Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Eden, Emily

EDEN, EMILY (1797–1869), novelist and traveller, seventh daughter of William Eden, first baron Auckland [q. v.], was born in Old Palace Yard, Westminster, on 3 March 1797. In company with her sister, Frances Eden, she accompanied her brother, George Eden [q. v.], second baron Auckland, to India, and remained with him in that country during his term of office as governor-general from 1835 to 1842. After her return to England she published in 1844 ‘Portraits of the People and Princes of India,’ and in 1866 ‘Up the Country. Letters written to her Sister from the Upper Provinces of India by the Hon. Emily Eden.’ Other editions of this work appeared in 1867 and in 1872. In these volumes the visits between Lord Auckland and Runjeet Singh are recorded with minute particulars. As a novelist she brought out two works, which had a considerable sale, ‘The Semi-detached House, edited by Lady Theresa Lewis,’ 1859, and ‘The Semi-attached Couple, by E. E.,’ 1860. She also rendered ‘Marion de l'Orme’ into English blank verse. She was for many years a member of the best circles of society in London, and her house, Eden Lodge, Upper Gore, Kensington, was frequented by all the celebrities of the day. Her entertainments were morning reunions, her health not permitting her to preside at dinner parties or to keep late hours. More recently she purchased a residence, Fountain House, 5 Upper Hill Street, Richmond, Surrey, where she died, 5 Aug. 1869, and was buried in the family vault at Beckenham, near Bromley in Kent. Her eldest sister, Eleanor Agnes Eden, the first and only love of William Pitt, married, 1 June 1799, Robert, fourth earl of Buckinghamshire, and died at Eastcombe, near Stroud, Gloucestershire, 15 Oct. 1851.

[Register and Magazine of Biography (1869), ii. 147; Greville Memoirs, second series, i. 383, ii. 128, 150; information from Lord Auckland.]

G. C. B.