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Elisina Tyler (1878–1959)

Elisina Tyler (1878–1959)

Elisina Palamidessi de Castelvecchio was born on March 18, 1878, the daughter of Francesco Palamidessi and Contessa Joséphine de Castelvecchio. She was the great-great-granddaughter of Napoleon's brother Louis. Because of her family connection, she occasionally employed the title "countess," although, in fact, her mother’s title was not hereditary. She married Grant Richards in England in 1898, and they resided on Great Marlborough Street and at 36 Roland Gardens in London. She also owned a property, Caerleon Cottage, in western Cornwall at Ruan Minor, a small village on the Lizard Peninsula. She had four children with Grant Richards: Gioia Vivian Mary Elisina (1900–1969), Gerard Franklin (1901–1916), Charles Geoffrey ("Carlos") (1902–1959), and Geoffrey Herbert (1906–1983). In 1909, she left her family to live with Royall Tyler, with whom she had a child, William Royall Tyler, on October 17, 1910. She married Royall Tyler on November 26, 1914, after her divorce from Grant Richards on April 24, 1914. She founded and edited The Englishwoman, a feminist monthly journal, in 1909 (the only year that she was involved with the periodical). She assisted Royall Tyler in researching and editing the Spanish Calendar of State Papers, a multivolume work that he produced for the British government between 1912 and the end of his life. Elisina Tyler became a close friend of the novelist Edith Wharton, and assisted with her charities during the First World War, becoming vice president of the American Hostels for Belgian Refugees and the Children of Flanders Rescue Committee. She was also chairman of the Franco-American Committee of the Viennese Children’s Fund. She was co-awarded (with Edith Wharton) the Médaille de la Reine Elisabeth by the Belgian government in 1918 for their work with refugees. She was made a chevalier of the French Legion of Honor. Royall Tyler and Elisina Tyler acquired Antigny-le-Château, near Arnay-le-Duc, in 1923. Elisina Tyler was the executor of the French will and estate of Edith Wharton, inheriting Sainte-Claire du Château, her property at Hyères, where she died in 1959.


William R. Tyler, formatted and supplemented by Royall Tyler, The Castelvecchio Family (New South Wales, Australia: privately printed, 2014), 205–213.



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