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Post "This Island is a Little Paradise"
Created by John Eipper on 07/11/18 4:54 PM

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"This Island is a Little Paradise" (John Heelan, UK, 07/11/18 4:54 pm)

Nigel Jones (10 July) might like to add to his list of house-adorning plaques those on the Island [Isle of Wight, JE].

One such plaque remembers the stay of Karl Marx, who rented a house at 1 St Boniface Gardens for the winters of 1881-2 and 1882-3, having written to Engels after his first visit that "this island is a little paradise." Marx was/is right.

Another interesting local plaque is that adorning the house in St. Helens where c. 1795 - 1840, Baronne (Baroness) de Feuchères by marriage, was an English "adventuress" best known as a mistress of Louis Henry II, Prince of Condé. Daughter of Dickie Daws, local smuggler and drunk, she grew up in a workhouse later working in a London brothel. She made lucrative marriages and was termed "Queen of Chantilly."

"Adventuress" was a benign description, as she was later dismissed from the French King's court who described her witheringly as "naught more than a commoner street-wench yet tragically bereft of any skills of the trade." One wonders how he knew!

JE comments:  Two extremely memorable individuals.  Karl Marx may have missed his true calling:  travel writer!


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