"Even Lady Bessborough, I remembered, with all her passion for politics, must humbly bow herself and write to Lady Granville Leveson-Gower"
Countess of Bessborough by George Romney
Public DomainCountess of Bessborough by George Romney - Credit: George Romney (1734-1802)

Lady Bessborough (1761-1821) was born Henrietta Frances Spencer (known always as Harriet) and became Countess of Bessborough in 1780 when she married Frederick Ponsonby.

She is noted for having had many affairs during her marriage, including one with the playwright Richard Brinsley Sheridan, and another with Lord Granville Leveson-Gower.

Lady Granville Leveson-Gower (1785-1862), the niece of Lady Bessborough, was born Lady Harriet Cavendish and became Countess Granville on her marriage to Lord Granville Leveson-Gower in 1809. On marrying, Lord Granville terminated his relationship with Lady Bessborough.

Countess Granville's letters, edited by her son, were published in 1894 under the title:

Letters of Harriet, Countess Granville (1810-1845) edited by Edward F. Leveson-Gower.