She was born in in Russell Square, London, the second daughter of Charles Tennant (1796–1873) and Gertrude Barbara Rich Collier (1819–1918). She studied painting under Edward Poynter at the Slade School of Fine Art, London and with Jean-Jacques Henner in Paris.
In 1890, she married the explorer of Africa, Henry Morton Stanley, and became known as Lady Stanley. She edited her husband's autobiography, reportedly removing any references to other women in Stanley's life.
After Stanley's death, she married in 1907 Henry Jones Curtis (died 19 February 1944), a pathologist, surgeon and writer.
- Waller, David (2004). "Dorothy Stanley, Lady Stanley (1855–1926)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/41313. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
- Works by or about Dorothy Tennant at Internet Archive
- Works by Dorothy Tennant at LibriVox (public domain audiobooks)
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