Alice Rutherford was a daughter of Edward Rutherford, 13th Baron Tennington and Marguerite Blakeney. Like her husband, John Clayton, Lord Staveley, she is descended from witnesses to the Wold Newton Meteorite strike, and her background is described in Tarzan Alive by Philip José Farmer.

Lady Stavely died suddenly in the home their husband had built for them on the African coast, where they had been abandoned by the mutinous crew of the ship that was bringing them to the continent. Her husband was shortly after killed by Mangani, leaving their infant son John as an orphan. Fortunately, a bereaved member of the Mangani adopted the baby, naming him (according to Edgar Rice Burroughs in Tarzan of the Apes), Tarzan.

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