Alexander Palace Forum

Discussions about Russian History => Their World and Culture => Topic started by: James_Davidov on February 10, 2007, 05:06:30 PM

Title: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: James_Davidov on February 10, 2007, 05:06:30 PM
The Marchesa Luisa Casati was a legend of her time, she was one of the greatest hostesses in Europe and would find fame and infamy as a muse for some of the finest artists of the day.  Word of mouth did not do her extravagance credit, nor did the eccentricity of this woman.  Luisa was a egocentric who found that in the role of ‘muse’ she could have an eternal presence in art, her popularity as a subject form lay with her successful attempts to distinguish her very own life as a forrm of art.

She was a Milanese heiress, born in 1881 and dying in 1957.  She would contribute much of her drive for glamour and extravagance to the stories of Europe’s courts, which her mother would relay to her, filling her head with icons such as ‘Sissi and ‘Eugenie of France’.

Here is a summery from wikipedia (I know…but I had a big night last night!)

International Italian society figure, beauty, and eccentric, she was born in Milan, Lombardy, the younger daughter of Conte Alberto Amman, and his Austrian wife Lucia Bressi. She was married (1900) to the Marchese Camillo Casati Stampa di Soncino (1877 - 1946).
A famous celebrity and femme fatale, the marchesa's famous eccentricities dominated and delighted European society for nearly three decades. She captivated artists and literati figures such as Gabriele D'Annunzio, Augustus John, Erté, Jean Cocteau, Cecil Beaton, and Jack Kerouac. The character of Isabella Inghirami from d'Annunzio's Forse che si forse che no (1910) was said to have been inspired by her, as well as the character of La Casinelle, who appeared in two novels by Michel Georges-Michel, Dans la fete de Venise (1922) and Nouvelle Riviera (1924).
Casati collected a menagerie of exotic animals, and fashion designers vied for her patronage. Later, when she had lost her immense wealth, the marchesa retired to England, spending her last years in London, where she died at the age of seventy-six. She was portrayed on the stage by Vivien Leigh in La Contessa (1965) and by Ingrid Bergman in the movie A Matter of Time (1976).
The beautiful and extravagant hostess to the Ballets Russes was something of a legend among her contemporaries. She astonished Venetian society by parading with a pair of leashed cheetahs and wearing live snakes as jewellery. Her numerous portraits were painted and sculpted by artists as various as Giovanni Boldini, Paolo Troubetzkoy, Romaine Brooks, Kees van Dongen, Man Ray and Augustus John; many of them she paid for, as a wish to "commission her own immortality".
She lived in the unfinished pink marble palace, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, Venice, (now the home of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection) around 1910 and 1924.
She was muse to F. T. Marinetti, Fortunato Depero, Umberto Boccioni and, more recently, to Dita Von Teese. John Galliano based the 1998 Spring/Summer Christian Dior collection on her. Gowns from this collection have been displayed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Fashion Institute.
As the concept of dandy was expanded in the twentieth century to include women, the marchesa Casati fitted the utmost female example by saying: "I want to be a living work of art".
[edit] Debt and flight
By 1930, Casati had amassed a personal debt of twenty-five million dollars. Unable to satisfy her creditors, her personal possessions were auctioned off. Rumour has it that among the bidders was Coco Chanel.
Luisa fled to London, where she lived in comparative poverty. She was rumoured to be seen rummaging in bins searching for feathers to decorate her hair. She died on 1 June 1957, and was interred in Brompton Cemetery. The quote "Age cannot wither her, nor custom stale her infinite variety" from Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra was inscribed on her tombstone.

Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: scarlett_riviera on March 08, 2007, 05:54:07 AM
omg luisa casati is FIERCE. imagine wearing real live snakes as a necklace! adore her.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: CountessKate on March 11, 2007, 12:07:37 PM
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/marchesacasatijohn.jpg)

I've always liked this portrait of Casati by Augustus John - I saw it many years ago at an exhibition of his paintings and thought it was the best thing there.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: CountessKate on March 11, 2007, 12:12:34 PM
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/La_Marchesa_Luisa_Casati1908.jpg)

I also like the Boldini portrait, though of course it's a fairly standard swagger Edwardian painting, with Boldini pretending to be daring and unconventional.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: scarlett_riviera on March 12, 2007, 02:43:27 AM
I love that second portrait! I saw it on a site sometime ago and fell in love with it. I also love her less-daring portrait from 1905: http://www.style.com/slideshows/standalone/beauty/icon/100604ICON/01f.jpg (http://www.style.com/slideshows/standalone/beauty/icon/100604ICON/01f.jpg)
She's very beautiful there. Does she have any living descendants?
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: CountessKate on March 12, 2007, 02:50:18 PM
The Marchesa had one daughter, Cristina Casati Stampa di Soncino (1901-1955), who had a daughter by her first husband, Francis Hastings, Earl of Huntingdon - Lady Moorea Hastings who I gather is still alive.  Lady Moorea married firstly Woodrow Wyatt, the diarist, and has a son, Pericles Wyatt, while by her second husband, Brinsley Graham Black, she has another son, Octavious Black.  Neither sons have any children to date.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: scarlett_riviera on March 13, 2007, 02:32:02 AM
Thanks for the info! I hope they're family line won't die out. :\
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 11, 2007, 09:22:05 PM
There has been interest expressed on various threads (and in PMs) about a place to discuss some of the fascinating women of the nobility in various countries. So for anyone who'd like to discuss, here's the thread.  :)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Speedycat on May 11, 2007, 09:52:13 PM
Thanks grandduchessella for starting this thread ;D.There are two in particular that I am interested in:

I would love to chat and get information and photos of Lady Randolph Churchill (nee Jenny Jerome) and Viscountess Curzon (nee Mary Victoria Lieter).  They were contemporaries and friends, both being American heiresses who married into the English aristocracy.

I've researched Lady Curzon a bit and her husband seems rather an odd one.  Quite obsessed with having that all-important son and heir.  It seems Lady Curzon died rather young (age 36) after a miscarriage and surgeries/treaments for fertility.  She did have 3 daughters, so I suppose she was sufficiently "fertile", just did not have a son.  Oddly enough Lord Curzon's second wife, Grace, also underwent fertility treatments in an attempt to have a son (they had one daughter).  The failure to produce a son is sighted as the cause of their seperation, although they never divorced.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 11, 2007, 10:43:14 PM
In the Windsors, under Friends and Confidantes, there's some on Jennie's sister Leonie Leslie which includes some photos of Jennie.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 11, 2007, 10:50:28 PM
Some photos:

Grace Curzon

(http://www.jssgallery.org/Paintings/Grace_Curzon_mug.jpg)

Daisy Leiter, later Countess of Suffolk

(http://www.jssgallery.org/Paintings/Miss_Daisy_Leiter.jpg)

Mary Leiter by von Lenbach

(http://www.npg.si.edu/img2/wharton/trancur.gif)

Mary Leiter:

(http://cache.eb.com/eb/image?id=21657&rendTypeId=4)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 11, 2007, 11:00:53 PM
Mary Leiter was the daughter of Levi Leiter, a dry goods millionaire who co-founded Leiter & Field, now known as Marshall Field's department store, and also served briefly as president of the fledgling Art Institute of Chicago. Her portrait was painted when she was a debutante and aspiring to be socially prominent. Leiter and her mother sat for Alexander Cabanel on a trip to Paris in 1887, and Mary's portrait was exhibited at the Salon the following year, where it attracted favorable attention. She was known for her beauty and sophisticated demeanor, two of her most praised social assets, which are clearly reflected in her portrait. Shortly after her successful society debut in Washington D.C.— closely followed by the exhibition of her portrait—Leiter's mother was anxious for her to marry, and after several disappointing trips to Europe, the Leiters traveled to England where Mary won the heart of George Nathaniel Curzon, later Marquess of Kedleston, in 1890. They married in 1895, and Mary Curzon became the vicereine of India from 1899 to 1905, the highest political position held by an American woman of the time.

Mary by Cabanel

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/e/e5/Mary_Victoria_Leiter_1887_Cabanel-C.jpg)
Mary in 1904

(http://www.univ-paris13.fr/DEPCA/DEPCA-2003-04/SourcesGraphsLite0304/1904LadyCurzon2.jpg)

They had three daughters: Mary Irene (who inherited her father's Barony of Ravensdale and was created a life peer in her own right), Cynthia (first wife of Sir Oswald Mosley), and Alexandra Naldera (wife of Edward "Fruity" Metcalfe, the best friend of Edward VIII; best known as Baba Metcalfe, she later became a mistress of her brother-in-law Oswald Mosley, as did her stepmother, Grace). [There's some on this in the Mitfords thread in the Windsors]

Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 11, 2007, 11:01:18 PM
Here's what a review of The Viceroy's Daughters says:

"The story begins with their father. In the post-Victorian era, Viceroy to India was one of the choicer appointments Mother England had to offer, and Lord Curzon's title helped his cause when he courted Mary Leiter, the much-pursued American Marshall Field's heiress eager to jump the pond. Between her deep pockets and his blue blood, their story had all the makings of an epic romance…but it wouldn't last long. Mary died only a few years after their marriage, leaving young daughters Irene, Cynthia, and Alexandra in the care of their inattentive father. Instead of spending time with his family in the wake of his wife's death, Lord Curzon was busy carousing around the chintz-draped bedrooms of many a country estate. (In a rare moment of indelicacy, de Courcy will later suggest Curzon's daughters inherited their vigorous libidos from their lusty papa.)

By the time the Curzon sisters were presented into society in their late teens, each had an inheritance worth millions of pounds. Needless to say, every aging dowager in aristocratic England had their eye on a Curzon girl as a possible bride for their son. Cynthia, known as "Cimmie," married first, to Lord Oswald Mosley. She quickly became the quintessential political wife, campaigning for her husband and presiding over a nearly nightly round of entertaining. Despite Mosley's flagrant philandering, Cimmie loyally did whatever she could to improve his career, even when his political leanings took a turn from Labor to deeply anti-Semitic Fascism.

Alexandra, or "Baba," was the youngest, and in her coming out year she quickly became the star of London's debutante season with its endless dances, balls, and parties, attracting many enthusiastic suitors within the Prince of Wales' playboy set. Partying with this international crowd, which included Lord Mountbatten and a young Winston Churchill, Baba caught the eye of (unfortunately nicknamed) Fruity Metcalf, the Prince's well-meaning if rather dull aide-de-camp. Baba loved the idea of marrying a penniless man against her father's wishes. Although she knew they were ill matched, she married him anyway just to spite the grouchy old Viceroy. Poor Fruity --- boring, loyal and mostly uncomplaining --- tolerated Baba's extramarital promiscuity for the whole of their long, tortured marriage. Baba even carried on a protracted affair with her sister's husband, Lord Mosley, until he threw her over for the dangerous and Nazi-connected Diana Mitford. (Big sis Irene also had a crack at Lord Mosley; they had a drunken one-night romp that must not have proven memorable as neither of them pursued the liaison further.)

Irene rapidly emerges as the heroine of THE VICEROY'S DAUGHTERS. Irene fought for --- and won --- her financial independence from her dictatorial father, and built a jet-setting life for herself with the trendy Melton Mowbray hunting set, complete with her own country estate and a stable full of thoroughbreds. While most women her age worried about finding the right husband, Irene embarked on a long string of affairs with her aristocratic playmates. Throughout her life Irene turned down every single marriage proposal volleyed her way (I lost count somewhere after 10), and she reserved her affections for married men who couldn't run her life like her father had.

THE VICEROY'S DAUGHTERS also draws upon decades of previously unpublished letters and diaries that give rare personal insight into the very public drama that led to King Edwards' abdication to marry the twice-divorced "woman he loved." Baba's correspondence with Mrs. Simpson reveals that Wallis was a naïve woman, unable to grasp the enormity of what she'd signed on for. Many of the anecdotes de Courcy includes about Edward --- now reduced to a mere Duke --- present him as excessively self-absorbed. For an epic example of this selfishness, de Courcy includes an account that occurred during the war. Hearing news of a German advance, the Duke abandoned his French chateau in the middle of the night, leaving his best friend behind. He didn't even pause to secure safe passage for the still-slumbering Fruity."
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 11, 2007, 11:17:48 PM
Mary was a striking six feet tall presence with a slim buxom figure. She had large grey eyes set in a pleasing oval face, glossy chestnut-brown hair drawn back into a loose knot at the nape of her neck, and small pretty hands and feet.

The Curzons arrived in India in Dec 1898. The Indian poet, Ram Sharma referred to her in his welcome address to Lord Curzon of Kedleston, as:

"A rose of roses bright
A vision of embodied light."
Another declared her to be:

"Like a diamond set in gold
the full moon in a clear autumnal sky."

In 1902 Lord Curzon organized the Delhi Durbar to celebrate the coronation of King Edward VII, "the grandest pageant in history", which created a tremendous sensation. At the state ball Mary wore an extravagant coronation gown, by the House of Worth of Paris, known as the peacock dress, stitched of gold cloth embroidered with peacock feathers with an emerald in each eye and many precious and semi-precious stones sewn into the fabric. The skirt was trimmed with white roses and the bodice with lace. She glittered with diamonds, pearls and precious stones: a huge diamond necklace and a large broach of diamonds and pearls. She wore a tiara crown with a pearl tipping each of it's high diamond points. As she walked through the hall the croud was breathless. This dress is now on display at the Curzon estate, Kedleston Hall.

Lady Curzon designed the exquisetly rich and beautiful coronation robe of Queen Alexandra of England, from gold fabric woven and embroidered in the same factory in Chandni Chauk Delhi where she ordered all the material for her own state gowns. The factory owner said that she had the rarest taste of any woman he knew, and that she was the best dressed woman in the world--an opinion shared by other good judges.

Lady curzon was tutored in Urdu by the Mohyal patriarch Bakhshi Ram Dass Chhibber.

Progressive medical reforms were initiated by English women in India under the leadership of the Marchioness of Dufferin and Lady Curzon by supplying women doctors and hospitals for women. There is a Lady Curzon Hospital in Bangalore.

Lady Curzon was never able to give Curzon the son and heir he desperately desired. Her demanding social responsibilities, tropical climate, a prolonged near fatal infection following miscarriage, and fertility-related surgery eroded her health. Convalescent trips to England failed to heal her. When they returned to England after Curzon's resignation in August 1905, her health was failing. She died July 18, 1906 at home in Carlton House Terrace #1, Westminster, London, 36 years old.

[info courtesy of wikipedia]

The Peacock Dress

(http://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/historicproperties/images/057378.jpg)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 11, 2007, 11:24:40 PM
Grace Curzon by Sargent [1925, this was Sargent's last oil portrait]

(http://www.jssgallery.org/Paintings/Grace_Elvina.jpg)

Daughter of J. Monroe Hinds, United States Minister to Brazil, Grace Elvina was married firstly to Alfred Duggan of Buenos Aires. Widowed by Duggan, she then married secondly on 2 January 1917 to George Nathaniel Curzon, 1st Marquess Curzon of Kedleston (1859 -1925).  Grace was the authoress of a book of Reminiscences.   

Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 11, 2007, 11:34:33 PM
Jennie Jerome Churchill

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/62/Jennie_Jerome.jpg)

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/f/f2/JennieJeromeSmall.jpeg)

Amongst her paramours were (reputedly) Edward VII (when Prince of Wales) and King Milan of Serbia.

She married Randolph Churchill then, 5 years after his death,  George Cornwallis-West (brother of Princess Daisy of Pless). Her 2nd husband was only 2 weeks older than her son Winston. During this time she achieved notoriety by chartering a hospital ship to care for those wounded in the Boer War. It was during this marriage, in 1908, that she wrote The Reminiscences of Lady Randolph Churchill. They separated in 1912 and were divorced in April 1914. Jennie then married a third time, on June 1, 1918, to Montague Phippen Porch (1877–1964), a member of the British Civil Service in Nigeria and some three years Winston's junior. At the end of World War I Porch resigned from the colonial service; in 1921 he returned to Africa, in search of a fortune.

During her first marriage, regardless of her affairs, her loyalty was always to Lord Randolph. She supported his causes, and wielded considerable power behind the scenes, even to the degree of writing many of his speeches. Her second and third marriages seemed to have never held that loyalty which she showed for him.

While her husband was in Africa, Jennie, aged 67, fell downstairs while visiting friends in Somerset, breaking her ankle. Gangrene set in, and her left leg was amputated. She died suddenly at home in London, after a haemorrhage of an artery in the thigh, in 1921. She was buried in the Churchill family plot at St Martin's Church, Bladon, Oxfordshire, near her first husband and sons.

[information courtesy of wikipedia]

Lady Randolph was a close friend of Marie, Duchess of Edinburgh and Coburg (born Grand Duchess Marie of Russia) and they had a long correspondence.

Some books:

Lady Randolph Spencer Churchill. The Reminiscences of Lady Randolph Churchill, 1908 (Autobiography)
Anita Leslie. Lady Randolph Churchill: The Story of Jennie Jerome, 1968 [Anita Leslie was the great-niece of Jennie]
Ralph G. Martin. Jennie: The Life of Lady Randolph Churchill - The Romantic Years, 1854-1895 (Prentice-Hall, Ninth printing, 1969)
Ralph G. Martin. Jennie: The Life of Lady Randolph Churchill - Volume II, The Dramatic Years, 1895-1921 (Prentice-Hall, 1971) ISBN 0-13-509760-6

There was also a miniseries in the 1970s entitled Jennie.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 11, 2007, 11:36:36 PM
Jennie

(http://worldroots.com/brigitte/gifs18/jenniejerome1854.jpg)

Jennie with John & Winston in 1889

(http://worldroots.com/brigitte/gifs18/johnspencerchurch1880.jpg)

A great beauty and social figure, Lady Randolph was a dominating if distant presence in Winston's childhood. In his own account of his early life, he compares her to a "fairy princess" and the Evening Star, and admits, "I loved her dearly--but at a distance."
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 11, 2007, 11:40:19 PM
Jennie with son John during the Boer War

(http://worldroots.com/brigitte/gifs18/johnspencerchurch1880-2.jpg)

John on his wedding day to Lady Gwendoline Bertie

(http://worldroots.com/brigitte/gifs18/johnspencerchurch1880-3.jpg)

Jennie's great-grandson, Winston Churchill (son of Winston's son Randolph & Pamela Digby) named a daughter Jennie.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 11, 2007, 11:46:18 PM
Randolph & Jennie

(http://www.overhalla.kommune.no/skoler/obus/dok/obus7/Churchill/chur1AA.JPG)

(http://www.loc.gov/exhibits/churchill/interactive/_html/_items/wc0007_1.jpg)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 11, 2007, 11:50:12 PM
At the famous Devonshire House Ball in 1897

(http://lafayette.150m.com/pcds/1467e.jpg)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Speedycat on May 12, 2007, 08:40:46 AM
What a wealth of information!  Thanks so much for sharing.  I have read the last two Jenny books you mention:
Ralph G. Martin. Jennie: The Life of Lady Randolph Churchill - The Romantic Years, 1854-1895 (Prentice-Hall, Ninth printing, 1969)
Ralph G. Martin. Jennie: The Life of Lady Randolph Churchill - Volume II, The Dramatic Years, 1895-1921 (Prentice-Hall, 1971) ISBN 0-13-509760-6
As a teenager I checked them out of the local library over and over again.  In those days, before computer book check out, I had to sign my name to the card kept in the back of the book.  I am sure my name is listed there about 25 times!  My grandmother was called Jennie (and myself Jenny) and I was convinced we were both named for Jenny Jerome.  My grandmother's given name was Giovanna which she shortened to Jenny when her family came to the US, so my theory of an aristocratic connection was squshed :'(

My favorite photo of Jenny is the one with all the diamond stars in her hair.  My grandmother had a collection of rinestone stars that she would wear in her hair to New Year's Eve Parties in the 1920's and 30's.

A quick question: Daisy Leiter...........is she Mary's sister?  I know sometimes ambitious American mother's would try to marry-off several daughters into the  British aristocracy.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: gogm on May 12, 2007, 02:08:33 PM
Here are some of Lady Curzon:

(http://inlinethumb47.webshots.com/4334/2545750140094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2545750140094285158wwArhd)

(http://inlinethumb40.webshots.com/4135/2339606260094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2339606260094285158gEoOfF)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 12, 2007, 04:57:11 PM
Yes, Daisy was Mary's sister. She paid her sister a visit in India and fell in love with an aide-de-camp to Curzon, Henry, the future 19th Earl of Suffolk and 12th Earl of Berkshire. They married in 1904. Another sister, Nancy, also married a British officer, Colin Campbell in 1904.

Daisy:

(http://www.old-picture.com/american-history-1900-1930s/thumbnails/Countess-Suffolk-th.jpg)


gogm--Thanks for the picture of the Peacock Dress and a better version of the von Lenbach.  :)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 12, 2007, 05:02:19 PM
Some more about Daisy (Marguerite):

The daughter of successful Chicago businessman Levi Zeigler Leiter, Marguerite fell in love with an English officer, whom she met while visiting her sister in India. Henry Molyneux Paget Howard (1877-1917) later became 19th Earl of Suffolk and 12th Earl of Berkshire. They were married in Washington DC on Boxing Day (December 26th) of 1904. They had three children, Charles, Cecil and Greville. They traveled extensively particularly to India, and went on safaris in Africa. The tall, beautiful Countess was adventurous and loved fast cars and the newly invented airplane. The Earl was killed in action in Mesopotamia in World War I. 

Marguerite’s father, Levi Zeigler Leiter, was a rich and vindictive man, who was angry that Daisy did not visit him often enough. Upon his death, he stipulated in his will that if she wanted her inheritance, which amounted to $48 million dollars, she would have to live 4 months of every year in the U.S.A. 

Marguerite arrived in Tucson in the late 20's and spent the winters here. Why she chose Tucson is not known. She suffered from arthritis in her back later in her life, which could have been one of the reasons. She built a house in 1936. It was the first air-conditioned home in Tucson. She called it Forest Lodge. It is today the Immaculate Heart Convent and the land surrounding it is the Suffolk Hills Community. Later as the town grew northward, she sold the property and in 1957, purchased the land/property in Oracle where Biosphere II is now located. She built Casa del Oro, her private estate.

She still had her spirit of adventure and kept her airplane in her front yard and a Bentley in her garage. Stone, a former RAF pilot, was her pilot as well as her chauffeur. Together they flew from San Francisco to the Amazon. Marguerite died in 1969 aboard her airplane as Stone flew her to Los Angeles to visit one of her sons.

Daisy's son Charles, the 20th Earl

(http://www.gc-database.co.uk/recipients/SuffolkBerksCHGH.jpg)

He, like his father, died in combat. He was killed in 1941. His son is the current Earl. The youngest brother, Greville, is still living.

Here's what wikipedia says about Charles:

"Charles Howard, Earl of Suffolk (1906-May 12, 1941) was an English bomb disposal expert.

As Liaison Officer for the British Department of Scientific and Industrial Research during World War II, the 20th Earl of Suffolk was charged with rescuing rare machine tools, $10 million worth of industrial diamonds, fifty French scientists and heavy water.The Earl, accompanied by his private confidential secretary, Eileen Beryl Marden, comprised a part of France's scientific elite as the Nazis advanced through the country. The Earl and Miss Marden were successful in their objective of ushering the the scientists out of France, as well as securing the industrial diamonds and heavy water. Howard's approach to his missions earned him the nickname "Mad Jack".

Following his return from France, the Earl worked for the Ministry of Supply as a Research Officer learning how to defuse bombs of new types. The Earl served as part of an unexploded bomb detachment in London during the Blitz. The detachment consisted of himself, Miss Marden, and his chauffeur, Fred Hards. They called themselves "the Holy Trinity" and they became famed for their prowess in detecting and successfully tackling thirty four unexploded bombs with "urbane and smiling efficiency." Miss Marden stood by his side taking notes, as the Earl worked at defusing the bombs. Sadly, the thirty-fifth claimed its forfeit when all were killed on Erith Marshes in Kent on May 12, 1941. He was awarded the George Cross.

In 1973, the BBC based a television drama series on the life of the Earl. Ronald Pickup played the leading role in The Dragon's Opponent.

BBC "The People's War: The Earl and the Secretary" "
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Speedycat on May 13, 2007, 08:29:35 PM
Now on to Nancy.............why does the name Colin Campbell sound so familiar?  Any relation to the Campbell Clan that Princess Louise married into (Ian Campbell/Lord Lorne/Duke of Argyll)?  I think the Duke had a brother Colin, but he would be of the wrong generation.  Perhaps his son or grandson?
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 14, 2007, 01:13:03 AM
I've found little so far but did come across this:

Chicago History Museum opened its doors after a 19-month, $27 million remodeling and welcomed a stunning crowd of 725 guests.

The new layout gives guests some quick eye candy: They walk straight in past a 1978 low-rider Chevy Monte Carlo and other colorful artifacts, where benefit committee co-chairs Alison de Frise and Susan Higinbotham welcomed arrivals.

Ms. de Frise recalled that some of her great-great-grandfather (and Marshall Field’s original partner) Levi Leiter’s old ledgers were in the museums’ collections, as well as some dresses that belonged to her grandmother, Nancy Leiter Campbell. “It’s absolutely extraordinary that we raised $1.5 million tonight, and that makes it a wonderful evening,” she said.

Also this:

From 1919-1945, the “Campbell Ranch” at Coal Oil Point was owned by a rich and colorful family that included Mrs. Colin Campbell (née Nancy Leiter,whose father was Marshall Fields’s original partner and the owner of onethird of all of the commercial real estate in Chicago) and her sister (whowas the wife of Britain’s Viceroy of India, Lord Curzon). Nancy’s brother Joe, who managed the property, turned out to be better at enjoying horses and yachts than handling money, and that eventually led to a lawsuit filed by another sister (who happened to be the Dowager Countess of Suffolk).

Coal Oil Point is in Santa Barbara, California. Remnants of Sands Beach's past still exist, including a memorial gravestone to Colin Powys Campbell, a retired British army officer who built a major estate on the land when he purchased it in 1919. "Many of the original buildings from the Campbell estate are still present at Sands today, including the access road, barn and the family’s mansion, currently the main building of the Devereux School for children and adults with developmental problems. Part of the Campbell family’s former beach house, located at the base of the cliff, currently serves as the site of a display of brightly colored aerosol murals. Commonly referred to as “the jail,” the walls of the crumbling beach house are coated with layers of spray paint that have been documented by UCSB art studio professor Michael Arntz in a series of photographs on display in Davidson Library."

A picture of 'the artwork'. Yuck.

(http://www.legendarysurfers.com/sr/uploaded_images/TheJail-748200.jpg)

Nancy had 2 children: Colin Leiter Campbell (1907-1962) and Mary Campbell Clark.

Nancy had a namesake niece, daughter of her brother, Nancy Leiter Clagett who was a renowned sailor. "C. Thomas Clagett married Nancy Leiter in 1940.  Nancy was an extremely accomplished sailor.  Arthur Shuman designed and built an 8 meter for her and she campaigned her 8 meter consistently  beating well known sailors such as Charles Francis Adams and William T. Aldrich.  Tom sailed a great deal with Nancy but would seldom crew for her in a race.  “She was too tough” he would later admit.  They shared 37 years of marriage, cruising the waters of the East coast from Maine to the Caribbean, on various boats of their own and also with friends.  They supported many America’s Cup boats starting in 1964.  Tom continued this support until the mid 1990's, even after Nancy died in 1977....After Nancy died in 1977, Tom donated 6 Lasers and a Trophy in her memory to The Ida Lewis Yacht Club.  The Leiter Trophy is now US Sailing’s Jr. Women’s Single Handed Championship.  Later Tom saw the need for Jr. Women to also have a Double Handed Championship and through US Sailing he initiated The Ida Lewis Trophy which is now US Sailing's Jr. Women’s Double Handed Championship.  These two very successful US Sailings models have helped to elevate the skill level of Junior Women racers. "
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 14, 2007, 01:18:28 AM
From Time magazine in 1937:

When old Chicago's Levi Zeigler Leiter died in 1904, aged 69, he left behind him a wife, a son, three daughters and $30,000,000....Before he died he had given his son Joseph $1,000,000 as a Harvard graduation present (1891), seen him almost corner the U. S. wheat market and lose $9,750,000 (1898), become a famed horse racer and sportsman. He had seen his daughter Mary wed a Britisher who became Lord Curzon, and Viceroy of India. He had seen his daughter Marguerite marry another English title, become the Countess of Suffolk & Berkshire, and his daughter Nancy pick as her second husband Lieutenant Colonel Colin Powys Campbell of the British Army.....

That they did fight, Chicago remembers only too well. For eight long years Marguerite sat on one side of a courtroom flanked by various Leiter-blooded, titled British progeny, staring icily across at her brother Joseph's bald head, demanding that the Illinois courts remove him as trustee of the Levi Leiter estate, charging incompetence and extravagance, calling for a special accounting. Sister Nancy Campbell stood by Joseph. Perhaps he had once schemed to buy the Great Wall of China and preserve it for posterity. What if he did once order 50 dozen pairs of silk socks? "I am a hard-headed American businessman," he told the court. "While my sisters were going to Europe marrying titles, I stayed by our property and managed it."

Finding that he had increased the estate's working capital from $12,920,000 to $17,387,000 in the 26 years of his trusteeship the court refused in March 1931 to remove him as trustee. Six weeks later, when the special audit was completed, Joseph resigned voluntarily. Lawyers' fees for the eight-year quarrel were $1,012,500. Joseph died in 1932. He caught cold watching horse races at New Orleans, insisted on returning to the track blanketed in a wheelchair, took pneumonia. His estate totalled approximately $1,000,000. Sister Mary died in 1906, with no sons to inherit her husband's title. Lord Curzon married again, a Mrs. Alfred Duggan; was elevated to be a Marquess, making Mrs. Duggan a Marchioness. Sister Nancy died in 1930. Sister Marguerite lives on as the Dowager Countess of Suffolk & Berkshire. Awaiting her death for their termination are trust restrictions on part of the Leiter fortune which last week were again before the courts in Chicago.

When the widow of Levi Leiter died in 1913 she created a $600,000 trust fund of her own. She then had three living children. She provided that the income from the $600,000 should go to three selected grandsons, but the boys must live in Chicago half of each year and work for their grandfather's estate. When the last of Levi Leiter's own children died, the three boys would get the $600,000. But if they failed to do their duty by Chicago, the $600,000 would be divided among all the grandchildren, including seven granddaughters.

Polo-playing Tommy Leiter, 27, son of Joseph, lives in Washington, D. C. Colin Campbell, 30, son of Nancy, lives in California where he is an official in a cement machine business. Cecil John Arthur Howard, 29, son of Marguerite, lives regularly in London, is at present in California recuperating from illness. Last week all three were suing the Continental Illinois National Bank & Trust Co., trustee of the estate, asking that the Chicago residence and work provisions be vacated since there is really no work to do in connection with the Leiter estate. Named as co-defendants are Levi Leiter's seven grandchildren.

Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 14, 2007, 07:33:24 AM
Nancy Leiter Campbell was described by one noted artist as America's most beautiful young woman. 

Apparently, Daisy Leiter, in the year of her debut, wished to marry a poor man, Bob Wallach. This potential elopement was 'thwarted by the betrayal of a false friend' according to a newspaper headline. Soon after, she was linked to the Earl of Suffolk but didn't marry him for several more years. In fact, in the late 1890s (after she was first linked to Suffolk) she was apparently linked to her future brother-in-law, Colin Campbell.  In 1920, her son, the 14th Earl, accidentally discharged his gun & shattered the foot of his younger brother, Cecil, necessitating the amputation of the limb.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 19, 2007, 03:51:24 PM
Gladys Deacon, 9th Duchess of Marlborough, 2nd wife of Charles 'Sunny' Spencer Churchill

Gladys Marie Deacon was born in Paris to American parents and christened in their home city of Boston. While wealthy, they weren't of the class of the Vanderbilts or Astors.  Her parents marriage disintegrated under sensational circumstances when her father shot her mother's lover dead in the Hotel Splendide in Cannes when Gladys was 11. Her sister Dorothy would marry Prince Albrecht/Albert "Aba" Radziwill. The headlines would continue when after her parents divorced, her mother kidnapped her as her father had been given custody of the children. Gladys would spend little time in America, living mostly in France where she became the “Toast of Paris”.

At 16, she was an accredited beauty, mostly distinguished by her eyes. Some described her blazing blue eyes as "disturbing" and by her teens she was already considered a siren. She had more than just her looks to recommend her. Her conversation shone, her profile was just short of perfection. To make it impeccably Grecian, she had wax injected at the bridge of her nose. As the years passed it began to trickle chinward, ravaging her features. Yet a weird, mutilated beauty survived. She also possessed a cutting wit, a sharp intelligence and was a brilliant conversationalist. Unfortunately, she was also self-absorbed, vain, jealous, petty, a liar, a user and undependable. She loved the power she had from preying on the emotions of others--especially the many men who eventually fell under her spell.

In 1897, she met Charles Spencer Churchill, 9th Duke of Marlborough, then recently married to her fellow American Consuelo Vanderbilt. [Though I also read that she was a bridesmaid at their wedding, so I'm not sure.] Gladys enchanted them both and visited at Blenheim. From the time she was 14, she had lamented that Consuelo Vanderbilt was to marry the Duke of Marlborough and had claimed that "if only I was a little older I might `catch' him." The Marlborough's marriage, always one of convenience (money for a title) soon disintegrated and the couple led separate lives. Gladys would become Sunny's mistress, though he and Consuelo didn't divorce for over a decade after they separated.

She had many admirers during her 25-year campaign to marry Marlborough when he and Consuelo were divorced. The art critic Bernard Berenson was mesmerized by the teen-age Gladys, and his wife, though jealous, felt the same. "She is radiant and sphinxlike ... Enchanting, but tiring. A wonderful creature, but too much of a born actress to take quite seriously. But so beautiful, so graceful, so changeful in a hundred moods, so brilliant that it is enough to turn anyone's head," she wrote, adding perceptively that "part of her mysteriousness comes from her being, as it were, sexless." There were other flaws. Gladys was a liar, cruel, selfish, perverse, vulgar.

Her friendships, though ardent, usually ended in disappointment. The philosopher Count Hermann von Keyserling begged her to marry him, but she rebuffed him. The poet Hugo von Hofmannsthal, who saw in her "something of a lascivious young god in girl's clothes," confessed she caused him "a mysterious and sometimes very painful feeling of needing." Proust, Degas (who painted her), Rodin, Rilke, Giraudoux and George Moore were all bewildered or enslaved. The artist, Boldini, was as well and he painted the most well-known portrait of her. Ironically, it seems to be one of the few, considering her legendary good looks. A 2nd cousin, Eugene Higgins, would leave her a large sum in his will.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 19, 2007, 03:51:40 PM
Gladys had plentiful suitors--from princes to duke to earls. In 1901, the Crown Prince of Germany fell in love with her while visiting Blenheim while in England. When Gladys vacationed in Germany with Consuelo, an Imperial ADC accompanied them to ensure that Gladys didn't have contact with the smitten prince. [In 1920, there was a postscript to this relationship. Gladys was awarded $2,500 damages in her suit against the Daily Graphic for its publication of the report that she had been expelled form Germany because of her friendship for the former Crown Prince. Her lawyer said his client had met the Crown Prince before the war at Blenheim Castle, the home of the Duke and Duchess of Marlborough. Afterwards she went to school at Bonn, but never communicated with the Crown Prince and never heard from him, she said.]  Later, around 1919, there was the Duke of Connaught, the late Queen Victoria's son, who had been widowed several years when he met the then-39 year old Gladys. He pursued her, though probably more in romantic friendship (he had a weakness for American women, including Consuelo's sister-in-law Jennie's sister Leonie) than true romance. Engagement stories did leak out though. The relationship came to a sudden and bitter end when, after a misunderstanding, she wrote the elderly Duke a letter full of "cruel and seething words." The Duke of Norfolk, was also her lapdog, almost literally since she had him get down on all fours at her order to play dog for her entertainment. Still, she continued to hold out for Sunny.

She finally got her wish when Sunny and Consuelo divorced in 1921, when she was 40 and he 49. The couple married at the Church of Saint Genevieve, Paris. Gladys soon found that Blenheim Palace (for which he had married Consuelo) was what truly held his affections. Gladys pruned roses, cultivated a rock garden full of snakes, and bred spaniels in the state rooms. The couple soon realized how different they were--and how different Gladys was from Consuelo. Gladys preferred to remain at home while the Duke went out dancing and partying.  When they gave receptions in later years, he frequently stood alone at the head of the stairs. During the London Season of 1933, he lived alone at the Ritz Hotel, gave big week-end parties without her at Blenheim Castle. Eventually the marriage turned into one of mutual antipathy. One night during a dinner party she placed a revolver beside her plate. Her startled partner asked her what she meant to do with it. "Oh! I don't know, I might just shoot Marlborough." The Duke moved out of their home in 1933 and established a campaign to drive her out of the home, including cutting off electricity, gas and phone. She retaliated by beginning to load moving vans full of possessions until he got an injunction. The Duke died (of natural causes!) in 1934 before he could divorce her. Her marriage, she later wrote, was "like a black heavy cloud leaving such a disgusted pain that for years & even now I cannot bear to even brush by it in thought."

Her widowhood was a life much different from her previous existence. Along with her home, most of her friends were lost to her. Gladys meanwhile lived in a self-imposed exile. Her address was never published in reference books, and even the friends left to her could not contact her. She removed herself to a remote cottage, wore rubber boots and a straw hat with an old court dress, bred dogs that she walked at night with an oil lamp. Finally she took to greeting callers with a shotgun. It's thought that the treatments she'd sought to maintain her looks had left her disfigured or that the efforts were unsuccessful--either way, she preferred to be left alone. When at 81, in 1962, she was hauled off to a psychiatric hospital, she seemed no more than a crazy old witch. In 1968 she was living at St. Andrew's Hospital, Northampton, England, 94 and far from mad. "Sometimes something happens that is so awful that it cuts you off and after that you don't care," she told her eventual biographer, Hugo Vickers, who paid her dozens of visits before her death.

She died on October 13 1977 at age 95. She was buried in the village graveyard at Chacombe Grange after a short service at St Gregory’s Roman Catholic Church. The only people present at her internment were her oldcaretaker, a representative of the Marlborough family, an old friend of the Duchess, and the Church Warden, Mr John Schilizzi.

A book, The Face on the Sphinx by Daphne Fielding, was published about her in 1978. Cecil Beaton, who had known & sketched her in 1920s, wrote that he had seen her in her 'twilight days' but that there were times she was still rational and that he wished he had 'enlarged' his feelings of her back when 'she was still above board'. He found her much more 'accessible' after reading the Fielding book and could've learned much from her. 
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 19, 2007, 04:17:34 PM
Gladys by Boldini

(http://www.maguetas.com.br/impressionismo/boldini/thumbs_big/Giovanni%20Boldini%20-%20Portrait_of_Gladys_Deacon.jpg)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 21, 2007, 08:00:01 AM
From an online bio on Consuelo Yznaga, Duchess of Manchester

La Bella Consuelo Yznaga

Consuelo Yznaga's life has been a mystery to many because so few people knew about her life as a bohemian Southern Belle who became an English duchess at the turn of the century.  She had been immortalized by American writer Edith Wharton as Conchita Closson, a very exotic young woman of Brazilian origin.  She also received props from Canadian writer Marina Fowler, who did an extensive biography on her in her 1994 book, "A Gilded Cage."  It's about time to give Consuelo her due.  This biography is about this remarkable lady from Louisiana who met a handsome English duke in New York and eventually married him.  Her life with him in England is not a fairy tale but she made a most out of it, for she became a famous society host in her own right.

Miss Maria Consuelo Yznaga del Valle was born in the plantation of Ravenswood, Louisiana in the year 1858, three years before the war between the states.  She's the third child of Antonio and Ellen Yznaga.  Her father immigrated from Cuba and have connections to several Spanish aristocratic houses,his mother having been born a del Valle.  Her mother hailed from New York.  Her mother came from an old New England family.  Antonio and Ellen had four children.  They made Ravenswood and New York City their homes. For all their connections, New York society refused to accept them as their own.  Ellen had been denied invitations to society events and that made her a little mad and eventually drove her and her family to Paris, where they were well received.  It was there Consuelo was introduced to Empress Eugenie de Montijo.  Eugenie, like Consuelo, was half Spanish, half American and very beautiful.  Eugenie presided over a brilliant court in Paris.  Having been wronged by her unfaithful husband, she sought solace in friends, clothing, and decoration.  Consuelo and Eugenie became lifelong friends. It wasn't going to last long, for a war was to put an end to such fun and Consuelo and her family returned to the states in 1870.

The Yznaga family retreated at the plantation of Ravenswood.  Ravenswood is not an elaborate plantion house you may see down south.  It's an unpretentious two-story wooden house along the banks of the Mississippi.  But her memories in Paris still stayed on her mind for years to come.  Around 1873, Miss Consuelo had made a scene at a ball held in a nearby town of Natchez. The Yznagas have made a point of taking their lovely daughters to a ball.  They wanted to improved their social standing among the affluent citizens of Natchez.  What had happened was that Consuela wanted to dress as she pleased, the women of the town didn't like what she wore and that the men at the ball were embarrased to be seen with her.  One of the male escorts tied a blue ribbon over her dress so that she could be presentable.

Several years later, the Yznagas traveled to Saratoga, New York to introduce their daughters to society as well as getting husbands for them.  It was there Consuelo met a dashing, but impoverished duke from England.  His name was George Victor Drogo Montagu, the future duke of Manchester.  They were married in a lavish ceremony at Grace Church in New York City in 1876.  Although the wedding made front page news at the New York Times, she and her family were dismissed as "nobodies" by the NYT editorial. She received no dowry for the wedding from her father.  The wedding has taken New York society by surprise.  Back then New York society was governed by the Knickerbockers, old families of Dutch and British stock who led quiet, orderly lives and eschew showiness of material wealth.  They most certainly frown upon lavish wedding ceremonies such as those of Consuelo and the future duke.

On the other side of the ocean, the future duke's family wasn't thrilled about the match between him and Consuelo.  He didn't think his daughter-in-law was good enough for his eldest son and heir. For one thing, he didn't receive a dowry from her family, for her family thought he would take care of her and that her father couldn't afford to siphon off his wealth at the time, although he gave his oldest daughter $50,000 dowry upon marrying Lord Lister-Kaye in 1882.  He wondered whether his son had married a red Indian woman, for her behavior didn't conform to the ideal of a proper young English lady for she sang country songs to the tune of the banjo, smoke cigars, behaving in a casual way as she would back home in Mississipi of her youth.  He also wondered whether she was truly wealthy for she didn't bring any dowry to the marriage.  Their marriage started off as being very loving until her husband resume his womanizing ways.  He prefer lower class women for they remind him of the various maids and nannies that worked at his family estate growing up.  He  especially visited bordellos and spent what little money his long-suffering wife had at the time of her marriage. 

Consuelo died in 1909 and is buried in Kimbolton along with her husband and children.

(http://www.geocities.com/nun6_99/Consuelo_Yznaga.jpg)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 21, 2007, 04:06:21 PM
Consuelo's predecessor as Duchess of Manchester, the famous 'Double Duchess'

Louisa Frederica Augusta Cavendish, Duchess of Devonshire nee Countess Louisa Frederica Augusta von Alten (15 June 1832-15 July 1911) was born at Hannover, the daughter of Karl Franz Viktor Graf von Alten, a Hanoverian nobleman. On the 22 July 1852 she was married at Hannover to Viscount Mandeville, eldest son of the 6th Duke of Manchester. He succeeded his father as 7th Duke of Manchester on the 8 August 1855, and Louisa became Duchess of Manchester. One of the most noted beauties of her time, she was appointed Mistress of the Robes to the Queen on the 26 February 1858, and remained in that office until the fall of Lord Derby's government on 11 June 1859. The Duke of Manchester died at Naples on the 22 March 1890, and on the 16 August 1892 the sixty-year-old Dowager Duchess of Manchester married the 8th Duke of Devonshire, who had been in love with her for years. She thereby became Duchess of Devonshire; sometimes she is given the nickname "The Double Duchess". Widowed for the second time on the 24 March 1908, she died at Esher Park in Surrey on the 15 July 1911.

It was Louisa who hosted the famous Devonshire House Ball in 1897 that was attended by (amongst others) the Prince & Princess of Wales, the Duke and Duchess of York, the Duke & Duchess of Connaught, Prince Alfred of Coburg, Princess Victoria, Princess Maud & Prince Charles of Denmark and the Duke & Duchess of Fife.

One of Louisa's daughters, Lady Mary Forster, married the 12th Duke of Hamilton.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Martyn on May 25, 2007, 12:00:40 PM
At the time that Louise Von Alten received her appointment as Mistress of the Robes, this was still a political appointment, despite QV's unhappiness that this should be the case.

Initially Louise made a very favourable impression upon the Queen and her family, and thus when Louise had to resign her position, due to the change of government, it was with some regret on the part of QV.

However, QV came to revise her opinion of Louise, due to her long-term liaison with the Marquess of Hartington ('Harty-Tarty'), whilst still married to her husband the Duke of Manchester, whom Louise always referred to by his title at the time of their marriage, 'Mandeville'.  This disapproval was not mitigated by Louise's eventual marriage with Hartington after the death of Manchester. 

Another factor that incurred the Queen's displeasure was Louise's intimacy with Bertie and the Marlborough House set.  Louise was very much a leader in both politics and society and, along with Theresa, Marchioness of Londonderry, the leading political hostess of the late 19th century.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 25, 2007, 12:21:26 PM
Anita Leslie's book The Marlborough House Set has some stories in it about Louisa.

Louisa at her Devonshire House Ball

(http://lafayette.150m.com/pcds/1350_small.jpg)

(http://genealogia.netopia.pt/images/pessoas/pes_117691.jpg)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 26, 2007, 10:45:49 PM
Theresa 'Nellie', Marchioness of Londonderry (1856-1919)

by Sargent

(http://www.jssgallery.org/Paintings/10197.jpg)

Theresa was the eldest daughter of 19th Earl of Shrewsbury. In 1875 she married the 6th Marquess of Londonderry, later Viceroy of Ireland from 1886-1889.

At the Devonshire House ball in 1897 wearing some of the famous Londonderry jewels, including the renowned Londonderry tiara (which she referred to as a 'fender bender').  Lady Londonderry, in fact, spent the better half of the Coronation of Edward VII trying to get her family heirlooms out of the facilities at Westminster Abbey, where she had dropped them.

(http://lafayette.150m.com/history/londonderry_tiara.jpg)

(http://www.vam.ac.uk/vastatic/microsites/1158_lafayette/images/1506b.jpg)(http://lafayette.150m.com/dream/1505_340.jpg)

Harry Cust had an affair with Theresa Marchioness of Londonderry - a woman built like a Chieftain tank in loose covers...When the Marquis of Londonderry found out about his wife's behaviour he refused to speak to her. They were married but silent for 43 years.

"The most prominent unionist woman in the early twentieth century was Theresa, Marchioness of Londonderry. During the Third Home Rule Crisis and its aftermath, Lady Londonderry worked tirelessly against Irish self-government. She had been a celebrated political hostess since her husband's tenure as Irish Viceroy in the late nineteenth century. Now, in this perilous time for unionism, she employed her family and political connections to spread Ulster's message to England. She also helped to facilitate the formation of the Ulster Women's Unionist Council (UWUC), an anti-home rule organization, in 1911. She served as UWUC president from 1912 to 1919, directing loyalist women through Ulster Day, the Government of Ireland Bill, and the difficult years of World War I. Driven by her commitment to unionism above all else, Lady Londonderry demanded like dedication from her colleagues, and called for the subordination of outside interests, including the female franchise. She believed that adherence to this ideal was essential to the movement's success. "
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 26, 2007, 10:54:13 PM
(http://lafayette.150m.com/dream/3638_a5.jpg)

The most recent account of Theresa, Lady Londonderry's career is to be found in H. Montgomery Hyde's The Londonderrys: A Family Portrait (London, 1979); the following extracts are taken from pp 63-69, 72-8, 83-5, 92, 94, 111-14, and 136-7.

'Lady Theresa Susey Helen Chetwynd Talbot, who married the 6th Marquess of Londonderry when he was Lord Castlereagh, was born on 6 June 1856 at Ingestre, the Talbot family seat in Staffordshire. Her father, then Viscount Ingestre, MP, succeeded his father as 19th Earl of Shrewsbury and 4th Earl Talbot in 1868. The Talbots were among the oldest families in the country, an ancestor, Richard de Talbot, being mentioned in Domesday Book, while the Earldom of Shrewsbury, dating as it did from 1442, ... made Theresa's father the Premier Earl of England. ...

Lady Theresa Chetwynd Talbot and Lord Castlereagh were engaged to be married in the summer of 1875. The match was arranged in the sense that their respective families approved of it; ... it is doubtful whether they were deeply in love with each other. ... [Following their marriage in October 1875], the Castlereaghs took Kirby Hall at Bedale in Yorkshire as a country house and also a London house at 76 Eaton Place. Their first child, a girl called Helen Mary Theresa, but always known in the family as "Birdie", was born on 8 September 1876 ... . On 13 May 1878 the Castlereaghs had a son, Charles Stewart Henry, who was born in Eaton Place. And, in the same month, Lord Castlereagh was returned after two expensive and unsuccessful attempts to get into parliament, the first for Durham in 1874 and the second for Montgomery in 1877, as Conservative MP for Co. Down in a by-election in which he defeated his Liberal opponent by a large majority.

Shortly afterwards, both being keen riders to hounds, the Castlereaghs acquired a house called The Hall at Langham, near Oakham, in the Cottesmore country. Here their second son and last child, Charles Stewart Reginald, was born on 4 December 1879. It was rumoured at the time, and it has been generally acknowledged since in the family, that Reginald's father was not Lord Castlereagh, ... but his wife's brother-in-law, Lord Helmsley [who died young in 1881]. ...

[Lord Castlereagh's succession to the Marquessate of Londonderry in 1884] naturally involved his taking his place in the Upper House, where he sat as Earl Vane, although he was customarily referred to by the superior title of his Irish peerage. Then, just as his father had added the surname Tempest to that of Vane, so the 6th Marquess by Royal Licence dated 3 August 1885 further added the original name of Stewart to that of Vane-Tempest for himself and his children, thus becoming Vane-Tempest-Stewart, although his brothers remained Vane-Tempest. ...

He was a wealthy man of property [even] by the standards of his times ..., and he and Theresa were particular favourites of the Prince and Princess of Wales, later King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra, whom they entertained in state [at their three country houses] no less than eight times between 1890 and 1903, six at Wynard, once at Machynlleth and once at Mount Stewart, not to mention sundry banquets and other parties at Londonderry House [Park Lane]. By all accounts the 6th Marquess was friendly, simple and unaffected, with a fine sense of public duty, and with none of his wife's [celebrated] hauteur. ...

"Lady Londonderry was a wonderful woman, with her masculine brain and warm feminine temperament", wrote ... Lady Fingall. "The best and staunchest friend in the world, she would back you up through thick and thin. In love with Love, she was deeply interested in the love affairs of her friends, and very disappointed if they did not take advantage of the opportunities she put in their way. She used to say of herself: 'I am a Pirate. All is fair in Love and War', and woe betide any one who crossed her in either of these." At her house parties at Wynard the bedrooms were conveniently allocated in the interests of her female friends and their lovers. She is easily recognisable as "Lady Roehampton" in Vita Sackville-West's novel The Edwardians. ...

Although she was the leading Tory political hostess of her day, Theresa Londonderry had friends among the Liberals, particularly [Sir William] Harcourt who often came to the house to discuss literature as well as politics; Theresa besides being widely read had literary pretensions of her own which were to find expression in an excellent short book on her husband's [collateral] ancestor the great Castlereagh, an abbreviated version of which had originally appeared in the Anglo-Saxon Review under the editorship of Lady Randolph Churchill. ...' Against this background, it is not surprising to find a great many important figures in literature, the arts, the army, the navy, the law and the church, and nearly every important figure in politics (particularly Tory politics) and High Society, of the period 1890-1919 among Theresa, Lady Londonderry's correspondents.

(http://multitext.ucc.ie/images/thumbnails/890.jpg)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 26, 2007, 10:55:31 PM
'... On 25 July 1886, Lord Salisbury became Conservative Prime Minister for the second time, following the rejection of Gladstone's Home Rule Bill for Ireland by the House of Commons in the previous month. ... Among the more important appointments which the new Prime Minister had to make was that of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, ... [and he] offered the post to the thirty-four-year-old Marquess of Londonderry, ... [who] accepted it ... . The Lord Lieutenant received a salary of œ12,000 a year, on which it was impossible for a Viceroy without private means to live in view of the levées, receptions, garden parties, lunches and dinners which he had to give. ... Londonderry with his amply private means was an ideal choice. He also created a precedent by being the first member of an Irish family to hold the office: hitherto it had been held by an English or Scottish peer. On the other hand, his Castlereagh title was not likely to endear him to the Nationalists, who could be expected to regard a descendant of "Bloody" Castlereagh, the hated architect of the Act of Union, with the reverse of affection. ...

... Londonderry performed all the duties of his office punctually and fairly, but with a Cabinet Minister [Sir Michael Hicks-Beach] as Chief Secretary he felt that it was his duty, apart from his ceremonial obligations, to leave the actual government of the country to Hicks Beach and not to allow any possible divergence of political view to become apparent. ... However, it was not long before the Lord Lieutenant found himself at odds with the Chief Secretary, who was suspected of favouring the Nationalists at the expense of the landlords, not least because Londonderry was himself a considerable landlord in Co. Down. ...

[When Hicks-Beach had to resign, because of] acute eye trouble, the Prime Minister appointed as successor ... his nephew, thirty-eight-year-old Arthur James Balfour, the author of several works on philosophy, whose delicate appearance had earned him the nickname of the "Tiger Lily" among his fellow MPs at Westminster. ... [His Crimes] Act, which became law in July 1887, ... [and] the rigour with which the new law was enforced, showed Balfour's determination to combat political crimes; and under its operation about thirty Nationalist MPs were sent to prison. The new Chief Secretary's role soon resulted in him being generally known to the Nationalist camp as "Bloody Balfour" ... .

At the time he accepted the appointment of Viceroy, Londonderry had made it clear to the Prime Minister that, on account of the needs of a growing family and his interests as a landlord and colliery owner, he did not wish to serve beyond three years. Salisbury agreed and accepted Londonderry's resignation three years to a month from the date of his acceptance. Meanwhile his devotion to duty had been recognised by his being created a Knight of the Garter in 1888. ...

Lady Fingall ... [wrote of Londonderry's term of office as Lord Lieutenant of Ireland] that, while Londonderry was not an exceptionally clever man, he always "did the right thing by instinct". As for Theresa ... "Hers was a most dominant personality. She had the proudest face I have ever seen, with a short upper lip and a beautifully shaped determined chin". This opinion is certainly borne out by contemporary photographs, as well as by her portrait in middle age painted by John [Singer] Sargent. ...  

In 1893, Londonderry was prominent in opposing Gladstone's Second Home Rule Bill, which was rejected by the House of Lords, and he presided over the great meeting at which the political alliance between the Conservatives and the Liberal-Unionists led by Joseph Chamberlain was formally ratified. When the Conservatives returned to power two years later, Lord Salisbury offered Londonderry the post of Lord Privy Seal. This was declined, since Londonderry wished for an office with departmental responsibilities. In 1900 he entered the government as Postmaster-General, and in 1902 he joined the Cabinet as first President of the Board of Education, although he felt diffident about his capacity for the post. ... He did not give up Education when he became Lord President of the Council, but contrived to combine both posts ... . Theresa Londonderry took a keen interest in her husband's departmental work, particularly when it affected Co. Durham ... .

Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 26, 2007, 10:55:46 PM
[In 1899, she suffered a heavy personal loss, about which there is much documentation in her papers, in the death of her second son and third child, Lord Reginald]. "Reggie" ... had been a sickly child, afflicted with a painful hip disease, so that it was evident from an early age that he would never be able to walk naturally ... . [Then he] was stricken by another malady, tuberculosis. In 1897, a London specialist ... recommended a voyage to a milder climate. Consequently the end of the year found him in Tenerife, which in those days was regarded, quite wrongly, as most suitable for consumptives. But Reggie's health did not improve, and ... he was despatched to the Kimberley Sanatorium where he spent the greater part of a year, after which he stayed with [Cecil] Rhodes as his guest ... . In May 1899 his mother journeyed out to South Africa to bring him home. On their return to England they went to Seaham Hall [yet another Londonderry seat, in Co. Durham], since the mistaken view still prevailed that sea air was beneficial to consumptives. ... [Reggie died there in October 1899.]

During the Home Rule struggle [of 1912-1914] Theresa naturally spent more time than usual at Mount Stewart - normally a few days at Christmas, Easter and Whitsun were all she and her husband managed. ... By September 1913, it was obvious that it was only a matter of time before the [Home Rule] Bill became law. Accordingly 500 delegates of the Ulster Unionist Council met in the Ulster Hall in Belfast to approve the setting up of an Ulster Provisional Government, as soon as the Bill reached the statute book. ... The Council, with Londonderry in the chair, proceeded to delegate its powers to a Provisional Government consisting of seventy-seven members, with an executive "Commission of Five", of whom [Sir Edward] Carson was Chairman.

[The Home Rule Bill] was due to become law in September 1914, but the outbreak of the Great War put it into cold storage for the duration. ... Most of the [Ulster] Volunteers now flocked to join the colours; ... [the Londonderry's elder son, Charles, Lord] Castlereagh, for instance, went off to France with the British Expeditionary Force. Theresa and her daughter-in-law [Edith, Lady Castlereagh] also plunged themselves into war work. ... Things did not go well for Lord Londonderry during the following months. He grew very despondent on account of the war and the turn events had taken in Ulster. Also the fact that his only son and heir had gone off to the front preyed on his mind and he was convinced that he would not return. In January 1915, ... he caught influenza which quickly turned to pneumonia ... .

Charles, 6th Marquess of Londonderry, died on 8 February 1915 at Wynyard aged sixty-two and was buried three days later in the family vault at Long Newton. Carson, who went to the funeral, subsequently described him as "a great leader, a great and devoted public servant, a great patriot, a great gentleman, and above all the greatest of friends". These words were echoed by his widow. "I don't think there was anyone more beloved or thought more of in the two counties in which he lived", she wrote afterwards. ... 

When the time came for her to leave Wynyard, Theresa rented Lumley Castle, near Chester-le-Street in the same county, from Lord Scarbrough, moving in just before Christmas, which she spent there alone, since she found that "when one is terribly unhappy it is much better". ... Unfortunately, she was obsessed with the idea that she had become extremely poor, whereas her husband had left her legacies in his will totalling £100,000. ... "You are under the impression you are a pauper", ... [her son, the new Marquess of Londonderry] wrote to her on 23 April 1915; "I wish I could put the idea out of your mind. ..."

[Theresa, Lady Londonderry died on 15 March 1919.] "A great figure gone, a real true friend", wrote Colonel Repington when he heard the news. "A grande dame of a period which is passing; one of the most striking and dominating feminine personalities of our time, terrifying to some, but endeared to many friends by her notable and excellent qualities. She was unsurpassed as a hostess, clear-headed, witty, and large-hearted, with unrivalled experience of men and things social and political, and with a most retentive memory and immense vivacity and joie de vivre. ..." She was sixty-two, the same age as her husband when he died ...'. 


Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on May 26, 2007, 10:57:09 PM
Theresa and her son following the coffin of her husband

http://picture.stockton.gov.uk/enlarge.aspx?Image=615s829.jpg
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Martyn on May 30, 2007, 08:12:24 AM
I'm pretty sure that I have read that Theresa Londonderry shared the attentions of Harry Cust with Gladys, Lady de Grey, later Marchioness of Ripon, another intimate of the Marlborough House set and a woman noted for her style and intellect.

It would appear that this rivalry was bitter and something occurred whereby the news of Theresa's involvement with Cust came to the ears of her husband, thus causing the marital rift. It would seem that the Marquess was not quite as obliging as other members of this social set when it came to extre-marital affairs and from that day never spoke to his wife again........

Theresa naturally was the very proud possessor of an amazing jewellery collection; the tiara that fell down the pan at the Coronation of Edward VII had been made from the Down Diamonds, a collection of stones that had come from Viscount Castlereagh and had been remodelled into a stunning parure by Garrards in 1854, commissioned by the famous Frances Anne, Marchioness of Londonderry (the recipient of the beautiful Siberian amethysts from Alexander I).

Coupled with this lovely parure , Theresa was also in possession of the famous 'Gouttes de perles' suite, some of which she sometimes wore mounted on top of her diamond tiara (most notably when attired as Maria Theresa at the Devonshire House Ball).  These were bought in Vienna in 1821, again by Frances Anne, on the birth of her first son, from the Countess de Fries, for the astronomical sum of £10,000, which really was a huge amount of money at that time.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Martyn on May 30, 2007, 09:42:03 AM
In addition to this, the Londonderry collection was enhanced by the Antrim rubies and emeralds that Frances Anne had inherited from her mother, the Countess of Antrim.

Edith, Marchioness of Londonderry, who very much followed in the tradition of her mother-in-law and Frances Anne in being an important political and society hostess in the 1920's and 30's wrote this of Theresa's mishap with some of the Antrim emeralds:

'The jewels belonging to the Antrim family, which became the property of Frances Anne, included a very beautiful parure of diamonds and emeralds of magnificent colour and size.  They formed a tiara or could be worn across a dress as they really are too large for a necklace.  Theresa, Lady Londonderry, my mother-in-law, lost the most important brooch which belonged to this set.  It was a very large square emerald with large diamond leaves like those of an acanthus plant.

She wore it one evening when going to a reception at Sunderland House and drove there in her brougham.  It was only just around the corner from Londonderry House at the junction of Curzon and Hertford Street.  She was not feeling very well at the time and went straight up the stairs and shook hands with the Duchess of Marlborough, leaving a very short while afterwards.  On the way downstairs she put up her hand and found the brooch missing.  although a great search was made for it, it was never seen again.  From the size of the ornament it could not have fallen down into a chink and the surmise is that it must have been picked up by one of the guests!'

Quite a mishap!!!
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Martyn on May 30, 2007, 11:21:31 AM
From 'Affair of State' by Henry Vane:

" A major source of influence was that the Devonshires were among the three or four hosts who entertained the Prince and Princess of Wales (from 1901 the King and Queen) year after year.  Of the other leading hostesses the closest to the King was Lady Warwick, folowed perhaps by the willowy and artistic Lady de Grey, whose husband was ubiquitous in country-house society as one of the legendary shots of the peiod.  As a strictly political hostess Louise's main rival was Theresa Marchioness of Londonderry.  Her husband had been Lord Lieutenant of Ireland in 1886-9, and although he did not reach the Cabinet until 1900, next to Lord Salisbury himself, the most important peer in the Tory ranks.  Theresa Londonderry was thus the leader of Tory society, while Louise Devonshire took her place at the head of the Whig camp.  If there was any aptness in this it was in the freer manners that marked the Devonshire House circle, in keeping with the older Whig tradition.  Lady Fingall identifies these two ladies as the dictators of the social scene, saying: 'If you were Lady Londonderry's friend or the Duchess of Devonshire's, no one would dare to say a word against you.  It was an equally bad thing to be the enemy of either.'

Lady Londonderry's social regime was distinguished by its hauteur - Sargent indulged his gift for character in her ineffably arrogant portrait - and she was known for the pomp with which she received her parades of guests at the top of the staircase of Londonderry House.  She was a strong partisan, described by E.F.Benson as 'a highwaywoman in a tiara', and her violent influence is said to have been behind some of the Tory political imprudences of the coming twenty years.  Margot Asquith, who detested her, once angled for a judgement on this domineering figure, 'whose arrogance and vulgarity hasd annoyed us all', and gave Louise Devonshire's reply;'I dislike her too much to be a good judge of her.'  This was an example of the restraint that Margot noted when she described Louise as 'the last great political lady in London society as I have known it.  The secret of her power lay not only in her position - many people are rich and grand, gay and clever and live in big houses - but in her elasticity, her careful criticisms, her sense of justice and discretion.  She not only kept her own but other people's secrets; and she added to considerable effrontery asnd intrepid courage, real kindness of heart....She was powerful enough to entertain both the great political parties which few can do.'  Elsewhere she remarks: 'Louise Devonshire was a woman whose social ascendancy eclipsed that of anyone that I have ver seen or heard of in London society...She had distinguished children, an intimate knowledge of men and affairs, amazing courage, a perfect profile, and unrivalled personality.  She was intimate with every King, Courtier, Commoner, and Prime Minister and there was no one in London who did not covet her invitations.' "
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Martyn on June 01, 2007, 07:18:40 AM
I've found some information about Louise's relationship with QV and the Court and as to why it all went sour for her.......From 'An Affiar of State' by Henry Vane:

" Louise's relations witht he Court seemed rosy for some years.  Princess Alice showed her special affection ('I am glad to write to you dear Louise', runs one of her letters with rare informaility); The Queen wrote to her cordially in October 1861, and the royal family, although devastated by the recent death of Prince Albert, were delighted when she spent the day at Windsor the following spring.  Then came the marriage of the Prince of Wales to the beautiful Princess Alexandra of Denmark, due to be held at Windsor in March 1863 with a glittering attendance.  It was a thunderbolt when Louise Manchester was not invited to the wedding - and without a word of explanation.  Lord Clarendon, her busy correspondent, was baffled by the slight, and reported the equal astonishment of the other guests.  A stiff message came from Lord Granville that the Queen 'regrets your not having been at the marriage'.

What had happened was that Queen Victoria had got wind of the compact by which Lord Derby had made Louise Mistress of the Robes, and she was not amused at her Household appointments being awarded in that fashion.  From now on she was to observe Louise's 'fast' ways with cold disapproval, and the royal Court was one secene where Louise could abandon her ambitions, even when Derby returned for his last term of office in 1866."

Louise had apparently, over dinner with Lord Derby in the mid 1850's, and as they joked over a glass of champagne, made the future Prime MInister promise that he would make her Mistress of the Robes next time that he returned to office, which involved a written promise, which also suggests that there was more than champagne involved here.  Derby was not immune to Louise's charms and their flirtatious relationship bore fruit for Louise in February 1858, when she achieved her goal.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Martyn on June 03, 2007, 12:21:40 PM
Consuelo Yznaga, Duchess of Manchester's tiara, made by Cartier in 1903.  A lightly graduated frieze of conventionalised flaming hearts mounted in gold and silver.

                                                                                           (http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v404/SMROD/Royalty%202/Jewels/DssofManchestertiara.jpg)

Consuelo's marriage was not without its difficulties, one of which seemed to be the shortage of cash.  In spite of this, Consuelo managed to have this tiara made in 1903 - what self-respecting Edwardian woman of the haut ton could afford to do without a diamond tiara? - and it is quite a large and impressive piece, perfectly designed to sit atop Consuelo's favoured Pompadour hairstyle. 

However, Cartier only made the frame and mounted the stones, which apparently were supplied by the Duchess herself, probably from other pieces in her collection.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: ChristineM on June 03, 2007, 12:24:53 PM
Now, that IS pretty.   It looks very delicate.   In fact, so delicate I doubt it would withstand wearing.

tsaria
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Martyn on June 03, 2007, 12:41:00 PM
Now, that IS pretty.   It looks very delicate.   In fact, so delicate I doubt it would withstand wearing.

tsaria

I quite agree with you Tsaria.  It reminds me a little of the Delihi Durbar tiara, and probably is about the same sort of scale, but it has a lightness about it that is truly French.

Earlier in the thread GDElla very kindly posted a photo of Consuelo wearing this tiara, some time in the 1900's, which clearly shows the scale of this jewel.  Unfortunately, by the time os this photo, the duchess no longer had the looks of her youth, and in the photograph the tiara looks off-centre, which gives her a slightly comical look!  ;)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Leuchtenberg on June 11, 2007, 02:22:08 PM
Some more about Daisy (Marguerite):


Marguerite arrived in Tucson in the late 20's and spent the winters here. Why she chose Tucson is not known. She suffered from arthritis in her back later in her life, which could have been one of the reasons. She built a house in 1936. It was the first air-conditioned home in Tucson. She called it Forest Lodge. It is today the Immaculate Heart Convent and the land surrounding it is the Suffolk Hills Community.

Daisy Suffolk's Tuscon home as built in the late 30s.   (If you're using Firefox, click on "view image" and a larger picture will show up in a new window.)

(http://i2.photobucket.com/albums/y29/coeurdepierre/Suffolk-Tuscon.jpg)

Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: NoirFemme on June 25, 2007, 01:22:09 AM
I love Lady Randolph Churchill. I own her autobiography and have read all biographies written about her many times over. But while Gladys(Glay-dus) Marlborough was mentioned, no one mentioned Consuelo Vanderbilt, the first 9th Duchess of Marlborough--the epitome of an American heiress.

(http://vox.popula.com/vintage/cons.jpg)

In 1895 Consuelo Vanderbilt, then one of the richest heiresses in America, was forced into a loveless marriage with the 8th Duke of Marlborough by her social-climbing vulture of a mom. Though the Duke (a singularly phlegmatic man, ineptly nicknamed "Sunny") didn't much care for Americans, their $2.5 million dowry was ok by him. The Duchess later poured millions more into the restoration of Blenheim, a decrepit heap at the time of her marriage; it is still one of the great showplaces of Britain today. She was an early and ardent feminist, and devoted her time and money to worthy causes. In 1907 she was separated from her husband; they were divorced in 1921. A very happy second marriage followed, to famous French aviator Jacques Balsan. Consuelo Vanderbilt was one of the great beauties of her age; her elegance and glamor are celebrated in almost every contemporary mention of her name. She was a compassionate and intelligent woman whose memoir, The Glitter and the Gold, provides an absorbing, if somewhat sober, portrait of the Gilded Age.

Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: TampaBay on July 04, 2007, 10:29:14 AM
She was also six foot tall and towered over her husband height wise.

TampaBay
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on July 04, 2007, 07:23:39 PM
We just hadn't gotten to her yet.  ;) I've been gathering some photos to post and will try to get them up.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: CountessKate on July 14, 2007, 12:29:30 PM
Consuelo was a favorite subject of the great Edwardian 'swagger' portraitists - Sargent, Boldini, Helleu - but I love these two portraits of her at Blenheim, one painted about 1903 or 1904, the other just before WWI, probably around 1912 or so, judging by the costumes.

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/ConsueloM.jpg)

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/ConsueloM-2.jpg)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: CountessKate on July 14, 2007, 12:39:35 PM
Here she is again, in the well-known portrait by Sargent, with her husband and sons (her husband was posed on the lower step, to disguise the fact that she was taller than he:

(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/ConsueloM-3.jpg)

Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: CountessKate on July 14, 2007, 12:41:23 PM
(http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a42/cfarnon/ConsueloM-7.jpg)

And here she is in the Boldini painting with her son Lord Ivor Spencer Churchill.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: gogm on July 14, 2007, 02:25:26 PM
Consuelo was a favorite subject of the great Edwardian 'swagger' portraitists - Sargent, Boldini, Helleu - but I love these two portraits of her at Blenheim, one painted about 1903 or 1904, the other just before WWI, probably around 1912 or so, judging by the costumes.

Here are some more -
Dressed for 1911 coronation of King George V:
(http://inlinethumb21.webshots.com/6868/2261353700094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2261353700094285158KltLEy)

Close up from same picture:
(http://inlinethumb23.webshots.com/3606/2799082430094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2799082430094285158CFQeJS)

1899 portrait:
(http://inlinethumb48.webshots.com/4399/2387203530094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2387203530094285158kKpRgD)

Another shot from 1911:
(http://inlinethumb01.webshots.com/2944/2380134410094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2380134410094285158QhXRLx)

From 1896:
(http://inlinethumb57.webshots.com/2488/2190252970094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2190252970094285158mUJxtb)

Undated striking photograph:
(http://inlinethumb37.webshots.com/6884/2773441740094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2773441740094285158xhssGO)

1911 coronation:
(http://inlinethumb11.webshots.com/4810/2676653320094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2676653320094285158oxgZet)

Posing on a portico as a grande dame:
(http://inlinethumb19.webshots.com/5202/2402617390094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2402617390094285158adlnNm)

Well-known portrait (subject to rapid deletion):
(http://inlinethumb60.webshots.com/6971/2834327350094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2834327350094285158YheVFk)

Consuelo and her son Ivor in 1899:
(http://inlinethumb46.webshots.com/3821/2861926200094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2861926200094285158cjKeQJ)

Consuelo and Winston Churchill in 1902:
(http://inlinethumb64.webshots.com/5759/2077652880094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2077652880094285158bNTlRO)

Winston was the product of one of the first Dollar Princess marriages between Jennie Jerome and Lord Randolph Churchill.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Mari on July 15, 2007, 05:59:48 AM
I don't know a lot about Consuelo Vanderbilt....guess I'll have to do some reading...but She certainly has an interesting look. I'll bet the Parisian Designers fought over her. ;)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: gogm on July 15, 2007, 06:46:54 PM
Close up from same picture:
(http://inlinethumb23.webshots.com/3606/2799082430094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2799082430094285158CFQeJS)

This picture has significant detail differences. I'm not sure when it was taken. Maybe for Edward VII's coronation?
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on July 15, 2007, 11:22:29 PM
Lafayette (at the V&A website) marks this one as for the Coronation of King George V, 23 June 1911. Maybe the other is for the previous coronation? It could be a matter of untouched vs retouched photos but she looks older in the detail above (from 1911).

A fuller version, with her sons:

(http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/4/44/Consuelo_Vanderbilt%3Bcoronation-_9_augustus_1902.jpg/450px-Consuelo_Vanderbilt%3Bcoronation-_9_augustus_1902.jpg)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on July 15, 2007, 11:27:51 PM
Consuelo and Winston Churchill in 1902:
(http://inlinethumb64.webshots.com/5759/2077652880094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2077652880094285158bNTlRO)



Even after her marriage to his uncle was annulled, she remained in close contact with Winston. He was a frequent visitor in the 1920s & 1930s to her chateau in France, the St. George Motel, where she lived after her 2nd marriage to Jacques Balsan. He would often paint during these visits.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on July 15, 2007, 11:30:15 PM
Her marriage to the Duke of Marlborough

(http://www.vintageconnection.net/Vanderbilt1895.jpg)

(From the book Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt: "The bride was 20 minutes late to her own wedding. It was noon of Nov. 6, 1895, the hour set for the marriage of one of America's wealthiest heiresses, Consuelo Vanderbilt, to the ninth Duke of Marlborough (le tout New York in attendance, Walter Damrosch's 60-man orchestra completing their Wagner and Tchaikovsky, platoons of policemen keeping hordes of curious citizens out of St. Thomas Episcopal Church). But the bride, greatly infatuated with an American socialite, was still at home, weeping uncontrollably in the arms of her father, William K. Vanderbilt, pleading with him to rescue her from a marriage enforced against her will by her notoriously dominating mother, Alva. As much as "William K.," grandson of Commodore Vanderbilt and heir to much of his fortune, had come to dislike his former wife, he managed to calm his pale, willowy 18-year-old daughter and led her to the altar. So after a long, wretched honeymoon, Consuelo, Duchess of Marlborough, assumed her duties as mistress of the 170-room Blenheim Palace, soon becoming the leading beauty of the Edwardian Age and, less predictably, one of its most committed philanthropists.")



And as a paper doll bride:

(http://www.fancyephemera.com/jpeg/consuelov1.jpg)(http://www.fancyephemera.com/jpeg/consuelov2.jpg)

And you could also buy her peeress robes:

(http://www.fancyephemera.com/jpeg/consuelov3.jpg)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on July 15, 2007, 11:31:43 PM
(http://www.persephonebooks.co.uk/assets/images/book_photos/consuelo.jpg)

(http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2006/02/19/books/dupl2.450.jpg)

At a suffragette rally--she and her mother were both devoted to the cause:

(http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/2006/01/06/2002724647.jpg)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Mari on July 18, 2007, 06:10:51 AM
 On Weeping at the altar.... I found this on the Aunulment!
"the annulment, to the surprise of many, also was fully supported by the former duchess's mother, who testified that the Vanderbilt–Marlborough marriage had been an act of unmistakable coercion. "I forced my daughter to marry the Duke," Alva Belmont told an investigator, adding: "I have always had absolute power over my daughter."
On Consuelo's image:
Consuelo Vanderbilt was a great beauty, with a face compelling enough to cause the playwright Sir James Barrie, author of Peter Pan, to write, "I would stand all day in the street to see Consuelo Marlborough get into her carriage."[6] Oxvord undergraduate Guy Fortescue later described how he and his friends were captivated by her "piquante oval face perched upon a long slender neck, her enormous dark eyes fringed with curling lashes, her dimples, and her tiny teeth when she smiled.[7] She came to embody the "slim, tight look" that was in vogue during the Edwardian era.[8]

The Gowns are so lovely I am trying to find out if Consuelo used Worth as her Designer?

Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on July 19, 2007, 11:42:45 AM
There was a rumor that Consuelo's wedding gown was by Worth but I don't think it was ever confirmed. Given the status of both Consuelo and Worth, you'd think that it would've been if it was true but I can't say.

Here's another Duchess (the Double Duchess of Devonshire and Manchester) in Worth from the 1897 Devonshire House Ball she threw.

Paris’ House of Worth fashioned a gown for the wife of the 8th Duke, Louise, Duchess of Devonshire, to be worn at Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Ball, held at Chatsworth in 1897. The gown was made to transform the Duchess into Zenobia, the warrior queen of Palmyra. A concoction of cloth of silver, cloth of gold, brilliants, gemstones, and embroidered with more metalwork, the dress has a peacock feather fan motif at the hem and a train of turquoise velvet embroidered with gold.

(http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f282/vickyandfritz/clothes/karlins5-24-9.jpg)

This was the description in the Lafayette archive:

"Costume: "...The skirt of gold tissue was embroidered all over in a star-like design in emeralds, sapphires, diamonds, and other jewels outlined with gold, the corners where it opened in front being elaborately wrought in the same jewels and gold to represent peacocks' outspread tails. This opened to show an underdress of cream crepe de chine, delicately embroidered in silver, gold, and pearls and sprinkled all over with diamonds. The train, which was attached to the shoulders by two slender points and was fastened at the waist with a large diamond ornament, was a green velvet... and was superbly embroidered in Oriental designs introducing the lotus flower in rubies, sapphires, amethysts, emeralds, and diamonds, with four borderings on contrasting grounds, separated with gold cord. The train was lined with turquoise satin. The bodice was composed of gold tissue to match the skirt, and diamonds, and the front was of crepe de chine hidden with a stomacher of real diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. Jewelled belt. A golden crown incrusted with emeralds, diamonds and rubies, with a diamond drop at each curved end and two upstanding white ostrich feathers in the middle, and round the front festoons of pearls with a large pear-shaped pearl in the centre falling on the forehead." (The Times, 3 July 1897, p 12c)."

and the dress in b&w

(http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f282/vickyandfritz/clothes/1350.jpg)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Martyn on July 19, 2007, 01:20:58 PM
GDElla, thank you so much for posting that information about Louise's Worth costume - such a wonderful costume and it must have cost the earth!  Bearing in  mind that Louise was no longer young at the time of the Ball, she still looks pretty good in this wondeful get-up..........
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: CountessKate on July 19, 2007, 02:26:56 PM
Quote
I am trying to find out if Consuelo used Worth as her Designer?

Consuelo wore a great many Worth gowns as a debutante and as a young married woman.  As these represented her mother's and husband's taste, she wasn't actually very comfortable with them.  She wore a white tulle Worth gown at her coming out ball in Paris, chosen by her mother, and wrote of her early married life in her autobiography 'The glitter and the gold" "Since I had little experience in shopping, everything havin always been bought for me by my mother, Marlborough took it upon himself to display the same hectoring rights she had previously exercised in the selection of my gowns.  Unfortunately, his taste appeared to be dictated by a desire for magnificence rather than by any wish to enhance my looks.  I remember particularly one evening dress of sea-blue satin with a long train, whose whole length was trimmed with white ostrich feathers.  Another creation was a rich pink velvet with sable.  Jean Worth himself directed the fittings of these beautiful dresses, which he and my husband considered suitable but which I would willingly have exchanged for the tulle and organdie that girls of my age were wearing."  So it doesn't look as if Consuelo chose Worth voluntarily and as a designer he probably represented all that was wrong with her life at that time.  Though she still remembered the dresses as beautiful!
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on July 19, 2007, 05:47:07 PM
GDElla, thank you so much for posting that information about Louise's Worth costume - such a wonderful costume and it must have cost the earth!  Bearing in  mind that Louise was no longer young at the time of the Ball, she still looks pretty good in this wondeful get-up..........

I had posted it on the Worth & Designers thread just for you Martyn! I then thought it might be of interest over here as well as the Double Duchess was a prior subject.  :)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Martyn on July 20, 2007, 07:27:15 AM
GDElla, thank you so much for posting that information about Louise's Worth costume - such a wonderful costume and it must have cost the earth!  Bearing in  mind that Louise was no longer young at the time of the Ball, she still looks pretty good in this wondeful get-up..........

I had posted it on the Worth & Designers thread just for you Martyn! I then thought it might be of interest over here as well as the Double Duchess was a prior subject.  :)

That is really kind of you.  I do appreciate it.  :)

I hope to be able to make a visit to Chatwsorth to see the dress itself, although this may take some organising, as it is not on display.  I didn't realise that the dress still existed until fairly recently.........
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: grandduchessella on July 20, 2007, 11:04:43 AM
You'd think (and hope) that many gowns such as this do still exist since they're basically works of art in themselves--I mean, it's not like you'd cut up a famous piece of artwork or something. I know that many do not survive and others are no longer in the hands of the original family but it's wonderful to think that some are still able to be exhibited for people to visit and study.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: gogm on July 20, 2007, 12:27:07 PM
You'd think (and hope) that many gowns such as this do still exist since they're basically works of art in themselves--I mean, it's not like you'd cut up a famous piece of artwork or something. I know that many do not survive and others are no longer in the hands of the original family but it's wonderful to think that some are still able to be exhibited for people to visit and study.

It seems that designer dresses, especially Worths, were understood to be valuable heirlooms by the original owners and their successors. They show up on eBay and vintage clothing sellers from time to time with note-worth-y prices that show they're being treated and marketed as collectibles. Sometimes they wind up in museums, such as the ones the Museum of the City of New York displayed some years ago.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: TampaBay on July 22, 2007, 06:17:05 AM
Even today, women who buy original true designer gowns save them.  Diana saved hers, Nan Kemper saved hers, Wallis saved hers. 

I wonder what happened to all of Wallis' clothes.  I know the wedding gown is in a museum.

TampaBay
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Martyn on August 08, 2007, 11:57:38 AM
If I remember correctly, Diana Vreeland managed to convice Wallis in the 1960's to donate her unwanted clothing to the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Accordingly, Wallis donated many items over the next decade, including the Mainbocher wedding ensemble.  Prior to this Wallis had been in the habit of clearing her closets twice a year of any garments that she no longer required.

It is worth remembering also that Wallis made it on to the list of best dressed women for over forty years, something that no other woman has managed to accomplish...........
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: TampaBay on August 08, 2007, 07:43:19 PM
Martyn,

Thanks for the info on Wallis' clothes!

TampaBay
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Martyn on August 09, 2007, 07:32:25 AM
Martyn,

Thanks for the info on Wallis' clothes!

TampaBay

Most welcome, always....... :)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: TampaBay on August 09, 2007, 07:58:07 AM
I have a hard time imagining Wallis ever giving anything away.  I do not picture her as that type.

I picture Wallis as the Nan Kemper type that collected great pieces then altered and retailored the not so great "thing of the moment" pieces.

TampaBay
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: NoirFemme on August 24, 2007, 02:04:21 PM
Quote
1911 coronation:
(http://inlinethumb11.webshots.com/4810/2676653320094285158S600x600Q85.jpg) (http://good-times.webshots.com/photo/2676653320094285158oxgZet)


Actually, this is Edward VII's 1902 coronation. The pic with her sons is from George V's 1911 coronation.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: alixaannencova on February 27, 2009, 10:18:40 PM
Thank you Ella for directing me here! It is such a shame that there is not more interest in these amazing women!

My absolute fave amongst their number is Consuelo Manchester..... goodness did she have a rotten time of it with that awful Mandeville! She was such a survivor and was a fascinating character! Ooooh...I will sit down later and compose a little bit of useful stuff about some of those Dollar Princesses later!

Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: alixaannencova on February 28, 2009, 12:56:29 PM
OOOh what about Joyce Grenfell as a candidate for this thread? I know she was not noble born, but having Nancy Astor for an aunt and being the grand daughter of Chillie Langhorne makes Joyce one of those interesting women on the periphery.

I have always found Joyce Grenfell one of those women one would love to have as an aunt...so witty, kind and full of beans!

Sadly there seem to be so few of her particular kind left nowadays.


Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Clemence on August 10, 2009, 03:31:56 PM
Could someone help me find some more information about Ada Winans?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Winans

She was the (second) wife of prince Paolo Troubetzkoy, and I' ve much admired a statue of her in the Galleria Nazionale d' Arte Moderna in Rome, but it seems hard to find more on her ...
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Svetabel on August 11, 2009, 12:58:42 AM
Could someone help me find some more information about Ada Winans?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Winans

She was the (second) wife of prince Paolo Troubetzkoy, and I' ve much admired a statue of her in the Galleria Nazionale d' Arte Moderna in Rome, but it seems hard to find more on her ...

Ada Winans was Paolo's mother not a second wife. An american by birth Ada (1835-1917) went to Florence, Italy, to take singing lessons,and there she met and married Petr Petrovitch Troubetzkoy (1835-1897), and they had 3 sons, including famous Paolo.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Clemence on August 20, 2009, 09:00:00 AM
Yes, you are right, I'm sorry, I'm looking for information about Paolo's wife, since I much admired a statue of her in Rome - not of Ada ... but there's no trace of a wife in wiki, so if someone could help me ...
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Clemence on August 20, 2009, 12:07:45 PM
Quote
Espone inoltre a Stoccolma, città in cui conosce Elin Sundström, sua futura moglie.

http://www.museodelpaesaggio.it/it-it/home/collezioni/scultura/paolo_troubetzkoy?page=151

any information on Elin and the reason why she's not mentioned as the artists' wife?
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Tony de Gandarillas on July 29, 2011, 01:57:11 PM
Could someone help me find some more information about Ada Winans?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Winans

She was the (second) wife of prince Paolo Troubetzkoy, and I' ve much admired a statue of her in the Galleria Nazionale d' Arte Moderna in Rome, but it seems hard to find more on her ...

Ada Winans, born 1831, died 1917, was a daughter of Anthony Van Arsdale Winans (1797-1849) and a Mrs. Jay who was not his wife.  He was a grocer and merchant in New York City with a store on Front Street that burned in the great fire of 1835. Ada graduated from St. Mary’s Hall in 1853, latter she taught there in the music department.  Ada was a lyric soprano who went to Italy to study music, especially opera.  There she met the diplomat Prince Peter Troubetzkoy, born in Tulcin, 22 August 1822, died 28 August 1892.  He had been appointed governor of Smolensk and of Orel in 1844 and was later sent on a diplomatic mission (which included supervision of the Russian Church) to Florence, Italy, where he met Ada Winans.  He was already married to Princess Vavara Yourievna Troubetzkaya by whom he had three daughters, Tatiana, Elena, and Marie.  After leaving his wife and children to live openly with Ada, he was never able to return to Russia.


Prince Troubetzkoy and Ada Winans lived at Villa Ada at Ghiffa on Lake Maggiore in Italy, where they lived a Bohemian lifestyle. The family was very artistic - Ada in music
and the Prince in botany and landscape design.  Prince Troubetzkoy was an accomplished botanist and established an important garden on the grounds of the estate.
In 1870 Prince Peter Troubetzkoy obtained a divorce from his first wife and then married Ada.  At that time they obtained legitimation for the birth of their three sons: son Paolo was an internationally famed sculptor, was born in 1866, Pierre became a noted portrait painter, married an American Amelie Rives, and Prince Eugene was born in 1867.  In 1884 financial reverses forced Prince Peter to sell Villa Ada.  He later left Ada and their sons and retired with his then-mistress, Marianna Hahn, to Milan where their illegitimate son, Peter, was born in 1886.  They moved to Menton, France where Ada’s former husband died in 1892.  Ada lived until 1917. 

The above information is from Crowning Glory- American Wives of Princes and Dukes by Richard Jay Hurto and Diane Dallal’s article:

http://doaneacademy.org/documents/IvyLeaves2009Fall_000.pdf
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Clemence on November 02, 2011, 04:35:02 PM
Teresa Damala, the Great Diva of Europe. She began her life as an up-rooted wildflower of Eastern Thrace and after leaving her husband in Milan in 1918, she met Pablo Picasso (she was his undisputed favourite model), Anatole France, Gabrile D' Annunzio, Mistinguette, Benito Mussolini, Venizelos, Kemal Ataturk and, of course, Ernest Hemingway, who was to become the secret love of her life. If she had written her autobiography, she would have said: I was chosen one of the gods- I met the most important people of the century and I also slept with two or three of them  Published in German by Rotbuch Verlag Published in Turkish by Alfa Basim Yayim Dagitim

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20060807010329AAp8Alr

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacques_Damala
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Clemence on April 30, 2016, 03:55:52 AM
I am looking for information on a Russian - French poet of Greek origins, countess Eugenie Kapnist. She was already known as a poet in the first years of the 20th century and then she came to Greece to become a nurse during the Balcan wars in the north of Greece, together with some Russian relatives of her. She was engaged to be married to Dr Iason Dragasis-Palaiologos, a Greek doctor who also left his work in France to come and serve in Greece in every war in that troubled decade (1912-1922: 1st and 2nd Balcan wars, WWI, Greek national schism, Greco-Turkish war of 1919-1922).
I'd much like to find more on her, but I was not able to, so I would appreciate your help.

https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eug%C3%A9nie_Kapnist (https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eug%C3%A9nie_Kapnist)
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Mike on May 02, 2016, 12:02:08 AM
Eugenie Kapnist is virtually unknown in Russia, and no biographical source on her is available in Russian. However, a lot of information can be found on other counts Kapnist, some of whom have contributed notably to Russian history, politics and culture. The first Russian Kapnist, Peter, moved from Venice to Russia as early as 1711, and already by the end of 18 c. the family's Greek roots were almost never mentioned, and the Kapnists were rather considered to be of a Ukrainian Cossack origin.
Title: Re: Interesting Women of the Nobility
Post by: Clemence on May 03, 2016, 02:31:06 AM
Thank you for checking this out!