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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lillie Langtry, The Jersey Lily, and Lille Diane

I am working on a few projects (at once...) but one of them includes scanning, and compiling my personal photographs, as well as my professional modeling and musician portfolio. Big undertaking. This task is on my 101 List.

What many of you do not know about me is that I was born on the same day as Lillie Langtry exactly 99 years apart. She was called the Jersey Lily. She was a an independent woman more suited for our day and age, an actress that could be compared to our generation's Meryl Streep, and was considered to be the most beautiful woman of her time. In fact, Judge Roy Bean named his city, Langtry, TX, after her because he was so smitten with her. I hope this post will encourage you to read more about her.

Lillie above, me below....
I got goose bumps the first time I read her biography and discovered what seem to be so many similarities between us. At times I felt as if I knew what the next page in the book would say about her before I turned the page. Do any of you believe in re-incarnation? Past Lives?

Now I am not comparing myself to her caliber of beauty--in no way--it was more the "way" she thought, the "way" she believed in herself, and the "way" she lived her life. I ventured out on my professional singing career in my early 20's after I read about her. She gave me the courage to live my childhood dream. I will be re-reading my well loved, dog-earred copy of her book again. Perhaps she will inspire me from beyond, once again, to live my life with gusto. And without fear.

Excerpt from, "The Diva's Site"

""An open secret, Lillie Langtry became Prince Albert’s’ official mistress. Designers heaped free clothes on her so she never had to worry her husband with that expense. They were given a gilded coach so the Langtrys could travel to each party in style. Appreciated by the men, Lillie was not so coveted by the women, but was nonetheless invited to all social events as everywhere that Lillie went, the Prince was sure to go. The High Society Express was moving full steam ahead and Lillie couldn’t be happier. She was often known as “The Langtry Phenomenon.” The Diva was in full flower.

The press couldn’t get enough of her. She was written about on a daily basis and the public was eager to see what she would do next. George Bernard Shaw was quoted as saying, “I resent Mrs. Langtry, she has no right to be intelligent, daring and independent, as well as lovely.” Oscar Wilde, great wit of the day and a bit of a Diva himself, once said “I would rather have discovered Lillie Langtry than America.” Princess Alexandra, often viewed as the long-suffering wife, soon met Lillie and the two developed a caring, friendly relationship. A quality not often found in the Other Woman, but a secret weapon used much to Mrs. Langtry’s credit. It gave her a special cachet that might otherwise have left her merely tolerated by the women of high society. Soon thereafter, Lillie was presented at court to Bertie’s mother, Queen Victoria. The Queen’s reaction was never recorded but it was said that she personally removed a picture of Mrs. Langtry from above the bed of her youngest son, Prince Leopold.""


Cameo of Lillie Langtry

Available from secondhand/Antiquarian Bookshops :-

The Days I Knew -by - Lillie Langtry - published 1925
The Jersey Lily - by - Pierre Sichel - published 1958
The Gilded Lillie - by - Ernest Dudley - published 1958
Lillie Langtry a Biography - by - Noel B Gerson - published 1971
The Prince and the Lillie - by - James Brough - published 1975
Lillie - by - David Butler - published 1978
Lillie Langtry - Her life in words and picutres - by - Jeremy Birkett & John Richardson - published 1979

The Jersey Lily - by - Sonia Hilson - published 1993
Lillie Langtry Manners Masks and Morals - by - Laura Beatty - published 1999

Or try Amazon, Borders or Barnes and Noble.


  1. hehe... That was one of my nicknames some co-workers used to call me! I don't know much about her, except that the Judge thought she was the sweetest songbird that side of the Mississippi! I think it was in a movie. Now I'll have to read up on her.

  2. You are so cool! There truly is a similarity in your looks, and I love the way you presented all these shots.
    I do know about her. My mother often told how she was my grandfather's favorite -- saw her perform in person -- and I guess his admiration made my grandmother jealous at times.
    Also, having been raised in Reno and frequenting Virginia City on family outings and later on teenage dates, I recall her photo and name on the wall at Piper's Opera House where she had played on stage. As a kid I would stare at her picture and think that she had delighted my grandfather (who died long before I was born) was all very surreal for me.
    I just read a fascinating article about the Spirits of Virginia City, and Langtry is mentioned in it!

  3. lil D- I loved these pics and your beauty certainly is nothing below hers. enjoyed learning about Lillie. Thanks, ~rick

  4. I hope you find that inspiration again! this was a really interesting post.

  5. A lily by any other name is still a jersey lily. O.K. I just made that up.

  6. I can relate to working on several projects at once. I try to scan a few pics a day, and I wonder if I will ever get them all scanned. I would love to hear more about that task you're undertaking! How many photos do you think you have to scan? How many per day do you try to scan? Do you take photo albums apart and then put them back together! I obviously need advice on this project, but you don't have to answer all these questions LOL.

    You certainly peeked my interest in Lillie Langtry! There's nothing wrong with comparing her beauty to yours. The photo comparisons you showed are eerily similar, wouldn't you say! I think your'e prettier than her. This whole thing would give me goose bumps too. I think you are really HER, reincarnated!

    Cue the scary music!

  7. Beautiful pictures!... Why not re-incarnation!... I will have to do some reading up on this lady, cheers for bringing my attention to her!

  8. Thank you everyone. I hope you enjoyed a fun history lesson. I didn't realize until I started looking for pictures of her online that so many of them looked similar to a photo shoot I did last year. Errrrr I mean a few years ago.... OK at least 10 years ago. LOL

    I am going to visit Reno again one day. I love your story about your grandfather, and Lillie. I read the article about Virginia City. Very cool! I'll have to see what they have online about Piper's and see if they have the pic on the ceiling they say floated down to the stage when a young actress-singer sang one of Lillie's songs.

    AND yes, John... we should cue up the scary music. LOL and blushity-blush thank you for the sweet comments.

    As far as the pics & scanning them. Oh boy that should be a blog post in itself. LOL I am just beginning, and as soon as I get my groove going, I think I will post a how to. After-all it is on my 101 list. :-)

    ~~~Have a wonderful day, everyone and showing such wonderful interest in something dear to my heart.~~~


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