Despoina :(The Mistress)

How the mistresses of powerful.men,used their influence,Power without responsibility..

 

History is littered with examples of influential Mistresses,Some will ask,Why did these powerful men,take a mistress or mistresses.?..Its simple,Mostly marriages were made for diplomatic or political reasons,Love had nothing to do with it.Occasionally,but rarely,the marriages were happy fruitful ones,But mainly regardless of looks,attractive qualities,in that era,it was political..A great example if this being the statement of Napoleon Boneparte,on divorcing Josephine..& getting married to Marie Theresa of Austria,said "I'm marrying a womb! Statecraft & Politics.He needed an "heir" hence the statement...So they took "Mistresses" because no obligation,no statecraft obligations,in private they could be free ,those were primarily the reasons.

 Female "Empowerment" Early Examples

 

While in this modern era,there is much talk of "Female Empowerment" in truth,its nothing new,Mistresses,Queens,have used it throughout the ages.Here are some examples..

 

Mistresses Of Antiquity

 

Phryne of Thespiae

Many legends surround this courtesan of ancient Greece,Many historians today dispute some of the more fanciful stories,IE: She loosed her hair,bared her breasts,to avoid conviction for "Impiety" The judges allegedly aquitted her ,because of her beauty.Later in life, She  became very wealthy,from her "liaisons" & offered to restore the walks of Thebes But insisted there must be an inscription

"Destroyed By Alexander,Restored By Phyryne The Courtesan" Her offer was refused.either because"prudishness" has arrived,or far more likely,She had made many enemies..

 

Cleopatra

 Cleopatra set out from day one to seduce Caesar,She did it to protect her position & strengthen it,Her brother was heir to the Egyptian throne,,Once he had mermerised Caesar,the "Heir" was quietly taken away and strangled,Cleopatra,was no great beauty,but  she had a sensuous allure,that attracted men,One being Caesar,with whom she had a child Caesarian,& Later Marc Antony..Pure statecraft were her motives..Had it been another more powerful,she would have "targeted" them in the same manner..

 

Mistresses & Intrigue..

 

Roman mistresses wielded considerabe power & Influence,with whichever Emperor was in power,& while he,unencumbered,could be with her time & state permitting,,She in turn had to transverse a mind field of intrigue,from those who wanted her position,power,& in particular, the "gifts" lavished on her by the current Emperor,she had also to gamble,Because if the Emperor outlived his Empress,fine..But if not..The surviving Empress showed all the frustration,humiliation,she had had to endure..So the said "Mistress" was either murdered very quickly,or she had to flee even faster!🙂

 

Ambition,Control & Power

Through the dark ages,little changed in the relationship of mistresses in society,Human nature,not the morality of humanity,is what we write about here...

     As we fastforward to the Middle ages,the role of the mistress,of a powerful potentate, became even more laced with intrigue,and even incest..

Many royal personages,actually fathered out of wedlock,children,with their mistresses,which caused great state problems later,if the "Line Of Succession" was disputed,Indeed some illegitimate "heirs" even took up arms against which ever regime,to try & claim the throne..

The Vatican

Pope Alexandra IV (Rodrigo  Borgia)  

Scaled new depths in having his daughter Lucrezia  allegedly as his mistress,fathering her child,.Many rumors abound,about Lucrezia,of poisoning,& other heinous acts..But it must also be remembered that the Borgia's made many enemies,who were all too happy to spread gossip about them,That said,Rodrigo Borgia,was far from celebrate,& had many mistresses,but he was not alone in doing this,Other Popes did too,which in turn led to the "Reformation" because of what the Vatican had become..

 

Louis XV & Madame De Pompadour

 Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, ,more famously known as Madam De Pompadour,Became the mistress of French King Louis XV ,again much speculation has been broached about her influence upon the King,Her detractors will say,it was endemic,but facts show that in fact,she was only influential on him in the "arts" of which she was a patron..Either way,they had an acknowledged leasion,& Mme De Pompadour,even to the point of public knowledge,was vetted and treated as "The Kings Mistress" ,even being given "Psudo"  royal protocols,because of her position! Unlike many,she still retained a degree of affection at the Royal Court,even after the Kings death,until her own passing..

 Edward VII & Alice Keppel,/Lily Langtry

 Edward VII had many mistresses,Daisy Duchess Of Warwick being an early one.Later Lily Langtry,with whom he had a daughter..Lily Langtry's reputation as a "Great"actress is so much hyperbole,At best she was "competent" at worst,much less Soon truth,she became famous both as a former mistress of Edward VII and personality,than as an actress,The fact of her relationship,led in turn to her work,in plays..she became a celebrity actress..

               Alice Keppel,Great grandmother of the current Dutches Of Cornwall,Camilla,(Formally Parker Bowled) She was very discreet and influential,with politicians,& the Royal circle,because she simply was DISCREET! That in turn led her to become in an unofficial capacity,a "conduit" between the Palace,& The British Govt..Queen Alexandra,liked her & invited her to court,when Edward was on his deathbed..Quite a tolerant compliment! After Edwards death,George  V reorganized the entire court & Alice was never invited again..

 Charles & Camilla

 From the outset..Prince Charles would have married Camilla Shand..They loved each other..Shared the same interests,& much the same outlook..PROBLEM..,& the reason so much went wrong.. Camilla was a Catholic..& Catholics can't become Queen of England..So by the then standards of the day,Charles had to sacrifice & find another,who would be suitable & the correct religion,Diana Spencer,knew about Camilla,She moved in intimate royal circles..But she thought,that in time,Charles would "Come to love her" She stood at 18 years old in a plowed field at Althorp,the family seat..& said. "I WILL be Queen of England!" The tragic story is too well known to be retold here,But after all the death,heartbreak & trauma,Charles DID get his Camilla.The woman he truly always loved..Its a"Morganatic Marriage" Camilla will always be Duchess Of Cornwall,even if Charles becomes King..But their happy,to everyone,he refers to her as "My darling wife" & she is..

Ivan

 

Epilogue:Mostly its been women,who have been the "illicit" lovers here,A small largely unknown fact,about the "Virgin 

 Queen"Elizabeth 1 

 The "Queens House" in Greenwich London,was a place Elizabeth resided often,across the river were the Royal Kennels,Still referee to as the "Isle Of Dogs"In that time,drunken sailors were kidnapped in that area,a navel district,they were taken to the "Virgin" Queens bed..Afterward..they were strangled & threw in the Thames river..So things were kept secret..Things the "history"  books won't tell you 😁

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