poodles and pearls

The divorce decree of Margaret, Duchess of Argyle took four and a half hours to read.


On the basis of the evidence, declared the judge, the duchess, 49, “was a completely promiscuous woman whose sexual appetite could only be satisfied by a number of men.” He named four specific adulterers including John Cohane, a U.S. businessman living in Ireland whom the court described as a “self-confessed wolf” with “the morals of a tomcat” and an unidentified partner who had been photographed in the nude with the duchess.


The Argylls’ litigation, which has dragged on for 3½ years, was the longest, most expensive and most sensational in Scottish history. And it may not be over, since the duchess still faces charges of libel and conspiracy stemming from her own divorce petition against the duke, which she dropped last May. In that suit, she accused her husband of committing adultery with her stepmother.”


In 1943, the Duchess who was then known as Margaret Sweeny had a near fatal fall down an elevator shaft while visiting her chiropodist on Bond Street.

“I fell forty feet to the bottom of the lift shaft,” she later recalled. “The only thing that saved me was the lift cable, which broke my fall.

After her recovery, Sweeny’s friends noted that not only had she lost all sense of taste and smell due to nerve damage, she also had become sexually voracious. As she once reportedly said, “Go to bed early and often.” (Given her numerous earlier romantic escapades, including an affair with the married George, Duke of Kent in her youth, this may have been a change in degree rather than basic predisposition.)


Introduced into evidence in the 1963 divorce case was a series of Polaroid photographs of the Duchess nude apart from her signature three-strand pearl necklace. Also included were photographs of the bepearled duchess fellating a naked man, and though the photographs showed his genitalia and torso, they excluded his face.

Also introduced to the court was a list of eighty-eight men the Duke believed had enjoyed his wife’s favours; the list is said to include two government ministers and three royals.

The duchess never revealed the identity of the “headless man,” though it was widely believed to be Douglas Fairbanks Jr. who denied the allegation to his grave.


She once told the New York Times, “I don’t think anybody has real style or class any more. Everyone’s gotten old and fat.” To the end of her life, her superficiality remained superbly intact, as evidenced by one characteristically vapid quote: “Always a poodle, only a poodle! That, and three strands of pearls!” she said. “Together they are absolutely the essential things in life.”

Published in: on May 17, 2010 at 8:25 am  Comments (35)  
Tags: , , , , ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://nursemyra.wordpress.com/2010/05/17/poodles-and-pearls/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

35 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. My will shall take 4 hours to read as each of my books are lovelingly rehomed. *sigh*

    • I’ll take good care of your classics. Have you got any Henry James in a first edition?

      • at least one dog eared ancient old second hand bookshop edition 🙂

      • I adore Henry James. Can never decide on a favourite – though perhaps The American might be the one. Portrait of a Lady is also unputdownable

  2. I was unfortunate enough to know a few tomcats, one of which was nicknamed “Tiger” for reasons I can’t remember – nothing to do with a certain Mr. Woods, though. It was the most immoral of the lot

    • I used to have cat named Tiger!

  3. Why do tomcats always get stereotyped? There are a few around here who are ‘not like that at all.’

    The Royals sure get up to it with the best of them, don’t they?

    • Well, they get up to it at any rate. Not sure if it’s with ‘the best of them’

  4. Mrs. Robinson, the first hollywood cougar. My, doesn’t she look bored?

    • Dustin doesn’t really do it for me either

      • He does nothing for me either, and I suspect had Mrs Robinson been sober she’d have had the same sentiment.

  5. I had a ‘thing’ for Mrs Robinson briefly …….

    Why are the different ages of predatory women all called after big pussies? ….. oh, I think I’ve answered my own question …..

    • try not to think too hard daddyp. I’m worried your dear little brain might implode

  6. In what sense is that a vapid comment?

    • There was no mention of alcohol.

  7. Well, I do go to bed “early and often” but other than that, my life pales in comparison. And I’m too chicken to throw myself down an elevator shaft in the hopes of making a big change. (Sigh.)

    • Me too. Or do I mean “me neither”….

  8. The chiropodist was hoping she would break her foot in the fall allowing him additional visits from her over the years.

  9. I already have such a huge sexual appetite although i’m not sure if it emerged before or after i fell down the stairs….and i’ve fallen down several times! But sadly i have no access to men to satisfy me….woe….

    Perhaps the kind or number of steps determines your luck in getting some action?…..

    • Mr Gorilla Bananas would gladly take care of that little problem for you Saby

  10. I’ll take that advice several times a day: “go to bed early and often” … yet more excellent historially unusual reportage, Nurse.

  11. My divorce decree took a goodly time to read as well. The judge had an awful stutter.

  12. it was me in the pictures. I come clean.

  13. Interesting, her promiscuity was triggered by the fall down the shaft, or enhanced by it?

  14. How much nerve damage does it take to get the voracious sexual appetite. Right now all I’ve got is a pinched nerve somewhere giving me numbness in my toes. If I’m going to suffer an injury, it better make me supernaturally horny as well for my trouble.

    • Come over here and I’ll give your toe a massage…

  15. At last and explanation for the old saying “Fall down a shaft once, fall for a shaft often.”

    William Shaftner

  16. the morals of a tomcat… Rrrooww… i like that! oh and that prince george duke of kent guy was good-looking as hell! the stories you post here are always so wild, it’s hard to believe there were so many over-sexed people back throughout time. thanks for another great post.

  17. I want to know what the hell she was doing with the poodle.

    • not what you think, No really, she wasn’t.

  18. she looks pretty hot (though guessing not so much now). i’m already in a couple lines, but i’d still get in line for her (in her prime, of course). i’m lacking that ‘royalty’ or ‘famous’ title, though.

  19. Sex crazy women are still crazy, I work with a ton of them

  20. only 88? what was the duke doing while all this was happening? hiding in the closet with a polaroid camera?
    as if the duchess didn’t notice the clicking camera noises accompanied by flash bulbs.

  21. http://itistimetothinkformyself.blogspot.com/2010/05/jingles-may-follower-award-week-3.html

    Nice to see you today!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: