10 women of easy virtue, whose names are firmly stuck in history

While much is known about such historical figures as King Louis XV, Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte and King Charles II, few people know that behind the backs of these famous men were their mistresses, who were often their advisers and mothers of their children. 

These women have forever written their names in the annals of history, although in fact they sold their love for money and wealth. Despite this, the famous mistresses at one time were educated women, artists, actresses and researchers. Their lives were full of secrets and intrigues, and men were ready to do anything for them. 

10 women of easy virtue, whose names are firmly stuck in history

10 women of easy virtue, whose names are firmly stuck in history

Phryne is one of the few courtesans whose beauty can still be admired in museums of fine arts. The ancient Greek beauty posed for the famous painter Apelles and the sculptor Praxiteles, who for the first time decided to depict the goddess of love Aphrodite naked. 

Phryne was such a wealthy woman that she wanted to rebuild the walls of Thebes destroyed by Alexander the Great at her own expense. But like many women of easy behavior of that time, Phryne was disliked and condemned. 

Once she even appeared in court and proved her case, almost completely exposing herself and demonstrating her beauty. Phryne was acquitted, because the Greeks believed that a woman with such a beautiful body could not lie.

10 women of easy virtue, whose names are firmly stuck in history

Veronica Franco was one of the most famous Venetian women of the Renaissance. In addition to being a courtesan, Veronika was an educated woman and a poet, whose works were published during her lifetime. She created a fund to help courtesans and their children. Among her lovers was King Henry III of France. 

Veronica was a member of the most prestigious literary circles of Venice, maintained friendship with philosophers and writers. After the outbreak of the plague, she appeared in court on charges of heresy and witchcraft. But she defended herself so eloquently and passionately at the meetings that she was acquitted.

10 women of easy virtue, whose names are firmly stuck in history

Madame Du Barry was known to the French court as the official favorite of King Louis XV. Marie Du Barry, or Marie Becu, started in Paris as a courtesan, where she gained the attention of many aristocrats. 

It was there that the depressed and gloomy King of France, Louis, nicknamed the Beloved, noticed her. Marie was immediately married off to a nobleman in order to have unhindered access to the court. After the death of Louis XV, she was sent to a monastery, later executed by guillotine during the revolution in Paris.

10 women of easy virtue, whose names are firmly stuck in history

Sally Salisbury was a daring and very popular prostitute of London in the XVIII century. At the age of 14, she already worked in a privileged brothel for aristocrats. She was famous for her beauty, humor and quick temper. For which she paid-she stabbed one of the clients of the brothel because of a pair of opera tickets and was put in prison. There she died due to complications from syphilis.

10 women of easy virtue, whose names are firmly stuck in history

Nell Gwyn was a famous favorite of King Charles II of England, to whom she gave birth to two sons. In her youth, Nell sold oranges in the theater and subsequently fell in love with theatrical art. She became a famous and beloved actress, especially she managed comedy roles.

10 women of easy virtue, whose names are firmly stuck in history

Emma Elizabeth Crouch was born in London in the XIX century, studied at a boarding school in France, was well-mannered and educated. After she was raped by an unknown man in London and left her money for it, Emma did not return to her father's house, but became a courtesan and took the name Cora Pearl. She became a real celebrity in Paris, her patrons were exclusively aristocrats and famous men of that time.

10 women of easy virtue, whose names are firmly stuck in history

In the XIX century, the whole of London was at the feet of the beautiful, courtesan and style icon Catherine Waters. She was popular, well-educated and had rich patrons. Catherine wore tight-fitting clothes, and everyone in Hyde Park came to look at her while riding horses. Among her lovers were King Edward VII and Napoleon III, and, unlike other courtesans of that time, her life did not end tragically. She died peacefully in prosperity at the age of 80.

10 women of easy virtue, whose names are firmly stuck in history

The stories about the red light street in New Orleans Storyville at the beginning of the XX century would not be complete without mentioning the name of the brothel owner Lulu White. Her establishment was a favorite place for jazz fans, where gentlemen could spend the night with a woman in one of 15 separate rooms. Lulu White is even mentioned in Louis Armstrong's song Mahogany Hall Stomp.

10 women of easy virtue, whose names are firmly stuck in history

Martha Jane Canary Burke, or Trouble Jane, was an American resident of the frontier in the Wild West, a scout, fought against the Indians and participated in the Buffalo Bill show. But few people know that she worked for a while as a prostitute in Fort Bridger, Wyoming. Her contemporaries described the Troubled Jane as a beautiful woman with black eyes. In the end, Jane chose a different path and began to dress more like a man, because it was more convenient for her.

10 women of easy virtue, whose names are firmly stuck in history

Since childhood, Sada Abe dreamed of becoming a geisha and studied this art at the Yokohama Geisha School. However, later she first became a quasi-rich woman, whose duties included only sexual services, and then a prostitute. Obviously, Sada Abe was mentally ill, she had an incredible sexual appetite and was maniacally jealous. 

The whole of Japan learned about her when a woman was arrested for the murder of her lover — she strangled him during love games, and then cut off his genitals and took them with her. Over time, her story has become overgrown with many mystical rumors, inspired artists, philosophers, writers and filmmakers.

Keywords: History | Prostitutes | Celebrities | Money | Prostitution | Power | Sex | Courtesan | Mistress

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