1835-1886. Grande horizontale, queen of outrage... murderess?
Where to even start with Cora Pearl?
By all accounts, Cora Pearl was a nightmare, but an insanely entertaining one.
She was beyond extravagant.
She enjoyed showing up to parties in the nude.
She dyed her dog’s fur to match her gowns.
She inspired a wildly popular cocktail — the Tears of Cora.
She once served herself naked, on a silver platter, with a garnish of parsley, after wagering with a group of men that she’d serve them a dish that they couldn’t cut.
She had her breasts cast in mold and made golden goblets from them.
She was famous for “adopting a new look every evening,” wearing wigs and makeup at a time when they were out of fashion.
She had a "sewer of a mouth," à la Catherine Sedley.
She wore a gold chain necklace that bore the coats of arms of her twelve largest benefactors.
She threw balls where men were to dress in women’s clothing, and vice versa.
She danced with diamonds embedded in the soles of her shoes.
She gave the diamonds that fell off of the soles of her shoes to her maids.
She is the reason why many scions of aristocratic families lost their fortunes.
She once received a box of candies, each wrapped with a thousand-franc note.
She played extreme love sports, believing that men preferred the chase.
She eventually stopped playing her games when one of her lovers tried to kill her, and himself.
She was accused of murder when the suicide attempt failed.
She was run out of Paris and lost her fortune.
She joked that she was “Cora, without the Pearls.”
She never lost the attention of her admirers, who paid for her to live comfortably when she was old.
She never lost her “genial disposition.”
She lived “without fear of the other side.”
She died of intestinal cancer at fifty-one.
She maintained in her memoirs that she knew "no other happiness [...] than independence."
She lived by her motto, “let us live and enjoy life.”
She is a fucking legend.