Doris Langley Moore

Doris Elizabeth Langley Moore (née Levy) was born on 23 July 1902 in Liverpool. She moved with her family to South Africa when she was eight. She received no formal education, but read widely, under the influence of her father.

Moore moved to London in the early 1920s, and wrote prolifically and diversely, including Greek translation, and an etiquette manual. In 1926 she married Robert Moore, and they had one daughter, Pandora, before divorcing in 1942.

She published six romantic novels between 1932 and 1959, in addition to several books on household management and an influential biography of E. Nesbit.

Moore was passionately interested in clothes, and her own clothes formed the basis of a collection of costumes, to which she added important historical pieces. Her fashion museum was opened in 1955, eventually finding a permanent home in Bath in 1963.

In addition to books, she also wrote a ballet, The Quest, first performed at Sadler’s Wells in 1943. Moore also worked as a costume designer for the theatre and films, and designed Katharine Hepburn’s dresses for The African Queen (1951).

Doris Langley Moore continued to write books, with a particular emphasis on Lord Byron. Her last novel, My Caravaggio Style (1959), about the forgery of the lost Byron memoirs, was followed by three scholarly works on the poet.

Doris Langley Moore was appointed OBE in 1971. She died in London in 1989.

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