Showing posts from May, 2014

Helena Rubinstein: The Woman Who Invented Beauty

As a blogger, I receive books in the mail from publishers and publicists all the time, to review.  Unfortunately, I don't have time to review them all, not if I want to have time to pursue my own writing! However, I received a book last week that made sit up and take notice.  Helena Rubinstein: The Woman who Invented Beauty by French author Michele Fitoussi.  The book was published by a new publisher in the UK called Gallic Books  who are dedicated to publishing the best of French in English.  I've long been fascinated by women entrepreneurs in the beauty biz, women such as Elizabeth Arden, Mary Kay, Madame C.J. Walker, Harriet Hubbard Ayers, Estee Lauder, and the grande dame of them all Helena Rubinstein. These women essentially created the beauty business, their success proved to men that there was money to be made in lipsticks, nail polish, and facial cream. Helena was born Chaya Rubinstein in Krakow in Poland on December 25, 1872. Like most women, before the advent of

The First Georgians The German Kings Who Made Britain Episode 1 BBC do...

As any one who reads this blog knows, I have a bit of a girl crush on Lucy Worsley , Chief Curator at Historic Royal Palaces , in London (the best job ever in my opinion!  I've been lucky enough, thanks to YouTube, to watch several of the programmes that she's presented including A Very British Murder, Harlots Housewives and Heroines, and my personal favorite Elegance and Decadence.  Since 2014 marks the 300th anniversary of the Hanoverian ascension to the British throne, all sorts of exhibitions are going on at all the royal palaces.  And Lucy is presenting a 3 part series on the First Georgians for BB4.  You can watch the first episode below, and catch the rest of the episodes at YouTube.  I would also suggest picking up a copy of her book The Courtiers which gives a great overview of life at the court of the Georges.

Review: Belle (2014)

I’ve long been fascinated with the story of Dido Elizabeth Belle ever since I read a blog post by author Janet Mullany at the History Hoydens blog several years ago.  For a while I even contemplated trying to fictionalize the story.  So I was very excited when I heard that she was going to be the subject of a major motion picture.  This film opened in the US in limited release last Friday, and since delayed gratification isn’t really my thing, I went to see the film on Sunday at one of the only two movie theatres showing it in the city. However, before seeing the film, I picked up a copy of Paula Byrne’s new book entitled Belle: The Slave Daughter and the Lord Chief Justice.  Although Belle’s name is in the title, the book is more about her great uncle Lord Mansfield and the era in which she lived than it is an actual biography.  The reason being that very little is known about Belle.   The simple facts are these:  She was born sometime in 1761 to Sir John Lindsay, nephew