Emma Hamilton

(1765—1815) social celebrity and artist's model

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Born in the Wirral as Amy Lyon, Emma's sensational beauty became celebrated through the art of an early mentor, George Romney (1734–1802). Mistress of Sir Harry Fetherstonhaugh, and then in 1782 of Charles Greville, Emma fell deeply in love with him. But in 1786 he passed her on to his widower uncle Sir William Hamilton (1730–1803), British representative at the court of Naples and Sicily. Hamilton delighted in Emma's theatrical flair, and in 1791 he married her. An intimate of Queen Maria Carolina, Emma was able to bring timely sustenance to Nelson's ships before the Nile battle in August 1798. From this time on Nelson's infatuation with her moulded her future and dramatized Nelson's. Defiant in self‐induced adversity, after her mother's death in 1810 Emma Hamilton degenerated beyond redemption. She died in Calais.

Subjects: British History — Modern History (1700 to 1945).

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