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Gladys Deacon on Instagram: “Julian Barnes prints this photo of Audrey  Deacon in her coffin in Florence in May 1904. Catherine Pozzi… in 2020 |  Julian barnes, Deacon, PhotoIda Audrey Deacon (November, 1885 - May 22, 1904) was a friend of Catherine Pozzi. Pozzi loved Deacon, and she carried with her everywhere a photo taken of Deacon in her coffin. They had met in 1903 during a vacation. Audrey died a year later in Florence. Pozzi dedicated her anonymous autobiography, Agnès, to her.

Ida Audrey Deacon was the daughter of Edward Parker Deacon (1844–1901), of Boston, and Florence Baldwin (1859–1918), daughter of Admiral Charles H. Baldwin, USN of Newport. Her siblings were: Gladys Marie Deacon Spencer-Churchill (1881–1977), Edith Florence Deacon Gray (1887–1965) and Dorothy Evelyn Deacon Palffy (1891–1960). Although living much abroad, the family was well known in Boston. Deacon's grandfather, who was of French extraction, was the owner of the famous Deacon house, built about 1840 in the large plot of ground on Washington st., Boston, extending from Concord to Worcester st. This old-time mansion, once partially destroyed by fire and long ago given over to business purposes, has made the name of Deacon noted in the city. Deacon's father died in July, 1901. His four daughters, Marie Gladys, Ida Audrey, Dorothy Evelyn, and Edith Florence, who were educated in a French convent, inherited in equal portions his estate. The older two daughters had been prominent in society abroad, where they were presented to members of the royal family in England, Germany and elsewhere.

Audrey Deacon studied in Dresden and was presented in society in the winter of 1902-1903. Audrey Deacon died in Florence from an heart disease. A year before her death, their mother took Audrey and her sister Gladys in London during the season, for which she rented a furnished house at 3 John Street, Mayfair. An article described how Gladys went to a ball at Mrs. Adir as a Pompeian flute player and was greatly admired. She presented a striking contrast to her younger sister, Audrey, who appeared as a Greek flower girl, her draperies swathed tightly across her body, displaying her magnincent figure to perfection. She had a Spanish look in her deep-set dark eyes that swept about in the most searching way. Her complexion was the most beautiful imaginable - creamy white, with carmine cheeks and full red lips, revealing her front teeth. She was the same height as Gladys, but not so thin, and was quite as well informed on all subjects. Audrey was at the same convent as her sister, showed the same love of knowledge, attended courses of lectures at the Sorbonne, in Paris, on some of the most obstruse subjects, and in conversation could control any question that arised. Gladys Deacon, who looked startingly thin, was very popular in London, and went out a little more than her sister, who had not yet been presented at court. Mrs. Deacon was a most beautiful woman, looked astonishingly youthful, dressed exquisitely and had a reserved, dignified manner, more like a Parisian "haute dame" than the very modern mother of two very modern daughters. The servants in their little Mayfalr house were all French, and were brought over from their Versailles home. The girls were chaperoned principally by some of their many married friends. Lady Clifford of Chudlelgh took Gladys everywhere.

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Gladys Deacon by Giovanni Boldini

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