Partner May "Toupie" Lowther, Elizabeth Heygate
233 Nell Gwynn House, Sloane Ave, Chelsea, London SW3 3AX, UK
32 Redcliffe Gardens, Kensington, London SW10 9HA, UK
St Anthony and St George Churchyard Duncton, Chichester District, West Sussex, England
Fabienne Laura Evelyn Caroline Brethous-Lafargue d'Avilla aka Evelyn Fabyan (August 29, 1901 - January 13, 1980) was a French-born British writer. She also wrote under the name of Francis D'Avilla. She was the former wife of British tennis player Jack Hillyard and godchild of another tennis player May "Toupie" Lowther. She is the author of Bombers' Night (1952), Napoleon's Hat (1955), and The Lorraine Cross (1965).
Fabienne Laura Evelyn Caroline Brethous-Lafargue was born at Chateau des Tourettes, St . Severs, Adour, Landes, France, to Leon Jean Baptiste Brethous Lafargue and Gertrude Janet Elisabeth Jones-Dussaut, the adopted daughter of Caroline Dussault. Lowther went to school at Les Ruches in Avon Fontainbleau, France. Daisy White, an Australian girl who also went to the school there from 1887 to 1889 wrote that one of the “governesses” was a Mlle Gertrude Jones.
During WWII Fabienne Lafargue was a Chelsea ambulance drivers; she and Elizabeth Heygate and were photographed in 1940 in their London Auxiliary Ambulance Service uniforms on the eve of the publication of their collaborative novel Painted Toys. They went on to write at least three other novels together during the war, using the name Evelyn Fabyan.
Heygate was the captain of the first international women’s squash team to visit America. Lafargue was a writer and translator. In an undated note Oscar Wilde’s lover Lord Alfred Douglas praised Lafargue's “astonishingly good” French translation of his sonnet and went on, “I feel better & have just had tea & one of Miss Toupie’s beautiful pears…” Lafargue and Toupie travelled across the Alps together on a motorbike. It is possible they were lovers – Toupie was said to refer to Lafargue as her wife. Toupie died in 1944. The main beneficiary in Toupie Lowther's will was Fabienne Lafargue D’Avilla.
The 1939 Register records Heygate (under her husband’s name Wolfe) and Lafargue living together at 233 Nell Gwynn House in Sloane Avenue. Heygate married Gerald Bryans Wolfe, a captain in the Royal Field Artillery, in 1918; they had a son in 1919 and divorced in 1944. Lafargue was married first to Pedro Frederico Vaz de Carvalhaes and in 1945 to tennis player Jack Hillyard (they later divorced). Lowther, from her tennis days, was for many years, a close friend of two British tennis greats – Commander George W Hillyard and his wife Blanche Hillyard. He was a long time Secretary of the All England Tennis Club at Wimbledon, and she was a 5 time ladies champion. They had a son, Jack Montagu Hillyard, and for some time had lived near Lowther in Pulborough. Jack Hillyard married Fabienne d'Avilla, who first marriage to Pedro Frederico Vaz de Carvalhaes had been dissolved.
After divorcing Hillyard, Fabienne did not marry again, and retained the name Hillyard until she died at the Westbourne Nursing Home, Hove, in 1980. Her main beneficiary was Helen May Tennant (1907-1979).
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