Lillie-Langtry

A Jersey Lily (1878). John Everett Millais (English, 1829-1896). Oil on canvas. Jersey Museum and Art Gallery.

Born Emilie Charlotte le Breton in Jersey, Lillie Langtry went on to become a great society beauty and later a well-known actress. Her lifestyle challenged the social codes of her day. Millais’ portrait of Langtry (holding what is in fact a Guernsey lily) was one of the most celebrated paintings of its day. It was displayed at the Royal Academy in 1878 where crowds thronged to see it.

A Jersey Lily, 1878

Born Emilie Charlotte Le Breton, Lillie Langtry was a British singer and actress famous for both her performances and personal life. She had affairs with both the Prince of Wales Albert Edward and the Earl of Shrewsbury and considered Oscar Wilde a close friend. Some speculate that Irene Adler in “A Scandal in Bohemia” (1891), the first Sherlock Holmes short story, is based upon Langtry.