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Penelope (née Chetwode), Lady Betjeman

(1910-1986), Author as 'Penelope Chetwode'; wife of Sir John Betjeman; daughter of 1st Baron Chetwode and 7th Baronet of Oakley

Sitter in 14 portraits
Penelope Chetwode grew up in northern India. She married poet and writer John Betjeman in secret but within a year she was abroad, studying in Berlin, while he was having an affair. Animals interested her more than humans. Moving to Berkshire, goats and chickens roamed freely through the house. She converted to Catholicism, having an affair with novelist Evelyn Waugh. Having published a successful book about a Spanish journey with a donkey, in the 1960s she revisited the scenes of her Indian childhood. Her trek from Shimla to the head of the Rohtang Pass was recorded in Kulu: The End of the Habitable World (1972). She continued leading treks in the area, finally dying there.

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Penelope (née Chetwode), Lady Betjeman, by Lafayette (Lafayette Ltd) - NPG x48079

Penelope (née Chetwode), Lady Betjeman

by Lafayette (Lafayette Ltd)
half-plate film negative, 19 February 1932
NPG x48079

Paul Betjeman; Penelope (née Chetwode), Lady Betjeman, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x78427

Paul Betjeman; Penelope (née Chetwode), Lady Betjeman

by Bassano Ltd
quarter-plate glass negative, 30 July 1948
NPG x78427

Paul Betjeman; Penelope (née Chetwode), Lady Betjeman, by Bassano Ltd - NPG x78428

Paul Betjeman; Penelope (née Chetwode), Lady Betjeman

by Bassano Ltd
quarter-plate glass negative, 30 July 1948
NPG x78428

Penelope (née Chetwode), Lady Betjeman; Sir John Betjeman, by P.A. Reuter Photos Ltd - NPG x194234

Penelope (née Chetwode), Lady Betjeman; Sir John Betjeman

by P.A. Reuter Photos Ltd
vintage print, 15 March 1960
NPG x194234

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