Lady Unknown: The Life of Angela Burdett-Coutts by Edna Healey soon to be presented for sale on the inspired BookLovers of Bath web site!
Published: London: Sidgwick & Jackson, 1978, Hardback in dust wrapper.
Contains: Black & white photographs; Chronological tables ; References; Portrait to the frontispiece; Genealogical tables;
From the cover: In 1837, at the age of twenty-three, Angela Burdett-Coutts inherited a vast fortune from her banker grandfather, making her one of the richest and thus potentially powerful women in Victorian England. She moved in the highest social circles: entertaining the rising stars of the political scene, Disraeli and Gladstone; attending scientific lectures with Faraday; pursuing her philanthropic work with Dickens; and falling in love with the aged Duke of Wellington. In later years, she accepted a baronetcy in her own right the first Englishwoman to be accorded this honour, and at one time Rajah Brooke named her his successor as ruler of Sarawak. In her old age, she caused consternation by contracting what Queen Victoria termed a mad marriage with her thirty-year-old secretary. Her acts of charity were enormous and wide-ranging establishing a home for fallen women, pioneering model housing, battling for sanitary reform, supporting the NSPCC and the RSPCA, and promoting technical education and domestic science. A devout Anglican, she built churches, founded colonial bishoprics and encouraged the missionary work of Livingstone and others.
Despite all this activity, Angela remained throughout her life a shy and supremely private person. The full range of her charity will probably never be known, for she often acted through intermediaries such as Dickens, describing herself only as lady unknown! And a lady unknown she has largely remained, her role in Victorian England strangely overlooked or forgotten. The balance is now redressed in this important and timely biography. Edna Healey has uncovered much new material, including unpublished correspondence from Dickens, Livingstone, Gladstone, Wellington, Faraday and Henry Irving, to provide a fascinating insight into this most remarkable lady.
Very Good in Very Good Dust Wrapper. A little rubbing to the edges of the dust wrapper. Edges of the text block lightly spotted. Text complete, clean and tight.
Red boards with Gilt titling to the Spine. 253 pages. Index. Bibliography. 9½” x 6¼”.
Of course, if you don’t like this one, may I spellbind you with a further miscellany curated within Biography catalogue?