Zylphia Sarah Fox 1837-?
A short time ago, the VV was surprised to receive a letter from an American cousin which contained some copies of old photographs. Those Victorian portraits shocked us both, for one of the faces staring out bore such a striking resemblance to me and, on further investigation, my cousin had come to discover that the woman in question was indeed a mutual relative.
Zylphia performing on stage
Zylphia Sarah Fox was our great, great, great aunt. She was also the black sheep of the family who abandoned her English lawyer husband and children to elope with a most unsavoury type - some reports say an actor, others an itinerant photographer. Well, whatever his profession happened to be, soon after emigrating to America my aunt and her beau appear to have parted ways. But, rather than coming home in shame, Zylphia then forged a career on the stage, offering support and succour to officers of the Confederate Army during the time of the Civil war.
Zylphia and friends
For reasons of pride and propriety, it seems this adulterous adventuress had been all but expunged from the English branch of the Fox family archives. But, the VV cannot deny such an uncanny resemblance, seeing so much of herself today in Zylphia’s faded countenance.