A Monkey Among Crocodiles: The Life, Loves and Lawsuits of Mrs Georgina Weldon - A Disastrous Victorian by Brian Thompson
Georgina Weldon was born in 1837 and, although almost no one will have heard of her, the only talent she really had was for self-advertisement. She is one of the great undiscovered and unsung eccentrics of the 19th-century. Her ego was monstrous and manifested itself in the 6-volume record of her life which she sold through a spiritualistic medium. Her garrulous work was composed in a convent cell in Gisors where she lived with her pet monkey Titilehee. She was born to parents on the margins of aristocracy and spent her early life in Florence. After a string of liaisons which "ruined her reputation" she had an affair with a penniless Hussar officer called Harry Weldon and eloped with him to a two-bedroom cottage in Beaumaris. She opened a singing academy in a house formerly owned by Dickens but, with things going characteristically awry, she met the composer Gounod, who came to live with them. The singing ladies were dumped in favour of orphans who drove around the West End of London in a converted milk float advertising their weekly concerts at the Langham Hotel.