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Scarlet Women: The Scandalous Lives of Courtesans, Concubines, and Royal Mistresses
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St. Martin's Publishing Group 2016
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In 1965, an impoverished elderly woman was found dead in Nice, France. Her death marked the end of an era; she was the last of the great courtesans. Known as La Belle Otero, she was a volcanic Spanish beauty whose patrons included Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) and Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia. She accumulated an enormous fortune, but gambled it all away. Scarlet Women tells her story and many more, including:

Marie Duplessis, who inspired characters by both Dumas and Verdi;Clara Ward, a rare American courtesan who hunted for a European aristocrat, but having married a Belgian prince, ran away with a gypsy violinist;Ninon de L'Enclos, who was offered 50,000 crowns by Cardinal Richelieu for one night. Money left in her will paid for Voltaire's education.

Courtesans were an elite group of talented, professional mistresses. The most successful became wealthy and famous in their own right. While they led charmed lives, they occupied a curious position: they enjoyed freedom and political power unknown to most women, but they were ostracised by polite society. From the hetaerae of ancient Greece to the cortigiani onesti of 16th century Venice, the oiran of Edo-period Japan to the demimondaines of 19th century France, this captivating book—perfect for readers of A Treasury of Royal Scandals—uncovers the rich, colorful lives of these women who dared to pursue fortunes outside their societies' norms.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
01/26/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781466868175
ASIN:
B0111NF8T2
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Ian Graham. (2016). Scarlet Women: The Scandalous Lives of Courtesans, Concubines, and Royal Mistresses. St. Martin's Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Ian Graham. 2016. Scarlet Women: The Scandalous Lives of Courtesans, Concubines, and Royal Mistresses. St. Martin's Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Ian Graham, Scarlet Women: The Scandalous Lives of Courtesans, Concubines, and Royal Mistresses. St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Ian Graham. Scarlet Women: The Scandalous Lives of Courtesans, Concubines, and Royal Mistresses. St. Martin's Publishing Group, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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fullDescription

In 1965, an impoverished elderly woman was found dead in Nice, France. Her death marked the end of an era; she was the last of the great courtesans. Known as La Belle Otero, she was a volcanic Spanish beauty whose patrons included Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) and Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia. She accumulated an enormous fortune, but gambled it all away. Scarlet Women tells her story and many more, including:

Marie Duplessis, who inspired characters by both Dumas and Verdi;
Clara Ward, a rare American courtesan who hunted for a European aristocrat, but having married a Belgian prince, ran away with a gypsy violinist;
Ninon de L'Enclos, who was offered 50,000 crowns by Cardinal Richelieu for one night. Money left in her will paid for Voltaire's education.

Courtesans were an elite group of talented, professional mistresses. The most successful became wealthy and famous in their own right. While they led charmed lives, they occupied a curious position: they enjoyed freedom and political power unknown to most women, but they were ostracised by polite society. From the hetaerae of ancient Greece to the cortigiani onesti of 16th century Venice, the oiran of Edo-period Japan to the demimondaines of 19th century France, this captivating book—perfect for readers of A Treasury of Royal Scandals—uncovers the rich, colorful lives of these women who dared to pursue fortunes outside their societies' norms.

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        November 15, 2015

        Though they are often overlooked, courtesans and mistresses have helped shape history and greatly influenced royalty and other public figures. Graham (The Ultimate Book of Imposters) examines the lives of notable and influential courtesans, royal mistresses, and concubines from several countries, showing how they made their own way in different time periods and corners of the world. This is a thoroughly researched and clearly written work with an extensive bibliography. The organization of chapters by either country or types of courtesans is helpful and makes for quick reference. At times, the stories seem to end at odd intervals, but this was likely owing to a paucity of information on women who didn't always have well-documented lives. Though the book is an easy read, the women profiled come across as having a lust for power or money, making some anecdotes seem repetitive. VERDICT This account would serve as a solid research resource for a library; because of the similarity of the subjects, it's unlikely to be read cover to cover.--Stacy Shaw, Orange, CA

        Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        December 1, 2015
        Laurel Thatcher Ulrich wrote that well-behaved women seldom make history. The women chronicled here can hardly be said to be well behaved, but they, too, are seldom written about in the history books. Graham (The Ultimate Book of Imposters, 2013) writes that there are no hard-and-fast dividing lines between the definitions of courtesan, concubine, and mistress. . . . Courtesans could be described as professional mistresses, and the multiple mistresses of kings could also be described as concubines. Some of their names may be familiar, such as Marie Duplessis (the inspiration for Dumas' La Dame aux camellias and Verdi's La Traviata) and Madame de Pompadour (mistress of King Louis XV), and some may not, such as Cixi (dowager empress of China) and Jane Digby (a British admiral's daughter who had four husbands, including a Bedouin sheikh, as well as nearly a dozen aristocratic lovers). Graham tells their stories and offers suggestions for further reading as well as a sizable bibliography for those interested in learning more. Fans of popular history will enjoy this straightforward, readable account of the lives and times of some very colorful characters.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2015, American Library Association.)

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shortDescription

In 1965, an impoverished elderly woman was found dead in Nice, France. Her death marked the end of an era; she was the last of the great courtesans. Known as La Belle Otero, she was a volcanic Spanish beauty whose patrons included Kaiser Wilhelm II, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) and Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia. She accumulated an enormous fortune, but gambled it all away. Scarlet Women tells her story and many more, including:

Marie Duplessis, who inspired characters by both Dumas and Verdi;
Clara Ward, a rare American courtesan who hunted for a European aristocrat, but having married a Belgian prince, ran away with a gypsy violinist;
Ninon de L'Enclos, who was offered 50,000 crowns by Cardinal Richelieu for one night. Money left in her will paid for Voltaire's education.

Courtesans were an elite group of talented, professional mistresses. The most successful became wealthy and famous in their own right. While they led charmed lives,...

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