Mary Cole, Countess of Berkeley: A Biography (Hope Costley-White)

Mary Cole, Countess of Berkeley: A Biography (Hope Costley-White) lands on the shelves of my shop, where it will be found in my Biography section. priced at just £4.00!

London, Toronto, Wellington & Sydney: George G. Harrap & Co. Ltd., 1961, (First Edition) Hardback in dust wrapper.

Contains: Black & white plates [14]; Maps [1]; Frontispiece;

From the cover: This is the true story of Mary Cole, daughter of a Gloucester tradesman, who was duped into a form of marriage by the fifth Earl of Berkeley, a prominent member of the Prince Regents circle, and as a result had to endure years of ostracism and insults. Nevertheless, by sheer force of character, she secured for herself a legal marriage and lived down the illegitimacy of her children. Also by skilful management brought prosperity to the family estates.

After her husbands death Lady Berkeley became the central figure in one of the most controversial lawsuits of the nineteenth century, when she fought for the right of her eldest son to inherit the title. Undeterred by the decision of the House of Lords against her appeal, she continued this unsuccessful fight for many years by lobbying the Prince Regent. Meanwhile William Fitzhardinge, her eldest son, devoted all his time and energy to field sports and high living. He became a famous Master of Hounds and Lord Lieutenant of Gloucestershire. At one period his four brothers were all Members of Parliament. Eventually he was created Earl Fitzhardinge.

During her long and active life, Lady Berkeley retained the friendship of the Prince Regent and the Royal Dukes one even asked her hand in marriage and the esteem and loyalty of the great Dr Jenner.

Material has been gathered from a wide variety of sources. A number of letters from the Royal Archives of Windsor are here printed for the first time, and private letters have been furnished by members of the Berkeley family. To any reader interested in the social history of the Regency period this must be a book of absorbing interest.

Good in Poor Dust Wrapper. Unlaminated dust wrapper a little edgeworn and faded with heavy sunning to the spine. Edges of the text block lightly spotted. Text complete, clean and tight.

Red boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 224 pages. Index. Bibliography. 8½” x 5½”.

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