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Mary Robinson (née Darby)

(1756 or 1758-1800), Known as 'Perdita'; writer, actress and mistress of the future George IV

Regency Portraits Catalogue Entry

Sitter in 12 portraits
Mary Robinson was also known as Perdita after playing that role in Shakespeare's A Winter's Tale in 1779. It was during a performance of this play that she attracted the notice of the young Prince of Wales, later King George IV. Her affair with him ended amidst much publicity in 1781: she threatened to publish the prince's letters and, in exchange for returning them, she was rewarded with £5000 and a small annuity. She subsequently earned her living through writing, publishing poems for The Oracle (1790-3) and the Morning Post (1797-1800), as well as plays, pamphlets, translations, miscellaneous journalism, autobiography, and several novels.

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Mary Robinson (née Darby), by or after Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG 5264

Mary Robinson (née Darby)

by or after Sir Joshua Reynolds
pen and brown ink over pencil, circa 1782
NPG 5264

Mary Robinson (née Darby), by Samuel Haydon, after  George Romney - NPG D39813

Mary Robinson (née Darby)

by Samuel Haydon, after George Romney
drypoint etching and aquatint, (1780-1781)
NPG D39813

Mary Robinson (née Darby), after Thomas Gainsborough - NPG D39811

Mary Robinson (née Darby)

after Thomas Gainsborough
photogravure, (1781)
NPG D39811

Mary Robinson (née Darby), after Thomas Gainsborough - NPG D39812

Mary Robinson (née Darby)

after Thomas Gainsborough
photogravure, (1781)
NPG D39812

Mary Robinson (née Darby), by John Keyse Sherwin - NPG D17074

Mary Robinson (née Darby)

by John Keyse Sherwin
stipple engraving, 1781
NPG D17074

'Monuments lately discovered on Salisbury Plain', by James Gillray, published by  Hannah Humphrey - NPG D12309

'Monuments lately discovered on Salisbury Plain'

by James Gillray, published by Hannah Humphrey
hand-coloured etching, published 15 June 1782
NPG D12309

'Paridise regain'd' (King George IV; Charles James Fox; Mary Robinson (née Darby)), probably by James Gillray, published by  J. Langham - NPG D12329

'Paridise regain'd' (King George IV; Charles James Fox; Mary Robinson (née Darby))

probably by James Gillray, published by J. Langham
hand-coloured etching, published 20 February 1783
NPG D12329

'General Blackbeard wounded at the battle of Leadenhall', by John Boyne, published by  Edward Hedges - NPG D12344

'General Blackbeard wounded at the battle of Leadenhall'

by John Boyne, published by Edward Hedges
etching, published 5 January 1784
NPG D12344

Mary Robinson (née Darby), by William Daniell, after  George Dance - NPG D14744

Mary Robinson (née Darby)

by William Daniell, after George Dance
soft-ground etching, (1793)
NPG D14744

Mary Robinson (née Darby), by Samuel William Reynolds, after  Sir Joshua Reynolds - NPG D4040

Mary Robinson (née Darby)

by Samuel William Reynolds, after Sir Joshua Reynolds
mezzotint, 1820 or after (1782)
NPG D4040

Mary Robinson (née Darby), by Samuel Haydon, published by  Edward S. Palmer, after  George Romney - NPG D39814

Mary Robinson (née Darby)

by Samuel Haydon, published by Edward S. Palmer, after George Romney
drypoint etching and aquatint, published 9 November 1876 (1780-1781)
NPG D39814

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