Lady Blessington's Bath

Born Marguerite Power in Clonmel in 1789, the woman who would become Lady Blessington was promised in marriage at the age of 15. She fled her violent husband, Captain Farmer, and returned home where, in 1818, following her spouse's death, she married Lord Blessington.

Marguerite and her husband then enjoyed an extravagant lifestyle, one they shared with such literary luminaries as Lord Byron. Indeed, Lady Blessington gave the world a great insight into the poet's character and personality in her publication Conversations with Byron. In 1822, after plunging their estates deep into debt, she and her husband moved to the continent, where they remained until Lord Blessington's death in 1829.

A liaison with Count d'Orsay then followed, which gave rise to much scandal in London, where Lady Blessington was now based. In her new career as a journalist and travel writer she edited and contributed to many publications, such as the gossip centred Idler books. She also penned the novels Grace Cassidy and The Two Friends.

Lady Blessington's writings, however, were not enough to save her from bankruptcy, and she fled to Paris, where she died in 1849. Lady Blessington's Bath today commemorates the fame of one of the most colourful and vivacious figures from Clonmel's past.

Source - Sth. Tipperary Co. Co., "Official Guide to South Tipperary"

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