Lett, Anita Georgina Edith (1872–1940), rural activist, was born in 1872 at Waldeton Court, a large manor house near Brixham, South Devon, the daughter of Henry Studdy , a clergyman who had served as a commander in the Royal Navy, and Amelia Margaret Studdy (née Crapper) of Ellengreen. Anita's father died in 1880 and her mother subsequently married W. T. Summers of Esthlen, Newmarket. After a comfortable upbringing, Lett came to Ireland in 1899 and married Captain David Longfield Beatty of Borodale, Davidstown, Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford, a widower and British army veteran thirty years her senior with five children. They had one son, Henry Beatty, who was killed in an accident while serving with the RAF in 1935. David Beatty died in April 1904 and Anita was forced by his hostile family, who had always been opposed to their marriage, to leave the estate, though she was subsequently granted a plot on the outskirts of the estate to which she added 46 acres bought from a neighbouring family.
In 1908 she married Harold Lett, a member of a prominent Wexford farming family, and they settled at Ballindara, Bree in Wexford, and had two daughters, Eithne and Peggy. A tenacious, gifted woman with a vibrant personality, Lett pursued her favoured activities, including crafts, gardening, and hunting, living comfortably as a member of the landed gentry. She and her husband were also interested in rural co-operatives and politics and Lett became vice-president of the Wexford Farmers’ Association. Inspired by the co-operative endeavours of Horace Plunkett (qv), Lett was the driving force behind the formation of the Society of United Irishwomen (later the Irish Countrywomen's Association) at Bree, Wexford in May 1910, and became its first president with the backing of Fr Thomas Finlay (qv) and assistance from local woman Alex Rudd and Frederick Johnson, a founder member of the Enniscorthy Co-operative Agricultural Society.
Closely in touch with the needs of farmers’ wives, Lett saw the role of the association as promoting patriotism, creating greater comfort in the home, and improving the quality of the lives of women engaged in agricultural work, as well as attempting to reduce emigration and highlighting the deficiency of nursing and health care in rural areas. She criticised the manner in which children were reared and the dullness of rural life which she believed contributed to alcoholism and mental illness, and spoke highly of the work of the Gaelic League. Although the Irish Agricultural Organisation Society (IAOS) had provided the United Irishwomen with an office at Plunkett House, Dublin, she criticised the IAOS for not giving the United Irishwomen sufficient backing in business enterprises. At the inaugural AGM of the United Irishwomen she discussed the possibility of allowing women representation on public authority committees without having to go through the normal process of election, a proposal that received little backing.
Although few of the United Irishwomen’s earlier records have survived, it seems clear that Lett's ideas did not find favour with others involved in running the society, particularly those who wanted no involvement with politics. Lett lasted as president only for two years before being replaced by the more moderate Elizabeth Plunkett (qv), countess of Fingall, who was to remain president until 1942. In her memoirs Fingall did not even acknowledge the existence of Lett, erroneously claiming that ‘the United Irishwomen were always united and we never had a quarrel’ (Fingall, 346). As it developed, the society preferred to avoid some of Lett's more advanced ideas and concentrate on the home sphere.
Although retaining some involvement in the society – in 1914 the United Irishwomen unsuccessfully urged her to travel to the USA to spread the gospel of rural co-operation – she turned her attention increasingly to beekeeping in Wexford, and with her brother-in-law Charles Lett, was involved with the Beekeeping Association in Enniscorthy. She died in Wexford 5 June 1940, two years after the death of her husband; both were buried in St John's Church of Ireland graveyard at Clonmore, Bree.