Who's Who in EM Delafield


EMD's son Lionel Paul Dashwood b.13 Aug 1920 in Singapore, educated at Rugby and d. while training for National Service in the King's Own Shropshire Light Infantry in 1940, in an unwitnessed gun-room accident.  An open verdict was recorded and it seems possible that he he felt unable to cope with the pressures of military life.  He was buried under the yew tree in Kentisbeare churchyard which EMD had selected as her burial place.  EMD chose "A clear shining after the rain" as his and her epitaph.


EMD's Daughter Rosamund Dashwood, b. 15 Jan 1924, and was still alive in 1988.  She recalls Marguerite (mademoiselle) who "smelt horribly powdery, and her black-clad person was made additionally unattractive by her tendency to shriek" (Powell).  She remembers great disappointment when Leonard and Virgina Woolf came to stay at Croyle, because she was devoted to animals and had been told that Wolves were coming to stay.
By the end of 1929 she went to a boarding school where she was made aware that she was the daughter of a distinguished mother. In 1934 she went to Mickelham, then to a Swiss School and thence to Queen Maraget's School, Scarborough.  She left in 1941 and served in the WAAF.  She wrote a delightful 'sequel' to the Provincial Lady books called Provincial Daughter in 1959, from which it appears that she marrried a doctor (Dr Truelove) and had 3 sons, and also contributed to various magazines and the BBC.  They emigrated to Canada and in 2005 she was still alive.


Dr Margaret P Postuma, the narrator's best friend, and as it happens (although I only discovered this long after I had become hooked on The Provincial Lady) my Great Great Aunt. née Slade but married a Dutch doctor called Postuma whom I believe she met on a cruise. She was always keen to be a doctor but her family would not allow it (doctors were seen as tradesmen in those days). However she was very determined, qualified as a Doctor in Bristol in 1925 and eventually became a Psychiatrist, studying in the US I think.  Messalina of the Suburbs is dedicated to her.

Click here for an attempt at sorting out the Slade/Beale family tree.

Rose's Niece:

Mrs MR Beale née Slade, 1903-1994. Awarded OBE for services in running the Middlesex Land Army during WWII. Active in the Women's Institute and subsequently chairman of the Domestic Coal Consumers Council and the Women's Land Army Benevolent Fund. See obituaries in The Times, Telegraph and Independent. She had some literary talent and a play she wrote in the 1930s won a national competition (Evening Standard?) and was to have been produced in the West End, but this was stopped by Hitler.  I have now found the MS and it's really impressive. She also wrote a novel called Salt in Yourselves about a young woman in the 20s/30s who learns to fly, clearly modelled on her sister Susan Slade, a pioneer aviatrix who was killed in the ATA in 1944.  This is rather brilliant and I hope we could get it published.

They lived at the time in Stanwell Moor which was on the Bucks/Middlesex border. (Emmie did change some details) and they did not have a marble bathroom. The house was "Green Doors" which I think may be still standing.

Niece's Husband.

Evelyn Stewart Lansdowne Beale 1901-1972. Read Physics at Cambridge and then worked with William and Lawrence Bragg. Joined Anglo-Iranian Oil Company (later BP) and then set up in partnership with Roddy Denman a consultancy in Engineering Physics in the 1930s. See Obituary in The Times Jan 1972.

Niece's Children

Evelyn Martin Lansdowne Beale FRS 1928-1985.

One of the pioneers of mathematical optimisation and an eminent applied statistician. Second President (after George Danzig) of the Mathematical Programming Society. See obituaries in The Times (Jan 1986), Biographical Memoirs of the Royal Society, Journal of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications etc..

Julian Robert Anthony Beale 1931-1978.

Talented physicist and inventor: worked for Philips Research and published many papers and an early book on Microelectronics.

Lady B

The Hon Mrs (Lottie) Adams, who had re-married after the death of her first husband, the son of the 1st Baron Waleran, and was the chateline of Bradfield Hall, near the villiage of Kentisbeare in Devon. She was an heiress of the Coats mills, and the sister of Lord Glentanar (George Coats of Paisley thread-making fame, who bought the Glen Tanar estate and became 1st Baron Glen Tanar in 1916) whose sister-in-law (?sister?)was Maud, Duchess of Wellington (nee The Honourable Lilian Maud Glen Coats).  Paul was indeed her agent!


Major Paul Dashwood OBE, whom EMD married on 17 July 1919. Son of Sir George & Lady Mary Dashwood of Kirtlington Park, Oxford, he had been a Civil Engineer before the '14-18 War.  In Provincial Daughter  he appears visiting his grandchildren. He was travelling back in April 1919 with EMD's mother and stepfather, helped them disembark and met EMD. They were married in July at St James's Spanish Place

Lady Rhonnda - 'Rose's Viscountess'

Maragret Haig Thomas was 7 years older than EMD and married at 25, but in lieu of a family developed strong business, professional and literary interests. Her father turned her into a business colleague and by the time he was created Viscount Rhondda with the remainder to his daughter (so she was a Viscountess in her own right) they had travelled the world on business together, including being sunk on the Lusitania. In 1920 she became founder and Editor of Time and Tide (which proverbially "wait for no man").  This began as a strongly Liberal periodical with a policy of supporting feminist causes, but drifted rightwards over the years. However she employed EMD and John Betjeman (and sacked him, see his poem Caprice). She recalls how EMD sent the first installment of Diary to her for Time and Tide "sending it with a note to say 'I don't think much of this. If you agree, put it into the W.P.B.'  I did not agree."  This is in the delicous preface to the Time and Tide Anthology of 1956 which contains inter alia a review by Charles Williams (in the persona of Snigsozzle) of The Screwtape Letters and an article on Taste by CS Lewis.

FWIW the other female celebrated in this anthology, who could perhaps be in the Diary or sequels, are:

Count Henry (EMD's Father)

De la P forebears include Roger van de Weyden (1400-64), painter who settled in Brussels.

1st (Pierre Francois) Marquis & Count cr Louis XVI 1768. 2nd (Pierre-Marie) fled from Revolution in 1791 and m. Elizabeth Coltée Ducarel, granddaughter of the Maharajah of Purnea. 3rd Henri-Pierre ed Eton d 1840. His 5th child Henry Philip Ducarel b. posthumously, and m. Elizabeth Lydia Rosabelle Bonham (b Naples 1866) in Kensington in 1887. He died of a heart attack on 12 Oct 1908.

Yoé (EMD's Sister)

Bettine Marie Yolande (Known as Yoé) b. 1892.  She followed "a rather sporadic medical career".  EMD reported in 1936 that she was married to an Austrian gentleman in Vienna and that her name was now Mme Friedl.  But in fact she was (like Aunt Clo in Humbug) disappointed and deserted by a weakling who allows his (real) wife to rescue him from an entanglement.

Mrs Henry de la Pasture (EMD's Mother)

Mrs Henry de la P wrote The Unlucky Family, a well known comic story for the young, as well as many 'serious' novels. She published her 1st book in 1894 and for the next 20 years was a successful novelist and playwright (greatest success, Peter's Mother which ran for 6 months & was performed at Sandringham on Dec 1906 by command of Edward VII) and a friend of WS Gilbert. In 1910 she married Sir Hugh Clifford KCMG a colonial administrator in the Malay States, a friend of Joseph Conrad (who dedicated Chance to him) and an acquaintance of Noel Coward (who got the idea of Mad Dogs & Englishmen from observing his increasingly insane behaviour).

Cicely McCall (Caroline Concannon)

Great friend of EMDs.  She was 'the first female psychitaric social worker in Britain', was awarded an MBE, and wrote They Always Come Back about female prisoners with a foreword by EMD. She also wrote about Women's Institutes (1943) and some memoirs called 'Looking back from the Nineties' (ISBN  0947893326) which I would love to obtain!  She contested Bury St Edmonds for Labour in 1945 but lost.  She turned 100 on 16th July 2000 and wrote a short memoir about her youth in Walmer.

Cicely Hamilton (Emma Hay)

Another great friend, and fellow-director of Time and Tide. A pretty successful playwright and novelist, and very active feminist. An interesting life, I've had a go at a web-page here.

Felicity Fairmead

Phillis Rushbrooke - a childhood friend of EMDs who was a bridesmaid at their wedding.  I can find nothing about her (other than this fact in Powell). Powell says two of EMD's novels were dedicated to her, and that she may have been good looking.

Lorna Lewis

"Miss L" in Virgina Woolf's Diary, became a major force in EMD's life, as chauffeur, secretary, friend.  Not much liked by the chidren. Mentioned in Goes Further June 9th.

Other decodings or attempted:

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