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Lady Emma Alice Margaret (Margot) Asquith


(Margot Tennant; Countess of Oxford and Asquith)

1864 - 1945

Society hostess and wit. Born at Glen House (Peeblesshire), the eleventh child of industrialist and politician Sir Charles Tennant (1823 - 1906), Asquith had little formal education but soon developed as an extrovert with a razor-sharp wit.

Many of her, often acerbic, comments are regularly quoted, for example "Dear boy, it isn't that your manners are bad -- it's simply that you have no manners at all." Of Field-Marshal Lord Kitchener, she said "If not a great man he was, at least, a great poster" and while visiting the USA she met film star Jean Harlow, who was both overly familiar and mis-pronounced 'Margot'. Asquith quickly retorted "My dear, the 't' is silent, as in Harlow".

She married Herbert H. Asquith (1852 - 1928), then Liberal Home Secretary and later Prime Minister and 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith. Their son, Anthony Asquith (1902-68), became a noted film-director, responsible for The Winslow Boy (1948) and their daughter, Elizabeth, married a Romanian prince.


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