Morrell, Ottoline Violet Anne Cavendish-Bentinck, Lady, 1873-1938

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Patron of the arts and society hostess.

From the description of Ottoline Morrell Collection, 1882-1946 (bulk 1882-1938). (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center (HRC); University of Texas at Austin). WorldCat record id: 122648377

British-born literary hostess of the World War I and post-war periods.

From the description of Papers. 1916-1934. (University of Maryland Libraries). WorldCat record id: 23685667

Purchase; John Wilson (Autographs) Ltd.; 1992.

From the guide to the Letter, 1919 January 13, The Manor House, Garsington, Oxford [to] Clive Bell., 1919 January 13, (Washington State University Libraries Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections)

Ottoline Violet Anne Cavendish-Bentinck Morrell (1873-1938) was the daughter of Lieutenant-General Arthur Bentinck and his second wife, Augusta Mary Elizabeth. Ottoline had three older brothers and a half-brother from Bentinck's first marriage. She spent the early years of her childhood in the sheltered manner of upper class children of the time, raised largely by a nurse and servants, spending time at both the country house and the summer house in London. Ottoline's father had expectations of succeeding his cousin, the fifth Duke of Portland, which were disappointed when Bentinck died first in 1877. This left the family in rather straitened circumstances until the Duke of Portland settled the succession of the title and an allowance on Ottoline's half-brother in 1878, and then died a year later. The sixth Duke of Portland and his family moved into the family seat at Welbeck a few weeks later.

Ottoline had no playmates of her own age at Welbeck and her education was left in the hands of a governess who taught her to read, write, and memorize Bible verse, but very little else. Ottoline grew introspective and introverted as time passed. When she was sixteen, the Duke married and Ottoline's mother removed herself and Ottoline from Welbeck to a small house in Chertsy. For the next three years Ottoline lived in a sort of exile with her mother. During this time she developed an almost fanatical interest in religion, wearing drab clothing, fasting, and following the precepts of Thomas àKempis's book The Imitation of Christ.

When Ottoline was nineteen, it was decided by her mother and the Duke that she should come out. She was squired through the London season with all due pomp and circumstance. However, she lacked the confidence to enjoy the attention this brought her and she retired back to the country afterwards to continue caring for her now seriously ill mother. In 1893 Ottoline and her mother traveled to Italy, returning via Paris to England, where Lady Bolsover fell almost immediately into a coma and died.

Returning to live at Welbeck, Ottoline occupied herself by teaching Bible classes to the servants and farmhands and performing good works. She convinced her brother to send her on several trips to the continent and to support two attempts at university education, both of which failed.

In 1900 Ottoline met attorney Philip Morrell, and married him two years later. In 1906 Philip gained a liberal seat in the House of Commons and the Morrells moved to a house in Bloomsbury at 44 Bedford Square. It was here that Ottoline delivered twins, but only the daughter Julian survived. It was also at 44 Bedford Square that Ottoline began to establish herself as a preeminent literary and political hostess in London society. Her political guests came largely from the Liberal party and included Winston Churchill and Herbert Asquith. On the literary and artistic side her acquaintances were numerous and included Lytton Strachey, Henry James, Virginia and Leonard Woolf, Vanessa and Clive Bell, Dora Carrington, Dorothy Brett, D.H. and Frieda Lawrence, and T.S. Eliot. She also had affairs with Augustus John, Henry Lamb, and a protracted relationship with Bertrand Russell.

The Morrells moved out of London in 1915 to a manor east of Oxford at Garsington. Philip's public anti-war stance had gotten him into trouble with the Liberal party and eventually he lost his seat in the House over the issue, but continued to assist conscientious objectors with legal advice and even found agricultural jobs for a few at Garsington Manor. In the country Ottoline continued her social efforts, inviting numerous guests to visit and providing a short-term home for more than one starving artist. The Morrells maintained Garsington for eleven years before the expense and the relative isolation of country living caused them to look again towards a house in town. In 1927 they moved back to Bloomsbury, this time to 10 Gower Street, and there they stayed for the last eleven years of Ottoline's life.

Throughout her life Ottoline suffered from severe headaches and other illnesses. She traveled to many spas and resorts around Europe seeking treatment. She maintained the strong religiosity of her youth, doing good works and caring for a great number of people. In May 1937 she suffered a stroke and spent three months in a clinic at Tunbridge Wells recovering. In April of 1938 she died in the same clinic of heart failure.

From the guide to the Ottoline Morrell Collection TXRC98-A17., 1882-1946, (bulk 1882-1938), (Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center University of Texas at Austin)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Papers of Robert Graves: Correspondence (arranged by correspondent), c1909 to 2004 St John's College, Oxford
referencedIn Bell, Vanessa, 1879-1961. Autograph letter signed : Charleston [Lewes], to John Maynard Keynes, [1919?] May 30. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Pudney, John, 1909-1977. Papers, 1850-1977 (bulk 1926-1976). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Mansfield, Katherine, 1888-1923. Papers. Dartmouth College Library
creatorOf Aldington, Richard, 1892-1962. Richard Aldington Collection, 1913-1963. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Lady Ottoline Morrell Papers, 1896-1938 British Library: Western Manuscripts
creatorOf Letter, 1919 January 13, The Manor House, Garsington, Oxford [to] Clive Bell., 1919 January 13 Washington State University Libraries: Manuscripts, Archives, and Special Collections
referencedIn John Pudney Papers TXRC95-A1., 1850-1977, (bulk 1926-1976) Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Bell, Vanessa, 1879-1961. Autograph letter signed : Bosham, to John Maynard Keynes, [1915 Aug.?]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
referencedIn Richard Aldington Collection TXRC99-A29., 1913-1963 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Alfred M. and Clarisse B. Hellman Collection, [ca. 1850]-1952 Columbia University. Rare Book and Manuscript Library,
referencedIn Virginia Woolf Monk's House photograph album (MH-4), 1890-1947 (inclusive), 1923-1939 (bulk). Harvard Theatre Collection, Houghton Library, Harvard College Library, Harvard University.
referencedIn Gerald Brenan Collection TXRC98-A15., 1911-1978 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
creatorOf Morrell, Ottoline Violet Anne Cavendish-Bentinck, Lady, 1873-1938. Papers. University of Maryland Libraries, UMD Libraries
referencedIn De la Mare, Walter, 1873-1956. Walter De la Mare papers, 1912-1984. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
referencedIn Lady Ottoline Morrell papers, 1916-1934, null Literature and Rare Books
creatorOf Mansfield, Katherine, 1888-1923. [Letter and two manuscripts] Katherine Mansfield. Smith College, Neilson Library
referencedIn Mansfield, Katherine, 1888-1923. Letters, 1917-1922, to Lady Ottoline Morrell. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Brenan,Gerald, 1894-1987. Gerald Brenan Collection, 1911-1978. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Beck, Maeve Butler, 1881-1941. Maeve Butler Beck Virginia Woolf/Bloomsbury collection, 1921-1978 University of Minnesota, Minneapolis
referencedIn Bell, Vanessa, 1879-1961. Autograph letter signed : Halesworth, to John Maynard Keynes, [1916?] Aug. 29. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Yeats, W. B. (William Butler), 1865-1939. Autograph letter signed : 4 Broad Street, Oxford, to Lady Ottoline Morrell, [1922] Jan. 6. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Mansfield, Katherine, 1888-1923. Katherine Mansfield papers, 1903-1942. Newberry Library
referencedIn Guide to the Juliette Huxley papers, MS 474., 1895-1994 Woodson Research Center, Fondren Library, Rice University, Houston, TX
referencedIn Stead, William Force. William Force Stead papers, 1859-1972 (bulk 1900-1940). Yale University, Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
referencedIn William Force Stead papers, 1859-1968, 1900-1940 Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library
creatorOf Morrell, Ottoline. Morrell, Ottoline : [photography bio file]. Metropolitan Museum of Art, Thomas J. Watson Library
referencedIn Monks House Papers: papers of Virginia Woolf and related papers of Leonard Woolf, 1903-1997 University of Sussex Library
referencedIn Pepper, Morton. Alfred M. and Clarisse B. Hellman collection, [ca. 1850]-1952. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Milton, George-Merritt. The Bloomsburys and supporting cast, a collection of paintings, books and papers, 1882-1979. Florida State University
referencedIn Lawrence, D. H. (David Herbert), 1885-1930. D. H. Lawrence manuscript collection, 1913-1973. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Tennant, Stephen. Papers, 1929-1977. Washington State University, Holland and Terrell Libraries
referencedIn Walter De la Mare Papers, 1912-1984 Stanford University. Libraries. Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives.
referencedIn Bell, Vanessa, 1879-1961. Autograph letter signed : Halesworth, to John Maynard Keynes, [1916 Aug. 27?]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
creatorOf Sassoon, Siegfried 1886-1967. 5 a.l.s. to Lady Ottoline Morrell, with holograph draft, of "Summing Up." New York Public Library System, NYPL
creatorOf Bowen, Elizabeth, 1899-1973. Elizabeth Bowen Collection, 1923-1975. Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn British authors collection, 1840-1953. Stanford University. Department of Special Collections and University Archives
creatorOf Ottoline Morrell Collection TXRC98-A17., 1882-1946, (bulk 1882-1938) Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Victoria Ocampo papers, 1908-1979. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Morrell, Ottoline Violet Anne Cavendish-Bentinck, Lady, 1873-1938. Letter, 1919 January 13, the Manor House, Garsington, Oxford [to] Clive Bell. Washington State University, Holland and Terrell Libraries
referencedIn Brett, Dorothy, 1883-1977. Correspondence with Carl Zigrosser, 1929-1967. University of Pennsylvania Library
referencedIn Eliot, Henry Ware, 1879-1947, collector. T. S. Eliot collection, 1881-1994. Houghton Library.
referencedIn James, Henry, 1843-1916. Papers of Henry James [manuscript], 1876-1915, 1930-1939. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Sassoon, Siegfried, 1886-1967. Papers, 1894-1966. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Autograph File, M, 1648-1985. Houghton Library.
creatorOf Morrell, Ottoline Violet Anne Cavendish-Bentinck, Lady, 1873-1938. Ottoline Morrell Collection, 1882-1946 (bulk 1882-1938). Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn Elizabeth Bowen Collection TXRC98-A19., 1923-1975 Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center
referencedIn James, Henry, 1843-1916. Letters, 1906-1913. University of Virginia. Library
referencedIn Bell, Vanessa, 1879-1961. Autograph letter signed : Halesworth, to John Maynard Keynes, [1916 Aug. 20?]. Pierpont Morgan Library.
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Aldington, Richard, 1892-1962. person
associatedWith Aldington, Richard, 1892-1963 person
associatedWith Beck, Maeve Butler, 1881-1941. person
associatedWith Beerbohm, Max, Sir, 1872-1956 person
associatedWith Bell, Clive, 1881-1964 person
associatedWith Bell, Vanessa, 1879-1961 person
associatedWith Birrell, Augustine, 1850-1933 person
associatedWith Blunden, Edmund, 1896-1974 person
associatedWith Bowen, Elizabeth, 1899-1973 person
associatedWith Brenan, Gerald, 1894-1987 person
associatedWith Brett, Dorothy, 1883-1977 person
associatedWith Carrington, Dora de Houghton, 1893-1932 person
associatedWith Cecil, David, 1902-1986. person
associatedWith Cecil, David, Lord, 1902- person
associatedWith Colomb, Marion Reymond person
associatedWith Colomb, Marion Reymond. person
associatedWith Cost, March, d. 1973 person
associatedWith Cramb, J. A. (John Adam), 1862-1913 person
associatedWith De la Mare, Walter, 1873-1956 person
associatedWith Dickinson, G. Lowes (Goldsworthy Lowes), 1862-1932 person
associatedWith Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965. person
associatedWith Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Sterns), 1888-1965 person
associatedWith Eliot, Vivienne, 1888-1947 person
associatedWith Forster, E. M. (Edward Morgan), 1879-1970 person
associatedWith Fry, Roger Eliot, 1866-1934 person
associatedWith Garnett, David, 1892- person
associatedWith Garnett, David, 1892-1981. person
associatedWith Gathorne-Hardy, Robert, 1902- person
associatedWith Gertler, Mark, 1891-1939 person
associatedWith Grant, Duncan, 1885-1978 person
associatedWith Graves, Robert Windham, 1858-1934 person
associatedWith Hackett, Frances, 1883-1962. person
associatedWith Hackett, Frances, 1883-1978 person
associatedWith Hayward, John person
associatedWith Hayward, John. person
associatedWith Holland, Bernard Henry, 1856-1926 person
associatedWith Huxley, Aldous, 1894-1963 person
correspondedWith Huxley, Juliette, 1896- person
associatedWith Huxley, Maria Nys person
associatedWith Huxley, Maria Nys. person
associatedWith James, Henry, 1843-1916. person
associatedWith John, Augustus, 1879-1961 person
associatedWith Keynes, John Maynard, 1883-1946 person
associatedWith Koteliansky, S. S. (Samuel Slomonovitch), 1880-1955 person
associatedWith Lamb, Henry, 1883-1960 person
associatedWith Lawrence, D. H. (David Herbert), 1885-1930 person
associatedWith Lawrence, Frieda von Richthofen, 1879-1956 person
associatedWith Lewis, Wyndham, 1882-1957 person
associatedWith MacCarthy, Desmond, 1877-1952 person
associatedWith MacCarthy, Mary, 1882-1953 person
associatedWith Maclagan, William Dalrymple, Abp. of York, 1826-1910. person
associatedWith Maclagan, William Dalrymple, Abp of York, 1862-1910 person
associatedWith Mansfield, Katherine, 1888-1923 person
associatedWith Menasce, Jean de person
associatedWith Milton, George-Merritt. person
associatedWith Mirrlees, Hope person
associatedWith Mirrlees, Hope. person
associatedWith Moore, T. Sturge (Thomas Sturge), 1870-1944 person
associatedWith Morgan, Charles, 1894-1956 person
associatedWith Morrell, Lady Ottoline person
associatedWith Morrell, Philip, 1870- person
associatedWith Murry, John Middleton, 1889-1957 person
associatedWith Nichols, Phyllis Spender-Clay, Lady person
correspondedWith Ocampo, Victoria, 1891- person
associatedWith Oxford and Asquith, H. H. (Herbert Henry), 1852-1928 person
associatedWith Powys, Theodore Francis, 1875-1953 person
associatedWith Prewett, Frank, 1893-1962 person
associatedWith Pudney, John, 1909-1977 person
associatedWith Russell, Bertrand, 1872-1970 person
associatedWith Sassoon, Siegfried, 1886-1967 person
associatedWith Smyth, Ethel, 1858-1944 person
associatedWith Spencer, Gilbert, 1891- person
associatedWith Spender, Stephen, 1909- person
associatedWith Stead, William Force. person
associatedWith Stephens, James, 1882-1950 person
associatedWith Strachey, Lytton, 1880-1932 person
associatedWith Tennant, Stephen person
associatedWith Tennant, Stephen. person
associatedWith Toksvig, Signe, 1891-1983 person
associatedWith Wolff, Charlotte, 1897- person
associatedWith Woolf, Virginia, 1882-1941 person
associatedWith Yeats, W. B. (William Butler), 1865-1939 person
Place Name Admin Code Country
England
England
Great Britain
England
Subject
England--Social life and customs--20th century
Home and Family
England, Intellectual life, 20th century
Bloomsbury group--History--Sources
Women intellectuals--20th century
Morrell, Ottoline Violet Anne Cavendish--Bentinck, Lady, 1873-1938--Correspondence
Country life
Women intellectuals--England--20th century
Women
Women intellectuals--Great Britain
Women intellectuals
Bloomsbury group
World War, 1914-1918--Public opinion
Occupation
Photographers
Function

Person

Birth 1873-06-16

Death 1938-04-21

Britons

English

Information

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