Matilda Betham-Edwards

She was the daughter of a clergyman. She studied French and German abroad and after some school teaching in London, she settled down with her sister in Suffolk to manage the farm which had belonged to her father. Not content, however, with purely rural occupations, she contributed from time to time to Household Words, having the advantage at this time of the friendship of Charles Dickens and an early association with Charles and Mary Lamb, friends of her mother.On her sister's death, she moved to London and wrote a number of novels of French life based on her frequent visits to France and her intimate knowledge of provincial French homes. Of Huguenot descent, she considered France her second native land and made it her mission to bring about better understanding and sympathy between the two countries which shared her allegiance. In this way, she did much to promote a better understanding between English and French people. The French government made her an Officier de l’Instruction Publique de France in recognition of her untiring efforts towards the establishment of a genuine and lasting entente cordiale. She was awarded a medal at the Anglo-French Exhibition of 1908.She is often cited in anthologies of historic lesbian poetry, but there is no strong evidence that she had lesbian tendencies. She died in Hastings, Sussex in 1919.
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