- Elizabeth Pakenham, Countess of Longford
Born Elizabeth Harman and a daughter of eye specialist Nathaniel Bishop Harman, she was educated at the
Francis Holland School, and later took her Master's degreeat Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. "Able, articulate and beautiful", in the words of " The New York Times", she was "the Zuleika Dobsonof her day, with undergraduates and even dons tumbling over one another to fall in love with her". [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DE7D71230F935A15753C1A960948260 A LIFE OF HER OWN - New York Times ] ] On November 3, 1931, she married Francis Pakenham, 7th Earl of Longford, who died in August 2001. Her obituaryby the BBCsaid the marriage was "famously harmonious." "The New York Times", in its review of "The Pebbled Shore", called Lady Longford "easily the best writer in what is predominantly a literary family".
She and her husband were both devout
Roman Catholicconverts, Lady Longford having been raised a Unitarian, and avid social reformers. The Longfords had eight children, among them the writers Antonia Fraser, Rachel Billington, and Thomas Pakenham.
She lived to the age of 96, dying in October 2002, 14 months after her husband.
A lifelong socialist, she made several attempts to win election to the House of Commons as a Labour MP but was unsuccessful, unlike her niece
Harriet Harman, a minister in both Tony Blairand Gordon Brown's governments.
John B. Harman, was a doctor and expert witnessfor the defence in the 1957 trial of suspected serial killer John Bodkin Adams. He was also Harriet Harman's father.
* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/611906.stm BBC News 2002: Lady Longford dies aged 96]
* "A Pilgrimage of Passion: The Life of Wilfrid Scawen Blunt" (
I.B. Tauris, re-issued 2007)
* "Victoria R.I." (1964) Published by Weidenfeld and Nicolson and awarded the
James Tait Black Memorial Prize
* "Eminent Victorian Women" (1981)
* "Royal Throne: The Future of the
Monarchy" (1993), a two-volume biography of the first Duke of Wellington, who numbered among her husband's relatives.
* "The Pebbled Shore" (1986) Biography.
* "Jameson's Raid"
* "Wellington: The Years of the Sword" (Written by the same author, but in the name Elizabeth Pakenham)
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