'Spirit of Ecstasy' aka The Silver Ghost

Pacion

New Member
#1
In case you ever wondered what was the inspiration behind the figure at the front of the Silver Ghost Rolls-Royce, here is the answer. Movie coming to a cinema near you soon ;) As it is Lord (Richard) Attenborough, it should be a nicely made movie. :D

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/femail/article.html?in_article_id=563143&in_page_id=1879

You can still feel the regret and despair, heavy in every word. 'I should have got a stronger grip on her,' wrote Lord Montagu in a letter home from his sickbed in Malta in 1916, after being rescued from the wreckage of the SS Persia which was hit by a German torpedo while crossing the Mediterranean.

But to his enduring pain, Eleanor Thornton, his travelling companion, personal assistant and beloved mistress, had not been saved.

"My father was shattered by Thorn drowning," says his son, the 81-year-old current Lord Montagu, using his father's pet name for Eleanor.

"Theirs was a great love affair. Although when he came back home he was badly injured, he spent days looking for Thorn, who had been thrown overboard, searching everywhere, hoping that somehow she would turn up."
Of course, she never did. But though the affair between the aristocrat and Eleanor Thornton ended with her death, their love was immortalised in the most unlikely of places.

It was the inspiration for the Rolls-Royce flying lady, or 'Spirit of Ecstasy', whose soaring curves are modelled on Thorn and recognised by motorists across the world as a symbol of quality and distinction.

Now Lord Attenborough is turning the story into a film - The Silver Ghost.

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Montagu owned a Rolls-Royce and would often take her for a spin along with Charles Sykes, an artist and sculptor.

This is how Thorn came to inspire, and model for, the Spirit of Ecstasy.
Montagu was friends with the managing director of Rolls-Royce and between them they cooked up a plan for an official sculpture, which at Montagu's suggestion Charles Sykes was commissioned to design.

Sykes used Miss Thornton as a model and The Spirit of Ecstasy, or "Miss Thornton in her nightie", as those in the know called it, graced its first Rolls-Royce in 1911.
 

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