Laura Nicholson was Marianne Nicholson’s younger sister. Marianne was Gwendolen Gascoigne’s mother. Laura was affectionately nicknamed Lolly by the family. She married her cousin John Bonham Carter.
In her teenage years music remained Florence Nightingale’s abiding passion, and being able to share it with Marianne Nicholson only intensified her pleasure. On returning from Paris in 1839 to attend the Queen’s birthday drawing room, Marianne, together with her parents and younger sister, Laura, had joined the Nightingales at the Carlton Hotel in Regent street, London.
Here their rooms reverberated noisily to the sound of piano, voice and the pounding of dancing feet. Florence had ‘quite lost her voice in that horrid Parisian climate’, but Marianne possessed exceptional musical gifts, including a thrilling soprano, and ‘one unlucky piano never stopped’ as she, Florence and Laura practised for hours at a time, with ‘4 masters between them’.