Compton Verney and Women

A Group Portrait of John, 14th Baron, and his family in the breakfast room at Compton Verney by Johann Zoffany, c1766. By courtesy of the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles.

Lady Louisa and the Bluestockings

Lady Louisa North, wife of the 14th Baron Willoughby de Broke, was good friends with the Bluestockings, and came from a family which promoted women’s intellectual endeavour. Her father, Lord Guildford, had helped fund George Ballard’s ground breaking biography of women who had made important contributions to the arts and sciences .

One afternoon, Louisa was summoned to join Mary Delany, the Bluestocking, botanical artist and court favourite Queen Charlotte at Kew Palace. They took tea and conversed until ten o’clock at night. Louisa later admitted to her father that she was a ‘little frightened’ and jumped whenever the Queen’s dogs barked.

Louisa was friends with the bestselling novelist Fanny Burney, and was on the list of subscribers to support the publication of Burney’s 1796 novel Camilla. She is pictured here with her husband and children.

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