Sunday, December 4, 2011

A pair of dames...

So, in the course of tracking down the birthdays of the eminent, interesting [to me] dead, I came across a lady I'd never heard of. That'd be Octavia Hill. A social reformer, who actively concerned herself w/ the atrocious living conditions of poor folks in Victorian London. She came into the world on the 3rd of December, 1838. And, just for you to know, it was 150 years ago this very day (Dec. 4), an entirely different sort of dame was born. Helen Louise Leonard her name was, but the world came to know her as Lillian Russell. If you click HERE you can hear how she sounded in 1912 and see how she looked.
I'd wax on a bit about how much I would love to have glimpsed ol' Lillian in life, illumined by flickering gaslight, about beauty and the exceedingly different roles its pursuit figured in the lives of these ladies, but their work is done and mine is not.

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