Mary Elizabeth Maugham

Mary Elizabeth Maugham

Mary Elizabeth Maugham Paravicini Hope, Baroness Glendevon (born Mary Elizabeth Wellcome) (1915 - 1998)[1] was the only child of English playwright, novelist, and short story writer W. Somerset Maugham and his then mistress, Syrie Wellcome. Lady Glendevon also was the plaintiff in one of the most celebrated family-law trials of the early 1960s, when she fought her celebrated father's unsuccessful attempt to prove that she was not his child.

Her parents married in 1917, after her mother's divorce from the British pharmaceuticals magnate Henry Wellcome. Her mother was a daughter of orphanage founder Thomas John Barnardo. She was known as Liza, after her father's first successful novel, Liza of Lambeth.

In his memoir Looking Back (1962) Somerset Maugham denied paternity of Liza. Around the same time, he attempted to have her disinherited in order to adopt his male secretary, suggesting that she was actually the child of Syrie Maugham and Henry Wellcome. The subsequent 21-month court case, fought in British and French courts, determined that Maugham was her biological father, and the author was legally barred from his adoption plans. Maugham's daughter was awarded approximately $1,400,000 in damages, comprising $280,000 in a cash settlement to compensate her for paintings originally willed to her, along with royalties to some of his books, and the controlling interest in his French villa.[2]

Marriages and children

On 20 July 1936[3] at St. Margaret's, Westminster, Liza Maugham married Lt.-Col. Vincent Rudolph Paravicini, a son of the Swiss Minister (i.e. ambassador) to the Court of St. James's, Charles Paravicini. Their first child, born in 1937, was Nicholas Vincent Somerset Paravicini, who grew up to marry Mary Ann Parker Bowles, sister of Andrew Parker Bowles, of the earls of Macclesfield. They had two sons and a daughter: Charles Vincent Somerset Paravicini (b. 1968), Elizabeth Ann Paravicini (b. 1970), and Derek Paravicini [4] (b. 1972), the blind autistic savant and musical prodigy. Nicholas and Mary Ann divorced, and around 1986 he married Susan Rose ("Suki") Phipps (born 1941), who had previously been married to Richard de la Mare and Derek Marlowe. She was the daughter of Alan Phipps by his wife Hon. Veronica Nell Fraser, daughter of Lord Lovat.[5] Suki was brought up by Fitzroy Maclean, one of the inspirations for James Bond. Nicholas and Suki had no children.

In 1941 Liza Maugham bore her second child, Camilla Paravicini, who in 1963 became the third wife of Manuel Basil Mavroleon, alias Bluey Mavroleon. They had two daughters, Syrie Elizabeth Mavroleon (b. 1965) [6] [7] and Sacha Mavroleon (b. ca. 1967). The Mavroleons divorced and Camilla married Count Frédéric Chandon de Brailles, the champagne heir.

Maugham and her first husband divorced in 1948. That same year, she married Lord John Hope, who later became the first Baron Glendevon. They also had children together, namely Julian John Somerset Hope, 2nd Baron Glendevon) (b. 1950), opera producer, and Hon. Jonathan Charles Hope (b. 1952). Both brothers are unmarried.


  1. ^ Her birth name is given as Mary Elizabeth Wellcome in the immigration and naturalization files of, wherein she is listed, along with her mother, then Syrie Wellcome, on manifest of the HMS Baltic dated 21 July 1916.
  2. ^ TIME
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ Cassandra Jardine. 'It's all Parker Bowles this and that' Daily Telegraph, 4 July 2007.
  5. ^ Susan Rose Phipps. Retrieved 13 September 2008.
  6. ^ who was engaged (now perhaps married) to Mark R.A. Swire, eldest son of the late Humphrey Roger Swire by his 1st wife, the former Philippa Sophia Kidston-Montgomerie (now Marchioness Townshend, of Raynham as of 2004)
  7. ^ Michael Rhodes. "Manuel Basil (Bluey) Mavroleon 1927-2009" 17 March 2009

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