Lady Waterford

By Robert Franklin
June 2011
Book Guild
Distrubuted by Trans-Atlantic Publications Inc.
ISBN: 9781846246005
224 pages
$34.50 Hardcover

In this highly readable biography, the author ushers into the light of modern scholarship the life of a remarkable and somewhat overlooked figure in the annals of Victorian Britain.

Louisa Marchioness of Waterford was born on 14 April 1818 and died peacefully on 12 May 1891. Her status and the course of her life brought her into contact with many major figures of her day, including Gladstone, Queen Victoria and numerous influential artists and critics, among them Ruskin and members of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood. Her own outstanding accomplishments as an artist were both recognized and admired in wider society, and the author argues that had it been for her status as a quintessentially Victorian lady of means and the wider social mores of the day, combined with her habitual self-deprecation, her legacy to the art world might have been far greater than it actually was.

Louisa's philanthropy was also a central feature of her long and productive life, inspired and supported throughout by her religious beliefs. Her work in this respect, at Curraghmore in Ireland, Ford in the North of England and Highcliffe in the South, is examined in detail and reveals a woman of deep humility and profound humanity, who was both loved and admired as much by the working classes as by her wealthy peers.


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