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Lizzy Buckle explores the colourful life of the Georgian singer Elizabeth Linley, who overcame scandals to create a saintly image.

A gorgeous Georgian protagonist, duelling lovers, an overbearing father, a broken marriage proposal, and an elopement…not the latest historical drama but the real-life experiences of the singer, poet and writer Elizabeth Linley (1754-1792). Yet despite these scandals, some of the most influential artists of the 18th century depicted Linley as Charity, a saint, and the Virgin Mary, and she was purportedly described by a bishop as ‘the link between an angel and a woman’.

Find out how her appearance, singing style, and choice of venue and repertoire helped her to side-step slander and maintain her reputation as ‘St Cecilia Rediviva’.

Lizzy Buckle is a PhD student at the Foundling Museum and Royal Holloway, University of London. Her research explores the musical networks involved in organising charity benefit concerts in 18th-century London.

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The Foundling Museum

40 Brunswick Square, London, Greater London, WC1N 1AZ

020 7841 3600


Opening times

Wed-Sun 10am-5pm

Closed Mon & Tues

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