Philobiblon: Marrying well

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Marrying well

Just found my notes from a recently ended mini-exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery about the "Gaiety Girls", a term that originally applied to actresses at the Gaiety Theatre, but was later broadened to cover all Edwardian musical actresses.

I was particularly taken by Olive May. Not especially good-looking from her photo, but she obviously had "it", managing to marry twice into the peerage, being Lady Victor Paget from her first marriage in 1913 to divorce in 1921, and the Countess of Drogheda, after marrying the 10th Earl in 1922. She was most famous for her role as Doris Bartle in Leslie Stuart's Peggy. She sang "The Lass with a Lasso", roping in a bevy of chorus boys. Her aim was obviously good.

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