Three Sisters: The Story of the de Acosta Sisters
Of the three Mercedes is my favorite - she lived her lesbianism out loud for all the world to see (be reminded that the great Irish poet and playwright, Ocsar Wilde was imprisoned in the UK in 1897 for 'gross indecency" - for being homosexual). She wrote a beautiful poem to [a closeted] Greta Garbo - I'm paraphrasing it - "You belong to me, some things just belong to other things - let us then just say - for example - the salt to the sea, a bird to the sky and you to me" or was it, "a bird to the sky, the salt to the sea and you to me" - anyway, you get her meaning - ownership.
Portrait of Rita Hernandez de Alba de Acosta Stokes Lydig by Giovanni Boldini - 1911
Rita de Acosta was married twice. Her first marriage was in 1895, when she was 20-year-old. She was the first wife of multimillionaire William Earl Dodge Stokes. The marriage was marred by violence - Stokes beat her repeatedly - when it was finally dissolved in 1900,she received a settlement of nearly two million dollars (the equivalent of $73,000,000 in 2022) a record divorce settlement of the time. She squandered nearly every penny of her fortune from her divorce proceeds on clothes, art and travelling around the world.
Photo of Aida de Acosta
Aida was the first woman to pilot any kind of motorized aircraft, six months before the Wright Brothers flew in a heavier-than-air powered aircraft.