Cora Pearl (1835-1886) Born Emma Elizabeth Crouch in England, she became the most famous courtesan--the Queen of Tarts--of the French Second Empire. Her clients were the wealthiest and most powerful men of her day, whom she called collectively her “Golden Chain” of lovers. She was a fine horsewoman and said to be kinder to her horses than she was to her lovers. From 1865 to 1870, she was at her dazzling zenith as the most celebrated courtesan in Paris and was mistress of the Emperor’s brother. “I can say that I have never had a favorite lover--the handsome young and charming man, who has loyally offered me his love and his money, has every right to think that he is really ‘my favorite lover,’ my lover for an hour, my escort for a month, my friend forever--that is how I understand the matter.