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Welcome to criminalize a production of scandal and audio in partnership with I Heart Radio. Hello and welcome to the second season of criminality. This season, we are exploring the lives and motivations of some of the most notorious stalkers throughout history. I'm Maria Tomoaki. And I'm Holly Fry. And today we are going to meet a woman named Lady Georgiana Fame. She was an English heiress who is known for basically two things. One, for a portrait that was painted of her when she was about five years old and dressed as a peasant girl and two for stalking Arthur Wellesley, who is better known as the Duke of Wellington and the hero of Waterloo.


So the Duke was once quoted as saying, The only thing I'm afraid of is fear. And that's a worthy quote for a general. If that sentiment sounds familiar, though, there's a more famous modern iteration of it echoed by our president, Franklin D. Roosevelt in his 1933 inaugural address. And he said the only thing we have to fear is fear itself. And frankly, I think Thoreau wrote something like that as well. This is a statement that kind of gets floated around a bit.


Yeah, well, and I think people quoted all the time without even thinking about attribution one way or another. I think so, too. Absolutely. But OK, so going back to Wellington for a second after reading Georgeann, I might have reconsidered what he was afraid of because there is quite a story here.


Right. So first, some context on who she was. Georgiana Fein was born Lady Cecily Jane Georgiana fame in 1881. And at the time, nineteenth century England was going through a period of rapid economic development due to the Industrial Revolution.


Sometimes it's also called the first industrial revolution.


As part of the upper class or aristocracy, Georganas family held powerful positions and that gave them a lot of authority over others. It gave them better living conditions and better facilities over just the rest of the population.


Right. And many of them, perhaps not really surprisingly, did not work. Instead, they often made investments to create profit for themselves.


Some were landowners who hired lower class workers to work for them. But even for the aristocracy, it wasn't all money and games for everyone.


This was also a time where women could not vote no matter who they were or what part of society they came from. There were certainly no women in parliament, and the ideal woman of the time was, and we quote the angel in the House and her role as a wife should be to support her husband.


Yeah, yeah. It's not not a ton of agency for most women. Not a lot of a lot of times even women who were very educated. The idea was that their education would allow them to entertain their husbands. Right.


Play the piano for your husband. Right.


It's not so much about actually having creative fulfillment or mores or knowledge of careers that you share. Yes, exactly right. So Georgianna, as we said, grew up in a very moneyed, aristocratic family. Her father, Jon Faine, also known as Lord Westmoreland, was a British Tory politician who served in most of the cabinets of the period. John was married twice. His first marriage was an elopement because the bride's wealthy father forbid the match that was to Sarah and child.


And they had a son and four daughters. And they seem to have lived, at least on the outside, from the outside perspective, pretty happily until Sarah unfortunately died of an undisclosed condition and she was only twenty nine at the time. Yeah.


So John John married again and his marriage took place in 1800 and he and his wife Jane had three sons and two daughters before they separated and their eldest child was Georgiana.


So I want to talk about this portrait that she's famous for. Yes.


The five year old. It is fascinating and it is, as we said, of a very young Georgiana. It is said that her mother was very likely the driving force behind it all.


So you want to think of this kind of like she was the stage mother, except it was for portraiture rather than pushing her into a commercial. And this is kind of a good example of the kind of decadent life and high society that Georgiana was raised in, though this famous famous portrait was painted in 1886 while the artists, Sir Thomas Lawrence was also busy working on two portraits of her father.


So why not combine the hours, just keep it in the family? So this portrait, you can see it easily online. If you Google Georgiana, you can see she's very young. She appears barefoot, she's dressed in tattered clothing and she's she's against kind of a rugged backdrop.


And the unusual landscape and choice of clothes were said to reflect the new spirit of the romantic era.


And that's the era that peaked between about 1800 and like let's call it 1850. So it. The prime of her life, she's born in 1881, right? So this is what she knows and romanticism. It was a literary and artistic movement.


And you might be familiar with some of the writers of the period, including William Wordsworth and Lord Byron. It was a time when the emphasis was on, you know, individualism and emotion and when intellectuals and artists were challenging society. So naturally, it was the time for five year old heiress to dress in rags.


So if that sounds like kind of a weird classism flip of appropriating imagery of poverty and strife to appear enlightened, you are correct.


That's exactly what it was. It was also really common for portraits to feature the subject as a well-known figure from mythology or fables. And this sort of served as a way to project them as having the qualities of various noble heroes and gods again, to give people who really probably had not experienced a lot of strife that would lead to personal growth in their life. But to give them an association of enlightenment and goodness, you mean it's not easy to become enlightened, just a portrait.


You just need a pretty painting of yourself dressed in a kind of a tattered dress, tattered rags like enlightenment. So I do a little side note on our portraiture and talk a little bit about the artist. So the artist, as Holly said, was her Thomas Lawrence. And he was self-taught.


He was a child prodigy who gained prominence in England as a master portraitist. He became so well known that he was actually a touch point for just about all members of the British upper class. At this time, for example, he painted a well-known portrait of Lady Caroline Lamb, who we've talked about previously. His painting of the young Georgiana is still considered a prime example of romantic portraiture and the trend of placing subjects in scenarios and roles much different from their actual lives.


Yes, sir.


Thomas Lawrence is interesting because if you just start to look at the portraits he painted, he's basically done imagery of every famous person from history that was in high society in England at the time. He kind of becomes one of those historical nexus points because he knew everyone that you might talk to you that was connected to everyone else. So now that we are done with our indulgence in our art history lesson, this is a really good time for a break, because when we return, we're going to talk about who the Duke of Wellington was.


What are the shadow people in Hartmann? I've received thousands of reports of these beings from around the globe. I'm Heidi Collins and I'm the author who first named and defined both of these beings. I'm also an experienced therapist. And now I welcome you to send me your stories on anything from the demonic to the divine for help or insight at Heidi Collins dot com. So together each week we'll discover how many experiences are connected as we journey on my new podcast, The Darker Side of Life to help open up your life into the life.


Hi, it's Laverne Cox and my new podcast, Laverne Cox Show, we're ripping the Band-Aid off trauma, resilient, dating, diet, culture, dating, white supremacy, dating, OK, I'm not going to get explicit, but just because you kill, like I'm not going to say yes, girl and honey, we have a lot of fun along the way.


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Welcome back to Criminality. Let's talk about the victim, the Duke, and how he met Lady Fain.


So until his early 20s, Arthur, as the Duke of Wellington was known, then showed no apparent aptitude for anything academic or other.


So what are the things that came up in research? Was that the only thing that he really showed any promise in was violin playing? But that also wasn't something that he pursued right to the point that it would become a profession or a level of mastery. He was, by all accounts, a fairly unhappy and lonely boy. People considered him kind of lazy and awkward. And in fact, he displayed none of the talents that would manifest later in his life.


He was just a late bloomer. Absolutely right.


I mean, think about it like he's a 13 year old boy who sometimes plays his violin.


You know, you don't see him growing up to be a general, maybe like he will lead people into successful battles. And his mom, so his mom actually grew increasingly concerned about his laziness. And she is known to have stated on more than one occasion, and we'll quote this I don't know what I shall do with my awkward son, Arthur.


So. Oh, Mom.


So it sounds like his mother never also would have guessed that Arthur would grow up to be the Duke of Wellington, the general who defeated Napoleon at the Battle of Waterloo. But that victory that he had as an adult helped shape modern Europe.


But no one would have expected such influential achievements from the young Arthur.


And during his life, he was called Yes, Arthur. But as he grew up, he was also referred to with a variety of other rather colorful monikers. We don't even have all of them listed.


This is just a matter.


So he was sometimes called the Iron Duke, the less flattering old nosef, the Bo, the Eagle, the world's conqueror.


He wanted that one on a shirt.


That's big. Yeah. And Maria's favorite of the ones she found the beef, the beef.


I'm going to go have drinks with the beef later. How could you not love. Right. So that last one is more amusing than true. We don't know for sure that anyone casually would have referred to him as the best.


We know that chefs argue about whether or not it was named after him, the beef Wellington. But I don't think anybody really called him beef with the beef. Come on, beef.


We will not get into the fact that he is often also confused with the composer Duke Ellington, not the same person at all. But for our purposes, we're just going to prefer to call him the Duke.


So we know that the Duke of Wellington became a national hero when he defeated Napoleon and that ended the Napoleonic Wars. Waterloo was actually the last battle for both of those men.


The Duke's military achievements, even prior to that famed conflict, earned him a knighthood in 1865.


So for a time frame reference here, Georgiana was still just a really little kid when he was getting that honor in his lengthy military career, he won something like 32 to sixty major battles. The sources tend to disagree on which number of that is true, but they don't disagree on this. He was never defeated. And after Napoleon was exiled in 1814, the Duke served as the ambassador to France, and that is where he was given his Duke title.


So the Duke was also something of a ladies man, both romantically and just as good company. He was like a gent that women like to hang out with.


He was said to have had a wee quote. Vigorous sexual appetite outside of his marriage for many decades, and in particular, he really likes smart women who are also easy on the eyes. No one now or then is surprised that the British lampooned him for it because it doesn't sound like he was terribly careful about it. I think he was candid.


I never got that feeling that he had had many affairs. It was Georgiana, Georgiana Fein, who was his most persistent female admirer.


The two first met in Paris, actually, and they danced at a ball after his victory at Waterloo. And this was in 1815. So that would put her at 14 and him at 46, maybe 47 during her 20s and 30s.


Their relationship did become romantic in nature. And this would be a romantic relationship that went on to haunt him for literally the rest of his life.


We're having a little foreshadowing here, right?


Right. Right. So just not to take away from the fact that he was, you know, a roving roving gent when he met Georgiana, when she was still a teenager.


That was not a romantic involvement. It was it might have been for her in imprinting experience, but he wasn't he wasn't like Scheveningen a teenager at that point. He waited till she was twenty. Right. Which has its own weird stuff. There's no matter how you slice it. Yeah.


So the Duke of Wellington did become fond of his young, aristocratic admirer. And despite his marriage, as Maria said, their friendship developed into romance and the two began to exchange letters. Suggestive letters from Wellington to Georgiana still exists today that confirm that the two did have a sexual relationship in the 20s.


So the Duke's wife, the Duke's wife, was named Kitty, and she passed away in 1830. And when that happened, Georgiana and several other good, a handful of other high society women really stepped up their game in regard to their interest in the Duke, all doting on him and hoping to become his new wife.


And so when Georgiana was rebuffed by him, she refused to accept this rejection.


And instead of walking away and moving on with her life, she instead harassed him.


And like I said earlier, actually, until the day he died, it's interesting to note, right. Like we should remember when we talk about how coveted he was as a widower, like, remember, this is a hero of the country.


He's a war hero. There were had a way with women.


So like it it's not surprising that immediately everyone was like, I would like to become the next Mrs. Wellington.


Thank you. And it is it is said in Georgina's case that like her mother, she had what was often called and we quote, a lively disposition. But she was also described throughout her life as being really quite highly strung. And we quote again, possibly to the point of neurosis. She was often described as being chronically ill because of this, and it was believed that her disposition was, quote, almost entirely nervous. So you could see where someone with that disposition might fixate on someone who danced with them when they were 14.




So, OK, we're going to take a quick sponsor break. And when we return, we will talk about how Georgeann, his letters started to turn a little more hateful.


Ready for the world of weird. Buckle up for a wild ride as I Joshua P. Warren, the wizard of Weird, bring you the strangest of the strange. Each week I'll have a power packed show with mind blowing experiments. You can do breaking news from the field, ancient secrets and so much more. All truly amazing. I'll be your personal guide behind the scenes of the bazaar. So get ready. You want hear this special? Can't do it anywhere else.


Tune in each week to Strange Things with Joshua P. Warren heard on the I Heart media app Apple podcasts and wherever you find your favorite shows.


Welcome back to Criminal.


Let's talk next about how the Duke begged Georgiades mother to help him so it might be easy to imagine Georgianna as a lonely girl who became fixated on the only man who ever paid attention to her.


And that would fall right in line with a lot of the fiction stories you might see about stalkers on TV or in the movies.


But when it comes to Georgiana, it doesn't actually hold true at all. No, it was not as though she was not receiving attention from other men and in fact, marriage proposals from other men. Henry John Temple, also known as Lord Palmerston, for instance, proposed to Georgiana twice, but she turned him down twice now. We do not we do not know for sure why, aside, of course, from her obsession with the Duke. But there is another spanner in the works, because we know that Henry was also having an affair with her married half sister, the Countess of Jersey, at the time.


Obviously, there's a lot of intrigue going on, so you could draw your own conclusions. The course of true love never did run smooth.


If we would borrow from Shakespeare, it seems, especially the case in this particular social circle.


It does it really does seem to work well for these this group. So by the mid eighteen thirties, Georgiana had begun to make life big, big, big misery for the Duke.


He had grown uncomfortable with the tone of her letters and they were becoming increasingly persistent about their relationship.


She also frequently waited for him to come out of church service and wasn't above making a scene about how all she wanted from him was the kindness she believed he refused to give her. The more the Duke turned away from her, the more Diana's affections began to turn into hate.


And she began to bombard him with bitter and abusive letters and her correspondence, which, interestingly enough, was all written in the third person.


I agreed that that was odd, continued. But it was. And it wasn't just about unwanted letters, though. So Georgiana was just sending letters, but she was doing a lot of things in them that were very troubling. She threatened that she was going to sue the Duke for breach of contract because she believed that he had promised in his letters that he was going to marry her. And then, of course, he did not do so.


She also threatened to publish the love letters that he had written to her, which, by the moral standards at the time, would have been an absolute national scandal, to have a war heroes, a famous war heroes, letters to the various women that he had romantic entanglements with would have been justs many pearls, would have been clutched in many fainting couches, would have been called for smelling salts.


Bring them, please. The Duke there actually was no stranger to threats regarding his romantic affairs.


For instance, in 1824, he had another affair and it came back to haunt him. And he received a letter from a man named John Joseph Stockdale. And John Joseph Stockdale was a publisher who was offering to refrain from releasing the racy memoirs of one of the Duke's mistresses, a woman named Harriet Wilson. And he said he would do it in exchange for money. So we might just consider that Mr Stockdale was trying to blackmail the Duke at his point.


But the Duke, it's rumored, replied and his quote is publish and be damned.


So we did come across a minority among historians who don't believe that he wrote such a thing at all.


But there is the WHO believes that he did.


And I like to think that the Iron Duke did write that he may have thought his reputation was above tarnish at that point. But we are lucky enough that one of the Duke's letters still exists today. This letter was written in October of 1851. So make note that at this point the Duke was 82 years old. And that letter was discovered in 2002 at Fulbeck Hall, which was the famed family's home for more than 400 years. But this letter was not to Georgiana.


It was, in fact, to her mother begging her to please put an end to her daughter's obsession and the unwelcome correspondence that she kept sending the Duke. Wow.


This letter opened with my dear madam, and then it went on for four pages.


But it starts with I have long had it in contemplation to appeal to your ladyship and to request your ladyship's interference with your daughter, Lady Georgiana. Fame, to prevail upon her ladyship, to cease to molest me with daily vituperative letters.


Oh, wow. So he he also addressed the alleged. Breach of contract in regard to marriage and quote, said, you have been misinformed, there is nothing of the nature of a misunderstanding. He described Georgina's actions as extraordinary and went on to say that she was, quote, betrayed such lack of good faith that it was impossible for him to continue any acquaintance.


But see, there was the problem of the letters that she was sending, which we've talked a lot about.


But there was another problem here.


She had begun showing his romantic letters to other people.


Right. Which he had written years before. At this point, let's go.


You know, 40 years or so, not long after contacting Georgina's mother, I think it puts it at about 30, 25 to 30, right? Yeah, because it was in the 20s and this was the 50s when he this is the 50s. So about 30, 30 years. So not long ago, contacting George on his mother, which was on September 14th of 1852, the Duke actually died. He was 83 at the time. And this followed an incident where he had a stroke.


And he should be remembered for more than the two things we talked about. Right. We mentioned that he was the general who won at Waterloo and that he was a notorious womanizer. But he was a lot of other things. As we said long before Waterloo, he was being honored for his achievements. Also later in his career, the Duke went on to become the leader of the Tory Party and during his time as prime minister, which ran from 1828 to 1830 and then again in 1834, he not only shepherded an important, although controversial act that allowed Catholic emancipation in Britain, he was also the one who planted the seed that slowly moved the country toward democracy.


In 2002, he was actually ranked number 15 in the BBC's poll of the 100 greatest Britons.


There are two things about him, actually, that I found when I was doing my research that actually really had nothing to do with being stalked, had to do with him and what he was like in his life.


And one of these instances was about how he really liked to just go to the pub and drink with his friends and laugh and tell jokes and be rowdy until like early in the morning.


And the second piece about him that I thought was really interesting was that he he had a penchant for wearing white trousers with a cocked hat. And that was kind of his his style.


When I just thought you could see him coming down the street like you knew the Duke of Wellington was there between his laugh and his pants and a signature style.


I love it. So that's the end of the Duke's life. But let's talk a little bit more about Georgiana, because she did live for 22 years after the Duke died and she lived with her mother, the Countess, for that entire time, and she never actually married. When her mother passed away in March of 1857, Georgiana lived on as the sole mistress of their home, Brumpton, for another 12 years or so. When she died in December of 1874, the value of her assets came to be just under 18 million pounds at today's value.


It's always a little rough to estimate between the nineteenth century and the 21st century, but they would say about eighteen million pounds.


But the estate? She left her estate to her nephew, the honorable Spencer Ponsonby. It was heavily indebted, but it was his.


So and I don't want to forget about the portrait because there's still the portrait. At the end of her life, she had it and she willed it to the national collection. And while it's not on display currently, it is in existence and I believe does go on display from time to time.


It's also famous enough that prints of it have been on display in other museums and the prints are considered very valuable as well.


Yes, yes. And like I said earlier, you can pull it up so easily. All these things that, you know, we can't go to museums right now. So just to praise the museums that have put their collections online, best you can have a pretend visit the printed wall.


You can have a pretend visit while you drink this drink that Holly is about to tell us about. So today's chaser, the context for it is that I was thinking about what a very young woman might think would seem cultured and cool to an older man, and I like it and would also kind of appeal to her own tastes.


And it's a very, very simple drink, but would kind of represent what she thought was a really romantic, sexy kind of drink. It is called suggestive letters. It's the simplest thing to put together. It's literally just an ounce of passion fruit liquor. Oh. Which you can put in a flute or a cup. I feel like a flute works for this because next year you're just going to top it off with like four to five ounces of champagne.


You can give it a quick stir. You can let it kind of mix as you drink. So you get to the sweetest part at the end. But to me, I could just imagine her making this and thinking she was the fanciest lady and going to super impress this dude. I think it's funny that there's a drink for her that you get to the sweetest part at the end because you actually get to the most hateful bright side.


But see, I have a theory about her based entirely on just my own conjecture, which is that she turned down all of these men. Mm hmm.


She never married even long after the Duke was deceased and clearly not going to be an option 22 years, I think, in her head. She was writing what she thought was going to be her part in history and that people would see her as this icon of devotion, like they would be like she waited for him her whole life, her whole life and beyond. She loved him so much, like I think in her head. That's how the story was going to play out.


And so, yeah, to her, that would have been like the coda, perhaps recognizing it was not going to happen.


She made herself sort of a love martyr in her own mind, strictly my theory.


But that's not I like to tag each of our episodes and that love martyr I love Martyr would also be a good name for a drink. But since that's the made up part in my head and we do know there were suggestive letters, that's why I picked that. So I will say this. It is a very delightful and refreshing little cyper. You know, you can have a couple in it. It does sort of taste like that wonderful sensation of falling in love because it's bubbly and it's sweet, but it's soft and yummy.


It's good. Champagne is a great thing to experiment with, if you like. It makes a little bit of anything else with it. You get really interesting things. I like to mix a little fireball with champagne. You get something, well, kind of zazie. I never even thought about that.


Yeah. This whole show. And that's what blows my right. Not any of the other crazy concoction of the other stuff. You can put whiskey champagne together and get a whole new thing.


But fireball. Oh my God.


Ray Fireball. I have also seen people do like a New Year's Eve champagne cocktail with Goldschlager, which is a similar but bigger flavor. And it also has that fancy bonus of having gold flakes in it. Gold, right? Yeah. Yeah. Here, not a bottle of champagne and some passionfruit liqueur. You're all set to become Lady Selwin, so I guess you can fancy yourself a love martyr. Please don't be more Lady Love Martyr.


Thank you again, though, for spending this time with us. We love sharing these stories with you and our wacky cocktails connected to them. I love that Maria still looks slightly shocked thinking about whiskey and champagne together.


I do things that I've never mixed. I love whiskey. Fireball and even now. Criminality is a production of QandA Land Audio in partnership with I Heart Radio for more podcasts from Shandley and Audio. Please visit the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you listen to your favorite shows.