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What does a woman have to look like to inspire her many lovers to leave their wives, leave their children, stab themselves, shoot themselves, and murder one another?
Of all the sordid stories told on Clews this past almost-a-year, through the 30,000 hits on this site to date, one woman has been the biggest draw (and it ain't me).
It's Countess Marie Tarnowska, easily one of the world's worst women, whose sordid life has been cut and pasted all over the internet, who has generated more commentary and emails to your correspondent than any other bloody subject.
And it seems her legend lives on abroad. Some Clews visitors were impressed enough by her story to dig deeper, to figure out what she looked like.
It turns out that a Polish publishing company recently published a book about Marie Tarnwoska that has early photos of her on the cover. (And wouldn't you know it, I don't speak a word of Polish.)
A bar / meeting room in Italy has also been named for her. The place is called Tarnowska's American Bar, and it includes the Kamarovsky Room, after one of her victims. The establishment has posted its interior photos, along with a photo of the Countess.
So now you see her.
She has small, even features, thick, dark hair piled atop her head, and appears to be heavier than modern beauty standards would provide. This photo of her, turned aside, looking far off, doesn't tell you a dot about what must have been a mesmerizing personality. It had to have taken a helluva woman to inspire so much bloodshed.
She is best pictured, I think, while being quoted.
I am the most unfortunate woman in the world. I am a martyr to my own beauty. For any man to behold me is for him to love me. The whole pathway of my life is strewn with the bodies of those who have loved me most.