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Lord John Hervey
(1696 - 1743) U.K.

John Hervey



Baron John Hervey of Ickworth, as a vice-chamberlain exercised a great influence over Queen Caroline. He was a close friend of Lady M. W. Montagu. He was satirized by Pope in various works from 1732 onwards, at first with mildness, as "Lord Fanny", and an idle versifier, and then with increasing bitterness.

Historians have understimated him as a politician, as literary men have little appreciated him as a writer. His Memoirs of the Reign of Georges II (1848) are probably the most brilliant ever written by an Englisman, and give a vivid satirical picture of the court.

He was irresistible to his friends; he must have had charm for both sexes, and was successful with both, as he vas actively bisexual. At 23 he made a love-match with beautiful Molly Lepel, gave her eight cildren, and remained in good terms with her throughout his passionate relatioship with younh Stephen Fox. They were much alike in physical type, slight, delicately made, pale complexion; the difference was made by Hervey's eyes which expresse fire within.

When he was 31 he went off to Italy for eighteen months with Stephen Fox, then 23 year-old, to the latter suggestion. Both were Members of Parliament, but Hervey was a Whig and Fox a Tory - it's nice to think that love can at times transcend political faith.

Hervey came up with a remarkable proposal for the time - that he and Fox should set up a common home in London together:

"I have made it impossible for me to live without You".

Hervey had quarters in St Jame's Palace; the home he set up for Stephen had to be not far off, in Great Burlington Street. Such a public move exposed him to public insult. Hervey and Fox remained lovers for twelve years, until Fox married in 1736. They remained in good terms, but the romance was over.

He then had a relation with Algarotti, a brilliant youth of 24, who possesed all the graces of mind and body. It was not the passion he had experienced with Stephen, but on the other hand there was not only the appeal of youth and beauty, but of the intellectual interests Hervey and Algarotti shared.


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