A History of Mistresses

A History of Mistresses

Book - 2010
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Publisher: London : Duckworth, 2010.
ISBN: 9780715639467
0715639463
Branch Call Number: 306.736/ABBOTT
Characteristics: xiv, 510 p. ; 24 cm.

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britprincess1
Sep 25, 2013

Mistresses usually cause shock, gossip, scandal, and make us think of fallen promiscuous women. However, these stories show both sides. There are manipulative women attracted to power, yes, but this compilation shows the shy girls preyed on, the women who followed obligations, the women who fell in love but were torn away out of circumstance only to return later on to these same men as mistresses. These accounts are intensely personal tales, but presented in a very objective and thoughtful style, aiming to inform as honestly as possible. I have to give kudos to author Elizabeth Abbott for how truly fair she was and how delightful her writing style was. As for the content? Well, there's the mistresses we know, like Marilyn Monroe, Camilla Parker Bowles, Eva Braun, Jane Eyre, Anna Karenina, Hester Prynne, and Simone de Beauvoir. Then, there's the more obscure and unfamiliar, like Lady Nijo, Alice Keppel, Lady Yehenara, Theodora & Marozia Theophylact, and Emilie du Chatelet, to name a few among dozens included here. Grouped with thematic cohesion, each chapter tells us of biblical mistresses, royal mistresses, Holocaust mistresses, Mob mistresses, slaves and concubines, mistresses in the swinging sixties, and so on and so forth. I highly recommend it as a fantastic read, as well as a well researched secondary source for scholarly purposes.

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britprincess1
Sep 25, 2013

britprincess1 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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britprincess1
Sep 25, 2013

Tells the individual and personal stories of mistresses and concubines from all walks of life, from biblical women to sex symbols of the sixties, who have left a mark throughout history. Includes accounts of the lives of Hagar, Aspasia, Corinna, St. Augustine's anonymous mistress, Yu-Fang, May-Ying, Lady Nijo, Roxelana, Tz'u-Hsi (also known as Lady Yehenara), Nell Gwynne, Jeanne-Antoinette de Pompadour (aka Reinette), Jeanne du Barry, Lola Montez, Katharina Schratt, Alice Keppel, Elena Lupescu, Camilla Parker Bowles, Lady Bess Hervey Foster, Georgiana Spencer, Lady Caroline Lamb, Claire Clairmont, Countess Teresa Guiccioli, Theodora & Marozia Theophylact, Vanozza d'Arignano, Giulia Farnese, Annie Murphy, Louise Iusewicz, Pamela Shoop, Malinche, Sally Fidler, Betsey Sinclair, Margaret Taylor, Le Ly Hayslip, Dao Thi Mui, Phibbah, Julia Chinn, Sally Hemings, Julia Frances Lewis Dickson, Harriet Jacobs, Eleonore Hodys, Eva Braun, Hannah Arendt, Heloise, Emilie du Chatelet, Jeanne Hebuterne, George Eliot, Lillian Hellman, Catherine Walston, Joyce Maynard, Virginia Hill, Arlyne Brickman, Sandy Sadowsky, Georgia Durante, Shirley Ryce, Naty Revuelta, Celia Sanchez, Marion Davies, Gloria Swanson, Maria Callas, Marilyn Monroe, Judith Campbell, Vicki Morgan, Jane Eyre, Hester Prynne, Madame Emma Bovary, Anna Karenina, Mildred Rogers (Of Human Bondage), Ellen Olenska (The Age of Innocence), Larisa (Dr. Zhivago), Sarah Miles (The End of the Affair), Merrion Palmer (Marrying the Mistress), Lillian Ross, Pamela Digby Churchill Hayward Harriman, Simone de Beauvoir, Paula Birmingham, Rachel Goldman, and Michaela Kovakeski.

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