The Countess of Bessborough was born into the illustrious Spencer family. But the only thing she inherited in life was a predisposition to heartbreak and a penchant for scandal. Despite a long list of lovers (and we mean, long), Harriet never actually found love…not until the very end.

1. She Fell Far From The Tree

Henrietta Ponsonby, Countess of Bessborough—or just “Harriet” as her friends and family liked to call her—was born in June 1761. She was the youngest surviving child of John Spencer, 1st Earl Spencer, and Margaret Georgiana Poyntz. Unlike her parents, however, Harriet would not have a storybook romance. Far from it.

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