Showing posts from September, 2008

The Truth About Mata Hari - Part I

Her name is now synonymous for femme fatale, a slinky seductress luring men to their doom but who was Mata Hari exactly? Was she the treacherous spy who sent thousands of men to their death or was she used as a convenient scapegoat by not only the British, but the Germans and the French as well? In recent years, new biographies have come out that suggests just that but despite this, Mata Hari’s image as a seductive spider luring men to their doom continues to live on. Mata Hari began life as Margaretha Geertruida Zelle. Born on August 7, 1876 in a small town in northern Holland, she was the eldest child and only daughter, three younger brothers followed in quick succession. Her father Adam Zelle was a prosperous store owner in Leeuwarden, who spoiled his little princess, dressing her in silks and satins that made the other girls at her private school jealous. Margaretha even as a child had a talent for reinvention, she told them that her father was a baron and that she lived in a castl

Scandalous Movie Review: The Duchess

Last Friday night I went to see The Duchess with one of my closest friends to cap off a pretty up and down week. I thought "hey a movie with pretty costumes, yeah!" Unfortunately there is only one word to describe this movie and that is adequate. The plot in a nutshell involves a vibrant beauty, Lady Georgiana Spencer, who marries an older man, William Cavendish, the 5th Duke of Devonshire and goes to live with him in his beautiful London mansion, Devonshire House. But she quickly learns that her husband prefers his dogs to her. She becomes a celebrity of her time and ends up trapped in an unhappy triangle with her husband and his live-in mistress. She falls passionately in love with an ambitious young politician, Charles Grey (later 2nd Earl Grey and Prime Minister, you know the one the tea is named after) and the affair causes a bitter conflict with her husband and threatens to erupt into a scandal. Keira Knightley suffers beautifully as Georgiana but she is not given much

Oops I did it again!

Sorry to everyone who thought they were getting a new post yesterday, and they got a half-finished one on Mata Hari. This is what happens when you hit the wrong button by mistake! The Truth About Mata Hari will be up and completed on Monday morning. In the meantime, have a Scandalous weekend!

Interview with Eleanor Herman - author of "Mistress of the Vatican"

Q: Since 2004, you have published three books, the best selling Sex with the King and its follow up, Sex with Queens, and now Mistress of the Vatican. Can you tell the readers a little about your background before you were published? I was a journalist for a variety of publications, and from 1989-2002 worked for Monch Publishing, based in Bonn, Germany. As their associate publisher of North America, I worked for their defense and political journals, especially with the embassies of Partner for Peace (former Warsaw Pact) nations. I loved the travel. During every business trip, I would take a couple of days to see the castles and museums. But I always wanted to write a book. In 2001 my mom died very suddenly, and I realized I needed to push forward with my dream before Death tapped me on the shoulder, too. I quit my job and used my inheritance to support myself while I wrote Sex with Kings. Q: I’m a big history geek and one of the reasons I started Scandalous Women was to share the live

And the Winner Is!

The Winner of THE RAUCOUS ROYALS by Carlyn Beccia Heather Carroll! Please email with your address to claim your prize

Mistress of the Vatican

"We have just elected a female pope." —Cardinal Alessandro Bichi, 1644 A week ago I opened the mailbox for our RWA chapter and found a copy of Eleanor Herman's new biography Mistress of the Vatican. All of a sudden it was Christmas and my birthday all in one. I had read about this book on Herman's website and I couldn't wait to read it. Thanks to the good people of Harper Collins I was able to do just that. If you have never heard of Olimpia Maidalchini, you are not the only one, and it is a damn shame. For Olimpia managed to achieve something that no woman ever has, for the 11 years of her brother-in-law Innocent X's reign as pope, Olimpia was the real power at the Vatican. Yes, there is the legend of Pope Joan, but Olimpia's story has been fully documented by the historians of the day, and now in Eleanor Herman's masterful biography. If you have read her previous books, Sex with the King and Sex with Queens , (and if you haven't I suggest you r

100 Awesome Blogs for History Junkies

I'm proud to announce that Scandalous Women has been included in the 100 Awesome Blogs for History Junkies! Thanks to Jessica for creating the list! It makes all the hard work putting together the blog worthwhile. Also check out some of the other blogs that are listed. They are well worth the look including one of my favorites Chicago history. Elizabeth

Woman in the Shadows: The Life of Jane Boleyn

The Tudors are everywhere. From the Other Boleyn Girl and Elizabeth: The Golden Age in movie theaters to The Virgin Queen and Elizabeth I on the small screen. Not to mention the glitz and glamour of Showtime's The Tudors on cable (don't get me started on this series) where the doings of the Royal Family make Dynasty seem tame. One only has to go to the bookstore to check out the new offerings on the front tables, to see the wealth of fiction and non-fiction that is available about England's Tudor dynasty. Books about everyone from Elizabeth's Lady in Waiting, Cat Ashley to books about Mary Boleyn, and the Katherine's (Aragon, Howard and Parr) but the most famous of course is Anne Boleyn. You could probably line up the books written about Anne Boleyn from here to California, and that's just the books written in the last few years! But what about Jane Boleyn? She is the shadowy figure in the saga of the Boleyns and the Tudors. Was she an innocent bystander c

Win a FREE copy of the Raucous Royals

In honor of the publication of Carlyn Beccia's fabulous new book, THE RAUCOUS ROYALS, Scandalous Women will be giving away a copy. Just leave a comment on the Jane Boleyn post by 9/18, and you will be entered in to win. In the meantime check out her web-site here for more fun!