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Balfour [née Lytton], Elizabeth Edith [Betty], countess of Balfour (1867–1942), social hostess and biographer, was born on 12 June 1867 at Hyde Park Gate, London, the eldest of the five surviving children of Edward Robert Bulwer-Lytton, first earl of Lytton (1831–1891), viceroy, diplomat, and poet, and his wife, ...

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See Bunsen, Christian Karl Josias von, Baron von Bunsen in the Prussian nobility

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Elizabeth Christiana Cavendish, duchess of Devonshire (1757–1824) by Sir Joshua Reynolds, 1787 Chatsworth House. Photograph: Photographic Survey, Courtauld Institute of Art, London

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Cavendish [née Hervey; other married name Foster], Elizabeth Christiana, duchess of Devonshire (1757–1824), society hostess and patron of the arts, was the middle daughter of Frederick Augustus Hervey, fourth earl of Bristol (1730–1803), and his wife, Elizabeth Davers (1730–1800), and was known for most her life as ...

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Mary Constance Charteris, countess of Wemyss (1862–1937) by Sir Edward John Poynter, 1886 in a private Scottish collection; photograph courtesy the Scottish National Portrait Gallery

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Charteris [née Wyndham], Mary Constance, countess of Wemyss (1862–1937), hostess, was born on 3 August 1862 at 44 Belgrave Square, London, the eldest of the five children of the Hon. Percy Wyndham (1835–1911), second son of the first Lord Leconfield, and his wife, ...

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Colefax [née Halsey], Sibyl Sophie Julia, Lady Colefax (1874–1950), hostess and interior decorator, was born on 4 December 1874, at The Poplars, Wimbledon Common, Surrey (the house of her uncle, Walter Bagehot). She was the third but only surviving daughter (and fifth and last child) of ...

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Fielding, Daphne Winifred Louise Vivian (1904–1997), writer and socialite, was born at 11 St James's Square, Westminster, London, on 11 July 1904, the elder daughter of George Crespigny Brabazon Vivian, fourth Baron Vivian (1878–1940) and his wife, Barbara Cicely, daughter of William Fanning...

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Gibson [née Cullum], (Susannah) Arethusa (1814–1885), society hostess and political activist, was born on 11 January 1814 at Southgate Green, Bury St Edmunds, the only child of Revd Sir Thomas Gery Cullum, eighth baronet (1777–1855), and his first wife, Mary Anne, née...

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Le Queux, William Tufnell (1864–1927), author and self-publicist, was born on 2 July 1864 at 5 Mina Terrace, Southwark, London, the eldest son of a Frenchman, William Le Queux (or Lequeux; c.1823–1890), draper's assistant, and his English wife, Henrietta Marie (b...

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William Tufnell Le Queux (1864–1927) by Frederic G. Hodsoll [standing, with his publisher] © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Thomas Seccombe

revised by K. D. Reynolds

Luttrell [formerly King], Henry (1768–1851), wit and poet, an illegitimate son of Henry Lawes Luttrell, second earl of Carhampton (1737–1821), was born on 14 May 1768 and baptized at St Martin in the Fields on 7 June 1768. His mother, Mary, was later known as ...

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C. L. Falkiner

revised by Jason Edwards

Lysaght, Edward (1763–1811), poet and wit, was born on 21 December 1763, the son of John Lysaght of Brickhill, co. Clare, a protestant gentleman, and Jane Eyre, daughter of Edward Dalton of Deerpark in the same county. He was educated at Dr Patrick Hare's school...

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Sydney Morgan, Lady Morgan (bap. 1783, d. 1859) by René Théodore Berthon National Gallery of Ireland

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Morgan [née Owenson], Sydney, Lady Morgan (bap. 1783, d. 1859), novelist and socialite, was baptized in Dublin in 1783, the elder child of Robert Owenson (1744–1812), an actor of Irish origin noted for his comic roles, and Jane Hill (d. 1789)...

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Ní Chearbhaill, Mairgréag [Margaret O'Carroll] (d. 1451), celebrated hostess, was the daughter of Tadhg Ó Cearbhaill (d. 1407), chief of Éile, and married An Calbhach Ó Conchobhair Failghe (d. 1458), chief of Uíbh Fhailghe. In 1433, a year of general shortage, she gave two great feasts which earned her the nickname ...

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Sands, Ethel (1873–1962), painter and hostess, was born at Newport, Rhode Island, USA, on 6 July 1873, the eldest of the three children of Mahlon Day Sands (1842–1888) and his second wife, Mary Morton Hartpence (1853–1896), whom he had married in 1872. The success of his father's business as a manufacturer of patent medicines had allowed ...

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Sempill, Francis, of Beltrees (c. 1617–1682), poet and wit, the son of Robert Sempill of Beltrees, Lochwinnoch, Renfrewshire, and his wife, Mary, daughter of Sir Thomas Lyon of Auldbar, was the descendant of a family closely connected with the Stuart kings and with letters. He married his cousin ...

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Skelton, Barbara Olive (1916–1996), writer and literary femme fatale, was born on 26 June 1916 at The Croft, Ellington Road, Taplow, Buckinghamshire. Her father, Eric George Skelton, a descendant of the playwright Sheridan, was a major in the West India regiment, but was invalided out of the army at an early age; her mother, ...

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Barbara Olive Skelton (1916–1996) by unknown photographer Estate of Barbara Skelton