March 19, 2024 | Dancy Mason

Salacious Facts About Enid Lindeman, The Deadly Beauty

They don’t make them like Enid Lindeman anymore…and maybe that’s a good thing.

1. She Was A Lady Bluebeard

Enid Lindeman began as a wine merchant’s daughter in Australia, but by the end of her life, her scandals had reached fully around the world—even as she kept her most ruinous secrets close. Living by the motto “Never be ill, never be afraid, and never be jealous,” her four marriages were publicly disastrous and horrifically doomed.

Still, it’s what the gossip rags weren’t exposing that truly made her infamous.

Enid Lindeman

2. She Made Men Stop In Their Tracks

The start of Enid’s infamy began at a charity ball in a town hall in Sydney, Australia in 1913. The 21-year-old Enid, nearly six feet tall and with green eyes and red hair, stood out among all the young debutantes and party-goers, so much so that 45-year-old American shipping tycoon Roderick Cameron couldn’t help but go over and talk to her.

Then he did much more than just talk.

Enid LindemanCentral Press, Getty Images

3. He Couldn’t Help Himself

Cameron was so entranced by Enid’s self-possession, charms, and tomboyish personality, he asked her an extremely important question. Would she marry him, and—most important of all—share in his significant wealth? Unbothered by his mounting age next to his mounting bank balance, Enid said yes.

The marriage did not turn out how she imagined.Woman 1900s in gray dressWildSnap, Shutterstock

4. Her Life Changed Overnight

At first, Enid’s new life as Cameron’s wife was charmed. He took her off to Manhattan, where they set about around town, gambling and carousing with high society. Although Enid was frequently lonely in this fast-moving world, other parts of her life moved just as fast. Within months, she was pregnant—and that wasn’t the only change coming her way.manhattan 1900 picturesInternet Archive Book Images, Flickr

5. She Went Through A Sudden Loss

Enid gave birth to a baby boy, Rory, while she was still in her early 20s. Then tragedy struck—and not for the last time. Her significantly older husband fell ill with cancer and kicked the bucket, all before their young son’s first birthday. If Enid felt alone in New York before, she was doubly so now. Though she did have one consolation.antique family portrait of mother, father and newborn baby.LiliGraphie, Shutterstock

6. She Became Filthy Rich

In the wake of Cameron’s passing, Enid transformed into an heiress. Her late husband had left practically everything from his enormous estate to her, and she was now a millionaire. However, this massive gift came with a pitfall: Enid, young and impressionable, was now a magnet for gold-diggers. In fact, that seems to be just how she liked it…Young woman poses for a portrait, wearing a wide-brimmed hat piled high with swathes of fabric and decorated with sprigs of flowers and a butterflyJohn Oxley Library, Picryl

7. She Liked Bad Boys

If Enid was too young and too married before to find out what she really wanted in a man, her new single life revealed the truth: She liked them powerful and messy. She quickly struck up an affair with American financier Bernard Baruch, who was a confidant of the president. 

Even so, Enid had zero compulsion to walk down the aisle with him. As she put it, “he was not much good in bed and he was very mean”. Her next adventure had nothing to do with men, though. At first, anyway.BARUCH, BERNARD in suitLibrary of Congress, Wikimedia Commons

8. She Was Reckless

When WWI broke out, Enid showed her true colors. Still tomboyish, she plucked up her courage and moved to Paris to drive an ambulance for the allies. Indeed, she was the one who bought the ambulance and fit it up for service. Yet while Enid was valiantly saving men by day, she was killing them by night—almost literally.Paris in World War IAgence Rol, Wikimedia Commons

9. Men Were Obsessed With Her

Ever the tomboy, Enid relished getting her hands dirty during her ambulance shifts, but equally enjoyed giving herself the Cinderella treatment and showing up to soirées dressed and coiffed to the nines. It was simply too much for the men around her. They were pretty much all desperately, even destructively in love with her wherever she went. This is when the stories began.Paris In 1916Unknown Author, Wikimedia Commons

10. She Had A Deadly Charm

One husband dying prematurely is one thing, but around this time darker things began to happen around Enid. According to reports, one of Enid’s admirers threw himself in front of the luxe Le Train Bleu when he heard she was seeing someone else. Another man, after glimpsing her then following her home, blew himself up when she told him she wasn’t interested.

Then, in perhaps the most outlandish story, a third would-be suitor jumped off a boat and into Sydney Harbour, only to be eaten by sharks. And whether these tales are truth or fiction, Enid’s next bad decision was all too real.Le Train Bleukkmarais, Flickr

11. She Met A New Man

Whatever the dark whispers around Enid, her money still spoke louder than her reputation. So when a louche aristocrat named Frederick Cavendish met her, he was ready to jump right in. After all, the dashing Lieutenant Colonel didn’t earn the nickname “Caviar Cavendish” by keeping to a budget, and the alluring Enid had enough cash for them both. She would need every penny.Unknown Young Woman - early 1900s in pink shirtoneredsf1, Flickr

12. She Was In It For The Wrong Reasons

Cavendish had expensive tastes, but he didn’t have the means. In fact, the foolish noble had been conned out of his own inheritance, and this combined with his spending habits had made him dirt poor. Which makes Enid’s next decision all the more alarming. She agreed to marry him...because she needed someone to manage all her money.

It was heading for disaster. But before that, it went into scandal.Woman helping bride get dressedEverett Collection, Shutterstock

13. She Slept ALL Around

To be fair, Enid was no naïve girl at this time, and she took advantage of her power in her marriage in incredibly salacious ways. According to Enid herself, when she went to where Cavendish was stationed in Cairo, a friend dared the bored woman to sleep with every man in his regiment.

Never one to back out from a dare, that’s exactly what Enid (said she) did. When she wasn’t sleeping with the men. And the trainwreck didn’t stop there.Young woman at steering wheel of automobileEverett Collection, Shutterstock

14. She Was Present For A Huge Discovery

While in Cairo, Enid didn’t limit herself to lowly officers. She also struck up a dalliance with none other than Lord Carnarvon, the infamous Egyptologist who helped open King Tut’s tomb. This led to an incredible moment. Thanks to her influence over Carnarvon, Enid was one of the first people to see the tomb after the Lord discovered it in 1922.

Now, they did say a curse fell upon everyone who entered the tomb…and Enid’s own curse was about to act up again.Discovery of the tomb of TutankhamunMaynard Owen Williams, Wikimedia Commons

15. Her Life Was Briefly Fun And Games

Although Cavendish and Enid eventually had two children together, upping her total to three, it was a deeply unserious marriage by most accounts. Thanks to Enid’s money, Cavendish got to keep a stable of polo ponies while Enid got to train them, and the pair spent their free time swanning about together. Until, that is, fate struck again.Couple in 1920sEverett Collection, Shutterstock

16. Her Curse Struck Again

Everyone waiting to see if Enid’s marriage curse would strike again didn’t have long to wait. In 1931, the most gruesome tragedy yet happened. “Caviar” Cavendish suffered from a fatal brain hemorrhage, turning Enid into a serial widow. Besides that, at the time of his passing, Cavendish’s estate was only worth a couple hundred pounds.

Enid, however, still had her own mountains of money. And she was headed right for her truly infamous union.Woman in 1920's crying wearing white dressEverett Collection, Shutterstock

17. She Caught The Eye Of An Important Man

Not long after saying goodbye to Cavendish, Enid said hello to a very important—and scandalous—man indeed. Marmaduke, Viscount Furness, was the sixth richest man in the world, and from the moment he set eyes on Enid in an upscale casino, he was determined to make her his own. So much so that he threw in his winning poker hand to go talk to her.

But while Furness finally had cash outstretching even Enid’s inheritance, he came with a whole lot of other baggage, too.Marmaduke, Viscount Furness in suit Central Press, Getty Images

18. Her New Suitor Was Suspect

If Enid had a bloody romantic backstory, Furness’s was a whole horror movie. His first wife, the sickly Daisy, had perished during a cruise and he’d had to give her a burial at sea. It was such a bizarre turn of events that people believed Furness had even offed Daisy himself. That said, given the Viscount’s personality, this wasn’t a huge stretch…Marmaduke Furness, 1st Viscount Furness in suitBettmann, Getty Images

19. She Was Part Of A Scandalous Story

Furness was a notoriously jealous man who liked to control his paramours, and was liable to descend into a rage if they didn’t obey him. These qualities had been very much on display during his acrimonious second marriage to Thelma Furness, who cheated on him with the future King Edward VIII.

By the time he met Enid, Furness had gone through an embarrassing divorce with Thelma, and he was not a well-behaved bachelor…as his bizarre courtship would prove.Thelma, Lady Furness and Edward, Prince of WalesFox Photos, Getty Images

20. He Was Obsessive

Right out of the gate, Furness began wooing Enid with obsessive fervor. After he saw her that day at the casino, he immediately plied her with gifts. He sent her flowers and jewels constantly, and put a whole fleet of planes, boats, and fancy cars at her feet for whenever she wanted. At first, Enid pretended indifference, but it wasn’t long before Furness had ensnared her. Then the trouble truly started.Lord and Lady Furness at the Epsom Races, England, 1936Hulton Deutsch, Getty Images

21. She Gave It All Up

Enid married Furness in 1933, and the moment she did, she made a terrible decision. Feeling that Furness had enough money to support the both of them, she handed over the fortune she’d inherited from her first husband to the Viscount. Although she had clung to it through her first two marriages, for some reason Enid decided Furness deserved it.

He immediately proved how much he didn’t.VIntage 1920s couple at their weddingRoman Yuklyaevsky, Shutterstock

22. He Was Cruel

Even Enid’s attempts to blend her and Furness’s families ended in disaster. Although she had three children from her previous marriages, Furness wanted absolutely nothing to do with them. When the tykes first met him, Enid encouraged them to bow or curtsey, then call him “Daddy”. His cold response? “I am not your father, and do not address me as such”.

There was much, much more where that came from.Retro 1920s fashion woman on the phoneYsbrand Cosijn, Shutterstock

23. He Was An Evil Stepfather

Over the next years, Furness would terrorize Enid’s once peaceful household. At one point, he got so annoyed that one of the children’s dogs made too much noise, he demanded the pooch get put down. Enid thankfully convinced her husband to just give the dog away, but it did nothing to endear him to his stepchildren. Unfortunately, he wasn’t any nicer to Enid.A Dalmatian dog is looking sad.Jozef Fehér , Pexels

24. Her Household Became Haunted

Furness was exacting of everyone around him—he’d once estranged himself from his own daughter for marrying, in his words, “a bloody tradesman”—but he was particularly unbearable at home. Likely suffering from OCD, he would insist his shoelaces be ironed and that someone buff his nails multiple times a day.

Faced with this, Enid began a dangerous rebellion.iron vintageJay Turner, Pexels

25. She Escaped Her Reality

Feeling stifled by her marriage but unwilling to leave Furness (or the money she had given him), Enid merely floated further and further away from reality. She had legions of attendants, a private plan for her own use, and even a pet cheetah, and it was easy to lose herself in luxury.

She even found a way to spin Furness’s obsessions into a good thing, saying, “There was nothing in the world he was not prepared to give me. Of all the men that loved me, he was the one who was prepared to lay the world at my feet”. But unfortunately, delusion wasn’t the only way she coped.Vintage woman in dressMelody P, Flickr

26. She Strayed At Her Peril

Enid had never been the most faithful of women, and despite Furness’s intense jealousy, she began dipping in and out of affairs as a pressure valve for her marriage. Her husband came up with a chilling revenge. Sure she was out doing exactly what she was doing, Furness went to extremes and hired private detectives to tail her.

Well, Enid went and hit her husband right back.Vintage Portrait of Young Woman - 1920's stylebaltskars, Shutterstock

27. She Toyed With Him

Enid was no fool, and she spotted the detectives whenever they skulked around. Undeterred, she simply shook them off and then went right back to doing what (and whom) she pleased. Then, after growing bored of the cat and mouse game, she simply flaunted her suitors in the open air, right in front of her husband.

It was a cruel streak that would only grow.professional detective in hat and suitMaster1305, Shutterstock

28. She Met A Rival

By the end of the 1930s, Enid had taken up with the Duke of Westminster, a lover who was truly a threat to Furness—if for no other reason than he too had heaps of money and could keep Enid in the luxury she was accustomed to. Furness, distraught, went on an extremely rare trip overseas to clear his head, though he usually preferred to stay close to home and keep an eye on his straying wife.

Enid must have sensed something was different this time, because her next move was shameless.Hugh Grosvenor, Duke Of Westminster end  Coco ChanelRadio Times Hulton Picture Librar, Wikimedia Commons

29. She Made A Dark Threat

While overseas, Furness got a blood-curdling letter from his wife. In the letter, Enid claimed she was beside herself at his semi-desertion, and that she was planning to off herself out of misery. The ploy worked: Furness high-tailed it back home, even gathering a search party to look for whatever was left of her. Uh, he found her alright.

In one of the great diva moments in history, Furness found his wife at a London Clinic, and she did indeed have a wound on her head—from a recent facelift operation. If only their whole story ended so well.Hand writing a letter with a goose featherAnneka, Shutterstock

30. She Had Debauched Friends

Furness and Enid lived in undoubted extravagance, with a horde of Rolls-Royces and a safari lodge in Kenya, where they mingled with the infamously debauched “Happy Valley” set for a handful of months each year. Yet these months were also full of decadence in the full, ruinous meaning of the word. It would have a grave effect on both their lives.KenyaTwilight, Pexels

31. She Said “No” To One Thing

Among the hedonistic activities in Happy Valley’s Kenya were heavy drinking, substance use, and “group intimacy events,” if you know what I mean. But while Enid never quite got into a lot of these practices—she was known to decline the group love fests, and would sometimes simply step over the writhing participants to get where she was going—her husband was enthralled, particularly when it came to the drinking and other substances.

Before long, it was spinning out of control.1920's style flapper girl in sepia toneChris Harwood, Shutterstock

32. She Hit Rock Bottom

At one point, Enid had a bad fall from her horse and quite a lot of pain afterward. Her husband got a dark idea. He convinced his doctor to give him enough morphine for them both, and soon they were both hooked on the stuff. And while Enid eventually went into a clinic to kick the habit as well as her other addictions, Furness did not.

You might realize it by now: The curse was coming back for Enid.woman in a 1920's dressChris Harwood, Shutterstock

33. She Watched Another One Go

By 1940, Furness was seriously ill from cirrhosis of the liver, a consequence of his overindulgence in drink that was no doubt helped along by his other addictions. Although he was only 56 years old, he passed that October in their property in the South of France, turning Enid into a widow for the third time. But by the time this happened, Enid had a much bigger problem to deal with.

Ann-Margret Ann Arden Grenville fictionalized version of Ann Woodward at a funeralLorimar Telepictures, The Two Mrs. Grenvilles (1987)

34. She Was Trapped

Just as Furness expired, WWII began raging, and the Germans invaded and took over France. Suddenly, Enid was trapped in dangerous territory. Her response surprised many. Instead of cowering or complaining, Enid turned back into pragmatic woman she’d been during the first World War, selling off her jewels to buy goats and subsisting more leanly on their butter and cheese. And that wasn’t all.WWII Europe, FranceNational Archives and Records Administration, Picryl

35. She Turned Into A Spy

As it happened, Enid’s villa was right near a detention camp full of prisoners. Without blinking, Enid began trying to help them escape, dressing in them gardener’s clothes or other civilian garb. She also allowed them to stay with her until the search parties fell off, since the Gestapo weren’t thinking about a thrice-widowed woman as a suspect.

Until, of course, that’s exactly who they began to suspect.GestapoUnknown Author, Picryl

36. She Made A Desperate Escape

Eventually, the Germans clocked what Enid was doing, and the noose circled closer and closer to her neck. She did what she had to do. In yet another brave and even reckless manoeuvre, she escaped France for Lisbon by traveling laboriously on foot alongside her daughter, and then hopped on an airship headed back to dear old Blighty.

Her daring WWII escapades had revealed the steely side to Enid that few had known was there. But once back in England, she regressed in a big way.Aldwych tube station being used as a bomb shelter in 1940Unknown Author, Wikimedia Commons

37. She Couldn’t Resist

England wasn’t exactly a safe haven at the time, as it was being bombed almost daily in the Blitz. Accordingly, Enid sought comfort in her old standby: A man. While staying in Claridge’s and waiting for Furness’s money to find its way back to her from the lawyers after his passing, she happened to meet Valentine Browne, the Earl of Kenmare.

Let’s just say, these two had history.Valentine Browne, 6Th Earl Of Kenmare 1923Unknown author, Wikimedia Commons

38. She Rekindled An Old Flame

Enid was already very familiar with Browne, as he’d been one of her good-time guys in her various dalliances, even though he’d been married to courtesan Doris Castlerosse himself. As she put it, the two of them had even considered marriage before, but “‘My husband or his wife got in the way”. 

Now, though, they were both free as birds…and both laboring under a huge misconception.Doris Castlerosse looking at the cameraUnknown Author, Wikimedia Commons

39. She Made A Big Mistake

See, Browne’s Earldom of Kenmare might have been a nice title to have, but the Earl himself was almost as poor as a church mouse thanks to his massive spending. Not that Enid realized this. Meanwhile, he assumed that Enid had scads of money—but as the cash was tied up in the courts, she very much did not.

They both thought they were marrying up when they finally tied the knot…but no. Instead, there was probably a very awkward honeymoon conversation. Not that they lasted long after that.Valentine Browne in suitKeystone-France, Getty Images

40. She Lost Her Final Husband Suddenly

False pretenses or no, Enid was now the Countess of Kenmare in Ireland, and, to the annoyance of Browne’s infamously overbearing mother, she happily established herself at the ancestral home in Killarney. Disaster promptly struck. At the young age of 52, Browne suffered a fatal heart attack just months after his wedding bells.

This version of Enid’s curse led to her most notorious moment yet.Valentine Edward Charles Browne, Viscount Castlerosse (1891 - 1946), circa 1938.Hulton Archive, Getty Images

41. She Experienced A Miracle

Enid was now 51 and all but alone up in Ireland—which is when she made a “miraculous” discovery. Against all odds, she was pregnant with Valentine Browne’s child, very possibly the next heir to the seat of Kenmare. It should have been a happy time, but her former mother-in-law was apoplectic that this upstart was still holding onto the family line, and she forced her into a shocking choice.Pregnant Woman In The ForestHelena Lopes, Pexels

42. There’s A Dark Rumor About Her

According to one version of events, Browne’s surviving family received the news of this future heir so badly, they forced Enid to abruptly stop her pregnancy so that Browne’s brother Gerald could inherit the title. They could simply not let Enid’s line so pollute the shades of Kenmare. It was a truly horrific story…and also probably very far from the dark truth.Valentine Edward Charles Browne, Viscount CastlerosseHulton Archive, Getty Images

43. She Was A Mastermind

In reality, there seems to be very little evidence that Enid was pregnant at the not-so-green age of 51. In fact, most historians believe she merely fabricated the pregnancy to cling onto the seat of Kenmare. After all, she did manage to stay up there for a full year before this “no really, a baby is coming” story stretched beyond all belief.

With this, Enid proved she was a woman who would really stop at nothing. Before her end, she would prove it ten times over.Fashionable old woman vintageKiselev Andrey Valerevich, Shutterstock

44. She Made An Enemy

For all her laundry list of wealthy husbands, Enid never seemed to get along with society ladies. One of her biggest frenemies was the notoriously ruthless Daisy Fellowes, who once described Enid as, “an Australian with a vague pedigree”. At another point, Enid was talking to Daisy and said, “People of our class—” only to have Daisy interrupt and snipe, “Just a moment, Enid, your class or mine?”

Soon enough, the rest of society began to follow suit.Daisy FellowesJohn Singer Sargent, Wikimedia Commons

45. Her Reputation Got Worse

Eventually, Daisy Fellowes was making Enid the butt of the joke everywhere she went. The target of her ridicule was a sore spot. Daisy began to insinuate that, with so many of Enid’s husbands conveniently gone, Enid must have been responsible for their dooms.

At one point, Queen Bee Daisy boasted that she was going to have a dinner party with 12 guests, “All murderers”. She then sneered, “There are six men and six women. And Enid will have the place of honor, because she killed most people of anyone coming”. Yet the most lasting barb came from one of Enid’s true friends.Portrait of Daisy Fellowes, fashion iconDEA / ICAS94, Getty Images

46. Her Friend Gave Her An Unfortunate Name

Over the course of her society career, Enid had become friends with the writer Somerset Maugham, and the pair of them loved to play bridge for hours. It was at a bridge table that Maugham mused about Enid’s Irish title, Lady Kenmare, and joked that she would better be called “Lady Killmore” for her body count. The nickname stuck…with devastating consequences.William Somerset Maugham in suitCarl Van Vechten, Wikimedia Commons

47. She Couldn’t Stand It

One night, Enid was attending a Long Island dinner party with her usual well-to-do crowd when her friendly nickname came back to haunt her with a decidedly bitter bite. Her host point-blank asked why she was called “Lady Killmore”. Cut to the quick, Enid promptly rose from the table and made her way back home to Manhattan.

If only that was the most vicious legacy she had. It wasn’t.

Hindenburg over New York 1937Associated Press, Wikimedia Commons

48. She Was On The Wrong Side Of The Law

For most of her life, Enid’s biggest sins were merely gossip about her black widowhood. But then her crimes turned all too real. In 1954, department store scion Donald Bloomingdale happened to meet her at a New York hotel and ended up asking the middle-aged woman to score some substances for him. 

Enid, despite her own checkered past with addiction, complied. She would learn to regret it.Brooklyn and Manhattan BridgeNational Museum of the U.S. Navy, Wikimedia Commons

49. She Was Really Involved In A Death

According to reports, the goods arrived at Bloomingdale’s door lovingly wrapped in a lace handkerchief embroidered with Enid’s initials, or else she cleverly sent them hidden in a silver frame that held a photograph of herself. Then, the worst happened: The dose proved tragically fatal to Bloomingdale, and there was a trail leading right back to Enid.

To escape any interrogation, Enid had to run from New York. Yet the mortal stain went with her.Redhead girl with suitcase at outdoorMasson, Shutterstock

50. She Never Shook Her Curse

Shortly after this black mark, Enid swore off the drama of both North America and Europe entirely. She lived instead on a farm in South Africa for the rest of her years, where she took care of horses until her passing in 1973. 

She nonetheless never lost her flair for the dramatic: She was always fond of messing with journalists who asked about her departed husbands, quipping once, “I don’t bother with divorce; it’s too messy. I just kill my husbands”. Some people, however, were always going to take that as confession.

Luxurious woman looking at the camera while holding her puppy outdoorsJacob Lund, Shutterstock


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