Tag Archives: Mata Hari

MATA HARI – Femme Fatale

 

 

As today is the 95th anniversary of the execution of  Mata Hari, today’s  offering from our bookstore is –

FEMME FATALE

LOVE, LIES & THE  UNKNOWN LIFE OF

MATA HARI

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AUTHOR-           Pat Shipman

PUBLISHED-
    Weidenfeld & Nicolson, London. 2007

FORMAT–           Hb, 450pp, illustrated, refs, notes, index

CONDITION-
    Used…ex-library stock, so expect library stamps/marks/stickers.

                                    Dust-jacket, slight wear.
                                    Book in good, sound & clean condition

 

Mata Hari was  the prototype of the beautiful but unscrupulous female agent who uses 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.

This biography pinpoints the powerful yet dangerous attributes that evoked such strong emotions in those who met Mata Hari. Hitherto the focus has been on espionage. This is the first account to explore the events that shaped her life and caused the transformation from rural Dutch girl to international femme fatale.

This book is available (1 copy only) from Wolfs head bookstore for just 1.50 GBP plus P&P in the UK. More details and price convertor for customers outside the UK at this link –
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Almanac – October 15

1764 – Edward Gibbon observed a group of friars singing in the ruined Temple of Jupiter in Rome, which inspired him to begin work on The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.

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1844 – Friedrich Nietzsche born.  German philosopher, poet, composer, cultural critic, and classical philologist. He appears in the following video – can you spot him ?

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1881 – P. G. Wodehouse born. English humorist, whose body of work includes novels, short stories, plays, poems, song lyrics, and numerous pieces of journalism. He enjoyed enormous popular success during a career that lasted more than seventy years and his many writings continue to be widely read.

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1888 – The “From Hell” letter sent to investigators of the Jack the Ripper murders. Postmarked on 15 October 1888, the letter was received by George Lusk, then head of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee, the following day.Though hundreds of letters claiming to be from the killer were posted at the time of the Ripper murders, many researchers argue that the “From Hell” letter is one of a handful of possibly authentic writings received from the murderer.

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1917 – Mata Hari died. Margaretha Geertruida “Margreet” Zelle, better known by the stage name Mata Hari, was a Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan, and accused spy who was executed by firing squad in France under charges of espionage for Germany during World War I. It’s quite possible that she was used as a scapegoat by the French military authority to obscure the failing of the French military operations at the front.

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1938 – Fela Kuti born. Nigerian multi-instrumentalist musician and composer, pioneer of Afrobeat music, human rights activist, and political maverick.

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1965 – The Catholic Worker Movement staged an anti-Vietnam War rally in Manhattan including a public burning of a draft card; the first such act to result in arrest under a new amendment to the Selective Service Act.

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1966 – Black Panther Party was created by Huey P. Newton and Bobby Seale.

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Almanac – August 7

1560 – Elizabeth Báthory born.  A countess of the  Báthory family of Hungarian nobility. Although the number of murders is debated, she has been labeled the most prolific female serial killer in history and is remembered as the “Blood Countess.”

After her husband Ferenc Nádasdy’s death, she and four collaborators were accused of torturing and killing hundreds of girls, with one witness attributing to them over 650 victims, though the number for which they were convicted was 80. Elizabeth herself was neither tried nor convicted. In 1610, she was imprisoned in the Csejte Castle, now in Slovakia and known as Čachtice, where she remained bricked up  in a set of rooms until her death four years later.

Later writings about the case have led to legendary accounts of the Countess bathing in the blood of virgins  in order to retain her youth and subsequently also to comparisons with Vlad  the Impaler of Wallachia, on whom the fictional Count Dracula is partly based, and to modern nicknames of the Blood Countess and Countess Dracula.

1876 – Mata Hari born as Margaretha Geertruida  Zelle , better known by the stage name Mata Hari, was a Dutch exotic dancer, courtesan, and accused spy  who was executed by firing squad in France under charges of espionage for Germany during World War I.

1930 – The last confirmed lynching of blacks in the Northern United States occurred –  in Marion, Indiana. Two men, Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith, were killed. They had been arrested the night before, charged with robbing and murdering a white factory worker, Claude Deeter, and raping his white girlfriend, Mary Ball. A large crowd broke into the jail with sledgehammers, beat the two men, and hanged them. When Abram Smith tried to free himself from the noose as his body was hauled up by the rope, he was lowered and then his arms broken to prevent him from trying to free himself again. Police officers in the crowd cooperated in the lynching.

1947 – Thor Heyerdahl’s balsa wood raft the Kon-Tiki, smashed into the reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands after a 101-day, 7,000 kilometres (4,300 mi) journey across the Pacific Ocean in an attempt to prove that pre-historic peoples could have traveled from South America.

1965 – The infamous first Reyes party between Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters and motorcycle gang the Hells Angels took place at Kesey’s estate in La Honda, California introducing psychedelics to the gang world and forever linking the hippie movement to the Hell’s Angels.

1984 – Esther Phillips died.  American singer,  known for her R&B vocals, but she was a versatile singer, also performing pop, country, jazz, blues and soul.

 

 

Mr. Frankenstein

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