Beauty and Grace
Lily Elsie, an English actress and model, was one of the
most photographed women of the Edwardian era.
Born in Yorkshire in 1886, Lily began her stage career
at the age of 5 and became an instant hit with modeling
agencies and photographers in London.
America's The Atlanta Constitution wrote in 1915:
"Perhaps her face is nearer to that of the Venus de Milo in profile
than to any other famed beauty....if she came to America, she
would undoubtedly be called the most beautiful woman in America.
Everyone agrees that Lily Elsie has the most kissable mouth
in England." (Shocking!)
Through contemporary colorization techniques we're able to 'visually imagine'
the intricate details of a specific beautiful dress Lily Elsie modeled.
Miss Elsie retired from the stage and modeling when she married
wealthy Major John Ian Bullough in 1911. After a 5 year absence
from acting Lily returned to the theatre for a few years before
taking a 10 year break from the public eye.
The Bullough's marriage was one of unhappiness and ended in divorce
in 1930. Lily, reportedly shy, considered 'celebrity' as stressful and
admitted that she preferred private social events. Sadly, she spent many
years in private hospitals and sanatoriums until her death in 1962.
Ironic Time Line: The Beatles recorded Love Me Do and Please Please Me
in Abbey Road Studios before Lily Elsie passed away.
When you come across antique black and white photographs at flea markets
and antique shops think about the life those people could have lead. Old
photos are material glimpses into the past and are becoming quite collectible.
Have a wonderful weekend!