LADY SUSAN’S UNSUITABLE MARRIAGE Pride & Privation in Georgian England by Tony Gould


Lady Susan Fox-Strangways, the spoilt darling daughter of Stephen Fox, 1st Earl of Ilchester, and adored niece of Henry fox, 1st Lord Holland, was considered ‘the proudest of the proud’ in her youth. Her family had high hopes of marrying her off to a suitably wealthy young nobleman. But Lady Susan had other ideas. She had fallen in love with a rising star of David Garrick’s Drury Lane Theatre, a penniless Irish actor – three words, each of which was a death knell to her prospects. When she came of age in 1664 and eloped with William O’Brien, society was agog. Horace Walpole couldn’t believe that ‘Lady Susan could have stooped so low’, writing to his friend Lord Hertford, ‘Even a footman was preferable.’

Lady Susan’s Unsuitable Marriage tells the story of the couple’s life thereafter, from their long exile in the wilderness of colonial America at the behest of Susan’s outraged family, through rejection, poverty, debt and near-fatal illnesses, to a measure of peace and tranquility at Stinsford in Dorset in their later years.

ISBN 978 0 9955462 5 7

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