"I would rather have discovered Mrs. Lillie Langtry than have discovered America."
LILLIE LANGTRY (1853-1929)
Lillie Langtry, noted for her escapades with cohort Oscar Wilde, and as consort
to the Prince of Wales (the future Edward VII), was born in 1853 on the Isle
of Jersey. Educated as if a young man--in history, philosophy, literature,
languages, and the arts--Langtry was an unusual woman known for her quick
wit, direct style, and classic Victorian beauty (she was nicknamed "The Jersey
Lily".) Wilde was said to have written "Lady Windermere’s Fan"
for her. She toured briefly as an actress, the first "true lady
" to have taken to the stage as acting at that time was not considered a
fully respectable profession. While in the US, Judge Roy Bean fell
madly in love with her after watching her performance. "Madly" being
the operative word, he actually shot and killed men who didn't agree that
she was the most beautiful woman in the world. (He did this in his Texas
hometown, which he renamed "Langtry".)
Lillie's husband, Edward Langtry died in 1897, and two years later she married Hugo de Bathe. Lillie Langtry died in 1929.