Monday, 26 November 2007

Lady Lytton Legs it to Lizzy in London

deleted section of autobiographyWhen we first started to transcribe 'My Life's Medley' we worked from a typed copy. In a subsequent hunt for the missing chapters we obtained the original hand-written script. Unfortunately no 'thirty-six years of Vanity Fair' or 'theatrical memories' were found but the hand-written copy did provide us with a wealth of scribblings and corrections that were omitted when the document was later typed.

The most substantial of these alterations comes from the chapter on 'Family History' and relates to John Brooks' wife Elizabeth Steggell. Although now crossed out, this original paragraph can just about be read;

Knebworth House
"She was an amateur actress of eminence and was proud of having been requisitioned to go to Knebworth where she played Mrs. Malaprop in The Rivals; a visit which led to such a friendship with the first Lady Lytton that on leaving her husband her Ladyship came straight to her home in Oxford Street for shelter. Elizabeth was never tired of telling how she and the visitor enjoyed sitting on the first floor window hearing the news boys of the period shouting out, “flight of Lady Lytton from Knebworth".
Lady Rosina Bulwer Lytton
Considering how fond of name dropping Frederick seems to be during the rest of his autobiography it is hard to understand why he scrapped this segment.

Lady Rosina Bulwer Lytton (1802-1882) was the daughter of the eary feminist Anna Wheeler. She married Edward Bulwer Lytton in 1827, a marriage that seemed to scar the rest of her life for after their separation in 1836 she spent much of her time denouncing her exhusband, exposing mistresses, illegitimate children and even claiming that he had sexual relations with Disraeli. Lady Bulwer Lytton went on to write thirteen novels, Edward, a poet and playwright, moved in to politics ending up as Secretary of State for the Colonies serving alongside his old friend Disraeli.

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