Around this time Lucy set up as a dressmaker calling her establishment ‘Maison Lucile’. Choosing a French sounding name for a fashion business was not unusual and Lucile seemed an obvious choice. I wonder whether she was also influenced by a romantic tale of love lost, found and lost again published in 1860 by ‘Owen Meredith’, the penname of Robert Bulwer-Lytton, first Earl of Lytton. ' Lucile', a novel in verse, remained popular throughout the century and one of the many later editions happens to have seen the light of day in 1893.
At first working from home, in 1895 ‘Mrs Lucy Wallace’ is listed in a commercial directory as court dressmaker based at 24 Old Burlington Street. A few years later, in 1897, Lucy moved to 17 Hanover Square and she seems to have been installed at 23 Hanover Square in 1904. There was a temporary move, probably between 1903 and 1904, to 14 St George’s Street (off Hanover square), further details can be found in Randy Bryan Bigham’s book which I stupidly only read after doing a lot or research myself. What is certain is the wedding of our single-mother-divorcee in May 1901 to the Scottish aristocrat, Cosmo Edmund Duff Gordon, who not only sported a rather fabulous moustache but also excelled at fencing. Sadly they did not live happily ever after, but this is another story. Let’s get back to real estate.