Synopses & Reviews
How did the seductresses of western history love-addle men and keep them in their pockets for life? The surprising answers explode all the myths. Instead of dim blondes or shark-hearted vamps, the top fascinators were nonbeauties, older women, and swanky artists, intellectuals, politicas, and adventurers. Each chapter in Prioleau's bold, inspiring book recounts the sexy stories of these love maestras-some familiar like Cleopatra, Lola Montez, and Wallis Simpson; others less so, like the infamous Violet Gordon Woodhouse, who lived in a menage with four men. With their alpha personhood and their joint mastery of love and work, these seductresses practiced an ancient, long-forgotten erotic art that is 99 percent mental sorcery-a cocktail of wit, eloquence, and joie de vivre.
Prioleau's thrilling, thorough, and engaging analysis of these women supplies all the voltage necessary to upend every regressive how-to primer and shows the women of today-mired in an epic crisis of confidence-how to recoup their sexual birthright and achieve combine romantic and personal success.
Prioleau is almost incapable of writing a dreary sentence... Delightful philosophy and wickedly wonderful advice. (USA Today
Prioleau has gathered together historyÆs sexiest vixens and given them a delicious voice. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel)
A scholar offers a radical new take on history's great seductresses--who they were and the surprising constellation of qualities that distinguish them as masters of love craft.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -354) and index.
In this road map to restoring feminine sexual power, Betsy Prioleau introduces and analyzes the stories and stratagems of history?s greatest seductresses. These are the women who ravished the world?from such classic figures as Cleopatra and Mae West to such lesser-known women as the infamous Violet Gordon Woodhouse, who lived in a ménage with four men. Smarts, imagination, courage, and killer charm helped these love maestras claim the men of their choice and keep them fascinated for life. Through an exposé of their secrets, Seductress
provides an authoritative, empowering guide to erotic sovereignty.
About the Author
Betsy Prioleau has been a scholar in residence at New York University and a professor at Manhattan College. She is the author of Circle of Eros: Sexuality in the Works of William Dean Howells.
Table of Contents
1. Seductress: The Women and the Art 1
2. The Seductress Archetype 25
3. Belles Laides: Homely Sirens 49
4. Silver Foxes 83
5. Scholar-Sirens 119
6. Sorcières: Siren-Artists 155
7. Machtweiber: Seductresses in Politics 195
8. Siren-Adventurers 233
9. Goddess-Trippin’: Into the Future 277
Suggested Reading 353