If you’ve been on my ‘writer’ page - below is a little more detail on my ‘literary’ family connections ...
Lady Agatha Thornycroft - My great, great, grandmother was married to famous sculptor Sir Hamo Thornycroft and was aunt to poet Siegfred Sassoon.


Rosalind Thornycroft (1891-1973) - My great, grandmother: was a successful illustrator and is allegedly the inspiration for D.H. Lawrences’s ‘Lady Chatterley’.
According to the Bonham's catalogue for the sale of this platinum print of Agatha Thornycroft by Frederick Hollyer (right image) she was “imagined by Hardy for the central character of his most famous novel ... Thomas Hardy met Mrs. Hamo Thornycroft at Edmund Gosse's house on July 23 1889, thought her 'the most beautiful woman in England,' and wrote in his diary 'of the people I have met this summer, the Lady whose mouth recalls more fully than any other beauty's the Elizabethan metaphor 'her lips are roses full of snow' is Mrs H.T.'s, terms precisely echoing those used of Tess's mouth in the novel. Hardy himself told Sasoon that while writing Tess he had Agatha's face in mind more than any other’ (Sasoon, Siegfried's Journey, p. 13)."
A newspaper article in The Times Magazine in 1994 by Brenda Maddox entitled 'Lady Chatterley Exposed' to promote her new book 'The Married Man: A Life of D.H. Lawrence', gives an account of D.H. Lawrence's love affair with Rosalind Baynes Thornycroft, the woman thought to have been the inspiration for 'Lady Chatterleys' Lover' along with his wife Frieda Lawrence ...
Hardy had also reportedly said that Agatha was the one "who had provided him, all unconsciously, with the physical model for Tess Durbeyfield". The beautiful portrait of Agatha (top left) painted by American Theo Wigman in 1884 hangs at Max Gate in Dorchester, home to Thomas Hardy for 43 years and is part of an exhibition on ‘Tess of the d’Urbervilles’. The portrait had once belonged to Agatha’s nephew Siegfried Sassoon ...
Portrait of Rosalind by
Sir George Clausen R.A (1907)
In 2008 there was a special unveiling of the portrait at Max Gate where my grandmother Chloe (Agatha’s granddaughter) was the special guest. Picture (left); Chloe (seated). My great, great grandfather Hamo Thornycroft had once sculpted Thomas Hardy, creating a marble bust that now resides at the Dorset County Museum. My gran was delighted to be asked to the celebrate the unveiling, she talked of the meetings her grandmother and grandfather had with the Hardy family and the 'warm friendship' that developed between Thomas and Hamo. She concluded: "Agatha lived into her nineties and my memories of her are of a beautiful, dignified and energetic old lady, who did not take kindly to modern trends in sculpture."
Remarkably the ‘Thornycroft’ women seem to have been destined to become muses for some of English literature’s most enduring characters, Tess and Lady Chatterley..!! I’ve often been told how much I resemble Rosalind, re-visiting these beautiful pictures I think bears that out ...
Portrait of Rosalind by Pre-Raphaelite Artist
Edward Robert Hughes R.W.S.
Other family members include as previously mentioned the celebrated poet Siegfred Sassoon as well as Eleanor and Herbert Farjeon. Herbert was influential within the British theatre world from 1910 until his death in 1945. He was a drama critic, lyricist, librettist, presenter of revues, playwright, theatre manager, and theatre researcher. Eleanor Farjeon is perhaps best known for the popular children's hymn "Morning has Broken". As a brother and sister they’re most widely known work is ‘Kings and Queens’ (see below left) which has been re-published this year to coincide with the Queen’s Diamond Jubiliee. The book was also illustrated by Rosalind.  Mixing with the Bloomsbury Set in London I suppose it’s little wonder that my family still mention, quite casually about the time for example my mother met Dame Edith Evans’ as a child, or stories about being at the seaside with George Bernard Shaw, or when Boris Karloff (above right) popped around for a spot of dinner!
Bertie Farjeon, Rosalind, Frieda and D.H. Lawrence in the woods behind Spring Cottage, Bucklebury, West Berkshire in 1919.
When I was a young girl of about four, I do remember spending time with great grandmother Rosalind. I remember that she was very tall and elegant and I’m reliably informed that she taught me how to draw..!! Thank you Rosalind ... My daughter’s middle name is Rosalind, it just seemed right ...
Whilst researching my family history I’ve also discovered that my great cousin, Isaac Thomas Thornycroft (1881 -1955) was a British motorboat racer who competed in the London 1908 Summer Olympics. He won two gold medals in the only motor boat competitions included in the Olympics as helmsman of the ‘Gyrinus II’, designed by his father Sir John Isaac Thornycroft.