Happy Birthday to Lucile


Randy Bryan Bigham

On this day in 1863 (138 years ago; yikes!) Lucy Christiana Sutherland was born to Douglas and Elinor Saunders Sutherland at 64, Albany Street, London, England.


"...I made my appearance in a house in St. John's Wood, a stone's throw from Lords. There was a big match in progress that day, and Mother has told me that the last thing she remembered before losing consciousness was a tumultuous burst of cheering from the cricket ground. It struck her afterwards as a good omen for the little daughter whose arrival was thus heralded..."

- Lucy Duff Gordon,"Discretions and Indiscretions," 1932,

She also wrote:

"...'Nothing but the white heat of passion can forge the spark of genius.'

A man who loved me very much, once said this to me when I had told him the story of my birth, and I have never forgotten it, for I should like to think that it is true. It certainly was in one respect for no two people were ever more passionately in love than my father and mother were when I was born, a demure little daughter with an incurably sunny disposition from my cradle. Of the "genius" I cannot speak. I have been successful in many things, and a failure in others. I have made a great fortune and lost it all. I have loved many people and been loved by many more. Been happy for moments in my life and known my full share of sorrow in others. Yet, if genius is the faculty of seeing and creating beauty, then indeed my friend spoke truly and I possess it.

I do not think that, on the whole, it is good for a woman to have temperament. It is much better for her to be a vegetable, and certainly much safer, but I never had the choice. I have often secretly envied my normal and conventionally feminine friends, contented with their stolid husbands and commonplace children, for I have known that such contentment could never be mine. I have always had too much imagination and splashed the blank canvas of my life with such brilliant colors that there had to be a good bas-relief of black to make them stand out. A woman's imagination is such a delicate yet vivid thing that everday life cannot keep pace with it, and realities, no matter how attractive they may have seemed from afar, will always disappoint her. At least that has been my own experience.

As other women have found satisfaction in physical creation, in bearing and bringing up children, so have I found mine in creating a dream world of my own, and I used to step into it whenever life appeared too dull and uninteresting.

If I were asked now what I consider to be the greatest asset that any human being can bring into life, I should reply "A zest for living," and this was bequeathed to me by my parents, as it was to my sister, Elinor, their only other child, together with a great love of beauty. It was a fitting heritage to their romance..."


Rest sweetly lovely lady.
Happy birthday to Lucy. You made such an impact on the world we will never forget you.