A History of MistressesBook - 2003
She has been known as the "kept woman," the "fancywoman," and the "other woman." The French acknowledge herexistence by remarking, "The chains of marriage are so heavy that it oftentakes three people to carry them." She is Jeanne Antoinette de Pompadour,and Simone de Beauvoir, not to mention Marilyn Monroe and Camilla Parker-Bowles.She is a mistress, and she has been - and is - very much apart of our humancultural history. But who is she, really? What is the true nature of themistress-lover relationship? How do women experience mistressdom? And where doeslove figure in all of this?
Elizabeth Abbott, who made celibacy sexy in her acclaimed A History ofCelibacy, has the fascinating storehouse of answers in a deliciously richblend of history, personality and cultural study. In a lively and accessiblestyle, History of Mistresses draws intimate portraits of mistressesthroughout history, from Chinese concubines to Europe's royal mistresses andthe clandestine consorts of (un)celibate clerics. Mobster molls, trophy dollsand modern mistresses are deconstructed, with often surprising results. Beyondthe personalities, some interesting themes emerge: the relationship betweenmistresses of colour and their married men; the coercion of Jewish women duringthe Holocaust; and a contemporary look at today's "power"mistresses.
From lust to love, from money to power, Abbott's A History of Mistressesferrets out the motives and morals of these women, carrying the reader along ona journey that is hugely informative and always entertaining.
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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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