Jane Digby

The below was found in Barbara Holland's They Went Whistling. My new personal hero, let me show you her:

"The Honorable Jane Digby worked her way man by man toward joyous exile. She was, in rapid succession, Lady Ellenborough, Baroness Venningen, Countess Theotoky, and Mrs. Sheik Abdul Medjuel El Mezrab, and those were only the legal liaisons. Sprinkled among them were any number of lovers, including King Ludwig of Bavaria; his son, King Otho of Greece; an Austrian prince named Schwarzenberg, by whom she had two daughters; the future Napoleon III, and Honore de Balzac . . . She did it for love. Each new man was the love of her life . . . she spoke and read nine languages and became the foremost authority on Syrian antiquities.

". . . [she kept moving] steadily eastward until finally a young Arab lover introduced her to the desert and the black Bedouin tents, and she knew she was home . . . Galloping around in the blazing desert before the days of sunscreen or Oil of Olay, somehow she kept her transparent English skin, and when she was fifty she looked thirty–and acted twenty" (93-95).

She died at seventy-four of cholera in 1881, continuing to go on nomadic adventures up until her death, happily married for thirty years to her sheik husband (who was twenty years her junior).

I like her SO MUCH I would actually slap any historian who speaks badly of her.

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