Lady Charlotte Elizabeth Guest , born Bertie on May 19th, 1812 and dead on January 15th, 1895 was a translator and a British businesswoman. It is an important figure of the studies of the Welsh literature and Welsh language, it is mainly known to have been the first to translate into English the Mabinogion medieval and another Welsh tales.
BiographyCharlotte Guest was born in Uffington in the Lincolnshire, girl of Albemarle Bertie, ninth Earl off Lindsey, and of his second wife Charlotte Susanna Elizabeth Layard. His/her father dies when it has only six years and its mother remarie with the reverend Peter Pegus, that Charlotte does not like. She shows great aptitudes for the studies and learns only the Arab , the Hebrew and the Persan.
After having had a brief flirt with that which will become the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Benjamin Disraeli, she flees her insipid family life by marrying in 1833, which was however not conventional for its age. Her husband, John Josiah Guest, are an industrialist with the Wales, owner of Dowlais Iron Company, the most important foundry of the world; it is older since it is 49 years old whereas it has only 21 of them. They move in Dowlais in the Comté of Merthyr Tydfil, consequence of its election to the House of Commons in 1832. The marriage is happy and the couple will have ten children. It has an enthusiastic interest for the philanthropic activities of her husband in the name of the local community and is also involved in its industrial affairs, translating technical documents into French. John Guest obtains finally a baronnie in 1838.
The decline of the health of her husband obliges it to spend more time to the administration of the businesses and to completely take of it control with its death in 1852. It must face at the same time with its workmen and the competitor owners of foundries, until it with gives up this situation in 1852, at the time of its marriage with Charles Schreiber. Schreiber is humanistic and a member of the Parliament for Cheltenham and later Poole. They leave Wales and spend several years to travel to Europe, collecting ceramics which it bequeaths to the Victoria and Albert Museum. It collects also the évantails, the board games and the charts to play, which will go to the British Museum.
The oldest son of Guest Ivor (Sir Ivor Bertie Guest) becomes the first baron Wimborne and wife Lady Cornelia Spencer-Churchill, the oldest daughter of the seventh duke of Marlborough and thus the aunt of Winston Churchill. Their son is the first Wimborne Viscount. Among their other descendants, it there with the American branch (the Socialist C.Z. Guest was the woman of the one two), Earls of Bessborough, and the Chelmsford Viscounts.
During their life in Wales, Charlotte Guest learns the Welsh, associated with specialists in literature of which Thomas Price, Theodore Hersart of Villemarqué, Judge Bosanquet and Gwallter Mechain, which encourage it in its work. She translates several medieval songs and poems and finally the Mabinogion , which meet an immediate success. The term of Mabinogion used in a generic way for these stories goes back to Charlotte Guest; technically the word Mabinogi applies only to the first of the four tales, known under the title of Four Branches of Mabinogi. A manuscript contains the word “mabynnogyon”, which it included/understood like a plural and applied to the whole of the collection.
The tales of the Mabinogion were summarized in Myvyrian Archaiology off Wales of William Owen Pughe who finished a translation of tales, remained new with her death, in 1835. Charlotte Guest did not trust these translations, although it made use of its dictionary of Welsh, finished in 1803. Its Mabinogion is the first translation in English with being published, they were printed in several volumes, between 1838 and 1849. The first volumes are devoted to the Légende arthurienne; volume I contains the lovesongs Welsh Y Tair Rhamant, Owain, or rams it with the fountain , Peredur wire of Evrawc and Gereint ac Enid and volume II contains, as for him, Kulhwch and Olwen and the Dream of Rhonabwy . Geraint and Enid was used as a basis Alfred Tennyson for two poems devoted to Geraint in Idylls off the King .
Lady Guest was “foreign” in Wales, which contributed to the rebirth of the Welsh Culture. She is regarded by her close relation contemporary Lady Llanover as a large bienfaitrice of Article an inn, built with Dowlais in the Années 1980 bears her name.
- Pwyll, prince de Dyvet
- Branwen, girl of Llyr
- Manawyddan, wire of Llyr
- Maths, wire of Mathonwy
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