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Blennerhassett, Lady Charlotte Julie, 1843-1917 (Countess of Leyden, biographer)



  • Existence: 1843 - 1917


Charlotte Julie von Leyden, born in Munich on 19 February 1843, was the daughter of Karl Joseph August, Count of Leyden (1806-1876) and Franziska Weling von Edler (1817-1898). She was privately educated in France. She married the Irish baronet and politician Sir Rowland Blennerhassett (1839-1909) on 9 June 1870. They had four children: Maria Carola Franciska Roselyne (b 1876), who married Baron Raphael d'Erlanger; Arthur Charles Francis Bernard (b 1871), who succeeded the baronetcy; Paul, who died in infancy (b 1878); William (b 1882), known as Willy. Charlotte Lady Blennerhassett was part of a circle of well-known Liberal Catholics; among her frequent correspondents were Felix Dupanloup (Bishop of Orleans), Alphonse Gratry, Ignaz von Dollinger, Franz Xaver Kraus and Lord Acton (John Dalberg-Acton). As a writer and historian, she contributed a number of essays, articles and book reviews to ‘Spectator’, ‘Fortnightly Review’ and ‘Nineteenth Century,’ mostly on nineteenth century Catholicism. She is known for her biographical studies of Madame de Staël, John Henry Newman, Marie Antoinette, Talleyrand, Mary Queen of Scots and Gabriele d’Annunzio. During the First World War she was living in Munich as a British citizen, unable to see her children. She died on 11 February 1917 at the age of 74.

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


Blennerhassett Papers

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.7486
Scope and Contents Personal papers, correspondence, notes, drafts and writings of Charlotte Lady Blennerhassett, chiefly, and her husband, Sir Rowland Blennerhassett. This includes a series of Lady Blennerhassett's working notebooks, collections of reviews and her correspondence with family members, friends and prominent individuals including Ignaz von Dollinger, Lord Acton, Franz Xaver Kraus and members of the German nobility. Sir Rowland Blennerhassett's papers include copies of his speeches, political...
Dates: [1850s]-1917
Conditions Governing Access: Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (