After her death, which occurred in the spring of last year, it seemed good to her sister and executrix, Mrs.
Fitzgerald, to entrust the unfinished manuscript to me, together with sundry papers and letters, with a view to my compiling the biography. Fitzgerald wished me to undertake this work, as I had the good fortune to be a friend of the late Lady Burton, and one with whom she frequently discussed literary matters; we were, in fact, thinking of writing a romance together, but her illness prevented us.
Layout styles which are irrelevant to the meaning of the work have been changed to our "house" style.
Content changes have been restricted to the following: Lady Burton began her autobiography a few months before she died, but in consequence of rapidly failing health she made little progress with it.
In what I have succeeded, the credit is hers alone: in what I have failed, the fault is mine, for no biographer could have wished for a more eloquent subject than this interesting and fascinating woman.
Thus, however imperfectly I may have done my share of the work, it remains the record of a good and noble life — a life lifted up, a life unique in its self-sacrifice and devotion.
The House of Wardour was therefore founded by Sir Thomas Arundell, who was born in 1500.
He had the good fortune in early life to become the pupil, and ultimately to win the friendship, of Cardinal Wolsey.
Even so, I have suppressed a good deal, for there is no desire on the part of Lady Burton’s relatives or myself to justify her at the expense of the husband whom she loved, and who loved her.
But in vindicating her it has been necessary to tell the truth.
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The many friends who knew and loved her have not credited them for one moment, and the animus with which they were written is so obvious that they have carried little weight with the general public.