Jeannie, “Lady Hermit of Cornwall”

Not just a local historical piece but of wider interest is the story of the “Lady Hermit of the Cornish cliffs” of England. The article is from the CornwellLve website. Here is opening text:

Its one of the strangest stories to emerge from 20th century Cornwall – the rich, educated, young Russian woman who was known across the county as the “Lady Hermit of the Cornish cliffs”.

So unusual a sight was Jeannie Schmolivitz, who made her home in caves in west Cornwall and lived on blackberries, that she spooked many a local into thinking she was a ghost.

Jeannie became a media star of the day, with national and international newspapers reporting her story, which took in a broken heart, madness, arrests, incarceration, daring escape and a final “rescue” which took her from Cornwall back to Russia.

Jeannie Schmolivtz (her surname could also have been Schmulewitz) became a sensation as the 1900s dawned, though her story is now largely forgotten.