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Sunday, June 11, 2006

A Loverly Theory

Olive Maude Turner, who died unmarried in 1992, may have been the last living descendant of the real-life "Eliza Doolittle."

Suffolk-based writer Ann Gander is researching the possibility that the playwright George Bernard Shaw based characters in his play Pygmalion - which later became the musical My Fair Lady - on real people.

According to her theory, the fictional relationship between Professor Henry Higgins and his protégé Eliza Doolittle was drawn from the real life pairing of Sir Frederic Leighton and Ada Pullan.

Just as Professor Higgins trains Eliza to behave like a lady, the real life Sir Frederic - who was a famous painter - also paid for the low-born Ada to be tutored. [Link]
In return, Ada agreed to pose nude for the artist—a plot twist that appears only in the NC-17 version of My Fair Lady.

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