Mrs Henry de la Pasture

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Mrs Henry de la Pasture.

Mrs Henry de la Pasture (1866 – 30 October 1945), born Elizabeth Lydia Rosabelle Bonham, and after her second marriage styled Lady Clifford, was an English novelist, dramatist and children's writer.


She was born Elizabeth Lydia Rosabelle Bonham in Naples, daughter of Edward Bonham of Bramling, Kent, a British consul.

A Catholic, she married in 1887 Comte Henry Philip Ducarel de la Pasture of Llandogo Priory, Monmouthshire. The couple were living at Aldrington, near Hove, when the elder of their two daughters was born in 1890.[1] Known by the pseudonym E. M. Delafield (married name Edmée Dashwood), she authored the Provincial Lady series, but predeceased her mother in 1943. However, she failed to mention her mother in her Who's Who entry.[2] The younger daughter, Yolande Friedl, was a medical doctor, who died in London in 1976.

Her first marriage ended in 1908 with the death of her husband. Two years later she remarried Sir Hugh Clifford, a colonial administrator. Between 1912 and 1929, they lived successively in the Gold Coast (where she edited an album in 1908), Nigeria, Ceylon and Singapore. He ended his career as Governor of the Straits Settlements.[3]

In 1918 Elizabeth was awarded the CBE.[4][2]

Clifford was a friend of the novelist Joseph Conrad.[2]



Extra titles and information:[2][5]

  • The Little Squire (1893). Children's novel. Later dramatised
  • A Toy Tragedy (1894). Children's novel, translated as Jeanne, la petit mère by Bl. de Méry, 1914
  • Deborah of Tod's (1897). Later dramatised, reprinted 1898 and 1908
  • Adam Grigson (1899). Reprinted 1908
  • Catherine of Calais (1901). Reprinted 1907
  • Cornelius (1903). Reprinted 1909
  • Peter's Mother (1905). Dramatized and acted at Sandringham by royal command in 1906. Reprinted 1906, 1907 and 1912
  • The Lonely Lady of Grosvenor Square (1906). Reprinted 1907 and 1909
  • The Unlucky Family (1907). Children's novel, reprinted in 1908, 1946, 1980 and 1988. In his 1980 preface Auberon Waugh called it "one of the great classics of its genre".
  • The Grey Knight: An Autumn Love Story (1908)
  • Catherine's Child (1908)
  • The Tyrant (1909). Reprinted 1910
  • Master Christopher (1911)
  • Erica (1912, entitled The Honorable Mrs. Garry for the 1912 Canadian and 1913 American editions
  • Michael Ferrys (1913), entitled Michael for the American edition


  • The Man from America (1905). Sentimental comedy
  • The Lonely Millionaires (1906)
  • Her Grace the Reformer (1907)


  1. ^ Nicola Beauman, "Dashwood , Edmée Elizabeth Monica [E. M. Delafield] (1890–1943)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, UK: OUP, 2004) Retrieved 8 August 2016, pay-walled.
  2. ^ a b c d The Feminist Companion to Literature in English, eds Virginia Blain, Patricia Clements and Isobel Grundy (London: Batsford, 1990), p. 279.
  3. ^ The Catholic Who's Who & Yearbook, 1930.
  4. ^ Everyman's Dictionary of Literary Biography, 3rd ed. (1962)
  5. ^ The Online Books Page Retrieved 8 August 2016.

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