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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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Barrington [née Wilson], Emilie Isabel (1841–1933), biographer and novelist, was born on 18 October 1841 at 15 Hertford Street, Mayfair, Westminster, the youngest of the six daughters of James Wilson (1805–1860) and Elizabeth Preston (d. 1886). Her father was a merchant, an important figure in the ...

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Battiscombe [née Harwood], (Esther) Georgina (1905–2006), biographer, was born on 21 November 1905 at 68 South Audley Street, Mayfair, London, the elder daughter of George Harwood (1845–1912), a master cotton spinner and Liberal MP for Bolton from 1895 to his death, and his second wife, ...

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Bielenberg, Christabel Mary Harmsworth (1909–2003), author, was born on 18 June 1909 at the Old House, Totteridge, Hertfordshire, the elder daughter and second of the four children of Percy Collingwood Burton (1879–1953), advertising executive, and his wife, Christabel Rose, née Harmsworth (1879/80–1967), youngest daughter of ...

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Mathilde Blind (1841–1896) by Harold Steward Rathbone, 1889 Christie's Images Ltd. (2004)

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Blind [née Cohen], Mathilde (1841–1896), poet and biographer, was born at Mannheim, Germany, on 21 March 1841, the elder of two children of a Jewish banker named Cohen and his second wife, Friederike Ettlinger. Cohen died in Mathilde's infancy and she subsequently adopted the name of her mother's second husband, ...

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

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Cannan [married name Slater], May Wedderburn (1893–1973), writer, was born at 34 St Giles, Oxford, on 14 October 1893, the second daughter of Charles Cannan (1858–1919), Aristotelian scholar and publisher, and his wife, Mary Wedderburn (1857–1943). Her twin, Frances Keir Cannan, died in infancy. ...

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Cartwright, Frances Dorothy (1780–1863), biographer, was born on 28 October 1780 at Marnham, Nottinghamshire, or Goadby Marwood, Leicestershire, the youngest child of Edmund Cartwright (1743–1823), who was rector there, and his first wife, Alice (d. 1785), the youngest daughter and coheir of ...

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Julia Mary Cartwright (1851–1924) by James Russell & Sons, pubd 1902 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Cartwright [married name Ady], Julia Mary (1851–1924), art historian and biographer, was born at the family home, Edgcote House, Edgcote, Northamptonshire, on 7 November 1851, one of the ten children of Richard Aubrey Cartwright and his wife, Mary Fremantle (d. 1885)...

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Lady Gwendolen Gascoyne- Cecil (1860–1945) by Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) private collection

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Cecil, Lady Gwendolen Gascoyne- (1860–1945), biographer, was born on 2 July 1860 at 21 Fitzroy Square, London, the second of the eight children of Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne-Cecil, third marquess of Salisbury (1830–1903), the leading Conservative statesman, and his wife, Georgina Caroline (1827–1899)...

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Corder, Susanna (1787–1864), biographer, was born in Stoke Newington, Middlesex, the daughter of John Corder and Ruth Marriage, both Quakers. A delicate child, she was educated from 1797 to 1799 at Ackworth School in Yorkshire. About the age of twenty, after a period of spiritual depression, she experienced a deepening of her religious commitment. She nursed her mother devotedly until her death, after which she decided to pursue a career in teaching, to which she had long felt called. From 1817 to 1824 she taught at a school at ...

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Louise Hume Creighton (1850–1936) by Glyn Philpot, 1918 © Estate of Glyn Philpot

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Creighton [née von Glehn], Louise Hume (1850–1936), social activist and writer of popular history and biography, was born on 7 July 1850 at Peak Hill Lodge, Sydenham, on the outskirts of London, tenth child of Robert William von Glehn (1801–1885) and Agnes Duncan (...

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Crosland [née Watson], Susan Barnes (1927–2011), journalist and author, was born on 23 January 1927 in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, the second daughter of Mark Skinner Watson (1887–1966) and his wife, Susan Elizabeth, née Owens (1890–1980), both American. She was bred to be a journalist. Her father was the doyen of defence correspondents on the ...

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See Tynan, Kenneth Peacock

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Ferguson [née Guinness], Mary Catherine, Lady Ferguson (1823–1905), biographer, was born at Stillorgan, co. Dublin, the only daughter of Robert Rundell Guinness (1789–1857) and of his first wife, Mary Anne Seymour (d. 1837). She had two elder brothers, and a stepbrother and six stepsisters from her father's second marriage. She was educated partly at home and partly at ...

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Penelope Mary Fitzgerald (1916–2000) by Tara Heinemann, 1986 © Tara Heinemann; collection National Portrait Gallery, London