Louise Jopling: A Research Project
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Portrait - Miss Polly Lemon

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Subject:portrait, female  
Sitter:Lemon, Mary Kate (Polly)  
Sitter Note:Polly = Molly Mary? Daughter of Mark Lemon (1809–1870), editor of Punch  



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Jopling 1925 Quote:'A daughter of Mark Lemon, with the good, old-fashioned name of Polly, had a most lovely voice. Some one said of her that “she looked like a Queen, and sang like an Angel.” Her mother was a Romer, so that this was not to be wondered at – a Miss Romer had been a celebrated prima donna. Poor Polly! She had a tragic fate, and connected, somehow, with her beautiful voice. She had come up from Crawley – where she lived – to stay the night with her cousins, the Williamses in Bedford Square, as she was going on the river with them the next day. She had a very disturbed night, waking up, and falling asleep to dream, three times running, that she saw a veiled figure, on the opposite side of a river, motioning her to go away. The dream had such an effect upon her that she told her cousins she felt it was a warning to her, and she would rather not go to the picnic, as she was sure that something would happen. The cousins chaffed her about paying such attention to a mere dream, and persuaded her not to spoil their party by abstaining from going. So she went, and the mysterious warning was realized. As she and her companions were sailing up one of the reaches of the Thames, the boat upset, and they found themselves clinging to the upturned boat for dear life. Her companions begged her to call for help, and her wonderful voice travelling down the river was heard a very long way off by some people who came as quickly as they could to the rescue. She must have been shouting for quite two hours, at the top of her voice, and in a constrained and alarming position, and, although she didn’t seem any the worse for it at the time, she died three months afterwards. The doctor certified that her death was through an abscess on the brain, from the breaking of a small blood vessel when she overstrained her voice in her cries for help.'  
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Other Published Sources:Jopling 1925 list  
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