Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: The Dinner Party: Heritage Floor: Hester Stanhope

signature image

Robert Jacob Hamerton. Lady Hester Lucy Stanhope, mid-19th century. National Portrait Gallery, London

Hester Stanhope
b. 1776, Kent, England; d. 1839, Djoun, Syria

Raised by her uncle, Sir William Pitt, prime minister of Great Britain in 1783, Hester Stanhope served as his companion, advisor, and hostess until his death in 1806. In 1809, the death of her beau and her brother on the same day prompted Stanhope's decision to leave England permanently and travel the world. En route to Cairo, her boat shipwrecked and she was washed ashore at Rhodes. Having no clothes, she adopted the Turkish men's style of dress. She traveled all over the Middle East, and because of her nationality and her clothing, people viewed her as a queen of foreign lands. She settled in Syria in 1813, eventually moving to a remote monastery in Djoun, where she received Western visitors throughout her life.

Related Place Setting

Mary Wollstonecraft

Related Heritage Floor Entries

Josefa Amar
Bridget Bevan
Isabella Bishop
Jeanne Campan
Elizabeth Carter
Charlotte Corday
Leonor D'Almeida
Yekaterina Dashkova
Olympe de Gouges
Marie de Lafayette
Francoise de Maintenon
Théroigne de Mericourt
Jeanne de Pompodour
Germaine de Staël
Celia Fiennes
Elizabeth Hamilton
Mary Hays

Mary Manley
Mary Monckton
Elizabeth Montagu
Mary Wortley Montague
Hannah More
Suzanne Necker
Ida Pfieffer
Karoline Pichler
Mary Radcliffe
Jeanne Manon Roland
Alison Rutherford
Caroline Schlegel
Mary Shelley
Marie Tussaud
Rachel Varnhagen
Elizabeth Vesey