Melissa Bakewell

Augusta Leigh
  • Augusta Leigh

  • Augusta Leigh was the child of one of the most sensational scandals to hit Georgian England - the seduction of the wilful and beautiful Marchioness of Carmarthen by 'Mad Jack' Byron - and scandal, of one kind or another, was to pursue Augusta for the rest of her life and even beyond the grave.

    Her marriage to her cousin, equerry and companion of the Prince of Wales, Colonel George Leigh, who fell from grace when it came to light that he had cheated the Prince over the sale of a horse and fiddled regimental accounts to fund his gambling habit, brought her nothing but poverty and seven children. Her love affair with her half-brother, Lord Byron, was largely responsible for his separation from his wife and his subsequent exile. Lady Byron, determined that Augusta's incestuous liaison should not go unpunished, waged a relentless war of attrition against her, in which Augusta's daughter, Elizabeth Medora, also became entangled.

    This is the first biography of Augusta Leigh for over thirty years, and draws on a wealth of new material from archives all over the country. It sheds new light not only on this remarkable and courageous woman, but on Georgian and Regency society and the life of the Court.

Melissa Bakewell has spent most of his life in radio and television with occasional excursions into the theatre. After working as Head of Plays in BBC television in the 1960s, he left to become a freelance director of features and documentaries on an improbable range of subjects from Caspar David Friedrich to Housing the Elderly. His biography of Lewis Carroll was published in 1996. Melissa Bakewell has written and compiled a number of biographical features for BBC radio, including programmes on Celia Fiennes, Dickens, Leigh Hunt, Elizabeth David and Byron. Michael and Melissa Bakewell have been married for twenty-five years and live near Colchester.

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