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Kennedy, Lady Laura (standish)

Daughter of the Earl of Brentford and sister of Lord Chiltern. Greatly interested in politics, she maintained a distinguished salon in London. When Phineas Finn came out of Ireland to try for a career in Parliament, she became interested in him and undertook to advise and aid him in his ambition. She soon fell in love with him, but refused to marry him as her fortune had been spent in the payment of her brother’s debts, and he had none. Her ambition led her to marry Robert Kennedy, a wealthy landowner in Scotland and an M P, but her life with him was desperately unhappy and she left him, retiring to Dresden with her father. After her husband’s death she returned to England, hoping at last to marry Phineas Finn, but on his marriage to Madame Goesler she became an embittered and tragic recluse.

."She was in fact about five feet seven in height, and she carried her height well. There was something of nobility in her gait, and she seemed thus to he taller than her inches. Her hair was in truth red,--of a deep thorough redness.... Her face was very fair, though it lacked that softness which we all love in women. Her eyes, which were large and bright, and very clear, never seemed to quail, never rose and sunk or showed themselves to he afraid of their own power.... Her nose was perfectly cut, but was rather large.... Her mouth also was large, but was full of expression, and her teeth were perfect. Her complexion was very brilliant.(Finn 1:4:29)."