They are some of the most famous historical figures in history. But like all of us, they had a different side when it came to their private lives. These historical figures had perverse and shameless habits that left the world in shock when they were brought into the spotlight. Sure, they all had some derogatory habits, but we wouldn’t be where we are today without these genius men who thought ahead of their time. Here are 10 such famous historical figures who were total perverts behind closed doors.
1. Albert Einstein, the most famous mathematician and theoretical physicist in the history of the planet, was many things but remaining monogamous was not one of them. He married twice, once to his own cousin. He then cheated on both his wives with around 10 different women. Once, he almost married his second wife’s ( who was his cousin) 22-year-old daughter. He had the notion that people had a natural desire to have affairs, and it didn’t do any good for them to resist the urge to do so.
Letters released in 2006 shed a whole new light on Einstein’s extramarital affairs. His marriage to Mileva Maric was miserable. He divorced Mileva in 1919 and soon married his cousin, Elsa. Then, he cheated on her as well with his secretary, Betty Neumann. In his letters, Einstein also described six women with whom he spent time and from whom he received gifts while being married to Elsa. Some of the women identified by Einstein include Estella, Ethel, Toni, and his “Russian spy lover” Margarita. Others are referred to only by initials, like “M” and “L.” According to Barbara Wolff of the Hebrew University, “M” was Berlin socialite Ethel Michanowski. She was about 15 years younger than Einstein.
Einstein frequently wrote to Elsa’s daughter, Margot, whom he almost married. She gave almost 1,400 letters to the Hebrew University, but she directed the letters not be released publicly until 20 years after her death. In one of the letters to Margot, Einstein asked her to pass on “a little letter for Margarita, to avoid providing curious eyes with tidbits.“(1,2)
2. James Joyce wrote the novel Ulysses which is considered to be the epitome of Modernist literature. James and his wife, Nora Barnacle Joyce, used to exchange erotic letters that were quite disturbing. He used to refer to his wife as a “strange-eyed whore.” “You had an arse full of farts that night, darling,” writes Joyce to Barnacle in 1908, “big fat fellows, long windy ones, quick little merry cracks, and a lot of tiny little naughty farties.”
James Joyce used to send scores of explicit missives to his wife Nora Barnacle. One of the openings of a letter sent by James was: “I did as you told me, you dirty little girl, and pulled myself off twice when I read your letter.”
When James left Nora in Trieste while he returned to Dublin, it was Nora who began the pornographic letters to keep her husband away from prostitutes. Joyce never used any obscenity in his writing and speech, but he was inflamed by the mere sight of the forbidden words. As their lewd correspondence continued to grow, he admitted that her letters were way filthier than his.(1,2)
3. Mozart was such a prodigy that he began writing symphonies at age five. But when he was not creating compositions, he exchanged weird flirtatious letters with his cousin. He once wrote, “Oh my ass burns like fire! what on earth is the meaning of this!—maybe muck wants to come out? yes, yes, muck, I know you, see you, taste you—and—what’s this—is it possible?”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart left behind a trail of letters that he wrote to his cousin, a possible love interest. Although the letters displayed Mozart’s fondness for wordplay, there were lots of scatological humor (toilet-related humor) in them.
A letter to his cousin Maria on 5 November 1777 contains the following verse:
Well, I wish you good night
But first shit in your bed and make it burst.
Sleep soundly, my love
Into your mouth your arse you’ll shove.
According to Benjamin Simkin, an endocrinologist, 39 of Mozart’s letters include scatological passages. Not only his cousin, but letters to his mother, father, and sister also included scatological verses. Simkin also mentions that even his family members used scatological expressions in their letters to each other. Most families would have found that utterly offensive, but not the Mozarts!
In few of his letters, he combined scatology with wordplay and sexual references. One such translation by Robert Spaethling as part of a letter sent by Mozart from Mannheim on November 5, 1777, goes something like this:
“Oui, by the love of my skin, I shit on your nose, so it runs down your chin.”(source)
4. Percy Grainger was one of the most brilliant and eccentric composers of the 20th century. He had a violent and passionate sex life in which he repeatedly flogged himself, his lovers, and eventually his wife Ella. He also demanded to be flogged by others and even documented the instances through photography. In one of his letters Grainger wrote: “I am a sadist and a flagellant — my highest sexual delight is to whip a beloved woman’s body.”
In 1956, Percy deposited a mysterious chest marked “Private Matters” at his Melbourne bank vault. He left instructions not to open the chest until 10 years after his death. When researchers finally did the honors in 1971, they were shocked to discover the contents of the box. The box contained 70 homemade whips along with a massive pornography collection. The contents also included detailed photographs documenting his obsession and bondage experiments with his wife.
In a letter to his future wife Ella in 1928, Grainger wrote:
“As far as my taste goes, blows [with the whip] are most thrilling on breasts, bottom, inner thighs, sexparts.”
5. Jean-Jacques Rousseau was one of the most influential philosophers of all time. In his autobiography, he revealed his need to be spanked to reach sexual arousal. He used to expose his private parts to women in dark alleys in the hope of getting spanked. “I had found in the pain, even in the disgrace, a mixture of sensuality which had left me less afraid than desirous of experiencing it again from the same hand,” Rousseau wrote in his autobiography.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was brought up by a woman named Mademoiselle Lambercier. She treated both Jean and his brother François like her own sons and also imposed authority on them. And when they misbehaved, she resorted to spanking, and Jean, rather than be horrified by the experience, wanted it repeated.
In his autobiography, he writes the following:
“I devoured with burning glances all the pretty women I met; my imagination unceasingly recalled them to me, only to make use of them in my own fashion, and to make of them so many Mlles. [Mademoiselles] Lambercier.”
Unable to get fulfilled sexually in the way he desired, Rousseau’s frustration became so pronounced that he started expressing it in perverse ways. He used to expose himself to women whom he found attractive.
Rousseau later penned down his sexual relationships and inclinations in The Confessions of Jean Jacques Rousseau, which was published in 1782.(source)
6. Charles Lindbergh was the heroic aviator who flew across the Atlantic alone in a tiny plane. He was also one of the few people of his time to have four families. Lindbergh had three separate, secret families and fathered a total of seven children among them. Two of his wives were sisters, and the third was his secretary. Some of his offspring only knew him by a fake name.
The tangled love life of Charles Lindbergh has been revealed by the three illegitimate children whose existence he kept secret for almost 20 years. In the book The Secret Life of Charles A Lindbergh, it was revealed how Charles managed a 17-year relationship with Brigitte, even after he fathered two children with her sister, Marietta. Moreover, Lindbergh was 55 and happily married to his American wife, Anne Morrow, at the time when he met Brigitte and Marietta. The sisters were friends of Charles’s secretary, Valeska, with whom he was already in an extramarital relationship.
Even though his illegitimate children didn’t know the reality about their father, not even his real name, they said that Charles was very caring and also made sure they had a good day whenever he visited them. All the three women never married Charles but honored the vow of secrecy they gave to Charles and never spoke about their relationship. It was only after the death of Brigitte that her children decided to speak out about the man they always suspected was their father. Even though he was pro-Nazi, his children consider him to have been a loving father.(source)
7. Hans Christian Andersen was one of history’s foremost fairy tale writers, having churned out classics such as The Little Mermaid and The Princess and the Pea. What was perverse about him was that for every person he met, he would maintain a diary entry and mention the masturbation session he had at their expense. He would visit brothels, not to touch the women but talk to them, and come back and masturbate later making a diary entry for the same.
It’s hard to imagine a children’s story writer having a perverse nature, but that’s exactly what Hans Christian Andersen had. Every time Andersen had a wank, he used to put a mark in his diary. “Today I had a visit from such-and-such a person, they’re so sweet,” he would write. “When they left, I had a double-sensuous ++.” The number of + signs determined the degree of satisfaction he had from the activity.
Andersen has had a very pure image among his fans in Denmark. They argue that the reason Andersen never married or had sex was his desire to remain pure. But in a book called Hans Christian Andersen: The Life of a Storyteller by Jackie Wullschlager, a very different aspect of his life is highlighted. Even though Andersen didn’t have an active sexual life, there’s some evidence that he was bisexual. He used to write open love letters to a lot of young men and was also passionate about many women.
Andersen even had yearnings for young boys. Once when he was spending a few days with Charles Dickens, he then requested to be shaved by one of Dickens’ young sons every morning, a request the British author turned down.(1,2)
8. Nobel Prize-winning physicist Erwin Schrödinger used to live with multiple women. He was a supporter of polygamy. His life was dotted with passionate affairs which his wife Anna wholeheartedly supported. The couple eventually took the next step and started living with a woman named Hilde March who bore Schrödinger’s child. Hilde’s husband was Schrödinger’s assistant and he supported the arrangement.
Erwin Schrödinger, apart from his quantum physics contributions to the world, lived in an open polygamous family. He lived with his wife, Anny Bertel, and his partner Hilde March. They had the blessing of March’s husband, the physicist Arthur March, who was himself a lover of Anny’s. Together, the three raised Erwin and Hilde’s daughter, Ruth March. This unconventional living arrangement had caused difficulties for Erwin at Oxford and Princeton.
Erwin kept a detailed log of all his sexual escapades with multiple women. One such escapade included a teenage girl he seduced and impregnated while working as her math tutor. He had children by at least three of his mistresses. One of them was Hilde, and one was a married, former actress, Sheila May.(1,2)
9. Edward VII of England is remembered in history as the monarch who brokered an important treaty with France. But he also had a scandalous sex life. He had a long line of mistresses. His reputation and exploits opened the doors for the sophisticated spouse-swapping of the Marlborough House set. He even had his own specially designed knobbing chair.
Queen Victoria’s eldest son, the Prince of Wales, later Edward VII, had a scandalously, plentiful sex life. The Queen ruled for a long time, and that gave Edward VII 50 long years to indulge sensually with women, often in bed.
The book, Edward VII: The Prince of Wales and the Women He Loved by historian Catharine Arnold, sheds light on prostitutes, actresses, aristocrats, socialites, and social-climbers who took turns in the prince’s bed and became quite famous in the royal circle.
His line of lovers and mistresses include Jennie Churchill, mother of Winston Churchill; Lillie Langtry, the original Jersey girl; and Sarah Bernhardt, the bisexual French stage actress with an opium habit. His last mistress-in-chief was Mrs. Alice Keppel. Alice was the great-grandmother of Duchess Camilla of Cornwall, the second wife of the current Prince of Wales, Prince Charles, Edward’s great-great-grandson.(1,2)
10. Charlie Chaplin is one of the most instantly recognizable film stars of all time. But behind closed doors, he organized orgies with the filmmaker Luis Bunuel and sexually harassed women. He would make the actresses who came for an audition to undress and would fondle their breasts in an exaggerated silent movie-acting manner.
Charlie Chaplin was one of the first artists to institutionalize the couch as an ”official” mode of selection for acting. Since it was the era of mime and silent films, Charles would only communicate with the actresses, who came for auditions, via caption cards and mime. This he did to test their ability to ”perform” in silent movies.
The cards would eventually become vulgar where he used to get the actresses completely naked. He would fondle their intimate parts, all as part of the silent movie audition. Later, he would make them stand against the walls and throw pies at them.