Thursday, September 17, 2020

French Courtesans----

Adrienne Lecouvreur
French actress & courtesan

Daughter ofRobert Couvreur, a hat maker & Marie Bouty.

Adrienne's love affairs began in her girlhood of arduous apprenticeship.
"Adrienne's love affairs began in her girlhood of arduous apprenticeship. Her first attachment was with a young baron, an officer of the Regiment of Picardie, garrisoned at Lille. He died suddenly after a few months of romancing and her grief was so profound that she earnestly considered suicide. An episode with one Philippe Le Roy, who was in the household of the Duke of Lorraine, followed, but it may be passed by as containing no revelation of her character. With the entrance of Clavel, an obscure actor whom she met in the comradeship of the theatre, her true, tendere woman's heart is first disclosed." (Great Love Stories of the Theatre: 114-115)

Physical appearance & personal qualities.

"Without being tall, she is exquisitely formed and has an air of distinction.  No one on earth has greater charm.  Her eyes speak as eloquently as her lips, and often they supply the place of words. In brief, I can compare her only to a flawless miniature.  Her head is well poised on shapely shoulders.  Her eyes are full of fire; her mouth is pretty; her nose slightly aquiline.  Her face is wonderfully adapted to express joy, tenderness, pity, fear, sorrow."  (Terhune, 2005, p. 123)

One lover after another.  

" . . . Voltaire had abandoned France and gone to England. The Earl of Peterborough occupied his place in Mlle. Lecouvreur's affections. But, shortly, Maurice de Saxe came by and for the rest of her days Adrienne could only think of the brilliant but inconstant son of Augustus II of Saxony and the Countess Aurora of Koeningsmark. . . ."  (Illustrated American, Vol. 1891: 516)

Her lovers were:
1) Baron D_____.
French military officer.
"The first of the actress's adorers was the Baron D_______, a young officer of the Regiment de Picardie, which formed part of the garrison of Lille. Of him we know nothing, save that, after the liaison had lasted some months, he died suddenly, an event which occasioned this mistress such terrible grief that she is said to have seriously contemplated destroying herself...." (Queens of the French Stage: 141)
Marquis d'Argental.
French diplomat.
Charles-Augustin de Ferriol
Marquis d'Argental
"The third of Adrienne Lecouvreur's admirers was Count d'Argental, who loved her till death, and for many years afterwards, until he himself fied; but who, through his friendship was fully appreciated, does not seem to have met with any response to his passion. The Count's mother, Madame de Ferriol, was so much alarmed by her son's love for the actress that she had resolved to send him to St. Domingo, so as to place him well beyond the seductions of the enchantress. No such precaution, however, was necessary. Madame de Ferriol feared that her son would make Adrienne an offer of marriage, and felt sure that in such a case the proposal would be accepted. Becoming acquainted with the circumstances of the case, Adrienne lost no time in writing to Madame de Ferriol a letter which placed her at rest in regard to her son's happiness, and more especially in regard to the actress' supposed designs upon him. Strangely enough, this letter was not seen by the Count himself until long after the death of his mother and of Adrienne herself. He found it by chance among some of his mother's papers, when he was in his eighty-fifth year, and as much attached to Adrienne's memory as in his young days he had been to Adrienne herself. . . ." (The Wife of Moliere: 79-80)

". . . Several of her early letters were written to Charles-Augustin de Ferriol d'Argental, then a boy, later her, legataire universel. . . ."  (, p. 256)

Personal & Family Background:  ". . . In January 1720 she (Adrienne) reports to him that she has seen his mother out in public and that 'she enlisted me to write to you.'  The mother in question was the sister of Mme de Tencin, famous novelist, mistress of cardinal Du Bois, the prime minister, and salonniere, who a few years earlier had deposited her newly born illegitimate son on the steps of Notre Dame.  Fortunately rescued from the Enfants Trouves by his father, Louis-Camus Destouches, he grew up to be the encyclopediste Jean d'Alembert.
English nobleman & military officer.

"Among the legion of Adrienne's adorers at this time was the illustrious Earl of Peterborough, who, however, was soon to be supplanted by the still more celebrated Maurice de Saxe. Lord Peterborough was an English peer whose whole life was passed in the turmoil of excitement. He had brought William of Orange to England, but before that monarch died, had fallen into such disgrace that he was committed to the Tower. In the reign of Anne he fought brilliantly in Spain for the Austrian Charles, but quitted the country in disgust when his advice was not followed. He was a small man, whose activity knew no bounds. He was said to have seen more kings and postilions than any man in Europe. He could do nothing like any other man. The originality of his character, as well as the charm of his manner, fascinated the brilliant Adrienne. Voltaire had abandoned France and gone to England. The Earl of Peterborough occupied his place in Mlle. Lecouvreur's affections. But shortly, Maurice de Saxe came by, and for the rest of her days Adrienne could only think of the brilliant but inconstant son of Augustus II of Saxony and the Countess Aurora Koenigsmark. . . ." (The Illustrated American, Volume 8: 516)

4) Clavel.

A provincial actor
Brother of Mlle. Fonpre.

"The result of Clavel's reflections was that he came to the conclusion that marriage with a young woman who 'had nothing and owed a great deal' might prove an indifferent bargain for an ambitious young actor." (Queens of the French Stage: 142-144)

Lover in 1716?.

"...Several years later (than 1712) Count Francois de Klinglin promised to marry her. Her pregnancy with his child revealed the situation to his family who persuaded him to abandon her...."  (Mather, 2001, p. 23)

"The result of Clavel's reflections was that he came to the conclusion that marriage with a young woman who 'had nothing and owed a great deal' might prove but an indifferent bargain for an ambitious young actor; and Adrienne, after a somewhat lengthy period of solitude, accepted the protection of Comte Francois de Klinglin, son of the preteur royal, or first magistrate, of Strasbourg. To him at the beginning of the year 1717, she bore a second daughter, Catherine Francoise Ursule; but the ill-fortune which had attended her previous liaisons still pursued her, for, almost immediately after this event, her lover abandoned her, in order to contract a wealthy marriage, to which he had been long urged by his family. The marriage of the father of her child threw poor Adrienne into the depths of despair. Too proud to reproach him with his perfidy, and yet too sensitive to remain to witness its consummation, she determined to leave the city, which must henceforth have for her such painful associations, and, having obtained permission to make her debut at the Comedie-Francaise, at the close of the theatrical year, she set out for Paris. Her two children she left st Strasburg, where she had them educated with great care, and on her death, in 1730, made ample provision for them. The elder, daughter of Philippe Le Roy, afterwards married the musician Francoeur the younger, daughter of the faithless Klinglin, became the wife of a M. Daudet (or Dauvet), a magistrate of Strasburg." (Queens of the French Stage)

French aristocrat.

Son ofLouis de Rohan-ChabotDuc de Rohan & Marie-Elisabeth du Bec-Crespin de Grimaldi, Marquise de Vardes.

Husband of:
1. Yvonne-Sylvie Breil de Rays (1712-1740), mar 1729
2. Mary Apolonia Scolastica Stafford-Howard 1721-1769), mar 1744.

"It was during the run of Mariamne, it its revised form, that the quarrel between Voltaire and the Chevalier de Rohan, second son of the Duc de Rohan-Chabot, took place. The poet and the chevalier were with several other persons in Adrienne's dressing-room at the theatre; Voltaire was giving the company the benefit of his views on dramatic art or some other subject. 'Whos is that younger man who talks so loud?' cried Rohan, who was in love with Adrienne and very probably jealous of the friendship existing between her and the poet. 'He is one who does not carry about a great name, but earns respect for the name he has,' was the retort. The chevalier raised his cane threateningly; Voltaire laid his hand upon his sword; Adrienne promptly sank down in a swoon; both gentlemen hastened to her assistance, and the quarrel ceased. How, a few days later, Rohan caused Voltaire to be cudgelled by his lackeys; how the enraged poet, after taking a course of fencing lessons, challenged his enemy to a duel, and how, in consequence, he was packed off to the Bastille, for the second time, are incidents too well known to require relation here." (Queens of the French Stage: n.p.)

7) Moritz von Hirsch.
Lover in 1721-1728.

8) Moritz von Sachsen.
Lover in 1721-1728.
"...Often to her performances came the young Prince Maurice of Saxony, not yet swollen with victories, but so handsome and romantic that when he pledged her his lifelong devotion she thought that this was the hero she had long awaited... She accepted him as her lover (1721), and for a time they lived in such cooing fidelity that Paris compared them to La Fontaine's amorous turtledoves (sic).  But the young soldier, already a marechal de camp, dreamed of kingdoms; we have seen him running off to Kurland to seek a crown, half financed by Adrienne's savings."  (Durant & Durant, 2011, n.p.)

9) Philippe Le Roy.
French military officer.

"...To the baron succeeded a certain Philippe Le Roy, 'officer of the Duke of Lorraine,' by whom, in 1710, Adrienne had a daughter, baptized as Elizabeth Adrienne. M. Le Roy, however, appears to have proved fickle, for, soon afterwards, we hear of a third lover...." (Queens of the French Stage: 141-142)

10) Prungent.
Intendant of the Duchess of Brunswick.

"That Adrienne should have numbered among her friends of the opposite sex several who were desirous of establishing a closer relationship with the charming actress was, of course, only to be expected.  Barbier, in his Journal, asserts that one Prungent, intendant of the Duchess of Brunswick, was her lover, and had 'squandered with her the money of the princess.'...." (Queens of the French Stage: 141-142)

Babier, in his Journal, asserts that one Prungent, intendant of the Duchess of Brunswick, was her lover, and had 'squandered with her the money of the princess'. . . . "  (Williams, 1905, n.p.)

11) Voltaire.
"Voltaire had been one of the first to appreciate both the talents and personal qualities of Adrienne, and in a letter to Thierot, written shortly after the actress's untimely death, he declares himself to have been 'her admirer, her friend, her lover.'  The biographers of the lady are divided in opinion as to whether this last term is to be taken in its literal, or in its platonic and poetic sense;  but whatever may have been the relations between the tragedienne and the writer, it is certain that Adrienne found in Voltaire one of the firmest and most devoted of her friends, who is undoubtedly sincere . . . and who remained tenderly attached to her to the last hour of her life."  (Williams, 1905, n.p.)

Natural Offspring:

"...(H)aving obtained permission to make her debut at the Comedie-Francaise, at the close of the theatrical year, she set out for Paris.  Her two children she left at Strasburg, where she had them educated with great care, and on her death, in 1730, made ample provision for them.  The elder, daughter of Philippe Le Roy, afterwards married the musician Francoeur the younger, who, in 1757, was appointed director of the Opera; the younger, daughter of the faithless Klinglin, became the wife of a M. Daudet (or Dauvet), a magistrate at Strasburg." (Williams, 2005, pp. 141-142)
Portrait of Justine Pilloy, also known as Alice Ozy (1820–1893), by Thomas Couture. c1855, oil on canvas. Born Justine Pilloy, Alice Ozy  became a well-known music hall actress in Paris. She also became a famous, wealthy courtesan- counting among her ardent admirers such French luminaries as artist Gustave Doré, writer Victor Hugo, and Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte, nephew of Napoleon and future Emperor of France. In the collection of The Toledo (OH) Museum of Art.
Alice Ozy
French courtesan

French actress, singer & courtesan.

Daughter ofJean-Baptiste Pilloys (1792-1844), French jeweler
& Charlotte Amedee Ozi (1792-1841), mar 1814-1820.
Alice Ozy (née Justine Pilloy,1820-1893) : artiste dramatique, modèle pour peintre (la toilette d'Esther de Chassériau, c'est elle) et courtisane. Elle fut l'amante (entre autres) du duc d’Aumale (le fils de Louis-Philippe) de Napoléon III, de Théodore Chassériau, de Victor Hugo. (en 1847) et de son fils Charles (qu'elle nommait son Cherubin) de Théophile Gauthier.:
Alice Ozy
French courtesan
Alice's personal & family background.
"One of the young women who had successful careers as both actress and courtesan was Alice Ozy. Born in Paris in 1820, she was the daughter of a jeweler named Pilloy and his wife (nee Ozi). The family situation was complicated as Alice's father had two other children with his mistress while her mother had her own paramour. In what was undoubtedly a matter of convenience to both parents, Alice was placed with a foster mother, by age 10 she was already earning her own livelihood as an embroiderer. Her supervisor soon realized that her beauty would be more valuably employed if she clerked in the shop rather than hidden in the back room, sewing. The store's owner found her so charming that he began a sexual relationship with her when she was 13. This quashed her opportunity to marry a country physician. Believing she could or should never marry, Alice embarked on a series of love affairs. . . ." (JAMA)

" . . . Alice  Ozy . . . whose foster mother had exploited her charms by having her serve in the family jeweller's shop, accumulated enough lovers as an actress to be able to retire early from the stage, and made so much out of them that, even when all her looks had gone, she could afford a succession of young lovers. . . ." (A History of Human Beauty: 129)

Alice's physical appearance & personal qualities.
" . . . Her beauty is accentuated by her full, red lips, light flesh tones, and dark eyebrows.  A reporter for the New York Times left a verbal description: 'Her teeth were small and of the same shade as the whites of her eyes, which were black and contemplative; her face was oval and pale, under a crown of hair so black that it seemed blue.'" (JAMA)

Alice's liaisons.
". . . Among her many lovers were, Alex. Dumas the elder, and Francois Victor Hugo, then no older than the Duke d'Aumale. When her liaison with the latter ceased, Alice Ozy consoled herself with the second Perregaux, the son of the financier, who had been at one time the employer, and later the partner, of Jacques Laffitte. Protected in turn by Perregaux and other men of wealth, Alice amassed a fortune, bought herself a chateau, and survived until an advanced age as a Lady Bountiful and a pattern of repentance and piety." (Republican France, 1870-1912: Her Presidents, Statesmen, Policy Vicissitudes and Social Life: 96)

Other close relationships included those with Victor Hugo (whose amorous advances she rejected) and son (whose advances she accepted). . . Alice's adventures did not end with the banker's son. She had a two-year liaison with the artist Theodore Chasseriau, whose sensuous nude portrait of her was a sensation at the retrospective of his work in New York, Paris, and Strasbourg in 2002-2003.  She was also linked romantically to Emperor Napoleon III's half-brother, the Duc the Morny.  Her last lover was the artist Gustave Dore, who designed her imposing tomb in Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris." (JAMA)

"Other lovers were the Duke of Aumale, Theodore Chasseriau (1848-1850), Theofile (sic) Gautier and Louis Napoleon Bonaparte. . . ." (androom)

". . . For her part, Alice Ozy, well-known actress, specialized in prominent artists and writers: Liszt, Gautier (again), Chasseriau, Gustave Dore, and doubtless scores of others. Exclusivity being the prerogative of the courtesan, she refused Victor Hugo her services, entering instead into a liaison with his son Charles." (Writing with a Vengeance: the Countess de Chabrillan's Rise from Prostitution: 6)

Alice Ozy
French courtesan

Her lovers were:
1) Alexandre Dumas pere.

2) Alphonse de Perregaux.

3) Cesar de Bazancourt (1811-1865)
French military historian & library director.
Official photographer of Napoleon III

Son ofJean-Baptiste Lecat de Bazancourt & Elisabeth d'Houdetot

" . . . Though Bazancourt was a man of means---at one time, the expensive courtesan-actress Alice Ozy was his mistress---Herminie did not benefit materially from the relationship. . . ." (Daughters of Eve: A Cultural History of French Theater Women from the Old Regime to the Fin de Siecle: 187)

4) Charles Hugo.
Lover in 1847.

"Alice Ozy was successful as an actress, but best known as a courtesan. She was well paid by her lovers, mostly notables from Paris society. She had an affair with Victor Hugo's son Charles, who complained to his father that she was unfaithful. Hugo intervened by seducing Alice himself, much to the disgust of his son."  (androom)

Edmond About
5) Edmond About (1828-1885)
French writer, journalist & art critic.

6) Edouard de Perregaux (1815-1898)
French aristocrat & cavalry officer.

Son ofAlphonse Perregaux & Adele-Elisabeth MacDonald de Tarente.

"Perregaux pere's provident stewardship of his estate was tested swiftly after his death when, in the spring of 1842, around the time of his admission to the Jockey-Club, Edouard de Perregaux launched into a passionate affair with one of Paris's most celebrated actresses, Alice Ozy. After the lady of the camellias, Ozy was the most expensive woman to keep in Paris. . . ." (The Real Traviata: The Song of Marie Duplessis: 81)

"It may have been the supreme accolade of membership of the Jockey-Club that emboldened Perregaux to initiate an affair with Alice Ozy at a time when she was the mistress of Henri d'Orleans, Duc d'Aumale, one of the younger sons of Louis-Philippe I. Aumale was deeply in love with Alice; even so Perregaux succeeded in wooing her away. Perhaps she was disenchanted with the prince because he was too committed to his military career in Northern Africa and did not have enough time to live to the full a life of leisure in the capital. Or else Perregaux proved irresistible, maybe by doting on her even more than his princely rival. . . ." (The Real Traviata: 83)

7) Gustave Dore.
"This part is not about Doré’s influence, but it’s too juicy a story to ignore. He made a bronze clock sculpture called Time Slaying Love. It was commissioned by Julie Justine Pilloy (a.k.a Alice Ozy), an actress “famous courtesan” to Doré and other artists, and to Dore’s friend the emperor Napoleon III." (Ottawa Citizen)
Henri d'Orleans
Duc d'Aumale

"Early in her career she was a member of the cast that gave a command performance of Le chevalier du guet before King Louis-Philippe and his family in honor of their 19-year-old son, the Duc d'Aumale. The Duc was entranced and, though a few years older than he, Alice became his mistress. The relationship did not last long.  When a more lucrative offer arrived in the person of the son of the King's banker (ho accompanied it with a carriage and footmen), Alice accepted.  Love letters from the Duc begged her to return, but she declined. . . ." (JAMA)

"Alice Ozy (1820-1893), whose real name was Julie-Justine Pilloy, made her debut at the Varieties in 1840.  She was the mistress of the duc d'Aumale and of a series of other wealthy men.  She left the state in 1855.  She was pursued in the 1840s by both Hugo's son Charles and Hugo himself." (My Beloved Toto: Letters from Juliette Drouet to Victor Hugo 1833-1882: 225)

"The Duke d'Aumale was undoubtedly the ablest of the Orleans Princes of those days. Entering the army in 1837, when he had only just completed his fifteenth year, he served like his brothers, Orleans and Nemours, under Bugeaud in Algiers, where from the outset, he displayed diligence, activity and enterprise. [A]fter promotion to a colonelcy, he returned to Paris, he entangled himself, although not yet twenty-one, first with a notoriety of the Opera house, Heloise Florentin, and immediately afterwards with an actress of the Varieties, Alice Ozy, in whose good graces he succeeded. . . ." (Republican France, 1870-1912: Her Presidents, Statesmen, Policy Vicissitudes and Social Life: 96)

"Alice Ozy (Julie-Justine Pillow) was renowned for her charm, wit and financial intelligence.  She started -- as did many courtesans -- in the theatre, where she stole the heart of the young Duc d'Aumale.  It was an affair that was to establish her, although she did not return his loyalty, and moved on to a series of conquests, including Theophile Gautier, who seems to have been positively tormented by her.  Her financial acumen that she could retire in wealth, but her old age seems to have been haunted by loneliness, and a regret for the days that had gone." (Decadent Handbook)

9) Napoleon III of the French.
French romantic painter

". . . Beatrice Farwell dates the popularity of such 'nude portraiture' to the 1840s, when Theodore Chasserieau depicted his mistress Alice Ozy in various paintings, including a life-size Sleeping Bather (Musee Calvet, Avignon), which he sent to the Salon of 1850. . . ." (19th Century Art Worldwide)

"Early on Ozy became involved with the painter Theodore Chasseriau and probably modelled for his daring nude painting La Toilette d'Esther, which was exhibited in the Louvre in 1841.  She modelled again for the superb painting Baigneuse endormie pres d'une source (1850). . . ." (The Real Traviata: 82)

" . . . The sense of the living body conveyed by this drawing does not seem to appear in the artist's paintings until the late 1840s.  In the rounded, full arms and torso, the model resembles the actress Alice Ozy, who was Chasseriau's intimate friend for several years.  He was introduced to her in 1849 by Theophile Gautier, and she was the model for several of his paintings of this time, including The Sleeping Bather. . . and The Bath, Interior of the Seraglio. . . ." (David to Corot: French Drawings in the Fogg Art Museum: 30)

11) Theodore de Banville.
12) Theophile Gautier.
Thomas Couture
@Museum of Art, New Orleans
13) Thomas Couture (1815-1879)
French history painter & teacher.

"The artist Thomas Couture used Ozy’s face as a model in the painting Supper at the Maison d’Or, which can be seen elsewhere National Gallery. This is no coincidence: she was Couture’s courtesan too." (Ottawa Citizen)

14) Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
French poet, novelist & dramatist

Son ofJoseph Hugo & Sophie Trebuchet.

Husband ofAdele Foucher, mar 1822-1868.

"Alice Ozy was also linked to Victor Hugo through their sexual exploits. Strangely enough Hugo met this woman because his son was besotted with her and was angered by her unfaithfulness. He went to his father and asked for help in fixing the situation. Hugo fixed it by sending erotic odes to Alice who eventually succumbed to his charm and joined the list of Hugo's conquests much to the anger of his son."  (Mt. Holyoake)

" . . . Yet in 1847 at the height of his affair with Biard, and unknown to both her and Drouet, Hugo attempted to initiate an affair with the actress Alice Ozy, who was at the time mistress of his son Charles. . . ." (My Beloved Toto: Letters from Juliette Drouet to Victor Hugo 1833-1882: 18)

"After he passionately desired and married (both were virgins) Adèle Foucher in 1822, Victor Hugo found great pleasure in experimenting love in all ways. Juliette Drouet, Leonie Biard and Blanche Lanvin were his great loves. His life is excessive, passionate, that of an obsessed lover, his work is prude, serious, and love is platonic or fantasized until « Les Orientales » and « Hernani ». When he becomes an Academician and Pair de France, his private life turns more chaotic and he competes with his son for the favours of Alice Ozy." (Paris Diary by Laure)

Alice Ozy Gallery.
A Bather Sleeping Near a Spring
by Theodore Chasseriau, 1850
Alice Ozy, 1842
Alice Ozy
by Chasseriau
Alice Ozy

Appolonie Sabatier
French courtesan
French courtesan, artists' muse & bohemienne.

Her lovers were:
1) Alfred Mosselman (1810-1867)
Belgian-French aristocrat, industrialist, patron & society figure.
Lover in 1847-1861.

French sculptor & painter.

". . . Pichois states bluntly:  'Since she had a body to match the beauty of her voice, she was able to become a professional model: this is how she came to be the mistress of the sculptor Clesinger.  She shared his wayward life until 1846'. . . . " (Lathers: 125)

French pianist & composer.
Swiss banker, diplomat & art collector.
French opera singer.
British art collector.

Physical appearance & personal qualities:  
" . . . She had inherited her mother's beauty, and was the kind of girl people were drawn to. The headmistress of a local penssionat offered to take her as a pupil at a reduced rate. This headmistress also realised that Aglae was very musical, and arranged for her to have free piano and singing lessons. She was a sociable girl and also used to attend dances organised by local societies. . . She was tall and well-proportioned, with exquisite hands and luxuriant copper-coloured hair which glinted when it caught the light. . . ."  (Rounding: 99)
Catherine-Noele Worlee
Princesse de Benavente

Daughter ofJean-Pierre Worlee, a Breton captain & French official in Pondicherry, India & Laurence Alleigne, daughter of a French gunsmith master, mar 1758.

Princesse Benavente's personal & family background.
"Born at Tranquebar, Nov. 21, 1762: daughter of a Dane, M. Peter John Worlee, Chevalier de Saint Louis, Capitaine du I'ort, of Chandernagore . . ." (Dictionary of Indian Biography: 174)
Madame Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord
@Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History

Wife of:
1. Georges-Francois Grand (1745-1820)
English civil servant of French origins.
mar 1778, ann 1798.

"For Catherine was just 15 when she became mistress of George Francis Grand, an English civil servant, shortly after her family relocated to Chandannagar. They were married the following year. Yet within a year of their marriage an outraged George Grand had caught his wife in flagrante with Sir Philip Francis, a member of the supreme council of Bengal." (David Swatton)

" . . . On July 10, 1777, he married C.N.J. Worlee, and, 1779, obtained 50,000 sicca rupees damages in an action at Calcutta against (Sir) Philip Francis, for crim(inal). con(spiracy). with his wife; divorced her later: she went to Europe, eventually marrying Talleyrand and figuring as Princesse de Benevento. . . ." (Dictionary of Indian Biography: 174)

2. Lieutenant Symes.
"Another paragraph to a similar effect occurs in the Aberdeen Observer for 1st April, 1831, and the late Mr. John Bulloch critically examined the possibilities of the question in an article contributed to the Daily Free Press of 3rd Sept., 1874. The result of his enquiries was to establish a different sequence of events to that given by the writer to the Chronicle, for it appears that in 1778, Catherine Noel Worlee was residing in India as the wife of a George Francis Grand, from whom she separated, and from 1780-1796, or from her 18th to 34th year, this remarkable woman disappears, and her whereabouts during this period are only conjectural.  About the latter date she became the companion of Talleyrand. The question, which appears to be one not easily solved, is whether this Catherine Worlee, between her divorce from Grand and her marriage with Talleyrand, actually appeared in Aberdeen as the wife of Lieutenant Symes.  Of the latter marraige a posthumous child was born, but it only lived a few months, so that the young widow had no tie to bind her to this locality.  As a further corroboration of this strange story, tradition relates that an Old Town Professor was at one time almost married to a lady who afterwards became a French Princess.  From the character which is universally attributed to the lady by biographers we should imagine the Professor was to be congratulated on his escape." (Scottish Notes and Querreis, Vol 2: 54)

3. Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Perigord, 1st Prince de Benavente, mar 1802.

"One such hanger-on was a youngish man called George Francois Grand, who had first come to India in 1766 but was thwarted in his attempts to make a career. His second innings in 1776 proved to be more fruitful and he managed to obtain a writership in the office of Hastings.To cut a long story short, George met Catherine at one of M. Chevalier's parties, the two fell in love and got married on July 10, 1777. Catherine was a few months short of 16 at that time, and by all accounts, considered one of the most exquisite beauties in and around Calcutta. The newly-weds took up residence in a garden-house near Alipore and seem to have had a happy first year of married life. But all this was to change on December 8, 1778." (Telegraph India)

Her lovers were:

Living a courtesan's life.
"She rented a smart house in Rue Sentier . . . and shortly became the convenient crush of many rich neighbors life soon to be Minister of the Legislative, M. Valdec de Lessart, a stockbroker's attorney with a suggestive name, Rilliet-Plantamour and Louis Monneron, banker and deputy. They contributed to her expensive tastes and records show she relished every bit of the French experience, buying tons of silk ribbons, fox furs, shoes, ostrich feathers and sparkly jewels, owning a carriage lead by white horses to make constant trips to Versailles, renting an Opera box where people could admire her brand new gowns and even giving a ball the papers discussed about for weeks. The satin and silver symphony of a dress was, needless to say, bought by her enthusiastic wooer, M. Lessart."  (Less Brains than Beauty)

" . . . Madam Grand became the mistress (1797) of the former Bourbon minister, Charles Maurice, Prince de Talleyrand (1754-1838).  Her marriage with Grand was annulled (1798) and they resided openly together. Napoleon later forced Talleyrand to regularize their relationship which forced him to marry her (1802).  There were no children. Despite her great beauty, which was universally admired, and her unwavering good-humour, the princesse was also profoundly simple and uneducated, and her stupidity became a legend in her own lifetime." (A Bit of History)

" . . . During the Directorate, she was imprisoned on charges of espionage. The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Charles Maurice de Talleyrand (1754-1838), came to her assistance and wrote to a member of the Directoire, Barras: 'She is Indian, very beautiful, very lazy, the most idle woman I have ever known.  I ask for your interest on her behalf.' Mme Grand and Talleyrand lived together openly at the Minister's official residence until the Concordat was signed in 1802. Bonaparte then ordered Talleyrand to marry her or give her up, because she could not continue to represent government in her status of mistress. A divorce was obtained, and Grand, who had reappeared, received a handsome stipend and was packed off on a permanent mission to the Cape of Good Hope. . . ." (Vigee Le Brun's Home Page)

Aftermath:  Talleyrand's passion had cooled considerably, and the little affection remaining between him and his former mistress was destroyed by the fact of the marriage.  Mme de Talleyrand allowed herself to grow exceedingly stout. When the Empire fell, in part because of Talleyrand's scheming, she was still performing her duties as wife of the Minister. This state of affairs lasted until her husband went off to the Congress of Vienna with his beautiful niece in tow . . . Talleyrand later gave her enough money to live luxuriously in London. . . ."

2) Cristoforo Spinola, Marchese di Spinola.

Genoese diplomat

" . . . (T)he horrors of the Revolution forced her to flee from Paris (1792).  She arrived in Dover with her maid and little cash, though an admirer returned to France and gallantly recovered her fortune which had been hurriedly left behind.  When she later returned to France, she was accompanied by the Genoese diplomat, Cristoforo Spinola. . . ."  (A Bit of History)

" . . . In 1792, having barely escaped massacre in the streets of Paris, she fled to England. After the fall of Robespierre. . . she returned to France on the arm of her Genoese lover, M. Spinola. The two were arrested, he was deported, and Mme Grand remained under close police scrutiny. . . ." (Vigee Le Brun's Home Page)

Jose Miguel de Carvajal
Duque de San Carlos
Lover in 1808-1828.

2nd Duke of San Carlos
6th Count of Castillejo
9th Count of Puerto
10th Correo Mayor de las Indias.
Viceroy of Navarra 1807
Spanish Ambassador to France, England & Portugal
Knight of the Military Order of Alcantara
Director of Banco de San Carlos

Son of
Mariano Joaquin de Carvajal-Vargas y Brun, 8th Conde de Puerto.

Husband of:
1. Maria del Rosario de Silva Cebrian
2. Maria Eulalia de Queralt.

"The princesse was later involved in a lengthy liaison (1808-1828) with the Spanish grandee, the Duque de San Carlos, but there remains no evidence of her husband's resentment. . . ." (A Bit of History)

4) Lionel de Guigues de Moreton, Comte de Chabrillan (1818-1858)
French aristocrat & diplomat
First Consul for France at Melbourne, 1852-1858
Louis Monneron
5) Louis Monneron (1742-1805)
French businessman, arms supplier & politician

6) Nicolas Valdec de Lessart.


"By 1783 . . . Mme Grand had become a notorious courtesan and was living in Paris... Mme Grand's lover at the time was the banker Valdec de Lessart. . . ." (Vigee Le Brun's Home Page)

7) Sir Philip Francis (1740-1818)
English civil servant

"In 1778 Francis had an intrigue with the lovely wife, aged 16, of a Swiss officer in the East India Company's service, named Grand. In November Grand surprised Francis, who had entered Mme. Grand's room. An action was brought by Grand against Francis, who was sentenced to pay fifty thousand rupees damages by Impey (6 March 1779). Mme. Grand afterwards threw herself upon Francis's protection. She left India before him, and afterwards became the mistress, and in 1801 the wife, of Talleyrand." (A Web of English History)

" . . . Early in her married life, the beautiful young woman was involved in an affair with Sir Philip Francis. Grand sued Francis for alienation of affection and won a judgment of 50,000 rupees. Grand then took his wife back to Chandernagore, but several months later Francis put her on board a ship bound for England." (Vigee Le Brun's Home Page)

"She had her overly potent lover, Sir Philip Francis, director of the Government of Bengal, enter her rooms through a rope ladder, quite Renaissance style, and ride our beauty till dawn, when Grand . . . very drunk, sleepy and amazingly gullible, came home to rest in the conjugal bed generously kept warm by their little games, suspecting nothing, like the sympathetic, naive guy he was.  the arrangement went unexpectedly well for some good months but, alas, one of those accidental happenings depicted in the best Greek comedies unraveled the whole business with a tam-tam specific to Hollywood soap operas, irremediably compromising Catherine's reputation of faithful broad." (Less Brains than Beauty)

" . . . From Rambux's account, it transpired that Francis had scaled the compound wall with the aid of a folding ladder, had broken into Catherine's bedroom and had subsequently been apprehended and tied up by the domestic staff. However, his friends, who had been lurking outside rushed in, freed Francis and created a fracas in which Francis was able to make his escape. Rambux and his party, not to be outdone, took George Shee as prisoner. . . The Mr. Francis mentioned above was none other than Philip Francis, one of the members of the Bengal Council and sworn enemy of Warren Hastings, with whom he was later to fight in a famous duel over the conduct of the Maratha campaign." (Telegraph India)

8) Rillet-Plantamour.

9) Thomas Lewin.

Madras Civil Service.

"In England she resided with Thomas Lewin (1753-1837) of the Madras Civil Service as his mistress. The couple travelled to Paris where Catherine had her portrait painted by Madame Vigee-Lebrun. When they parted Lewin gave her a generous cash settlement.  She then resided under the protection of various aristocrats until the horrors of the Revolution forced her to flee from Paris (1792). . . ."  (A Bit of History)
Celeste Mogador
Comtesse de Chabrillan
French Courtesan

Celeste Mogador
French courtesan & author

Illegitimate daughter of: Anne-Victoire Venard.

Wife of
Lionel de Guigues de Moreton, Comte de Chabrillan (1818-1858), mar 1854

French aristocrat & diplomat.
"The true passion of her life, however, was Lionel. She fell in love with him the night she met him and remained true to him, in her fashion, until she died. Her love for Lionel, like all passions, was complex. Certainly he was a very handsome man; his portrait at the Musee Carnavalet in Paris revels a dark-eyed young man with an intelligent face and a majestic bearing. He was charming and kind but prone to arrogance and selfishness. She was of course impressed with this title and pedigree, but she had had other aristocratic lovers. She certainly was not loath to carry on an affair with a rich and gentle Englishman, Richard, all the while professing to love Lionel. The comte seemed to have been primarily attracted to her beauty, and his desire for her became an obsession that seemed to have more to do with lust than love; he could not stay away from her, however much he tried, in spite of his good sense and class responsibilities. Eventually the two lovers matured emotionally, and their physical attraction turned into love. During his absence from Celeste as he panned for gold in Australia, Lionel's heart grew fonder of the woman for whom he had lost everything: family, reputation, and fortune. Left behind in Paris, Celeste also matured and began to gain more self-respect as she struggled to defend herself against the Chabrillan family, so that upon his return from Australia a few years after their first meeting and the drama of their stormy relationship, they were married and remained devoted to each other." (Memoirs of a Courtesan in Nineteenth-century Paris: xviii)

Men as means to an end:  There were many men in Celeste's life, and majority of them were nothing more than a means to an end.  Men like the rich Italian Duke of Ossuma or the Dutch baron would set her up in an apartment and furnish it for her; they would give her carriages and sometimes money.  It on a whim she wanted a piano, she would get one and lessons to go with it. Some men were sincere in their professed love for her.  A famous Italian tenor, although he could barely speak French, fell in love with Celeste and finally stopped seeing her only after she forced him to hide in a cubicle by her bed one day when the duke paid her an impromptu visit.  The tenor, sickened by the vaudevillian scene he had been forced to play, could not forgive Mogador's callousness. Others were fatuous dolts like Leon, a shy admirer of her triumphant deeds as a circus rider, who fought a duel over her, but who, to her great embarrassment, ignominiously abandoned her in the street the moment he saw his mother and his grandfather walking toward them.  In their eyes, to be seen walking with Celeste Mogador was scandalous." (Memoirs of a Courtesan in Nineteenth-century Paris: xvii)

Her lovers were:
1) Adolphe
a medical student

A doctor for a lover: " . . . As she tells us, it was in the hospital while she was recovering that she fell in love with a medical student called Adolphe. Yet though he appeared to be in love with her, she soon discovered she was naive to trust him. He invited her to attend a ball with him at Versailles, but when they arrived she found he had another mistress with him a woman well known as a lorette. . . ." (The Book of the Courtesans)

A two-timing doctor for a lover: " . . . In the days when she was still innocent enough to believe in love, she became enamored of a young doctor named Adolphe, whom she met when she was still at the brothel. She had not revealed her situation to him, having been told he did not frequent such women, nor had he bothered to let her know he had a mistress, Louisa Aumont, until he took Celeste to a ball at which Mlle Aumont was present. Outraged that Celeste's kind of woman would be admitted, Mlle Aumont demanded her eviction. Young Celeste found out not only that it is quite customary for a man to have several mistresses, but also about the hierarchy among kept women. As she explains in her memoirs, this event began a process of hardening of her heart. The mortification she suffered would not soon be forgotten. . . The true loves of her life were few. When she was sixteen she fell in love with Adolphe the doctor, until he broke her heart. . . ." (Memoirs of a Courtesan in Nineteenth-century Paris: xv-xviii)

Alexandre Dumas, fils
2) Alexandre Dumas, fils:
Alfred de Musset
3) Alfred de Musset (1810-1857)
French dramatist, poet & novelist.

" . . . Alfred de Musset, one of her lovers, met her in a rather squalid brothel. . . ." (Lawner)

" . . . She had come a long way from the days of the brothel, when she was the plaything of the poet Alfred de Musset.  She met him not long after the breakup of his love affair with the writer George Sand. Musset, about to turn thirty, already famous, had replaced Sand with the famous actress Rachel.  That relationship did not prevent him from spending most of his time in pursuit of other pleasures. He was frequently seen at various Parisian cafes drinking his favorite drink, a mixture of absinthe, cognac, English beer, and an egg yolk. He also was a regular at the brother where Celeste was employed. His acquaintance with the new young prostitute, who, according to her memoirs, was not afraid to contradict and provoke him, revived his indolent disposition. Then one day he took her to a restaurant and for no apparent reason picked up a syphon of seltzer water as if he were going to pour himself something to drink, and aiming the opening toward her, drenched her from head to toe. when sixty years after her last, and humiliating encounter with the great man of letters, on the occasion of the inauguration of his statue, a newspaper reporter reminded Celeste of the incident with the seltzer bottle, she stated that she never forgave him." (Memoirs of a Courtesan in Nineteenth-century Paris: xviii)

4) Desmarest.
Her lawyer.

". . . In a letter to his mistress before boarding his schooner for Australia, Lionel recommended Celeste hire a shrewd attorney named Desmarest. Desmarest, who became her lover before her marriage to Lionel and again after Lionel's death, ably defended the courtesan against the powerful de Chabrillan family, who in its arrogance made a few mistakes. . . . " (Memoirs of a Courtesan in Nineteenth-century Paris: xii)

5) Duca di Osuna.

" . . . An affair with the leading circus impresario Laurent Franconi led to an engagement (brief, as it transpired) as an equestrienne; a further one with the Duke of Ossuna established her as a grande horizontale. Dancing and horsemanship had been excellent ways of displaying an adorable figure." (A History of Human Beauty: 127)

6) Dutch Baron.

7) Hermann Cohen
Jewish musician.

" . . . She seems to have truly cared for a young talented Jewish musician named Hermann Cohen.  By then, however, she was too jaded to recognize his sincere passion for her.  When she finally did, it was too late; he had renounced his religion, become a Roman Catholic, and joined a monastery."  (Memoirs of a Courtesan in Nineteenth-century Paris: xviii)

8) Italian tenor.

9) Laurent Franconi.

10) Leon.

11) Lionel de Guigues de Moreton, Comte de Chabrillan (1818-1858)
French aristocrat & diplomat.
First Consul of France in Melbourne, 1852-1858.

"It was sometime around 1846 that Mogador met Count Lionel de Moreton de Chabrillan, scion of a noble family from the Isere region, who was rapidly dilapidating his considerable fortune through gambling, playing the horses, and supporting expensive mistresses: in short, the pastimes of the wealthy youth of his generation. Chabrillan and Mogador began a tempestuous relationship which would last, off and of, for many years. During this time, the Count was shopping around to 'marry a dowry' (to use the cynical expression of the day). also at this time, Mogador found herself thrust upward into a more worldly sphere of the demi-monde. During this period, Mogador was kept by a number of wealthy men. Now at the pinnacle of her career, she could be seen in handsome blue coupe driven by domestics in livery participating in the fashionable Parisian ritual of the promenade down the Champs-Elysees to the Bois de Boulogne."  (Writing with a Vengeance: The Countess de Chabrillan's Rise from Prostitution: 28)

". . . Gabriel-Josselin-Lionel, Mogador's lover, was the typical spoiled rich boy who had a penchant for gambling.  Before his father's death, which occurred soon after Lionel met Celeste, he had already squandered much of his inheritance.  In the family's opinion, the only solution to his penury was Lionel's attachment to one of the famous courtesans of the day, Celeste Mogador. Although they tried to pretend breaking up, the two were so passionately in love that separation was out of the question." (Chabrillan, 2000, p. xi)

"...In January 1854, much against the wishes of his family, he married his mistress, Celeste Venard, in the French Embassy in London.  The couple sailed on board the Croesus and arrived in April 1854 at Port Philip, where the Comte once again undertook his consular duties." (A Journal of French-Australian Connections).

First Encounter:  "The true passion of her life, however, was Lionel.  She fell in love with him the night she met him and remained true to him, in her fashion, until she died.  Her love for Lionel, like all passions, was complex. . . . " (Memoirs of a Courtesan in Nineteenth-century Paris: xviii)

" . . . She became the mistress of Lionel, comte de Chabrillan, who was busily wasting his fortune.  This was done by 1852 and Lionel left for the Australian goldfields. Celeste meanwhile achieved success as an actress and her memoirs were accepted for publication.  On 9 January 1854 she married Chabrillan in London and two days later they sailed for Melbourne in the Croesus to take up his appointment as French consul-general, a position obtained for him by his infuriated family." (Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 3)

Why Her?:  ". . . The comte seemed to have been primarily attracted to her beauty, and his desire for her became an obsession that seemed to have more to do with lust than love; he could not stay away from her, however much he tried, in spite of his good sense and class responsibilities.  Eventually the two lovers matured emotionally, and their physical attraction turned into love. During his absence from Celeste as he panned for gold in Australia, Lionel's heart grew fonder of the woman for whom he had lost everything: family, reputation and fortune. . . . "  (Memoirs of a Courtesan in Nineteenth-century Paris: xviii)

Physical appearance & personal qualities:  ". . . Certainly he was a very handsome man; his portrait at the Musee Carnavalet in Paris reveals a dark-eyed young man with an intelligent face and a majestic bearing. He was charming and kind but prone to arrogance and selfishness. . . . " (Memoirs of a Courtesan in Nineteenth-century Paris: xviii)

Personal & family background: "His father was a General in the French Army, and his mother was the Marquise de Choiseul before her marriage." (Reilly)

12) Richard.
the Englishman

". . . She certainly was not loath to carry on an affair with the rich and gentle Englishman, Richard, all the while professing to love Lionel. . . . " (Memoirs of a Courtesan in Nineteenth-century Paris: xviii)

Spouse & Children: She married, in 1854, Lionel de Guigues de Moreton, Comte de Chabrillan. ". . . The de Chabrillans were a rich and powerful family descended from the Knights of Dauphine who in the twentieth century would be pretenders to the crown of Monaco.  Lionel's father. . . had been attendant to Charles X and married Mlle de Choiseul-Gouffier, daughter of the French envoy to Constantinople.

From Abject Humiliation to Revenge:  "Chances are Adolphe would have set Celeste up as a lorette were not the mistress he already had too jealous. Seeing him enter the ball with Celeste, Louisa Aumont ridiculed her---the unsuitability of her dress, her manners so clearly lower class.  In a loud voice, in front of Celeste, she harangued Adolphe on his bad taste for having brought this embarrassing young woman with him.  Celeste walked back from Versailles alone, a journey that took her all night.  The incident was etched in her memory.  After she became famous as Mogador, and the wayward Adolphe began to pursue her again, it is understandable that she would be quick to core her triumph.  She promised to take him back only if Louisa Aumont would apologize to her in public."  (Griffin)

Le Bal Mabille
by Jean Beraud
@Private collection
Celeste Mogador
"Queen of the Bal Mabille"
It was at Mabille that Celeste acquired her famous name of Mogador.  Mogador, a city in Morocco today called Essaouira, was the site of a notable French victory.  The event so captured the imagination of the French that numerous mementos were sold with the name Mogador on them.  So when Celeste's dancing partner had to fend off other suitors to dance with the beautiful young woman, he remarked that it would be easier to defend Mogador than his partner.  And thus, Celeste Venard was christened Celeste Mogador, queen of the Bal Mabille. . . ."  (Memoirs of a Courtesan in Nineteenth-century Paris: xvi)
Celeste Mogador danced in
the Mabille ballroom on Champs-Elysees
Lithograph by A. Provost, 1858
@Anne S.K. Brown Military Collection

Origin of "Mogador:  "The degree of high-voltage celebrity many of the city's courtesans enjoyed is demonstrated by the fact that so many of them dispensed with the necessity of a first name: the woman who began life in December of 1824 as Elisabeth-Celeste Venard was, for example, known to tout Paris simply as Mogador. The name, acquired at the moment she first burst into public notice, was derived from a recent French victory at Mogador in Morocco. Celeste's dancing partner at the popular Bal Mabille, attempting to keep his hold on her as they whirled around the room, made her famous by declaring that it would be easier to defend Mogador under siege than fight off the young woman's admirers."  (Goreau, 2001)

Benefits:  "There were many men in Celeste's life, and the majority of them were nothing more than a means to an end. Men like the rich Italian Duke of Ossuma or the Dutch baron would set her up in an apartment and furnish it for her; they would give her carriages and sometimes money. . . Some men were sincere in their professed love for her. A famous Italian tenor, although he could barely speak French, fell in love with Celeste and finally stopped seeing her only after she forced him to hide in a cubicle by her bed one day when the duke paid her an impromptu visit. The tenor, sickened by the vaudevillian scene he had been forced to play, could not forgive Mogador's callousness. Others were fatuous dolts like Leon, a shy admirer of her triumphant deeds as a circus rider, who fought a duel over her, but who, to her great embarrassment, ignominiously abandoned her in the street at the moment he saw his mother and his grandfather walking toward them. In their eyes, to be seen walking with Celeste Mogador was scandalous."  (Mogador, 2001, p, xvii)

Effects on Lovers' Families, Other People & Society:  "Celeste Venard, better known in France as 'La Mogador', was a star of the Bal Mabille, the Theatre Beaumarchais and the Hippodrome, where was directed by Laurent Franconi, the finest riding master in Paris.  In 1854, shortly before her departure for Australia, she had published five volumes of notorious memoirs under the title Adieux au Monde. Unfortunately, her reputation preceded her to Melbourne and she was considered unacceptable by polite society in the colony. Disheartened, Celeste returned to Paris in August 1856, to embark upon a literary career."  (Reilly)

"With the money she had earned from the theatrical performance of a version of her first novel, she bought a lot in the fashionable Le Vesinet suburb of Paris and had an Australian style country villa built, which she called Chalet Lionel. . . ."  (Memoirs of a Courtesan in Nineteenth-century Paris: xx)

Affair's end & aftermath: "Celeste Venard, known in her Bal Mabille days as 'La Mogador,' successor to 'La Reine Pomare,' had been reared in the sordid misery of the backstreets of Paris. Barely literate as a girl, she lived out the last decades of her life writing her memoirs and more than a dozen plays and novels, signing them as comtesse de Chabrillan, her legitimate married name. Her last published work, in 1885, was a five-act drama.  She was not unique at the time; there were others equally fortunate, though not all as talented, and most had come up through the ranks." (Edouard Manet: Rebel in a Frock Coat: 156)
Emilienne d'Alencon

French cabaret dancer and courtesan.

Also known as:
Aemillienne d'Alencon
Emilienne Andre
Countess Songeon
One of the Three Graces of the Belle Epoque
Les Grandes Trois
(Three Most Notorious Courtesans of the Age)

Wife of: Percy Woodland, a jockey, mar 1895.

" . . . Rich and attractive, Emilienne d'Alencon was one of the best-known courtesans of the time and she developed advantageous relationships with some of the most important in society, thanks to her beauty and photogenic face. Born in Paris, she had dropped her real name Emilie Andre, after being advised by another courtesan that Emilienne would bring her more luck. Her powerful lovers would go to extreme measures. One was a duke called Jacques d;Uzes who fell madly in love with her and was so desperate to marry her that he was sent to Congo by his family in a desperate yet successful attempt to stop his infatuation. For quite sometime, Emilienne was also the lover of the king of Belgium, Leopold II; the Prince of Wales future king Edward VII and of Kaiser Guillaume II. She was also rumoured to have had relationships with women, specifically with another courtesan Liane de Pougy who was both a lover and a rival. Later in her life, Liane married a Romanian prince while Emilienne became a writer, obtaining fame thanks to several poems including Sous Le Masque, one of her most popular ones. Much like other courtesans, Emilienne was part of the demimonde (in French, half world) a term coined by Alexandre Dumas in 1855 for the title of his play, which stood for a class of women of loose morals who played an important, active role in society." (Sgueglia. The Real Coco Chanel: 26)

" . . . [T]he self-named d'Alencon (born Emiie Andre, to a Monmartre concierge) had left a long series of illustrious lovers in her wake---including Leopold II, king of Belgium. She had also earned special fame for her ability to incite aristocratic men into frenzies of lavish spending, which had bankrupted entire families. Emilienne's most famous feat was having driven a certain Duke of Uzes into spending his entire family fortune on jewels for her. The duke's desperate mother had him shipped off to the Congo to keep him away from her, where he soon died of dysentery. Balsan, however, thrifty by nature, had managed to avoid ruining himself financially with Emilienne. . . ." (Mademoiselle: 461)

Physical appearance & personal qualities.
"With her soft blonde curls, her expression of childish innocence (despite firm proof to the contrary( and the pretty dimples which appeared whenever she gave her infectious little chuckle, men and women alike fell under Emilienne's spell. She had 'enormous golden eyes', the courtesan Liane de Pougy reflected, abd 'the finest and most brilliant complexion!' Then, with 'a proud little mouth, a tip-tilted nose you could eat' and an oval face, Emilienne epitomised the figure of the silly but adorable blonde. . . ." (The Mistress of Paris: 247)

Her lovers were:
1) Alec Carter.

" . . . Soon after, she became the lover of the famous jockey, Alec Carter. After he was killed in World War I, she became part of the circle that gathered in Natalie Barney's rooms on the rue Jacob, where she devoted herself to the love of women and poetry, as well as experimenting with drugs. . . ." (Griffin, 2002, p. 241)

"Etienne Balsan's breakup with Emilienne d'Alencon and her conquest of Alec Carter, a famous jockey, did not prevent the former mistress and her new lover from coming to Royallieu. On the contrary, Etienne welcome the publicity the turf press, racing forms, and gossip columns poured on the new twosome, and the ribald aura that, by refraction, the liaison bestowed on the master of Royallieu. Coco was noted because she was seen with them, and because Alec's fantastic winning streak as a jockey had made him a celebrity. Because Emilienne followed him into the races wearing one of Coco's straw boaters, absurdly simple but, as worn by Emilienne, chic, Coco garnered special attention. Alec was a charmer and Emilienne was not the only woman to pursue the diminutive jockey, who by 1907 was called 'Carter, the unbeatable.' Four years younger than Coco, he was a small man, but his manners were princely and the members of the Jockey Club thought him the very incarnation of the equestrian arts. When he died during the opening skirmishes of World War I, Emilienne remembered him in a love poem" 'Back then, he slept on my arm, softly. Behind the eyelids I saw his eyes. When he died, did he assume that familiar pose?'" Chanel: A Woman of Her Own)

2) Emile-Celestine Duard.
Etienne Balsan

3) Etienne Balsan (1878-1953)
French socialite & heir.

"She (Emilienne) was the lover of Etienne Balsan, a French socialite and heir, who also found Coco Chanel as his mistress. . . ." (
Belle Epoque Postcards)
Jacques de CRUSSOL d'UZÈS
Jacques de Crussol
Duke of d'Uzès
4) Jacques de Crussol, Duc d'Uzès (1868-1893).
Lover in 1889-1892.

a.k.a. Jacques d'Uzes.

"But it was less her stage presence than her relationship with a high-profile celebrity, the young Duc Jacques d'Uzes, that propelled Emilienne to fame by the time she was twenty. The Duc was the first in a long line of eminent lovers, which included the Belgian King Leopold II and that unofficial rite of passage of all French courtesans, the future King Edward VII. By the mid-1890s, Emilienne was considered of of Paris's most promising young courtesans." (The Mistress of Paris: 247)

"Jacques d'Uzes was the son of the formidable Duchesse Anne d'Uzes, a horsewoman, poetess, novelist, sculptor, yachtswoman, feminist, and the first woman in France to hold a license to drive the newfangled motor carriages. When her son became infatuated with d'Alencon---and Emilienne was seen wearing the Uzes family jewels---the duchess packed her son off to the Congo. Unfortunately, the young man died of enteric fever in Kabinka in the Sudan in 1893." (Chanel: A Woman of Her Own)

"A minor actress, Emilienne infatuated the Duc d'Uzes, a giddy teenager who would have squandered his inheritance on her had not his horrified family hustled him off to Africa, where he shortly succumbed to dysentery...." (Paris in the Fifties)

" . . . So besotted was young Jacques, he gave her the Uzes family jewels. The latter liaison ended when the Duchesse packed her son off to the Congo, where he died in 1893. . . ." Edwardian Promenade)

5) Le Goulue.
Lover in 1889.

6) Leopold II of the Belgians.
"Emilienne d'Alencon's career was much quieter, but also much more lucrative, since she was the object of obsession for King Leopold II of the Belgians and Jacques d'Uzes, son of the Duchesse d'Uzes, heiress to the Veuve Clicquot fortune. So besotted was the King, he invited her to accompany him on his royal visits and introduced her to Edward VII as the Countess Songeon. . . ." (Edwardian Promenade)

" . . . (S)he enchanted King Leopold of Belgium, an elderly lecher--a triumph that catapulted her into a string of other noble beds. . . ." (Paris in the Fifties: n.p.)

7) Pauline Tarn.
Lover until 1908.
a.k.a. Renee Vivien.
Valtesse de La Bigne
8) Valtesse de la Bigne (1848-1910)

Julie Talma.
French dancer & courtesan.

Wife ofFrancois-Joseph Talma, mar 1790
Her lovers were:
Lover in 1796 or 1798-1799

"He did, however, have one important new friend to support him in Paris, Julie Talma (1756-1805), wife of the celebrated actor francois-Joseph Talma.  Constant and Julie appear to have become acquainted the previous August, possibly through Louvet.  A highly intelligent woman and staunchly republican, Julie greatly admired Constant's wit and intellect.  They saw each other regularly in the summer of 1796 and a firm friendship came into being.  Although their relationship appears never to have become a sexual one, there is little doubt that Julie---who was twelve years Constant's senior and was unhappy with her unfaithful husband whom she would divorce in 1801---loved Constant, and there is perhaps something of a parallel here with Isabell de Charriere. . . ."  (Wood: 162)

 ". . . Benjamin became very attached to her over the years, so much so that he would stay by her side when she lay dying in 1805, and he was deeply affected by her death, calling her 'the most disinterested woman friend.' . . . "  (Winegarten: 109)

Lover in 1780.

Personal & Family Background:  ". . . Talma's marriage in 1790 to Julie Carreau was viewed by some as scandalous, as she was a former dancer at the Opera.  She operated a salon on the rue Chantereine that was much frequented by Pierre-Victurnien Vergniaud and some of the other Girondins, and Vergniaud became a devotee of Talma as well. . . ."  (Hanson: 306)

"Julie Louise Careau was born January 8, 1756, whose father was unknown. She was abandoned early on by her mother, and became part of the horde of 7,000 children who haunted the streets of Paris. She was taken in by an elderly man of " good intentions " as always in such cases. The girl was seven. During two years of Pierre Gueulette Macroix , king's councilor in India had given an early education, teaching him to read, write and good manners. Julie and Pierre Gueulette Macroix enrolled on the ladies catalogs of the Opera, which gave her an asylum, a gratuity during performances, and ... a walking foot for prostitution. The Royal Academy of Music with burned, the ballet was transported in the engine room of the Palais des Tuileries. For several years, Julie Careau danced on stage, met lords and jumped lee not. The ritual was always the same, a valet made ​​a selection among the dancers, then a man approached her, gave him a kiss on the forehead, nonchalantly walked away. some time later came an invitation, and followed what was to come. Charles de Rohan, Marshal Soubise as he met the girl. She was fifteen years old he was sixty. It was for her an important source of income."  (Tanguy)
Madame Recamier
Madame Recamier
French society leader.

Daughter of: Jean Bernard (d.1828), King's counsellor & a notary and Marie-Julie Matton.

La Belle Juliette's physical appearance & personal qualities.
"The first four years of Mme. Recamier's married life were so uneventful that they leave me nothing to record. . . During these few years of seclusion, her beauty had fully developed; and she had emerged as it were from childhood into all the splendor of youth. A figure, flexible and elegant; a well disposed head; throat and shoulders of admirable form and proportions; beautiful arms, though somewhat small; a little rosy mouth; pearly teeth; black hair that curled naturally; a delicate and regular nose, but bien-francais; an incomparable brilliancy of complexion; a frank, arch face, rendered irresistibly lovely from its expression of goodness; a carriage slightly indicative of both indolence and pride, so that to her might be applied St. Simon's compliment to the Duchess of Burgundy,---'Her step was like that of a goddess on clouds.'---" (Memoirs and Correspondence of Madame Recamier: 7)

A beauty hers by inheritance.
"The beauty which first won celebrity for Madame Recamier was hers by inheritance.  Her father was a remarkably handsome man, but a person of narrow capacity, who owed his advancement in life solely to the exertions of his more capable wife.  Madame Bernard was a beautiful blonde.  She was lively and spirituelle, coquettish and designing. Through her influence with Calonne, minister under Louis XVI, Monsieur Bernard was made Receveur des Finances. Upon this appointment, in 1784, they came to Paris, leaving their only child, Juliette, then seven years old, at Lyons, in the care of an aunt, though she was soon afterward placed in a convent, where she remained for three years. Monsieur and Madame Bernard's style of living in Paris was both elegant and generous. Their house became the resort of the Lyonnaise, and also of literary men,---the latter being especially courted by Madame Bernard.  But, though seemingly given up to a life of gayety and pleasure, she did not neglect her own interests. Her cleverness was of the Becky-Sharp order. She knew how to turn the admiration she excited to her own advantage. Having a faculty for business, she engaged in successful speculations and amassed a fortune, which she carried safely through the Reign of Terror. This is the more remarkable as Monsieur Bernard was a known Royalist.  He and his family and his wife's friends escaped not only death, but also persecution; and Madame Lenormant attributes this rare good-fortune to the agency of the infamous Barrere. . . ." (Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14: 447)

Madame Recamier at 20 years old.
"Arrived at a womanly age, though only twenty, and looking younger still in contrast to her husband of forty-eight, she had come to the full of her beauty. At this period it seems to have been a sensuous beauty, where worth rather than mind gave the expression. Her white glistening shoulders were its especial glory; her whole figure, including the feet, was classically moulded. The face was short and round rather than oval; the hair and eyes were brown; the complexion mist brilliant, almost, one might say, dazzling; the features near, regular, French rather than classical; and the head set easily upon the shoulders. The look, while it showed a consciousness of superiority, too grand, perhaps to be called vanity, was luring from a certain kindness and sympathy about it. You cold tell at once that she was a woman and no more, nay, something less, a Frenchwoman. Of the angel she had certainly nothing, for the face was earthly, though one of the most beautiful on earth. She was rather a goddess, with all the pride, and much of the sensuality of one, thought that sensuality was as refined as one imagines the pleasures of Queen Juno." (The Queens of Society: 254)

Madame Recamier's personal & family background.

"Jeanne Francoise Julie Adelaide Bernard was born in Lyons, on the 4th of December, 1777. Her father, Jean Bernard, was a notary of the city. He was an extremely handsome man, of narrow capacity, and of feeble character. Mme. Bernard (Juliette Matton) was a singularly beautiful blonde, lively and spirituelle, clever and graceful: she had a great faculty for business, engaging in successful speculations, and amassing a fortune, which she carried safely through the Reign of Terror." (Memoirs and Correspondence of Madame Recamier: 1)

Madame Recamier's spouses.
"Monsieur Recamier was forty-four years old when he proposed for the hand of Juliette Bernard. She accepted him without either reluctance or distrust. Much sympathy has been lavished upon Madame Recamier on account of this marriage, and her extreme youth is urged as an excuse for this false step of her life. . .  Monsieur Recamier was a tall, vigorous, handsome man, of easy, agreeable manners. Perfectly polite, he was deficient in dignity, and preferred the society of his inferiors to that of his equals. He wrote and spoke Spanish with fluency, had some knowledge of Latin, and was fond of quoting Horace and Virgil. . . 'Always ready to give and willing to serve, he was a good companion, and benevolent and gay in his temper.  He carried his optimism to excess, and was always content with everybody and everything. He had fine natural abilities, and the gift of expression, being a good story-teller. . . '" (Atlantic Monthly, Vol 14: 448
grand format
Wife of:
1. Jacques-Rose Recamier (1751-1830), French banker, mar 1793.

"Jacques Rose Recamier was born in Lyons, in 1751, where his father, Francois Recamier, had  founded a very respectable house in the hat trade, whose most important relations were with Spain. When a very young man, Jacques was the travelling partner; and, as business took him often to Spain, he wrote and spoke the Spanish as fluently as he did his native language. He was also well versed in Latin; and, when I knew him, was still fond of quoting Horace and Virgil. His commercial correspondence was a model. M. Recamier had been a very handsome man; he was fair, with blue eyes, and marked and regular features. In person, he was tall and strongly built. It would be difficult to conceive of a more generous nature than his, one more easily moved, or more volatile. Let a friend need his time, his money, his advice, it was immediately at his service; but let that same friend be taken away by death, he would scarcely give two days to regret. . . Ever ready to give, and willing to serve, he was a good companion, and kindly and gay in temper. He carried his optimism to excess, and was always content with every thing and everybody. He had fine natural abilities, talked and told a story well." (Memoirs and Correspondence of Madame Recamier: 5)

The life of a beautiful woman.
" . . . It is the life of a beautiful woman,---and so varied and romantic, so fruitful in incident and rich in experience, that it excites curiosity and invites speculation.  It is a life difficult, if not impossible, to understand. Herein lies its peculiar and engrossing fascination. It is a curious web to unravel, a riddle to solve, a problem at once stimulating and baffling. Like the history of the times, it is full of puzzling contradictions and striking contrasts. The daughter of a provincial notary, Madame Recamier was the honored associate of princes. A married woman, she was a wife only in name. A beauty and a belle, she was as much admired by her own as by the other sex. A coquette, she changed passionate lovers into life-long friends. Accepting the open and exclusive homage of married men, she continued on the best of terms with their wives. One day the mistress of every luxury that wealth can command,---the next a bankrupt's wife. One year the reigning 'Queen of Society,'---the next a suspected exile. Just as fascinating when old and blind as while young and beautiful. Loss of fortune brought no loss of power,---decline of beauty, no decrease of admiration, Modelled by artists, flattered by princes, adored by women, eulogized by men of genius, courted by men of letters,---the beloved of the chivalric Augustus of Prussia, and the selfish, dreamy Chateaubriand,---with the high-toned Montmorencys for her friends, and the simple-minded Ballanche for her slave.  Such were some of the triumphs, such some of the contrasts in the life of this remarkable woman." (Atlantic Monthly: A Magazine of Literature, Art and Politics, Volume 14: 446)

Juliette Bernard at 18 was like the goddess of the clouds.
" . . . Her biographer thus describes Madame Recamier at this epoch, when she was eighteen years of age: 'Her beauty had continued to unfold itself during the past few years, and she had passed as it were, from childhood to the splendor of youth.  She was at once graceful and exquisitely modeled, her neck admirable in form and proportion, her mouth small and vermilion, her teeth pearly, her arms charming, albeit somewhat spare, her chestful hair curled naturally, her nose was delicate and regular, especially French; an incomparable brilliancy of color eclipsed all, her physiognomy was at once replete with candor and had yet an expression of shrewdness which smiles of kindness rendered perfectly irresistible. Her head was well fixed, with something in it at once of indolence and haughtiness. It was truly of her that might have been said what Saint-Simon wrote of the Duchess de Bourgogne, that her walk was that of a goddess on the clouds. Such was Madame Recamier at eighteen years of age.'"  (The Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science and Art, Vol 49: 251)

Madame Recamier's personal appearance at eighteen is thus described by her niece.
'A figure flexible and elegant, neck and shoulders admirably formed and proportioned; a well-poised head; a small, rosy mouth, pearly teeth, charming arms, though a little small, and black hair that curled naturally.  A nose delicate and regular, but bien francais, and an incomparable brilliancy of complexion. A countenance full of candor, and sometimes beaming with mischief, which the expression of goodness rendered irresistibly.  There was a shade of indolence and pride in her gestures, and what Saint Simon said of the Duchess of Burgundy is applicable to her: 'Her step was that of a goddess on the clouds.'" (Atlantic Monthly, Vol 14: 450)

"Arrived at a womanly age, thought only twenty, and looking younger still, in contrast to her husband of forty-eight, she had come to the full of her beauty. At this period it seems to have been a sensuous beauty, where worth rather than mind gave the expression. Her white glistening shoulders were its especial glory; her whole figure, including the feet, was classically moulded. The face was short and round rather than oval; the hair and eyes were brown; the complexion was brilliant, almost, one might say, dazzling; and the head set easily upon the shoulders. The look, while it showed a consciousness of superiority, too grand, perhaps, to be called vanity, was alluring from a certain kindness and sympathy about it. You could tell at once that she was a woman and no more--nay, something less, a Frenchwoman. Of the angel she had certainly nothing, for the face was earthly, though one of the most beautiful on earth. She was rather a goddess, with all the pride, and much of the sensuality of one, though that sensuality was as refined as one imagines the pleasures of Queen Juno." (The Queens of Society, Vol 2: 3)
An eminently beautiful natural queen.
"The truth seems to be that Madame Recamier exercised a great power of the most strictly feminine kind. There is nothing of the blue-stocking in her, nothing to make any one forget her sex, even for an instant. She appears to have been eminently beautiful, and yet her beauty could never of itself provide a sufficient explanation for an influence so peculiar as hers, and so enduring. She was a natural queen, reigning permanently over the hearts and minds of a little court which was composed of some of the very ablest men of her age, and beyond her immediate entourage she had a great fame and prestige generally accounted for by the supposition of an intellectual eminence which did not really exist. The true explanation seems to be that men were first attracted to her by admiration for her surpassing loveliness, and then kept permanently in subjection by an extraordinary power of sympathy and an extraordinary kindness. The relation between Madame Recamier and her admirers is one of the most peculiar that have ever been established between the sexes. On their part, at least on the part of some of them, there existed no doubt a strong element of passion, but it seems to have been kept in the condition of chivalrous homage and devotion by a sort of maternal influence on her part. It is impossible to avoid the question, even in the case of a lady of such perfect delicacy as Madame Recamier, whether so many intimate friendships with the other sex could be compatible with a virtuous life, and it has certainly been very generally believed she was at least the mistress of one celebrated personage, Chateaubriand.
Madame Recamier's guest list at her Paris soirees.
"To form an idea of the position of Madame Recamier at his period of her life, and of the place which she occupied in French society, we must picture her to ourselves as grouping around her in her youth and beauty not only the dispersed elements of the old aristocracy, but also the new men, whose talents, energy, or military glory had given them rank in the new society that was then growing up. Thus among the frequenters of her soirees were the restored emigrants---the Duc de Guignes, Adrien and Mathieu de Montmorency, Christian de Lamoignon, M. de Narbonne; and with them Madame de Stael, Camille Jordan, Barriere, Lucien Bonaparte, Eugene Beauharnais, Fouche, Bernadotte, Massena, Moreau, generals of the Revolution; members of the Assembly; literary men---M. de la Harpe, Lemontey, Legouve, Emmanuel Duparty; and all distinguished strangers." (The Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science and Art, Vol 49: 252)

Madame Recamier's seduction & strategies of refusal & resistance.
"Juliette Recamier's seduction lay indeed in strategies of refusal and resistance. There is ample proof that her alliance with Recamier was a 'white' marriage, never physically consummated because of her dread of sex and her husband's decision to 'respect her sensibilities.' Although Juliette's maidenly gracefulness exerted and irresistible attraction on men, she would remain a virgin until her forties, when she began a liaison with Chateaubriand that lasted until her death. Madame Recamier's many suitors discovered that falling in love with the goddess of chaste seduction could be an infernal experience. Flirting with virtually every man she knew, playing with passion but terrified of surrendering to it, Juliette tormented even those men who she truly wanted to love. The deepest bond of Recamier's live was with the writer Germain de Stael, who was exiled by Napoleon to her family home in Coppet, Switzerland---where she remained throughout most of the emperor's reign--- for 'not thinking French' in writings that he considered subversive. Recamier, too, was exiled on occasion, ostensibly for her association with the dangerous Madame de Stael. But several of her forced exiles were probably caused by her resistance to the advances of Napoleon himself. She would later resist the passion of one of the great French Romantics, the novelist Benjamin Constant, and many enamored European nobles, including Prince Bernadotte (future king of Sweden) and Prince Augustus of Saxony. Even after her husband went bankrupt in 1810, Madame Recamier continued to charm and refuse admirers, in a series of increasingly modest homes. She spent much of her time with her young orphaned niece, whom she legally adopted when the child was nine." (Rage and Fire: 103)
Her lovers were:
Adrien de MontmorencyDuc de Laval (1768-1837)
Lover in 1799/1800.

Duc de Laval & Pair de France, Knight of the King's Order, Knight of the Golden Fleece, Knight of Saint Louis, 1st Duque de San Fernando, Grandee of Spain, French Foreign Minister.

Son ofAlexandre-Marie-Anne-Joseph-Sulpice de Laval-Montmorency Marie-Louise de Montmorency-Luxembourg.

Husband of: Bonne-Charlotte-Renee de Montmorency-Luxembourg, mar 1788.

"The two Montmorencys were her especial friends. Both had been in exile; the one returned from England, the other from America. They were first cousins, and great friends. Adrien, who was afterward the Duc de Laval, was about thirty-one at this period. He was afterward ambassador at Madrid, Rome, Vienna and London. He was proud of his old name, and a royalist by predilection. He is said to have been clever, but had an unfortunate stutter, which militated against his success." (The Queens of Society: 258)

" . . . Adrien, the younger Montmorency, also admired this clever woman but he was known to 'have an elastic heart.'  But the Montmorencies' admiration for Madame de Stael was totally eclipsed by the devotion of both men to Juliette Recamier. Both came frequently to her salon and Mathieu became her lifelong friend and counselor" (Juliette Recamier: 20)

"Adrien de Montmorency, Duke of Laval, if not so near and dear a friend, was quite as devoted an admirer of Madame Recamier as his cousin Matthieu. His son also wore her chains, and frequently marred the pleasure of his father's visits by his presence. In reference to the family's devotion, Adrien wrote to her,---'My son is fascinated by you, and you know that I am so also. . .' Adrien was a man of wit, and he had more ability than Matthieu. 'Of all your admirers,' writes Madame de Stael, in a letter given in Chateaubriand's Memoirs, 'you know that I prefer Adrien de Montmorency. I have just received one of his letters, which is remarkable for with and grace, and I believe in the durability of his affections, notwithstanding the charm of his manners. Besides, this word durability is becoming in me, who have but a secondary place in his heart. But you are the heroine of all those sentiments out of which grow tragedies and romances.'" (Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 14: 454)

"It was in 1799 or 1800, that Mme. Recamier became acquainted with Adrien and Matthieu de Montmorency.  They were cousins-germane, nearly of the same age; and, though very unlike in character, were dear and intimate friends from childhood.  Adrien de Montmorency, Prince, and afterward Duke de Laval, was the first of the two to know Mme. Recamier. . . ." (Recamier: 27)
Physical appearance & personal qualities.
" . . . He was, at that time, thirty years old, tall, slender, and fair. His figure was both elegant and awkward; he was near-sighted, and a hesitancy in his speech detracted with some people from his reputation for wit.  He possessed it nevertheless. Adrien was fond of reading, and keenly enjoyed lively conversation, in which he bore his part with tact and good grace.  He had more imagination than sensibility.  He was generous and chivalric, sincerely religious, but of rather a fickle nature, of perfect integrity and extremely loyal. . . ." (Recamier: 27)
2) Antonio Canova.
"During her days in Rome her great friendship was with Canova, the great sculptor. For a time she lived in his home; it was like Aspasia living in the home of Phidias. Determined to immortalize her beauty in marble, he allowed her a corner of his studio where she modeled in clay. He made two busts of her, but she found them unsatisfactory and he tried to change them later. Most of their time was spent at his country homes in Tivoli and at Albano, where his brother wrote her a sonnet daily." (Juliette Recamier: 98)

"Madame Recamier subsequently left Lyons for Italy and the next new admirer whose attentions we have to chronicle is Canova. During her stay in Rome he wrote a note to her every morning, and the heat of the city growing excessive, he invited her to share his lodgings at Albano. Taking with her her niece and waiting-maid, she became his guest for two months. A Roman artist painted a picture of this retreat, with Madame Recamier sitting near a window, reading. Canova sent the picture to her in 1816. When she left Rome for a short absence, Canova modelled two busts of her from memory, in the hope of giving her a pleasant surprise,---one with the hair simply arranged, the other with a veil. Madame Recamier was not pleased, and her annoyance did not escape the penetrating eye of the artist. She tried in vain to efface the unfavorable impression he had received, but he only half forgave her. He added a crown of olives to the one with the veil, and when she asked him about it, he replied, 'It did not please you, so I made a Beatrice of it." (Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 14; 459)
3) Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington.

First encounter.

"During the restoration in 1814 she met Wellington at Madame de Stael's. She also introduced him to Queen Hortense, Napoleon's stepdaughter, who at that stage was supporting the restoration of the Bourbons. Wellington was clearly entranced by Madame Recamier as Napoleon had been. He wrote a number of letters to her. . .  He was to call on her again after Waterloo. . . ." (Reflections on a Journey to St. Helena)

"With the returned exiles the English were the fashion, and Wellington was the hero of the day. The duke was a frequent visitor at Madame de Stael's, and it was here that Madame Recamier first met the conqueror of the Peninsula, who like every one else, seems to have at once succumbed to the charms of the world-renowned beauty.  One of the fragments of Madame Recamier's journal which has been preserved contains some interesting memoranda relating to her acquaintance with the duke." (Madame Recamier and Her Friends: 135)

" . . . Paris was fill of foreigners of distinction, who were curious to know a person of so much celebrity, and they swelled the ranks of her admirers. Among them was the Duke of Wellington, who, if Madame Recamier's vanity did not mislead her, was willing and anxious to wear her chains. But she never forgave his boastful speech after the Battle of Waterloo. . . ." (Atlantic Monthly)
4) August von Preussen (1779-1845)
Lover in 1809-1845?.

" . . . At the age of thirty she was engaged to Prince August of Prussia, but the engagement came to nothing; it has been suggested that the Prince was impotent. . . ." (A History of Human Beauty: 77)

"Quite naively the beautiful Julie, in a letter, asks her husband's consent to a divorce, that she might be able to marry morganatically, the beautiful Prince August. Monsieur Recamier gives his consent, but at the same time reminds Julie that she was a Roman Catholic, the prince a Protestant, that the prince was not allowed to marry her without the consent of the king, and that she would occupy but an awkward position at the proud court of royal Prussia. And who would warrant to her that the prince, notorious for his many amours, would remain faithful to her?" 
(Memoirs of Karoline Bauer, Vol 3: 136)

" . . . Sometime after, the complete ruin of her husband's fortunes induced her to accept an invitation from Mme. de Stael to join her at Coppert in Switzerland (1806). Here she was thrown into the society of prince August of Prussia, and a mutual attachment ensued. It is supposed that, of all her innumerable admirers, he alone succeeded in touching her heart. A marriage was arranged, the necessary condition of which was the consent of M. Recamier to a divorce. This was not refused; but his mind and touching remonstrance sufficed to divert from her purpose a woman, on the one hand, of generous and noble feeling, and probably, on the other, constitutionally incapable of any very vehement passion. The man whose brilliant prosperities she had shared, she shrunk from deserting in the decay of fortune which had by this time befallen him. The devotion of her princely lover continued till his death in 1845; but it does not appear that after his first distinct failure---though he frequently again met his beloved---his efforts to secure her were very vigorously renewed. The lady's genius for love does not seem to have been great; but for friendship, it was almost unexampled. . . ." (Library of Universal Knowledge: A Reprint of the Last (1880, Vol. 12): 463)

"After Madame Bernard's death, her daughter passed six months in retirement, but, her grief affecting her health, she was induced by Madame de Stael to visit her at Coppet. Here she met the exiled Prince Augustus of Prussia, nephew of Frederick the Great. We find in the 'Seaforth Papers,' lately published in England, an allusion to this Prince, who visited London in the train of the allied sovereigns in 1814. A lady writes,' All the ladies are desperately in love with him,---his eyes are so fine, his moustaches so black, and his teeth so white.' Madame Lenormant, describes him as extremely handsome, brave, chivalric, and loyal. He was twenty-four when he fell passionately in love with Madame de Stael's beautiful guest, to whom he at once proposed a divorce and marriage. We give Madame Lenormant's account of his attachment. Three months passed in the enchantments of a passion by which Madame Recamier was profoundly touched, if she did not share it. Everything conspired to favor Prince Augustus. The imagination of Madame de Stael, easily seduced by anything poetical and singular, made her an eloquent auxiliary of the Prince. The place itself, those beautiful shores of Lake Geneva, peopled by romantic phantoms, had a tendency to bewilder the judgment. Madame Recamier was moved. For a moment she welcomed an offer of marriage which was not only a proof of the passion, but of the esteem of a prince of a royal house, deeply impressed by the weight of its own prerogatives and the greatness of its rank. Vows were exchanged. The tie which united the beautiful Juliette to Monsieur Recamier was one which the Catholic Church itself proclaimed null. Yielding to the sentiment with which she inspired the Prince, Juliette wrote to Monsieur Recamier, requesting the rupture of their union. He replied that he would consent to a divorce, if it was her wish, but he made an appeal to her feelings. He recalled the affection he had shown her from childhood. He even expressed regret at having respected her susceptibilities and repugnances, thus preventing a closer bond of union, which would have made all thoughts of a separation impossible. Finally he requested, that, if Madame Recamier persisted in her project, the divorce should not take place in Paris, but out of France, where he would join her to arrange matters. This letter had the desired effect. Madame Recamier concluded not to abandon her husband, and returned to Paris, but without undeceiving the Prince, who started for Berlin. According to her biographer, Madame Recamier trusted that absence would soften the disappointment she had in store for him; but, if this was the case, the means she took to accomplish it were very inadequate. She sent him her portrait soon after her return to Paris, which the Prince acknowledged in a letter. . . Three years passed in uncertainty, and in 1811 Madame Recamier consented to meet him at Schaffhausen; but she did not fulfil (sic) her engagement, giving the sentence of exile which had just been passed upon her as an excuse. The Prince, after waiting in vain, wrote indignantly to Madame de Stael, 'I hope I am now cured of a foolish love, which I have nourished for four years.' But when the news of her exile reached him, he wrote to her expressing his sympathy, but at the same time reproaching her for her breach of faith. . . Madame Recamier's conduct to the Prince, even viewed in the light of her biographer's representation, is scarcely justifiable. Madame Mohl attempts to defend her. She alleges, that, at the time Prince Augustus was paying his addresses to her, he had contracted a left-hand marriage at Berlin. Even if this story be true, there is no evidence that Madame Recamier was then acquainted with the fact, and if she had been, there was only the more reason for breaking with the Prince at once, instead of keeping him so long alternating between hope and despair. In speaking of him to Madame Mohl, Madame Recamier said that he was desperately in love, but he was very gallant and had many other fancies. The impression she made upon him, however, seems to have been lasting. Three months before his death, in 1845, he wrote to her that the ring she had given him should follow him to the tomb, and her portrait, painted by Gerard, was, at his death, returned to her by his orders. Either the Prince had two portraits of Madame Recamier, or else Madame Lenormant's statements are contradictory. She says that her aunt sent him her portrait soon after her return to Paris, and the date of the Prince's letter acknowledging the favor confirms this statement. It is afterward asserted that Madame Recamier gave him her portrait in exchange for one of Madame de Stael, painted by Gerard, as Corinne." (Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 14: 456)

5) August Wilhelm von Schlegel (1767-1845)

German poet, translator & critic.

Son ofJohann Adolf Schlegel.

Husband ofKaroline Schelling (1763-1809), German intellectual, mar 1796, div 1804

6) Auguste de Forbin (1779-1841)

French painter & antiquary.

"The Duc de Broglie, too, declares that Madame Recamier carried on a 'coquetterie flagrante' with Benjamin Constant and Auguste de Forbin at the same time.

7) Auguste de Stael.

"Auguste de Stael, Germaine's only son, had grown to manhood. This tall, well-built young fellow with dark hair and eyes appreciated Juliette's beauty, ever increasing in spite of heartaches. . . ." (Juliette Recamier: 71)

8) Baron de Vogt.

"He was an intelligent German, whom a common philanthropy had brought into close and friendly relations with Degerando and Camille Jordan; and who owned in the environs of Hamburg a large estate, where he devoted his time and intelligence to the moral improvement of the peasants and to the advancement of agriculture. He had been presented by Mme. Recamier to Mme. de Stael, and, being naturally very enthusiastic and a worshipper of celebrities, was very much flattered by the kind of reception accorded him at Coppet. But if the Baron paid court to those whose eminent talent gave them a wide reputation, he was no less than disposed to side always with those in power. The enthusiasm which marked several of his letters to Mme. Recamier was sensibly cooled when, toward the end of the year 1810, the Emperor Napoleon adopted harsher measures against Mme. de Stael. . . ." (Lenormant: 38)

9) Baron von Balk-Poleff.

"That same year, 1814, brought Madame Recamier another admirer in the person of Benjamin Constant, the famous orator and publicist, whose services she had engaged at the request of the Murats to plead the cause of the cause of their dynasty, the fate of which the Congress of Vienna was about to decide. Constant was a man of brilliant parts, but of a fickle and emotional temperament. Throughout his life, we are told, he was 'subject to feminine influences as varied as they were powerful.' . . .   Now, at forty-seven, he fell madly in love with Madame Recamier, and for many months bombarded her with love-letters, which, in point of absurdity, quite throw into the shade those which Lucien Bonaparte had penned fifteen years before.  These letters have had a singular fate: they have been the subject of three law-suits." (Madame Recamier and Her Friends:  138)
Camille Jordan
11) Camille Jordan (1771-1821)
French politician & writer

"They met Camille Jordan, and M. Degerando. Jordan had, just before this, published a pamphlet on the choice of Bonaparte as First Consul for life. . . At the home of Mme. Campan they met Mme. Recamier, 'the beautiful lady who had nearly been squeezed to death in Paris.' . . . Mr. Edgeworth was not greatly impressed with Mme. Recamier. He says, 'She certainly is handsome, but there is nothing noble in her appearance.---She was very civil,' he adds. . . ." (A Study of Maria Edgeworth: 171)

Character or persona.
"Few men with the great qualities and rigid virtues of Camille Jordan have been so charming and engaging in the ordinary intercourse of life. His original turn of mind, his enthusiasm, his energy, the shrewdness of his remarks, a certain simplicity and candor, in short, every thing about him was attractive, even to the somewhat provincial awkwardness which he never quite overcame. . . ." (Madame Recamier & Her Friends: 4)
13) Fleury Francois Richard (1777-1852)
French painter

14) Eugene de Beauharnais (1781-1824)
Lover in 1799.

" . . . He frequented the salon of Mme Recamier in the winter of 1799. He regularly visited the beautiful castle Clichy in 1802 and was present at the great masked ball she organized in 1805. . . ." (HPEG)
15) Jean-Francois de La Harpe (1739-1803)
French literary critic
"Among the persons particularly distinguished by Madame Recamier was the great literary critic, M. de la Harpe.  She used even to attend his lectures at the Athenaeum, where a chair was allotted to her in close proximity to the professor. . . ."   (The Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science and Art, Vol 49: 253)

"Another of these friends, the celebrated La Harpe, had also been wild at one time, and changed his mode of life. . . ." (The Queens of Society: 259)
16) Jean-Jacques Ampere (1800-1864)
French philologist & man of letters
Lover in 1820?

" . . . M. Ballanche brought young Ampere to L'Abbaye-au-bois on the 1st of January, 1820, when he was not quite nineteen years old. Young as he was, he soon underwent the same fascination which had already subjugated so many of his seniors, and after a few weeks had passed he was a daily guest.  J.J. Ampere was very highly educated, but utterly unaccustomed to the world, so that the impression of Madame Recamier's great social qualities was felt by him with all the freshness of inexperience. The effect is intensified by a visit to the country in the summer or autumn of the same year, when Madame Recamier stated at La Vallee-aux-Loups, and young Ampere stayed within a little distance during several weeks at a country house belonging to his friend De Jussieu. He saw Madame Recamier and her niece very frequently during this time, and on their return to Paris renewed his visits to the Abbaye. On the first of these occasions the lady spoke of their pleasant walks and excursions in the country, and delicately hinted that there might possibly have some more tender emotion. This was an allusion to the young lady her niece, but J.J. Ampere could not contain himself, and, falling on his knees, declared that it was not the younger of the two ladies who had fascinated him. After this outburst Madame Recamier seems to have managed him in a maternal way, and for thirty years he belonged to her family. His own mother had died during his infancy, and he found at L'Abbaye-au-bois a home for the affectionate side of his nature. . . ." (The Saturday Review of Politics, Literature, Science and Art, Vol. 36: 90)
20) Lucien Bonaparte, 1st Principi di Canino (1775-1840)
Lover in 1799.

First encounter -- 1799.

" . . . In 1799 Madame met for the first time, at a dinner-party, twenty-four-year-old Lucien Bonaparte, very vain, very fatuous, very susceptible, but with an adorable boyish smile. He fell in love with her. That goes without saying. Did she object to the infatuation? Lucien was the First Consul's brother. He wrote her a most passionate, absurd, simple letter. The lovely Madame had a little inspiration: treated it an an essay in novel-writing, and handed it back to the devout lover in public, advising him to devote his talents to better things. She was only the more charming when she was cruel. It is hardly necessary to say that the distracted Lucien wrote more letters. He signed himself Romeo. He was dreadfully romantic and emphatic and young. Juliette got a little frightened, and told her husband the story. Lucien must be forbidden the house! And M. Recamier, with the easy optimism of his character, or the lax morality of the time, or with shrewd business instincts (or with a little of all three feelings, perhaps), replied that he could not offend the brother of General Bonaparte, and that though Madame must 'grant him nothing,' she must not drive him to despair. Poor Lucien! He suffered himself to be made a fool for a year perhaps. Before that year was over the First Consul himself had condescended to admire Madame's loveliness, and presently tried to get its omnipotent influence on his own side by offering her an appointment, which she refused, as lady-in-waiting to the Empress." (The women of the salons, and other French portraits: 139)

Madame Recamier & Lucien Bonaparte's first encounter.

"In the spring of 1799, Mme. Recamier, already established at Clichy, accepted an invitation to dinner for her husband and herself from M. Sapey, at Bagatelle. Among the guests was Lucien Bonaparte. who was immediately impressed with Mme. Recamier's beauty, and made no effort to disguise his admiration. He accompanied her in a walk through the garden of Bagatelle, and, when she left, asked and obtained permission to visit her at Clichy. He presented himself there the next day. Lucien Bonaparte was, at that time, twenty-four years old. His features were regular, but less strongly marked than those of Napoleon, whom he resembled. He was taller than his brother; and, though he was near-sighted, his smile and expression were pleasant. Bombastic and very consequential, he showed by his manner, that he was sensible of the growing greatness of his family. He did everything for effect; and while his dress was carefully studied, it was not in good taste." (Memoirs & Correspondence of Madame Recamier: 14)

" . . . Lucien Bonaparte met her at this period at M. Sapey's, at Bagatelle, and was struck with her beauty. He asked permission to visit her at Clichy, and it was granted. The consequence may easily be foreseen.  Lucien --- at that time only twenty-four years of age ---became, although married, passionately enamoured of the greatest beauty of her time, and did not scruple to declare his passion.  Madame Recamier appealed to her husband, and requested that Lucien be shown the door.  M. Recamier observed thereupon that to break openly with the brother of General Bonaparte might compromise him and ruin his bank. . .  Madame Recamier did not like Lucien, so she acceded to the arrangement, and would sometimes laugh at this anguish, while at others she was terrified at his impetuosity. This stormy kind of relationship lasted for a year, when Lucien, weary with the ineffectual pursuit, gave it up. . . ."  (The Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science and Art, Vol 49: 252)

About this time Lucien Bonaparte aspired to become Juliette Recamier's lover. Though he was married already his wife was delicate, and went little in society. This combination of circumstances gave Lucien freedom to flirt with all the handsome women he met. . .  Lucien was devoted to Madame Recamier, so much so in fact that he was ever ready to dance attendance on her slightest whim.  She is said to have dined with him several times at the more fashionable restaurants in Paris, and even welcomed him as she did many other famous men, to a spirit of social eclat and coquetry.  At this time Lucien was but twenty-five years of age, and was Secretary of the Interior." (Juliette Racamier: 25)

"Her first vexation came with her first lover. It was in the spring of 1799 that Madame Recamier met Lucien Bonaparte at a dinner. He was then twenty-four, and she was twenty-two. He asked permission to visit her at Clichy, and made his appearance there the next day. He first wrote to her, declaring his love, under the name of Romeo, and she, taking advantage of the subterfuge, returned his letter in the presence of other friends, with a compliment on its cleverness, while she advised him not to waste his ability on works of imagination, when it could be so much better employed in politics. Lucien was not thus to be repulsed. He then addressed her in his own name, and she showed the letters to her husband, and asked his advice. Monsieur Recamier was more politic than indignant. His wife wished to forbid Lucien the house, but he feared that such extreme measures toward the brother of the First Consul might compromise, if not ruin, his bank. He therefore advised her neither to encourage nor repulse him. Lucien continued his attentions for a ear,---the absurd emphasis of his manners at times amusing Madame Recamier, while at others his violence excited her fears. At last, becoming conscious that he was making himself ridiculous, he gave up the pursuit in despair.  Some time after he had discontinued his visits he sent a friend to demand his letters; but Madame Recamier refused to give them up. He sent a second time, adding menace to persuasion; but she firm in her refusal. It was rumored that Lucien was a favored lover, and he was anxious to be so considered. His own letters were the strongest proof to the contrary, and as such they were kept and guarded by Madame Recamier. But the unpleasant gossip to which his attention gave rise was a source of great annoyance to her. If it was her first vexation, it was not the only one of the same kind. . . ." (Atlantic Monthly, Vol 14: 451)

"Lucien Bonaparte, who interrupted this conversation, was her most devoted admirer. He was then four-and-twenty, taller and more graceful than his brother, but far less great. He met his idol at a dinner given by M. Sapey, and soon after sent her a collection of letters, entitled 'Letters from Romeo to Juliette,' in which he expressed his devotion in very ordinary un-Romeic language, though passionate enough. He must have looked very foolish when Madame Recamier, who had never been addressed in this strain before, handed him back his first love-letter in the midst of a party, told him it was very pretty, but advised him to cultivate politics, in which he might succeed, rather than literature, in which he might, perhaps, fail." (The Queens of Society: 257)

Lucien Bonaparte's physical appearance & personal qualities.

"He had a well shaped head, and well-moulded features. Though much taller than his brother Napoleon, his physique was poor and he had a spinal irregularity that caused him to stoop slightly. His hands were unusually large as were his feet and he gesticulated a great deal while talking. With women he made every effort to be at his best and when he grew excited he became somewhat feline." (Juliette Racamier: 25)
21) Mathieu de MontmorencyDuc de Montmorency-Laval (1767-1826)

"Among the crowd of her admirers, Madame Recamier particularly distinguished Duke Mathieu de Montmorency. If we are to give credit to her biographer, the duke, as a young man, had been as vain and as thoughtless as other young aristocrats; but the death of his brother, the Abbe de Laval, who fell under the revolutionary axe, and the exhortations of Madame de Stael, had converted him into an austere and fervent Christian. He saw at once all the dangers to which a beautiful young woman like Madame Recamier, fond of admiration, surrounded by flatterers, and without the support of any intimate domestic relations, was exposed, and he acted towards her as brother, carefully tending her, with the more delicacy from the admiration which he felt for her, and yet jealously solicitous in regard to any sentiments that might be awakened in her bosom, and that might not be consistent with the most spotless purity and innocence. There can not be the slightest doubt from M. de Montmorency's letters, as given in his biography, that he ever acted towards Madame Recamier the part of a sincere and even pious friend." (The Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science and Art, Vol 49: 253)

"She had made already the friendship of the Montmorencies that continued throughout her life. Mathieu Montmorency, the scholarly and more serious minded of the two, had made himself known in the United States of America. He was thrilled by the French wars like many French soldiers and he wanted to fight for Liberty in America. Mathieu was married to a French girl who had borne him a daughter, but conjugal responsibilities were soon forgotten, first in war days and later in a long flirtation he had with Madame de Stael. . . ." (Juliette Recamier: 20)

"Another friend of Madame Recamier's youth, whose friendship in a marked degree influenced her life, was Matthieu de Montmorency. He was seventeen years older than she, and may with emphasis be termed her best friend. A devout Roman Catholic, he awakened and strengthened her religious convictions, and constantly warned her of the perils surrounding her.  Much as he evidently admired and loved her, he did not hesitate to utter unwelcome truths. Vicomte, afterward Duc de Montmorency, belonged to one of the oldest families of France, but, espousing the Revolutionary cause, he was the first to propose the abolition of the privileges of the nobility. He was married early in life to a woman without beauty, to whom he was profoundly indifferent, and soon separated from her, though from family motives the tie was renewed in after-years. In his youth he had been gay and dissipated; but the death of a favorite brother, who fell a victim to the Revolution, changed and sobered him. From an over-sensibility, he believed himself to be the cause of his brother's death on account of the part he had taken in hastening the Revolution, and he strove to atone for this mistake, as well as for his youthful follies, by a life of austerity and piety.  While his letters testify his great affection for Madame Recamier, they are entirely free from those lover-like protestations and declarations of eternal fidelity so characteristic of her other masculine correspondents. He always addressed her as 'amiable amie,' and his nearest approach to gallantry is the expression of a hope that 'in prayer their thoughts had often mingled, and might continue to do so.' He ends a long letter of religious counsel with this grave warning:---'Do what is good and amiable, what will not red the heart of leave any regrets behind. But in the name of God renounce all that is unworthy of you, and which under no circumstances can ever render you happy.'" (Atlantic Monthly,Vol 14: 454)

"As to Mathieu-Jean-Felicite de Montmorency, whose place in Mme. Recamier's affection was not to be any less great, he was quite a different kind of man from Adrien. In the first place he was older, as he was born in 1760, and had already a role in history. He had made his first campaign in America in his father's regiment."

"His cousin, Matthieu, was a much better man. He served in the army in America, and for a long time was gay and dissipated. The death of a beloved brother, the Abbe de Laval, who was a victim of the Revolution, cured him/ He accused himself of being indirectly the cause of his brother's death. This idea weighed upon him, and in time he became under the influence of his intimate friend, Madame de Stael, a well-minded and religious man. The proof of this is that he did his utmost to impress Madame Recamier with religious feelings. He was very intimate with her, and used his friendship in the best possible manner, by way of making her better than he found her. His letters to her prove that he had doubts, not of her character at that time, but of her power to resist the many temptations of the gay society in which she mixed; and he was right." (The Queens of Society: 258)
Paul de Noailles
6th Duc de Noailles
French aristocrat, parliamentarian, orator, historian & author

Duke of Noailles 1824, 3rd Duke of Ayen 1823, Peer of France 1827.

Son ofLouis-Jules-Cesar de Noailles, Marquis de Noailles & Pauline Laurette Le Couteulx du Molay.

Husband of: Alice de Rochechoaurt-Mortemart (1880-1887), daughter of Victurnien de Rochechouart8th Duc de Mortemart, married 1823.
24) Pierre-Simon Ballanche.
French printer & author

" . . . Madame de Sermesy, an affluent, gifted widow lady, opened her salons to the banished of 1812; and they met there with the elite of Lyons, among whom were Camille Jordan, and M. Pierre Simon Ballanche, printer and author, and who, from the first day that he met the fair Juliette, became her slave. M. Ballanche was more favored by gifts of intellect than by external advantages. Naturally ugly, his ugliness had been considerably increased by a quack, who had used such violent remedies for a headache as to have necessitated the removal of part of his jaw and a portions of his cranium. He was a character too, and calling, the next day of of his introduction, upon Madame Recamier, the latter declared that the smell of his shoes inconvenienced her, whereupon he apologized, and adjourning into the passage, he returned to continue his conversation without them. These meetings, thus inauspiciously inaugurated, were afterwards continued daily till two months afterwards, when Juliette was starting for Italy.  M. Ballanche declared himself as a brother, who only waited for the moment when he could sacrifice everything for her sake. . . ." (The Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science and Art, Vol. 49: 256)

"At Lyons Madame Recamier met the author, Monsieur Ballanche. He was presented to her by Camille Jordan, and, in the words of her biographer, 'from that moment Monsieur Ballanche belonged to Madame Recamier.' He was the least exacting of any of her friends. All he asked was to devote his life to her, and to be allowed to worship her. His friends called her his Beatrice. As he was an extremely awkward and ugly man, the to might been termed with equal propriety 'Beauty and the Beast.' Monsieur Ballanche's face had been frightfully disfigured by an operation, and though his friends thought that his fine eyes and expression redeemed his appearance, he was, to strangers, particularly unprepossessing. He was, moreover, very absent-minded. When he joined Madame Recamier at Rome, she noticed, during an evening walk with him, that he had no hat.  In reply to her questions, he quietly said, 'Oh, yes, he had left it at Alexandria.' He had, in fact, forgotten it; and it never occurred to replace it by another. Madame Lenormant relates an anecdote of his second interview with Madame Recamier, which is illustrative of his simplicity. 'He found her alone, working on embroidery. The conversation at first languished, but soon became interesting,---for, though Monsieur Ballanche had no chit-chat, he talked extremely well on subjects which interested him, such as philosophy, morals, politics, and literature. Unfortunately, his shoes had an odor about them which was very disagreeable to Madame Recamier. It finally made her faint, and, overcoming with difficulty the embarrassment she felt in speaking of so prosaic an annoyance, she timidly avowed to him that the smell of his shoes was unpleasant. Monsieur Ballanche apologized, humbly regretting that she had not spoken before, and then went out of the room. He returned in a few moments without his shoes, resumed his seat, and continued the conversation. Other persons came in, and noticing him in this situation, he said, by way of explanation, 'The smell of my shoes annoyed Madame Recamier, so I left them in the antechamber.' After the death of his father, Monsieur Ballanche left Lyons, and passed the rest of his life in the society of her whom he worshipped with so single-minded a devotion." (Atlantic Monthly, Vol 14: 458)
25) Prosper de Barante (1745-1814)

" . . . Now Mme Recamier was loved, at one time, by Prosper de Barante, Corinne's lamented young lover; afterwards she was loved by Mme de Stael's own son. . . ." (Levaillant: xvi)

Juliette's personal & family background.
"Jeanne-Francoise-Julie-Adelaide Bernard was born at Lyons on the fourth of December, 1777. Her father was a notary in that city, and both her parents were remarkable for personal advantages. In 1784 M. Bernard removed to Paris, under the patronage of the Minister De Calonne, who gave him an appointment. Little Juliette, as she was then called, was sent for a short time to her aunt's, at Villefranche, and then to the convent of the Desert, at Lyons." (The Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science and Art, Vol 49: 251)
Recamier's Spouse & Children:  She married, in 1793, Jacques Recamier (d.1830), a wealthy banker 30 years older than her.  "...In 1793 she married M. Recamier, a man of wealth and of some standing in society; but in his conjugal relations he was as a father to the youthful Juliette, and nothing more. . . ." (Thomas: 90)

" . . . She may have broken a thousand hearts, but she was chaste, and even though she was married at the age of 15 to the banker Jacques-Rose Recamier of Lyons, she remained a virgin at least up till the age of 31!  At least that is what her biographer claims.

"There was a certain mystery about her marriage. Her husband was 27 years her senior. It was rumoured that he had been the lover of Juliette's mother, and Juliette was his daughter. Fearing for his life (for that was the time of Robespierre and the Reign of Terror), he made sure that his fortune would pass to his daughter by marrying her. . . ." (Tribune India)
Recamier's physical traits & personal qualities.
"Recamier was a small, delicate women with a timid, whispering voice and an appearance that was comely rather than beautiful---pert oval face, pearly teeth, incomparably radiant skin.  Her manner was at once chaste and coquettish. . . ." (Rage and Fire: A Life of Louise Colet: 102)

" . . . For a few years Madame Recamier led a secluded life, on account of the troubles and dangers incident to the times, but when she did emerge from retirement she had developed into the most beautiful woman in France, and was devoted to a life of pleasure.  Her figure was flexible and elegant, her head well-poised, her complexion brilliant, with a little rosy mouth, pearly teeth, black curling hair, and soft expressive eyes, with a carriage indicative of indolence and pride, yet with a face beaming with good-nature and sympathy." (Lord: 233)
Juliette Drouet
French courtesan

French courtesan

"A woman who has one lover is an angel, a woman who has two lovers is a monster, and a woman who has three lovers is a woman."

"Certainly, Mademoiselle possessed a wild nature; before she met Victor Hugo, Juliette had at least four lovers. She modeled for James Pradier, who thought of himself as her guardian. He would sign his letters to Juliette, 'your friend, lover, and father'. Along with advice, he gave har a child, Claire, whom Victor later grew to love as his won. Her lovers included the millionaire Prince Anatole Demidov - a smutty little man who set her up in an apartment in the Rue de L'Echiquier; Alphonse Karr, a journalist who borrowed all her money and never paid it back. Te ensure herself against poverty, Juliette made her lovers overlap. . . ." (The France of Victor Hugo)

Her lovers were:
1) Alphonse Karr (1808-1890)
French critic, journalist & novellist
3) James Pradier (1790-1852)
4) Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
Personal character:  " . . .  She was proud of her humble origins and wrote on an occasion: 'I am of the people,' as if in these three (sic) words lay the explanation behind her independence, her fiery temper, and her impulsive nature."  (Mt. Holyoke)
Liane de Pougy
Princess Ghica
Princess Ghica
French actress, courtesan and memoirist.

Daughter of: Pierre, a military officer & Spanish-born Aimee Lopez.

Her lovers were:
1) Armand Pourpe.
"In 1869, Anne Marie Chassaigne, as she then was, was raised in a convent. Her parents arranged a marriage for her but she wasn't keen and ran away with a naval officer, Armand Pourpe. They married when she became pregnant and she had a son, Marco.  According to Liane, her husband beat her and abused her sexually. She sold their only possession -- a rosewood piano -- and ran away leaving her son with her husband. He gave the boy to his parents to raise." (Sanderson)

". . . (L)ike so many others of her time she was educated in a convent, but unlike most of her peers she somehow managed to evade the nuns often enough and well enough to get pregnant at 16. She eloped with the father, a young naval officer named Armand Poupre, but predictably the marriage was both short and unhappy. . .  When Armand was transferred to Marseille, she remained behind and promptly took a lover, Marquis Charles de MacMahon; when her husband; when her husband caught them in flagrante delicto he shot at them but only succeeded in wounding her wrist. In response she sold her piano, abandoned her son and lit out for Paris on the first train she could catch, changing her name to 'Liane' upon arrival. . . . " (The Honest Courtesan)
Fichier:Charles-Marie de Mac Mahon (1856-1894).jpg
Charles MacMahon
5th Marquis de MacMahon

2) Charles-Marie MacMahon (1856-1894).
5th Marquis de MacMahon

Son of President MacMahon.

" . . . When Armand Pourpe's naval career led him to a billet in Marseilles, Anne-Marie took a lover (the Marquis Charles de MacMahon), and her husband found them in bed together and shot her. She ran awa to Paris, leaving her infant son with his father. Armand sent his son to live with the boy's grandparents in Suez." (Wikipedia)

3) Comte de Pougy.
" . . . Attracted to the night life of Paris she deserted her husband and became the mistress of the Comte de Pougy, and when their relationship ended she appropriated his surname and became Liane de Pougy. . . ."  (A Bit of History - P)

A rumoured affair with the Prince of Wales.
" . . . Bertie spotted in the audience the famous courtesan Liane de Pougy, one of the many women with whom he was rumoured (falsely) to have had an affair. . . ." (Bertie: A Life of Edward VII: 380)

A marketing masterstroke using a future King of England.
"She was launched at the Folies-Bergere by Edward VII, then Prince of Wales, to whom, though he did not know her, she sent a note saying: 'Sire, tonight, I make my debut. Deign to appear and applaud me and I am made.' He did and she was. Shortly after this, men began dying for her. She made suicide fashionable. Every Parisian who could afford it fell in love with her.  For her feet, which were lovely, she soon had emerald rings which she wore only in bed.  Her other jewels were fabulous." (Flickr quoting from Paris was Yesterday, 1925-1939: 14)

" . . . As a divorcee by age of nineteen, young Liane (then Anne-Marie Pourpe) supported herself by giving piano and English lessons. That is, until she realized life was more glamorous and lucrative as a prostitute. She snatched the public's attention when she watched the Grand Prix with the Marquis MacMahon by her side, but she solidified her career when, on her first night at the Folies Bergere, she sent a note to the visiting Prince of Wales requesting he watch her Paris debut. He did, and his approval made her an overnight sensation with the jockey Club set. Jewels, carriages, homes, and art came pouring in, and the new era of the courtesan began." (Edwardian Promenade)

" . . . Liane, although twice married, made no secret of her lesbian persuasion. Her lover, Emilienne d'Alencon, had a sugary quality that caused the journalist Jean Lorrain to liken her to a raspberry ice. To match her 'pinkness', she evolved an act that involved dyed-pink rabbits, dressed in cute little pink ruffs. . . In her Blue Notebook Pougy admits, 'Emilienne was the great object of my admiration. [...] Her looks enchanted me.' The Pougy-d'Alencon affair cause one writer to comment: 'Thanks to Liane and Emilienne the Folies Berfere has changed its name to the Floies-Lesbos. These two women are much worse than Carolina Otero who knows only two passions: gambling and young men. While Liane and Emilienne bil and coo without shame the scandal papers announce that they will soon have a child, fruit of their amours. La Belle Otero doesn't waste her time like this, considering it all such childish behaviour, substituting instead the pearls worn by Eugenie de Montijo." (Mistresses: True Stories of Seduction, Power and Ambition)
"When Liane de Pougy, one of the most celebrated Parisian courtesans, visited Florence, a famous admirer sent a carriage filled with roses to collect her. As she descended the steps, his servants threw more roses at her. 'There before me was a frightful gnome with red-rimmed eyes and no eyelashes, no hair, greenish teeth, bad breath, the manners of a mountebank and the reputation, nevertheless, for being a ladies' man. This was none other than Gabriele D'Annunzio, the poet and lothario who seduced Italy to wartime slaughter with his rhetoric, scandalised Europe with his writing and set up his own city state in a forerunner of fascism. . . ." (The Guardian)

" . . . Wondering how he could have acquired a reputation as a ladies' man, Liane de Pougy resisted his advances, climbed back into the carriage, and declined a subsequent offer to revisit the poet's villa." (The New York Review)

6) George Herbert5th Earl of Carnavon (1866-1923)

"In 1890, George Herbert, a rich English aristocrat, had a mistress: young Liane de Pougy. The pages of the jeweller's order book were filled with his sumptuous purchases . . . which are some of the most beautiful pieces acquired by this eminent archaeologist." (Boucheron)

7 April 1922: “Lord Carnarvon, the archaeologist, is dead. He was my lover when I was eighteen. It was here at Nice, at the Restaurant Français, that I first saw him. He was twenty five, I thought he was so fine, so distinguished, so thoroughbred, so chic that I adored him. Just to watch him and admire him was enough for my enthusiasm. He was introduced to me that same year at the clay-pigeon shooting at Monte Carlo. Tremendous heart fluttering, I could have died at his feet. He left the next day. What a dear little silly I was. A few months later I saw him again in London, at Covent Garden. Lady Dudley had the measles and the key of her box was for sale according to custom and I had bought it. Carnarvon walked in absent-mindedly during the interval: flutters, smiles, excuses, compliments, confessions. He was vicious, an invert so they said. He loved me all the same… and was a delicious, agonizing lover, full of charm and cruel grace. So I became the rival of Lady de Grey — Gladys. I had the upper hand. He didn’t make me very happy; he was fugitive, a traveller, always off to India, the Baltic, Scotland. I have kept a pearl in his memory, the most beautiful of all my pearls, the one valued today at a hundred thousand francs.” (Eamonn Fitzgerald)
7) Henri Meilhac (1831-1897)
French dramatist & opera librettist.
8) King of Portugal.
9) Libera Portoneri.
10) Lieutenant Conrad Friedrich.
11) Lieutenant de Brack.
12) Maurice de Rothschild.
Lover in 1899.

"In 1899, Liane met the first great love of her life, Natalie Barney. Barney was a wealthy American heiress who was gaining a reputation as a writer. The two women flouted their affair in the face of French society. It was quite a delicious scandal. Sadly, Liane was not destine to be the great love of Natalie's life. Natalie loved variety and soon found other lovers. The betrayed Liane did what any woman in her position would -- she wrote a tell all book about their affair. . . . " (The Fin de Siecle)

" . . . Natalie Barney, 'the wild girl from Cincinatti' with 'her feminine figure, golden hair, pastel coloured skin' was a writer and apoet. The courtesan Liane de Pougy, for a long time Natalie's lover, wrote with carefree abandon a whole series of novels about Sapphism and her affair with Natalie. When Liane de Pougy went to confession it was said she finished by saying: 'Father, except for murder and robbery I've done everything.'" (Dancing in the Vortex: The Story of Ida Rubenstein:107)

"Pougy also knew how to commoditise the public fascination with her love life, and in her book Idylle Saphique she casts a gossamer veil of fiction over her affair with Natalie Barney. The famed saloniste spied Pougy in the Blois de Boulogne, wrapped in ermine. Smitten, Barney presented herself en garconne as 'the page of love'. She won Pougy over, despite the courtesan's customary aversion to the mannish female. ('We liked long hair, beautiful bosoms, pouts and glances, charm, grace; not woman-boys')" (Strange Flowers)

14) Pierre de Nolhac.

Physical appearance, a sight to behold.
 " . . . Jean Lorrain, who himself preferred men, nearly married Liane de Pougy. He described her as follows: 'Taller, slenderer, more refined than ever, with that transparent complexion and those bluish circles round her great frightened doe-eyes, Liane receives her visitors today reclining on a snowdrift of white furs thrown over her famous white satin chaise longue. She wears a sumptuous dress with overfull sleeves of white brocade, the material and the lining patterned with lilies. Six rows of pearls encircle her fragile neck, one of those pretty necks destine for the executioner's ax and, amid all the furry whiteness, the glassy satin and the orient pearls, she looks like sickly, delicate Infanta." (La Belle Epoque: An Essay:130)

The most talked of Parisienne.
"Mme. Liane de Pougy is as indispensable to the Paris season as, say, Mme. Sarah Bernhardt and M. Henri Rochefort. She is the most famous of Parisian professional beauties.  Her adventures have given her a fame such as falls to the lot of few actresses. Her beauty is of a remarkable order, classic and pure in its lines. Now, unfortunately, she has met with an accident when motoring in the Bois, and will have to heep her bed for some time in consequence. Besides being endowed with great physical charms, which, in themselves, are quite sufficient to earn the attention and admiration of the Parisian public, Liane de Pougy is said to be possessed of considerable wealth, which she gained as the result of valuable information given her by friends of an approaching rise in the sugar market. Moreover, she is an authoress and has produced a book which describes, rather naively, the fascination which she exercises sometimes over her own sex.  The book is made splendid by a portrait of her own self, which forms the frontispiece.  She has a salon, also, like any grande dame, and the level of conversation is said to be intellectual as well as merely amusing. Mme. de Pougy shares with Mme. Cleo de Merode and La Belle Otero the position of being the most talked-of Parisienne." (Papers Past)

Entertained by distinguished foreigners.
"Liane de Pougy was by far the more elegant and the more intelligent of these two famous courtesans, who attracted so many people to Paris and whose names, infinitely better known than those of Pasteur and Degas, inspired the dreams of gentlemen from Caracas to Vladivostok. Liane was entertained simultaneously by distinguished foreigners, Baron Bleichroder in Berlin, Lord Carnarvon in London, Prince Strozzi in Florence, and in Paris (among others) the young Maurice de Rothschild. The brother of the king of Portugal spent fortunes on her. But she preferred women, and had a stormy relationship with a young American, Nathalie Barney. Jean Lorrain, who himself preferred men, nearly married Liane de Pougy. . . ." (La Belle Epoque: An Essay: 129)

Protectors, admirers or lovers?.
"It is difficult to differentiate her protectors and her admirers from her lovers: the son of president MacMahon, Pierre de Nolhac, Jenri Meilhac, D'Annunzio, Maurice de Rothschild or again the king of Portugal. Liane de Pougy was a friend of Mademoiselle Baker. Their fightiness, a characteristic of the actress, poetess and courtesan is legendary." (Charming Normandy Hotel)

Demimondaine, the supreme belle epoque archetype. "Although the demimonde existed well before the late nineteenth century, it was during the belle epoqu that it thrived, and that its supreme archetype, the courtesan or demimonde, achieved spectacular notoriety. Caroline Otero, Liane de Pougy, and Emilienne d'Alencon---known as Les Grandes Trois---were the most desired courtesans of the fin-de-siecle. . .  By virtue of the wealth and status of their protectors, Otero, Pougy, and Alencon became well-known celebrities. In Paris, Liane de Pougy, arguably the most famous demimondaine, was referred to affectionately as notre courtisane nationale." (Anna Sui:276)

Extravagance & magnificence.
"As well as the extravagance of their gowns, Otero and Pougy were known for the magnificence of their jewels, which the two courtesans flaunted at every opportunity. According to one story, Otero and Pougy were to dine on the same night at Maxim's, the most fashionable restaurant in Paris during the 1890s. Otero, in an attempt to outshine Pougy made her entrance wearing a decollete evening gown and her entire collection of jewels. A few minutes later Pougy, who had been warned of Otero's scheme, made her entrance wearing a simple white evening gown and a single diamond drop at her throat. She was followed, however, by her maid bearing a velvet cushion on which was piled the remained of her mistress's spectacular collection." (Anna Sui: 276)
by Liane de Pougy
Art imitating life?:    "Liane de Pougy's Idylle saphique, first published in 1901, is remembered as a 'blatantly autobriographical' roman a clef describing her affair with Natali Barney in the summer of 1899. . .  In the twenty-five chapters of Idylle saphique, the author recounts Annhine's (Liane's) affair with Flossie (Natalie), and includes a number of people and events readily recognizable to Pougy's contemporaries.  Annhine's friendshop with 'Altesse' (Valtesse de la Bigne, another wll-known courtesan who had served as the model for Zola's Nana); the courtship of Flossie (Natalie Barney), dressed as a page who brings flowers and letters; their 'date' to see Sarah Bernhardt in Hamlet (May 22, 1899), followed by a drive in the Bois de Boulogne, are all included. . . ."  (Articulations of Difference . . .:136))
Idylle saphiue parallels Liane de Pougy's love life:  " . . . The parallels with Pougy's life continue:  Annhine's current lover (Henri (Pougy's lover Henri Meilhac had in fact just died in 1897); a visit to a gay ball with Jack Dalsace (Jean Lorrain); Annhine's flight to Lisbon , where she meets Jose de Souza Mialho (Pougy rejoined her former lover, the Duke of Oporto, in Portugal in early 1900, which in reality ended the relationship with Barney); Annhine's return to France via Arcachon where she has an affair with her doctor (Pougy had an affair with Doctor Robin, the personal physician of the Rothschilds and of writers such as Zola, beginning in 1896); and her return to Paris where she has an affair with the eighteen-ear-old Maurice de Sommieres (Maurice de Rothschild, who became Pougy's interim lover in 1899), before being briefly reunited with Flossie.  The novel was published in late September of 1901, and the public ate it up."  (Articulations of Difference . . .:136-137)

Aftermath - from life as a courtesan to the convent:  " . . . Born Anne-Marie Chassaigne in 1869, already notorious as an author, stage personality adn courtesan when she met Natalie Barney, Liane de Pougy went on to become first a princess (after her marriage to the Romanian emigre Georges Ghika, twelve years her junior, in 1910), then a tertiary lay sister in a Dominican order a few years before her death in 1950. . . ."  (Articulations of Difference: Gender Studies and Writing in French:137)
Liane de Pougy's Books:
My Blue Notebooks:
The Intimate Journal of Paris's Most Beautiful and Notorious Courtesan
on Amazon
Liane de Pougy's Wise Investments:  "In 1889, a 20-year-old country girl Anne Marrie Chassaigne became famous as Liane de Pougy in a show at the "Folies Bergere".  She was considered as one of the most beautiful courtesans of her time and established a clientele of rich and famous male and female lovers who showered her with expensive gifts of jewels, carriages and summer homes in the country.  She bought Le Clos Marie in 1903.  The writer Max Jacob and the composer ReynaldoHahn are among the numerous friends she invited here, and as she moved in literary circles with famous writers like Colette, Coceau and Proust she wrote several novels and published an intimate diary entitles 'My Blue Notebooks'. . . ."  (Roscoff)

"The marriage of young George Ghika is quite as revolting in its way as that of his first cousin, the ill-fated King Alexander.  For Liane de Pougy has been for the last twenty-five years one of the queens of the demi-monde at Paris, and has, despite her extravagance, become exceedingly rich, having a fine mansion in Paris and a chateau and large estate in Britany, near Roscoff, where she has gone to spend her honeymoon."  (Chicago Tribune)
Marc-Marie-Edmond-Armand Pourpe
Liane de Pougy's son
Spouses & Children:  She married 1) Armand Pourpre; 2) in 1920, Prince Georges Ghica. 

Marc Pourpe (1887-1914) was a French aviation pioneer and stunt flyer.  His mother was the courtesan Liane de Pougy, and his father a naval officer.  His mother had run off with young Armand Pourpe when she was only 16, and they only married once she became pregnant.  Pourpe's parents' marriage was not a happy one.  His mother, then known as Anne-Marie Pourpe, later claimed in her memoirs that her new husband took her violently on their wedding night, an event which left her emotionally scarred. . . ."  (Wikipedia)

"At 41, she married a Roumanian Prince named Georges Ghyka and they both came frequently to their residence in Roscoff which she abandoned in 1826 after having decided to retire from her former scandalous life.  She joined the Order of Saint Dominic in 1943.  Sister Anne-Marie-Madeleine of Repentance died in 1950."  (Roscoff)

" . . .On June 8, 1910, she married the Romanian prince and poet Georges Ghica, and retired from the stage.  In 1916 she was abandoned by her much younger husband. . . ."  (Memim Encyclopedia)
Marguerite Alibert
@History Collection
French courtesan

1. Edward VIII's Murderous Mistress.
2. Marguerite Alibert : the bordello orphan 
who became a princess...then a killer.

Marguerite's personal & family background.
"'A Parisian in mind, in taste, to the fingertips,' her real name was Marie Marguerite Alibert, but she would become known to the Paris demi-monde as 'Maggie Meller' and (in later strivings of respectability) 'Mme Laurent', Mme Fahmy', even 'the Princess Fahmy bey'. Her date of birth became a movable feast (sometimes 1892 or 1895), but the official record establishes incontrovertibly that she was born just before midday on 9 December 1890. . . The baby, known to her family as Marguerite, was the eldest surviving child of Firmin Alibert, cocher de fiacre [cab driver], and his wife Marie Aurand, femme de menage [charwoman]." (The Prince, the Princess and the Perfect Murder)

Marguerite's physical appearance & personal qualities
" . . . Her prime asset was her body. Although not a chocolate-box beauty, she was petite, with a shapely figure, expressive greenish-grey eyes, a pretty mole on her left cheek, and a large sensuous mouth. At this time, she wore her striking auburn hair in long tresses, 'falling to my knees'." (The Prince, the Princess and the Perfect Murder)

Her lovers were:
Achille Fould.jpg
Achille Fould
1)  Achille Fould (1800-1867).
French financier & politician

2) Ali Bey Kamal Fahmy.
Lover in 1922.
mar 1922

Personal & family background.
"Ali Kamel Fahmy Bey, a twenty-two year old press attache at the French :legation in Cairo, was one of Egypt's richest men, having inherited much of his father's wealth on his sixteenth birthday. He was the only son of a rich deceased engineer who had 'made his fortune through irrigation schemes and deals in cotton'. Raw cotton was Egypt's key export crop at this time, and the Fahmy wealth had carried on expanding after the father's death in 1907, for the industry did very well out of the Great War. Ali Fahmy had been made a 'Bey,' an honorary title similar to 'Lord', for his donations to charity; he was not a 'prince,' although the British press often referred to him as such. . . ." (Modern Woman on Trial: 132-133)

First encounter: " . . . He had first glimpsed Marguerite Marie Laurent, a divorcee ten years his senior, in Egypt in December 1921, where she was accompanying a rich businessman. He was very taken with this striking, elegant Frenchwoman. He caught sight of her again in Paris on several more occasions, and finally managed an introduction in July 1922. They travelled round 'the wealthy watering holes of Europe, where they had spent lavishly', namely Deauville, Biarritz, and Paris. He returned to Egypt, but enticed her out there on the fraudulent pretext that he was critically ill and could not live without her. They married in a civil ceremony in December of that year, and in an Islamic ceremony the following January. (Modern Woman on Trial: 132)

3) Andre Meller.
Lover in 19071914.

"It was in 1907 that Andre Meller first came into Marguerite's life. Meller was a married man of 40 with, as Marguerite ruefully recalled, a roving eye for women. He was tall, good-looking and slim. Meller was also rich, the son of a successful Bordeaux wine negociant, who supplied claret to the Vatican. Marguerite may have been introduced to Meller by the friend of a friend. Or she may have encountered him in the street, outside the famous earl motor showroom, Neubauer, where he had just bought a Renault. Or she may simply have been picked up by him one night at the Folies. . . Marguerite cultivated her affair with Meller, who set her up, as a 'kept woman', in an apartment in the rue Pergolese. . . Over the course of a seven-year affair, Meller took her duck-shooting (shooting at his villa in Arcachon on the coast, west of Bordeaux), and on trips abroad, including to Morocco and Venice. Although there was talk of annulment, Meller does not seem seriously to have contemplated marrying Marguerite, who none the less styled herself 'Mme Meller', although tout Paris was getting to know her simply as 'Maggie Meller'."  (The Prince, the Princess and the Perfect Murder)

4) Edward of Great Britain, Prince of Wales.
Lover in 1917-1919.

First encounter n 1916: "Edward and Maggie's story begins in Paris in 1917. The First World War was still raging and Edward was stationed in France. Disappointed that he wasn't allowed to fight, he sought solace in parties and pleasure and met Maggie, a high-class prostitute who had worked her way up to a position of power with a number of influential clients. 'Initially, Edward thought she might be the love of his life," says Andrew, whose book The Prince, The Princess And The Perfect Murder was published by Coronet last week. Edward was later stationed in Italy, and he and Maggie would write to one another. These letters could have been his downfall. By March 1918, Edward had begun an affair with Mrs Dudley Ward and his relationship with Maggie cooled. Maggie briefly attempted to blackmail him, sending him a letter asking for money. But to his relief, the blackmail stopped. For five years, Edward became the darling of the British Empire. But Maggie's second marriage, to an Egyptian playboy, panicked the Prince of Wales and the Palace. Arrested and put in Holloway Prison, the Royal household realised that Marguerite Alibert was Edward's former lover." (Express)

"The last member of the British royal family known to have availed himself of the services of the demimonde was Bertie's grandson, the Prince of Wales, who would later become the ill-fated King Edward VIII. Edward, known as David within the riyal family, was a rather shy and timid man, and a late starter secually. while he was serving with the army in France during World War 1, the twenty-two-year-old prince finally scored in 1916, thanks to the efforts of two members of his staff. They engineered a meeting between the prince and a French prostitute---reminiscent of his grandfather's initiation in the pleasures of the flesh with Nellie Clifden at the Curragh army camp fifty-five years earlier. David clearly enjoyed the experience, because he set out to find a courtesan to make his own. The woman who fitted the bill was known as Maggie Meller. She was actually Marguerite Alibert, a prostitute who had been schooled in the skills of the courtesan while working in a high-class brothel in Paris. She plied her trade among the British army officers who spent their leave from the front lines in the French capital. Fate brought the prince and Marguerite together in April 1917, at the Hotel de Crillon in Paris, where they had gone for lunch. The moment he saw her, he was instantly smitten with her. When he had to return to England to perform royal duties, he couldn't wait to get back to France to see her. Unwisely, he wrote scores of very frank letters to her. As the war drew to a close, his military and royal duties took him elsewhere for long periods nad his feelings for Marguerite cooled." (Scarlet Women: 183)

" . . . Prince Edward saw Alibert for the first time in Paris, 1917, when he was 22. . . She was a little older than him and she evidently taught him a lot about sexual technique. . . Alibert . . . saw the young Prince as a prime business opportunity. The affair lasted about 18 months during the latter part of the First World War -- with the Prince paying visits whenever he was in Paris -- before fizzling out. But Marguerite kept the letters of Edward had written her." (Telegraph)

"Prince Edward famously abdicated his crown over his love for American divorcee Wallis Simpson. But two decades earlier, he was an inexperienced young man, stationed behind the lines during World War I, socializing with the aristocracy of Europe while fellow soldiers were being shelled in the tranches. Marguerite Alibert was a beautiful but tough Parisian who had fought her way up from the street gamine to the highest-ranking courtesan in Paris. She entertained some of the richest and most powerful men in the world. When Prince Edward was introduced to her, he was instantly smitten. After their tumultuous love affair ended, Edward thought he was free of her, but he was wrong. Several years later, Marguerite murdered her husband, a wealthy Egyptian playboy, in London. When she stood trial, Edward was at risk of exposure. . . ." (King County Library System)

5) Major Ernest Bald.
Duke of Westmisnter's ADC & close friend.
Lover in 1916.
" . . . That year [1916] also brought the Duke of Westminster to Paris and Deauville. Recovering from illness contracted during his Egyptian service and already estranged from his first wife, Bendor was ripe for diversion. Marguerite, already a favourite of Captain Ernest Bald (Bendor's ADC and close friend), entertained Westminster before his return to England in the latter part of 1916. It was Marguerite's association with the fabulously rich 'Bendor', and his exclusive social circle, that would secure for her the greatest prize of all, the patronage of the Prince of Wales." (The Prince, the Princess and the Perfect Murder)

7) Mehmet Cherif.
"Cherif cut a striking figure with his enormous bushy (and very Turkish) moustache. He was famous for his love of Paris (his 'parisianisme'), as well as a flamboyant lifestyle and 'stable' of Rolls-Royce cars. He was the brother-in-law of the Grand Vizier of Turkey and was married to a member of the Egyptian royal family. A former Turkish Ambassador to Sweden and reformer, he had at first supported the 'Young Turks', the nationalist group which overthrew the Sultan in 1908, but disliked their extremism and soon left their ranks to found the Turkish Liberal party." (The Prince, the Princess and the Perfect Murder)
Marie Duplessis

French courtesan and mistress.

Daughter of Jean-Martin (called Marin) Plessis & Marie-Louise-Michelle Deshayes.

"Alphonsine's father was a country peddler, the son of a drunken village prostitute (nicknamed "The Hag") and a seminarian, Louis Descours (d. 1815), who became a government-approved priest during the French Revolution. Marin was fairly handsome, a tall, slender, vigorous man with a bad reputation, for he was sly, impulsive, malicious, violent, and an alcoholic. In time, the peasants called him "Satan" and accused him of sorcery." (Encyclopedias, Almanacs, Transcripts and Maps)

Wife ofCount Edouard de Perregaux, mar 1846

Lovers of all ages.
"Edouard did not make a complete break with Marie, but she returned to dispensing her charms elsewhere.  Lovers of all ages were continually arriving at the rue d'Antin.  They included Edoaurd Delessert (a son of the Prefect of Police who would later become a man of letters and a great traveller, his mother Valentine was for many years the mistress of Prosper Merimee), the Baron de Plancy, Roger de Beauvoir the well-known boulevardier and dandy, and Montjoyeux, as well as men who had already enjoyed her favours, such as Montguyon.  One of her most notable lovers was Henri de Contades, who was descended from an eighteenth-century marshal of France, Erasme de Contades. . . . " (Rounding: 43)

Personal and family background.
Marie Duplessis was...the younger daughter of a travelling pedlar called Marin Plessis and his wife, Marie, nee Deshayes, who had married below herself and disastrously. . . ." (Rounding: 31)

"Her real name was Alphonsine Plessis, and she was born in 1824 to Marin Plessis and Marie Deshayes.  Marin was a scoundrel and a wastrel; Marie was descended through her mother from the minor aristocracy of Normandy.  Marin abandoned his wife after giving her two daughters, and Alphonsine was brought up in great poverty. . . . "  (Payne: 241)
Marie Duplessis
@ Pinterest
Physical appearance & personal qualities.
"She was tall, slender, fresh as a spring flower; the beauty of her body was perhaps lacking in that fullness so appreciated by the Turks, in that richness of shapely curves without which there is no perfection... But she was deliciously pretty.  Her long, thick, black hair was magnificent, and she arranged it with inimitable skill.  Her oval face with its regular features, slightly pale and melancholy when calm and in repose, would suddenly come to life at the sound of a friendly voice... She had the head of a child.  Her mouth, sweet and sensual, was ornamented with dazzlingly white teeth."  (A History of Human Beauty: 126)

A graceful restraint with a powerful sexuality.
"Testimonies are unanimous regarding her extraordinary attractiveness. She was tall for that time (5′5¾″), in figure svelte, if possibly too thin, and graceful to the last degree. Her skin was a fashionable translucent white. Her face was a perfect oval; her mouth very small; lips thin but still sensual; teeth regular and brilliantly white; hair velvety, variously described as dark chestnut or black, hanging in long ringlets to her shoulders (à l'anglais). Her most striking feature was her eyes: large, deep, very dark, with long lashes and full dark eyebrows, expressive, shining, devouring, sad, mysterious, altogether magnetic. As she matured, her persona joined a graceful restraint with a powerful sexuality, a melding which left men mesmerized." (Encyclopedias, Almanacs, Transcripts and Maps)

"Marie Duplessis was a beautiful young woman, with a petite figure and an enchanting smile. . . ." (scandalouswoman,blogspot).  

Maintaining a 'virgin look'.
"For all her excesses, she still managed to look like a startled virgin. The actress Judith Bernat described Marie in her memoirs as “Very slim, almost thin, but wonderfully delicate and graceful, her face was an angelic oval and her dark eyes had a caressing melancholy, her complexion was dazzling. She had an incomparable charm.When Judith asked Marie why she sold herself, Marie replied that the labor of a working girl would never have afforded her the luxuries for which she had an irresistible craving." (scandalouswoman,blogspot)

Exceptionally beautiful.
"By general consent, Marie Duplessis was exceptionally beautiful. According to her passport, she was five feet six tall, with auburn hair, brown eyes, well-shaped nose, round chin and an oval face.  Dumas, in the 1867 Preface to the play, was less prosaic: 'She was tall, very slim, with black hair and a pink and white face.  Her head was small, and she had long, lustrous, Japanese eyes, very quick and alert, lips as red as cherries, and the most beautiful teeth in the world.'. . . ."  (Dumas: x)

Not an ordinary beauty.
". . . She was about fourteen when she came to Paris. . .  Already her beauty was beginning to be talked about.  It was not an ordinary beauty; there was something disquieting about it.  She had enormous eyes, which were almond-shaped and unusually brilliant, a long classical nose, lips that curved up at the edges, and a pointed chin, which in any other woman would have seemed both too pointed and too powerful.  Her skin was white and pink, and seemed translucent.  She had a small waist, a swanlike (sic) neck, and she wore her hair in long ringlets that fell below her shoulders, framing her face. She looked more like a princess than a country girl from Normandy, and there was about her an extraordinary air of distinction, so that she gave the impression of having just stepped away from some magical place of her own to walk through the streets of Paris. (Payne: 241)

Beginning of career as a "kept woman".
"In September 1839, a happenstance—a rainstorm—changed her life. She and two girlfriends decided to go to the festival at Saint-Cloud one Sunday. The day turned out rainy, so they hung around the shops at the Palais-Royal and finally sat down in a restaurant. The owner, nameless to history and variously described as a widower in his 40s or 60s and fit or fat, struck up a conversation and finally offered to meet them the following Sunday to take them to Saint-Cloud. The day came and the outing went happily. The man began to see them weekly, but it became clear it really was Alphonsine who interested him. One day in November after another outing, he asked her to go with him to inspect an apartment he had leased on the rue de l'Arcade. She was impressed by the place and then shocked when he said it was hers. A place of one's own was every grisette's dream. To seal the offer, he gave her 3,000 francs for expenses. (This was a huge sum; chambermaids and laborers earned about 350 francs per year.) So she crossed the line and became, when not quite 16, a kept woman, her entryway into a career as a courtesan at the pinnacle of 'Tout Paris.'" (Encyclopedias, Almanacs, Transcripts and Maps)

Marie Duplessis's lovers were:
Agenor de Gramont
10th Duc de Gramont
Lover in 1842-1843.

First encounter.
"The restaurateur could not keep up the pace for long. He prudently withdrew, it is said. Or perhaps he lost out to a competitor. An oft-repeated story says that while they were at the Prado ballroom one evening, she caught the eye of Count de Guiche and in short order became his mistress. Others say she had one or more lovers before de Guiche took over. In the nature of things, it is all but impossible to reconstruct a secure succession of lovers for a courtesan. It is clear enough, however, that the relationship with de Guiche was by far the most important in establishing her in fashionable society." (Encyclopedias, Almanacs, Transcripts and Maps)

" . . . When she became the mistress of a high-profile aristocrat, the Duke de Guiche, Plessis learned to read and write, acquired an impressive library, assumed a life of luxury, and changed her name to Marie Duplessis. By this time, the 16-year-old femme galante traveled in a sumptuous carriage, dressed in splendor, and frequently sported a white camellia---the symbol that immortalized her in Dumas's drama." (Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work, Vol 1: 141)

Lover in 1844-1845.

"She first met the man who would make her immortal when they both 18 in 1842. He was unsuccessful while she was infamous. Alexandre Dumas fils was the illegitimate son of the famous writer and a laundress. He was struggling to become a writer in his own right out of the long shadow of his famous parent. They met again two years later in 1844 when they were both 20 at the salon of Madame Prat, a hatmaker who lived near Marie. Their affair lasted one year as Dumas struggled to keep up with his more worldly lover. He spent what little funds he had, and when he ran out, he tried his luck at the Baccarat tables. He borrowed money, and was insanely jealous not only of the Russian but of the other lovers that Marie had kept on." (scandalouswoman.blogspot)

3) Auguste-Charles-Godard d'AucourBaron de Plancy 
"Marie Duplessis soon discovered that several of Paris's most prominent playboys frequented Baden-Baden at the start of the summer season. At least two of the residents of the Europascher Hof belonged to her circle in Paris. They were the Plancy brothers, Vicomte and Baron de Plancy, the latter a close friend of Montguyon and one of her alleged lovers. The Plancys had been staying at the Europascher Hof since July, unaccompanied, it seems, by their mistresses. At least no women are listed as staying with them but that does not mean that there were none. . . ." (The Real Traviata: the Song of Marie Duplessis: 97)

4) Edouard Delessert (1828-1898)

French painter, photographer & traveller.

"...Lovers of all ages were continually arriving at the rue d'Antin.  They included Edouard Delessert ( a son of the Prefect of Police who would later become a man of letters and a great traveller, his mother Valentine was for many years the mistress of Prosper Merimee)...."  (Grandes Horizontales: 43][Bio2:Merimee]

5) Edouard de Perregaux.
Lover 1842-1843
French aristocrat & military officer.

" . . . Comte Edouard de Perregaux (was) a wealthy army officer, born in 1817, who sacrificed much of his fortune to Marie between 1842 and 1844. He continued to give her money and married her in 1846. He was near her when she died.  He made the funeral arrangements, requested the exhumation and identified the body. . . ."  (Dumas: 212)

"Marie [Duplessis] subsequently moved to a more comfortable apartment in the rue d'Antin, acquired for her by a new lover, Count Edoaurd de Perregaux. Edouard's grandfather was Jean Frederic de Perregaux, a financier who was made a senator by Napoleon Bonaparte and who became the first regent of the Bank of France. His son, Charles Bernardin, was made a count during the Empire. Edoaurd had fought in Africa . . . and had acquitted himself very well. Afterwards, however, his conduct deteriorated. He contracted debts, which increased on his return to France. On the death of his father, he found himself with a very large fortune at his disposal. . . He first encountered Marie at a masked ball at the Opera House. . . Edoaurd and Marie were intrigued by one another, and Edoaurd rapidly dropped another courtesan, in order to take up with her." (Rounding: 41)

" . . . Another of her lovers was the witty Comte Edouard de Perregaux, who had been a member of the French Cavalry in Algeria.  He had inherited a fortune which he proceeded to spend entirely on Marie." (scandalouswoman.blogspot)

". . . As for the Comte Edouard de Perregaux, the hopelessly besotted young man on whom Dumas based Marguerite’s grand amour, Armand Duval, he provided an arguably even more precious gift: on Feb. 21, 1846, he married her, thus making her a countess." (NYT)

" . . . (S)he married the Count Edouard de Perregaux in 1846 (but) the two did not live together, and she continued her hectic lifestyle despite declining health. . . ." (Ditmore: 141)
Felix, Furst von Lichnowsky
7) Felix, Furst von Lichnowsky (1814-1848).
Graf von Wedenberg.
Lover in 1844.

"It may have been during one of the two Liszt nights of April 1844 that she was approached by someone whom she had met during her first stay in Baden-Baden in 1842, Liszt's friend, the rich and flamboyant Felix, Furst von Lichnowsky (1814-1848), adventurer, duellist, mercenary, and mover of music. Vienne almost certainly disguised his identity under the alias of 'Prince Paul'. At the time of his meting with Marie Duplessis Lichnowsky occupied a luxury suite in the exclusive Hotel Meurice in the rue de Rivoli, the favorite resident of aristocrats and stars and a hop from her apartment in the Madeleine. He had earlier watched her in Baden-Baden and now made his move. It was probably he who presented her with a superb piano bought from Pleyel's, on the corner of the rue Drouit and the boulevard de Montmartre, with the Jockey Club occupying the upper floors of its prestigious premises. As she had just recently changed homes, he may have bought her the Pleyel as a house-warming gift. As the piano moved into 11 boulevard de la Madeleine in April 1844, not long after the mistress of the house, so probably did Lichnowsky into Marie Duplessis's bed. Did he also deliver the great pianist to her house? Her friend Romain Vienne thought so: 'Very close to Liszt, the illustrious pianist, he brought him twice to her apartment where he had him play and try out the piano, after giving a lesson to Marie.' But Vienne may inadvertently be conflating her affairs with Liszt and Lichnowsky because Jules Janin, who was present when Liszt first met Marie Duplessis, places their first encounter a year and a half later than this. Marie Duplesssis's presumed new friend Lichnowsky would achieve posthumous fame in Georg Weerth's satirical novel about him, Leben und Thaten des beruhmten Ritters Schnapphahnski, a parody both of Lichnowsky and the entire shiftless aristocracy of the time. He was restless as he was rich, and shortly after their original trysting he carried Marie Duplessis off to Baden-Baden. He is duly recorded in the Badeblatt on 10 May 1844 as 'Linovsky (the French spelling of Lichnowsky) from Brussels' because he had probably travelled from there by way of Spa. In Baden-Baden he stayed in the Hotel d'Angleterre. No mention is made of anyone else with him, but it is likely that he was accompanied by Marie Duplessis and perhaps her faithful maid Clotilde. He was still in Baden-Baden on 29 May 1844 but had left by 1 June." (The Real Traviata: The Song of Marie Duplessis: 160)

8) Fernand de Montguyon (1808-1876)

a.k.a. born Louis-Felix-Fernand; Comte de Montguyon.

Son ofCharles-Gustave, Hardouin de Montguyon (d.1847), Baron of the Empire 1809 & Anne-Esther-Augustine Mazaucourt (d.1859).

9) Franz Liszt.
Lover in 1845.

"Other lovers followed.  Franz Liszt fell in love with her briefly and toyed with the idea of accompanying her on a journey to the Orient. . . ." (Payne: 244)

"Unfortunately for Perregaux, Marie wanted his title only to enhance her status with Liszt, who, although (or perhaps because) he was a chambermaid’s son, eagerly sought exalted company and connections. And unfortunately for Marie, Liszt declined her offer to accompany him on the 18-month performing tour he had begun shortly before her wedding. (“I shan’t bother you,” she pleaded. “I sleep all day . . . and at night you can do with me what you will.”) Marie reacted to the composer’s rejection by throwing herself into a frenzy of boozy, nonstop merrymaking that directly anticipated Marguerite’s and Violetta’s feverish joie de vivre. Less than a year later, she was dead. Laid low by tuberculosis, the courtesan-turned-countess left behind a trove of luxury items that were sold off to pay her many creditors. Still, her coachman reported, “at the end she drank nothing but Champagne.'" (NYT)

10) Gustav Ernst von Stackelberg (1766-1850)
Lover in 1844-1845
Swedish aristocrat.

Son of Otto Magnus von Stackelberg.

"In 1844, when Marie was 20, she was kept solely by the elderly Count de Stackelberg, whom she met while at the baths in Bagneres.  He had been the Russian ambassador to Vienna, was married and wealthy.  He told Marie that she reminded him of his daughter who had died young. . . ." (scandalouswoman.blogspot)

"Subsequent lovers further advanced her metamorphosis. The Estonian Count Gustav von Stackel­berg, over 50 years Duplessis’ senior, spent lavishly to enhance 'the style and surroundings of his teenage mistress.' . . . ." (NYT)

"By 1844, Marie's protector was the eighty-year-old Comte de Stackelberg, a Russian diplomat, who, it is believed had been struck by the uncanny resemblance she bore to his dead daughter.  He set her up in style in an apartment at 11 Boulevard de la Madeleine where she was to live until her death. He paid the rent and engaged a cook, a maid and a coachman. Marie was not faithful to him---Dumas claimed that Stackelberg's interest in her was purely sexual---and she was frequently seen in the theatres and the gaming rooms where she won or lost with indifference. . . ." (Dumas: x)

11) Henri, Marquis de Contades.

12) Nollet.

Restaurant owner.

"...Then one Sunday in summer...Alphonsine and two other apprentices, Hortense and Ernestine, had planned a the royal chateau of Saint Cloud. As usual they were hungry...and decided to eat in a modest restaurant... There they were approached by the owner of the restaurant, a Monsieur Nollet... Events progressed rapidly.  Within a month Monsieur Nollet had installed Alphonsine in a small apartment in the rue de l'Arcade and given her three thousand francs...for her initial needs." (Rounding: 35)

13) Pierre de Castellane.

14) Roger de Beauvoir.

15) Valery.
" . . . Nollet retired form the scene, having realised he could not keep up with Alphonsine's expenditure, upon which she had a brief liaison with a young man called Valery and several others beside. . . ." (Rounding: 6)

16) Viscount de Meril.

Lover in 1840-1841.

"In June 1840 Marie had take up with the young Viscount de Meril who was the first to introduce her to the delights of Spa, the internationally fashionable watering place near Liege in Belgium. . . The affair with de Meril, who was attached to the Ministry of the Interior, lasted for more than a year and resulted in Marie giving birth to a son, in Versailles, in May 1841. The child was placed by Meril with a nurse in the provinces, but later died of pneumonia. . . ." (Rounding: 38)
Marie Rinteau de Verrieres

Marie Rinteau de Verrieres
French courtesan.

Daughter ofClaude-Louis Rinteau & Marie-Anne Dupuy.

"Living in a house owned by the marshal de Saxe and having his child did not prevent Marie de Verrieres from enjoying a variety of love affairs, including one with a married tax collector named Louis Lalive d'Epinay. When Marie disguised herself in men's clothing to meet him in front of the opera, they were arrested and narrowly escaped imprisonment---only because d'Epinay's father held sufficient sway to get them released from custody. . . ." (George Sand: 12)

Her lovers were:
Charles-Godefroy de La Tour d'Auvergne.jpg
Duc de Bouillon
Natural offspring:
a. Charles-Godefroy, l'Abbe de Beaumont (1750-1823)
 " . . . From her affair with Charles Godefroy de La Tour d'Auvergne, Duke of Bouillon, Marie Rinteau gave birth a son on 31 October 1750 at Paris, called Charles-Godefroy-Marie de Beaumont. Marie-Aurore was always under the sole care of her mother, but not for long. . . ." (Wikipedia)
Charles-Pierre Colardeau, by Guillaume Voiriot.jpg
Charles-Pierre Colardeau

Natural offspring:
a. Marie-Louise de Salnac (1761-?)

Marie Rinteau, who with her affair with Maurice de Saxe gained certain notoriety, continued her sentimental conquests. Jean-François Marmontel and the fermier général, Denis Joseph Lalive d'Épinay, where among her lovers. The latter spent continuously on her, and installed both demoiselles de Verrières in the Quartier d'Auteuil after the death of Maurice de Saxe on 30 November 1750 at the Château de Chambord. . . ." (Wikipedia)
French poet.

"The young dramatic poet, Marmontel, who was then in Paris, occasionally gave lessons in declamation to theatrical aspirants. Mlle' Verrieres obtained an introduction to him, and under his fostering care made great progress. Now comes the curious part of the story. Marmontel did not enjoy the reputation of a Joseph. Some time before this he had entered into a liaison with a cast-off favorite of the marshal's, an actress named Mlle. Navarre. The Comte de Saxe, who had not yet intended to abandon Marie Rinteau, soon heard that she was in the habit of paying daily visits to Marmontel. He at once concluded that she had deserted him for the enterprising young poet, and fell into a paroxysm of rage. He stopped payment of the annual sum he had previously allowed her, took a solemn oath never to set eyes on her again, and hastened towards Paris, breathing vengeance against her supposed seducer." (The Living Age, Volume 185: 758)

Natural offspring:
a. Marie-Aurore von Sachsen (1748-1821)

" . . . In the year 1748, Marshal Saxe had taken under his protection a singer in the opera called Marie Rinteau, her stage name being Mlle. Verrieres. She was a very young girl of extraordinary loveliness, delicacy and grace. In the autumn of 1748 she gave birth to a daughter who was christened Aurora. The marshal seems to have broken off his intimacy with her for some time after this event. Believing that she was actually abandoned, Marie devised a curious plan to bring back her errant lover. The marshal was then travelling in Germany. 'Suppose, ' thought she, 'that on his return he were to find the simple and timid chorus-singer grown into a brilliant actress, able not only to inflame by her beauty, but to enthrall by her talents; would not this have the effect of bringing back the wanderer to her feet?' She at once put her scheme into execution." (The Living Age, Volume 185: 758)

Claude-Louis Rinteau, a lemonade merchant, and his wife, Marie-Anne Dupuy are the parents of two daughters: Marie and Geneviève. Desiring to ensure a brilliant career to his children, but above all to ensure his own success, Claude-Louis Rinteau uses Maurice de Saxe, Marshal of France, known for his military victories, but also for his agitated love life. A great lover of theatre, he ordered that during his campaigns a group of actors followed him to support the morale of his troops. Claude-Louis Rinteau knew that the prettiest actresses are used by the pleasure of Marshal de Saxe and without scruples, he offered him his two daughters during the year 1747. Claude-Louis Rinteau in return obtained his appointment as military storekeeper, who proved to be a big source of profits. But his greed had a cost for Maurice of Saxony, who was accused of embezzlement and misappropriation[6] and thanks of his position he could escape from prosecution, but justice must find culprits. Therefore, look towards his subordinates, Claude-Louis was put in prison.While the "bon père de famille" meditated his fate in a dungeon in Brussels, Marie (aged 17), and Geneviève (aged 13), entered into the world of entertainment at the Theatre of the Army. They adopt a stage name from which both sisters will be known in history: Mesdemoiselles de VerrièresMaurice de Saxe first sets his eyes on the very young Geneviève, but this was a short-lived affair. The oldest sister, Marie, a remarkable beauty and vivid spirit, could seduced the old soldier. She soon became in his mistress and was installed in Le Marais near the Rue du Parc-Royal at Paris. From the affair, a daughter was born on 20 September 1748. She was baptized a month after her birth, on 19 October in the Church of St-Gervais-et-St-Protais. The child was registered as a daughter of certain Jean-Baptiste La Rivière, in fact a non-existent person, and was named after her paternal grandmother, Maria Aurora von Königsmarck. Her godfather was the adjutant of the Marshal of Saxe, Antoine-Alexandre Colbert, marquis de Sourdis, and the godmother was her aunt Geneviève. The Marshal de Saxe did not show any interest in the fate of his illegitimate daughter and bequeathed her nothing, just like the other children that he leaves behind. . . ." (Wikipedia)
Marion Delorme
French courtesan.

"Accurate information about Marion de Lorme is less available than the abundant tories that have transpired over the centuries.  She was born ca. 1613 to Jean de Lou, Lord de Lorme, and Marie Chastelain near the village of Champaubert in the Champagne-Ardennes region in northeast France.  Details about her youth are scarce, although she seems to have been introduced to the salons and circles of elite French society as a young woman.  Her own literary salon was apparently a vibrant and successful meeting place.  Among her many lovers, sources list Jacques Valle; the renowned Cinq-Mars (the marquis Henri Coeffier Ruze d'Effiat), who is the subject of Alfred de Vigny's 1826 novel Cinq-Mars; St. Evremond; and Conde; and she is said to have known Cardinal Richelieu.  Her death or disappearance is the cause of much speculation and the source of numerous rumors and legends.  Her year of death is frequently noted as 1650 but some sources claim that she ended her days in secrecy to escape arrest."  (Encyclopedia of Prostitution and Sex Work, Volume 1: 131)

"There is no authentic account of the circumstances which led Marion de l'Orme to follow an immogral life. It is believed, however, that her first lover was James Vallee, Sieur des Barreaux, a councilor of the Parliament of Paris. Her best-known amour is thata with the Marquis de Cinq-Mars, the favourite of Louis XIII who was executed with his friend De Thou, in 1642, for conspiring to effect the overthrow of Cardinal de Richelieu. The cardinal is also stated to have been Marion's lover; and Guy Patin, in a letter dated Nov. 3, 1649, formally asserted that she was the cardinal's mistress, and 'in high favour.' Tallemant des Reaux, however, declares that her connection with Richelieu was but a passing affair: he sent her a present, whereupon she went to see him, disguised as a page. According to the same authority, she originally had a very beautiful figure, but her face was marred by the redness of her nose. To cure this defect she was wont to sit for hours at a time with her feet in warm water. Tallemant also asserts that she would never take money from her lovers, who recompensed her favours by presenting her generally with silver plate, and sometimes with jewelry." (Mémoirs of the Count de Grammont, Volume 2: 279)

7 or 8 lovers she truly loved.

"Towards the close of her life she declared that of all her lovers there were but seven or eight for whom she had really had really had any liking. There were Des Barreaux and Cinq-Mars, already mentioned; Francis, Marquis de Rouville (brother-in-law of Bussy-Rabutin), who on her account fought a duel with the Count de La Ferte-Senterre; Peter Arnauld, general commander of the carabineers and governor of Dijon; Gaspard de Coligny, Marshal de Chatillon (grandson of the admiral); and Louis de Cosse-Brissac, son of the duke of that name. Whenever she was at a loss for a wealthy protector, says Tallemant, she ws wont to fall back upon M. de Chevry, the son of Charles Durect de Chevry, comptroller-general of the finances. Her last protector of any note appears to have been Michael Particelli, Sieur d'Esmery, superintendent of the finances, who was very corpulent, but Marion declared that she liked him on account of her amorous qualities. He presented her with numerous gifts, among which was a very valuable necklace, which in her last days she was constrained to sell in order to raise money. A financier, who purchased it, at first intended to present it to her again, but finally decided that her favours were not worth the sacrifice." Mémoirs of the Count de Grammont, Volume 2: 279)

Her lovers were:
"Women like Marion Delorme who were sexually attractive and active never lost their fascination for Saint-Evremond... Although both Marion Delorme and la comtesse d'Olonne began life with a social standing far above Ninon's, Marion Delorme, by the last years of her life, was held in general contempt as no more than a high-paid prostitute...."  (Saint-Evremond and His Friends: 110)

"The amorous adventures of Marion Delorme, who likewise divided her attentions between paying lovers and those she found too attractive to resist, became legendary.  Saint-Evremond celebrates her beauty and lasciviousness in an 'Ode sur la mort de Maion Delorme,' a poem in which Benedetto Croce discovers a warmth of feeling and life that rarely appear in Saint-Evremond's usually mediocre poetry. . . ."  (Saint-Evremond and His Friends: 109)

French royal favourite and courtier.

" . . . Marion Delorme (1611-50), a woman of brilliant wit and freat beauty, was loved by many men but loved only Cinq-Mars. . . ." (The Man in the Iron Mask: 608)

"Since the king, after Mlle. de Lafayette had sought the cloister, was once more holding long conversations, by no means welcome to the Cardinal, with Mlle. de Hautefort, Richelieu, who was aware that masculine friendships appealed more strongly to the king, brought to the Court the young Marquis de Cinq-Mars, the son of his dead friend, the Marechal d'Effiat.  He attained his end only too surely; never yet had anyone so pleased the king; the Hautefort at once fell out of favour.  The amiable, handsome young man, though not yet twenty years of age, was appointed to one of the highest positions at Court; he was made grand master of the horse.  But the Court was a wearisome place, and Cinq-Mars liked to amuse himself; he rose late, instead of going to hunting with the king in the early morning; he loved women; he pleased Marion Delorme and the lovely Princess Marie Gonzaga, and the king was jealous of women.  There were quarrels and reconciliations between this curious pair of friends or lovers; they plighted their mutual troth in writing, declaring that they would remain good friends.  The king's favour, which meant so much in those days, intoxicated the young man.  He saw himself a duke or constable, like Luynes, and thought that he would then be able to marry the princess. . . ."  (Richelieu: A Study: 233)

French poet.

8) Monsieur d'Emery.
Superintendent of the Finances.
"Marion de l'Orme, born at Chalons, in Champagne, was esteemed the most beautiful woman of her times.  It is believed that she was secretly married to the unfortunate Monsieur Cinqmars.  After his death, she became the mistress of Cardinal Richelieu, and, at last, of Monsieur d'Emery, superintendent of the finances."  (Memoirs of the Court of Charles the Second:375)
Marion Delorme
Marion's Personal & Family Background:  Marion was the daughter of Jean de Lon, Sieur de l'Orme, President of the Treasury of France, and Marie Chastelain.
Marion Delorme
Marion's Love Life:  "She was born in Paris, where her beauty and wit gathered a group of high-born lovers around her---among them the 1st Duke of Buckingham and Charles, Seigneur de Saint-Evremond.  Even Cardinal Richelieu was not insensible to her charms, and caused her to be separated from the Marquis de Cinq-Mars, whose mistress she was until he was executed in 1642. . . ."  (Houghton Mifflin Co: 421)
Rachel Felix
French courtesan & royal mistress.

Daughter ofJacob Felix, an Alsatian Jew & Esther Haya, a shoe peddler.

"Like many stars, Rachel was famous for her private life as well as for her professional achievements. She always remained close to her family, and involved them in her career—her brother and her father each worked as her manager at different times, and she supported the acting careers of her sisters. She was also faithful to her origins. She resisted the many attempts to convert her to Christianity and spoke proudly of her family’s humble background. Never married, she had love affairs with some of the most important men in mid-nineteenth-century France. They included the Prince de Joinville (1818–1900, son of King Louis-Philippe), Count Alexandre-Colonne Walewski (1810–?, illegitimate son of Napoleon I by the Polish countess Marie Walewska), future emperor Louis Napoleon, his cousin Prince Napoleon (1822–1891), the poet Alfred de Musset (1810–1857), and the journalist Emile de Girardin (1802–1881). She bore two illegitimate children and, though faithful to Judaism herself, had them both baptized. Her son Alexandre-Antoine-Colonne Walewski (1844–1898) was recognized by the father whose name he carried and had a brilliant career as a diplomat. Gabriel-Victor Félix (1848–1889), Rachel’s son by the general Arthur Bertrand (1811–1878), served in the navy and died in Brazzaville, Congo, where he was serving as French consul." (Jewish Women's Archive Encyclopedia)

Her lovers were:
Alexandre Walewski
Lover in 1844-1845.
Polish-French politician & diplomat.

Son of Napoleon I of the French & Marie Walewska.

Husband of:
1. Lady Catherine Montagu (1808-1833), mar 1831, daughter of George Montagu, 6th Earl of Sandwich & Lady Louis Lowry-Corry
2. Maria Anna di Ricci (1823-1912), mar 1846, daughter of Conte Zanobi di Ricci & Princess Isabella Poniatowski.

Natural offspring:
a. Alexandre-Antoine-Jean Colonna-Walewski (1844-1898)
Alexandre Colonna-Walewski
Rachel's first & last lover.
"Though the duke of Reichstadt left no heirs, the blood of Napoleon Bonaparte is not extinct. Of his representatives in our generation, the best known was the late Count Walewski, born May 4, 1810, of a Polish mother. The count was the first and last lover of Rachel Felix, perhaps the greatest actress of all times, who bore him a son, but whom the count's pride did not permit him to marry. When he had reached the height of fortune under his cousin's rule he married a very clever Italian who was in high favor at the imperial court. She seems, moreover, to have been a sensible and generous woman, for she permitted her husband to recognize his son by Rachel, and to procure for him the title of count. The young man is---or was likely--- in the French diplomatic service." (Lippincott's Monthly Magazine, Vol 25: 249)

"Joinville was barely gone . . . when, in January 1843, Rachel became the mistress of the amant en titre of another actress, Mlle Anais of the Comedie-Francaise. Alexandre-Florian-Joseph Colonna, Count Walewski, fell heavily in love with her; and it pleased Rachel to be adored by the son of Napoleon. . . ." (Tragic Muse: 152)

"Count Walewski, the first of Napoleon's son, had four children by his two marriages, and is still represented by legitimate posterity. In 1844, moreover, after the death of his first wife (Catherine Montagu sandwich), and before his marriage with Anna Alexandrina Ricci of Florence, who, we believe, is still alive, he became the father of a son by Elizabeth Rachel Felix---famous as Tachel the tragedienne---. This son he formally recognized as his offspring in accordance with the provisions of French law, in such wise that the child became legally entitled to the names of Antoine Jean Colonna Walewski. M. Antoine Jean entered the French consular service, rose to a high position in it, and survived until 1898. Thirty years previously he had married Mlle. Jeanne Claire Sala, of Paris, by whom he had a son and a daughter. The former, Captain Andre Alexandre Maurice Colonna Walewski, of the French artillery, married Mlled. de Molinos in 1901. We do not know whether they have offspring, but the Captain himself is indisputably the great-grandson of Napoleon I." (The Court of the Tuileries, 1852-1870: 179)

Alfred de Musset
Lover in 1840

3) Ancelin.

"The adolescent Rachel seems to have taken her first lover during her years at the Theatre Moliere. He was an actor who called himself Ancelin, who lent her parents money. That affair was sordid but the man, committing to believing in Rachel's genius, was discreet. . . ."  (Tragic Muse: Rachel of the Comedie-Francaise: 151)

Lover in 1840-1848

"More significant was her relationship with Arthur Bertrand, who had been born on St Helena in 1817, and as a young child had been a favourite of Napoleon in his latter years. Arthur returned to St Helena with his father to get Napoleon's body in 1840. His mother had died a few years earlier.  "Agate describes Arthur thus:  the gambler broken at twenty-two, with a baby face which could blush as easily as a girl's and the habit of borrowing from his mistresses the money to pay his debts.  "At the age of 17 Arthur had begun a relationship with the comedienne Pauline-Virginie Déjazet, who was 36. His mother Fanny approved of this relationship, and had sent her another of those locks of Napoleon's hair! This affair appears to have lasted until he met Rachel in 1840. Arthur's relationship with Rachel lasted after a fashion for eight years. They had a son Gabriel Victor Felix who was born in 1848. Unlike Count Walewski. (Tyrrell, 2010)

4) Emile de Girardin (1802-1881)
Lover in 1846.

5) Emmanuel Arago.
Lover in 1850.
French ambassador
Lover in 1842

" . . . Rachel's first public, indeed publicized, liaison did not take place until 1842, after the affair of the letters. The man she chose made for a pert rejoinder to those who bemoaned her 'fall': Francois de Bourbon-Orleans, Prince de Joivill, the third of Louis-Philippe's five sons and the hero of the expedition to Saint Helena and Napoleon's Second Funeral. Arsene Houssaye's story of how the two met is no doubt apocryphal: the prince is supposed to have sent his card backstage with the scrawled message, 'Quand? Ou? Combien?' to which Rachel responded in kind, 'Ce soir. Chez moi. Pour rien.' With those telegraphic 'love letter' were probably the work of another actress more overtly on the market and another, more sophisticated prince, or even of a single fabulist, the story has struck to the legend of Rachel because of the two significant points it makes: that Rachel had the wit to match even a rude proposition, and that she didn't want money in exchange for sexual favors. . . ." (Tragic Muse)

" . . . Joinville was a prince ot be enjoyed for the pleasure of it: charming, handsome, and twenty-three, he was a prowler of theatrical corridors who had a private hideaway on the rue Montpensier where he could entertain her. They were a hig-spirite couple, even on paper: she writes to her 'old dog,' he of his 'good old Rachel.' The solemn tragedienne is nowhere in evidence when, during Joinville's absence, she fondly reminds her lover of her claims on his 'tail,' demanding that he return to her: 'since you're willing to wag your tail in my honor, move your four paws as well and get to Paris.' After the young prince made a politically correct marriage she continued to keep his statue on display in her living room. Among her papers she kept the affectionate last letter in which he had taken leave of her: in the margin she wrote dramatically, 'Poor Joinville! You take with you my first, my last love, I will live, I will love, never again.' For his part, Joinville recalled her fondly in old age (he lived until 1900)." (Tragic Muse)

"She also had relationships with two members of the Belle Poule expedition that brought Napoleon's body back to France in 1840. First was the leader of the expedition, the Prince of Joinville (1818-1900), son of Louis Philippe, who sent Rachel a visiting card...." (Tyrrell, 2010)

7) Francois Posard.
Lover in 1850
French poet.

8) Louis-Desiree Veron.
Director of Paris Opera.

9) Louis-Raphael Bischoffsheim.
Lover in 1845.

10) Michele Levy.

10) Napoleon III of the French.
11) Napoleon Bonaparte, Prince Napoleon. (1822-1891)

Prince Napoleon 1852
3rd Prince de Montfort
1st Comte de Meudon
Conte de Moncalieri
Rosalie Léon (1832-1886). In 1846, Rosalie left her husband to join an acting troupe in Paris. While First Dancer at the Folies Bergère, she met a rich Russian, Prince Peter Wittgenstein. They moved to Russia but she longed for her seaside town. He built her the Beau-Rest manor along the Élorn and Kerléon manor. They established the Sisters of Wisdom orphanage and gave 25,000 gold francs for a new church in Relecq-Kerhuon. She died of consumption and the heartbroken prince died a year later.
Rosalie Leon

Rosalie Leon
French courtesan.
"Rosalie Léon (1832-1886). In 1846, Rosalie left her husband to join an acting troupe in Paris. While First Dancer at the Folies Bergère, she met a rich Russian, Prince Peter Wittgenstein. They moved to Russia but she longed for her seaside town. He built her the Beau-Rest manor along the Élorn and Kerléon manor. They established the Sisters of Wisdom orphanage and gave 25,000 gold francs for a new church in Relecq-Kerhuon. She died of consumption and the heartbroken prince died a year later." (Pinterest)

Her lover was:

"She was hired as a dancer in the French Cancan troupe, which had phenomenal success since a certain Monsieur Offenbach orchestrated this review. As she had impeccable plastic, and she danced admirably well, she ended up being named First Dancer. All that the capital had of bourgeois, notables and even wealthy foreigners crowded every evening at the Theater of Paris. And precisely, that evening there was in the audience a very honorable character: his Highness Prince Pierre de Wittgenstein, ambassador of Tsar Alexander II and cousin of Nicolas 1st. And yes there was already at that time a very important Nicolas but he was not the same as ours! When the prince saw Rosalie, he fell madly in love on the spot. At the end of the show, he went to find her in her dressing room. He offered to come over for dinner with him in town. A carriage awaited them at the door of the theater. And they went to dinner in the most prestigious restaurant in Paris, it was probably at the restaurant Tour d'Argent. And since that day they haven't left each other. And for Rosalie, a new life began, a princely life. They visited all the capitals. They even went to Saint Petersburg where it was officially presented to His Highness Alexander II, Tsar of all Russia. But Rosalie had in her heart the nostalgia of her native Brittany and she confided to the Prince that she would like to see this little corner where she had spent part of her childhood, near Relecq-Kerhuon. This one, madly in love, hastened to charter a steamer with a crew, in order to reach by sea this place that she loved so much. When they arrived in the Elorn, this river which borders the favorite region of Rosalie, the Prince in turn fell in love with this magnificent landscape. . . ." (The Legend of Rosalie Leon of the Orphan Who Became Princess)
Valtesse de La Bigne

French actress, writer & courtesan.

"The subject of this portrait is Mme Valtesse de La Bigne. She was born in Paris in 1848, under the less salubrious name of Lucia Emilia Delabigne. With her father an alcoholic and her mother a prostitute, she launched her career as an actress. Her first stage appearance was as Hebe in Orpheus of the Underworld by Jacques Offenbach. She also became a noted courtesan in French society. In this portrait Gervex portrays her at the height of her beauty. As well as taking aristocratic lovers who included Prince Lubomirski, Valtesse enjoyed contact with artistic circles of the day, becoming Gervex’s mistress for several years. Other liaisons were with Manet, Gustave Courbet, Eugène Boudin, Edward Detaille and Alphonse de Neuville—leading one wit to nickname her L’union des peintres. She also met Emile Zola and proved an inspiration for his novel Nana, first published in serial form in Le Voltaire in October 1879." (Masterpieces from Paris)

"The humiliation of 1870–71 prompted a search for scapegoats. In his Rougon-Macquart cycle of 20 novels, Émile Zola set out to dissect the sick tissues of the Second Empire. He found the perfect symbol of decay in the heartless and insatiable courtesan, Nana. The story of this precocious beauty, who used sexual charisma to rise from the streets, to the stage, to the conquest of wealthy male admirers, was a publishing sensation, selling 55,000 copies overnight when it appeared in 1878. Obsessed with documentary authenticity, Zola undertook substantial research into the demi-monde, and modelled Nana on famed courtesans such as Cora Pearl and Blanche D’Antigny. But according to Catherine Hewitt, another crucial inspiration came from the comtesse Valtesse de la Bigne, who despite appearances was the daughter of a linen maid from Normandy. A prostitute at a young age, she was a model for Corot and an actress for Offenbach; after taking the composer as a lover, she went on to win the attentions of prince Lubomirski and the prince de Sagan, acquiring in turn a title, a fortune, a palatial apartment, and a formidable reputation." (Apollo Magazine)

Her lovers were:
1. Alphonse de Neuville.

2. Edward Detaille.

3. Eugene Boudin.

4. Gustave Courbet.

5. Henri Gervex.

6. Manet. 

7. Napoleon III of the French.

"Few of the women who flit across Pretty Women's pages are remembered in history books. An exception is La Valtesse de la Bigne, born Louis Delabigne, who became the lover of Emperor Napoleon III and influenced his diplomatic decisions. Her regal beauty and wit put her on a par with the hetaerae, courtesans of ancient Greece---the author opines---despite the fact that by 1883 she was 'suspiciously near forty.' Blessed with sky-blue eyes and cascading auburn hair, Louise had made her start as an artist's model whose bevy of famous lovers, including Manet and Courbet, earned her the nickname Paiinter's Union. She ventually married an indulgent Turkish banker and established herself in a palace filled with priceless artifacts, including a giant bed of gilded bronze. La Valtesse kept to her artistic roots by hosting a literary salon every Monday night, which was frequented by male admirers including Flaubert, Guy de Maupassant, and the Goncourt brothers. The meticulous author Emile Zola also attended while researching his famous novel about a courtesan, Nana, whom many believe to be based oin La Valtesse. Zola's depiction is the moralistic counterpart to Pretty Women. Nana is beautiful but vacuous and self-absorbed, and the unwitting agent of a new social revolution. Like some 'diseased insect,' she rises from the gutters of Paris to wreak vengeance on the aristocracy, infecting men's bodies, destroying their spirits, and leeching their wealth, before she slides back into the cesspit in which she was born.  La Valtesse was at first offended---Zola used details from her house, even her bed, as the model for Nana's---but was reportedly bemused by his focus on the character's brute sexual appeal to men.  'As if a woman so stupid could succeed in this life,' she scoffed.  'To triumph, one must establish relationships at a higher level.'"  (The Sinners' Grand Tour: A Journey Through the Historical Underbelly of Europe: 65)

8. Prince Lubomirski.
"It worked. By her mid-20s, Valtesse had moved on from Offenbach and landed her most illustrious lover yet, Prince Lubomirski of Poland. The prince was rich, and his reputation as a womanizer made him a favorite of the Parisian gossip columnists. For Valtesse, who was always looking for ways to raise her public profile, mentions of her name alongside royalty were invaluable. When she moved into a chic new residence, the tabloids speculated that Lubomirski had paid for it. But when the prince stopped being useful — he had, during the course of their time together, squandered his entire fortune on Valtesse — she dropped him.(New York Post)
Helie de Talleyrand-Perigord
9. Helie de Talleyrand-Perigord, Duc de Sagan (1859-1937)

10. Jacques Offenbach.
"She left her two young daughters in the custody of their grandmother and used the Bouffes-Parisiens as a stepping-stone to her dominance of the demimonde. Valtesse seduced the theater’s 50-year-old founder, a maestro named Jacques Offenbach, and became his trophy mistress, which gave her access to his world of banquets, galas and travel. As the quality of her clients improved, so did Valtesse’s lifestyle — including her wardrobe. Her background at the dress shop had given her expensive taste, and she demanded that her lovers shower her with gowns, jewels, hats, art and even housewares, so that every aspect of her appearance fit in with the image she wanted to project to the world." (New York Post)