Lady Duff Gordon: Background information when reading The Mistress of Nothing

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The Mistress of Nothing

A Novel

by Kate Pullinger

The Mistress of Nothing
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2011, 256 pages
    Sep 2011, 256 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Karen Rigby

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
Lady Duff Gordon

Lady Duff Gordon Born on June 24, 1821, Lucie Duff Gordon was the daughter of John Austin, a former army man and legal scholar, and Sarah Austin (daughter of John Taylor of Norwich), a respected translator. Lucie was schooled in Germany during her early years, and demonstrated an aptitude for languages. As an only child, she was frequently in the presence of her parents' literary friends, and regarded John Stuart Mill (the future philosopher), whom her father tutored, as family. When she was fifteen her father was posted to Malta and she was sent to an English boarding school. Two years later her parents returned to England and Lucie, now almost eighteen, started to move about in society, meeting Sir Alexander Duff Gordon soon after.

By the time of their marriage in 1840, when she was not yet twenty, she had already translated German historian Barthold Georg Niebuhr's "Greek Legends", though the work appeared under her mother's name. After her marriage, she continued translating, ...

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