Meet the woman who claimed to be a German princess, scammed a handful of husbands, palled around with pirates, and played her scandalous self on the stage. Why were so many English men so easy to dupe when a stranger showed up claiming noble heritage? How did a con artist become a celebrity? How much do we really know about Mary as a person, and how much did this self-made woman construct herself as a character?
Featured image: A picture of Mary Carlton scamming the lawyer. Full image below. (Image source)
Image by James Basire, not a contemporary artists. (Image source)
Another Newgate Calendar from about a century later. (Image source)
- The ultimum vale of John Carleton of the Midde Temple, London, Gent. being a true description of that grand imposter, late a pretended Germane-lady.
- Diary of Samuel Pepys
- Mary Carleton’s False Additions: the Case of the ‘German Princess’
- Mary Carleton, The German Princess
- ‘These novels of my life’: Mary Carleton’s Crimes
- Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900, Volume 09 – Carleton, Mary