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Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor

2 of 37 portraits of Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor

Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor, by Herbert Samuel ('Bert') Thomas, 1940s? - NPG 4542 - © National Portrait Gallery, London

© National Portrait Gallery, London

Nancy Astor, Viscountess Astor

by Herbert Samuel ('Bert') Thomas
pen and ink, 1940s?
12 1/2 in. x 10 1/4 in. (319 mm x 260 mm) uneven
Given by the artist's widow, 1967
Primary Collection
NPG 4542


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A beautiful and impetuous divorcée from Virginia, Nancy Langhorne came to London in 1904, and, rejecting several other suitors, married the immensely rich Waldorf (later 2nd Viscount) Astor. By nature religious, she was converted to Christian Science in 1914. In 1919 her husband, on inheriting the peerage, was forced to vacate his seat in parliament. She won the ensuing by-election, and was the first woman to take a seat in the Commons. She showed little reverence for proceedings there, and was a frequent interrupter; so much so that on one occasion, when she claimed to have been listening for hours before making her interjection, a member exclaimed: 'Yes, we heard you listening!'.

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