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Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna (1831–1891), founder of theosophy, was born at Yekaterinoslav (Dnepropetrovsk), Ukraine, at midnight on 30–31 July 1831, the daughter of Colonel Peter Hahn (d. 1873), descended from the counts Rotenstern-Hahn of Mecklenburg, and of his wife, Helena Pavolovna Fadeev. She was a petted, wayward, invalid child whose mother, a novelist who advocated women's emancipation, died when she was small. From girlhood onwards she was a beguiling story-teller. On 7 July 1848 she married an older man, ...

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Arabella Spencer Churchill (1949–2007) by Ian Hargreaves, 1976 © Ian Hargreaves / National Portrait Gallery, London

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Churchill, Arabella Spencer [Bella] (1949–2007), festival and charity founder, was born on 30 October 1949 at 12 Catherine Place, Westminster, London, the only daughter of Randolph Frederick Edward Spencer Churchill (1911–1968), journalist and politician, and his second wife, June Hermione, née Osborne (1922–1980)...

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Goff, Helen Lyndon [pseuds. P. L. Travers, Pamela Lyndon Travers] (1899–1996), children's writer, was born on 9 August 1899 in Maryborough, Queensland, Australia. She was the first of the three children of Travers Robert Goff (1863–1907), a London-born bank manager (later demoted to a clerk), and ...

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Helen Lyndon Goff (1899–1996) by Jane Bown, pubd 1982 © Jane Bown