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Showing posts from July, 2008

Murder Most English - Florence Bravo and the Balham Mystery

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It was a mystery that has baffled people for over a century, even Agatha Christie couldn't solve it. Who murdered Charles Bravo that dark April night in 1876? Leading doctors, including Queen Victoria's physician, Sir William Gull, were called in to try and save his life but to no avail. The only thing they could agree on was that he had been poisoned by antimony. Bravo suffered for three days in excruciating agony but gave no indication of who he thought might have wanted to cause him harm. At the time of the inquest, the news reports eclipsed even government and international news. And at the center was Bravo's wife, Florence Campbell Bravo. What was it about this case that made it so interesting to mystery writers over the past hundred years or so? And what made it so scandalous that people are still interested to this day? Florence Campbell was born in 1845, the second of seven children. Her father Robert Campbell had made his fortune in Australia where the family li

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Camilla? - The Life of the Duchess of Cornwall

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She's been called 'The Rottweiler.' Princess Diana famously declared on television that 'there were three of us in this marriage, so it was quite crowded." Prince Charles once declared in a private phone conversation that was heard around the world that her greatest mission in life as been 'to love him' She's been reviled as a homewrecker, pelted with bread rolls, the woman who ruined the fairytale marriage of the century. Was it fate that brought her and Prince Charles together? Who is Camilla Parker Bowles, HRH The Duchess of Cornwall? What is it about this earthy, chain-smoking dame that has enthralled the Prince of Wales for almost forty years? She was born Camilla Rosemary Shand sixty one years ago today on July 17, 1947, making her a Cancer like her rival Princess Diana. As everyone now knows, her great grandmother was Alice, Mrs. George Keppel, mistress of Edward VII. Contrary to the myth, Camilla did not announce to Prince Charles when they fi

Excellent Blogs

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I just found out that Scandalous Women was just given an "Excellent Blog Award" by World of Royalty and Reading the Past (7/14). Wow! Thank you so much. The blog meme was started by the Mommy Project . Now it is my turn to pass the award on to some blogs I find excellent. It’s hard to choose because there are so many good blogs out there, but here are 10 that I think deserve an Excellent Blog Award: Edwardian Promenade Chicago History Georgiana's Gossip Guide History Undressed Nineteen Teen Bad Girl Blog Historical Boys Risky Regencies Tudor History Zenobia, Empress of the East

Red Spy Queen - the story of Elizabeth Bentley

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In 1945, a 37 year old matronly woman walked into the FBI offices in Connecticut with a fantastical story of being a handler for a spy ring for the Soviets during World War II. Her name was Elizabeth Bentley. When her story checked out, the FBI was faced with the hard truth that this woman had run not one but two spy rings that had sent damaging information about US war time activities to the Soviets. It forced the US Government to take a hard look at their security procedures and the rise of the Communist party in America. What made this woman whose family put the W in WASP turn against her country to the point of spying for the Soviets? Was she naive, under the influence of a powerful man, or was she a genuine 'traveler'? Elizabeth Turrill (also spelled Terrill) Bentley was born on January 1, 1908 in New Milford, CT. Her maternal ancestors had lived in New Milford since the 1632. Her father Charles Prentiss Bentley managed several dry-goods establishments, and her mother M