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  • Writer's pictureRay Lipscombe

The Story of Lady Burdett-Coutts - a Victorian philanthropist by best selling author Alan Gold


Alan Gold - The Queen of the Poor. Cover design by Ray Lipscombe (raylipscombe.co.uk)

Romaunce Books has scooped four historical novels by best-selling author Alan Gold with more in the pipeline including Alan’s first foray into romantic fiction.


The Queen of the Poor documents the amazing life of Angela Burdett-Coutts when she inherited her grandfather's fortune of around £1.8 million (equivalent to £170,000,000 in 2021) following the death of her stepgrandmother, Harriot Beauclerk, Duchess of St Albans. She joined the surnames of her father and grandfather, by royal licence, to become Burdett-Coutts. Edward VIIis reported to have described her as, "after my mother, the most remarkable woman in the kingdom."


The Coutts bank was founded in 1692 but really took off when Thomas Coutts took over at the beginning of the 19th Century. He made a fortune, and left it to his second wife, 40 years younger and an actress. When she died, she left it all to Thomas' granddaughter, Angela Burdett-Coutts.

Suddenly, Angela becomes the second wealthiest woman in England after Queen Victoria. She must hire bodyguards to keep fortune hunters away from her. But because of her wealth and also because her father was a radical politician, she moves in the most interesting layers of Victorian society, where meets and has affairs with famous people, like the chemist Michael Faraday and many others including Charles Dickens and the Duke of Wellington.

She causes something of a scandal, but because of her wealth, and the fact that she spends most of her money on charity, opening up schools for impoverished kids, helping Dickens with the housing for the poor, housing prostitutes and getting them off the streets she's almost beyond criticism.... until, at the age of 66, she marries her 29-year-old male secretary.


Alan Gold is an internationally published and translated novelist, whose books of historical fiction bring back to vivid life some of the most fabulous women who have been written out of history. From biblical heroines like Jezebel, to fabulous women of recent centuries such as Gertrude Bell (the brains behind Lawrence of Arabia) Alan specializes in discovering and bringing back to their rightful place in our culture those women who have led amazing lives and done extraordinary things, yet whose place in history has been minimized.


Alan now lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife, Eva, and they have three children, and threegrandchildren.

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