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Matilda Delaval is an only child, early left, by the death of both her parents, to the absolute guardianship of her uncle. She is in love with Lord Ormsby but is tricked into a unhappy marriage with Sir James Dornton, by making her to believe that Ormsby has proved faithless. She afterwards meets her first admirer again and elopes with him...
The author of these volumes is a very clever and accomplished person. There is an air of elegance diffused over the whole work. His pictures of high life in particular, though drawn with a light and sketchy pencil are well and skilfully grouped, and marked in their easy and flowing outlines by the hand of a master. - Blackwood's Edinburgh magazine, Vol. 19, January 1826
Constantine Henry Phipps, Marquis of Normanby was born on the 15th of May, 1797, and received his education at Harrow School, and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took his degree as M.A. in 1818. Shortly after he attained his majority he entered Parliament as member for Scarborough. In the summer of 1825 Normanby became a subject of society gossip. John Stuart Wortley wrote to Henry Edward Fox that ‘there is a new mysterious novel come out called Matilda which I am convinced is Normanby’s, except that it is very well written, with considerable talent, and very interesting, which exceeds my estimate of his powers’. Normanby was indeed the author, and he turned his hand to other works of fiction, publishing Yes and No (1828), Clorinda (1829) and The Contrast (1832).
In the summer of 1832 he was appointed Captain-General and Governor of Jamaica. In April 1835, Normanby was selected for the important post of Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland. In June, 1838, he was created Marquis of Normanby. In February, 1839, he succeeded Lord Glenelg as Secretary of State for the Colonies, an office he held but a few months, as he removed in August of that year to the Home Department, which post he held till September, 1841. In August, 1846, he was appointed ambassador at Paris, where he remained till the early part of 1852. Normanby died in July 1863.