Roosevelt, Blanche

BORN 2 Oct 1853, Sandusky, Ohio - DIED 10 Sep 1898, London
BIRTH NAME Tucker, Blanche Roosevelt
CAUSE OF DEATH traffic accident
GRAVE LOCATION London: Brompton Cemetery, Old Brompton Road, West Brompton

Blanche Roosevelt came from Sandusky, Ohio, and was the daughter of W.H. Tucker from Virginia, who would become state senator in Wisconsin. Her mother was Lizzie Tucker-Roosevelt.

Blanche came to Europe to study music and became the first American to sing Italian opera at Covent Garden. In 1876 she shared the principal role in "La Traviata" with Adelina Patti. Arthur Sullivan heard her when he on holiday in France in the summer of 1879 and on 31 Dec 1879 she became the first Mabel in New York in his "The Pirates of Penzance" at the Fifth Avenue Theatre.

She married the Marquis d'Alligri and she left the stage and turned to writing and journalism. She wrote novels and her "The Life of Gustave Doré" earned her a prize from the French Academy. She knew Guiseppe Verdi, Victorien Sardou and Doré and this helped her work as a foreign correspondent for American newspapers. Many persons observed her remarkable combination of beauty and intelligence.

In 1884 she became the mistress of Guy de Maupassant and in 1886 she was together with him in London. In 1887 she dedicated a book to her friend the writer Wilkie Collins.

She spent the last part of her life in the South of France. In Monte Carlo she was seriously injured in a carriage accident in 1897 and she never fully recovered and died in London in 1898. There's still a great statue of her at her tomb at Brompton Cemetery, London.

Works: "The home life of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow" (1882); "Stage-struck, or; She would be an Opera Singer" (novel, 1884); "Life and Reminiscences of Gustave Dore" (1885).

Related persons
• was a friend of Collins, Wilkie
• knew Doré, Gustave
• was the lover of Maupassant, Guy de
• knew Verdi, Giuseppe
• was visited by Wilde, Oscar


Blanche Roosevelt's statue at her grave at Brompton Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (24 Mar 1996)


The grave monument of Blanche Roosevelt at Brompton Cemetery, London.
Picture by Androom (27 May 2004)


• Culbertson, Judi & Tom Randall, Permanent Londoners, Robson Books, London, 1991
• Peters, Catherine, The King of Inventors, A Life of Wilkie Collins, Seeker & Warburg, London, 1991
Blanche Roosevelt - Wikipedia

Rops, Félicien

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 25 Apr 2022