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The Lady in Red: An Eighteenth-Century Tale of Sex, Scandal, and Divorce by Hallie RubenholdShe was a spirited young heiress. He was a handsome baronet with a promising career in government. The marriage of Lady Seymour Dorothy Fleming and Sir Richard Worsley had the makings of a fairy tale—but ended as one of the most scandalous and highly publicized divorces in history.
In February 1782, England opened its newspapers to read the details of a criminal conversation trial in which the handsome baronet Sir Richard Worsley attempted to sue his wife’s lover for an astronomical sum in damages. In the course of the proceedings, the Worsleys’ scandalous sexual arrangements, voyeuristic tendencies, and bed-hopping antics were laid bare. The trial and its verdict stunned society, but not as much as the unrepentant behavior of Lady Worsley.
Sir Joshua Reynolds captured the brazen character of his subject when he created his celebrated portrait of Lady Worsley in a fashionable red riding habit, but it was her shocking affairs that made her divorce so infamous that even George Washington followed it in the press. Impeccably researched and written with great flair, this lively and moving true history presents a rarely seen picture of aristocratic life in the Georgian era.
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The amazing true story of Lady Worsley, whose elopement prompted her husband to sue her lover and sparked one of the greatest scandals of 18th-century England. While Seymour and Bisset hid out in a London hotel, Sir Richard and his lawyers set about proving his wife's infidelity through a series of devious schemes. When the case came to court, Sir Richard lied about his relationship with Seymour, painting a perfect picture of their marriage and persuading others to do the same. Bisset looked sure to be facing penury and prison until Seymour devised a bold plan. To save her lover from ruin, she disclosed a shocking secret - one that astounded the court, put her reputation in jeopardy and turned the trial into the greatest sex scandal of the 18th century. What was the reality for women like Lady Worsley and Jane Austen?
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"I have lost everything" - The Scandalous Lady W Preview - BBC Two
A look at the nasty business between Lady Seymour Worsley, her lover George Bisset and her politician husband Sir Richard Worsley, an affair that culminated in a criminal trial in , The Scandalous Lady W Monday, 9pm, BBC2 is perhaps the biggest advert not only for divorce but radical, militarised feminism and premarital sex, too. In this minute drama, one thing is for sure: Lady W Natalie Dormer of Game Of Thrones, AKA the don of wronged, velvet-draped women with hidden depths might have been spared a lot of pissing about had she been granted a cheeky little dec abs. Had she been able to divorce her sexual deviant of a husband, there would have been no tears, no fall from grace. Normally, the IRL aspect of scandal and bastardry only makes a historical drama juicier. The thing about watching scandal among those who are already dead is that, whatever happens, no one loses.