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Title: The Book of Fair Women
Author: Hoppé, E. O.
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                         THE BOOK OF FAIR WOMEN

                   THIRTY TWO PLATES FROM PHOTOGRAPHS


                               E. O. HOPPÉ
                      with an introductory essay by
                               Richard King
                         [Title Page Decoration]
New York
Alfred A. Knopf
1922



CONTENTS


Beauty, Charm, & Beautiful Women the World Over
Thirty‐two Portraits



PORTRAITS


1. AMERICA—Lady Lavery
2. AMERICA—Mrs. Lydig Hoyt
3. AMERICA—Viscountess Maidstone
4. AMERICA—Miss Malvina Longfellow
5. AMERICA—Miss Marion Davies
6. RED INDIAN—Princess White Deer
7. ENGLAND—“Hebe”
8. ENGLAND—Lady Diana Duff‐Cooper
9. ENGLAND—Miss Gladys Cooper
10. ENGLAND—Miss Kathlene Martyn
11. SCOTLAND—Viscountess Masserene and Ferrard
12. IRELAND—Miss Grace D’Arcy
13. FRANCE—Mlle. Raymonde Thuillier
14. ALGIERS—Madame Revalles
15. SPAIN—Señora Tortola Valencia
16. GIPSY—Miss Fedora Roselli
17. ITALY—Signora Comanetti
18. PORTUGAL—Señora Maria Di Castellani
19. RUSSIA—Mlle. Fedorova
20. POLAND—Madame Mika Mikun
21. NORWAY—Miss Olga Morrison
22. SWEDEN—Miss Anna Q. Nillson
23. ARMENIA—Armen Ter Ohanian
24. CHILE—Countess Lisburne
25. ECUADOR—Mrs. Haddon Chambers
26. INDIA—Princess Monchsa
27. JAPAN—Mrs. Tokugawa
28. CHINA—Mrs. Wellington Koo
29. CUBA
30. HAITI
31. HAWAI
32. DUTCH WEST INDIES



PREPARER’S NOTE


The Introduction is a product of its time, and the preparer does not
endorse its ideas about race.  The book was notable in its day, however,
for including portraits of non‐white women.



BEAUTY, CHARM, & BEAUTIFUL WOMEN THE WORLD OVER



BEAUTY


“Beauty is only skin deep,” cries Ugliness, pinning her faith on the
fascination of the Intelligence. “And ugliness goes to the bone,” Beauty
replies, though she fears that that shaft of “wit” must have originally
been spoken by a pantomime librettist. “Handsome is as handsome does,”
retorts Ugliness, quoting from the Plain Woman’s volume of Copy‐Book
Maxims. And so this battle of words goes on.

But Beauty cares nothing at all for maxims. She puts on her most becoming
hat, her daintiest dress, and goes forth careless and indifferent to
anything except Middle Age. No shaft of Puritanical censure, she feels,
can hurt her. Beauty is its own raison d’etre—its own excuse for being
gloriously alive. It needs no apology, no panic balancing of its debit
account by moral and intellectual compensations hurriedly placed to its
credit. In Heaven, it knows, more people will want to call upon Ninon de
l’Enclos than wish to leave cards on St. Theresa of Spain. And what is
more satisfying to Beauty than a large audience? Only two things really
terrify her—the loss of her Good Looks and the loss of her Youth. That may
be the reason why, au fond, she sometimes envies her plainer sisters
almost as much as they envy her. Perhaps she knows that they play a
waiting game, and that at fifty‐five it might have been as well for her
had she been born “plain” too, since henceforward she must enter the
“plain” woman’s world as a stranger, to live as they live, but, unlike
them, to be for ever tortured by the remark: “All the same, she was a
great beauty ‘_In Her Day!_’ ” It is the way her friends apologize for her
false teeth.

In the meanwhile, however, she triumphs—triumphs overwhelmingly. To the
purely physical lure Reason is as unreasoning as Lunacy. In spite of that
French saying which states that “il faut souffrir pour etre belle,” how
often great suffering and great happiness go through life hand in hand,
the one utterly dependent upon the other. Only the commonplace “soul”
revels in the smug security of the commonplace. Life at its fullest is
surely a great joy, as well as a great pain!

And Beauty—how glibly we utter the word! Indeed, how glibly we utter all
those words, the meaning of which is so difficult clearly to define!
“Democracy,” “Liberty,” “Freedom,” “Friendship,” “Love”—and, let it be
owned, the “Hereafter”!—how often we use the words as a kind of final
argument, and how often, so mesmerized has become our Intelligence by
these words, do we accept them without question as something appertaining
to finality. It is the same with Beauty. To call a woman “beautiful”
requires no corollary. That is all that need be said! Merely to say it,
especially if the word is spoken by some one in High Authority, is
sometimes sufficient to create a reputation for loveliness—as women who
have been the mistresses of kings know full well. The world asks so little
more of a beautiful woman than her beauty. Which perhaps accounts—though
in a book of Beautiful Women let it be printed in small type—for so many
lovely women being intellectually dull! But then, if one is good to look
upon, one can afford to be dreary company. Loveliness is its own
forgiveness of intellectual sins. It is a “decoration,” and we do not ask
of decorations to be more than perfect in regard to colouring and symmetry
of line. Success is, after all, but a reflection of ourselves in the
world, and Beauty finds its reflection in almost every human eye and in
almost every human heart. Its way through life is indeed strewn with
roses—those lovely flowers which hide such very vindictive thorns.

God makes beautiful women; a Plain Woman has to do the best she can for
herself. Her only hope lies in the fact that what fascinates Tom may leave
Dick indifferent—and who knows but that Harry will find that she herself
is more attractive than any other woman? Which brings me back to a
definition of Beauty, and that, being at heart a sluggard, I had purposely
wished to avoid.

“Beauty” is to me but another name for “Harmony.” It is harmonious to some
ideal indigenous to the “soul.” It may only be “skin deep,” as the Plain
Woman likes to assert for the benefit of vain schoolgirls, but the
beholding eye nevertheless endows it with “spirituality.” It likes to
believe this loveliness is only an outer symbol of an inner spiritual
grace. Which fact will account in some way for different types of
beautiful women appealing to different types of men—so that even an ugly
woman sometimes hears herself addressed in the language Mars probably used
to Venus.

We find in Beauty something more than a realization of what we believe to
be perfection; we find in it a “journey’s end”—or perhaps I ought to say
“lodgment,” seeing that Beauty is so often fleeting—in the lonely search
of the “soul” after spiritual sustenance. We give to it our adoration, an
adoration which none the less overwhelms us emotionally because,
physically speaking, it is passionless. We bow in worship before it,
without—if I may express myself in metaphor tinged with vulgarity—an
insensate desire to Clutch. For Beauty is also a “message”; and, as it
appeals to something within our “souls,” so does that “message” become the
more eloquent. Moreover, it has a thousand facets. We can find it
anywhere, in almost everything that is not mean or debased, hypocritical
or dishonest. Nevertheless, there are some men who can find beauty only in
sex; men who are deaf to that “song within a song” which in the hearts of
so many is as the Psalm of Life. The view of distant mountains; the
glowing, dancing reflection of the sun setting out at sea; the quiet,
verdant valleys, whose peacefulness falls on the troubled spirit as a
benediction; a voice, a memory, a prayer—all these things can uplift the
heart until momentarily it may live in a whole world of beauty. For Beauty
must be _felt_ within the “soul.” The senses but convey an impression, the
“soul” translates that impression into terms of Ecstacy. For when we come
face to face with Beauty, in whatever guise, all that is best and purest
in our Nature stirs in response, so that at last our “soul” cannot live
without Beauty. Robbed, as it were, for ever of this harmony, which seems
to reflect Heaven, even in lowly places, it withers and dies. The man who
seeks not Beauty can scarcely be said to live; since without beauty Life
is but a barren wilderness, sodden by the tears of men. The Road to God is
paved by Music and Poetry, by Art and Literature, by all those
manifestations of Beauty which are unselfishness, renunciation,
friendship, love, sympathy, understanding, humility. Man is Spirit as well
as Body, and just as the physical needs must be satisfied, so must the
Spirit find Beauty if it wither not nor die. Through Beauty God speaks to
men; and inasmuch as we seek to bring Beauty into our lives and into the
lives of others, so we come into closer communion with Him.

Beauty, then, is something which is in complete harmony with the longings
of the “soul,” and through the “soul” with God. The old belief that Beauty
is the seed the Devil sows to reap his human harvest is an exploded
blasphemy. Surround men with Ugliness and they will quickly qualify
themseves for a place in Hell. We take from our surroundings as much,
perhaps even more, than we give to them. Thus Beauty is surely the great
ally of Virtue: to the extent that it sometimes fails in its alliance, so
does it lack true perfection. For as much as our so‐called civilization is
worth to us in happiness, the gift has been a gift from the great poets,
the great writers, the great thinkers, the great musicians and
painters—all those who have sought to bring the message of beauty to this
world, including that supreme artist Nature herself. And this is true, no
matter how much the politicians, the commercial magnates, kings, princes,
and potentates may preen themselves on their human importance, pointing to
their laws, their factories, their palaces, all the evidences of their
temporal power. Their “message” to humanity has only been the fact of
their own success, whereas, the potent “message” of Beauty is at all times
a silent one, though more eloquent, more uplifting, more encouraging than
all the pompous diatribes that were ever uttered. In the greatest, most
inspiring moments of our lives we are always dumb. No words can then
express the triumphant melody which is surging in our hearts. To the
extent that we can explain our emotion, so we feel it less. Thus in the
presence of something beautiful we are at all times mute. The strength of
its appeal is shown in our subsequent _ACTS_; and actions, we know, speak
far, far louder than words.

Beauty, then, is something which, uplifting us, strengthens the soul,
helps the spirit to rise above the deadening influence of the commonplace
monotony of the Everyday. It may not necessarily be essential to our
success in this world, though to surround oneself with Beauty is surely
one of the ideals which spur us onward to the attainment of riches, but it
is surely essential to our salvation! It is, as it were, the golden thread
which runs through the plain homespun of life. Without it the pattern of
our days would be distinctly “drab” on a buff ground. Everything that is
physically fine; everything that is noble and just, generous and kind;
everything which gladdens our hearts and sends us on our way rejoicing;
everything which, as it were, lifts our faces up towards God in the high
heavens—that surely is _Beautiful!_ I always like to think that Shelley in
his essay on “Love” made Love synonymous with Beauty: “Thou demandest what
is Love?” he wrote. “It is that powerful attraction towards all that we
conceive of fear, or hope beyond ourselves, when we find within our own
thoughts the chasm of an insufficient void, and seek to awaken in all
things that are, a community with what we experience within ourselves. If
we reason, we would be understood; if we imagine, we would that the airy
children of our brain were born anew within another’s; if we feel, we
would that another’s nerves should kindle at once and mix and melt into
our own, that lips of motionless ice should not reply to lips quivering
and burning with the heart’s best blood. This is Love. This is the bond
and sanction which connects not only man with man, but with everything
which exists.”

To make the world more and more beautiful, not in a narrow sense, but in
the widest and deepest sense possible, that surely ought to be the ideal
of civilization. And in this ideal, physical beauty has surely an
important place allotted to it. One is virtuous, after all, for one’s own
benefit; one “makes the best of oneself” for the benefit of the whole
world. There is no virtue in being plain, though I must confess it usually
makes virtue a much easier achievement. As a rule, Nature is more often a
conscientious than an inspired artist, and there is nothing mere
conscientiousness requires more than a helping hand. That
conscientiousness has also its divinely inspired moments—moments which
come to it unpremeditated and unforeseen—that also is a fad. That is why
Nature, who “bungle” her best points hopelessly so often, does
occasionally achieve a veritable “masterpiece.” That, too, is why
Beautiful Women have every reason to be proud of their loveliness and seek
to preserve its colouring and its contour. Moreover, their beauty also
absolves them from the necessity of being remarkable in any other
direction. After all, if one is beautiful, it is not also obligatory to be
useful. One does not demand of Leonardo da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa” to be a
screen as well as a picture, nor appreciate an exquisite piece of Sevres
china any the less because it is also neither a candlestick nor an ash‐
tray! We demand from them nothing beyond their beauty, and, finding it, we
are satisfied. Also we count our life worth while according to the
loveliness which it contains. Every man starts out in the hope that he
will marry a pretty woman. That most men’s taste is not exacting, and love
proverbially blind, is a blessing for which few lovers are sufficiently
grateful. In the prayers of gratitude offered up by Humanity to God, such
an one should be included: “Praise be unto Him who makes most of us
beautiful at some time to some one!” Beauty is, after all, its own
forgiveness of sins in the heart of those who love it. Only when a woman’s
looks are fading does her husband begin to realize that neither can she
cook. Until then, he is only too glad to suffer indigestion at her hands.
That a beautiful woman should die young is, after all, only to wish her
the best of all possible blessings in this best of all possible worlds.


    “As rich and purposeless as is the rose, Thy simple doom is to be
    beautiful.”


All the same, what a pleasant destiny! And yet, perhaps, those who are
permitted to gaze upon beauty without being themselves beautiful are the
most fortunate of all. And that is the position of most of us, thank God.
As it is more thrilling to watch a pageant than to take part in one, so,
to be able to gaze undisturbed upon the Pageant of Beauty as it passes
before our generation to take its place in the wonderful procession
marching down the ages, is a far more peaceful proceeding than to form
part of that procession. After all, the most envied in a tableau vivant
are not those who figure in it, but those who have been able to secure the
best position from which to view it. The man who secures a “masterpiece”
is far more gratified than the artist who created it. So, while we bow
down in adoration before Beauty, let us also be thankful that the greatest
privilege of all lies in an opportunity to regard it. “Beauty and
sadness,” George Macdonald has written, “always go together.” But to be
able to gaze on Beauty—that, surely, is the most undiluted joy in life.



CHARM


Almost every woman believes that, though Nature may not have made her
beautiful, of her own accord she can achieve charm. “Charm” is the
Possibility which Desire dangles before the nose of Hope. And every woman,
who _is_ a woman endeavours to make that Possibility a Certainty once, at
least, in her life. To be beautiful is a great deal, but to be charming is
of greater value and infinitely less dangerous to one’s peace of mind.
Especially to know that one is irresistible to some one whom one has no
particular desire to resist—that surely is _everything_! What, then, _is_
Charm?

Artemus Ward described a charming woman as “born to make hash of men’s
buzzoms”—which, though comprehensive, does not lead us very far, and
sounds perilously near being a cooking recipe. Oscar Wilde said: “All
charming people, I fancy, are spoiled. It is the secret of their
attraction”—which, personally, I disbelieve absolutely. Spoiled people
manage to get their own way, it is true, since the majority of us are so
faint‐hearted that we find it easier to offer ourselves in sacrifice than
play our part in a scène à faire. But the effect of a metaphorical foot on
one’s neck is by no means a satisfying sensation, though we may endure it
heroically. Longfellow described a charming woman as “when she passed it
seemed like the ceasing of exquisite music,” and this, though pleasing to
the ear, seems to say so much and mean as little as any modern drawing‐
room ballad. Shakespeare, perhaps, came nearer giving us a word‐picture of
Charm when he wrote: “She told him stories to delight his ear; she showed
him favours to allure his eye”; but even that description does not convey
to us much more than the effort of a cook to fascinate a policeman. Charm
is something more subtle than the ability to tell a smoking‐room story in
a drawing‐room way and exhibit the best “points” Nature has given us with
a fine semblance of doing so unconsciously. Perhaps the Dictionary gives
the best definition when it explains Charm as being “something possessing
occult power or influence.” Occultism seems the easiest explanation of the
personal “sway” which some outwardly unattractive person wields over the
most unlikely people, people who, by all reason and logic, policy and
prudence, ought not to be thus fascinated. Love is easier to explain than
Charm; or rather, perhaps, I ought to add, than that emotion which so
often passes muster for Love, that emotion which, though it often ends in
marriage, or divorce, or a six‐months’ despair, may arise from no more
solid foundation than solitude, a moonlight night, and the sex‐appeal of
two people in a “romantic” mood. But just as Time is the supreme test of
Love, so it is also the supreme test of Charm. A woman who is as charming
at forty‐nine as she was, say, at thirty, must necessarily possess
something inherent in her nature, not recognizable as “beauty” perchance,
which leads men nevertheless—and, what is infinitely more difficult, other
_women—_ by a single hair. Charm, indeed, has nothing whatever to do with
either beauty or youth. Its genius lies in being able to delude the world
that it is both beautiful as well as youthful, no matter what adverse
criticism artists may indulge in, nor how many cold, ugly facts Father
Time may bring forward to dispel the illusion. Real Charm rises superior
to both. It is a quality which, because it cannot be analysed, cannot
therefore be destroyed. So it is easier to call it “Occult,” which the
Dictionary informs us is a power “hidden from the eye and understanding.”
On the other hand, perhaps, it may be an unconscious form of _mesmerism_,
the mesmerist being as totally unaware of his gift as the mesmerised is of
his power.

But if we cannot break up Charm into its component parts, we can, at
least, say definitely what it is not. It cannot be cultivated, for one
thing, though life and experience may help to make it finer, more
exquisite. Nor is it necessarily the natural possession of either
beautiful or clever people. Most of us have met men and women who were
both mediocre in appearance and uncultivated in mind, who nevetheless were
charming in no slight degree, in that the evidence of charm be admiration
and friendship. The natural gift they possessed was the power to make all
those with whom they came in contact _feel charming_ too, and this, after
all, may or may not be the great secret of Charm? Beauty is delightful to
gaze upon; but it is, as it were, a self‐contained quality—we cannot share
in it except as spectators. But the genius of a charming man or woman is
that they help to bring out all that is best in other people. Beauty only
makes other people feel more beautiful or infinitely plainer and either is
a very lonely feeling. But in Charm we seem to share; it seems to mingle
us, not only with the charmer, but with all the world around them. Beauty
is like a wonderful jewel; but Charm, if I may refer to it in metaphor,
resembles an ideal home. And who would not rather pawn their jewellery
than break up a happy domesticity? It is perhaps this feeling which Charm
gives us of being perfectly “at home” that is its most precious
possession. So, may be, it is really the one word we give to that quality
of the mind and heart which mingles both sympathy and understanding in
equal quantities. Most women, when they desire to cultivate Charm, read up
the Memoirs of Ninon de l’Enclos, whereas they would be much wiser to
analyze the attractive qualities of the dog! Animals are always charming,
because they are always natural; and to be _natural_ is ninety per cent of
fascination. The reason so many men and women are bores is because so many
men and women are never content to make the best of what they are, but are
always pretending to be what they are not, generally ending their
performance by giving a dismal caricature of the Ideal they have tried so
vainly to emulate. Even honesty in this world of masks is charming. I
don’t, of course, mean that honesty which will scrupulously repay
threepenny bits, but the honesty which will be content to be exactly what
it is, without pretence or disguise, and with no additional trimming in
the way of either gold lace or sackcloth and ashes. An artificial person
is never charming, though they may sometimes achieve a charming effect. An
honest wrongdoer is infinitely more attractive than a Saint who pretends
that he has done no wrong. The great charm of a charming person is that he
can mingle the most diverse human elements, bringing them down to the one
common denominator of Humanity, where all that is true in Nature forges
that link which binds men together in brotherhood and humility. Charm
pierces all disguise: its influence is so delightful, since it helps us to
be our true selves, reprieving us for the nonce from that effort of
“pretending” which the world expects to find, and is embarrassed when this
expectation fails. Charm, then, is not a gift like Beauty, but a grateful
acceptance, unconsciously illustrating in our hearts the fact that it is
more satisfying to _give_ than to receive. In this way the Loquacious
finds a good Listener most attractive, and the Strong are never so happy
with themselves as when administering to the needs of the Weak. Two “born
talkers” were born to hate each other; just as one good listener finds
another good listener exceedingly dull company. That, too, is why Reserve
thinks Vivacity a thing of infinite repose, and the Vivacious discover in
the Reserved a silent strength more inspiring than eloquence. It is the
man or woman whose gifts bring out all the best in us who we call
“charming,” since further description seems unnecessary. Charming people,
then, must perforce be _natural_, since artificiality raises between men a
bulwark which not even Good Intentions can scale. They must also be
sympathetic, since those who demand sympathy are rarely more than
tolerated. They must also possess “Understanding,” since without
Understanding one might as well reveal oneself to a brick wall. Granted
these things, it will not take us very long to find them beautiful as
well.

Charm is not, then, an _assertive_ quality, unless unselfishness can
resemble “assertiveness.” Rather is it the power to draw from others those
natural qualities which otherwise lie dormant within them. We all yearn to
be our true selves: the difficulty is that we receive so little
encouragement from those with whom we are brought into contact. Thus, as I
wrote before, we are all apt to find charm in those who, as it were, seem
to possess the key to our hearts. We delight to talk to them, because with
them we feel safe from that danger which besets us so often—the danger of
being wilfully misunderstood, wilfully misjudged, our “dreams” and
“ideals” wilfully distorted. In their society we expand, living and
speaking as free men would live and speak in a world of real freedom.
Leaving them to return to the world is as a “farewell” to liberty upon re‐
entering prison. Physically they may not attract us; though, such is the
potency of Charm, that those we like we very soon begin to admire. Which
is a blessing without the least disguise, since it enables those who have
neither youth nor beauty nor wealth to recommend them to find friendship
and love nevertheless. Charm is, as it were, the passion of a “soul”—a
passion in which there is nothing physical, but rather a mental and
spiritual elation overwhelming the simple “call of the flesh.” Thus real
Charm is ageless, because it can triumph even over physical decay. The
Charm of Innocence; the Charm of Youth;—these states do not really belong
to those gifts of sympathy and understanding which are the two chief
elements of Charm. Youth and Innocence leave us at last. Our regret over
their departure is at best a purely academic sorrow. In the hearts of
those who find us charming we know that we can defy Age. Our greater
Knowledge will but give us a clearer Understanding, and for these things
shall we be loved. Charm, in fact, is what maturity offers men and women
in exchange for their Youth. In finding it, they escape that loneliness
which is the one haunting terror of growing old. We speak, of course, of
“charming girls” and “charming young men,” but what we really mean is that
they are merely nice and young. “Charming,” indeed, is a word which we use
as thoughtlessly as we use “Love.” We employ it to express prettiness and
elegance, daintiness and good‐nature. But none of these things necessarily
express “Charm” any more than do those couples, who make use of the trees
in Hyde Park to cuddle beneath them, express Love. They are just words we
employ because our Dictionary is limited and we cannot think of any other.
Real Charm is something much more subtle than any of these things—more
subtle, yet more potent. In fact, no one may pride themselves on the
possession of Charm until Time has robbed them of all those “minor
beauties.” Indeed, if I were asked to explain Charm—and in thus being
asked I should be faced by the difficulty of explaining the well‐nigh
inexplicable—I should sum it up as a kind of _super‐intelligence of the
_“soul,” an intelligence which combines the wisdom of the Heart with the
wisdom of the World, the Wisdom of the Serpent with some of the guileless
optimism of the Dove; above all, the gift of interpreting men and women to
themselves, thus bringing to their troubled “souls” that sense of repose
which comes from an opportunity to be completely natural, and, in being
natural, to arise refreshed in body and spirit, ready for further efforts
to solve the problem of true Happiness in Life.



Beautiful Women the World Over


In the preceding pages I have tried to explain my belief that Beauty is
some quality from which we seek inspiration, and that Charm is that
natural gift which helps us to give inspiration to others. When Beauty is
combined with Charm—a rarer combination than Society papers would lead us
to believe—you have that quality, akin to genius, which has made a few
beautiful women stand out, bold figures, in the long history of the world.

In olden days, when monarchs were wont to wield their sceptres rather in
the manner of a bomb‐thrower his bombs, it was sufficient for a woman to
attract the Royal eye for her at once to gain the reputation of world‐wide
beauty. Royal mistresses were always lovely ipso facto. It was lése
majesté to dispute the Royal taste in feminine beauty. All the same, as
one gazes nowadays upon these sirens of a past age, one confesses to
oneself that most monarchs set out on their voyages à Cythère in very
rudely constructed barques. Instinctively, however, we still try to see
these ladies through Royal eyes, praising them accordingly. Maybe our
professed admiration for them is all part and parcel of that glamour which
we weave, even to‐day, around our “lesser” terrestrial deities. A lady
mayoress still shares with duchesses the genius of always smiling
“graciously.” (Until such a time, of course, as, her husband being denied
re‐election, we designate those signs of amiability on her part merely as
varieties of the much‐reviled “grin.”)

In this the Twentieth Century the aesthetic taste of monarchs is no longer
approved unquestioningly by all the world. The power of a King’s mistress
is at present more social than aesthetic. To‐day the photographer is more
potent in the creation of a woman’s reputation for beauty than the most
autocratic emperor. Photography is no longer merely the business of exact
reproduction—it is an Art, penetrating in its psychological illustration
of character. As one gazes at those depressing likenesses of lovely women
who lived sixty years ago, one realizes at once the popularity of such
painters as Winterhalter. He, at any rate, made his “sitters” look like
half‐sisters to the Empress Eugenie, in a pose designed expressly for the
decoration of a chocolate box. To‐day the photographer has usurped the
position of all but the greatest portrait‐painters. And this, for the
reason that the best modern photographers must also of necessity be
artists. They must undergo something of the same rigorous training as
painters. It is no longer a question of a good camera, a studio, and the
exhibition case of “samples” hung outside the front door. A modern
photographer must understand all the nuances of light and shade, tone
value, colour, pose, proportion. His studies must have the characteristics
of first‐class paintings—minus, of course, their colour. Nevertheless,
this omission must be suggested through the variations of light and shade.
It is because Mr. Hoppé is also a painter that the reproductions in this
book are so superb in all those details which go to make up perfection in
portraiture. They are not merely photographs (as we in our ignorance often
designate photography as “mere”). They represent an art nearly akin to the
finest portrait painting. Note, for example, the exquisite manner in which
light and shade has been employed to throw into relief just those most
lovely features which each face possesses individually, even the most
beautiful. Note especially in this regard how cleverly the artist has
caught the different characteristics which belong to each individual
nationality—the Red Indian type of beauty, for example, as contrasted with
that of the English. The difference is not so marked in the contour of the
face, nor in the features, but in the _eyes_. There you have a whole
volume of comparisons. Those of the Red Indian Beauty, exquisite in their
shape, seem nevertheless to have, as it were, a shutter closed down behind
them. They are unfathomable. The typical English eyes, on the other hand,
how clear they are, how open; how we seem able to see right into them—deep
down into the labyrinth of thought! Examine the Spanish portrait, and note
how cleverly the artist has thrown into relief those most lovely
characteristics of Spanish beauty—the formation of the chin, the eyebrows,
the fascinating manner in which the hair is arranged as a framework for
the modelling of the whole face. The Gipsy beauty—how admirably it shows
the wayward grace of the Gipsy race; its wide and open countenance,
suggestive of life led in the free air; the characteristic eyes, with
their hint of Asiatic origin. Take also the picture of a typical Italian
beauty—in this case Neapolitan in type. Even in this photograph one can
almost see that blue‐black tint so beautiful in the hair of Italian women.
Note, too, the perfect Roman profile, the lovely upper lip, the sensitive
nostrils—all so suggestive of a nation in which emotion and feeling are
rarely suppressed. The Russian beauty—how attractive and how typical she
is! Note the almost square jaw, the sensuous mouth, the upper eyelid
slightly overhanging—a characteristic which lends to Russian women that
unique fascination which belongs to the “language of the eye.” Indeed, it
may be said that a Russian woman can express herself by her eyes alone,
whereas an English woman _talks_, and yet is often misunderstood.

In discussing these portraits with Mr. Hoppé he revealed to me a somewhat
unconventional belief—his belief that, in America, there is no such thing
as a “typical American face.” Every type is represented over there, and no
one predominates over another. American women differ from English women in
a certain native “chic,” approaching almost to the instinctive grace of
the French woman; a certain intellectual “flair”; a “liveliness”—if I may
so express it—all typical of a mixed race, still young enough to be
content to imitate unconsciously the type it most admires, and being able
to do so since it possesses the inherited characteristics of so many
different nationalities.

This book gives us a wonderful example of representative French beauty.
Note the mouth—how typical it is! The perfect poise of the head on the
neck; the equally beautiful throat and shoulders. Moreover, this portrait
is especially interesting, since it shows us how lovely white hair can be
as the framework of a still youthful face.

To contrast the Chinese and Japanese beauties is also interesting. There
is a gentle sweetness about the Japanese face which is undoubtedly
appealing; but it does not compare in character with that of the Chinese
lady. The contour of the Chinese face, though less round, has a straighter
nose, the modelling of every feature is firmer, infinitely less flaccid.
It is interesting, too, to compare the Cuban beauty with that of the
Hawaiian. The latter type is less classical; there is a stronger influence
of the negro in it. Indeed, the Hawaiian type of beauty may be described
as being only just far enough removed from the negro to be pretty. In the
Cuban woman the nose is more classically modelled; the whole contour of
the face nearly resembles that of the European. Even in Western eyes she
possesses charm.

One hardly knows how to admire the Portuguese type of beauty. It is
undoubtedly striking—though, if I may so express it, the model chosen by
Mr. Hoppé seems too unapproachable to make any facile appeal. It is,
however, interesting in this portrait to observe traces of the Spanish
type, combined with an undoubtedly Moorish influence as seen in the way
the eyes are set in the face. The eyes, indeed, are the most fascinating
part of the picture. Regard them well, they are uncanny; they are almost
unreal. I have seen eyes like that in crudely carved wooden idols—so
primitive in their modelling, yet so extraordinarily expressive in their
regard: _seeing_ eyes with, as it were, an impenetrable blind drawn close
down behind them, shutting out thought. If not the most strictly
beautiful, this Portuguese type is one of the most psychologically
_interesting_ in the whole pageant of this book of beauty.

And yet, how attractive in their variety all these faces are! Could
anything be more alluring than the lovely eyes, the perfectly shaped mouth
of the Chilian beauty, a beauty also strongly characteristic of the
Spanish type? How lovely, too, is the Greek face, with the nose, as it
were, a deliberate continuation of the forehead. There is passion and
grace in the Indian woman, with her lovely supple body, the expression of
melancholy in her face, those exquisite velvet eyes the size of which seem
almost completely to dwarf the other features!

Among such a galaxy of lovely women each man may surely find one who
represents to him his physical ideal. The charm of these portraits is that
each beautiful woman, typical of her race, possesses some unique beauty
which belongs to her nationality alone. In each face there is a charm
which more than compensates us for its deviation from the characteristics
we, as Englishmen, most especially admire. He must be prejudiced indeed in
favour of one type who can deny a certain loveliness to any one of them.

Very few there will surely be malcontent to leave this book to posterity
as a portrait‐gallery of some of the loveliest women representative of the
world of our day. Naturally, there are other beautiful women in the world
who are not included. This is one book—not a whole library! But who will
dispute the right of those who do appear therein? No one—surely!

And, after all, were a Martian suddenly to descend to Earth and demand of
us representatives of the finest examples of the Human Race, should we not
parade before him our most beautiful women?

                                                              RICHARD KING
1922



THIRTY‐TWO PORTRAITS



                        [1. AMERICA—Lady Lavery ]

                          1. AMERICA—Lady Lavery


                       [2. AMERICA—Mrs. Lydig Hoyt]

                        2. AMERICA—Mrs. Lydig Hoyt


                    [3. AMERICA—Viscountess Maidstone]

                     3. AMERICA—Viscountess Maidstone


                   [4. AMERICA—Miss Malvina Longfellow]

                    4. AMERICA—Miss Malvina Longfellow


                     [5. AMERICA—Miss Marion Davies]

                      5. AMERICA—Miss Marion Davies


                   [6. RED INDIAN—Princess White Deer]

                    6. RED INDIAN—Princess White Deer


                           [7. ENGLAND—“Hebe”]

                            7. ENGLAND—“Hebe”


                   [8. ENGLAND—Lady Diana Duff‐Cooper]

                    8. ENGLAND—Lady Diana Duff‐Cooper


                     [9. ENGLAND—Miss Gladys Cooper]

                      9. ENGLAND—Miss Gladys Cooper


                   [10. ENGLAND—Miss Kathlene Martyn ]

                     10. ENGLAND—Miss Kathlene Martyn


             [11. SCOTLAND—Viscountess Masserene and Ferrard]

              11. SCOTLAND—Viscountess Masserene and Ferrard


                     [12. IRELAND—Miss Grace D’Arcy ]

                      12. IRELAND—Miss Grace D’Arcy


                  [13. FRANCE—Mlle. Raymonde Thuillier]

                   13. FRANCE—Mlle. Raymonde Thuillier


                      [14. ALGIERS—Madame Revalles]

                       14. ALGIERS—Madame Revalles


                   [15. SPAIN—Señora Tortola Valencia]

                    15. SPAIN—Señora Tortola Valencia


                     [16. GIPSY—Miss Fedora Roselli]

                      16. GIPSY—Miss Fedora Roselli


                      [17. ITALY—Signora Comanetti]

                       17. ITALY—Signora Comanetti


                [18. PORTUGAL—Señora Maria Di Castellani]

                 18. PORTUGAL—Señora Maria Di Castellani


                       [19. RUSSIA—Mlle. Fedorova]

                        19. RUSSIA—Mlle. Fedorova


                      [20. POLAND—Madame Mika Mikun]

                       20. POLAND—Madame Mika Mikun


                     [21. NORWAY—Miss Olga Morrison]

                      21. NORWAY—Miss Olga Morrison


                    [22. SWEDEN—Miss Anna Q. Nillson]

                     22. SWEDEN—Miss Anna Q. Nillson


                     [23. ARMENIA—Armen Ter Ohanian]

                      23. ARMENIA—Armen Ter Ohanian


                      [24. CHILE—Countess Lisburne]

                       24. CHILE—Countess Lisburne


                    [25. ECUADOR—Mrs. Haddon Chambers]

                     25. ECUADOR—Mrs. Haddon Chambers


                       [26. INDIA—Princess Monchsa]

                        26. INDIA—Princess Monchsa


                        [27. JAPAN—Mrs. Tokugawa]

                         27. JAPAN—Mrs. Tokugawa


                     [28. CHINA—Mrs. Wellington Koo]

                      28. CHINA—Mrs. Wellington Koo


                                [29. CUBA]

                                 29. CUBA


                               [30. HAITI]

                                30. HAITI


                               [31. HAWAI]

                                31. HAWAI


                         [32. DUTCH WEST INDIES]

                          32. DUTCH WEST INDIES





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