1807-1881. Adventuress. Jane Digby would've been a scandal in any era, including ours.
A high-born English woman, Jane Digby was married four times, had as many high-profile affairs and ended her life as the wife of an Arab sheik in Syria.
After having an affair behind her first husband's back — with her cousin, no less— she was divorced and a "party girl" (sarcastic emphasis, author's own) infamous enough that numerous novelists, wrote interpretations of her into their works. Lady Arabella Dudley from Balzac's La Comedie humaine is one of them.
She had affairs, and marriages, with:
- A Prince of Austria
- Rebounded from the Prince with King Ludwig I of Bavaria
- A Baron from Germany
- A Greek Count
- -Rebounded from the Count with King Otto of Greece who was King Ludwig's SON (!!!!!!!!)
And yet, this was all dissatisfying to her, so at forty-six — and in a time when most women didn't travel, and certainly not alone — she headed to Damascus, Syria, where she met the love of her life, an Arab sheik and leader of a Bedouin tribe, Sheik Medjuel el Mezrab. He was twenty years her junior.
She spent the remaining twenty-six years of her life with the Sheik, who she married. As was tradition, they spent six months of the year living nomadically in goat hair tents, and the other six months in a gorgeous Palmyrian villa. She learned to speak Arabic and dyed her blonde hair black. When she died at 74, her heartbroken husband sacrificed one of his finest camels in her honor.