Thursday, September 25, 2014

Lecture: The Scandalous Lady Jane Digby

Before you dismiss this here's some fascinating info on her...

Jane Elizabeth Digby, Lady Ellenborough (3 April 1807 – 11 August 1881) was an English aristocrat who lived a scandalous life of romantic adventure, spanning decades and two continents. She had four husbands and many lovers, including King Ludwig I of Bavaria, his son King Otto of Greece, statesman Felix Schwarzenberg, and a Greek brigand general (Christodoulos Hatzipetros). She died in Damascus, Syria as the wife of Arab Sheikh Medjuel el Mezrab, who was 20 years her junior.

& the Col. Dickson link

H. R. P. Dickson was one of six children of John Dickson, a diplomat in the Levant from 1872–1906, and Edith Wills. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon and was taken at a young age to Damascus, Syria where his father was Consul. There his mother's milk failed and Shaikh Mijwal al Mazrab, the husband of Lady Jane Digby, provided the young child with a wet nurse from the 'Anizah tribe. Islamic law lays out the permanent family-like relationships that are created by wet nursing, and this "blood affinity" between Dickson and the 'Anizah meant he was treated as a member of the tribe. He stated that this blood tie 'in later life has been of assistance to me in my dealings with the Badawin [bedouin] of the high desert and around Kuwait'. Following the death of Lady Jane Digby, the Dickson family rented her house in Damascus, and Dickson recalled that he 'spent my childhood days rambling about the lovely garden that had once been [her] pride and happiness.'.

Dickson met his wife Dame Violet Dickson (1896 – 1991) in Marseilles, France, shortly after the end of World War I, where she was working in a bank. She travelled out to meet him in India, where he was stationed and where they were married. Shortly afterwards he was posted to Iraq.

Dickson served as British Political Agent in Bahrain from 1919-1920. He also served in Persia (present-day Iran). In 1929 he was appointed British Political Agent to Kuwait, and served in this role until 1936. He briefly held this role again in 1941.

Dar Al Athar hopes you enjoyed the summer and are eagerly waiting for Dar al-Athar al-Islamiyyah’s 20th Cultural Season to begin. You don’t have to wait long, as the season gets off to a flying start on Monday the 29th with the annual Tareq Rajab Museum Lecture about Lady Jane Digby

Lecture begins at 7pm at the Amricani Cultural Centre.
(Lecture in English)

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