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Sydney, Lady Morgan, née Owenson, was born to an Irish actor father and an English mother. She was educated by her mother and at private school. She went to work as a governess and began writing poetry, songs, essays, and fiction, sometimes publishing under the pen name Glorvina. Her 1806 novel The Wild Irish Girl became a bestseller and made her famous. In 1812, she married Sir Thomas Morgan, an English physician and writer, making her Lady Morgan. Later the couple toured France and moved to London, where Lady Morgan continued to write and became very involved in social life. In addition to romantic novels, she produced books based on her travels, Irish politics, and an autobiography. One of her close friends was Elizabeth "Betsy" Patterson, the American-born first wife of Jérôme Bonaparte, a brother of the Emperor Napoleon I of France.
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