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23 Jan 2024
updated 23 Jan 2024

Violet Erskine (née Ashley-Cooper), Countess of Mar & Kellie
(1868 – 1938)

With somebody other than her husband (gasp) ...

(Photographed at the Duchess of Devonshire's Costume Ball in 1897, in the rôle of Beatrice Portinari)

For the record, this may or may not be more historically authentic:


Dante and Beatrice
by Henry Holiday

Needless to say, Beatrice is the modest and aloof central figure in the female trio. Dante appears to be suffering from heartburn, in both senses of word.

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Oddly enough, my wife's great-grandparents, Mr and Mrs Willie James were also amongst the gay and glittering throng that evening, she being dressed (as pictured below) as Marie-Antoinette. I don't know what historical character he had decided upon, but he too would assuredly have cut a very distinguished figure.


Evelyn Elizabeth James (née Forbes), "Mrs Willie James"
(1868 – 1929)