January 19 – Lady Fullerton

January 16, 2023

Lady Georgiana Charlotte Fullerton

Lady Georgiana Fullerton

Novelist; born 23 September, 1812, in Staffordshire, died 19 January, 1885, at Bournemouth. She was the youngest daughter of Lord Granville Leveson Gower (afterwards first Earl Granville) and Lady Harriet Elizabeth Cavendish, second daughter of the fifth Duke of Devonshire. She was chiefly brought up in Paris, her father having been appointed English ambassador there when she was twelve years old. Her mother, a member of the Anglican Church, was a woman of deep religious feeling and Lady Georgiana was trained to devotion. In 1833 she married in Paris an attaché of the embassy Alexander George Fullerton, who was of good Irish birth and had previously been in the Guards. In 1841, when Lord Granville retired from the embassy, Lady Georgiana and her husband traveled for some time in France, Germany, and Italy. Two years later, Mr. Fullerton was received into the Church, after long and thoughtful study of the religious questions involved in this step. In 1844 his wife published her first book “Ellen Middleton”, a tragic novel, of some power and showing markedly “High Anglican” religious views, so that Lord Brougham pronounced it “rank Popery”. It was well received, and was criticized by Mr. Gladstone in “The English Review”. Two years after, in 1846, the author placed herself under the instruction of Father Brownhill, S. J., and was received by him into the Church on Passion Sunday. In 1847 she published her second book, “Grantley Manor”, which is largely a study of character, and is usually considered an advance, from a literary point of view, upon the first. There was then a pause in her published work, which was continued, in 1852, with the story of “Lady Bird”. In 1855 her only son died, a loss she never quite recovered from, and henceforth she devoted herself to works of charity. In 1856 she joined the Third Order of St. Francis. She and her husband eventually settled in London and her literary work became a large part of her life. She not only wrote novels, but a good deal of biography, some poetry, and made translations from French and Italian. All her books have distinction and charm. Some of her chief works are: “Ellen Middleton” (London, 1884), “Grantley Manor” (London, 1854); “Lady Bird” (London, 1865); “La Comtesse de Bonneval”, written in French (Paris, 1857); the same translated into English (London, 1858), “Laurentia”, a tale of Japan (London, 1904); “Constance Sherwood” (Edinburgh and London, 1908), “Seven Stories” (London, 1896).

LEE in Dict. Nat. Biog., s. v.; CRAVEN, Lady G. Fullerton, sa vie et ses aeuvres (Paris, 1888), English version by COLERIDGE (London, 1888); YONGE, Women Novelists of Queen Victoria’s Reign (London, 1897); The Inner Life of Lady G. Fullerton (London, 1899).

Kate M. Warren (Catholic Encyclopedia)


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