Sunday, July 22, 2018

Italian Royal Princes----

Leopoldo Giovanni Borbone Salerno 1790 1851.jpg
Prince of Salerno


Son of: Ferdinando I di Due Sicilie & Maria Carolina von Osterreich.

Husband of: Klementine von Osterreich (1798-1881) mar 1816.

Fanny Elssler
His lover was:
Fanny Elssler (1810-1884)
Lover in 1827.
Austrian ballerina.

Daughter of: Joseph Ludwig Ferdinand Elssler

Natural offspring:
a. Franz (1827-1873).

Fanny's personal & family background.
"Elssler had been born into a family of musicians, her father and grandfather having worked in the service of Joseph Haydn. In humble circumstances, she and her older sister, Therese, begam their dance training with Jean Aumer and Filippo Taglioni in Vienna . . . From the start, Fanny was noticeably prettier and more talented, while Therese, who grew to be rather tall, often partnered her in the early years of their careers. . . ." (Ballet in Western Culture: A History of Its Origins and Evolution: 1766)

Personal appearance & character.
" . . . In her private life, Elssler remained mild-mannered and serene in spite of her enormous success. She gained considerable notoriety for her love affairs with aristocracy and wealthy bourgeoisie. In 1850, she retired and lived in Vienna until her demise in 18884. While Taglioni died forgotten and a pauper, Elssler agged in comfort and the good company of family, friends, and fortune she had acquired over many years on the stage." (Ballet in Western Culture: 1768)

Fanny Elssler's bio @1911 EB.
"ELSSLER, FANNY (1810-1884), Austrian dancer, was born in Vienna on the 23rd of June 1810. From her earliest years she was trained for the ballet, and made her appearance at the Kärntner-Thor theatre in Vienna before she was seven. She almost invariably danced with her sister Theresa, who was two years her senior; and, after some years' experience together in Vienna, the two went in 1827 to Naples. Their success there — to which Fanny contributed more largely than her sister, who used to efface herself in order to heighten the effect of Fanny's more brilliant powers — led to an engagement in Berlin in 1830. This was the beginning of a series of triumphs for Fanny's personal beauty and skill in dancing. After captivating all hearts in Berlin and Vienna, and inspiring the aged statesman Friedrich von Gentz (q.v.) with a remarkable passion, she paid a visit to London, where she received much kindness at the hands of Mr and Mrs Grote, who practically adopted the little girl who was born three months after the mother's arrival in England. In September 1834 Fanny Elssler appeared at the Opera in Paris, a step to which she looked forward with much misgiving on account of Taglioni's supremacy on that stage. The result, however, was another triumph for her, and the temporary eclipse of Taglioni, who, although the finer artist of the two, could not for the moment compete with the newcomer's personal fascination. It was conspicuously in her performance of the Spanish cachuca that Fanny Elssler outshone all rivals. In 1840 she sailed with her sister for New York, and after two years' unmixed success they returned to Europe, where during the following five years Fanny appeared in Germany, Austria, France, England and Russia. In 1845, having amassed a fortune, she retired from the stage and settled near Hamburg. A few years later her sister Theresa contracted a morganatic marriage with Prince Adalbert of Prussia, and was ennobled under the title of Baroness von Barnim. Fanny Elssler died at Vienna on the 27th of November 1884. Theresa was left a widow in 1873, and died on the 19th of November 1878." (EB)

"While in Naples, Maria Carolina and Ferdinand IV's son Leopold, prince of Salerno, sought her favors. Fat, self-indulgent, 20 years Fanny's senior and married to his own niece, Leopold had little to offer, but it is conjectured that, after the misery of her childhood, his opulence might have held some attraction. Whatever the case, the 17-year-old Fanny became his mistress, was soon pregnant, and had to return to Vienna. Since the Kärnthner-Thor had a strict rule that mothers could not perform there, the birth of Franz on June 4, 1827, was hushed up, and the boy was placed in a foster home." ( 

"Fanny Elssler.---In 1822 I saw this beautiful person for the first time. She was originally one of the figurantes at the opera at Vienna, and was at this time about fourteen years of age, and of delicate and graceful proportions. Her hair was auburn, her eyes blue and large, and her face wore an expression of great tenderness. Some years after the Duke of Reichstadt, the son of the great Napoleon, was captivated with her beauty; in a word, he became her acknowledged admirer, while her marvellous acting and dancing drew around her all the great men of the German court. The following year she went to Naples, where a brother of the King fell desperately in love with her. Mademoiselle Elssler went soon afterwards to Paris, where her wit electrified all the fashionable world, and her dancing and acting in the Diable Boiteux made the fortune of the entrepreneur. In London her success was not so striking; but her cachucha will long be remembered, as one of the most exquisite exhibitions of female grace and power ever seen at her Majesty's Theatre, and in expressiveness, her pantomimic powers were unrivalled." (Reminiscences of Captain Gronow: 174)

Fanny's first purchaser: "Count Prokesh, a friend of Fanny's next protector, described the Prince of Salerno as 'Fanny's first purchaser, who had her body without touching her soul.' Purchase of not, when the affair became common knowledge the King sent his brother to Rome, to join the Papal Guard of Honour (whether he considered the irony of his brother's new post history does not relate). Fanny was returned to Vienna pregnant, with 3000 ducats a year. She gave birth to her son Franz Robert in June 1827, the day after her 17th birthday. He was left with relatives, while she returned to work and the audiences who loved her from a distance." (The History Girls)

" . . . When Fanny was twelve she was taken into the corps de ballet of the Hoftheater, where Filippo Taglioni was Ballet Master. In 1822 Filippo was ready to debut his daughter Marie in a ballet designed especially for her. . . Fanny and her sister were in the corps de ballet. A short while later, Fanny left for Naples. Fanny and Marie would not meet again until 1833, when both dancers would dance at the King's Theatre in London. In Naples, Fanny was a great success and also became the mistress of Prince Leopold of Salerno. Their son was born when Fanny was 17 years old. This was kept secret, and Franz was placed in a foster home so that Fanny could continue her promising career. Fanny was a beautiful woman and made use of every charm she possessed." (Andros on Ballet)

"In Naples, when Fanny was 16, her dancing and her person particularly delighted Leopold, the Prince of Salerno, who was the King's brother and had a reputation as a practiced reprobate. Many years later Fanny told a friend in London, Harriet Grote, that the Prince had forced her mother to sell her to him, and that they were unable to resist his wealth and unscrupulous influence. Buying girls was not that unusual. Desperate or greedy mothers used to line their young daughters up on the steps of the palace of one old prince in Vienna, Alois Kaunitz-Rietberg. Children on the stage were especially vulnerable, and the Horschelt Kinderballett, a children's company to which Fanny may well have belonged, was closed down after that particular scandal." (The History Girls)

Fanny Elsser's other lovers were:
1. Anton Stuhlmuller.
Lover in 1833?

"Her next romance was with Anton Stuhlmuller, her dancing partner, but his engagement with her company and their affair were both temporary. Gossip linked her with the interesting Count Alfred d'Orsay, a man of enigmatic sexuality, but in fact she was pregnant again, by Stuhlmuller. Her daughter Theresa Anna Catherine Jane was born with maximum discretion in London in October 1833, and baptised under false parental names at Spanish Place. By 1834 she was off to Berlin, dancing with her sister again, and thence to Paris, where Dr Veron, director of the Paris Opera, launched her debut in La Tempete, offering - he claimed - 40,000 francs a year (in fact it was 8000, plus bonuses). At the dinner laid on try to seal the deal, he had jewels and diamonds brought round on a silver salver, with the pudding, and after the opening night her battements were compared to Paganini's violin-playing. Even the star ballerina Marie Taglioni applauded, 'with several of her fingers', and new pun was heard: 'est-ce une femme ou est-ce l'air?' - Is it a woman or is it air? (She and Taglioni were seen as great rivals - Theophile Gautier said Fanny was the pagan ballerina to Taglioni's Christian: bold, voluptuous, powerful and dramatic.)" (The History Girls)

"While Therese and Fanny were dancing in Berlin, Fanny fell in love with Anton Stuhlmuller and bore him a daughter. Little Therese was raised by Harriet Grote, the wife of a member of the British Parliament." (Andros on Ballet)

"Fanny, however, had turned her attentions to dancer and fellow student Anton Stuhlmüller who was now premier danseur in Berlin, and she was soon pregnant again. In February 1833, she paid a visit to London, where she was taken in by George and Harriet Grote ; three months after her arrival, Fanny gave birth to a daughter Theresa. At a time when "ladies" did not associate with "theatricals," Harriet Grote, a historian and friend of Gentz's, ignored such prejudices and took in Fanny and her baby. George Grote was a banker and Member of Parliament. Except for 18 months in Paris with her mother, Theresa lived with the Grotes until she was nine." (

2. Charles Marquis de La Valette.
Lover in 1834?
"In September 1834, with much trepidation, Fanny Elssler appeared at the Opéra in Paris, very aware of Maria Taglioni's supremacy on that stage. The result of her appearance was another triumph and the temporary eclipse of Taglioni, who, although the finer artist of the two, could not compete with the newcomer's ability to enchant. Mlle Taglioni was a "Christian dancer," while Fanny was "quite pagan," said Théophile Gautier. By this time, Fanny had developed her staccato, or taqueté, style, in contrast with Taglioni's floating, ballonné method. In Elssler's performance of the Spanish cachucha, while in the role of Florinda in Le Diable boiteux (June 1936), she outshone all rivals. She was the German girl who became Spanish, and she caused a sensation. In her pink-and-black lace costume, Fanny Elssler graced snuffboxes, fans, prints and statuettes. Maria Taglioni accepted an engagement in St. Petersburg. The Marquis de La Valette, who seemed to prefer dancers, having fathered children with Pauline Guichard and Pauline Duvernay, entered Elssler's life for a short while. From him, Elssler moved on to Henry Wikoff, an American diplomat who was a little too Philadelphia for Europe's taste. Wikoff arranged for Fanny to tour America, though Thérèse decided to forgo the chance to meet wild Indians." (

"...Indeed, one such protector, the self-styled Marquis de La Valette, who became Fanny's lover in 1837, eventually destroyed the sororal menage...." (Garafola, 2005, p. 143)

3. Friedrich von Gentz.
Lover in 1830-1832.
German publicist & statesman.

"Fanny then incurred the passion of the aged and brilliant statesman Friedrich von Gentz, councillor to Metternich. An intellectual, Gentz was determined to educate his paramour, perfecting her German and teaching her French; he also provided her with advantageous introductions to further her career. Elssler, still shy and unspoiled, was devoted to him. But when the Berlin Opera offered the sisters a contract in Autumn of 1830 and Gentz proposed, Elssler preferred to dance in the Prussian capital. Gentz died in June 1832; Fanny was at his bedside." (

. . . In 1829 she met 46 years older Friedrich von Gentz, the secretary of Metternich, with whom she maintained a close relationship from 1830 to Gentz ​​'death in 1832. Gentz ​​once again developed all his art for Fanny to make money. He promoted her wherever he could and showered her with gifts. He also took on the role of a mentor and tried to educate her, teaching in French and correct German, caused her to read books and introduce her to influential people. Fanny thanked him with an honest and deep affection, which is clearly evident from the surviving letters. Gentz's political career ended abruptly when, in the early 1830s, he criticized Metternich's course, which deprived him of his favor. Gentz ​​retired with Elßler to his castle in Weinhaus. She lived there with him until his death on 9 June 1832. . . ." (Fanny Elssler Society)

" . . . Fanny Elssler's romantic admirers included the pre-March publicist and diplomat Friedrich von Gentz (1764-1832). A man 45 years Elssler's senior, whose admiration and personal devotion she enjoyed from 1829 until his death, he was a friend and admirer of Prince Klemens von Metternich, who warned his friend and advisor unavailingly against the liaison with the younger woman, but his words were useless against the passion of Gentz's life. Metternich and others believed that Gentz's affair reflected a Romantic aspect never seen before in such a rational man. It was generally accepted by his friends that the involvement with the dancer hastened the former rationalist's death. But Gentz was one of many for Fanny Elssler, who was idolized by fans at the peak of her career, like the singers Henriette Sontag and Jenny Lind who were similarly admired. . . ." (Fanny Elssler)

"Among the audience in Vienna was Baron Friedrich von Gentz. He was the best-known political writer of his time, an adviser and friend to the Chancellor, Prince Metternich, handsome though worn by a naughty life, intelligent and 45 years older than Fanny. He sent her camellias and wondered if she had a soul; she cast him friendly looks from the stage. Fanny's mother approved the liaison, thinking it unlikely to produce any more children to interrupt Fanny's money-making, which was supporting the family. Fanny herself said that that she was flattered by von Gentz's attentions, grateful to him, fond of him and, she said, after him she could never put up with a stupid man. At the time, though, he 'never knew such bliss on earth' and she proposed kissing him 'so as to drink in your soul', so perhaps the fondness was with hindsight and discretion. Metternich warned von Gentz against the liaison - exhausted, some said, by such a romantic and improper connect." (The History Girls)

"In private life, Gentz remained to the last a man of the world, but he was tormented with an exaggerated terror of death. He never saw his wife again since their parting at Berlin, and his relations with other women, mostly of the highest rank, were too numerous to record. However, passion tormented him to the end, and his infatuation for Fanny Elssler, the celebrated danseuse, forms the subject of some remarkable letters to his friend Rahel, the wife of Varnhagen von Ense (1830–1831)." (Wikipedia)

5) Henry Wikoff.
Lover in 1840?
"Chevalier Henry Wikoff was a cosmopolitan, globe-trotting rogue, professional gossip and amateur undercover reporter for the New York Herald. Wikoff arrived from Europe during the Buchanan administration and befriended Congressman Dan Sickles and his wife. He escorted Mrs. Sickles to parties before she took on another escort, Philip Barton Key. Sickles subsequently murdered Key for having an affair with her. Both Sickles and Wikoff had scandalous reputations for their affairs; however, both were included in the inner circle of Mary Todd Lincoln. He was as adaptable as the many spellings of his name." (Mr. Lincoln's White House)

"That same year, Wikoff then went to Europe, where he acted as a diplomatic agent for the United States, Britain, and France at different times,[4] and even spent some time in prison in Italy.[1] In 1852, after a sensational trial in front of the High Court of Genoa, he and a conspirator, Frenchman Louis Vannaud, were sentenced to 15 months in prison for attempting to force an heiress, Miss G. C. Gamble, into marriage in order to gain access to her fortune.[5][6] Upon returning to America, he was responsible for the successful tour by famous dancer Fanny Elssler in 1840.[3] Wikoff became a close friend of First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln, which created some scandalous gossip." (Wikipedia)

" . . . From him, Elssler moved on to Henry Wikoff, an American diplomat who was a little too Philadelphia for Europe's taste. Wikoff arranged for Fanny to tour America, though Thérèse decided to forgo the chance to meet wild Indians." (

Maria di Sicilie.
Natural daughter of: Roberto di Napoli e Sicilie.

Her lover was:
Italian poet.

" . . . The whole of the royal family inhabited the Castel Novo at Naples, which, with the strength of a fortress, united the magnificence of a palace. . . Under the same roof resided the Princess Maria, the younger of Joanna, and Maria of Sicily, a natural daughter of King Robert, remarkable for her beauty, her accomplishments, and her gallantries. She was the mistress of Boccaccio, and his too celebrated Fiammetta, at whose command he wrote the Decamerone (sic)." (Memoirs of Celebrated Female Sovereigns: 72)

"Maria of Sicily became the wife of Robert, Count of Artois. An old French writer is of the opinion that this princess lovd Boccaccio merely 'pour son beau dire et sa belle plume, pour la rendre excellence et imortelle par son rapport a tout le monde de ses belles vertual; male le galant n'en fit rien; et la laissa trompee, et s'en alla ecrire ces deux livres menteurs, qui l'ont plus scandlisee qu'edifice.' Assuredly, the kind of immortality which Boccaccio has bestowed on the Princess Maria is not exactly that which she anticipated. The Fiammetta, not withstanding the reality, force, and beauty of the picture which her lover has left of her (considered a portrait), will never bear a comparison with her contemporary, Laura. . . ." (Memoirs of Celebrated Female Sovereigns: 72)