"asked me if I knew Lady Ottoline Morrell and whether I'd been to Garsington"
Lady Ottoline Morrell
Public DomainLady Ottoline Morrell

Upper-class English socialite Lady Ottoline Violet Anne Morrell (1873-1938) personified the social side of the artistic and literary world.

 A descendent of the First Duke of Wellington and Bess of Hardwick, and cousin to Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (who became Queen when her husband, the Duke of York, was crowned King George VI), Lady Ottoline was certainly well connected.

Mingling with writers such as TS Eliot, DH Lawrence and Aldous Huxley, Lady Ottoline hosted countless parties and get-togethers at her country house in Garsington, near Oxford.

The Tudor property served as a retreat from her London townhouse in Bloomsbury; she bought it with her husband Philip Morrell in 1914. They restored the house to its former glory, creating landscaped Italian-style gardens with statues and a large ornamental pool. 

Lady Ottoline was a complex character: she oozed style and wealth, while concealing money problems; she was shy, yet hosted major social events; she was respected by many and considered a mentor, yet ridiculed for her eccentric sense of fashion and her religious beliefs.