Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington

Standard Name: Blessington, Marguerite Gardiner,,, Countess of
Birth Name: Margaret Power
Married Name: Margaret Farmer
Self-constructed Name: Marguerite Gardiner
Indexed Name: Marguerite Gardiner
Married Name: Marguerite Gardiner
Titled: Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington
Pseudonym: The Author of the Magic Lantern
Pseudonym: The Author of Sketches and Fragments
Used Form: Marguerite, Lady Blessington
Marguerite Blessington wrote non-fiction, poetry, and novels, many of them in the silver-fork category. Although she was a popular novelist in her day, well reviewed and respected by a number of other writers, her account of her conversations with Byron remains the work for which she is remembered. Other works combine memoir with travel writing. In accounts of the literary milieu she is remembered for her editorship of annuals in the 1830s and 1840s and as a brilliant literary hostess.
Painting of Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington, by Thomas Lawrence, 1822. She sits in a red chair with an ermine cloak beside her, wearing an ivory dress with short puff sleeves and low décolleté with a sprig of flowers. Her dark, lustrous hair is smoothed tightly back into loops behind her head.
"Marguerite Gardiner, Countess of Blessington" Retrieved from This work is licensed under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) Public Domain Dedication license. This work is in the public domain.


Connections Sort descending Author name Excerpt
Education Elinor Glyn
Since she abhorred her governesses, Elinor took her education into her own hands, reading every book she could in the library: Pepys 's diary, Cervantes ' Don Quixote (an eighteenth-century French version), Scott , Agnes
Family and Intimate relationships Caroline Norton
Under Victorian law she was not allowed to participate in the trial. Both her reputation and Melbourne's political career were at stake. In the event the jury found Melbourne innocent without calling one witness for...
Family and Intimate relationships Dorothy Brett
Brett's paternal grandmother, Eugenie Brett née Meyer, had in youth frequented the salon of the writer Marguerite, Lady Blessington .
Hignett, Sean. Brett. Franklin Watts, 1985.
Family and Intimate relationships Augusta Ada Byron
Ada's father, the poet Lord Byron , is well known for his transgressive sexual behaviour of various kinds. His marriage to Lady Byron was shortlived: she left him twelve months after their wedding citing (and...
Friends, Associates George Gordon, sixth Baron Byron
His final exit from England was made in the company of Hobhouse , and on the shores of Lake Geneva he met up with Percy and Mary Shelley and Mary's step-sister Claire Clairmont , with...
Friends, Associates Camilla Crosland
Her work for the annuals led to her connection with Lady Blessington and her niece Marguerite Power . Despite the disapproval of other friends she was a regular visitor to Blessington's home, Gore House...
Friends, Associates John Forster
JF was well connected in literary circles. He counted Elizabeth Gaskell , Lady Blessington , Jane Welsh Carlyle , Charles Dickens , Edward Bulwer Lytton and Leigh Hunt among his intimates.
Drabble, Margaret, editor. The Oxford Companion to English Literature. Oxford University Press, 1985.
Friends, Associates Fanny Aikin Kortright
She was a friend of Nathaniel Hawthorne (whom she never met, but of whose wife and family she remained a faithful friend and correspondent after Hawthorne's death), Bulwer Lytton , and Charles Kingsley (all of...
Friends, Associates L. E. L.
By the time LEL began living alone, she was well-known in literary circles. She became a good friend of Emma Roberts and Rosina Bulwer-Lytton around this time, and gradually became a recognized London public figure...
Friends, Associates Thomas Moore
His social circle included prominent literary women: Mary Tighe , sisters Lady Morgan (Sydney Owenson) and Olivia Clarke , Mary Shelley , Marguerite Blessington , Louisa Stuart Costello , and Caroline Norton . He knew...
Friends, Associates Sydney Owenson, Lady Morgan
In France in 1829, Morgan visited at the top of the social spectrum, represented by Baron James de Rothschild : Rothschild's celebrated chef, Marie-Antoine Carême (whose list of employers included the Prince Regent), made a...
Literary responses Camilla Crosland
Marguerite Blessington wrote to her about two of her early contributions, the The Blind Girl's Lament (1839) and The Maniac (1840), informing her: I have rarely perused two more beautiful poems . . . and...
Occupation Elizabeth, Margravine of Anspach
Richard Robert Madden , correspondent and biographer of Marguerite Blessington , observed EMA working in her garden at the Villa Cravenin very coarse and singular attire. He did not fail to comment on...
Publishing Camilla Crosland
The name of Camilla Toulmin (later CC ) appeared in print for the first time as the author of the poem The Parting in Heath's Book of Beauty, edited by Lady Blessington .
Crosland, Newton. Rambles Round My Life. E. W. Allen, 1898.
Boyle, Andrew. An Index to the Annuals. Andrew Boyle, 1967.
Publishing Jane Francesca, Lady Wilde
In March 1855, under her own name, JFLW published her review of R. R. Madden 's The Literary Life and Correspondence of the Countess of Blessington in the Dublin University Magazine. The review was...


March 1836
Walter Savage Landor published Pericles and Aspasia, a collection of imaginary letters between the Athenian statesman and the learned and cultivated courtesan.
By 12 May 1845
Benjamin Disraeli published his condition-of-England novelSybil, or The Two Nations.