Bonham Carter was born in Golders Green, London. Her mother, Elena (née Propper de Callejón), is a psychotherapist. Her father, Raymond Bonham Carter, was a merchant banker, and served as the alternative British director representing the Bank of England at the International Monetary Fund in Washington, D.C. during the 1960s. He came from a prominent British political family, being the son of British Liberal politician Sir Maurice Bonham Carter and renowned politician and orator Violet Bonham Carter. Helena's great-grandfather was Herbert Henry Asquith, 1st Earl of Oxford and Asquith, Prime Minister of Britain from 1908–1916. She is the grand-niece of Asquith's son, Anthony Asquith, legendary English director of such classics as Carrington V.C. and The Importance of Being Earnest. Helena's maternal grandfather, Spanish diplomat Eduardo Propper de Callejón, saved thousands of Jews from the Holocaust during World War II, for which he was recognised as Righteous among the Nations (his own father had been Jewish). He later served as Minister-Counselor at the Spanish Embassy in Washington, D.C.
Helena's maternal grandmother, Hélène Fould-Springer, was from an upper-class Jewish family; she was the daughter of Baron Eugène Fould-Springer (a French banker, who was descended from the Ephrussi family and the Fould dynasty) and Marie Cecile von Springer (whose father was Austrian-born industrialist Baron Gustav von Springer, and whose mother was from the de Koenigswarter family). Hélène Fould-Springer converted to Catholicism after World War II. Her sister was the French philanthropist Liliane de Rothschild (1916–2003), the wife of Baron Élie de Rothschild, of the prominent Rothschild family (who had also married within the von Springer family in the 19th century); her other sister, Therese Fould-Springer, was the mother of British writer David Pryce-Jones.
Friday, November 25, 2011
The Persistence of Elites
Brad DeLong blogs on a Parliamentary inquiry from the 1820's. Casually skimming, I note a "Mr Bonham Carter" is a member of the committee, who I assume is a distant ancestor of Helena Bonham Carter, whose great grandfather was Prime Minister Asquith. This prompted me to visit wikipedia: