Lady Theresa Susey Helen Chetwynd Talbot, who married the 6th Marquess of Londonderry in 1875 when he was Lord Castlereagh, was born on 6 June 1856 at Ingestre, the Talbot family seat in Staffordshire. Her father, then Viscount Ingestre, MP, succeeded his father as 19th Earl of Shrewsbury and 4th Earl Talbot in 1868. The Talbots were among the oldest families in the country. Although she was the leading Tory political hostess of her day, Theresa Londonderry had friends among the Liberals, particularly [Sir William] Harcourt who often came to the house to discuss literature as well as politics; Theresa besides being widely read had literary pretensions of her own. Against this background, it is not surprising to find a great many important figures in literature, the arts, the army, the navy, the law and the church, and nearly every important figure in politics (particularly Tory politics) and High Society, of the period 1890-1919 among Theresa, Lady Londonderry's correspondents.