Lady Sarah Forbes Bonetta Davies, photographed by Camille Silvy, 1862

Sarah Forbes Bonetta Davies was a child born into a royal West African dynasty. She was orphaned in 1848, when her parents were killed in a slave-hunting war. She was around five years old. In 1850, Sarah was taken to England and presented to Queen Victoria as a “gift” from the King of Dahomey. She became the queen’s goddaughter and a celebrity known for her extraordinary intelligence.  She spent her life between the British royal household and her homeland in Africa until her death in 1880. 


ArtVeronica Zee