elisa_rolle (elisa_rolle) wrote,

Clementina Anstruther-Thomson (December 15, 1857 – July 7, 1921)

Vernon Lee's first "romantic friendships" may have begun in the 1870s. Her relationship with her companion Annie Meyers ended in 1881. From 1881 to 1887, her traveling companion was Mary Robinson, whom she met at a drawing-room party. Mary's eventual marriage to James Darmsteter, which was probably not consummated, ended Lee's passionate attachment. Devastated by Mary's marriage, Lee was comforted by her new friend Clementina “Kit” Anstruther-Thomson (daughter of Colonel John Anstruther-Thomson of Charleton and Carntyne VD DL JP (8 August 1818 - 8 October 1904)), who was to have a profound effect on her work. Lee described her friendship with Kit Thomson as a "new love and new life." This friendship lasted from 1887 to 1897. Kit was a "Venus figure" for Lee; she described her in her correspondence as a "Venus de Milo," a woman of beauty, a friend, and a spiritual lover.” This relationship inspired Lee's creativity, and during this time, Lee wrote and perfected her writings on aesthetics. Kit was especially interested in bringing art to the working class. Later she worked with the Girl Guides.

Timeline & Places:

• December 15, 1857: born at Charleton House, Colinsburgh, Leven KY9 1HG, Regno Unito

• 1888 to 1900: lived at Villa Il Palmerino, Via del Palmerino, 10, 50137 Firenze FI, Italia, sharing with Vernon Lee (October 14, 1856 – February 13, 1935)

• July 7, 1921: died. Buried at Kilconquhar Parish Church, Leven KY9 1JZ, Regno Unito


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