The Blacksmith’s Daughter – Another Gaslight Birthday

She was born near Neston, Cheshire, England, on this day in 1765  the daughter of a blacksmith who died shortly after her birth. She was baptized on the twelfth of May in the same year.

She became an actress, a model, a muse to an artist, and the mistress of one of Britain’s greatest heroes. 

We’re speaking of Amy Lyon a.k.a. Emma Hart and who is better known as Emma, Lady Hamilton, the great love of Lord Admiral Horatio Nelson.

And why not tell of Emma visually, not only as she was depicted by the artists of the era, but as she was visualized in the movies.


The Real Emma, Lady Hamilton in a portrait by George Romney, and in the role of Sibyl, accompanied by a photograph of Vivien Leigh as Emma in the Korda production, ‘That Hamiton Woman’


Romney painted Emma dozens of times, this time in 1785


Vivien Leigh as Emma and Laurence Olivier as Admiral Nelson in That Hamilton Woman


Pastel by Johann Heinrich Schmidt, c. 1800, owned by Nelson. Emma is wearing a Maltese Cross award, and this was said to be Nelson’s favorite portrait of her (see Emma Hamilton by Norah Lofts, page 81 ISBN 0-698-10912-0)


Another portrait by George Romney, circa 1785



Peter Finch as Nelson and Glenda Jackson as Emma in ‘Bequest to the Nation’ (1973) and also known as ‘The Nelson Affair’


Emma as a Bacchante by George Romney, 1785











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