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Scandalous Women: The Lives and Loves of History's Most Notorious Womenby Elizabeth Kerri Mahon
Synopses & Reviews
Throughout history women have caused wars, defied the rules, and brought men to their knees. The famous and the infamous, queens, divorcées, actresses, and outlaws have created a ruckus during their lifetimes-turning heads while making waves. Scandalous Women tells the stories of the risk takers who have flouted convention, beaten the odds, and determined the course of world events.
* When Cleopatra (69 BC-30 BC) wasn't bathing in asses' milk, the last pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty ruled Egypt and forged an important political alliance with Rome against her enemies-until her dalliance with Marc Antony turned the empire against her.
* Emilie du Châtelet (1706-1748), a mathematician, physicist, author, and paramour of one of the greatest minds in France, Voltaire, shocked society with her unorthodox lifestyle and intellectual prowess-and became a leader in the study of theoretical physics in France at a time when the sciences were ruled by men.
* Long before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus, Ida B. Wells-Barnett (1862-1928) fought to end discrimination and the terrible crime of lynching and helped found the NAACP, but became known as a difficult woman for her refusal to compromise and was largely lost in the annals of history.
* Gertrude Bell (1868-1926) had a passion for archaeology and languages, and left her privileged world behind to become one of the foremost chroniclers of British imperialism in the Middle East, and one of the architects of the modern nation of Iraq.
"From its opening sentence-'Scandalous Women isn't history, it's herstory,' Mahon sets a tone of whimsical accessibility that will be appealing to some and repellent to others. Most of the historical women covered here are discussed largely in the context of the men in their lives, from Anne Boleyn to Frida Kahlo to the brilliant mathematician and physicist Émilie du Chatelet, who is first identified as 'Voltaire's mistress.' The book's blog-beginnings reveal themselves most in tone; few will mistake this for serious history. Eleanor of Aquitaine's accomplishments are described as 'not bad for a broad in her seventies'; F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald are called 'the Spencer Pratt and Heidi Montag of the Jazz Age.' This is Feminist History for Dummies, with a snappy no-frills style that allows the author to cover ground and bring in lesser-known females like Carry Nation, president of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union in 1900, who busted bars to bits with an axe and inspired others to do the same. As a crash course in women's history, readers could do worse. "
Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Its no secret that the marriages of monarchs are often made in hell. Here are some of the most spectacular mismatches in five hundred years of royal history....
In a world where many kings, queens, and princes lacked nothing but true love, marital mismatches could bring out the baddest, boldest behavior in the bluest of bloodlines. Margaret Tudor, her niece Mary I, and Catherine of Braganza were desperately in love with chronically unfaithful husbands, but at least they werent murdered by them, as were two of the Medici princesses were. King Charles IIs beautiful, high-spirited sister Minette” wed Louis XIVs younger brother, who wore more makeup and perfume than she did. Forced to wed her boring, jug-eared cousin Ferdinand, Marie of Roumania—a granddaughter of Queen Victoria—proved herself one of the heroines of World War I by using her prodigious personal charm to regain massive amounts of land during the peace talks at Versailles.
Brimming with outrageous real-life stories of royal marriages gone wrong, this is an entertaining, unforgettable book of dubious matches doomed from the start.
About the Author
Elizabeth Kerri Mahon is a professional actress and amateur history geek. Her blog Scandalous Women (scandalouswoman.blogspot.com) was named one of the 100 Best Blogs for History Junkies. A native New Yorker, she still calls Manhattan home.
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