Politicians, poets, artists, princes; Lillie Langtry was adored by all. This biography explores the life of a remarkable woman who enthralled Victorian Britain and Gilded Age America.
Born on the remote island of Jersey in the English Channel, Lillie moved to London at the age of twenty with her new husband, the Irish landowner, Edward Langtry, in 1876 and took society by storm.
Social, political and artistic giants from Oscar Wilde to William Gladstone were enraptured by her charm and beauty. Theodore Roosevelt said of her “That woman is a real marvel. And she’s so pretty she takes away a man’s breath.” While Walt Whitman noted “There shines in Lillie Langtry a purity of spirit. Therein lies the essence of human poetry.”
Yet it was Edward, Prince of Wales and future King of England, who truly became infatuated with Lillie and soon she became his mistress.
Over the course of the next few decades she travelled between America and Britain, as she transformed from socialite to actress, captivating newspaper readers with details of her turbulent love life.
Noel B. Gerson uncovers the twists and turns of the most famous, some would say infamous, woman of her age as she mesmerized society on both sides of the Atlantic.