Born in Sketty and educated at home by governesses near Killay, Swansea, Amy Dillwyn was a rebellious young woman in Victorian high society. She wrote popular novels exploring women’s roles as second-class citizens such as he Rebeca Rioter and Jill and also wrote regular reviews for The Spectator . After her father’s early death left her family in financial ruin, she managed the debt-ridden Llansamlet zinc factory he had run at a time when women were usually excluded from the board-rooms of
industry and commerce. Turning the ailing enterprise around, by 1905 she was able to sell her shares to a German company and dedicate the rest of her life to local politics.