Showing posts from September, 2009

Hatshepsut: The Lost Queen of Egypt

Her name may sound like a sneeze but she was one of the most successful and powerful rulers of Egypt. Although Hatshepsut (or Hatchepsut) was not the first woman to rule Egypt, she was the first to rule in the guise of a man. The ancestress of Tutankhamen has left as many questions as to her reign as there are answers. The regent for her step-son nephew Thutmose III, what was it that made her decide to seize power? Did she have an affair with Senenmut, her chief advisor? And lastly led to the almost total destruction of her name and image after her death? Even the dates of her life and her reign are subject to debate but the ones that fit are 1479 BC- 1458 BC. The only thing that we do know for sure is that she was the fifth Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty which united Egypt after almost 100 years of foreign rule by the Hyksos. Hatshepsut was the oldest daughter of Thutmose I, a general who had married into the royal line. At the age of 12, she married her half-brother Thutmose II to forti

Scandalous Book I Couldn't Resist Buying

Thanks to Marie at The Burton Review for alerting me to this book. I'm writing a chapter on Elizabeth I for Scandalous Women and I was looking for research books about her that I haven't already read. This book so far is only out in the UK and Tracy Borman doesn't have on her site yet when the book might be out in the US. After reading an article that Tracy wrote about the book in the September issue of the BBC History Magazine , I wanted to read it even more but ordering books from the UK can get expensive even though the book is on offer at for 11 pounds and on the BBC History Magazine site for 15 pounds. But then I remembered that, wait a minute, I could write it off on my taxes as a research expense! So I caved. If you read the description of the book you can see why. "Elizabeth I was born into a world of women. As a child, she was served by a predominantly female household of servants and governesses, with occasional visits from her mother, Anne Bolye

Scandalous Movie Review: Georgia O'Keeffe

Saturday nite I settled in to watch Lifetime Television's biopic of Georgia O'Keeffe (1884-1986) starring Academy Award nominee Joan Allen as Georgia and Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons as her husband and mentor, photographer Alfred Stieglitz (1868-1946). The film opened in 1916 at Steiglitz's gallery Studio 291. Without her knowledge, Steiglitz is showing several of her drawings without permission. She berates him and they argue about his actions. He convinces her that she has an amazing talent that should be shared with the world. He offers her his niece's apartment in NY, which she accepts reluctantly. She worries that there are strings attached to the offer, especially since Steiglitz is a married man with a child. Steiglitz photographs O'Keeffe as they ket to know each other. At a society part, she meets art patron Mabel Dodge Luhan (played by Tyne Daly) among other luminaries of the literary/art world scene such as African-American writer Jean Toomer. After

Daughter of Kura Giveaway

Sorry I'm so late with this but I have been a little busy lately! Anyway without further ado, the winner of the Daughter of Kura giveaway is: Meeno Meeno, please email me at with your address, so that I can send you the book.

Zenobia, Queen of Palmyra

I have a confession to make: I had never heard of Zenobia until I read Bertrice Small's romance called Beloved. One of the coolest chicks ever to live in the 2nd century A.D. and I have a romance novel to thank for finding out about her. Zenobia was born in Palmyra in what is now present day Syria. It was a city of 150,000, smack dab in the middle of where several key trade routes intersected, which allowed them to collect huge taxes, a right the Palmyrans earned by being a buffer between Rome and the Persian Empire. We don't know much about Zenobia's early childhood or her family. Her father was probably a wealthy merchant and her mother possibly Egyptian. Zenobia's Latin name was Septima Zenobia and her Aramaic name Bat Zabbai. Of course, later historians came up with fanciful tales of Zenobia growing up as a tomboy. When she was 15, she was married off to a King of Palmyra Septimius Odaenathus in 258 as his second wife. Odaenthus had proved himself in service to the

Scandalous Good News

Well, the cat is out of the bag. From Publishers Marketplace: Fiction:Women's/Romance Author of the blog Elizabeth K. Mahon's SCANDALOUS WOMEN, an intriguing look at the tumultuous lives of some of history's most fascinating and notorious women, to Jeanette Shaw at Perigee , for publication in 2011, by Erin Niumata at Folio Literary Management (World). Yes, Scandalous Women will be a book coming out in March 2011. I'm very excited about it and I can't wait for it to come out. What this means for the blog is up in the air at the moment. The manuscript is due to the publisher in March 2010, which means that while I'm working on the manuscript, I probably won't be blogging as regularly for awhile. I hope to keep blogging at least once a week, but be patient with me, if a week goes by without a post.

Scandalous Book Review: Jezebel

Her name has come down through the centuries as euphemism for wicked women. The dictionary definition of Jezebel: An evil, scheming or shameless woman; an immoral woman. Example: She’s an absolute Jezebel! The 1937 movie starring Bette Davis called Jezebel depicts a spoiled and scheming Southern Belle who embarrasses her fiancee and family by wearing a scandalous red dress to a ball. She later redeems herself by going with her former fiancees who is suffering from yellow fever into quarantine. In the Bible, she is depicted as a scheming, manipulative woman who leads the northern kingdom of Israel into ruin by inflicting her worship of heathen gods on the nation. But was this truth or fiction? In Lesley Hazelton's biography Jezebel, The Untold Story of the Bible's Harlot Queen , a different picture emerges not just of Jezebel but of the era of the two kingdoms Israel and Judea. From the coverflap: There is no woman with a worse reputation than Jezebel, the ancient queen who corr

Scandalous Women in Movies

This fall is shaping up to be a great time for Scandalous Women in movies. Not only is there a new biopic of Chanel starring Audrey Tautou, which I alerted readers to last month, but on September 19th, Lifetime will be premiering a tv-film about painter Georgia O'Keefe. The production was announced in TV Guide last November that "Oscar nominee Joan Allen and Oscar winner Jeremy Irons will star in a Lifetime biopic about the late artist Georgia O'Keeffe, with Bob Balaban set to direct. Allen also will take on executive producer duties for the first time, alongside City Entertainment's Joshua D. Maurer and Alixandre Witlin, says The Hollywood Reporter." Georgia will follow the turbulent 20-year love affair between the celebrated artist (Allen) and photographer Alfred Steiglitz (Irons). The movie, was written by Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cristofer. Lifetime executive vice president Helen Verno says that the movie will "speak to viewers who are inspired by he

And the Winner is!

The Winner of Hallie Rubenhold's book The Lady in Red/Lady Worsley's Whim is: Rachel And the winner of Michelle Moran's new release Cleopatra's Daughter is: Bonnie Ladies please email me at with your addresses, so that I can send you the books. The next up to be given away is Debra Austin's The Daughter of Kura. Here's a sneak peek: "At first, Snap was aware of a few background noises — a baby cried, the fire crackled, one of the older children laughed. Eventually, the other sounds disappeared, and she heard only the ancient rhythm of the drums, the dancers' voices, and the sounds of her own feet as they beat a path to an unclear future." On the parched African earth more than half a million years ago sits the village of Kura, a matriarchal society of Homo erectus. Snap — a young, passionate woman of Kura — is destined to lead her people, and this year she must select a mate for the fir

Princess Diana Exhibit

The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia has mounted a new exhibition on Princess Diana that opens October 2nd. From October 2 through December 31, 2009, the National Constitution Center will host the international traveling exhibition, Diana: A Celebration, providing an opportunity for visitors to learn more about the life and work of the Princess of Wales. From the press release: "Making its East Coast debut, and returning to the United States for the first time since 2007, the award-winning exhibition explores Diana's childhood, her engagement to HRH Prince Charles, their royal wedding, their children, and Diana's life and work as a global humanitarian and model citizen. Diana: A Celebration is on loan from the Althorp Estate, the Spencer Family’s 500-year-old ancestral home in England." “This exhibition is a remarkable tribute to Princess Diana’s life and work,” said National Constitution Center President and CEO Linda E. Johnson. “Because she was admired

Happy Birthday Elizabeth I

On this day in 1533, Queen Anne Boleyn gave birth, not to the son she had promised Henry VIII but to a daughter, the Princess Elizabeth. She would remain her father's heir until her mother's execution when she was not quite 3 years old. Soon she would be made illegitimate and cut from the line of succession by her brother Edward VI. After her father's death when she was 13, she was sent to live with her step-mother Catherine Parr, after her marriage to Thomas Seymour. It was there that Elizabeth learned that men could be unfaithful jerks. Seymour got into the habit of coming into Elizabeth's rooms in his nightshirt, playing a little slap and tickle until his wife found out and sent Elizabeth away. Seymour ended up losing his head. At the age of 25, in 1558, Elizabeth was named Queen after the death of her half-sister Mary I. For 55 years, Elizabeth reigned in England in what is now called the Elizabethan era, the Golden Age of England. During her reign, the theater flou

Q&A and Giveaway with Michelle Moran

Scandalous Women is pleased to have this quick Q&A with historical fiction author Michelle Moran, author of The Heretic's Daughter and Nefertiti, talking about her new book Cleopatra's Daughter which will be on shelves on September 15. Michelle Moran was born in the San Fernando Valley, CA. She took an interest in writing from an early age, purchasing Writer's Market and submitting her stories and novellas to publishers from the time she was twelve. When she was accepted into Pomona College she took as many classes as possible in British Literature, particularly Milton, Chaucer, and the Bard. Not surprisingly, she majored in English while she was there. Following a summer in Israel where she worked as a volunteer archaeologist, she earned an MA from the Claremont Graduate University. Q: What prompted you to write a novel about Cleopatra’s daughter? A: I do a great deal of traveling both for research and for fun, and most of my destinations are archaeological sites. On

Scandalous Women 2nd Anniversary Extravaganza

Scandalous Women celebrates its second anniversary this month, and to celebrate I'm giving away everything but the farm! (I don't really have a farm but you know what I mean!). Once a week, I will be giving away something fabulous like: A copy of Hallie Rubenhold's book Lady Worsley's Whim (US title Lady in Red) Michelle Moran's latest release Cleopatra's daughter Treasures from the Napoleon exhibit in Philadelphia A DVD of Elizabeth R starring Glenda Jackson and more! Just leave a comment on any post this month and you will be eligible to win. In the meantime I received the Kreativ Blogger award from Evangeline at Edwardian Promenade. The Kreativ rules state that: Once you receive this award you are to list seven of your favorite things and then nominate seven other blogs. 1) Richard Armitage 2) Great historical fiction. Once that makes me laugh, cry and sigh all the way through. 3) Iced Coffee with flavored non-dairy creamer 4) Writing. Accept when I can'

Scandalous Interview with Hallie Rubenhold

Scandalous Women is very happen to welcome Hallie Rubenhold, author of the recent book Lady in Red. If you think that Jon Gosselin's behavior since his separation from Kate is bad, you haven't read anything until you read this book. Here's a brief description: She was a spirited young heiress. He was a handsome baronet with a promising career in government. The marriage of Lady Seymour Dorothy Fleming and Sir Richard Worsley had the makings of a fairy tale—but ended as one of the most scandalous and highly publicized divorces in history. In February 1782, England opened its newspapers to read the details of a criminal conversation trial in which the handsome baronet Sir Richard Worsley attempted to sue his wife’s lover for an astronomical sum in damages. In the course of the proceedings, the Worsleys’ scandalous sexual arrangements, voyeuristic tendencies, and bed-hopping antics were laid bare. The trial and its verdict stunned society, but not as much as the unrepenta