Lady Cynthia Asquith

LCA is chiefly remembered as a diarist of the First World War, who gives a unique picture on its impact, both detailed and profound, on the lives of the English governing class. She also published novels, literary biographies, anthologies, journalism, plays, ghost stories, and works for children.
Black and white photograph of Lady Cynthia Asquith, in profile, sitting on a carved bench. She is wearing a loose-fitting dress with thin stripes and a pattern superimposed, a wrist-watch, and a long, simple pendant. Her hair is loosey pinned back in a bun.
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27 September 1887
Cynthia Charteris, later LCA , was born (Heigh Presto as the clock struck four, as her mother wrote in her diary) at Clouds, near East Knoyle in Wiltshire, a family estate.
Beauman, Nicola. Cynthia Asquith. Hamish Hamilton, 1987.
By April 1915
Some months into the Great War, LCA agreed with Duff Cooper that they would both keep diaries: he bought her a leather-bound, gilt-edged, lockable volume bearing her initials to contain her diary entries.
Beauman, Nicola. Cynthia Asquith. Hamish Hamilton, 1987.
125, 150n4
31 March 1960
LCA died in her seventies, of meningitis, at the Acland Nursing Home in Oxford.
Matthew, Henry Colin Gray, Brian Harrison, and Lawrence Goldman, editors. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.
By 9 May 1968
LCA 's personal Diaries 1915-1918, kept during the First World War, which had remained unpublished during her lifetime, appeared posthumously in print with a foreword by the novelist L. P. Hartley .
The diaries of Duff Cooper , who embarked on this kind of writing together with LCA but who kept up a detailed diary for far longer, were also published posthumously, a generation after hers.
Fulford, Roger. “Sour Side”. Times Literary Supplement, No. 3454, p. 474.
Blain, Virginia, Patricia Clements, and Isobel Grundy, editors. The Feminist Companion to Literature in English: Women Writers from the Middle Ages to the Present. Yale University Press; Batsford, 1990.
October 1969
LCA 's posthumous biographical study entitled Thomas Hardy at Max Gate was her final work to see print.
Whitaker’s Books in Print. J. Whitaker and Sons, 2003.


She had the courtesy title of Lady because of her father's earldom, so that from 1914 onwards it was correct to call her Lady Cynthia. (Before becoming Lady Cynthia, she had been the Honourable or the Hon. Cynthia, because her father was Lord Elcho before becoming the Earl of Wemyss, and this was then the appropriate style for his daughter.)
Courtesy titles are held by the children of high-ranking peers. They are attached to the first name (as in Lady Cynthia), regardless of marital status.

Birth and Family