Women's Activism NYC

Virginia Oldoini

1837 - 1899

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Known as La Castiglione, Virginia Oldoini, Countess of Castiglione (1837 – 1899), was an Italian aristocrat, cousin of the Count of Cavour, and one of the first women to be active in politics, not merely as a supportive spouse, as was the case for Anita Garibaldi, but in her own name. She was an intelligent and charismatic ambassador of Italy. She was also a significant figure in the early history of photography. Unfortunately, many biographers merely remember her as the woman who achieved notoriety as the mistress of Emperor Napoleon III of France.

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