Author Information At the Circulating Library
Author: Ida Ashworth Taylor (1850–1929)
Biography: Ida Ashworth Taylor was born in 1850 in London, the middle daughter of Sir Henry Taylor (1800–1886) and Theodosia Alice Spring-Rice (d. 1891), herself the daughter of Lord Monteagle. Her father was a poet, author of Philip Van Arteveide (1834), and civil servant in the colonial department. The household was "pre-eminently a happy one" and the host of dozens of literary and artistic celebrities including Julia Cameron, Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dodson, Robert Louis Stevenson, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and G. F. Watts (who painted her mother). She wrote six novels beginning with Venus' Doves (1884) before turning to historical biography where she wrote books on Louis XIII, James IV, Queen Christina of Sweden, and others. Her two other sisters, Eleanor Ashworth Towle and Una Ashworth Taylor, also wrote novels. For thirty years she shared a small house in Montpelier Square with her unmarried sister Una where the sisters "received their many friends and conducted a literary salon, of which the characteristic notes were intellectual interest and Irish warmheartedness." She never married and died in 1929 in Wooton Wood in the New Forest.
References: British Census (1881); DNB (Sir Henry Taylor); Times (22 October 1929)