Femme Fatale: Love, Lies And The Unknown Life Of Mata Hari

Orion, 16 juin 2011 - 464 pages

Biography of the most infamous woman of the early 20th century, the Dutch courtesan and alleged spy Margaretha Zelle (1876-1917), - Mata Hari

Mata Hari was the prototype of the beautiful but unscrupulous female agent who used sexual allure to gain access to secrets, if she was indeed a spy.

In 1917, the notorious dancer Mata Hari was arrested, tried, and executed for espionage. It was charged at her trial that the dark-eyed siren was responsible for the deaths of at least 50,000 gallant French soldiers. Irrefutably, she had been the mistress of many senior Allied officers and government officials, even the French Minister of War: a point viewed as highly suspicious. Worse yet, she spoke several European languages fluently and travelled widely in wartime Europe. But was she guilty of espionage?

For all the publicity Mata Hari and her trial received, key questions remain unanswered. These questions concern not only her inadequate trial and her unproven guilt, but also the events in her personal life. What propelled Margaretha Zelle, destined to be a Dutch schoolteacher, to transform herself into Mata Hari, the most desirable woman in early 20th-century Paris? She danced before enthusiastic crowds in Paris, Berlin, Vienna, Madrid, Monte Carlo, Milan and Rome, inspiring admiration, jealousy, and bitter condemnation.

Pat Shipman's brilliant biography pinpoints the powerful yet dangerous attributes that evoked such strong emotions in those who met Mata Hari, for hitherto the focus has been on espionage, not on exploring the events that shaped her life and caused her to transform herself from rural Dutch girl to international femme fatale.

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LibraryThing Review

Avis d'utilisateur  - Bodagirl - LibraryThing

It's very sympathetic to Mata Hari and the author continuously mentions that "no other historian" or "no other biography" looked into some of her sources. I would have liked it more if the prose had ... Consulter l'avis complet

FEMME FATALE: Love, Lies, and the Unknown Life of Mata Hari

Avis d'utilisateur  - Kirkus

Versatile biographer Shipman (To the Heart of the Nile, 2004, etc.) explores the life of an ineffectual undercover agent who was considerably more adept under the bedcovers.Born in Holland in 1876 ... Consulter l'avis complet

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À propos de l'auteur (2011)

Pat Shipman is a professor of anthropology at Pennsylvania State University. Her book 'Wisdom of the Bones' (co-authored with Alan Walker) won the 1997 Rhone-Poulenc Prize for science writing.

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