Violet Van der Elst (1882-1966) was born Violet Dodge, in Surrey, England. The daughter of a coal porter and a washerwoman, she herself worked as a scullery maid. She became a successful businesswoman by developing Shavex, the first brush-less shaving cream.
In the 1930s she married Jean Van der Elst, a Belgian painter.
Having amassed a huge personal fortune she purchased Harlaxton Manor, in Lincolnshire, England.
She gained publicity from her vocal campaigns against capital punishment, and stood three times, unsuccessfully, as a candidate to be an M.P.. She fought Putney at the 1935 General Election as an Independent, coming third. She fought Hornchurch at the 1945 General election as an Independent, coming fourth.
She wrote the book On the Gallows in 1937 as part of her efforts to eradicate the death penalty. In the same year she published a collection of 13 ghost stories, The Torture Chamber and Other Stories.
Her campaigning, her behaviour, and unsuccessful political career reduced her fortune, forcing her to sell her house and move to a flat in Knightsbridge, London, in 1959.
She died in 1966, penniless and largely forgotten, the year after capital punishment for murder was abolished in Britain.
In the 2005 film Pierrepoint, she is played by Ann Bell.
Other articles related to "van":
... Upon Vincent van Gogh's death in 1890, his work not sold fell into the possession of his brother Theo ... The collection was inherited by her son Vincent Willem van Gogh in 1925, eventually loaned to the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam where it displayed for many years, and was ... Design for a Van Gogh Museum was commissioned by the Dutch government in 1963 to Dutch architect and furniture designer Gerrit Rietveld ...
... Van Eyck (or van Eyck), also Van Eijk (or van Eijk) is a Dutch surname meaning "of Eyck" or "of Eijk" (literal translation "of the Oak tree") ...
... The City of Van is served by the Van Independent School District and home to the Van High School Vandals ...
... 1503 - The van Duvenvoorde family becomes the Lordship of the town. 1610 - Birth of Jacob, Baron van Wassenaer, Lord of Obdam Son of Jacob van Duvenvoorde van Wassenaer 1620 - Jacob van Duvenvoorde starts using the van Wassenaer ... Jacob, Baron van Wassenaer, Lord of Obdam by Abraham Evertsz ...
... Albertus van Raalte (1811–1876), preacher and founder of Holland, Michigan August Pieter van Groeningen (1866–1894), writer Johanna van Buren (1881–1981), poet C.J ...
Famous quotes containing the words der, violet and/or van:
“Under the lindens on the heather,
There was our double resting-place.”
—Walther Von Der Vogelweide (1170?1230?)
“A violet by a mossy stone
Half hidden from the eye!
Fair as a star, when only one
Is shining in the sky.”
—William Wordsworth (17701850)
“The first day that we landed upon that fatal shore
The planters they came round us full twenty score or more,
They rankd us up like horses, and sold us out of hand
Then yokd us unto ploughs, my boys, to plow Van
—Unknown. Van Diemans Land (l. 912)