Jan and Cora Gordon in the Library of Lady Ottoline Morrell


Lady Ottoline Morrell was a celebrated patron of the arts and society hostess who lived from 1873 to 1938.  She was a contemporary of Jan and Cora Gordon, a well known pair of artists, writers and musicians. Her residence at 44 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury, London served as a salon for friends, including many authors, poets, artists and sculptors, some of them members of the "Bloomsbury Group". Members of this group were also invited to weekend retreats at the Morrells' Garsington Manor near Oxford.



Ottoline Morrell had a copy of "Poor Folk in Spain" (1922) by Jan and Cora Gordon in her library. The book bears her signature inside the front cover.


The back of the book contains notes in her hand that are not entirely clear to understand, though I can recognise the words "Studio", a magazine in which both Jan and Cora Gordon published works of art, and "Romanesque". I also see the names "Williams" (after "Undeserved .....") and "Heinlemann" (before "Studio"). Williams may refer to Charles Williams the writer, who had met T.S. Eliot at one of Ottoline Morrell's salons. Does the central portion read "Lunch Heinlemann Studio"? 



In 1927 the Morrells had to sell both the townhouse and the manor and moved to a more modest residence in Gower Street. She later "remained a regular host to the adherents of the Bloomsbury Group, in particular Virginia Woolf, and to many other artists and authors", including WB YeatsLP HartleyT.S. Eliot, and Welsh painter Augustus John."

The book is a very interesting connection between an influential patron of the arts, the intellectuals of the "Bloomsbury Group" and the remarkably productive artistic duo of Jan and Cora Gordon.

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