This article reminded me of some rather wonderful ladies who were much admired in the Edwardian era.

As I lived in New Zealand I was never able to see Miss Ray tread the boards but her postcards certainly made it to our country, as did her fame.  Her most popular post card was from the play Bubbles.

Such a lovely head.

Sadly the impending  marriage that was reported in 1912 did not work out, and neither did a come back.  Somehow it makes me terribly sad to think of Miss Ray ending her days (four decades of them) in an asylum.  Who can really say where life will take us even at the seeming pinnacle of fame and success?

I showed her to Mr. Errors and he was quite struck by her.  I think he has rather a soft spot for the forgotten star.  We went on a hunt through the papers together for more clues about Miss Ray, and it is hard not to read many of the pieces that feature her without a sense of poignancy.  How light and free she was in 1905,

Miss Ray seems to have been able to laugh easily at the ridiculous.

All the admiration and adulation seems to have gone wrong for Gabrielle when she married Eric Loder in 1912. 

What can this mean?  What passed between them?  It seems an extraordinarily strange ending to a marriage.  A marriage that was officially terminated in 1915.

A sort of a “friend” met her in 1916 and said,

“Gabs and I dined at the Carlton together. She is fast losing her looks – in two or three years her career will be over and I fear for her.”

Time and tastes are fickle.  Cruel to Miss Gabrielle Ray, slim and graceful, patting a wayward mass of shimmering hair and laughing in 1905. 

One thought on “Beauty”

  1. What a sad, interesting, compelling story. Thanks. And she did live up to the title of the post — what wonderful hair!

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