Comic Sara Pascoe surprise guest at Leamington blue plaque ceremony - The Leamington Observer

Comic Sara Pascoe surprise guest at Leamington blue plaque ceremony

Leamington Editorial 25th Mar, 2024   0

A MULTI-TALENTED Leamington resident has been honoured with a blue plaque.

The plaque for  Rosa Harriet Newmarch was unveiled during a ceremony at 52 Clarendon Avenue attended by comic Sara Pascoe, and her mother Gail Newmarch. Gail is the great, great granddaughter of Rosa Newmarch, a familial line that includes many artists, writers and musicians.

Rosa was born at 29 Lansdowne Place – now the Boots store – the youngest of the family of four boys and three girls of the renowned local physician Samuel Jeaffreson.

She was an artist, an accomplished musician, linguist, poet, author, music historian, critic and composer – and a wife and mother.

Rosa began her writing career with cultural journalism and by translating foreign biography, learning Russian and making four visits to Russia between 1897 and 1915. She became one of the first English critics to champion Russian music, and after 1915, Slovak music.

When Rosa’s father died in Cannes in April 1870, her mother Sophia moved to London, setting up home in Kensington with her two youngest daughters. After her mother’s death only two years later,

Rosa returned to Leamington to live at 60 South Parade (now 52 Clarendon Avenue) with her sisters Lily, an artist and professor of singing, and Caroline.

Rosa married Henry Charles Newmarch, a London-based land agent and surveyor, in 1883. They lived at a series of addresses in London, and brought up their son and daughter there.

By the time her daughter was born in 1888, Rosa had embarked on a serious literary career, beginning with translations and soon producing original biographies, reviews of novels, and music criticism.

Rosa died in Worthing in 1940, aged 82 and is buried in Leamington Cemetery.

The current owner of 52 Clarendon Avenue, Fiona Lindsay, is also a writer and producer.

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