Friday, May 16, 2008

Tart of the Week: Mary "Perdita" Robinson

The actress, poet and author known as Perdita in her celebrity life was born Mary Darby and at the tender age of 16 she married Tom Robinson, the bastard child of some rich guy. What Mary is most known for was her very public secret affair with the Prince of Wales as well as her acting career. Both, despite her celebrity from them, were actually very brief. She was prince's first big love, and he would write her impassioned love letters (which he signed Florizel and addressed to Perdita based on the play he was introduced to her in) which she blackmailed him with later when she needed some cash. When the teenage prince grew bored of their very public affair, he promptly replaced her with Grace Dalrymple Elliot, a rival tart.
A Correspondent says that Dally the Tall gave a superb fete last night at her house near Tyburn Turnpike, in consequence of the Perdita's departure for the Continent, whose superior charms have long been the daily subject of Dally's envy and abuse."
-The Morning Herald 19 Oct. 1781
Mary was not only a foe of the other tricks of the town, she also rivaled the Duchess of Devonshire in her ability to start new fashion trends.

The second half of her life was extremely opposite to the extravagance of the first half. She was permanently separated from her super lame husband (believe me, SUPER lame) and devoted her life to her writings. She became paralyzed from the waist down in an impassioned act of love for the true love of her life, the super dreamy Banastre Tarleton. Their relationship lasted many years before his family (who hated Mary) finally got him to marry some teenager, leaving Mary a bitter, bitter (already feminist) author. She was very devoted to her art, and hung out with only the coolest authors such as uber-cool chick, Mary Wollstoncraft. However, she will eternally be remembered as Perdita, the dame who robbed the sweet prince of his virginity....probably.


  1. Would you be able to tell me who painted the top picture in this post? It has been bothering me for months.

  2. Isn't it gorgeous? It's one of my favourite portraits of her, and there are so many wonderful ones. John Hoppner painted this particular portrait.

  3. Your wikipedia link says that the "love of her life" (Mr. Tarleton, the cute guy) initially seduced her because of a bet!
    Wow... Some bet that turned out to be!