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Harriette Wilson (February 22,1786 - March 10, 1845) was a celebrated British Regency courtesan, whose conquests included the Prince of Wales, the Lord Chancellor and four future Prime Ministers.

Life

Harriette Dubouchet was one of the fifteen children of Swissmarker John James Dubouchet (or De Bouchet), who kept a small shop in Mayfairmarker, Englandmarker, and his wife Amelia, née Cook. Her father is said to have assumed the surname of Wilson about 1801. She began her career at the age of fifteen, becoming the mistress of William Craven, 1st Earl of Craven, 7th Baron Craven. Among her other lovers was Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, who commented "publish, and be damned" when informed of her plans to write her memoirs. The memoirs are still in print.

Her sisters Amy, Fanny and Sophia also became courtesans, with Sophia marrying respectably into the aristocracy.

Fictional portrayal

  • Harriette Wilson appears in the Jane Austen mystery novel, Jane and the Barque of Frailty, by Stephanie Barron. (She and Jane Austen were contemporaries.)


References

The Courtesan's Revenge: The Life of Harriette Wilson, the Woman Who Blackmailed the Kingby Frances Wilson

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