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Dorothy Wellesley (1889–1956)

Author of Byron

Includes the names: Duchess of Wellington Dorothy Violet Wellesley

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Dorothy Violet Wellesley, née Ashton, Duchess of Wellington, was born at Maidenhead, England, a daughter of Col. Robert Ashton and his wife (Lucy) Cecilia Dunn-Gardner. In 1914, she married to Lord Gerald Wellesley, with whom she had two children before they separated in 1922. Although her legal name at this time was Lady Gerald Wellesley, she preferred to call herself Dorothy Wellesley. She wrote nearly 20 books, mostly volumes of poetry, but also biographies of British poets such as Coleridge and Tennyson. She wrote a memoir of Sir George Goldie, Founder of Nigeria (1934), and a travelogue, Far Have I Travelled (1952). She was an editor of the Hogarth Press Living Poets series. She met W.B. Yeats in 1935, and he eventually would edit and revise her poems. Yeats spent much of his time near the end of his life with Dorothy Wellesley at her home in Withyham, Sussex. Dorothy was a lover of Vita Sackville-West, for whom she left her husband and children in 1922, according to a memoir published in 2009 by her granddaughter, Lady Jane Wellesley.
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