youngest, Virginia. She underwent the usual fate of early Victorian beauty:
was mobbed in the streets, celebrated in odes, and even made the subject of a 
paper in Punch by Thackeray, "On a good-looking young lady." It did not 
matter that the sisters had been brought up by their French grandmother in 
household lore rather than in book learning. "They were artistic to their 
finger tips, with an appreciation—almost to be called a culte—for beauty." In 
India their conquests were many, and when they married and settled in 
England, they had the art of making round them, whether at Freshwater or at
Little Holland House, a society of their own (“Pattledom” it was christened 
by Sir Henry Taylor), where they could drape and arrange, pull down and
build up, and carry on life in a high-handed and adventurous way which painters
and writers and even serious men of affairs found much to their liking. 
“Little Holland House, where Mr. Watts lived, seemed to me a paradise,”
wrote Ellen Terry, “where only beautiful things were allowed to come. All
the women were graceful, and all the men were gifted.” There, in the many
rooms of the old Dower House, Mrs. Prinsep lodged Watts and Burne Jones,
and entertained innumerable friends among lawns and trees which seemed deep
in the country, though the traffic of Hyde Park Corner was only two miles
distant. Whatever they did, whether in the cause of religion or of friendship,
was done enthusiastically. 

Was a room too dark for a friend? Mrs. Cameron would have a window 
built instantly to catch the sun. Was the surplice of the Rev. C. Beanlands
only passably clean? Mrs. Prinsep would set up a laundry in her own house
and wash the entire linen of the clergy of St. Michael's at her own expense.
Then when relations interfered, and begged her to control her extravagance,
she nodded her head with its coquettish white curls obediently, heaved a sigh 
of relief as her counsellors left her, and flew to the writing-table to despatch
telegram after telegram to her sisters describing the visit. "Certainly no one
could restrain the Pattles but themselves," says Lady Troubridge. Once indeed
the gentle Mr. Watts was known to lose his temper. He found two little girls,
the granddaughters of Mrs. Prinsep, shouting at each other with their ears
stopped so that they could hear no voices but their own. Then he delivered a 
lecture upon self-will, the vice, he said, which they had inherited from their
French ancestress, Madame de l'Étang. "You will grow up imperious 
women," he told them, "if you are not careful." Had they not into the 
bargain an ancestor who blew the lid off his coffin?

Certainly Julia Margaret Cameron had grown up an imperious woman; but 
she was without her sisters' beauty. In the trio where, as they said, Lady