2013 Rolls Royce Phantom by Rolls-Royce North America

More catalogs by Rolls-Royce North America | 2013 Rolls Royce Phantom | 154 pages | 2015-07-27

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Page 34 of 2013 Rolls Royce Phantom

charles robinson sykes sculptor of the spirit of ecstasy 28 29 it was while working as claude johnson’s private secretary at the automobile club that eleanor first caught the eye of lord montagu so much so that she went on to become his private secretary at the car illustrated the weekly magazine he founded and edited and ultimately his mistress by all accounts eleanor was regarded as ‘the brains’ behind the business while she worked with lord montagu yet judging by this description of her by sykes’ daughter josephine she was also a very liberated and inspirational woman ‘she hated clothes she needed to live with people who were free in their ideas she loved life she was an amazing woman she definitely had quite an influence on my father’s work.’ the story of the illicit edwardian love affair between lord montagu and eleanor was ultimately to end in tragedy while accompanying him on a voyage to india in 1915 their ship the ss persia was torpedoed in the mediterranean sea and sank eleanor lost her life and her body was never found lord montagu was also presumed drowned and his obituary was prematurely published in the times however he was rescued after spending 36 hours clinging to a lifeboat how he survived and eleanor perished was not down to fate instead to the gieve waistcoat he was wearing at the time which included an inflatable life preserver that could be worn as a regular waistcoat when aboard ship but was miss thornton the original inspiration for the spirit of ecstasy ultimately no one will ever know charles sykes never spoke publicly about the matter and his daughter when asked many years later is reported to have replied ‘it is an interesting story and if it makes you happy let the myth prevail.’ ‘a graceful little goddess the spirit of ecstasy who has selected road travel as her supreme delight and alighted on the prow of a rolls-royce motor car to revel in the freshness of the air and the musical sound of her fluttering draperies.’ charles robinson sykes 1911.