A portrait of Mrs Lillie Langtry
A portrait of Mrs Lillie Langtry. Born Emilie Charlotte Le Breton, was a British music hall singer and stage actress famous for her many stage productions including She Stoops to Conquer, The Lady of Lyons and As You Like It.
She had a number of relationships with British Royals, firstly as the Royal mistress of The Prince of Wales, Albert Edward. As that ended she began an affair with the Earl of Shrewsbury. She also had a brief affair with the German Prince Louis of Battenberg.
© Mary Evans / Pharcide
Portrait of Ethel Le Neve
Ethel Le Neve, Dr Crippen's mistress. Dr Crippen, an American citizen, lived at 39 Hilldrop Cresent, Camden, London. He was accused of murdering his wife when she disappeared under suspicious circumstances. Crippen had told friends that his wife, Belle Elmore had died due to illness, but when first questioned by police he told them she had eloped with a lover. The police returned to Hilldrop Cresent to question Crippen a second time only to discover that he and his mistress, Miss Le Neve had disappeared. Detectives searched around the house and uncovered a headless body in the cellar. A warrant was released for Dr Crippen's arrest. The captain of the ship, the 'Montrose', on which Crippen was travelling in disguise, suspected him and his fellow passenger, Le Neve (dressed as a boy). The captain sent a wireless message to Scotland Yard, telling of his suspicions. The ship was greeted by the police and Dr Crippen and Miss Le Neve were arrested. Crippen was tried for murder and sentenced to death, whilst Miss Le Neve was acquitted and moved to America under a different name.
© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans
Irene - a play by Samuel Johnson
Irene is a Neoclassical tragedy written between 1726 and 1749 by Samuel Johnson. Johnson's main source for the story of Irene was Richard Knolles's 'Generall Historie of the Turkes' (1603). In Knolles's work, the Sultan Mahomet conquers Constantinople in 1453 and captures a Greek Christian named Irene. He decides to take her as his mistress, and while pursuing her romantically he ignores his duties as a monarch. Soon, the kingdom is falling apart from neglect and the subjects begin to riot, so Mahomet kills Irene to prove his dedication to his people (as depicted here). Date: circa 1730
© Mary Evans / Grenville Collins Postcard Collection