Saturday, May 25, 2019

Jane Digby----


Jane's physical appearance & personal qualities.
"Jane was a lovely-looking child with a wonderful face framed in golden hair, big, wide-set, blue eyes, and growing tall with a perfect figure. She became accomplished as a painter, sculptress and musician, as well as learning nine languages." (Great British Adventurers: 24).

"Later, with her large violet-blue eyes and pink-and-white complexion, little Janet (as her family called her then) was a pretty sight. Her waist-length golden hair, curling free from the prescribed banded and ringleted style, glistened halo-like in the sunshine. Her cheeks glowed: 'a picture of health,' local villagers said. As curious and agile as a kitten, as intelligent and eager as a puppy, she seemed to want to take the world by the coat-tails, and there was about her, even then, an irresistible charm." (Washington Post)

Shady Ladies Tours — - Jane Elizabeth Digby is regarded as one of...
Lady Elizabeth Digby
" . . . She was tall and stately, with firm breasts and long, slim legs. Her hair was a soft, golden blonde, her eyes large and blue, her complexion creamy and flawless. 'One of the most beautiful women I ever saw,' Count Apponyi reported after he first met her. Count Alexandre Walewska concurred. She was the most 'divinely beautiful' woman, he said, that he had ever laid eyes upon." (The Nympho and Other Maniacs)
Lady Anne Glenconner was brought up at Holkham Hall, a Palladian mansion on the north Norfolk coast
Holkam Hall
@The Times
Jane's personal & family background.

Daughter of: Admiral Sir Henry Digby & Jane Elizabeth Coke.

"When Jane Digby was born in 1807, child of privileged English aristocracy, nobody could have predicted the course her life would take. She was the daughter of Captain Henry Digby, a sailor from a line of sailors who had fought against the Americans in the West Indies and against Napoleon at Trafalgar. He would go on to become, like his father before him, an Admiral. Jane’s mother was also named Jane, and she was the eldest daughter of Thomas Coke, a politician and landowner who would become the Earl of Leicester. Thomas only had daughters, and he was rich enough to allow them to marry for love if they wished. He himself was a widower at the time, though he remarried at the age of 68 to a woman fifty years younger. Henry Digby was actually Jane Coke’s second husband, her first having died in an accident, and they married the year before Jane was born. She was Thomas’ first granddaughter, and the apple of his eye. Between Thomas’ indulgence and the money that Henry had made through capturing Spanish ships as a privateer, Jane grew up wanting for nothing." (Head Stuff)

Jane Elizabeth was the daughter of Admiral Sir Henry Digby, great-grandson of the fifth Lord Digby. Her mother (Lady Jane Elizabeth Coke) was a daughter of Thomas William Coke, of Holkham, the veteran M.P. for Norfolk, and well-known agriculturist, afterwards created Earl of Leicester. (Chambers & Chambers: 577). 

"Jane. . . was born . . . on the estate of her father, Captain (eventually Admiral) Sir Henry Digby and his beautiful wife Jane Elizabeth (nee Coke). Jane's father had enriched the family with the prize from his capture of a Spanish ship, and had been one of Nelson's Captains at the Battle of Trafalgar." (
Great British Adventurers: 24)

Jane's father.

"Captain Henry Digby, Jane's father, was a fair, handsome and much decorated naval hero. Prior to his marriage to Lady Andover he had distinguished himself at Trafalgar as commander of HMS Africa. . . ." (Lady Jane Digby..married to Arabian sheikh 17 years her junior in Visa Journey)

Jane's mother.
Jane's mother, Thomas Coke's eldest daughter Jane, was known as Lady Andover, a form of address she used for the remainder of her life. The title was retained from a previous (childless) marriage which had ended in tragedy when she was twenty-one. . . (H)er second husband had a similar ability, claimed that he owed his first success to a voice in a dream which told him to change the direction in which his ship was headed and even the course to steer." (Lady Jane Digby..married to Arabian sheikh 17 years her junior in Visa Journey)

Honours & Accomplishments: ". . . She became accomplished as a painter, sculptress and musician, as well as learning nine languages." (Great British Adventurers: 24)

"Ellenborough House was built in the late 15th Century, and then was bought and renovated in 1831 by Edward Law, Earl of Ellenborough and former Viceroy of India. Upon his death in 1871, the house was let to a series of tenants until it was sold in 1947 and became a private school for girls. When the property was sold again in 1972, the school was transformed into a hotel, and was the Hotel De La Bere until it closed in January 2009 to be reborn as the Ellenborough." (Luxury Travel Advisor)

Jane's husbands.
Edward Law
2nd Baron Ellenborough

1) Edward Law, 2nd Baron Ellenborough (1790-1871)
Governor-General of India
Lord Privy Seal.

Son of: Edward Law, 1st Baron Ellenborough & Ann Towry.

Husband of:
1) Octavia Catherine Stewart, mar 1813
2) Jane Digby, mar 1824, div. 1830

"At the time Jane had an unrequited affection for her cousin George Anson, who was eight years her senior (which we know about as she preserved the poems she wrote about him). However once she made her debut the beautiful blond heiress became the object of a great deal of interest. One of those who set his cap at her was Edward Law, professional politician and Baron of Ellenborough. He was both handsome and a practiced orator, and he managed to thoroughly turn Jane’s head. Edward proposed to her less than two months after their first meeting, and Jane accepted. On the 15th of October 1822 the 17 year old beauty married the 32 year old Viscount. The Digbys must have congratulated themselves on the excellent match Jane had made. Eight years later, when that same marriage wound up tearing their entire family apart, they would not regard it so fondly." (Head Stuff)

Lord Ellenborough's physical appearance & personal qualities.
 ". . . He was a handsome man, tall, well built, but vain, particularly about his thick brown hair. One observer suggested that he wore his wig askew in order to draw attention to his hair. He also had a sharp tongue and a full complement of enemies. Some of his unpopularity stemmed from his friendship and support for his previous brother-in-law Lord Castlereagh, an immensely unpopular foreign secretary and the target of Hester Stanhope's 'His Monotonous Lordship' remark. Still, Ellenborough was a wealthy and successful man whose father had been Lord Chief Justice of England and who could claim descent from the royal families of England---he was one of London's most eligible men." (Improbable Women: 91)

He also had a mistress . . . "After launching Jane in the social whirl, Lord Ellenborough's work and time constraints---he also had a mistress---were such that he was unable to accompany Jane on all occasions. Regardless, she plunged in with enthusiasm and became a center of attention at Almack's and elsewhere." (Improbable Women: 93)

Lord Ellenborough, Viceroy of India 1842-1844, lost his first wife after six years. He divorced his second wife, also after six years, on the grounds of her adultery, in 1838. Thereafter he had three illegitimate children." (Empire and Sexuality: The British Experience: 43)

Karl von Venningen
2. Karl Theodore von Venningen (d.1874)
Baron von Venningen mar 1832

3. Count Spyridon Theotokis 

Lover in 1835 or 1838
Married in 1841.

"Growing restless with Venningen, Jane found a new lover in Count Spyridon Theotoky, a tall, dark Greek whom she met at a court ball. When Venningen discovered her adultery, he challenged Theotoky to a duel and wounded him. Then, in an extraordinary gesture prompted by his love for her, Venningen let Jane go. He kept and care for her children, and remained her friend until his death. Jane married Theotoky and lived with im for ten years in Greece, entertaining in a grand manner. They had a child named Leonidas, and for the first time, Hane showed genuine maternal devotion. Her fidelity, however, wavered again. . . ." (Reflected Glory)

First encounter with Theotokis

"An illicit romance began in 1835 between Jane Digby and Spiridon Theotokis and tales spread of how she rode through the forest in the dark of night to meet her Greek lover. According to the tale that circulated in the court of Vienna, Venningen intercepted the two lovers about to elope and challenged the Greek Count to a duel. Theotokis was wounded but convinced Venningen of his innocence." (Apostolakou, 2009)

"The operetta continued. One night at a masked ball at the Oktoberfest, fate sent Jane, now a Baroness, a Greek count, Spiridion Theotoky, and after much melodrama and another divorce, she had a sixth child and settled in Athens. The death of her father, plus her Ellenborough divorce settlement, left her extremely well off, with an income of L4,000 a year and the ability to strike back when this third husband began having affairs. . . ." (The Divorcing Kid in the NYT)

". . . She made a visit to Munich in 1835 and there met a Greek called Count Spiridion Theotoky. Her affair with him was discovered by her husband and he wounded Theotoky in a duel but then, rather sportingly, let him recuperate in Schloss Venningen. In the Spring of 1839 Jane left her family to go to Paris with Theotoky and bore him a son (Leonidas) on 21 March 1840. This child seems to have been the only one she much cared for. Her husband agreed to give her a divorce on good terms but she had the marriage annulled by the Greek Orthodox Church (incidentally bastardizing Berthe). . . . Jane married Theotoky in Marseilles in 1841 and seemed then to settle down at his estate in Dukades in Corfu. . . (T)ragedy struck when her beloved son Leonidas, aged six, fell off a balcony and was killed in front of her very eyes. The allocation of blame for this incident provoked a separation from Theotoky . . . Her marriage to Theotoky was annulled (once again this was done by the Greek Orthodox Church. . . . " (Great British Adventurers:: 25)

Theotokis' physical appearance & personal qualities.

"In her biography of Jane Digby A Scandalous Life, Mary Lovell describes the Greek Count as tall, dashing, confident and talented with chiselled handsome features, liquid dark eyes and charismatic charm. He was among the Greeks who, following the proclamation of King Ludwig’s son, Otto, as King of Greece, were attracted to the Bavarian court. In a letter to King Ludwig, Jane described Count Theotokis as dangerous: she was still married to Bavarian Baron Charles Venningen." (Love Stories in History)

Natural offspring
a. Count Leonidas Theotoky (1840-1846)

Affair's end & aftermath.
"After a few happy years on Corfu, Jane discovered that Spyridon, her third husband, was essentially a playboy. In the summer of 1844 their son, Leonidas, fell over a balustrade to his death at her feet on the marble floor of a house Jane had rented in Italy, and from then on, there was nothing to hold Spyridon and Jane together."  (NYT)
A rare photo for sheikh Medjuel El Mezrab and Lady Jane Digby
Medjuel & Jane
4. Abdul Medjuel el Mezrab (Sheikh) (1833?-?)
Arab general in the Greek army

Jane's 4th & last husband.
"At age forty-six, Jane sought adventure in the Middle East. In Syria, she married a Bedouin sheik. 'My heart warms towards these wild Arabs,' she wrote in her diary. Her husband this time, Abdul Medjuel el Mezrab, was a dark-skinned nobleman with black hair, a black beard, and dark eyes---'the magnificent, large-hearted romantic she had sought all her life,' in Oddie's view. He was well read, and he knew several languages. . . ." (Reflected Glory)

First encounter.
" . . . She hired another camel caravan to cross the desert, a 9-day journey -- an unheard of venture by a single woman traveling alone. Along the way she met Sheikh Abdul Medjuel El Mezrab, a Bedouin chief who controlled the desert she was crossing. The man was honorable and cultivated, educated (at the insistence of his father) and well-read; he spoke 3 languages, was tall and unusually handsome, and he fell hard for Jane. Mezrab was also described as virile, scholarly, a man of character and humor. But he was of the desert. . . ." (History Hoydens, 2010)

Medjuel's personal & family background
"It was while negotiating for a camel caravan to take her across the desert, a nine days' journey at that time, that she encountered the man who was to become her fourth and last husband, her great love, the Sheik Abdul Medjuel El Mezrab. His tribe was a branch of the Anazeh. They controlled the desert round Palmyra and were, for the tribal habits of their day, a particularly honorable and cultivated lot. They were neither rich nor numerous, but their blood was blue. The Sheik Medjuel was the second of nine sons. His father, the ruler of the tribe, had been a remarkable man, who had insisted that all his children obtain a wide education. That Medjuel could read and write was a distinction among the Bedouins. He spoke several languages, and was well-read; he had studied the histories of ancient Syria, and knew the desert and its legends as few others. Sometimes he acted as escort to distinguished travelers. It augmented the tribe's finances, and it brought him interesting contacts with the outside world. It was suggested that he should act as Jane's guide. And so they met."  (The Wilder Shores of Love: 173)

Medjuel's physical appearance & personal qualities.
"Medjuel El Mezreb was only a few years younger than Jane. He was not at all the novelette version of the blazing-red desert Adonis, though it must be remarked that nearly all Arab men possess those glittering and impenetrable black eyes so irresistible to European women. . . ." (The Wilder Shores of Love: 173)

Lady Jane the Adventuress.

Jane -- the most infamous Digby.
"The most infamous Digby was the admiral's eldest daughter, Jane, whose colorful life was a source of fascination to her great-grand-niece, Pamela. From birth, Hane was admired for the 'perfect oval' of her face, her dark blue eyes, 'wild rose' complexion, and golden hair that tumbled below her waist. Her temperament, according to her biographer, E. M. Oddie, was 'wild, impetuous, fearless, generous, lovable, and intensely loving.' She had a strong romantic streak, and a precocious talent for music and drawing, as well as a great facility for languages." (Reflected Glory)

Jane's lifelong search for love, passion & adventure.
"Jane was a kind of female Byron, a child of the Regency who never adapted to Victorian priggishness. Her lifelong search for love, passion and adventure took her from London to Paris, to a new husband in Bavaria, another husband and lover in Greece, and, finally, to Syria, where she died after 27 years as the contented wife of a Bedouin sheikh." (Text History)

Lady Jane's infidelity, a cross she carried for life

"But in the end, the one to suffer longest was Lady Ellenborough. The scandal, a cross she carried for life, branded her as easy prey in years to come. This, combined with her incredible beauty. her impulsive nature, her never-ceasing desire for sexual satisfaction and emotional insecurity, started her on a romantic career seldom equaled in the history of errant females. In her seven decades, she acquired at least four husbands, and possibly as many as nine, each married in a different capital of Europe or the Near East. As to her affairs, there is documentary evidence of at least twelve lovers---French, German, Italian, Greek, and Arab---but it is more likely that she enjoyed three times that number." (The Nympho and Other Maniacs)

Jane's many marriages & liaisons.

"Jane Digby (1807-1881) was an aristocratic English beauty who had many marriages and liaisons, resulting in 5 children from different fathers. Her first husband, the Earl of Ellenborough, went on to become Viceroy of India, while her last was a Bedouin named Sheikh Medjuel el Mezrab. (the other husbands and paramours were Sir Frederick Madden, Prince Felix zu Schwarzenberg, King Ludwig I of Bavaria, Freiherr Karl Theodore von Venningen-Ullner, Count Spiridion Theotoky (who fought the Freiherr in a duel when eloping with her), and Cristos Hadji-Petros, the leader of a band of Albanian brigands). This is the Sheikh, who was 20 years her junior. . . ." (

Jane's love life.

"The term 'cad. then originally attached to Prince Felix Schwarzenberg who seduced Jane Digby when she was married to Lord Ellenborough, got her pregnant, took her off to Paris in 1830 and abandoned her. He was apparently nicknamed 'Cad' after his horse 'Cadlands' and as the first cad gave his name to a scoundrel’s behaviour. I read about Jane Digby in Mary Lovell’s The Scandalous Life of Jane Digby. She was quite a woman. Her first affair was apparently with her cousin, whom she believed to be the natural father of her first son. After Schwarzenburg left her she had affairs with Ludwig I of Bavaria and Baron Von Venningen, whom she subsequently married. She then took as her lover the Greek Count Theotokis and after him the Greek King Otto. She moved on to an Albanian general but walked out on him when he was unfaithful to her. She ended up marrying a sheikh who was twenty years her junior and lived happily with him until her death twenty eight years later." (Cornick)

Jane's 14 Lovers.

"It is possible that Jane had had fourteen lovers, for including her husbands, eleven of her lovers were admitted in her diaries: Lord Ellenborough, Frederick Madden, George Anson, Felix Schwarzenberg, Charles Venningen, King Ludwig, Spiros Theotoky; Hadji-Petros, Saleh (and possibly Selaine), Barak himself and Medjuel. In addition there were rumoured affairs for which no evidence is available, with King Otto, and the two duelists during her time in Italy after her separation from the count...." (Lovell, 2012, n.p.)

" . . . A dramatic divorce was Jane Elizabeth, known as 'Iolanthe', and described by Lady Holland in 1824 as a 'poor girl who has not seen anything of the world. 'She married Lord Ellenborough, was divorced in 1830 for adultery with Prince Schwarzenberg, and later that year became the mistress of Ludwig I, King of Bavaria. She later married Baron de Venningen, Prime Minister of Bavaria, who committed suicide when she left him. Her third husband, Sheik Medjwas el Mizrab, was an Arab general in the Greek army. Iolanthe was making up for her earlier boring life." (Victorian Women: 124)

Lady Jane was no nympho, but a serial monogamist.
"Jane Digby's worst sins were an overwhelming hunger for love and adventure, and an astonishing naivete about men. Despite her romantic disappointments, she never allowed herself to become bitter or jaded. She always believed that the perfect lover was out there, one who would fulfill her body and soul. Some historians and biographers have regarded Jane as promiscuous or a nymphomaniac. But Jane was a serial monogamist. In every relationship, she gave her full heart, each time she was sure that she had found 'the one.' She could never be content with maintaining the discreet appearance of respectability. Jane also had a healthy sexual appetite in an era when women weren't supposed to enjoy sex. If she had been a man, she would have been admired and patted on the back." (Scandalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History's Most Notorious Women)

"Order of apearance" of lovers in Jane's life.
1. George Anson, her cousin
2. Prince Felix von Schwarzenberg
3. King Ludwig I of Bavaria
4. Baron Karl von Vennigen
5. Greek Count Spyridon Theotokis
6. King Otto of Greece
7. Greek General Christodoulos Hatzipetros
Sheik Abdul Medjuel el Mezrab
8. Bedouin nobleman Medjuel el Mezreb

Jane's lovers were:
1) Sir Frederick Madden (1801-1873).
Lover in 1827-1828.
Her grandfather's librarian.

"Jane first fell into the arms of handsome young librarian, Frederick Madden, who came to Holkham to catalogue her grandfather's books. An unforgettable picture of her leaps from the pages of Sir Frederick's journal, now at Oxford's Bodleian Library: “She is not quite 20 and one of the most lovely women I ever saw. Quite fair, blue eyes that would move a saint, and lips that would tempt one to forswear Heaven to touch them. . . .” Four days later he wrote, “She sings to me the most bewitching Italian airs, the words of which are enough to inflame one, did not the sight of so lovely a creature sufficiently do so.'" (NYT)

". . . Jane seems to have settled down into the life of a socialite but then fell in love with a librarian, called Frederick Madden. However, instead of pursuing this interest, she went to London and began an affair with her cousin George Anson, which caused comment in her circle but no open scandal. . . . " (
Great British Adventurers: 24)

"On 7 March 1827 Madden again made the 17-hour coach journey from London to Fakenham and on by gig to Holkam, where he found two of Coke's daughters and a granddaughter already guests. . . Madden's concentration had begun to wander with the arrival of Coke's granddaughter Jane, now married to Coke's political ally, Lord Ellenborough. She was already notorious for her numerous affairs, including one with her cousin George Anson. Madden was immediately smitten by her, describing her as 'not yet twenty and one of the most lovely women I ever saw. . . ' He walked and rode with her and she lent him her drawing book. Finally, on 24 March he 'escorted her to her room, fool that I was. I will not add what passed.' x x x However, the liaison was short-lived and there seems to have been no communication between them after she left a dew days later...." (Improbable Women: 161)

"Four days before she arrived at Holkam, Sir Frederick Madden, a young librarian and scholar, had arrived and was busy at work cataloging Lord Coke's library. His diary records the event. 'Tuesday, March 14th, Lady Ellenborough, daughter of Lady Andover, arrived to dinner, and will stay a fortnight. She is not yet twenty, and one of the most lovely women I ever saw, quite fair, blue eyes that would move a saint, and lips that would tempt one to forswear Heaven to touch them.' . . . They walked, rode, and played whilst in the evenings until on Saturday after whist, 'Lady E. lingered behind the rest of the party, and at midnight I escorted her to her room. . . I will not add what passed. Gracious God! Was there ever such a good fortune?' Five days later Jane left Holkam and they never met again. In 1920, forty years after Jane's death, Sir Frederick Madden's diaries were unsealed according to his instructions. Until then, the brief romance had been secret." (Improbable Women: 94)
Image result for Major-General George Anson CB 1797 – 1857)
George Anson
2) George Anson (1797-1857)
Lover in 1821 (fling); 1827-1828 (lovers).

Her 1st cousin
British Army major-general & politician.

Son of: Thomas Anson, 1st Viscount Anson & Lady Anne Margaret, daughter of Thomas Coke, 1st Earl of Leicester.

Husband of: Hon. Isabella Elizabeth Annabella, daughter of Cecil Weld-Forester, 1st Baron Forester. (The Peerage)

Natural offspring:
a. Arthur Dudley (1828-1830)

"After the brief Madden affair, Jane turned for constant companionship to her first cousin, Col. George Anson, unleashing the first torrents of scandal. . . ." (NYT)

"Jane was married (though not consulted) at age 17 to Lord Ellenborough, a man twice her age who neglected her. In 1821 she had a fling with her cousin, Captain George Anson, conceived a child, whom Lord Ellenborough accepted as his heir. . . ."(The Wilder Shores of Love)

"Jane was not a woman who could live without love and passion in her life. If her husband was not willing to give it to her, she would look elsewhere. Dressed in decollete gowns, Jane fell in with the glittering and sophisticated international society set by Princess Esterhazy. She soon found her cousin more than willing to console her. When Jane found herself pregnant, she passed the baby off as her husband's. When her cousin finally dumped her rather than risk his career, Jane moved on to her grandfather's librarian. He later wrote that she had 'blue eyes that would move a saint, and lips that ould tempt one to forswear heaven to touch them.'" (Scandalous Women)

"When Jane decided to take a lover, she looked no further than her own family, her first cousin Colonel George Anson. While George was on leave from the army, he began squiring her to parties. Eight years her senior, he had grown up to be handsome and a bit of a rake, sowing his wild oats in London. Jane may have had a bit of a crush on him as a child, and now at the age of 19, her cousin fell under the spell of her beauty. They were soon lovers and Jane fell madly in love with him. Unfortunately the feeling wasn't mutual, although he walked the walk, and talked the talk for many months. Jane soon found herself pregnant, giving birth to a son, Arthur Dudley. Although she was still sleeping with Ellenborough, Jane was pretty sure that her son was actually Anson's." (Scandalous Women)

"While the family was grieving over the loss of Henry Anson, Jane was thrown into close company with his brother Colonel George Anson. In fact, this relationship predated the Madden affair. George Anson was some ten years older than Jane but they had known one another as long as they could remember, and after Jane's introduction to the social swirl of London they were both popular and sought after participants on the fast track. Colonel Anson was known as a womanizer, but a very handsome one, stylish and very acceptable. . . Jane was totally immersed in the relationship, and while we do not know how Colonel Anson viewed the affair, it seems likely that he was aware of the difficulties looming and impossibility of a future marriage. . . Somehow, we assume it was at George's initiative, the affair was brought to an end. . . ." (Improbable Women: 96)

Affair's end & aftermath.

" . . . After the birth of her son, who spent most of his time in the country where the air was fresher, her relationship with Anson foundered, and he finally broke it off. Jane was distraught and depressed that she could have been so wrong about his love for her. . . . " (Scandalous Woman)

Natural offspring:

a. Arthur Dudley (1828-1830): " . . . (O)n February 15, 1828, Jane presented Lord Ellenborough with a son, Arthur Dudley. It is clear that Lord Ellenborough was not the father, and while other candidates have been suggested, Jane believed the father to be Colonel George Anson. It may be that Lord Ellenborough tolerated the liaison in order to gain an heir, but whether that is true or not, from the birth of Arthur Dudley, Jane and Lord Ellenborough ceased to cohabit." (Improbable Women: 96)
Felix zu Schwarzenberg
3) Felix zu Schwarzenberg (1800-1852)
Lover in 1828-1830.
Austrian diplomat & statesman.

" . . . The Colonel [i.e., George Anson] faded away when Jane met the dashing, mustachioed Prince Felix Schwarzenberg, an attaché of the Austrian Embassy. As the French writer Edmond About said of Jane, “One fine morning she climbed on the roofs and shouted distinctly to the whole of the United Kingdom, ‘I am the mistress of Prince Schwarzenberg!’ All the ladies who had lovers and did not say, so were greatly shocked; English prudery reddened to the roots of its hair.” (NYT)

First encounter.
Felix, a womanizing playboy in military dress.
" . . . She was captivated by Austrian diplomat Prince Felix Schwarzenberg, a womanizing playboy in military dress. Tall and handsome, with dark eyes and a luxurious black mustache, he was 'the Byronesque lover of her dreams,' according to Oddie.

Someone's mistress but nobody's wife. 
 "As Prince Schwarzenberg's mistress, and nobody's wife, there were a number of his official social engagements from which the ex-Lady Ellenborough was debarred. This must have thrown her back on her own resources, bringing her into a less exacting circle of writers, musicians and such. For all that the pale romantics earned their reputations, they were a vital lot. Hugo, Dumas, Balzac, de Musset, Gautier -- they all knew how to live well. Such a society must have done much to mould the impressionable you. Soon she emerged from the schoolgirl chrysalis of her early married days in London, where even at Almack's, a society not distinguished for its intellect, her vapidity was as remarked as her beauty. Now, she gradually assumed, or developed, an unexpected brilliance. She became an outstanding conversationalist, witty, widely read, and full of those unexpected quirks of personality which, linked with her peculiarly air, English humour, made her such good company." (The Wilder Shores of Love:)

Lady Ellenborough's new bed-mate.
" . . . After the son's birth, Jane no longer took her husband into her bed, but found another lover, an Austrian prince. Prince Schwarzenberg was a dashing, handsome, and charismatic man whom Jane met at a government reception. Schwarzenberg was known to have a mesmerizing effect upon women, and Jane was not immune. . . At last, pregnant with the prince's child, Jane confronted her husband and informed him of her infidelity, her pregnancy, and her love for the prince. Jane and the prince fled to the continent, and away from the scandal that continued to gain steam." (Insatiable Wives: 126)

Felix's physical appearance & personal qualities. 
" . . . Tall and thin with long think black sideburns and moustache, he was good-looking, but even his looks were subordinated to the extraordinary magnetism of his eyes. He was alleged to have hypnotic power over women, to the extent that he was said to keep his sickly sister alive by his personal magnetism. An attractive womanizer with an aura of the foreign and exotic, he was also a wanderer whose philosophy was 'To live is to travel; to travel, to live'. . . . ' (Improbable Women: 97)

Felix's personal & family background.
"With an aristocratic and wealthy family, Prince Felix was a captain of mounted lancers in the Austrian army, and at this point in his developing career he had been appointed secretary to Prince Esterhazy in the Austrian Embassy in London. . . ." (Improbable Women: 94)

Living together an open scandal.
". . . She met Prince Felix Ludwig Johann von Nepomuk Friedrich zu Schwarzenberg, the Austrian attache in London, and became his mistress. This time there was an open scandal and Lord Ellenborough probably fought the Prince in a duel. He received substantial sum in damages. In 1829 Jane left Ellenborough for good and went to Basel where, on 12 November 1829, she gave birth to Schwarzenberg's daughter, named Mathilde Selden. This child was later taken in and brought up by Schwarzenberg's sister in Switzerland. Jane moved to Paris in 1830 and openly lived with Schwarzenberg, which, according to official morality of the age limited her social opportunities. However, Ellenborough had had quite enough and, for the sake of his honour and his family name, he went to lengths of obtaining the passing of a Private Act of Parliament, by which he divorced her. Jane bore Schwarzenberg a second child, Felix, in December 1830 but he soon died. Not long after this, Schwarzenberg, with an eye to his career and appeasing his family, left her. . . . " (Great British Adventurers: 25).

Affair's end & aftermath. 
"Sometime during the year 1831 Schwarzenberg had finally taken himself off, and suddenly Jane decided to move on too. She seems to have deposited her two children with the Prince, who was obliging enough to take them over for good. Now entirely unencumbered, the ci-devant Lady Ellenborough left Paris in a cloud of rumours. Imperceptibly, the black Bedouin tents were one step nearer: she had moved eastward again, over another frontier, towards other loves. Tomorrow to fresh Woods and Pastures new." (The Wilder Shores of Love)

"It was also the forum for the historic and scandalous affair between Lady Jane Ellenborough and Prince Felix Schwarzenberg of Austria who resided at no. 73. When the affair was made public by the Times newspaper in April 1830. It was the subject of breakfast tittle-tattle across the entire country for weeks." (thehsgp)

Natural offspring:
1. Mathilde Selden (1829-?), married Baron Bieschin.
2. Prince Felix Schwarzenberg (1830-1831)
Ludwig I of Bavaria
4) Ludwig I von Bayern.
Lover in 1830.

"The unhappy Jane moved on to Munich, where she found temporary consolation with King Ludwig I of Bavaria. It was not enough, because Jane needed a man's undivided attention. Once more she thought she found it, this time in the person of Baron Karl von Venningen, a handsome red‐haired nobleman in Ludwig's court. Once more she was wrong. She married him, and with their son and daughter to look after, he thought he could‐turn Jane into a contented Hausfrau. But he had not reckoned on Count Spyridon Theotoky of Corfu, who flashed onto the Munich court scene like an exotic bird in his gold‐trimmed fustanella. There was a duel, and Jane left with the wounded Greek." (NYT)

" . . . She [Jane] was restless, yearning for fresher, more vitalising scenes. In the spring of 1831, she acted. She moved on to Munich, there to become the mistress of the lovable classicist, King Ludwig I of Bavaria, and there to camouflage the royal affair by eventually marrying a wealthy court official, the red-headed Baron Carl Venningen, that Honore de Balzac finally decided to include her in the next volume of his Comedie humaine." (The Nympho and Other Maniacs)

" . . . In Munich she became the mistress of the 'charming, kindly, slightly ridiculous but wholly lovable' King Ludwig I. Since Ludwig would never divorce Queen Theresa and marry Jane, he allowed his mistress to take another lover, Baron Carl Venningen, who had one of the oldest titles in Europe. The baron was completely enchanted by her. They were married in 1832, and six weeks later, at age twenty-seven, she gave birth to his son." Reflected Glory)

". . . She took her daughter (with Schwarzenberg) to Munich, where she met and became friendly with Ludwig I of Bavaria and possibly became his mistress. . . ." (Great British Adventurers: 25)

"Her next lover was King Ludwig I of Bavaria whom she met in Munich. A marriage for convenience in 1832 to Bavarian Baron Karl von Venningen produced a son and a daughter. . . ." (League of Adventurous Women)

Karl von Venningen
5) Karl von Venningen (1800-1874)
Lover in 1831.

Husband of: Countess Gabrielle von Paumgarten, daughter of Count Hermann von Paumgarten & Hon. Mary Erskine.

Natural offspring: 1. Freiherr Heribert von Venningen-Ullner (1833-1865)

Physical appearance & personal qualities: "Baron Karl Theodore von Venningen Ullner was one of the most eligible young men in Munich. From a noble family whose title went back centuries, he was tall, powerfully built, and handsome, with red hair. He was an excellent horseman and that is how they met: on horseback in the Auf Garten in Munich. For Karl Venningen it appears to have been instant love as he immediately began a determined campaign to win Jane." 
(Improbable Women: 104)

Their natural offspring: "Jane became pregnant and traveled to Italy to give birth to Filippo Antonio Herberto Venningen, on January 27, 1833. It was suggested that the child had been fathered by King Ludwig but it seems certain that the father was Karl Venningen. . . In September 1834, Jane bore her fifth child, Bertha. While Herberto or Heribert, as he was actually called was the image of Karl Venningen, Bertha did not resemble either Karl or Heribert and as a child was struck with mental illness that led to her confinement in an asylum by the age of twenty. Madness was a plague of the Wittelsbachs, and the child's illness added to the suspicion that her father might be King Ludwig." 
(Improbable Women: 104)

Affair's end & aftermath: "Baron Karl Venningen never remarried and did remain a friend to Jane until he died in 1874 while riding in the Hofgarten, where he had first seen the beautiful Lady Ellenborough in the fall of 1831. This was the noblest man Jane had yet loved and arguably the finest that she would ever love. His loyalty points once again to those now opaque qualities that drew men to Jane with such fervor and devotion. Beauty would not have been sufficient. There must have been qualities of mind, of presence, of sensuality that we can only imagine." (Improbable Women: 108) [Fam1:Peerage]

Honore de Balzac : News Photo
Honore de Balzac
6) Honore de Balzac.
Lover in 1834.

A friend she truly admired.

"Jane Ellenborough was deserted (by Schwarzenberg) in a Paris seething with revolution. . . Trapped in the midst of this national upheaval, and suffering from personal loneliness, Lady Ellenborough turned to one the few friends she truly admired. She turned to Honore de Balzac. Their love affair was brief in duration---no more than two months---but four years later it was to produce a belated offspring. In 1845, as a result of the union, Balzac gave birth to a magnificent brainchild---Lady Arabella Dudley, a beautiful and scandalous English nymphomaniac of Le Lys dans la vallée." (The Nympho and Other Maniacs)

First encounter.

". . . Later that summer (1834) she met Honore de Balzac, who undoubtedly used her as a template in his writings. . . . "  (Great British Adventurers: 25)

Jane's most gifted lover.

"While many of Lady Ellenborough's lovers were men of great renown, wealth, and title, perhaps the most gifted was the massive, red-faced Honore de Balzac, regarded by fellow writers in the more than a century since (among them Henry  James and W. Somerset Maugham) as literature's foremost novelist." (The Nympho and Other Maniacs)

Physical appearance & personal qualities.

"Balzac . . . was physically repulsive. A short man, he was absurdly fat---and no wonder. At a single meal he had once consumed twelve cutlets, one duck, two partridge, one sole, one hundred oysters, twelve pears, and several desserts. His everyday fare was not much lighter. His hair was black, his nose wide,  and his lips thick. He affected blue coats with gold buttons, trousers with pleats, patent-lether shoes, and a turquoise-studded cane." (The Nympho and Other Maniacs)
Otto of Greece
7) Otto of Greece.
Lover in 1844

" . . . Another son of Ludwig's Otto, King of Greece, inherited a no less remarkable legacy, his father's former mistress from 1831, Jane Digby, Lady Ellenborough, and what sounds like the climax of a re-enactment of the Freudian primal scene was really just a part of Jane's rather colourful life. After a few weeks, she left King Otto for a Greek brigand chief, became his robber queen, lived with him and his Klephts in caves, rode and hunted with him and walked out of the fellow in turn when he became unfaithful. . . ." (Once Upon A Time)

"In about 1844 she probably had an affair with King Otto of Greece, son of Ludwig I, which seems to have gone unchallenged. . . . " (Great British Adventurers: 26)

" . . . Then there was an attempt to murder his German-born wife, which deeply shocked him even though he had been far from faithful, for he had taken over his father's ex-mistress, Jane Digby, who was by this time in her mid-forties and with a long strong of other affairs both behind and ahead of her." (The Other Kaisers: ii)

Otto of Greece
" . . . Ludwig's son, Otto, the first king of modern Greece, was infatuated with Jane and followed his father as the second monarch to share her bed, according to Oddie. Like his father, Otto had a wife he never intended to divorce. Jane and Theotoky remained married, but their only bond was Leonidas, and that connection broke when the child dell from abalcony and died at Jane's feet." (Reflected Glory)

" . . . Once her marriage to von Venningen had been amicably dissolved, Jane promptly remarried Theotokis and set up residence with her new husband in his homeland of Greece. It was during this time that Jane became a royal mistress for the second time, entering into a clandestine relationship with King Othon (1815-1867)...." (Bonhams)
Cristos Hadji-Petros
8) Cristos Hadji-Petros (1790-1853)
Lover in 1852
Christodoulos Chatzipetros
". . . (I)n 1852 Jane fell in with a sometime Albanian brigand-turned-Greek-Court member called Cristos Hadji-Petros whom she followed to his mountain lair, as his consort, living a wild bandit existence, in hidden caves and riding furious horses. . . (D)iscovering that her brigand had been unfaithful, she did not (as had been her intention), marry him. Instead, now aged forty-six, alone again and still seeking adventure, she travelled east. . . . " (
Great British Adventurers: 26)

"Jane's home in Athens became the gathering place for young Greek society, until she met a Pallikar, one of the dashing mountain men. Hadji Petros was an Albanian brigand chief, who had been made general of the garrison at Lamia, Greece, for his part in the Greek War of Independence. According to Edmond About, who met Jane about this time, “When she saw Hadji‐Petros in his glory, she imagined that she was born Pallikar; the next day she was reigning over Lamia. All the town was at her feet, and when she went out to go for a walk, the drums were beating in the fields. This delicate woman lived with drunkards, galloped on horseback in the mountain, ate literally standing up on the run, drank retsina, slept in the open air, and found herself in excellent health.' Unfortunately, Hadji‐Petros, the brig, and, proved to be as dishonest in romance as in other things, and before long this new idol's clay feet became too obvious even for Jane to miss. Athens society had by then turned its back on her, and once again she became an exile. There was no place to go but east." (NYT)

Affair's development, end & aftermath.
" . . . Besides, she had reason to visit Syria. She had planned to go there to look for Arab horses to buy for her lover at the time, Xristos Hadji-Petros, a general for the king of Greece. But their affair came to an abrupt end when Digby learned that Hadji-Petros had been bedding her French maid of 13 years, Eugenie. Sensibly, Digby retained Eugenie, and continued with her plans to visit the Orient. . . ." (The Chic of Araby in NYT)

" . . . Her next choice was the more than 60-year-old rebel-bandit-soldier Xristodolous Hadji-Petros. He was big trouble. The Greek Queen Amalie was jealous of his affair with Jane. To make matters worse, Jane found out soon afterward that her own maid was having an affair with Hadji-Petros. There was noting for her to do except to depart for Damascus." (The Divorcing Kid in the NYT)

Hadji-Petros' physical appearance & personal qualities: "When Hadji-Petros first came t court his wild romantic looks and dress, not to mention his reputation of being half soldier, half bandit, caused many hearts to flutter -- even Queen Amalie's. Although he was past sixty he was still powerfully built, a tall, handsome man, full of humour, self-confidence and the joy of living. . . ." (A Scandalous Life

Achievements & honours.

". . . Consequently Otto invited to Athens, as poacher turned gamekeeper, the man Palikares regarded almost as their king, Xristodoulous Hadji-Petros. His brief was to restore and maintain safe passage on the highways and to quell skirmishes between the border factions. Hadji-Petros was appointed the King's General in the province of Lamia, and Governor of Albania.

9) Sheikh al-Saleh.

Lover in 1853

"And then one day she traveled to Syria to buy an Arabian horse. She was 46 years old, spoke and read 8 languages including Arabic, was interested in archaeology, a superb horsewoman, and still extraordinarily beautiful. The lusty young Bedouiin Sheikh Salih, 20 years her junior, swept her off her feet. He refused to give up his harem; Jane insisted on being on the sole wife, and they parted." (History Hoydens, 2010)

". . . After an absence abroad, Jane returned to Syria in November 1853 to discover that her latest beau, Saled, had married someone else. . . . " (Great British Adventurers:: 26)

". . . Jane landed in Syria in May 1853 and promptly fell in love with her host, a Bedouin called Salleh, before travelling to Damascus where she fell in with the Mesreb tribe and met Abdul Medjuel al-Mesreb who later became their leader. . . . " (Great British Adventurers:: 26)

10) Sheikh el-Barrak.
Lover in 1854

"When in the early spring of 1854 she out for Baghdad, she was still brooding over Salih, still recoiling from the spectre of old age. But presently there was a revivifying interlude with another Arab, the Sheikh El Barrak, who found her as seductive, in her grief, and late forties, as other, earlier lovers had done in her heyday. Perhaps the crimson velvet pelisse had something to do with it. To the Arab eye it must have seemed a queenly outfit for the rocky ravines. The Sheikh was insistent, the lady was lonely. We have no record of what Eugenie though about it all, huddled up beside the camp fire, regretting, no doubt, the comparative civilization and restraint of the Pallikares." (The Wilder Shores)

" . . . In 1854 Jane started for Baghdad in another caravan and along the way enjoyed a voluptuous affair with another sheikh El Barrak. But they quarreled. . . ." (History Hoydens, 2010).

". . . On the rebound (after falling out with Saleh), she embarked on a torrid and ill-fated affair with sheikh al-Barrak during 1854." (Great British Adventurers: 26)

11) Sheikh Selaine.
"The dragonman was Sheikh Selaine, a well-built man of about forty, who spoke several European languages as well as Turkish...." (Lovell)

Lady Jane Digby

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