvet bow or a flat bunch of flowers.

One always went to church in a bonnet, never in a hat. It was thought very bad form even for a girl just 'out' to go to a fashionable London church in a hat. Nor would our mothers--however beautiful or young-looking they were--have worn a hat in London for calling or driving in the afternoon: always a bonnet tied under the chin and a veil reaching exactly down to the tip of their nose. And at home a cap. Yes, Madam 1946, a cap!

The Princess of Wales, one of the loveliest women of her, or any, time, always wore a cap. At the theatre, at her own intimate tea-parties, or when receiving friends at Marlborough House, if she did not wear a cap it was because the occasion was grand enough for her to wear a tiara.

The matron's cap--you were called a matron very soon after you had turned thirty-five-varied in fashion from year to year: it could be quite diminutive, no bigger than a large butterfly or large like a miniature Alsatian bow; it could be made of the most exquisite filmy point d'Alençon or of a length of velvet ribbon. The Princess of Wales invented one made of a twisted coloured silk handkerchief over a buckram shape. Of course, it was called 'the Alexandra cap'. I remember seeing her at the opera one night in a pale blue cap with a huge diamond brooch pinned into it in front. Of course she looked beautiful as she always did, but imagine a young woman of the present day--one with complexes and inhibitions and I don't know what not--going to the opera in a cap!

Of course, on great occasions--gala nights when the de Reszkes were singing, dinner-parties, dances, and so on--you wore a tiara, if you had one; if not, you wore some kind of jewellery in your elaborately-dressed hair. Pearls were nothing like the rage that they are now, and on gala nights at the opera the boxes were literally a blaze of diamonds. For more ordinary occasions one wore pendants, brooches, necklaces, all rather on the large side; and I remember the time when a gold locket on a gold chain round the neck over a high dress was not considered at all--shall I say--out of place.

For one thing, if or no other, must we be eternally grateful to post-war fashion-kings or queens' and that is the introduction of the short dresses. Whatever fault the old-fashioned fogies may find with the present promiscuous display of legs, there is no doubt that the short skirt is infinitely more comfortable and more hygienic. Quite apart from athletics, don't we all remember the hideous discomfort of walking in London on a muddy, rainy day, holding up an umbrella with one hand and our dress with the other?

When I was a girl, and officially 'out' the dresses had what was called a foundation, with a flounce round the bottom and an inside 'frilling' besides. And when you thought you had your dress well in hand and out of the mud, lo! when you got home you found that your foundation had escaped you and that not only was it smothered in mud, frilling and all, both inside and out, but it had also splashed your boots and your stockings up to your knees.

It was in '92, if I remember right, that the 'umbrella' skirt first came in. Cut on the cross--on the principle of an umbrella--and lined with silk throughout and free of any drapery, it seemed then the acme of comfort, even though it did not reach the ground. It was about that time too, that we gave up all ideas of artificial excrescences about our body. Until then we had a series of them. The 'bustle' in the late 'nineties, followed by the 'waterfall back'. The latter was an indescribable nuisance when getting in and out of 'buses and cabs: but it was generally admitted that it gave grace to the wearer's movements when walking ! ! !

The waterfall back was a series of steels of graduated lengths reaching from the waist to the hem of the gown: each steel tied back with tape so as to form an arc. There was an art in swinging this erection behind one as one walked.

I remember in the early 'nineties some lovely ball-gowns I had. Tulle skirts and satin or moiré bodices to tone were all the rage for girls, and I had a dress, the skirt of which consisted of four layers of tulle one over the other shading from pale lemon to deep chrysanthemum orange. Under the top layer and going from the waist-line on the right across the front, to the hem on the left was a cascade of shaded chrysanthemums: the top layer of tulle veiling the flowers; the bodice, cut in a deep V back and front, and laced up at the back, was of chrysanthemum orange moiré; on the left shoulder a bunch of shaded chrysanthemums. Another dress was of saffron-coloured tulle, with a flight of tiny bright blue birds down the side, again veiled by one layer of tulle.

That was also the time when the tight 'eel's skin' dresses were fashionable. One wore a skin-tight bodice of jersey material above a pleated skirt. The jersey moulded the figure like a skin. The great thing was to have a small waist--the smaller the waist, the more marvellous the figure. Every girl aspired to an eighteen-inch waist, but there was a very celebrated London beauty, Mrs. W., whose waist only measured thirteen. Of course, one wore the 'hour-glass' corsets with what was known as the 'spoon' busk down the front, and the more often that spoon-busk--which was of steel, mind you--broke across in the region of your waist, the prouder you were of your figure.

In spite of those corsets, however, I can assure you young ones that dancing was extremely graceful--more graceful in the strict sense of the word, though of course, not so acrobatic as it is now. I don't pretend to know how girls played tennis in the 'nineties. Apart from the corsets, the long voluminous skirts, and hats pinned tightly above an elaborate hair-construction cannot have been either suitable or comfortable.

I suppose you would all say that they must have looked supremely ridiculous. Perhaps they did. I don't know. I did not play tennis in those days, but I do know that the old valse à six temps, danced to the tune of 'Myosotis', or 'Bingen on the Rhine', by two perfectly-matched partners who looked as if they were moving as one body on soundless roller skates was a lovelier thing to behold than the fox-trots (or whatever they are now called) of to-day.

One did not dance all day and every day then, and it would have been thought the height of bad form to dance in an hotel or in any public place. But everybody who had a house of any size in London gave private dances--one or two during the season. If you had a parquet floor in your 'double drawing-room' so much the better; but there was a special kind of drugget, very shiny and very slippery which could be stretched over your Wilton carpet and was excellent to dance on.

After a while public dances did begin to creep in; at first, for those who stood on the less exalted rungs of the social ladder in the shape of Cinderellas at the local town halls. Those at the Kensington Town Hall were very popular, and, of course, there were others; but until well within this century entertaining by a Society hostess in an hotel or other public place was out of the question. Nor was it good form for ladies to dine in restaurants. As a matter of fact, London, in the matter of restaurants, was far behind every other city in Europe--restaurants, that is, to which ladies could go. It is quite amazing, when you come to think of it, how recent some of these innovations actually are with which we are so absolutely familiar to-day.

Tea-shops, for instance. I remember when I first was an art-student in London there wasn't such a thing as a tea-shop anywhere near where we--the girl-students--could go and get some lunch or a cup of tea. The only places of the sort were the 'Zoedone'. In the 'nineties they were very rough and quite impossible to go to, though perfectly well conducted. Tea, coffee, or cocoa was served over the counter at three-halfpence a cup. I remember the joy and excitement caused by the opening of the first A.B.C. shop close to Oxford Circus. I can only speak for art-students, but I am sure that every girl or woman-worker in the neighbourhood felt that the era of luxurious living had dawned on good old London at last.


Did we enjoy life less, I wonder, then? Did we find those restrictions irksome? I don't know. We didn't miss cocktails or cigarettes simply because we had never tasted them. And as we did not lead quite such a strenuous life--driving in a brougham or a growler was nothing like so nerve-racking as taking your life in your hands in a two-seater in London traffic to-day--we had no need to 'buck ourselves up' with gin and vermouth.

Slowly, however, the cigarette habit crept in more and more; but it was not so very long ago--I was already married at the time and dining in restaurants had become more general--that I went with my husband and two other men friends to dine at what was the old 'Florence in Rupert Street. When we came to our after-dinner coffee we all lighted cigarettes, and I was at once pounced upon by the manager and told that smoking for ladies was not allowed in a public room.


We had never, of course, heard of night clubs, and I think I am right in stating that the only two ladies' clubs in the London of the 'nineties were the Albermarle and the Alexandra in Grosvenor Street. The Albermarle was what was then called a 'cock and hen' club, men being admitted both as members and visitors, but the hall porter at the Alexandra would not have permitted a creature wearing trousers into the club save over his dead body. It was said of the Alexandra in those days that it was easier to enter the Kingdom of Heaven than the membership of the club.

A motion put to the committee to permit husbands or brothers to enter public rooms and have tea with a member was rejected by an overwhelming majority, the ladies of the committee remarking that were such a thing allowed it would become impossible for a member to leave her daughters unchaperoned at the club whilst she herself went out shopping.

Music-halls, of course, were out of the question until the happy day when the Princess of Wales went to the Alhambra--I think it was the Alhambra or else the Empire--to witness a special gala performance. Her presence then at a music-hall gave the latter the required cache and from that time forth ladies went openly to the better-class music halls. They had done it before, of course, but always hoping that none of their friends would be there to see them.

It was in 'ninety-two that Lottie Collins sang her celebrated song 'Tarara-boom-de-ay', at the old Pavilion. Everyone flocked to see her and I can't help thinking that Lottie had as much to do with bringing society ladies to the halls as the gracious Princess herself.

The days of Vauxhall and Rosherville Gardens were dead and gone before my time, but the exhibitions at Earl's Court were immensely successful and bore a great share in the social life of vanishing London. 'The Fisheries', the 'Healtheries', the 'Colinderies'; I have often wondered why they were given up, with their pretty gardens, their outdoor cafés and bands; they were a solace and a joy to jaded London workers. The labyrinth of flats which occupy the site on which those exhibitions were held are so much less attractive.

The Earl's Court exhibitions were very successful for a time. In the neighbourhood of Kensington, with its teeming population, they must have been a great boon. For the large sum of half-a-guinea you could go in every evening for three months; if it was fine you could sit outside and listen to the band, and if wet, the buildings were large enough to accommodate you and the band as well. And now a wilderness of flats has taken the place of the pretty Earl's Court Gardens.

One of the charms of those old gardens for those of us who lived on the unfashionable side of the Park were the evenings which one could spend there during those summers when we had what got to be known as 'Queen's weather'. Dear old V.R. was always credited with bringing fine weather with her whenever she drove out (she could no longer get out of her carriage, poor dear), and there were some lovely evenings when one could stroll about the very pretty gardens and listen to one or other of those really fine military bands which are second to none anywhere in Europe, whatever our German cook might say.


Apart from those unsophisticated amusements the military pageants were always a great joy. They were exceptionally fine during Diamond Jubilee year and were constantly to be seen in the streets of London for the delight of us all, young and old, London and visitors. Crowds of sightseers followed in their wake, as they marched past with their splendid bands and joined in with them to sing (or yell?) 'Soldiers of the Queen' and 'The British Grenadiers'. Were there ever before or since such splendid inspiring tunes?

I know we have 'Land of Hope and Glory' now, and I for one adore it, but try 'Soldiers of the Queen' next time you see the Guards ride by in their glittering panoply of cuirass and helmet, on their magnificent horses and you will see what I mean. All I know is that in that wonderful jubilee year men, women and children were boisterously happy and proud to witness 'the glory and pageant of our world-wide Empire on which the sun never sets'.

Our German cook said to me one day in her halting English, "Madam, please what it means the sun never sets? I saw yesterday a bee-utiful sunzet. The English are liars. Not?" I tried to explain but failed to convince. Nor was Minna over-impressed by the galas, marches past, the pomp and array of our military parades. She had seen, so she assured me, much finer ones in Berlin.

I must say I loved it all. Colour, movement, the splendid appearance of the Guards, the horses, the uniforms, all those things always appealed to me. And I felt a little lump in my throat when I saw the crowd outside St. Paul's cathedral waiting to catch a glimpse of a little old lady in black who was too feeble to get down from her carriage, while the organ pealed from within the sacred building and the voice of the Archbishop of Canterbury, of the clergy and of the immense congregation inside and out intoned the prayers for her health and welfare.


Skating-rinks had in the meanwhile become the rage all over England as great a rage as dancing is to-day. But even the huge buildings built at enormous cost for this passing whim failed to hold the fancy of later London. Yet the 'moderns' of forty years ago loved their skating. They went to the rinks in huge parties, and experts and beginners went round and round and round, very much in the way that they go round and round a dancing-floor to-day. The only difference that strikes one now is that at the skating-rink at a given moment, an attendant would blow a whistle when every skater had to turn and go round the other way. Why this was done I do not know.

Society, however--I mean Society with a capital 'S'--did not patronize roller-skating. Against that, skating on artificial ice at Prince's Club in Knightsbridge was the height of fashion in the middle 'nineties. But the craze was of short duration. Skating requires more practice, i.e. hard work, than most fashionable women of those days cared to bestow on mere sport, and nothing in the world is quite so dead as a fashion which has ceased to please.

Indeed, London has had its nice old face lifted. There is hardly a shop on its new Regent Quadrant that was there when the houses were low and stuccoed and coated with London grime and redolent of the sentiment of a bygone age. Louise, the great and wonderful hat-shop; Lewis & Allenby, reminiscent of lovely Kate Terry, afterwards Mrs. Lewis' the Stereoscopic Company where one stood and gazed at the photographs in the shop windows of the fashionable beauties of the day: lovely Lillie Langtry, Mrs. Cornwallis West, Lady Londonderry in gorgeous tiara, Lady Dudley, and always, always, the exquisite Princess of Wales. . . .

©Blakeney Manor, 2001