It’s often said that well-behaved women don’t make history, and Emma, Lady Hamilton, certainly is an example of what it takes to make the history books. She wasn’t marked for fame at an early age, but that didn’t stop her from putting several marks on European culture, society, and history. Charming royalty and commoners alike, Emma climbed the social ladder, only to tragically fall from grace.
1. Her Early Years Were Filled With Turmoil
First off, Emma wasn’t her real name. It was Amy Lyon, and her date of birth was April 26, 1765. Her parents were Henry Lyon, a blacksmith, and Mary Kidd. Her life began with an utter tragedy. Emma lost her dad when she just was a baby. After, her mother and grandmother raised her in Wales. At some point, she adopted the name Emma Hart.
By the age of 12, she was working as an under-nursemaid for a family called the Linleys in London. After a few years, she left—and her next stop raised eyebrows.