I see the picture everyday as it hangs on the wall of my little study, just above my desk.
Then a few weeks ago, out of the blue, I received the following email:
I just came across your blog from 2011 this morning as I sit here on a visit to New York City. Last night I went to a play at The Helen Hayes theater and it got me thinking about my Great Aunt Betty Linley who had been an actress here and I decided to google her. To my surprise I found that her last name had been spelled wrong in some places and that quite a few people seemed to be curious about her. She was 24 in the photo you posted of her. I have never seen that photo before. I LOVE it!!! I will contact the NPG in hopes that can correct the spelling of her name.
Betty and my Grandmother Mary Linley were both actresses. They left England with a theater company for East Asia at the onset of WWI. It was in Japan that Mary met my Grandfather Albert. They fell in love and he eventually bought out both of their contracts so that he could marry my Grandmother and Betty could go to New York to pursue her Broadway dreams. Mary moved to Seoul, Korea where her new husband lived. She wrote a book about her adventures called "Chain of Amber". Betty, Mary and their younger sister Una were all incredible women and I have been inspired by all of them to be adventurous and live life to the fullest.
Betty and Mary chose their stage name Linley after ancestors from the 1700's, the Linleys of Bath. Elizabeth Linley a beautiful world class soprano was married to Richard Brinsley Sheridan and her sister Mary Linley to the poet Richard Tickell. There are several portraits by Gainsborough of them and their younger brother Thomas at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. Mary's son, my Father Bruce Tickell Taylor, recently passed away at the age of 96. He wrote a book about his life called "Dilkusha by the Ginko Tree". One of my projects at the moment is that I am working on bringing Mary's book "Chain of Amber" from book to film.
The e-mail was signed Jennifer Linley Taylor, a multi-talented American artist, interior designer, singer-songwriter and film producer (among others).
I am really interested in Jennifer's project of bringing her grandmother's book, Chain of Amber to the screen. It would make a visually stunning, epic movie!
“Touring in a theatrical company in India and the Far East; marriage to an American mining engineer; living in Korea under Japanese occupation… these are some of the beads in this Chain of Amber.”