Tuesday, 10 June 2014

A bit more Eliza

In May 1784 when Hayley's play Lord Russel is performed in Chichester – and he's in London, we find Eliza attending a rehearsal and, not only giving the actors notes, but also suggesting, in a letter to her husband, a change or two in the text…

She also has an active social life. Most days when she's not breakfasting, dining or staying with friends and relatives, Eliza seems to receive at least one visitor – often several. One of the people she sees socially (and doesn't seem very fond of) is Mrs Frankland. Mrs (Lady) Frankland was a celebrated rags-to-riches case: a beautiful young bare-foot American barmaid in a tattered frock, who attracted the attentions of an English aristocrat who educated her, took her as a mistress and eventually – after she dug him out of the rubble he was buried under during an earthquake in Lisbon – married her.

She spent the last few years of her life in Chichester where, years after her first husband died, she married a wealthy banker called John Drew.
More about her here.