Elma Dangerfield

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Convinced of the need for interchange of ideas and dialogue between political thinkers in America and Europe, she founded, in 1954, in conjunction with Lord Abinger, the European Atlantic Group. This brought together parliamentarians, academics, economists and writers from both sides of the Atlantic. Later she was to be instrumental in founding a British-Atlantic Group and a Mid-Atlantic Group.
In 1972, with Dennis Walwyn Jones MC, Elma Dangerfield re-founded the Byron Society which had dwindled to extinction in the run-up to the war. In so doing, she reignited a literary interest that was to attract many other like-minded admirers of the Romantic poets.
She was one of the principal voices to insist on a permanent memorial to Byron being placed in the Poets' Corner of Westminster Abbey; and her book Byron and the Romantics in Switzerland was published in 1978.
She was later instrumental in encouraging the formation of the Newstead Abbey Byron Society, based at that time in the ancestral home of the Byrons. Due to her encouragement and commitment, Byron Societies across Europe, North America and Australasia were also founded. A single willing correspondent in some far-flung land was a society-in-waiting for Elma Dangerfield.
The administration of both organisations was centred round Elma Dangerfield's house in Chelsea. From there she dominated their affairs for much of the remainder of her life, editing publications, arranging meetings and prevailing on her many contacts to take part and add their support. Dukes, princes, ambassadors, politicians and prelates were alternately cajoled or terrorised by the diminutive but determined Elma Dangerfield. She simply did not understand the meaning of "no" - unless she herself had uttered it.
For her work in promoting international relations she was appointed OBE in 1960, and CBE in 2002.[1]


  1. ^ Obituary Daily Telegraph, 25/02/2006.