Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Riding Shotgun Down the Avalanche

It's been a couple of days now, and I've simply been awash in "Millsness", even to the point of being unable to really keep up here.

I've spent long hours researching [and quite successfully, I might add] the near and distant arms of the family of George Mills, including his half-brother's incredible wife, Lady Dorothy Rachel Melissa Walpole Mills, the world famous author and traveler [depicted in the lurid drawing, left]; her brilliant, horticulturalist half-sister, Lady Anne Sophia Walpole Palmer Berry [still alive and residing in Gisborne, New Zealand, by the way]; Lady Dorothy's cripplingly arthritic grandmother, Louisa, and tragically scandalized mother, Louise; her railroad tycoon grandfather, the driven and seemingly unfeeling American multimillionaire D. C. Corbin of Spokane, Washington; the adulterous divorce of Lady Dorothy and adventure/crime writer Arthur [F. H.] Mills; Lady Dorothy's morally bankrupt and cash poor, apparent lothario of a father, Robert Horace Walpole, the last earl of the extinct earldom of Orford; and an unfortunately fallen woman, Valerie Wiedemann, an erstwhile German-born governess who worked in 19th century Istanbul, Turkey, who very likely gave birth to Lady Dorothy's unknown and illegitimate brother!

Yes, it's been very interesting reading!

I've also found a street plan showing the exact shape location of George's Warren Hill School in Eastbourne, circa 1933, and the shape of the buildings and campus [pictured, left], a photo of Capt. Arthur Frederick Hobart Mills, George's author half-brother, a photo of George's uncle, Col. Dudley Acland Mills, as a schoolboy, and simply an avalanche of photographs of and taken by Lady Dorothy Mills, as well as a plethora of newspaper articles and features.

I believe I've found out that both sisters of George Mills, Agnes and Violet, remained unmarried, and also the locale where—surprisingly, at least to me—they passed away.

Finally, I've been contacted by someone who probably knows more about this family than perhaps anyone!

Hang in there! More soon…

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