Leslie Harradine’s figurine Blithe Morning certainly has non of the ghostly spirit of the film Blithe Spirit, that invariably influenced her name! The film Blithe Spirit appeared in 1945 and was based on the play of the same name by Noel Coward. The play and film are centred around the socialite and novelist Charles Condomine, who invites the eccentric medium and clairvoyant, Madame Arcati played by Margaret Rutherford, to his house to conduct a séance, hoping to gather material for his next book. The deception backfires when he is haunted by the ghost of his annoying and temperamental first wife, Elvira, after the séance. Elvira makes continual attempts to disrupt Charles’s marriage to his second wife, Ruth, who cannot see or hear the ghost. The comedy is now a classic film.
Harradine’s very typical Doulton lady exudes her own kind of blithe spirit as strolls carefree into an oncoming breeze. Introduced in 1949 as HN 2021 in blue colourway and a year later as HN 2065 in a red colourway so favoured by Doulton collectors. She remained in production for some 20 plus years and today’s she is the type of figure that every Harradine collector wants!
Pictured along with the two typical colourways is a further colourway from 1948, which is almost a combination of the two official versions but as is usual with colourways there is added detail particularly to her shawl.