furrowed middlebrow;angela thirkell;elizabeth elio;persephone;rachel ferguson;d.e.stevenson

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Lady Germaine Elizabeth Olive Eliot was born in London on 13 April 1911, the daughter of Montague Charles Eliot, the 8th Earl of St Germans, and Helen Agnes Post.

She twice married—first to Major Thomas James in 1932, then to Captain Hon. Kenneth George Kinnaird, the 12th Baron Kinnaird, in 1950. Both marriages ended in divorce. She applied for American citizenship in 1971. She published five novels, the first of which, Alice (1949), was a Book Society Choice. Her non-fiction Heiresses and Coronets (1960, aka They All Married Well), about prominent marriages between wealthy Americans and titled Europeans in the late Victorian and Edwardian period, was a success on both sides of the Atlantic.

Elizabeth Eliot died in New York in 1991.

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But the servants! Anything might happen to them. They might go in a train to Woolwich and meet the love of their lives, or be murdered almost for the asking. Not that one wanted to be murdered exactly, but there was frustration in being denied the possibility.

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‘The trouble with you, Anne, is that you’re always imagining things.’ Who had said that? Probably mother. Or the governess before she left to get married. How disagreeable, and it was all the fault of the sub-conscious. . . . Why didn’t the sub-conscious ever turn up things like: ‘Anne, how beautiful you are looking today.’

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‘As far as I am concerned, Aunt Violet, I don’t want another penny of your money. I can go out and earn my bread’ and she saw a distinct picture of herself working her fingers to the bone and being seduced by goodness knows whom.

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As I waited for the carriage I realized that whereas before I had been accustomed to think of her as a selfish and often foolish woman I now regarded her as a veritable ogress.

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