So near…


Another postcard from Naples: here we’re looking across the bay to Capri. A place of outsized significance in the atlas of Strange Flowers, it is the island where Evan Morgan encountered Denham Fouts, a stopping-off point for Jean Lorrain, the scene of Karl Wilhelm Diefenbach‘s last years, the short-lived abode of the Marchesa Casati, a place scandalised by Jacques Adelswärd-Fersen and (briefly) the Reverend Julian Henshaw, and one-time home to artist Romaine Brooks, who died on this day in 1970. For more background, read this fascinating post by historian Rachel Hope Cleves describing her encounter with Capri and its illustrious ghosts.

For me, though, despite the temptingly Brooksian palette of the windy, unsettled day, it was not to be. Time was short and I didn’t make it off the mainland. There will always be another time. Won’t there?


One comment

  1. Hi James I think Romaine died in December 7, 1970. But Capri was certainly the place that she let go the most. She had, as you may recall one of the two wooden dance floors on the island and people used to come and dance to the music she played on her record player. The house was pretty cool too. I should send you a couple of pictures. As with all her residences it was done as only Romaine Brooks could do it. Who else would have befriended and commissioned Eileen Gray to create black bordered gray rugs for her at a time when Gray was unknown. And it was Lily de Gramont who introduced Gray to Paris society and Natalie Barney who helped her get commissions when she first arrived in town. My own experience was to witness a child’s funeral with the relatives dressed in black carrying a small white coffin up those steep ever winding steps. And, I never got to swim in the grotto either. Perhaps one day before I leave this earth.

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