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Ada Nemesis Galsworthy (1864-1956)

Ada Galsworthy had nothing to do with Guiding. However, my interest was piqued by the appearance of "Wind!" a song by Ada and John Galsworthy in the Kent County Song Book (1934), a favourite resource for Guides and the inspiration for other song books that came after. I wanted to know who this husband and wife, or possibly sister and brother, writing team were.

Turns out John G. was the Nobel Prize Winner for Literature in 1932 and Ada was his wife. She was a translator, editor and composer of songs in her own right, but that wasn't immediately apparent from the press she got, living in John's rather long shadow.

Rather fittingly for someone married to a man who churned out seemingly miles of pages, this was the most epic of Wikipedia ventures I had yet undertaken. Several tomes have been written about John, and I scanned through many of them (thanks InternetArchive!) gleaning tidbits about Ada's life and work as a result.

A new, rather obvious now but I had to learn, arrow in my quiver of research was using the search term "Mrs John Galsworthy", which rather sticks in my craw, but opened up useful new avenues.

I discovered a fair few errors in her online listings and contacted the British Library, National Portrait Gallery and with corrections. All quite satisfying.

She was a complex woman who lived a complex life. She was totally deserving of her own page on Wikipedia.

Visit Ada's page on Wikipedia

Next article: Lady Jane Akers-Jones. Hong Kong Girl Guide Association's longest serving Chief Commissioner.


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