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At the Circulating Library

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

A Database of Victorian Fiction, 1837–1901

Author: Wilhelmina FitzClarence

Author: Wilhelmina FitzClarence (1830–1906)

Alternate Name(s): Kennedy-Erskine (maiden name); Countess of Munster (title)

Biography: Wilhelmina FitzClarence, the Countess of Munster, was born in 1830 at Dun House, Scotland, the daughter of John Kennedy-Erskine (the son of the Earl of Cassillis) and Lady Augusta FitzClarence. Her mother was the illegitimate daughter of William IV and her mother's brother was the first Earl of Munster. As a child, FitzClarence became a great favorite of her grandfather the king. When Victoria ascended the throne, her mother became the housekeeper of Kensington palace. In the 1840s, she spent several years travelling Europe with her family in order to further her education. On 17 April 1855, she married her first cousin William FitzClarence (1824–1901), the second Earl of Munster, and the couple would have nine children. FitzClarence was a gifted songwriter, both music and words. Relatively late in life, she turned to fiction with two novels and a collection of ghost stories. She and her husband led a retired life in Brighton for most of their marriage. Two years before her death in 1906, she wrote a memoir of her life.

Author Tags:

References: Burke; Times (11 October 1906); Who's Who (1901)

Fiction Titles:

  1. Dorinda.  3 vol.  London: Hurst and Blackett, 1889.
  2. A Scotch Earl.  3 vol.  London: Hurst and Blackett, 1891.
  3. Ghostly Tales.  1 vol.  London: Hutchinson, 1896.