They just don't make fabulous creatures like Lady Ottoline Morrell anymore. Everyone is so fucking boring and afraid and same-y these days. No one LIVES anymore.
Now all we have is Downton Abbey. And that lot can't even compare to the real thing.
Lady O was one of a kind, even in her own time, so actually they never made them like her.
But if I had to nominate a living or recently living Lady O-type person*, it would be...
*Meaning a wealthy, aristocratic person who was interested in and personally supported either one of the arts or some group of artists in a selfless and handsome way.
Actually, Isabella Blow did occur to me as someone who came close to the Lady O type. Brilliant and eccentric, though tragic.
Lady O also had superhuman patience. OP, have you read her memoirs? All of the backbiting and bitching that the people she gave money to, saved from the draft board by running her own farm, that she was the victim of? Katherine Mansfield, Strachey, Huxley, etc and the list goes on and on.
I slapped myself when I read that--I think it was Huxley--turned to her and asked her to build him a house on her property. Can you believe the brass of some people?
I've spent a good 5 minutes thinking about this, and I honestly can't think of anyone else currently living who is like this. I suspect some part of it is that with the death duties, a lot of aristos lost their incomes and leisure time.
I read once that the quality of the British aristos has sort of been declining for the past 200 years. They had a sort of a zenith in the 18th century (like the time of Horace Walpole) when they were considered the smartest, most poetic people around. In the 19th century, they were less brilliant, but since they still held the wealth, they entertained and catered to the artists of the day (the age of Dickens and Thackeray); and then at the beginning of the 20th century, started to recede into isolation in the country, losing all the urbanity that they had had.
So we may not see any more of the brilliant ones again.
Thank you, Lovely Lesbian. You seem to know a great deal about this topic. :)
What about families like the Mitfords and the Sitwells? Literary and eccentric, but probably not on the grand scale as Lady O due to the times in which they lived.