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Longford, Elizabeth (Harmon Pakenham) 1906-2002 (Countess of Longford, Elizabeth Pakenham)

LONGFORD, Elizabeth (Harmon Pakenham) 1906-2002 (Countess of Longford, Elizabeth Pakenham)

OBITUARY NOTICE—See index for CA sketch: Born August 30, 1906, in London, England; died October 23, 2002, in East Sussex, England. Author. Longford, who became Lady Longford after her husband, Frank Pakenham, was made a lord, was a noted biographer of figures in British royalty and literature. She attended Oxford University, where she met her husband, who later became the leader of the House of Lords and whose conservative viewpoints she later steered toward her socialist beliefs. After university, Longford worked for the Workers' Educational Association, lecturing on politics, economics, and literature for six years. Like her husband, she had political ambitions, but although she ran for Parliament three times she never managed to be elected. Failing this, she turned her hand to writing, first composing newspaper columns on raising a family and then turning her interest in history into a career as a biographer and political writer. She won awards for her books Wellington (two volumes, 1969, 1972), Victoria RI (1964), Winston Churchill (1974), and The Royal House of Windsor (1974; revised, 1984), and also wrote such biographical works as Byron (1976), The Queen Mother: A Biography (1981), and Elizabeth R.: A Biography (1983). Longford published over twenty works all together, some under the name Elizabeth Pakenham and one as the Countess of Longford, with some of the most notable books being Jameson's Raid (1960), and the autobiography The Pebbled Shore: The Memoirs of Elizabeth Longford (1986). Her most recent works are The Pocket Biography of Queen Victoria (1999) and Queen Victoria (2000).



Writers Directory, 16th edition, St. James Press (Detroit, MI), 2001.


Chicago Tribune, October 24, 2002, section 2, p. 8. Independent (London, England), October 24, 2002, p. 5.

New York Times, October 25, 2002, p. A32.

Times (London, England), October 24, 2002.

Washington Post, October 25, 2002, p. B6.

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