Queer Places:
St Michael's Mount, Harbour View, Marazion TR17 0HS, UK

(Clementina) Gwendolen Catharine St Aubyn (née Nicolson), Lady St Levan (July 3, 1896 - May 30, 1995) was a writer, nursery worker and patron of The Red Cross. She held the office of Justice of the Peace (J.P.). In 1934 she became the object of Vita Sackville-West's desire; Vita was married to Harold Nicolson, Gwen's brother. Shirin Le Breton in Sackville-West's The Dark Island (1934) is a slightly romanticised version of Gwen. The location, the island of Storn, is associated with St. Michael's Mount (off the Cornish shore), which Gwen's husband, Francis (Sam) St. Aubyn, the third baron St. Levan, was to inherit. Vita's travels in France were many, and made quite frequently with her women lovers and companions - notable, of course, with Violet Trefusis, but also with Evelyn Irons, with Gwen St Aubyn, and most famously, with Virginia Woolf.

An anxious letter of March 28, 1935, from Vita to Virginia Woolf shows that Ethel Smyth, for one, was upset by Vita's amorous relationship with Gwen St. Aubyn. Ethel had written to both Vita and Gwen, "saying that we were leading 'a rotten life'; and were not fit to write the life of Joan of Arc."

Gwen was the daughter of Arthur Nicolson, 1st Lord Carnock (b. 29 Sep 1849, London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location, d. 5 Nov 1928, Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea, Middlesex, England) and Mary Catharine Rowan-Hamilton (d. 23 Mar 1951)

with the dog Martin in 1934

On October 6, 1916, she married Francis Cecil St. Aubyn, 3rd Baron St Levan (b. 18 Apr 1895, Kingston, Jamaica, Greater Antilles, West Indies Find all individuals with events at this location, d. 10 Jul 1972). They had the following children

1. John Francis Arthur St. Aubyn, Lord Saint Levan (b. 23 Feb 1919, d. 7 Apr 2013)
2. Hon. Jessica Gwendolen St. Aubyn (b. 8 Feb 1918, d. 11 Apr 2014)
3. Oliver Piers St. Aubyn (b. 12 Jul 1920, d. 24 May 2006)
4. Hon. Giles Rowan St. Aubyn (b. 11 Mar 1925, d. 10 Jul 2015)
5. Hon. Phillippa Catherine St. Aubyn (b. 19 Jun 1922)

She died in 1995 at Penzance, Cornwall, England.

My published books:

See my published books