queerasfact: People had never seen “eyes like Henrietta’s,” “purple eyes with tangled lashes.” In…

queerasfact:

People had never seen “eyes like Henrietta’s,” “purple eyes with tangled lashes.” In the absence of color photographs, their arresting hue would be lost to history were it not for her lovers’ attempts to capture them in language. The actor and producer John Houseman, Orson Welles’s collaborator and the winner of an Academy Award, called them “violet-blue.” “Brilliantly blue,” offered the novelist David Garnett. But it was not just their color. “She looks the memory of her eyes into you,” a poet explained. They were “fascinating” with her “coquettish” lashes — “the eyes of a too- wise little girl.” Henrietta’s hair was jet, her face oval, her skin cream-white, and one companion declared she “should preach, her voice is so divine.” The painter Dora Carrington called her a “Giotto Madonna.”

Irrepressible: The Jazz-Age Life of Henrietta Bingham, Emily Bingham

Learn more about this bisexual purple-eyed jazz-age heiress in our podcast!