Hester Lucy Stanhope. [Facsimile signature.]
Published by R. Bentley New Burlington Street. [n.d., c.1840.]
Lithograph, sheet 210 x 135mm. 8¼ x 5¼". Tipped into album page.
Lady Hester Lucy Stanhope (1776 - 1839), traveller. Lady Stanhope spent several years keeping house for her uncle, the Prime Minister William Pitt the Younger, a period that she claimed was the happiest of her life. After his death she left Britain for Turkey, ostensibly to make her money go further, and never returned. Myths accumulated around her as she travelled the Middle East, making a spectacular entry into Palmyra in 1813, calling herself 'Queen of the Desert'. Travelling in extravagant style, she gradually sank deeper into debt. Her later years were spent in a ruined Lebanese monastery, initially admired but living increasingly in destitution. When she was shipwrecked off Rhodes in 1812, she lost her entire wardrobe and then adopted Turkish dress, as shown in this romanticised image of her with her ubiquitous pipe.
NPG: D5409; only likeness listed in DNB
[Ref: 16914] £85.00