My book, Eczema and Atopic Dermatits: The Best Websites has recently been published. I've also had many articles published, but I'd like to write more non-fiction books and, of course, a novel!
My articles can be seen at many websites, including Life in Italy, Crescent Blues, Paris Eiffel Tower Newsletter, and France This Way.
Why did the Countess de Beauregard, the owner of a magnificent house and a fortune, leave a large sum of money to young girls who had been the victims of seduction? Who was this mysterious Countess? Perhaps she had a shady past and this was the reason for her bequest?
Elizabeth Howard, born Elizabeth Ann Harriett, did indeed have a nefarious past, which probably didn't make her happy, even though she became wealthy. Her adventures began when she was fifteen and decided to run away with a famous jockey. She lived with him in London, and decided to change her name to Howard. Perhaps she was ashamed or perhaps she just liked the name better. Who knows?
Her next lover was Major Mountjoy Martyn, a wealthy Guards officer. She became his mistress when she was eighteen. Here she had a grand house and servants. She also had a son, which pleased the Major. When she was asked who the son's parents were by the Registrations Office she named her own parents. She quickly stated: 'Plumber', when asked her son's father's occupation. Either Martyn didn't want to appear on the Birth Certificate as the son's father, or Lizzie didn't want him to be named as the father. However, he lavished gifts on Lizzie and liked having a son. Martyn was soon for 'the chop', unfortunately.
Lizzie became an actress at the Haymarket Theatre but even a career wasn't enough for her. This ambitious girl was after better things! Lizzie fell madly in love with Napoleon III at a party held by Lady Blessington in London. The darkly handsome, but short prince, impressed many women. Even Queen Victoria seemed to rather like his looks! The French prince was then in exile in England. Lizzie began living with Napoleon and his two sons. They were the sons of his former laundress. She also hired tutors so that she could befit her new status.
Lizzie's money helped Napoleon stage his return to France where he became President and eventually Emperor. She lived near the Palais Elysee where she was set up as his mistress. She wanted to be Napoleon's Empress, but she was to be disappointed.
Napoleon sent Lizzie on a secret mission to England soon after becoming Emperor. While she was there he sent men to ransack her house and destroy any evidence of their relationship. He had decided to marry the beautiful Eugenie de Montejo instead.
Lizzie was furious. She made him repay the large sum of money that she lent him. He also made her a countess and also gave her son a title. This acquisition probably helped Lizzie finally get married, but she made a bad choice. Lizzie's new husband was Captain Clarence Trelawney, an English horse breeder. The marriage was unhappy, probably because Trelawney used Lizzie's money for his business, and they eventually divorced.
Lizzie died in 1865.Her bequest to the home for girls indicates that she must have had some regrets, in spite of her money and luxurious life.