Daisy Gordon fell in love with Willy Low while he was visiting Savannah, Georgia. Low lived in Great Britain with his siblings and his father and had to return there–even though neither Daisy nor Willy wanted to be separated from each other. As soon as she could, Daisy found a way to cross the Atlantic Ocean to meet Willy again. She went to the Low home, called Beauchamp Hall, in Royal Leamington Spa, in the English Midlands. Daisy told her parents that she found a warm welcome there. She extolled the beauty of the gardens and the cozy feeling of the interior despite the outward size of the house.
I visited Warwickshire recently and my kind host took me on a brief tour of Leamington Spa which was famous in Daisy’s time for its medicinal baths. The spas were so elegant that royalty sought healing and rest there, hence the town name beginning with “Royal.” Below are some photos I took of the Low homes as they look today.
This is Beauchamp Hall. It sits on the corner across the street from a park and is currently a school.
Here’s a shot from a little farther back so you can see the size of the house better. It goes on quite a way back and is much larger than it appears.
Right around the block, very near to Beauchamp Hall, is another Low home. Willy and his sisters were living in these luxury apartments in the 1870s.
As her biographer, going to investigate the places where Daisy and Willy courted and lived is important. It helps me to try to recover a sense of her. These two sites in England are very different today, of course, and many things have changed since the Low family lived in Royal Leamington Spa. But still I think it is well worth it to see them, to see the neighborhoods, to try to understand distances, to attempt to recover some of the wonder she might have felt upon her initial visit, and to ponder the sorts of sights and sounds she might have enjoyed while there. I hope my photographs assist you to peer into part of Daisy’s world, if only dimly.