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A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Author: Baroness de Calabrella

Author: Baroness de Calabrella (1788–1856)

Alternate Name(s): Catherine Ball (maiden name); Lee (first married name); de Blaquiere (second married name); Jenkins (third married name)

Biography: Catherine Ball (later Baroness de Calabrella) was born around 1788, the daughter of David and Sarah Ball. Her paternal grandmother was Ruth Ball: after her first husband's death she married Admiral Sir Edward Hughes (1720–1794), who had an active career in the East Indies and brought home a large fortune (reputed to be £40,000 per year). Calabrella's brother, Edward Hughes Ball, inherited his step-grandfather's fortune and name and lived the life of a Regency dandy: known as "Golden Ball," he married the Spanish dancer Maria Mercandotti and dissipated most of his fortune before his death in 1863. Calabrella was a celebrated lady of London society and married three times: first to Rev. Francis Lee (died 1826), second to Mr. De Blaquiere, and last to Capt. Thomas Jenkins (died 1837). (Her marriages may not have been legal matches.) After the latter's death, Calabrella bought a small property in Italy with a seigniorage—thereafter she styled herself "Baroness de Calabrella." She pursued an active literary career as a journalist, owner of the Court Journal, and novelist. The Countess of Blessington was a personal friend. Calabrella died in 1856 in Paris.

Author Tags:

References: DNB (Sir Edward Hughes); Gentleman's Magazine (November 1856); R.R. Madden, The Literary Life and Correspondence of the Countess of Blessington (1855); J.H. Stocqueler, The Memoirs of a Journalist (1873); Wellesley

Fiction Titles:

  1. The Tempter and the Tempted.  3 vol.  London: Thomas Miller, 1842.
  2. The Double Oath: or, The Rendezvous.  3 vol.  London: Bentley, 1850.